After the Council of Chalcedon (451), which divided what would become known as the Oriental Orthodox Churches from their Sister Churches of Rome and Byzantium, a millenium passed before an apparent union was achieved between the Churches of Rome and Alexandria at the Council of Florence (1442). However, the union was repudiated on return of the Coptic delegation to Egypt.
Subsequently, in the 17th century, Rome undertook misionary activity in Egypt. Theological dialogue resulted but no notable progress toward effecting communion was achieved until the mid-18th century when the Coptic Orthodox bishop of Jerusalem was received into communion by Rome and named Vicar Apostolic for the small Coptic Catholic community.
The vicariate continued in existence somewhat longer than 75 years, then was elevated to be a patriarchate (1824). As a functional canonical entity, the Catholic patriarchate survived less than a decade, after which it became a solely titular position, accorded to Latin hierarchs.
An effort was made to reestablish the patriarchate in 1895, though five years lapsed before an incumbent was named to the position. Again, it had a short-lived existence. Less than a decade after he had assumed office, the patriarch's resignation was requested because of turmoil within the Church related to his perceived favor of latinized praxis.
Another forty years passed before the patriarchate was reinstituted in 1947. It is from this time that a distinct Coptic Catholic Church can ordinarily be said to exist.
The Church is organized under a Patriarch whose title is Patriarch of Alexandria of the Catholic Copts. The incumbent is the fifth successive holder of the office, the seventh since 1824 (titular patriarchs excluded). The Church has canonical jurisdictions only in Egypt at this time. In the diaspora, it has parishes in North America, Europe, Australia, and some countries of the Middle East; those are subject to the local Latin ordinaries of the places in which they are situated.
An icon of St Mark the Holy Apostle and Evangelist accompanies the link to listings for this Church. Historically, St Mark founded the See at Alexandria and is the patron of Coptic Christians.
“The legalization of the termination of pregnancy is none other than the authorization given to an adult, with the approval of an established law, to take the lives of children yet unborn and thus incapable of defending themselves. It is difficult to imagine a more unjust situation, and it is very difficult to speak of obsession in a matter such as this, where we are dealing with a fundamental imperative of every good conscience — the defense of the right to life of an innocent and defenseless human being.”
- Saint John Paul II