Benedict XVI met with Aram I
Catholicos of Cilicia, the highest authority of the Orthodox Church.
Pope remembered the martyrs of the Armenian Church and the Armenian genocide,
without explicitly mentioning it, and denounced the persecution of Christians in
modern times. Benedict XVIThat testimony culminated in
the twentieth century, which proved a time of unspeakable suffering for your
people. Most recently we have all been saddened by the escalation of
persecution and violence against Christians in parts of the Middle East and
The Catholicos is based in Lebanon. That is why, the Pope
said, he prays every day for peace in this country and throughout the Middle
East. Benedict XVI said there will only be peace in the region when each country
is free to decide its own destiny and when every ethnic and religious group
accepts and respects the others.
Aram I emphasized that the churches
must be means for peace and to achieve that they must recognize "all" genocides,
even the Armenian.
The Catholicos recalled his meeting with John Paul
II, adding that this visit represents a new step for ecumenical dialogue.
CatholicosOur meeting is an
opportunity to pray and reflect together, and to renew our commitment and
efforts for Christian unity.
Armenian church members from all over the
world join with Catholicos in making pilgrimages to Rome.