Pope Francis meets Patriarch Karekin II

28 Sep 2020

His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, visited the Vatican on 26–27 September 2020 and was received in a private audience with Pope Francis on Sunday 27 September at the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

Accompanied by Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Representative of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Rome, the Catholicos also met with Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and Bishop Brian Farrell, Secretary of the latter. His Holiness Karekin II also gathered in prayer before the Holy Sunday Mass celebrated at the Altar of the Chair of Saint Peter in the Vatican Basilica.

The meetings were also an opportunity to discuss, in particular, the conflict in the Caucasus, which the Holy Father also mentioned in the Sunday Angelus, asking to pray for peace in the region with the following words: “ I pray for peace in the Caucasus and I ask the parties in conflict to perform concrete acts of good will and brotherhood, that may lead to resolve the problems not with the use of force and arms, but through dialogue and negotiation. Let us pray together in silence for peace in the Caucasus.”

The last meeting between the Catholics and the Pope took place in the Vatican on 24 October 2018. On 5 April 2018 the Catholicos had also participated in the blessing by Pope Francis of a statue of Saint Gregory of Narek in the Vatican Gardens.

In the same year, from 29 January 5 February, the Catholicossate of Etchmiadzin hosted the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches for its annual plenary session.

Pope Francis made an apostolic visit to Armenia from 24–26 June 2016.