Pope Francis to visit Armenia in March 2015

Artak Barseghyan
Public Radio of Armenia

Pope Francis will visit Armenia in March 2015, Chancellor of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, His Grace Bishop Arshak Khachatrian told reporters today. He said it’s going to be both a state and religious visit. A prayer in memory of the Armenian genocide victims will be held at the Mother See within the framework of the visit.

His Grace noted that the Armenian Church and the Vatican enjoy warm relations today and added that the Pope’s visit will be a milestone for the further deepening of relations.

He reminded that the late Pope John Paul II had recognized the Armenian Genocide and added that Pope Francis has the same approach towards the issue.

His Grace Bishop Arshak Khachatrian also summed up the results of the 5th Armenian Church Representative Assembly held at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin September 18-21. He said issues related to the organization of events dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide were discussed.

He said the Mother See plans to organize 18 events, two of which – Blessing of the Holy Chrism and canonization of the Armenian Genocide victims  – are included in the list of state-level events.

“The Catholicos of All Armenians is expected to participate in inter-religious events to be organized in cities with large Armenian communities, such as Washington, Tabriz and Moscow, as well as in religious centers of sister churches,” he said.

Bishop Arshak Khachatrian refrained from assessing the likelihood of return of the Patriarchate of Sis, but said the Mother See would do its best to support the initiative.

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