• Pope Francis hopes to strengthen ties with Oriental Orthodox Churches

    Pope Francis hopes to strengthen ties with Oriental Orthodox Churches

    • Apr 28, 2017

    One major aspect of Pope Francis’s trip to Egypt is the ecumenical encounter with the Coptic Orthodox Church, a member of the Oriental Orthodox communion, which broke with what are now the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches as early as the fifth century, when they rejected the definitions of the Council of Chalcedon in 451. Together, the six Churches in the communion represent some 84 million faithful and are among the oldest Christian bodies in the world.

  • What Pope Francis is up to in Armenia over the weekend

    What Pope Francis is up to in Armenia over the weekend

    • Jun 22, 2016

    With every papal trip, the intended audiences and agenda items can usually be understood in terms of concentric circles, starting at the outer level and working one’s way in. That’s clearly the case with regard to Pope Francis’s June 24-26 outing to Armenia, which makes a statement about this pontiff’s priorities on the peripheries, ecumenism, geopolitics, and pastoral concern for a tiny Catholic minority.

  • Pope Francis once again walks a tightrope on the Armenian genocide

    • Apr 9, 2015

    ROME — Looking ahead to a Vatican Mass Sunday commemorating the 100th anniversary of mass killings regarded by Armenians as a genocide and by Turks as a civil war, Pope Francis walked a diplomatic tightrope on Thursday, decrying “martyrdom and persecution” suffered by Armenians but avoiding the explosive “g” word.