COPTS AT THE COUNCIL OF FLORENCE (1439-1443)

This council was an unsuccessful attempt to bridge the gap between Rome on one side and the Copts and the Ethiopians on the other. In September 1440, Pope IV sent the Franciscan friar Albertus to to meet Coptic Patriarch XI. The latter gave Albertus a letter to Pope in which he appointed Andrew, of the , to represent the Copts in the Council of Florence. On 4 February 1442 at the Church of Santa Novella, the Latin text of the bull (papal correspondence) of the union with the Copts was read out, followed by an Arabic translation.

The bull was signed by Pope IV, 20 cardinals, and 51 prelates. Andrew signed the Arabic text in the name of the Jacobites and his patriarch. The Council of Chalcedon was accepted, together with several other later councils. The bull commanded the Copts to obey all ways and adhere faithfully to the . The Copts understood this as a reunion of equal partners. However, the act of the union remained in abeyance, for the rejection of the had been an essential part of the Coptic dogma for a millennium.

GAWDAT GABRA