Armenia: Build a Solid and Lasting Peace (VIS)


VATICAN CITY, JAN 28, 2005 (Vatican Information Service) – This
morning John Paul II received the president of the Republic of
Armenia, Robert Kocharian, recalling other meetings they had held, in
the Vatican in 1999 and later in Yerevan in 2001, during the Pope’s
apostolic visit to Armenia.

The Pope told the president of his “sincere appreciation for the good
relations between the Holy See and the government of your country. I
know that the Catholic community is welcomed and respected, and that
its various activities contribute to the wellbeing of the entire

He went on: “Everyone earnestly hopes that the collaboration between
the Holy See and the Armenian government will continue to grow and,
where the situation calls for it, that eventual improvements to the
status of the Catholic Church will be made.”

The Holy Father also gave assurances of the “friendly and respectful
relations between the Catholic Church and the Armenian Apostolic
Church. This understanding, which is even more active thanks to the
initiative of the Catholicos Karekin II, will certainly have positive
repercussions for the peaceful coexistence of the entire Armenian
people, who are called to face no small number of social and economic

“I also hope,” said the Pope., “that true and lasting peace comes to
the region of Nagorno-Karabagh where you, President Kocharian, come
from. This will come about by a decisive refusal of violence and a
patient dialogue between the parties, thanks also to active
international mediation.”

The Pope concluded by recalling that the Holy See, “which over the
centuries has not failed to denounce violence and defend the rights of
the weak, will continue to support all efforts aimed at building a
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Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS