The Eastern Christian Churches by Ronald Roberson

1970: Armenian Apostolic

The Vatican, May 12, 1970

Paul VI, Bishop of Rome, Pope of the Catholic Church, and Vasken I, Supreme Catholicos-Patriarch of all Armenians, thank the Lord for having permitted them to pray together, to meet each other and exchange the holy kiss of peace, especially during this period of preparation for the great feast celebrating the Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles.

Conscious of their duties as pastors, they invite all Christians, especially those of the Catholic Church and the apostolic Armenian Church, to respond with greater fidelity to the call of the Holy Spirit stimulating them to a more profound unity which will accomplish the will of our common Savior, and will render fruitful the service of the world by Christians.

This unity cannot be realized unless everyone, pastors and faithful, really strive to know each other. To this end, they urge theologians to apply themselves to a common study directed towards a more profound knowledge of the mystery of Our Lord Jesus Christ and revelation made in Him. Faithful to the tradition handed down by the Apostles and the Fathers, and at the same time, aware of the demands of a world seeking God in the new developments of our age, they will be able to open up new avenues which will overcome the differences that still exist and bring their Churches to a more perfect unity in the profession of their faith in the face of the world. On their part, the Pope and the Catholicos will strive to do all they possibly can to support these efforts and give them their pastoral blessing.

However, the efforts run the risk of remaining sterile unless they are rooted in the whole life of the entire Church. This is why we hope that a closer collaboration will develop in all possible domains of the Christian life. Prayer in common, mutual spiritual aid, joint efforts to find really Christian solutions to the problems of the world today, will be precious means in the service of this search for a full unity so greatly desired.

This search accomplished together, this collaboration must be based on the mutual recognition of the common Christian faith and the sacramental life, on the mutual respect of persons and their Churches. If the unselfish efforts they wish to foster wholeheartedly are inspired with this spirit and implemented in this manner, then we are confident that the Spirit of truth and love will give to the members of the Catholic Church and the apostolic Armenian Church this truly Christian fraternity which is the fruit of His action in them.

In the name of this fraternity, Pope Paul VI and the Catholicos Vasken I raise their voices in solemn appeal to all those who exert influence on the life of nations and peoples so that they may strive to seek and to find all possible means to end wars, hatred, moral and physical violence, any oppression whatsoever of man by man. May the One who is our peace grant that this appeal be heard.

Last Modified: 23 March 2010

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