Pope John Paul II Visits Armenian Church in Ukraine

LVOV–Ukraine (combined sources)–Pope John Paul II visited the Soorp Asdvadzadzin Verapokhman Armenian cathedral in the city of Lvov during his visit to the Ukraine.

The Pope was welcomed to the cathedral by Primate Bishop Grigoris Bouniatian of the Ukrainian diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Also receiving the Pontiff was Armenian ambassador to the Ukraine Hratchik Silvanian. Representatives of the Armenian community of Ukraine and various Ukrainian officials and religious leaders were also present during the Pope’s visit to the cathedral.

Ambassador Silvanian held meetings later that day with Lvov city heads to discus the concerns of the local Armenian community. Plans on holding a commemorative event later this year in Lvov devoted to the 1700th anniversary of Christianity’s adoption by Armenia’s was reached during the meeting.

Pope John Paul II unexpectedly expressed his wish to visit the Armenian landmark a few days prior to the visit. The Armenian cathedral was built in 1364 and until this year was used for keeping icons from the National Museum. A few of the cathedral’s buildings have been handed over to the Armenian Church–which is working to restore them.

The Pope’s final foreign visit this year will be to Armenia.

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