The following comes form an October 28 Manteca Bulletin article by Glenn Kahl:
His Holiness Pope Tawadros II began his first United States tour with a two week visit to Texas. The Egyptian and Eastern Rite Pope is the 118th pope of the Coptic Church of Egypt. He is the leader of the 16-million- member Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt now on a whirlwind pastoral tour that has taken him from Florida to California.
The Pontiff’s visit throughout the U.S. has been little noticed with minute fanfare about his presence and very little media attention throughout the country. There has been growing immigration to the states, Europe and Australia by its church membership due to the growing turmoil in Egypt. Churches outside the country have been introducing English into their religious services that have traditional been conducted in Coptic and Arabic.
The pope’s religious career began late in life after he received a pharmacy degree in 1975 and managed a pharmaceutical plant before studying to become a priest. He was ordained in 1989 and elevated to a bishop status eight years later.
The 62-year-old church leader was installed as the church’s 118th pope in 2012. The church traces its heritage – its original founding – back to the apostle St. Mark in the first century followed by the separating from the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches in 450 A.D. It was a year after being elevated as pope that Tawadros became only the second Coptic pope to visit a sitting Roman Catholic Pope at the Vatican in Rome in 2013.