VATICAN CITY, 27 OCT 2009 (VIS) - Today, the Pope's message to His Holiness Karekin II on the tenth anniversary of his election and enthronement as Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians was made public.
"I know of your personal commitment to dialogue, cooperation and friendship between the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Catholic Church," the Holy Father writes, "clearly expressed by the various meetings that have taken place recently between Your Holiness and the Successor of Peter. I pray that the good relations that have been established between us may continue to grow in the years ahead."
Benedict XVI emphasizes that "recovery of freedom for the Church in Armenia towards the end of the last century brought joy to Christians throughout the world. The immense task of rebuilding the ecclesial community fell upon Your Holiness's shoulders. What has already been achieved, in such a short time, is truly remarkable: new initiatives have flourished for the Christian education of the young, for the training of clergy, the creation of new parishes, the building of new churches and community centres, as well as the promotion of Christian values in the social and cultural life of the nation."
The Pope concludes the message asking God that "through the intercession of Saint Gregory the Illuminator," founder and patron of the Armenian Apostolic Church, "we may be ever more closely united in a holy bond of Christian faith, hope and love."
MESS/ANNIVERSARY ELECTION/KAREKIN II VIS 20091027 (230)