YEREVAN, Armenia — A papal envoy traveled to Armenia very last week to discuss with civil and Christian leaders in the aftermath of the country’s 44-day war with Azerbaijan above the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Archbishop José Bettencourt, the papal nuncio to Ga and Armenia, who is based mostly in the Georgian money of Tbilisi, visited Armenia Dec. 5-9.
Upon his return, the nuncio expressed issue that a great deal remains unresolved a thirty day period soon after the Russian-brokered ceasefire negotiations and appealed for the preservation of Nagorno-Karabakh’s Christian cultural heritage.
“The ‘ceasefire’ signed on Nov. 10 is only the starting for a peace settlement, which turns out to be tough and precarious for all that continues to be unresolved on the floor of negotiations. The worldwide community is undoubtedly referred to as to play a foremost role,” Archbishop Bettencourt claimed in an interview with ACI Stampa, CNA’s Italian-language information companion.
The nuncio pointed to the job of the “Minsk Group” of the Group for Protection and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) — a group that is led by associates from the United States, France and Russia — as significant to mediating “compromises to reduced the tension” via diplomatic signifies.
All through his trip to Armenia, the papal diplomat met with Armenian President Armen Sargsyan for nearly an hour. He also took time to meet refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh, to “convey hope” and the pope’s solidarity.
“After Holy Mass was supplied in the Armenian Catholic Cathedral of Gyumri, I had the possibility to meet up with some family members who had fled from the war regions. I noticed on their faces the suffering of fathers and moms who wrestle just about every day to give a long term of hope to their youngsters. There have been seniors and infants, many generations united by a tragedy,” Archbishop Bettencourt said.
An estimated 90,000 folks fled their properties in the Nagorno-Karabakh location amid the missile and drone strikes in the course of the six-week conflict, according to Armenia’s international minister. Given that the ceasefire agreed on on Nov. 10, some have returned to their properties, but many a lot more have not.
The papal nuncio visited the Missionaries of Charity who care for some of these refugees in Spitak and frequented a Catholic healthcare facility in Ashotsk, northern Armenia.
“According to Archbishop Minassian, at the second there are at least 6,000 orphaned kids who have shed just one of their dad and mom all through the conflict. The Catholic community of Gyumri on your own and the Armenian Sisters of the Immaculate Conception welcomed a substantial range of families, guaranteeing them a roof and the necessary for daily daily life,” he reported.
“I have listened to from the religious bloody and cruel tales of violence and hatred,” he extra.
Even though in Armenia, Archbishop Bettencourt fulfilled with the patriarch of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Patriarch Karekin II.
“I met the Patriarch and I instantly felt the struggling of the pastor,” he explained. “It is a profound suffering, palpable even in the bodily functions of the patriarch, which it is tricky for a non-Armenian to thoroughly recognize.”
As nuncio to Armenia, Archbishop Bettencourt explained that he utilized to vacation to the region after or two times a month, but he experienced been not able to check out the nation given that March due to the closure of the borders concerning Georgia and Armenia for the reason that of the coronavirus pandemic.
“It was a fantastic sacrifice for me not to be equipped to meet up with these brothers through the past months, but I was completely not able to,” he explained.
“On the initially occasion I experienced, as a result, I went to Armenia, in particular in the aftermath of the close of the armed hostilities, to carry the Holy Father’s greetings and solidarity.”
Archbishop Bettencourt’s trip coincided with a check out by Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, a delegate of the Armenian Apostolic Church, to the Vatican, in which he satisfied with officers at the Pontifical Council for Lifestyle final 7 days to discuss about the preservation of Christian heritage in Artsakh.
Artsakh is the historical historic title of the Nagorno-Karabakh territory. The place is acknowledged by the United Nations as belonging to Azerbaijan, a predominately Muslim nation, but is administered by ethnic Armenians, who generally belong to the Armenian Apostolic Church, one of 6 autocephalous churches of the Oriental Orthodox communion.
Armenia, which has a population of almost three million, borders Ga, Azerbaijan, Artsakh, Iran and Turkey. It prides by itself on owning been the initially nation to adopt Christianity as a condition faith, in the yr 301. The disputed territory has experienced an Armenian identification for millennia and with that a prosperous Christian heritage.
The mainly Muslim composition of Azerbaijan and the heritage of Armenian Christianity is a component in the conflict. The dispute over the territory has been ongoing given that the collapse of the Soviet Union, with a war fought above the area in 1988-1994.
The papal nuncio reported that the Holy See was hopeful that all get-togethers concerned would do every thing feasible to protect and safeguard the “incomparable inventive and cultural heritage” of Nagorno-Karabakh, which belongs “not only to a nation, but to the complete of humanity” and is underneath the security of UNESCO, the U.N.’s academic, scientific and cultural agency.
“Beyond the support of charity, the Catholic Church desires previously mentioned all to convey hope to these peoples. The Holy Father, individually, throughout the 44 days of conflict elevated a heartfelt appeal for peace in the Caucasus four instances and invited the universal Church to question the Lord for the longed-for present of an close to conflicts,” Archbishop Bettencourt explained.