Today the Holy See Press Office announced that Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone will visit Armenia and Azerbaijan to meet with the government authorities and “to express the closeness of the Holy Father Benedict XVI to the Catholic faithful in those countries.
The Vatican’s Secretary of State will first visit Armenia from March 2 to 6. "Cardinal Bertone will be received by His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, to whom he will give a letter from Pope Benedict XVI. In the letter, the Holy Father expresses his regards and his desire for the Catholic Church to continue its ecumenical journey alongside the Armenian Apostolic Church.”
Following his visit to Armenia, Cardinal Bertone will visit Azerbaijan on March 6 to 9 “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, Azerbaijan’s capital city, “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.”