DAILY CATHOLIC Friday through Tuesday: Celebrating the "Communion of Saints" Special Issue October 29-November 2, 1999 vol. 10, no. 207
NEWS & VIEWS
POPE MEETS CROATIAN LEADER, OFFERS CONDOLENCES FOR ARMENIAN TERROR VICTIMS
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Pope John Paul II met with Franjo Tudjman, the president of Croatia, at the Vatican on October 28.
President Tudjman was accompanied by several members of his cabinet. After his meeting with the Pope, he also spoke privately with Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican Secretary of State, and with Archbishop Jean- Louis Tauran, the Secretary for Relations with States.
The discussions centered on relations between the Croatian government and the Catholic Church, to which 80 percent of the country's people belong. The Holy See has signed accords with the Croatian government, establishing the juridical status of the Church in that country, and setting forth the terms of Church-state collaboration on issues of education, culture, and social work.
The meetings coincided with the opening of a Croatian exhibit at the Vatican Museums.
The Pope also sent his condolences to the Armenian government, following the October 28 terrorist attack in which several Armenian politicians-- including Prime Minister Armena Vasken Sarkissian-- were killed.
Speaking of the "tragic death" of the prime minister and the other parliamentarians, the Pontiff said the assault caused suffering for all of the Armenian people, "wounded in their identity and in their institutions." He added that all men of good will should unite in support of peaceful change for Armenia, "to become involved each day in support of the spiritual and material welfare of the people."
The Pope assured President Robert Kocharian of his prayers for those who died in the attack on the Armenian parliament, as well as for those who were wounded and for the families of the victims.
The attack came at a time when leaders of the Armenian Apostolic Church have gathered to select a successor to their leader, Catholicos Karekin I, who died in June. Pope John Paul II had developed an unusually strong rapport with the Armenian Church leader, and together they had narrowed the gap that has separated the Armenian Church from Rome since the Council of Chalcedon. Pope John Paul had planned to visit Armenian in June, but illness forced him to postpone the trip.
As the Armenian Apostolic Church leaders gathered for the election, some
representatives protested that the country's government was becoming
unduly involved in the process. Several leading political figures are also
voting members of the Church assembly, and have been accused of using
their influence to promote their own favored candidate.
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NEWS & VIEWS