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Armenia’s Catholics look forward to papal visit

June 16, 2016

Armenia’s Catholics are eagerly awaiting the Pope’s apostolic journey later this month.

“We live in a climate of great expectation, especially among ordinary people,” Archbishop Raphaël Minassian told AsiaNews. “Even in the remotest villages people would like to participate in the event. Some people will walk more than an hour to reach the nearest bus stop, to get to the city to attend the papal Mass.”

Armenian Catholics are grateful to the Pope for “speaking so boldly before the world about the Armenian genocide of 1915,” and for paying tribute to Armenia as the “first Christian nation in history that bore witness to its faith for centuries in martyrdom,” the prelate added.

St. John Paul II visited the nation, which is 6% Catholic, in 2001. 93% of Armenians are members of the Armenian Apostolic Church, an Oriental Orthodox church that ceased to be in full communion with the Holy See following the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon in 451.

 
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