Pope: Christian unity is way to honour witness of martyrdom
May 08, 2014: “The ecumenism of suffering and martyrdom is a powerful reminder to
walk along the road of reconciliation between the churches, with determination and
trusting abandonment to the Lord,” Pope Francis said in his discourse to Karekin
II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of all Armenians, when he visited him in the
Vatican on Thursday. The Patriarch is on a 3-day visit to Rome that began on Wednesday.
Pope Francis said the number of disciples who shed their blood for Christ in the
tragic events of the last century is certainly superior to that of the martyrs
of the first centuries, in which the children of the martyrs of the Armenian nation
have a place of honour. He acknowledged that the suffering endured by Christians
in recent decades have brought an in valuable contribution to the cause of unity
among the disciples of Christ.
The Pope thanked Patriarch Karekin for
the effective support given to ecumenical dialogue, particularly the work of the
Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental
Orthodox Churches. The Pope said the bonds of the Armenian Apostolic Church with
the Church of Rome have been consolidated in recent years with reciprocal visits.