World Situation Calls for Choice "Between Good and Evil," Pope Says

Signs a Joint Declaration with Catholicos Karekin II

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YEREVAN, Armenia, SEPT. 27, 2001 ( The world´s current situation calls for a choice «between good and evil,» John Paul II said today in a joint declaration signed with Armenian Apostolic Patriarch Karekin II.

The document, signed by the leaders of the two Churches that separated 1,500 years ago, does not refer explicitly to the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States. Rather, it addresses the world scene globally.

«Particularly today, the complexities and challenges of the international situation require a choice between good and evil, darkness and light, humanity and inhumanity, truth and falsehood,» the joint declaration states.

The two religious leaders signed the document in the cathedral of Etchmiadzin. The Pope later departed for the trip back to Rome.

«We pray that the saving light of Christian faith may shine on both the weak and the strong, on both the developed and developing nations of this world,» the document continues.

«Present issues of law, politics, science and family life touch upon the very meaning of humanity and its vocation,» it states. «They call today´s Christians — no less than the martyrs of other times — to bear witness to the Truth, even at the risk of paying a high price.

«This witness will be all the more convincing if all of Christ´s disciples could profess together the one faith and heal the wounds of division among themselves.»

Rome and the Armenian Apostolic Patriarchate overcame their theological differences on the nature of Christ in 1996. Differences over recognition of papal primacy keep Catholics and Armenian Apostolic Christians from full communion.

The two leaders conclude in the joint declaration: «Here, at Holy Etchmiadzin, we renew our solemn commitment to pray and work to hasten the day of communion among all the members of Christ´s faithful flock, with true regard for our respective sacred traditions.»

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