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Tuesday, February 26, 2008


VATICAN CITY, 26 FEB 2008 (VIS) - At midday today, the Holy See Press Office released the following communique:

  "From 2 to 9 March, Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. will - at the invitation of the religious and civil authorities - make a visit to Armenia and Azerbaijan, in the course of which he will have the opportunity to express the closeness of the Holy Father Benedict XVI to the Catholic faithful in those countries.

  "The cardinal will meet the government authorities of Armenia and Azerbaijan.

  "During his stay in Armenia from 2 to 6 March, Cardinal Bertone will be received by His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, to whom he will consign a Letter signed by Pope Benedict XVI. In the Letter, the Holy Father expresses his regards and his desire for the Catholic Church to continue the ecumenical journey alongside the Armenian Apostolic Church.

  "From 6 to 9 March, Cardinal Bertone will visit Azerbaijan where he will meet Sheikh Allashukur Pashazade, head of Muslims in the Caucasus, and other religious leaders, to tell them of the Catholic Church's desire to collaborate in the joint commitment to peace, harmony between peoples and the good of the human family. In Baku, Cardinal Bertone will attend the inauguration of a new Catholic church built on land donated to Servant of God John Paul II by President Heydar Aliyev, father of the current head of State".

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