CAIRO – As part of a pastoral visit by Mor Ignatius Youssef III Younan, the Syriac Catholic Patriarch of Antioch, arrived in Egypt on Thursday to inspect the Cairo Eparchy and see the conditions of the three local parishes. Mor Younan was received at Cairo Airport by Mar Yacoub Aphrem Semaan, the Patriarchal Administrator of the Diocese of Cairo and Roger Chagall, the Ambassador of the Sovereign (Knights) Order of Malta in Egypt.
After his arrival at the airport, Mor Joseph III Younan met with Frank Hartmann, the newly elected German ambassador to Egypt, and Sabine Kroissenbrunner, head of the diplomatic mission of the Austrian embassy in Cairo. They discussed the current situation in the Middle East, and the challenges facing the Christian Syriac presence in the Middle East.
After the meeting at the airport, the Patriarch went with the accompanying delegation to his residence in the Eparchy in Egypt to begin his pastoral. The Syriac Catholic Church Eparchy was established in 1965, has three parishes in Cairo and Alexandria, an own school (Saint Michael’s).
The Syriac Catholic parishes are in Cairo, Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary, in Heliopolis, the Saint Catherine Church, and in Alexandria, the Church of the Heart of Jesus. There are some 1,500 Catholic Syriacs in Egypt of whom the majority only speaks Arabic.
The visit to Egypt comes after a pastoral visit to Montreal in Canada.