Coptic Catholic Church
The Coptic Catholic Church is an Alexandrian Rite
Alexandrian Rite
The Alexandrian Rite is officially called the Liturgy of Saint Mark, traditionally regarded as the first bishop of Alexandria. The Alexandrian Rite contains elements from the liturgy of Saint Basil, Cyril the Great, and Saint Gregory Nazianzus...

 particular Church
Particular Church
In Catholic canon law, a Particular Church is an ecclesial community headed by a bishop or someone recognised as the equivalent of a bishop.There are two kinds of particular Churches:# Local particular Churches ...

 in full communion
Full communion
In Christian ecclesiology, full communion is a relationship between church organizations or groups that mutually recognize their sharing the essential doctrines....

 with the Pope of Rome. Historically, Coptic Catholics represent a schism
Schism (religion)
A schism , from Greek σχίσμα, skhísma , is a division between people, usually belonging to an organization or movement religious denomination. The word is most frequently applied to a break of communion between two sections of Christianity that were previously a single body, or to a division within...

 from the Coptic Orthodox Church, leaving that church in order to come into full communion with the Bishop of Rome.

The current Coptic Catholic Patriarch of Alexandria is Archbishop Antonios Naguib
Antonios Naguib
Antonios I Naguib is the Coptic Catholic Patriarch of Alexandria since 30 March 2006....

, who replaced Stephanos II Ghattas in 2005. The offices of the Patriarchate are located in Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

. The Cathedral
A cathedral is a Christian church that contains the seat of a bishop...

 (Our Lady of Egypt) is located in Nasr City
Nasr City
Nasr City is a district of Cairo, Egypt. It is located to the east of the Cairo Governorate and consists mostly of condominiums. It was established in the 1960s as an extension to neighboring suburb of Heliopolis. The establishment of the district was part of the Egyptian Government's plan to...

, a modern suburb of Cairo.


The Catholic Copts existed historically of adherents of Coptic Orthodox Church who wanted to be in communion with the Catholic Church. Their numbers slowly increased in Egypt, to the extent that in 1741, a Catholic priest, Athanasios was assigned as the first Coptic Catholic Apostolic Vicar to head the established Coptic Catholic congregations. The Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 authorities recognized the Catholic Copts as a separate religious community, permitting the Coptic Catholics to begin building their own churches in 1829 in Egypt.

Establishment of Patriarchate

In 1824 the Holy See
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

 (the Vatican) created a Patriarchate
A patriarchate is the office or jurisdiction of a patriarch. A patriarch, as the term is used here, is either* one of the highest-ranking bishops in Eastern Orthodoxy, earlier, the five that were included in the Pentarchy: Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem, but now nine,...

 for Coptic Catholics. But the Coptic Catholic Patriarchal seat created by Pope Leo XII
Pope Leo XII
Pope Leo XII , born Annibale Francesco Clemente Melchiore Girolamo Nicola Sermattei della Genga, was Pope from 1823 to 1829.-Life:...

 remained titular, with no official line of succession. The Coptic Catholic Church was continued to be run by a series of Apostolic Vicars.

It was only Maximos Jouwed (also known as Maximos Givaid) who became the sole Coptic Catholic Apostolic Vicar ruling 1822-1831 to carry the title of Patriarch of Alexandria. But those who followed him as Apostolic Vicars never assumed the title of Patriarch after him.

Reinstatement of Patriarchate

In 1895 Pope Leo XIII re-established the Patriarchate. The first patriarch in this new era was Kyrillos Makarios
Kyrillos Makarios
Kyrillos Makarios also written as Cyrillus Macaire was a leader of the Coptic Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic sui juris particular church of the Roman Catholic Church...

 ordained 1899 and seated until his resignation in 1908, upon which the patriarchal seat again remained empty until 1948 when the Coptic Catholic Church was served by locum tenens bishops. In 1948, Markos II Khouzam
Markos II Khouzam
Markos II Khouzam in Arabic مرقس الثاني خزام was a leader of the Coptic Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic sui juris particular church of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Patriarch of Alexandria from 1947 to 1958.Markos Khouzam was born in Akhmim, Sohag Governorate, Egypt and studied in...

 was ordained as Patriarch of Alexandria, followed by Stéphanos I Sidarouss
Stéphanos I Sidarouss
Stéphanos I Sidarouss, CM was a Cardinal and leader of the Coptic Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic sui juris particular church of the Roman Catholic Church...

 from 1958 to 1996, Stéphanos II Ghattas from 1996 to 2006, and presently Antonios I Naguib starting 2006.

Religious orders

The Catholic Coptic Church does not have Coptic monasteries
Monastery denotes the building, or complex of buildings, that houses a room reserved for prayer as well as the domestic quarters and workplace of monastics, whether monks or nuns, and whether living in community or alone .Monasteries may vary greatly in size – a small dwelling accommodating only...

. Instead the Church has religious congregations
Congregation (catholic)
The term "congregation" has three usages specific to the Roman Catholic Church. One concerns the Roman Curia, the other two concern religious institutes.- Roman Curia :...

 such as the three communities for women: the Sisters of the Sacred Heart, the Coptic Sisters of Jesus and Mary (both based in Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

) and the Egyptian Province of the Little Sisters of Jesus
Little Sisters of Jesus
The Little Sisters of Jesus are a Roman Catholic community of religious sisters inspired by the life and writings of Charles de Foucauld, founded by Little Sister Magdeleine of Jesus .-Little Sister Magdeleine of Jesus 1898 - 1989:...

. There is also a community of male Franciscans.

Educational and health services

Most candidates for the priesthood are trained at St. Leo’s Patriarchal Seminary, in suburban Cairo. More than 100 Coptic Catholic parishes administer primary schools, and some have secondary schools as well. The church maintains a hospital, a number of medical dispensaries and clinics, and several orphanages.

Coptic Catholics have several religious orders, modelled on western monastic communities, involved in educational, medical, and charitable activities.

See also

External links

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