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Author Topic: Pope Francis  (Read 1595533 times)
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« Reply #4300 on: June 19, 2016, 07:03:51 PM »

http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-at-angelus-asks-who-is-jesus-for-each-one-of

Pope at Angelus asks "Who is Jesus for each one of us?"
2016-06-19 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Sunday asked the question, “Who is Jesus for each one of us?” Speaking to the thousands of pilgrims and visitors gathered in St Peter’s Square for his Angelus address, the Pope reflected on the reading from St Luke’s Gospel where Jesus asks the disciples, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” The disciples reply “John the Baptist”, or “Elijah” or “one of the ancient prophets”.

The Pope noted that people respected Jesus as a great prophet but they were not yet aware of his true identity as the Messiah, the Son of God sent by the Father for the salvation of all.

Jesus then asks his disciples directly, “But who do you say that I am?” and Peter immediately replies on behalf of them all, “The Christ of God”. In this way, Pope Francis said, Jesus realized that the twelve apostles, and Peter in particular, had received the gift of faith from God, enabling him to begin to speak openly about his suffering, death and Resurrection which will take place in Jerusalem.

Those same questions, the Pope said, are asked of us today: “Who is Jesus for the people of our day?” And more importantly, “Who is Jesus for each one of us?” We are called, he said, to respond like Peter, professing with joy that Jesus is the Son of God, the eternal Word of the Father who became man in order to redeem humanity and bestows on us the abundance of His divine mercy.
 
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« Reply #4301 on: June 19, 2016, 07:12:26 PM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2016/06/19/pope_calls_for_solidarity_ahead_of_un_world_refugee_day/1238424

Pope calls for solidarity ahead of UN World Refugee Day
19/06/2016 13:36

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Sunday appealed for solidarity with refugees as he noted that Monday marks the annual United Nations World Refugee Day.

The Pope recalled that the theme for this year’s event is ‘We stand together #With Refugees’ and with all those forced to flee their lands. Refugees, he insisted, are people like everyone else, who have been deprived by war of their homes, their jobs, their parents and their friends.
 
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« Reply #4302 on: June 19, 2016, 07:21:46 PM »

http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-francis-prays-for-work-of-pan-orthodox-counci

Pope Francis prays for work of pan-Orthodox Council
2016-06-19 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Sunday urged Catholics to pray for the Orthodox leaders from around the world who are holding their ‘Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church’ on the Greek island of Crete.

As chairman of the Council, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on Sunday presided at a Divine Liturgy in the Metropolitan Church of St Minas in the capital Heraklion, to officially open the week long meeting
. Observers from other Christian Churches, including a Vatican delegation headed by Cardinal Kurt Koch of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, are also in Crete and are due to attend the first session of the Council on Monday.

Speaking after the Angelus prayer to thousands of pilgrims and visitors gathered in St Peter’s Square, Pope Francis noted that the Orthodox Church this Sunday marks the solemnity of Pentecost. "Let us unite ourselves in prayer with our Orthodox brothers", the Pope said, calling on the Holy Spirit to send "his gifts on the patriarchs, archbishops and bishops gathered at the Council".
 
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« Reply #4303 on: June 19, 2016, 07:27:16 PM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2016/06/19/patriarch_bartholomew_leads_mass_to_open_orthodox_council/1238436

Patriarch Bartholomew leads Mass at start of Orthodox Council
19/06/2016 14:45

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew poses with leaders of the ten other Orthodox Churches that are taking part in the pan-Orthodox Council in Crete

(Vatican Radio) Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on Sunday concelebrated at a Divine Liturgy in the Metropolitan Church of St Minas in Heraklion, Crete, for the opening of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church.

Speaking to the patriarch, bishops and leaders of the Orthodox Churches in countries around the world, Bartholomew  said every local Orthodox Church has its own treasure to offer and is a vital part of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

At the same time, he said, the Church is “crying out” to the Holy Spirit “to come and abide in us and keep us in Its Truth and Its sanctification”  This appeal, he said on the day the Eastern Church mark the feast of Pentecost, remains “the primary request of all humanity in a divided world that is full of strife, and which thirsts for unity, on behalf of which the Son of God gave up Himself so that all of us may have life, and that we may have it more abundantly”.

Speaking in Rome on Sunday, Pope Francis prayed for all the Orthodox leaders gathered in Crete for the week long meeting, urging Catholics to unite themselves in prayer to all their Orthodox brothers and sisters.

Please find below the full text of Patriarch Bartholomew’s homily at the Divine Liturgy in St Minas Metropolitan Church, Heraklion, Crete.
 
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« Reply #4304 on: June 19, 2016, 07:44:57 PM »

http://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/5722/0/ecumenical-patriarch-stresses-unity-ahead-of-week-long-orthodox-council-

Ecumenical Patriarch stresses unity ahead of week-long Orthodox Council
19 June 2016

The spiritual head of Eastern Orthodoxy began his sermon with greetings to the other Orthodox leaders, some of whom are deliberately absent

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew stressed the 2,000-year unity of the Orthodox churches at a divine liturgy in Crete on Sunday ahead of the week-long Holy and Great Council where their present-day disunity over the challenges of the modern world will be on full display.

Addressing the concelebrated service at the Cathedral of St Minas in Heraklion, the spiritual head of Eastern Orthodoxy said this day — Pentecost according to the Orthodox calendar — was a “day of unity, as we are all united in the faith and the sacraments through our liturgical gathering in one place”.

He began his sermon with greetings to the “holy brother primates” of the 13 other Orthodox church leaders. But only nine of them gathered around him for the hours-long ceremonies attended by many other Orthodox prelates and Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos.

The churches of Russia, Bulgaria, Georgia and Antioch (Damascus) are boycotting the Council, the first in over 1,200 years, the first three because of disagreements on its organisation and — at least in Moscow’s case — broader tensions over the Ecumenical Patriarch’s role and the future of Orthodoxy in Ukraine.
 
These and other differences among the 14 churches have meant that the list of topics to discuss, which started with about 100 suggestions when Council preparations first began 55 years ago, was slimmed down to only six documents the meeting is due to approve.

They concern the following topics:


•Autonomy — this document confirms that only an autocephalous church, one with its own primate, can grant the canonical status of autonomy to a local church within its boundaries. Autonomous churches cannot be established in the diaspora. This is important because the migration of Orthodox to diaspora countries has led to disputes about jurisdiction there.

•Diaspora — In the diaspora, when several churches have established a presence to serve emigrant members of their flocks, cities or countries have several resident Orthodox bishops instead of only one as canon law dictates. Their assemblies of bishops should prepare a plan to propose ways to “proceed to a canonical solution of the problem”.

•Ecumenical Relations — The Orthodox Church, as “the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church”, believes it has a central place in “promoting unity among Christians in the modern world” and will never sacrifice its principles. This document does not refer to other Christian denominations as churches because of opposition by conservatives to using that term.

•Fasting — the Orthodox have stricter rules and more frequent occasions for fasting than Catholics, but modern work schedules sometimes make these difficult to respect. This document allows the local Orthodox church “to determine how to exercise philanthropic dispensation and clemency, relieving in these special cases any ‘burden’ of the holy fasts.”

•Marriage — this document states the Orthodox Church “does not recognise same-sex unions or any other form of cohabitation for its members other than marriage”. Also, “those members of the Church who contract a civil marriage must be approached with pastoral responsibility”. It also deals with impediments to marriage according to Orthodox canon law.

•Mission — The Orthodox Church shares the concerns of today’s world, which include “the dignity of the human person, the limits and implications of human freedom and responsibility, the nature of true peace, the cessation of war and violence, and social, political and economic justice”.

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« Reply #4305 on: June 20, 2016, 09:27:42 PM »

http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-francis-look-in-the-mirror-before-judging-oth

Pope Francis: Look in the mirror before judging others
2016-06-20 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Before judging others we should look first in the mirror to see how we, ourselves, appear. That’s what Pope Francis said at Monday morning’s Mass at the Santa Marta guesthouse in the Vatican.  In his last Mass with a Homily there ahead of the summer break, the pontiff pointed out that what distinguishes God's judgment from ours is not “omnipotence” but “mercy.”

Judgment belongs to God alone, so if we do not want to be judged, we should not judge others says Pope Francis.  Focusing on the day’s Gospel, the Pope said “all of us want the Lord “to look upon us with kindness” on Judgment Day and that He “will forget the many bad things we have done in life."

Jesus calls us hypocrites when we are judgmental

Therefore, if "you judge others constantly,” he warned, “with the same measure you shall be judged." The Lord, he said, therefore asks us to look in the mirror:
 
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« Reply #4306 on: June 21, 2016, 05:46:54 PM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2016/06/21/pope_francis_video_message_to_death_penalty_conference/1238843

Pope Francis: video message to Death Penalty conference
21/06/2016 18:00

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a video message to the participants in the Sixth World Conference Against the Death Penalty, taking place this week in Oslo, Norway. The Holy Father put his message in the key of the Year of Mercy, saying, “The Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy is an auspicious occasion for promoting worldwide ever more evolved forms of respect for the life and dignity of each person.” Pope Francis goes on to say, “It must not be forgotten that the inviolable and God-given right to life also belongs to the criminal.” Please find the full text of the Holy Father’s message below:
 
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« Reply #4307 on: June 21, 2016, 05:58:00 PM »

http://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/shimon-peres-meets-pope-francis-in-the-vatican/

Shimon Peres meets Pope Francis in the Vatican
June 21, 2016, 10:15 am

Israel's ex-president Shimon Peres discussing their shared vision of peace in the Vatican (Photo credit: L'osservatore Romano/Israel Sun 20-06-2016)
Pope Francis welcomed former Israeli president Shimon Peres to the Vatican on Monday.
 
The ninth president met with the head of the Catholic Church to discuss a “shared vision for a peaceful future and an end to violence.”

Shimon Peres, 92, said: “Unfortunately, since our last meeting, much blood has been spilled in our region and in streets around the world. We are witnessing increased terrorist acts against innocent people, and the use of the name of G-d to murder and kill.”
 
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« Reply #4308 on: June 21, 2016, 06:05:44 PM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2016/06/21/azerbaijan,_armenia_presidents_pledge_peace_ahead_of_popes_/1238973

Azerbaijan, Armenia Presidents pledge peace ahead of Pope's visit
21/06/2016 18:56

President Putin of Russia, President Sargsyan of Armenia and President Aliyev of Azerbaijan attend a meeting in St. Petersburg - REUTERS

(Vatican Radio) As Pope Francis prepares to visit the region, the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan have confirmed their readiness to seek a peaceful solution to their conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Their remarks followed talks Monday that were hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian made clear they want to finally end years of conflict over Azerbaijan’s breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

As part of that effort, both men said that they had agreed to increase the number of international observers in the battle zone.

They made the announcement in a statement issued by the Kremlin following talks in the Russian city of St. Petersburg. 

Russian President Putin oversaw the talks, the second meeting between Aliyev and Sarkisian since a new truce was established in early April. That ceasefire followed four days of fighting around Nagorno-Karabakh between Azerbaijan’s military and Armenia-backed separatists.
 
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« Reply #4309 on: June 21, 2016, 06:12:29 PM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2016/06/21/fr_lombardi_briefing_on_pope_francis%E2%80%99_visit_to_armenia/1238884

Fr Lombardi briefing on Pope Francis’ visit to Armenia
21/06/2016 15:52

(Vatican Radio) The Director of the Holy See’s Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi, on Tuesday briefed journalists on Pope Francis’ 3-day visit to Armenia taking place from 24-26th of June. He said the papal visit underlines the Pope’s desire to show his closeness to the entire nation of Armenia, whose people who have suffered so much during their long history and who shares their desire for peace.

Father Lombardi noted that the Pope’s visit to Armenia should be considered as the first part of a trip that will take him to three nations in the Caucus region in 2016. The second leg will take place from September 30th to October 2nd when the Pope will travel to Azerbaijan and Georgia.

Armenia has a population of 3.3 million but the diaspora is far larger with up to 10 million people of Armenian descent living outside the country, mainly in Russia and the United States. Just over 9 percent of Armenia’s population is Catholic.

Ecumenism is a key focus of the Pope’s journey to Armenia that follows a visit to the Vatican in April 2015 by Catholicos, Karekin II, the Patriarch of All Armenia, during which a Mass was celebrated in St Peter’s Basilica to commemorate the centenary of the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman troops in 1915.

During his trip to Armenia, the Pope will meet descendants of those killed during that massacre when he travels to a memorial complex in the city of Tsitzernakaberd situated in the south of the nation. The complex commemorates what is known by Armenians as the Medz Yeghern (Great Evil) when up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed between 1915 and 1923 by troops of the Ottoman Empire.
 
Other highlights of the Pope’s programme during his visit to Armenia include the Pope’s meeting with the civil and religious authorities including the Catholicos and other representatives of the Armenian Apostolic Church. The Pope will also visit, Gyumri, Armenia’s second largest city, where he will hold an open-air Mass before returning to the capital to attend an ecumenical meeting and prayer for peace.

On his final day, the Pope will visit the Khor Virap monastery near the Turkish border where he will release doves in the direction of Mount Arafat. The monastery is revered as the site where St. Gregory the Illuminator, the founder of Christianity in Armenia, was imprisoned.
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« Reply #4310 on: June 22, 2016, 06:04:36 PM »

http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-at-audience-learn-to-see-christ-in-poor-and-o

Pope at audience: learn to see Christ in poor and outcast
2016-06-22 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis welcomed a group of refugees to join him on the steps of St Peter’s Basilica as he held his weekly general audience on Wednesday. After greeting the thousands of pilgrims and visitors gathered in the summer sunshine, the Pope focused his reflections on the Gospel story of the leper who was healed by Jesus as a sign of God’s mercy and forgiveness.

In Jesus’ day, lepers were considered unclean and outcasts, from the temple and from society, yet the man who begs him to be made clean is not afraid to break the law and come into the city. Pope Francis noted that Jesus also breaks the law by touching the leper to heal him, teaching us not to be afraid to reach out and touch the poor and needy in our midst.

The man’s simple words, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean”, show that we don’t need long speeches, the Pope said, but only a few words and strong faith in the Lord’s goodness and mercy. Pope Francis revealed that he himself prays those same simple words at bedtime every night, urging his listeners to do the same.
 
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« Reply #4311 on: June 22, 2016, 06:11:54 PM »

http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-francis-writes-preface-to-ratzinger-bxvi-volu

Pope Francis writes preface to Ratzinger / BXVI volume
2016-06-22 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has written the preface to the first volume in an anthology of the “selected works of Joseph Ratzinger / Benedict XVI” being published by Cantagalli in Italy. Titled, Insegnare e imparare l’amore di Dio, “To Teach and To Learn the Love of God”, to be published in six languages, including English.

In the preface, Pope Francis writes, “Every time I have read the works of Joseph Ratzinger / Benedict XVI, it becomes increasingly clear that he has done and is doing ‘theology on his knees’.” The Holy Father goes on to explain that his predecessor, “[E]ven before being a great theologian and teacher of the faith,” is “a man who truly believes, who truly prays: you see he is a man who embodies holiness.”

The book (Siena, Cantagalli, 2016, 304p., € 19) brings together the texts of 43 homilies, starting with a 1954 selection delivered in Berchtesgaden and dedicated to Franz Niegel, from the day of then-Father Ratzinger’s first Mass. The collection closes with the Letter to Priests by which he announced the Year for Priests. The final selection is preceded by an introduction written by the Prefect of the Congregation for the Faith, Cardinal Gerhard Müller.

The book is being released on the eve of the sixty-fifth anniversary of Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI’s sixty-fifth jubilee of priestly ordination, which took place on June 29th, 1951, in the Cathedral of Freising.
 
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« Reply #4312 on: June 23, 2016, 08:51:48 PM »

http://www.news.va/en/news/armenia-pope-francis-in-continuity-with-benedict-x

Armenia: Pope Francis in continuity with Benedict XV
2016-06-23 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) The 14th Apostolic journey abroad of Pope Francis is to Armenia, a landlocked mountainous nation which borders with to the west Turkey, to the East Azerbaijan, to the north Georgia and to the South Iran.

This visit, to the first country ever to adopt Christianity as a state religion begins in the nation’s capital Yerevan and sports a logo which highlights this historic factor along with the dates of the journey which are the 24th to the 26th of June
.

It’s a circular logo divided in half by two colours: yellow for the Vatican and purple for the Armenian city of Etchmiadzin, seat of the Armenian Apostolic Church where Pope Francis will be staying. Within the design one can spy the outlines of two significant places in Armenia: snow capped Mount Ararat with its biblical connotations and the Monastery of Kor Virap located on its flanks, which Pope Francis will also visit. A significant monastery where Gregory the Illuminator credited for the conversion of this nation to Christianity in 301, so at the beginning of the fourth century, was once held prisoner at the bottom of a well.

As we know Pope Francis travels to Armenia in the footsteps of John Paul II who came here in 2001. But there’s an earlier pope connected in a special way to this nation, to be precise to its darkest chapter.

He’s Benedict XV elected to the See of Peter in 1914, so Roman Pontiff at the time of the Great War. And as historian Professor John Pollard, in his book ‘Benedict XV and the Pursuit of Peace’ writes:

“The Vatican’s relations with the Ottoman Government in Istanbul, had not been good for a long time, but they deteriorated further during the course of the war, due to the Turk’s treatment of Christian populations in their empire and most particularly, the massacre of the Armenians, who were considered disloyal. In April and  May 1915 a campaign of what would now be called ‘ethnic cleansing’ was launched against the Christian, mainly Armenian, populations of Anatolia. In July the Apostolic delegate in Constantinople, Monsignor Dolci was instructed to protest against the massacres; the governments of Germany and Austria-Hungary were also asked to bring pressure to bear on their ally to stop the killings, and Benedict himself sent an autograph letter on the 10th of September to the Sultan who in his role as Caliph of Islam, was like the Pope a world- wide religious leader. By the end of the war it was estimated that over a million Armenians had died, either killed outright by the Turks or as a result of maltreatment by starvation”.
 
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« Reply #4313 on: June 23, 2016, 08:57:14 PM »

http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-francis-video-message-to-people-of-armenia

Pope Francis: video message to people of Armenia
2016-06-22 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a video message to the people of Armenia, ahead of his visit to the country this weekend. In the message – delivered in Italian – the Holy Father says, “[It is] as a servant of the Gospel and a messenger of peace [that] I desire to come among you, to support [your] every effort towards peace – and I would share our steps on the pathway of reconciliation, which generates hope.”

The Pope's video message, in Italian, can be seen here.

Vatican Radio’s English translation of the full text of the video message is here below
****************************************
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In a few days I will have the joy to be with you, in Armenia. Even now, I invite you to pray for this Apostolic journey.

With the help of God, I come among you to fulfil, as the motto of the trip says, a “visit to the first Christian country”. I come as a pilgrim, in this Jubilee Year, to draw on the ancient wisdom of your people and to steep myself the sources of your faith, which is steadfast as your famous crosses carved in stone.
 
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« Reply #4314 on: June 23, 2016, 09:01:52 PM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2016/06/18/pope_francis_official_schedule_for_armenia_visit_in_june/1229546

Pope Francis: Official schedule for Armenia visit in June
18/06/2016 12:00

(Vatican Radio) In a week's time Pope Francis travels to Armenia. Please find below the official programme for Pope Francis’ 3-day visit to Armenia  from Friday 24th to 26th of June.  (all times are local)

Friday 24th June

09.00 Departure from Rome’s Fiumicino Airport for Yerevan

15.00 Arrival at Yereven’s Zvaretnots Airport with welcome ceremony there.

15.35 Visit to pray at Apostolic Cathedral at Etchmiadzin (Greetings given by Catholicos of All Armenia, Karekin II and by Pope Francis)

18.00 Courtesy visit to Armenia's President in the Presidential Palace.

18.30 Meeting with civil authorities and the Diplomatic Corps in the Presidential Palace (speech by the Pope)

19.30 Private meeting with Catholicos in the Apostolic Palace
 
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« Reply #4315 on: June 23, 2016, 09:14:35 PM »

Friday, June 24, 2016 videos of events

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVuoc73wOI0
Francis in Armenia - Welcome Ceremony - 2016.06.24
Scheduled for Jun 24, 2016
Pope Francis arrives by air at the "Zvartnots" International Airport of Yerevan. His apostolic trip to Armenia begins with a welcome Ceremony

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhUBriESw14
Francis in Armenia - Visit of prayer to the Apostolic Cathedral - 2016.06.24
Scheduled for Jun 24, 2016
Pope Francis makes a Visit of Prayer to the Armenian-apostolic Cathedral of St. Etchmiadzin, Seat of the Patriarchate.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaxCahM67ng
Francis in Armenia: Visit to the President and meeting with Authorities - 2016.06.24
Scheduled for Jun 24, 2016
Pope Francis makes a courtesy visit to the President of the Republic of Armenia, on the occasion of his apostolic journey to the country, and later meets the Civil Authorities and Diplomatic Corps.
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« Reply #4316 on: June 24, 2016, 01:59:33 PM »

http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-on-brexit-the-will-of-the-people-is-to-be-res

Pope on Brexit: 'the will of the people is to be respected'
2016-06-24 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis commented on Britain's decision to leave the European Union saying it must be followed by "guarantees" for the good of both Britain and countries on the continent.

Speaking to journalists aboard the Papal plane during his journey to the Armenian capital, Yerevan, the Pope said the referendum result must be respected because it was wanted by the people.

"It was the will expressed by the people and this requires a great responsibility on the part of all of us to guarantee the good of the people of the United Kingdom, as well as the good and co-existence of the European continent" he said.
 
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« Reply #4317 on: June 24, 2016, 02:02:50 PM »

http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-francis-arrives-in-armenia

Pope Francis arrives in Armenia
2016-06-24 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis arrived in Armenia’s capital Yerevan at 12.55 pm Rome time on Friday 24th June to begin his 14th apostolic journey abroad. Armenia is a landlocked mountainous nation which borders with to the west Turkey, to the East Azerbaijan, to the north Georgia and to the South Iran.

He was warmly welcomed by the President of the nation’s Republic Serzh Sargsyn and the Catholicos of All Armenia Karekin II. Also present were the Armenian Catholic Patriarch of Armenia Grégoire Pierre XX and other religious and civil authorities.
 
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« Reply #4318 on: June 24, 2016, 02:06:38 PM »

http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-francis-prays-in-armenian-apostolic-cathedral

Pope Francis prays in Armenian Apostolic Cathedral
2016-06-24 Vatican Radio

Pope Francis prayed in the Armenian Apostolic Cathedral of the Holy Etchmiadzin on Friday at the start of his 14th Apostolic Journey abroad.

He prayed together with His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch-Catholicos of All Armenia and a select group of around 100 other dignitaries.

One of the main focuses of Pope Francis’ journey will be on consolidating relations with the Armenian Apostolic Church.

That’s perhaps why the very first thing Pope Francis did upon his arrival in Yerevan was to pay a visit to the Armenian Apostolic Cathedral of the Holy Etchmiadzin and pray there together with the Catholicos, Karekin II.

Originally known as the Holy Mother of God Church, the 4th-century church is the oldest state-built church in the world.

To the ringing of bells, the Pope and the Catholicos bowed to kiss the cross and the Book of the Gospels before embracing in a sign of peace.

They then prayed Psalm 122 together at the high altar.

And in remarks prepared for the occasion, Pope Francis thanked God for "the light of faith kindled in your land, the faith that has given Armenia its particular identity and made it a herald of Christ among the nations".
 
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« Reply #4319 on: June 24, 2016, 02:12:07 PM »

http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-speaks-of-armenian-massacre-and-christian-per

Pope speaks of Armenian massacre and Christian persecution
2016-06-24 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Friday met with Armenia’s political, diplomatic and civil society representatives, recalling both the genocide suffered by the nation a century ago and the suffering of Christians around the world today.

The Pope’s poignant words came at the presidential palace in Yerevan on the first day of his pastoral visit to the country.

As he greeted the Armenian president, Serzh Sargsyan, and the nation’s political leaders, Pope Francis spoke of the rich history and natural beauty of Armenia, believed by some to be the location of the biblical garden of Eden.

He talked of the depth of faith in this first nation to adopt Christianity as its state religion, but he also spoke of the drama and tragedy that Armenians have endured throughout the past centuries. In particular he recalled last year’s centenary of the massacre, known as Metz Yeghern or Great Evil when over a million and a half Armenians were killed by Ottoman military forces. He called it a tragedy, made possible by twisted racial, ideological or religious aims, and, as he did a year ago, he departed from his prepared text to add the words “that genocide”, a word which Turkish authorities continue to deny.
 
http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-francis-addresses-armenian-civil-authorities
Pope Francis addresses Armenian civil authorities and diplomats
2016-06-24 Vatican Radio

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