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Hope for the Middle East

· The Pope's greeting to the Synod of the Armenian Catholic Church at the General Audience ·

Benedict XVI made an Appeal during Wednesday's General Audience, 7 March, “to persevere with hope amid the grave suffering that afflicts these beloved peoples” of the Middle East. The Pope sent out a “prayerful thought to the Regions of the Middle East” while greeting participants in the Holy Synod of the Armenian Catholic Church present in St Peter's Square. Earlier, the Pontiff had dedicated his Catechesis to the dimension of silence in the prayer of Jesus. The following is a translation of the Pope's greeting to the members of the Armenian Synod which was given in Italian.

Dear Brothers and Sisters, I would now like to greet, with brotherly affection, His Beatitude Nerses Bedros XIX Tarmouni, Patriarch of Cilicia of Armenian Catholics, and the Bishops gathered in Rome from various continents for the celebration of the Synod. I express to them my sincere gratitude for fidelity to the patrimony of their venerable Christian tradition and to the Successor of the Apostle Peter, fidelity which they have always maintained throughout the innumerable trials of history. I accompany with earnest prayer and with my Apostolic Blessing the Synod's work, hopeful that it will encourage still greater communion and understanding among Pastors, so that they may guide with renewed evangelical impetus the Armenian Catholics on the path of a generous and joyful witness to Christ and to the Church. As I entrust the Armenian Synod to the motherly intercession of the Most Holy Mother of God, I extend my prayerful thought to the Regions of the Middle East, encouraging the Pastors and all the faithful to persevere with hope amid the grave suffering that afflicts these beloved peoples. Mary the Lord bless you. Thank you.

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St. Peter’s Square

Dec. 14, 2018

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