Full Texts of Pope Francis' and Karekin's Addresses at Ecumenical Prayer Vigil

06/25/2016 Comment
Edward Pentin

Pope Francis and Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, pictured at the beginning of this evening's ecumenical prayer vigil.

– Edward Pentin

Here below are the full texts of Pope Francis' and Armenian Catholicos Karekin II' addresses at an ecumenical prayer vigil in Yerevan this evening:

Address of His Holiness Pope Francis

Ecumenical Prayer Vigil for Peace

Yerevan, 25 June 2016


Venerable and Dear Brother, Supreme Patriarch-Catholicos 

of All Armenians,

Mr President,

Dear Brothers and Sisters,


God’s blessing and peace be with all of you!

I have greatly desired to visit this beloved land, your country, the first to embrace the Christian faith.  It is a grace for me to find myself here on these heights where, beneath the gaze of Mount Ararat, the very silence seems to speak.  Here the khatchkar – the stone crosses –...READ MORE

Filed under armenia, catholicos karekin ii, ecumenism, pope francis

Full Text of Pope Francis' Homily at Mass in Gyumri, Armenia

Pope said faith is not a thing of the past, like an artefact in a museum but kept alive through continuous encounters with Christ.

06/25/2016 Comment
Edward Pentin

Pope Francis rode the popemobile through square at the end of Mass, accompanied by Catholicos Karekin II.

– Edward Pentin

At an open-air Mass in Gyumri, Armenia, Pope Francis has said faith is not a thing of the past, like an artefact in a museum but kept alive through continuous encounters with Christ.

Faith “is born and reborn from a life-giving encounter with Jesus, from experiencing how his mercy illumines every situation in our lives,” the Pope said during his June 25 homily in the northwestern city of Gyurmi.

He warned against the temptation to reduce faith to something that belongs in the past, as if it “were a beautiful illuminated book to be kept in a museum.”

“Once it is locked up in the archives of history, faith loses its power to transform, its living beauty, its positive openness to all,” he...READ MORE

Filed under armenia, pope francis

'Overcome Evil With Good', Pope Writes in Book at Genocide Memorial

06/25/2016 Comment

While visiting the Tsitsernakaberd Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex today, Pope Francis wrote the following in the Memorial's Book of Honor. 

"Here I pray with pain in my heart, so that never more will there be tragedies like this, so that humanity does not forget and knows how to overcome the evil with good. May God grant the beloved Armenian people and the entire world peace and consolation.  May God protect the memory of the Armenian people. Memory should not be diluted or forgotten. Memory is source of peace and the future.

Francis 25.06.2016" 

For the Armenian people, the Armenian Genocide was carried out in the early part of the 20th century by the Ottoman Empire authorities....READ MORE

Filed under armenia, genocide, pope francis

Pope Francis Mentions Genocide in Context of Armenia's Tragedy

06/24/2016 Comments (1)

Pope Francis has set aside diplomatic sensitivities with Turkey by unexpectedly referring to the word “genocide” in a speech in the Armenian capital Yerevan this afternoon.

Addressing Armenian President Serzh Sargsián, Catholicos Karekin II, and civic dignitaries, Pope Francis departed from his prepared text to say the word while referring to the visit Karekin made to the Vatican last year.

In April 2015, Armenian Church leaders and the Holy Father commemorated in St. Peter’s basilica the centenary since the massacre of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians.

Turkey has condemned the use of the word genocide as it believes the number killed to be an exaggerated figure, and it claims they...READ MORE

Filed under armenia, genocide, pope francis

Pope Francis Gives Thanks for 'Light of Faith' in Armenia

06/24/2016 Comment


In a world marked by division, poverty and conflict, ecumenism offers a “convincing witness” to Christ’s love, mercy and reconciliation, Pope Francis said in his first discourse on arrival in Armenia.

Speaking at a joint prayer service in the Apostolic Cathedral in Etchmiadzin together with Karekin II, the Orthodox supreme Patriarch-Catholicos of All the Armenians, and a select group of around 100 other dignitaries, the Holy Father said the world “expects from a Christians a witness of mutual esteem and fraternal cooperation capable of revealing to every conscience the power and truth of Christ’s resurrection.”

For this reason, he said, the “patient and enduring commitment to full unity”...READ MORE

Filed under apostolic voyage, armenia, ecumenism, pope francis

Pope Francis: Brexit Showed 'Will of the People'

06/24/2016 Comments (6)
Edward Pentin

Pope Francis speaking to reporters on the papal plane this afternoon on his way to Armenia for a three day visit.

– Edward Pentin

Pope Francis has said the result of the U.K.’s referendum to leave the European Union reflects the “will of the people” and that there is now a “great responsibility” to ensure the well being of people in the U.K. and peaceful coexistence on continental Europe.

Addressing reporters on the papal plane to Armenia in a sombre mood, the Holy Father said he had only read basic information in Il Messaggero newspaper about the result of the vote just before leaving Rome, but said he felt it was “the will of the people”.

“It demands great responsibility on our part,” he said, “to ensure the well being of the people in the United Kingdom, and the coexistence of the people on the European...READ MORE

Filed under apostolic voyage, armenia, brexit, colombia, politics, pope francis

Britain Chooses to Brexit

06/24/2016 Comments (8)

– YouTube

Britain has voted to exit the European Union, leaving behind a project with Catholic origins but which many believe has lost its way and departed from its founders' original vision.

The EU was born out of the desire to bring peace and stability to the continent after two catastrophic world wars but became increasingly criticized, above all in Britain, for becoming a bureaucratic, undemocratic monolith. Among the many other criticisms, Catholics have resented the way it has increasingly promoted and imposed secular values on member states, although in the weeks leading up to the poll they appeared to be as divided as the rest of the country on how to vote. 

But what has happened in today’s...READ MORE

Filed under britain, eu referendum, politics

Papal Video Messages: An Increasingly Common Means of Communication

Pope Francis releases two video messages this week: on his imminent visit to Armenia and on abolishing the death penalty.

06/23/2016 Comments (2)

Video messages by popes — that is the Pope delivering a message of importance directly to camera — were unheard of until Benedict XVI’s pontificate but now have become a staple means of communication for the Holy Father, especially ahead of papal trips

Yesterday, Pope Francis gave a video message to Armenia on the eve of his visit there this weekend. He said he was visiting as a “messenger of peace”, to strengthen communion, to advance reconciliation, and “to allow ourselves together to be animated by hope.”

He also urged the Armenian people not to “allow the painful memories to take possession of our hearts; even in the face of the repeated assaults of evil, let us not give ourselves...READ MORE

Filed under armenia, communciations, death penalty, pope francis, video messages

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About Edward Pentin

Edward Pentin
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Edward Pentin began reporting on the Pope and the Vatican with Vatican Radio before moving on to become the Rome correspondent for the National Catholic Register. He has also reported on the Holy See and the Catholic Church for a number of other publications including Newsweek, Newsmax, Zenit, The Catholic Herald, and The Holy Land Review, a Franciscan publication specializing in the Church and the Middle East. Edward is the author of "The Rigging of a Vatican Synod? An Investigation into Alleged Manipulation at the Extraordinary Synod on the Family", published by Ignatius Press. Follow him on Twitter @edwardpentin