(Photo: Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany)
"The Church of Ethiopia begins elections (Feb. 28) for its new pope, to succeed Pope Paulos, who will be ordained next Sunday, 3 March," H.H. Pope Tawadros II has announced.
"The Orthodox Church will participate as a high-level delegation in this election and will also attend the enthronement ceremony," he added.
"The Ethiopian Church is a sister of the Orthodox Church and we pray that God chooses righteous shepherd for the Church."
The Coptic Christian Pope spoke during his weekly sermon delivered at the papacy headquarters in Abbasiya, Cairo.
He also noted that he sent a letter of adoration to Pope Benedict XVI, given to the patriarch by Bishop Barnabas, the bishop of the Coptic Church in Rome.
Pope Tawadros II said, "We are proud of the Roman Pope, the dialogue and his love, wisdom and high theological stature, as well as his participation with us, the Eastern churches, in all occasions including the most recent ordainment last November."
"He saw that his health was not suitable to complete his career and this is something rare in the history of Rome."
Roman Catholic Pope Benedict steps down as Pope on Feb. 28, becoming "Pope Emeritus." A successor will be elected in March during a Conclave held in Rome.