CATHOLICOS, term of Greek origin signifying "general," "universal," and used as a title given to high-ranking secular officials, and later as an honorary title for certain ecclesiastical dignitaries ranking below a patriarch but above a metropolitan.
On 25 June 1959, a protocol was issued in Cairo organizing the relationship between the Coptic Orthodox church and the Ethiopian church. Article 1 stipulates that the supreme spiritual head of the latter church is the pope of Alexandria and the patriarch of the see of Saint Mark, while article 4 provides for the elevation of the spiritual head of the Ethiopian church to the rank of catholicos patriarch. Bishop Basilios was raised to this rank, and was officially consecrated at the Cathedral of Saint Mark, Cairo, on 28 June 1959, by Pope CYRIL VI (1959-1971).
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