The Pope met with Patriarch Abuna Matthias I, head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.
"We greet you in the name of the Almighty God. It is a great pleasure to meet you here in the ancient city of Vatican.”
Pope Francis said that this meeting is part of the cordial relations that sustain both churches.
"Your Holiness’s visit strengthens the fraternal bonds already uniting our Churches. We recall
with gratitude the visit of Patriarch Abuna Paulos to Saint John Paul II in 1993. On 26 June 2009, Abuna Paulos returned to meet Benedict XVI.”
The Pope explained that they are sister churches whose members are united by baptism. He also recalled blood ecumenism that unites all Christians persecuted, especially in the Middle East and Africa. Once again, he asked the authorities around the world to promote a culture of peace.
The Patriarch gave the Pope an Ethiopian cross and a prayer book. In return, Pope Francis gave him a peace medallion, with the symbol of an olive tree.
The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church was founded by St. Frumentius in the fourth century and has 35 million members, with a community in Rome.