Pope to Visit Armenia on July 2

YEREVAN (Itar-Tass)–Pope John Paul II will pay a visit to Armenia from July 2 to 4 at the invitation of the head of the Armenian Apostle Church Catholicos Karekin I I and President Robert Kocharian.

The Pope had repeatedly expressed the wish to visit Armenia–said Armenian Vicar General and Locum Tenens Archbishop Karekin Nercissian at a conference held Tuesday by Armenian Prime Minister Armen Darbinian which was devoted to the preparations for the visit.

The conference was attended by heads of Armenian ministries and departmen’s– representatives of the Armenian Apostolic Church. It was announced at the conference that during a tour of Armenia the Pope will visit the Mother See at Etchmiadzin–a cathedral in Garni and Ashotsk–which is home to a large Catholic community.

Darbinian declared that the first ever visit to Armenia by the head of the Catholic Church is an event of great importance. The Armenian premier said that the forthcoming visit by the pope should be regarded in the context of the 1700 anniversary of Armenia’s adoption of Christianity.

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