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Armenian church leader lauds Pope Francis’s ministry

Catholic World News - May 09, 2014

The Armenian Apostolic Church has released the text of the address given by its leader, Catholicos Karekin II, during his audience with Pope Francis on May 8.

The church is among the Oriental Orthodox churches that ceased to be in full communion with the Holy See following the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon (451). During the audience, Pope Francis emphasized that the blood of martyrs is the seed of Christian unity.

“We have happily followed Your Holiness’ activities, and how with God-given courage You as the good shepherd and tireless and wise leader have demonstrated energetic devotion in the fulfillment of Your mission by expanding your activities for the sake of the splendor, welfare and good order of the Catholic Church, contributing greatly to the rebirth of Christianity throughout the world, to the strengthening of spiritual values, the defense of human rights, and the establishment of peace and solidarity,” Karekin II said to Pope Francis.

“Beloved brother in Christ, we are gratified to acknowledge that Your Holiness’ unique attention to the youth and your care for the poor and the oppressed have engendered a great love towards your person everywhere,” Karekin II continued, before turning to the situation in the Middle East. “We strongly condemn what is happening in Syria, the terrorism committed in the name of religion, and the violence and discrimination carried out against Christians by radical groups, which are sometimes tolerated by the civilized world.”

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