DAILY CATHOLIC     THURSDAY     May 6, 1999     vol. 10, no. 89

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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HOLY FATHER GREETS ARMENIAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS GATHERED IN SYNOD

          VATICAN CITY (CWNews.com) - Pope John Paul II on Wednesday during his general audience addressed a special greeting to bishops of the Armenian Catholic Church, who are currently gathered in a synod at the Vatican on questions related to the life of their communities.

          The Holy Father expressed a greeting in particular to the Patriarch of Cilicia of the Armenians, His Beatitude Jean-Pierre XVIII, and called on the bishops to have "a new apostolic spirit" on the occasion of the 1,700th anniversary of the evangelization of Armenia, begun in 301 by Gregory the Illuminator. The Church is "grateful" to the Armenian people, affirmed the Pope, "for their faithful witness to Christ."

          The Armenian Catholic Church, which dates from the 18th century, has its patriarchal see in Beirut, Lebanon and includes some 250,000 people in Armenia, in Lebanon, and in Syria. On the other hand, the Armenian Apostolic Church -- separated from Rome -- accounts for approximately 3.5 million faithful in Armenia, with other significant communities in Russia, in Georgia, the Middle East, in America, and in Europe. The Apostolic Church is independent of the other Orthodox Churches, and split from Rome in the year 506 when an Armenian synod rejected the conclusions of the Council of Chalcedon in 451.

          Although the Vatican has still not given official confirmation of a trip by the Holy Father to Armenia from July 2-4, 1999, preparations are already underway at the Congregation of the Eastern Churches.


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May 6, 1999       volume 10, no. 89
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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