Message of His Holiness KAREKIN II, Catholicos of All Armenians, To the faithful during the meeting with His Holiness BENEDICT XVI, Pope of the Catholic Church

Vatican City, 07 May 2008
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In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

We offer thanks to our Lord, Who gave us the opportunity through Your Holiness’ kind invitation to visit once more the eternal city of Rome and the Holy See of the Catholic Church. We have come from the spiritual center and headquarters of the Holy Armenian Apostolic Church – the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, with our high-ranking clergymen and our pious and worthy sons and daughters, and through our fraternal embrace with Your Holiness, we testify to the divinely ordained love between the Catholic and Armenian Churches, which “…is poured into our hearts, by the Holy Spirit who is given to us.” (Romans 5:5)

Dear Brother in Christ, today, on the threshold of the Feast of Pentecost, when we unite our prayers to those of Your Holiness and of your faithful sons and daughters, we praise and glorify the Holy Spirit, Who is the fountainhead of unity and transforms our steps on the paths of brotherhood with grace – steps which are for the glory of God and are born from the love of Christ, for the sake of establishing peace in the world and a blessed life for mankind. In spite of different historical experiences and paths we have traversed; in spite of dogmatic and cultural divergences, we are all children of the one God, and we are all brothers and sisters in His Holy love. For in our diversity, it is our unity of love that is the genuine testimony that we are children of God.

Intolerance and confrontation must not be allowed within the brotherhood and love of Christ. Mankind has suffered much as a result. Today as well, the creation of God – the world that surrounds us – is imperiled through interfaith disagreements, through wars and terrorism, through the effects of poverty and neglect. Our brothers and sisters are in distress in the Middle East and many other regions of the world; where women and children, the elderly and disabled are endangered by the blows of disagreement and division, unjust competition and enmity. This is not the Will of God. This is not our calling. We aspire to live a life in peace, of creation and creativity, to use the graces given to us by the Holy Spirit, to serve the establishment of unity and solidarity with the love of Jesus Christ and the message of the Gospel, since “for those that love God, all things work together unto good.” (Romans 8:28)

We Armenians are a people who have survived genocide, and we know well the value of love, brotherhood, friendship, peace and a secure life. Today, many countries of the world recognize and condemn the Genocide committed against the Armenian people by Ottoman Turkey, as did the Holy See, by His Holiness Pope John Paul II of blessed memory during our fraternal visit to Rome in 2000. Offering prayers to his luminous memory, we as Pontiff of the Armenians, appeal to all nations and lands to universally condemn all genocides that have occurred throughout history and those that continue through the present day, so that those who yield power and authority realize their responsibilities and results of those crimes which have been and continue to be committed against the creation of God, and that the denial of these crimes is an injustice that equals the commission of the same.

At this joyous moment of prayer, our sincere appeal to our Lord in heaven is that He keep our planet unshaken with harmony, brotherhood and reconciliation among peoples. May Almighty God keep our two Churches under his watchful and benevolent gaze in steadfast friendship, protecting Your Holiness under His All-Provident Right Hand, granting you many long years of blessed reign to lead the Catholic Church with your vision and characteristic wisdom, “to green pastures… and to the still waters…” (Psalms 23)

May the love and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us all, now and always. Amen.

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