Pope Francis congratulates newly elected Armenian Patriarch

armeniaPope Francis extended a hearty welcome to the newly elected Patriarch Gregoire Pierre XX Ghabroyan of Cilicia. He was elected on 24 July. Pope congratulated the new Patriarch and prayed that God shower him with an abundance of divine gifts.

“Your Beatitude’s election comes at a time when your church faces difficulties and new challenges, particularly the situation of those Armenian Catholic faithful who are going through great trials in the Middle East,” Pope Francis wrote in his letter. Recently Pope had expressed his sympathy towards the Armenians and had condemned the mass killing of the Armenians in 1915 as ‘genocide’, a remark which made the Turkey furious.

Gregoire Pierre was born in Aleppo, Syria on November 15, 1934. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1959 and named a bishop and apostolic Exarch for Armenian Catholics in France in 1977.