Monday, November 24, 2008

Pope: Ecumenism Helping Gospel to Spread

Expresses Hope for Closeness With Armenian Church

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 24, 2008 ( The growth in ecumenical relations has great promise for the proclamation of the Gospel in our time, says Benedict XVI.

The Pope affirmed this today when he presided at an ecumenical celebration with Aram I, Catholicos of Cilicia of the Armenians. A delegation from the Catholicosate also participated in the event.

Aram I is on a visit to Rome that will include a pilgrimage to St. Paul's Outside the Walls.

"Our meeting today," the Pope told him, "stands in continuity with the visit which you made to my beloved predecessor Pope John Paul II in January 1997, and with the many other contacts and mutual visits which, by God's grace, have led in recent years to closer relations between the Catholic Church and the Armenian Apostolic Church."

"In this year of St. Paul, you will visit the tomb of the Apostle of the Nations and pray with the monastic community at the basilica erected to his memory," the Holy Father continued. "In that prayer, you will be united to the great host of Armenian saints and martyrs, teachers and theologians, whose legacy of learning, holiness and missionary achievements are part of the patrimony of the whole Church. […] That testimony culminated in the 20th century, which proved a time of unspeakable suffering for your people.


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