The native church of Egypt or church
of Alexandria, which in general organization and doctrines resembles
the Roman Catholic Church, except that it holds to the Monophysitic
doctrine which was condemned (AD 451) by the Council of
Chalcedon, and allows its priests to marry. The "pope and patriarch"
has jurisdiction over the Abyssinian Church. Since the 7th century the
Coptic Church has been so isolated from modifying influences that in
many respects it is the most ancient monument of primitive Christian
rites and ceremonies. But centuries of subjection to Moslem rule have
weakened and degraded it.
© Webster 1913.