The Coptic Church is believed to have been established by St. Mark around 45-50 AD. It separated from the Catholic Church headed by Pope Saint Leo I at the time during of the Council of Chalcedon in 451 AD after its bishops took a different stance on the nature of Christ (hypostatic union: Jesus' divine and human natures). The Church is a branch of the Oriental Orthodox and is one of the oldest Christian Churches. Its patriarch, Tawardros II is called "pope" due to the fact that bishops and patriarchs were referred to "pope" or "father" at the time. Only the pope of Rome is the successor of St. Peter and Vicar of Christ.
Over 30 Coptic Christians were killed in the blasts. The total may increase if those wounded succumb to their injuries. Those present describe the carnage as immense. Worshipers had blood-covered palms in their hands; the blood of modern martyrs! Let us pray for our Coptic brothers and sisters.
My prayers go out to our Coptic Christian brethren who were attacked in Egypt on this #PalmSunday.— Sacerdotus (@Sacerdotus) April 9, 2017
Let us raise our palms in solidarity for all #Christians persecuted around the world especially those Coptics attacked today. #palmsunday pic.twitter.com/LxNCglfYu9— Sacerdotus (@Sacerdotus) April 9, 2017
Coptic church rejects and condemns hateful bombings on churches in Egypt, including attempted attack on Pope Tawadros in Alex. #coptic— MVWCopts (@MVWCopts) April 9, 2017
After Pope Tawadros II left Alexandria's St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church, a citizen approached the church and detonated an explosive device— Mada Masr مدى مصر (@MadaMasr) April 9, 2017
Explosion took place shortly after Pope Tawadros left church, he was heading to the bombing site in Tanta.#Tanta#Alexandria#Terrorism pic.twitter.com/Q5N3YlF7hF— Merck (@MerckVossen) April 9, 2017
Picture emerges of Pope Tawadros, who was giving #PalmSunday service at St. Mark's Church, where a suicide-bomber blew himself up. #Egypt pic.twitter.com/Hj5a7vNocI— Rudaw English (@RudawEnglish) April 9, 2017
Coptic Pope Tawadros's @PopeTawadros was inside The cathedral at the time explosion. Pope is safe,reports indicate pic.twitter.com/87CEzqgbL8— Merck (@MerckVossen) April 9, 2017
A second bomb has exploded in front of St Mark Cathedral, Alexandria where Pope Tawadros was celebrating Palm Sunday! #prayforAlexandTanta— Bishop Suriel (@BishopSuriel) April 9, 2017
Pope Francis expresses "deep condolences to my brother, Pope Tawadros II, the Coptic church and Egyptian nation" https://t.co/Q9j2HBxGlI— Haaretz.com (@haaretzcom) April 9, 2017
Confirmed: Suicide-bomber blew himself up in front of St. Mark's church in #Alexandria, where Pope Twadros was holding Palm Sunday service.— Raphael Babikian (@RafaelBabikian) April 9, 2017
Update: more than 30 dead in Egypt church bombings on #PalmSunday https://t.co/gR1qVMlTLE pic.twitter.com/BvYvy02RE9— Catholic Herald (@CatholicHerald) April 9, 2017
Pictures of Pope Tawadros II, who was giving #PalmSunday service at Saint Mark's Church in #Alexandria, #Egypt... pic.twitter.com/zwKkcTDBPZ— Raveen Aujmaya (@raveenaujmaya) April 9, 2017
Multiple people have been killed in an explosion during the Palm Sunday service at a church in Tanta, Egypt. https://t.co/fPefFTSpRB— Twitter Moments (@TwitterMoments) April 9, 2017