Coptic Catholic Church

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Coptic Catholic Church

Cathedral of Our Lady of Egypt.jpg

Cathedral of Our Lady of EgyptCairoEgypt

Classification Eastern Catholic
Orientation Coptic Orthodox
Polity Episcopal
Structure Patriarchate
Primate Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak
Associations Congregation for the Oriental Churches
Region Egypt, with communities in Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America
Language Alexandrian Rite
Headquarters Cathedral of Our Lady of EgyptCairoEgypt
Congregations 166 (2016)
Members 187,320 (2017)
Ministers 243


In the 17th century, missionaries, primarily Franciscans, started to come to the Copts. In 1630, a Cairo mission of the Capuchin Order was founded. The Jesuits came in 1675. In 1713, the Coptic Patriarch of Alexandria again submitted to Rome but, as in 1442, the union was not of long duration.

In 1741, Coptic bishop Anba Athanasius of Jerusalem became a Catholic. In 1781, he was appointed by Pope Benedict XIV as vicar apostolic of the less than 2,000 Egyptian Coptic Catholics. Eventually, Athanasius returned to the Coptic Orthodox Church and others served as Catholic vicar apostolic.


Under the assumption that the Ottoman viceroy wanted a Catholic patriarch for the Coptic Catholics in 1824, the Pope established the Patriarchate of Alexandria from the Apostolic Vicariate of Syria, Egypt, Arabia and Cyprus but it was basically titular. The Ottomans in 1829 allowed the Coptic Catholics to build their own churches.

The number of Catholics of this rite increased to the point that Leo XIII in 1895 restored the Catholic patriarchate.[5] He initially named Bishop Cyril Makarios as patriarchal vicar. Makarios then presided over a synod, which led to the introduction of some Latin practices. In 1899, Leo appointed Makarios as patriarch of Alexandria of the Copts, taking the name Cyril II. He resigned in 1908 at the request of the Pope over a controversy. The patriarchate seat remained vacant until an election in 1947 and was administered by an apostolic administrator.


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