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(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent the following telegram to the President of the Republic of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic:As I fly over Croatia on my way to Armenia for a pastoral visit, I send cordial greetings to Your Excellency and your fellow citizens, together with my prayers that Almighty God will bless all of you with peace and well-being.Franciscus PP. 
(Vatican Radio) Cardinal Charles Bo, Archbishop of Yangon, Myanmar, has issued an appeal bringing attention to a mounting crisis in the country and calling for peace. He details a long list of social and political problems: the war-ravaged Kachin region of the country, camps with more than 150,000 dispossessed people, land mines, human trafficking, drugs and the looting by arms of the country’s wealth of natural resources.“I earnestly appeal to all,” says the Cardinal. “I wish to raise my voice on behalf of these people whose voice is stifled.” He notes that he is not a politician but that he has lived with the people for 22 years, speaks their language and knows their pain. “A valiant race is brought down to its knees in injustice. What a sorrow!”Amidst looting of the country’s wealth of jade, Cardinal Bo urges the government of Myanmar to eschew homogeneity and embrace a cooperative and inclusive federal system. He pleads for all p...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis arrives in the Armenian capital Yerevan on Friday afternoon for his 14th foreign pastoral visit. He’ll be spending three days in the country, travelling to the nearby town of Etchmiadzin, seat of the Armenian Apostolic Church, as well as to the northern city of Gyumri and to the famous Khor Virap monastery on the border with Turkey.Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as the state religion at the beginning of the fourth century and the great majority of people in the country today belong to the Armenian Apostolic Church which is part of the Oriental Orthodox family.Relations with other Christian communities, including the small Armenian Catholic and Roman Catholic Churches, are very good and Pope Francis will be focusing on the importance of ecumenical dialogue and action at a prayer service on Saturday in Yerevan’s Republic Square.To find out more, Philippa Hitchen spoke to Fr John Barker who heads the tiny Anglican communit...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has departed from Italy for a three-day Apostolic Voyage to Armenia.As the Pope began his journey, he sent the following telegram to Sergio Mattarella, the President of Italy:In the moment in which I undertake my Apostolic Voyage to Armenia in order to draw from the ancient wisdom of that people, to confirm them in the faith, to support every effort along the path of peace and reconciliation, I address to you, Mr President, and to the whole Italian nation my cordial greetings, which I accompany with an encouragement to the entire country to remain on the front line of solidarity, looking to the future with confidence and hope. 
(Vatican Radio) In a dramatic turn of events, Britain has voted to leave the European Union. Official results show that roughly 52 percent of Britons chose to leave the EU in Thursday's referendum with just over 48 percent voting to remain. European shares have fallen as has the British pound.Listen to Stefan Bos' report: With the vote, Britain entered uncharted waters early Friday. Britain's largest newspaper The Sun carried a massive headline saying "See EU Later!" and The Daily Mail newspaper shouted: "We're Out". After 43 years, it added, the UK is "freed from the EU shackles".As the first results came in, people at the Leave Camp were celebrating. "Dare to dream that the dawn is breaking on an independent United Kingdom," said Nigel Farage, leader of the eurosceptic UK Independence Party."This will be a victory for real people, a victory for ordinary people, a victory for decent people ... Let Ju...
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis is on his way to Armenia, the “first Christian nation,” for a three day pastoral visit.  The journey to the former Soviet Caucasus region will be the Pope’s 14th  foreign trip as pontiff. He will return to the area again in September for visits to Georgia and Azerbaijan. The focus of the visit will be to consolidate ecumenical relations with the Armenian Apostolic Church, to encourage the small, local minority Catholic Church, and to show the Pope’s closeness to Armenian Christians who historically, suffered periods of persecution and massacres.Francis departed Rome’s Fiumicino airport shortly before 9.30 am; he is due to arrive in four hours’ time at 'Zvartnots' international airport in Yerevan, at around 15:00 local time (12:00 GMT). Following the airport welcoming ceremony with local dignitaries, the Pope will pray at the apostolic Cathedral in Etchmiadzin. For the duration of his visi...
(Vatican Radio) As Pope Francis is on his way to Armenia this  Friday 24th of June and scheduled to land at 1 pm Rome time in the nation's capital Yerevan it's perhaps time to highlight his proclamation back on the 12th of April 2015 of a 10th century Armenian monk St Gregory of Narek as Doctor of the Church. Please find below a selection of the Popes words relating to St Gregory of Narek delivered in the Vatican on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of 'Metz Yeghern':"Today is a propitious occasion for us to pray together, as we proclaim Saint Gregory of Narek a Doctor of the Church. I wish to express my deep gratitude for the presence here today of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, and His Beatitude Nerses Bedros XIX, Patriarch of Cilicia of Armenian Catholics.Saint Gregory of Narek, a monk of the tenth century, knew how to express the sentiments ...
AYRSHIRE, Scotland (AP) -- Donald Trump, in a closely watched visit to Scotland on Friday, hailed Britain's vote to leave the European Union, drawing parallels to the anger driving his own presidential campaign....
WASHINGTON (AP) -- FBI investigators so far have not turned up persuasive evidence that Orlando gunman Omar Mateen was pursuing gay relationships, according to two government officials familiar with the investigation....
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Even after the Orlando shooting slaughter, no one expects Congress to dramatically tighten firearms curbs. Yet a few modest election-year cracks have shown in the iron grip that Republicans and the National Rifle Association have long enjoyed on the issue....
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