The Apostolic Nuncio, H.E. Msgr. Jose’ A. Bettencourt held high level meetings at the Vatican
The Apostolic Nuncio was in the Vatican during the first half of the month of April. He was received by Pope Francis in a private audience in the Papal library in the Apostolic Palace. The Apistolic Nuncio presented His Holiness an icon of the Holy Family made by monks of the Metropolitan diocese of Nekresi, Georgia, in celebration of the year dedicated to St. Joseph and the family.
The Apostolic Nuncio had meetings with His Eminence Pietro Parolin, Cardinal Secretary of State, His Excellency Edgar Pena Para, Sostituto of the Secretariat of State, His Excellency Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States, His Excellency Jan Romeo Pawlowski, Secretary for diolomatic Personelle, His Eminence Leonardo Sandri, Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation of Oriental Churches, His Eminence Gianfranco Ravasi, Cardinal President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, His Excellency Paul Tighe, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture, His Eminence Peter Turkson, Cardinal Prefect for the Dicastory for Promoting Integral Human Development, His Eminence Michael Czerny, Cardinal for Migrantes and Refugeees, His Eminence Jose’ Tolentino de Mendonc,a, Librarian and Archivist of the Holy Roman Church, His Excellency Bishop Brian Farrell, Secretary at the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, His Excellency Angelo V. Zani, Secretary for Catholic Education, Dr. Mariella Enoc, President of the Vatican’s Bambino Gesu’ Children’s Hospital, His Excellency the Dean of the diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See and Ambassador of Cypress, their Excellencies the Ambassadors to the Holy See of Georgia, Armenia, Canada, Portugal and the United Kingdom.
The Apostolic Nuncio also met with varous institutions in Rome connected to the South Caucasus, in particular at the Motherhouse of the Armenian Sisters of the Imaculate Conception and with Caritas International.
A broad overview of the current situation in the South Caucasus was discussed as it touched upon issues of human dignity, humanitarian questians, peace, freedom of religion, development, cultural heritage, health care and ecumenical questions. Of particular concern was the current crisis of the world health pandemic of Covid-19 and the particular political situations in the individual countries of the South Caucasus.
This year’s celebration of the 700th anniversary of the martyrdom of the franciscan friar, Demitry of Tbilisi, in India was highlighted, as well as the upcoming visit in the month of October of the international statue of Our Lady of Fatima and its message of reconciliation and peace for the region.
During the Apostolic Nuncio’s stay in the Vatican, Pope Francis’ traditional Easter Sunday “Orbi et Urbi” prayer included a plea for the release of prisoners of the Nagorno – Karabakh war.
Through his Apostolic Nuncio, Pope Francis wishes to inaugurate a new diplomatic residential mission in Yerevan. It is an eloquent gesture of proximity at this particular time in history.
Pope Francis fondly recalled his Apostolic visit to Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia in 2016, and the many individuals he met during the memorable visits. He requested that the Apostolic Nuncio, His personal representative, bring His greetings, expressions of solidarity for the needy, prayers and blessings to all – requesting too that we “pray for Him”.