The successor to the Pope Benedict XVI needs to build on the work done by his predecessor in attempting to encourage peace with justice in the Middle East and North Africa, regional expert and Ekklesia associate Dr Harry Hagopian told Premier Christian Radio on 12 February 2013.
In May 2009, Benedict went on an eight-day visit to the Holy Land. On his final day in Jerusalem, he summed up his message by saying that Christ's empty tomb "assures us that God can make all things new," that peace is really possible, and that long-standing hostilities can be overcome, PCR noted on its website today.
Dr Hagopian (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/HarryHagopian ) spoke on Premier's News Hour about one of the Pope's key visits, to Lebanon.
He was commenting on Benedict's surprise resignation. Dr Hagopian, who is Armenian Orthodox, and has been deeply involved in ecumenical work over the years, is an adviser to the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales on Middle East and interfaith concerns.
He told the Premier's Marcus Jones that Benedict's resignation has contributed to ongoing questions as to what the future holds in the Middle East and North Africa region.
* 'Search for new Pope underway', PCR - http://www.premier.org.uk/news/current/Search%20for%20new%20Pope%20under... 
* Premier Reports - http://www.premier.org.uk/news 
* 'Papal change, the Middle East and beyond', Ekklesia - http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/17977 
* 'Fear and hope for indigenous Christians in the Middle East and North Africa', by Harry Hagopian - http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/17784 
* Research: Change and challenge across the Middle East and North Africa Region, by Harry Hagopian - http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/17624 
* Dr Hagopian’s own website is www.epektasis.net  Follow him on Twitter here: @harryhagopian. His articles, blogs and podcasts on Ekklesia can be found here: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/HarryHagopian