ADDRESS OF POPE JOHN PAUL II
Friday, 28 January 2005
1. I am delighted to welcome you and I cordially thank you for this pleasant visit, as well as for your kind words. Your presence today reminds me of our first meeting here in the Vatican, in March 1999, for the opening of the Rome-Armenia Exhibition, and of our meeting in September 2001, at Yerevan, during my Apostolic Pilgrimage to Armenia for the Jubilee celebrations of the 1,700th anniversary of the Armenian People's conversion to Christianity.
I willingly take this opportunity to send an affectionate greeting to the entire
Armenian People and extend it to the millions of Armenians who, despite being
scattered across the world, always preserve their ties with their culture and
their Christian traditions.
We all eagerly hope that collaboration between the Holy See and the Armenian
Government will continue to increase and, wherever situations so require, that
the status of the Catholic Church can be perfected.
Furthermore, I hope that real, enduring peace will be achieved in the region of Nagorno-Karabagh, Mr President, which is your birthplace. This could come about by a determined refusal to resort to violence, through patient dialogue between all the parties, thanks also to an active international mediation.
4. The Holy See, which down the centuries has ceaselessly condemned violence and defended the rights of the weak, will continue to back every effort to build a solid and lasting peace.
Mr President, I assure you of my prayers for you yourself, your family and the Armenian People, as I invoke the abundant Blessings of God upon you all.
*L'Osservatore Romano. Weekly Edition in English n.8 p.3.
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