Primate Meets Pope Benedict XVI

Diocese of the Armenian Church of Australia & New Zealand
10 Macquarie Street
Chatswood NSW 2067
Contact: Laura Artinian
Tel: (02) 9419-8056
Fax: (02) 9904-8446
Email: [email protected]

19 July 2008


Sydney, Australia – For almost a week, Sydney has been playing host to the
2008 World Youth Day (WYD) with more than 125,000 overseas pilgrims having
made the journey to be a part of the event. Organised by the Roman Catholic
Church, WYD is a week-long series of events attended by the Pope, bringing
together young people from around the globe to renew and share their faith.

WYD started at the initiative of Pope John Paul II of blessed memory, with
the purpose of reaching out to the next generation of Catholics, to
rejuvenate the Church and ensure that the core teachings of Christ are
transmitted and lived. The first WYD was held in Rome in 1986.

WYD08 launched in Sydney last Sunday with the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI.
After retreating for a 3 day rest period, the Pontiff began official duties
on Thursday.

Throughout the course of the Papal itinerary, His Eminence Archbishop Aghan
Baliozian Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of Australia and New
Zealand accompanied by clergy of the Diocese attended major events which
included the Papal arrival; a multi-faith reception hosted by NSW Premier,
the Hon Morris Iemma MP; the Ecumenical meeting at St Mary’s Cathedral Crypt
followed by personal meetings with the Pope. As heads of churches were
individually introduced by the Archbishop of Sydney, His Eminence Cardinal
George Pell, the Holy Father gestured when Archbishop Baliozian approached
that he needed no introduction for his cowl (headdress) already established
he was the head of the Armenian Church of Australia.

Pope Benedict engaged in warm greetings with Archbishop Baliozian who
conveyed the fraternal greetings of His Holiness Karekin II Supreme
Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians. In May, His Holiness made a
fraternal visit to the Bishop of Rome and Pope of the Catholic Church at his
invitation. During the four day visit to the Vatican, the two church
leaders valued the opportunity to further strengthen bonds and fraternal
relations between the churches. Accordingly, the Holy Father reciprocated
to Archbishop Baliozian his request to pass on his brotherly good wishes to
the Catholicos of All Armenians.

With just one day pending for WYD08, Pope Benedict will attend the
candlelight ceremony of the Evening Vigil this evening to deliver his
speech. On Sunday, which marks World Youth Day, the Holy Father will preside
over Mass and deliver his homily at the open air service which promises to
be the largest gathering of people in the history of Australia.

Sydney has seen an electric atmosphere of Christian faith permeate its city
streets these past few days. Dubbed the Great South Land of the Holy
Spirit", over 500,000 pilgrims from around Australia and abroad have made
their way to our picturesque shores to glorify our Heavenly Father in a
beautiful part of His created world.

Whilst this week saw the arrival of the Roman Catholic Pope and a number of
special events, Sydney welcomed the distinguished visit of two other church
leaders last week ahead of the WYD08 celebrations.

His Beatitude Cardinal Mar Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir, Maronite Patriarch
arrived in Australia for a Pontifical visit to parishes in the eastern
states of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane & Adelaide. Archbishop Baliozian met
with the Patriarch on different occasions and attended Holy Mass on Sunday,
13 July where more than 20,000 faithful were present.

Also last week, the Armenian Catholic Community of Sydney welcomed the visit
of His Excellency Archbishop Bedros Miriatian, Prelate of the Armenian
Catholic Eparchy of Aleppo (Syria) whom Archbishop Baliozian also had
occasion to meet.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

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