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“€‹Like thirsty plants in a desert

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“€‹Like thirsty plants in a desert

A week has passed since those memorable days that marked Pope Francis”€™ visit to Armenia, and although the Pope returned to the Vatican, his presence in the Caucasian country continues to be felt. Everyone, both citizens of Armenia and those of the Diaspora, the newspapers, television and radio stations continue to talk about this historic visit in the first Christian nation. The nation is like a thirsty plant in a desert that, when it receives a little water, seems to bloom but is not yet sated.

This encounter with the Pope offered the local people with the opportunity to look up and around in order to convince themselves that aspiring to certain kinds of change does not make a utopia; that the Church is made to serve, that social life must have at its centre the human person and his dignity; that the common
good should be guarded and defended; and that it is imperative that institutions in turn also aspire to changing their course to ensure that this small nation, sometimes forgotten by the world, can always hope more and more for a better future of peace, prosperity, social justice and brotherhood.

The true meaning of the visit was to appreciate and encourage the people of God in Armenia, strengthening them in their
faith. And in this regard we recall that not only Catholics responded but also the faithful of the Apostolic Church who, in the Pope, recognized a true universal pastor. The Pope”€™s words reached their destination: they found a fertile and mature land that welcomed them, like a thirsty plant that receives water and feels revived.

We can say that the Pope”€™s visit to Armenia was extremely positive as it left a legacy to be cultivated, beginning with the ecumenical journey. Perhaps the time is right for the clergy, Catholic and Apostolic, to make an examination of conscience and begin working so that the Lord”€™s prayer “€œthat they may be one”€
may become a reality. Perhaps rather than wasting time with self-defense and justifying our conduct, the time has come to accept mistakes and to begin a new spiritual path in the service of the Armenian people, without selfish calculations, without claims to power or positions, but aware of the responsibility entrusted to us: to aspire to that journey, together, towards our real goal
which is the unity of Christs Church.

by Raphael Minassian Archbishop, Ordinary of Eastern Europe
for Armenian CatholicsÂ


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