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New head of Coptic Catholic Church welcomed by pope

VATICAN CITY (CNS): The Vatican announced on January 18 that Pope Benedict XVI had extended ecclesial communion to the newly-elected head of the Coptic Catholic Church, 57-year-old Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak of Alexandria.

Requesting communion is customary for the patriarchs of the Eastern Churches in union with Rome. 

Patriarch Sidrak was elected on January 15 by members of the Coptic Catholic Synod of Bishops during a synod in Cairo at which choosing a successor to the 77-year-old Antonios Cardinal Naguib was the primary item on the agenda. 

Cardinal Naguib suffered a stroke on 31 December 2011 and has had a slow recovery, including continuing paralysis and difficulty speaking. He was made a cardinal at the consistory of 20 November 2010 by Pope Benedict, who accepted his resignation on health grounds.......

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