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An Explanatory Letter from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria

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Protocol No. 1222
To: His Eminence Bishoy Metropolitan of Damiette
Secretary of the Holy Synod Coptic Orthodox Church
Alexandria, 9 March 2006


Your Eminence,
It is with great joy that I received your Emincnce and Abuna Cherubim, the Vicar of His Holiness Pope Shenouda III in Alexandria, in my office today, the 9th day of March 2000.
We take this opportunity to correct and clarify some issues regarding an interview published on April 28, 2005 in the ‘Al-Ahram Weekly’ newspaper no 740. It was stated that the Copts are monophysites and that they believe in one nature in the person of Christ and that nature is divine. The reality is that going back to the official theological dialogue between the two families and the second agreed statement & recommendations to the Churches published after the third meeting of the Joint Commission (Geneva. September 23-28, 1990), the Coptic Orthodox Church believe that Jesus Christ is fully Divine and fully Human in His nature and that in the union of His Divinity and Humanity the two natures continue to exist in the union without confusion, without change, without division and without seperation. The term ‘monophysite’ is not likely used by the Oriental Orthodox Churches. It is more likely to use the term ’miaphysite’ because they believe in a united one incarnate nature.


We appreciate too much the presence His Holiness Pope Shenouda III in our enthronement (October 24, 2004) and also in the enthronement of the late Patriarch Petros VII (March 9, 1997) and We encourage and support the continuation of our warm and strong relationship and mutual respect since our Churches have worked sincerely in the efforts of the theological dialogue between the two families of the Orthodox Churches.


We are looking toward for our meeting with Pope Shenouda in the course of the exchange of our brotherly visits, we pray and beseech the blessings and protection of our Lord Jesus Christ and wish that He will grant you strength, hope, courage and a fruitful deaconate for the glory of His Name and the sake and benefit of the flock and duties entrusted to your Eminence.


In Christ and with Patriarchal blessings,

Pope & Patriarch of Alexandria & All Africa

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