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Armenia: Papal Visit to Foster “Christian Solidarity”

Pope Francis is scheduled to deliver a liturgy on June 25 in the impoverished Armenian city of Gyumri, severely damaged in a 1988 earthquake, including St. Saviour’s Church, which was still undergoing renovation in 2013. The three-day visit to Armenia will underscore the South Caucasus nation’s deepening relationship with the Roman Catholic Church. (Photo: Anahit Hayrapetyan)

The Rev. Grigor Mkrtchian is dealing with the biggest logistical challenge of his life, and he could not be happier. The leader of the Roman Catholic community of the Armenian city of Gyumri is involved in preparations for an open-air mass that Pope Francis will celebrate there during his visit to Armenia later this week.
 
“It will be a great historic event,” the soft-spoken priest said of the planned June 25 liturgy. “But it’s also very natural that the Holy Father has turned his attention to Armenia, the world’s first Christian nation.”
 
The three-day visit, which starts on June 24, will underscore Armenia’s deepening relationship with the Roman Catholic Church, a process that began shortly after the South Caucasus republic regained its independence in 1991. 
 

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Emil Danielyan is a journalist based in Yerevan.

Armenia: Papal Visit to Foster “Christian Solidarity”

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