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The Eastern Catholic Churches / The Coptic Catholic Church

The Coptic Catholic Church

Number of faithfulapprox. 190,000
Title of First HierarchCoptic Catholic Patriarch of Alexandria
See of the First HierarchCairo (Egypt)
Current incumbentIbrahim Isaak (Sedrak), born 1955, in office since 2013
Bishops and dioceses13 bishops; 9 dioceses (all in Egypt)
Liturgical languageCoptic
CalendarMixed calendar (Gregorian/Julian)
Presence in Austriaapprox. 50 faithful
Presence in Germanyapprox. 200 faithful

The history of the Coptic Catholic Church goes back to the Cantate Domino Decree of Union signed by a small Coptic delegation at the Council of Florence in 1442. However, neither this union agreement nor numerous other attempts in the 17th, 18th and at the beginning of the 19th century could resonate with the Christians of Egypt. In 1895, Pope Leo XIII created a Coptic Catholic patriarchate which, after the initial difficulties, was only able to become firmly established around the middle of the 20th century. The patriarchal seat has only been regularly occupied since 1947. The number of faithful in this church has increased in recent years, but this is probably due less to conversions and more to general population growth.


  • H. Suermann, Die Koptisch-katholische Kirche. Kurze Geschichte einer kleinen Kirche, in: H. Behlmer / M. Tamcke (ed.), Christen in Ägypten, Wiesbaden 2015, 141-154.
  • F. Sidarouss, The Renewal of the Coptic Catholic Church. Grappling with Identity and Alterity, in: A. O’Mahony / J. Flannery (ed.), The Catholic Church in the Contemporary Middle East, London 2010, 139-151.