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Rome Reports

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Pope to young Armenians: Don't be carried away by the lying avenging force

Pope Francis and Karekin II led an ecumenical meeting and prayer for peace from the Republic Square in Yerevan on Saturday afternoon. The Pope addressed the faithful of the Armenian Apostolic Church as "brothers" and stressed that the goal of this ecumenical meeting was not a simple "exchange of ideas," but to seek unity. POPE FRANCIS "Unity does not have to do with strategic advantages sought out of mutual self-interest. ;Rather, it is what Jesus requires of us and what we ourselves must strive to attain with good will, constant effort and consistent witness, in the fulfilment of our mission of bringing the Gospel to the world." The Pope also recalled the suffering of the Armenian people and urged young people to be peacemakers and forget any desire for revenge. POPE FRANCIS "We would all benefit from efforts to lay the foundations of a future that will resist being caught up in the illusory power of vengeance, a future of constant efforts to create the conditions for peace. Dear young people: this future belongs to you." The Pope recalled many of the messages that John Paul II left the country in 2001. In fact he ended his speech by mentioning what the Polish pope had asked Armenians for in an apostolic letter to become "ambassadors of peace" and that the world needs an example like theirs. At the end of the meeting, Karekin II and Pope Francis watered the tree planted inside a reproduction of Noah's Ark, one symbol of peace amongst others in Armenia. JRB/MB CTV -SV -BN up:FV