The pope is here. Of course, Egypt already has a pope. But this one is different.
To most Egyptian Christians he is not. In the ancient world Rome and Alexandria were equals. But since then the Tiber has far eclipsed the Nile.
God, to you your church is one. Give humility to one and all, a spirit of brotherhood between servants of servants.
For joining them also is the heir of Constantinople. As the visible symbols of Christianity convene, fix their eyes on you the invisible. Give them wisdom for leading their flock. Give them encouragement for the small portion here.
Middle East Christians are under pressure, God. Evil men target them for death. Seductive dreams target them for immigration. Guide each one individually in the path you desire. But guide them together toward local flourishing.
For the sake of your name, God. For the sake of their peoples.
For with the three symbols is a powerful fourth. The Grand Sheikh of al-Azhar unites most of the world’s Muslims. He is the host, and their partner in peace.
May it be so, God. Certain forces wish to pit one religion against the other.
Some say it comes from texts. Some say it comes from power. Some say it comes from the devil.
Regardless, they say it should not be.
Strengthen their voice and witness, God. Unite them in purpose and friendship. May those who follow them follow their example. And with them, all peoples and nations beside.
For it is the state, God, with power to implement. Guide all who bear your sword, to wield it rightly.
And through men like these four, but only in accordance with your spirit and truth, may they hear from you.
The pope is here, God. May your peace come with him. May things thereafter be different.