Holy See of Etchmiadzin and Cilicia Conlcude Discussions

ETCHMIADZIN–Adelegation representing the Holy See of Cilicia arrived in St. Etchmiadzin Thursday–August 7–in honor of the invitation extended to them by His Holiness Karekin I–Catholicos of All Armenia’s to collaborate on addressing issues concerning the contemporary Armenian church.

The Holy See of Cilicia was represented by Archbishop Zareh Aznavourian–Chairperson of the Central Religious Council; Bishop Oshagan Choloyan–Prelate of Kuwait and the Gulf Countries; Khachig Babigian–Esq.–Chairperson of the Central Executive Council; and Yervant Pamboukian–member of the Central Executive Council.

The Holy See of Etchmiadzin was represented by Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian–Primate of the Western US; Archbishop Karekin Nercissian–Locum Tenens of the Araradian Diocese; Krikor Khanjian–Academician–member of the Supreme Religious Council; and Rafael Babayan–member of the Armenian National Assembly–member of the Supreme Religious Council.

Prior to engaging in discussion Friday morning–the two delegations visited Catholicos Karekin I–who greeted them and conveyed his suggestions for resolving issues at hand. After receiving His Holiness’ blessing–Khachig Babigian delivered to Him Aram I’s warm wishes and optimistic anticipation of the meeting results.

At the meeting–the two delegations first assigned a temporary executive body. Archbishop Hovsepian and Khachig Babigian were chosen as co-chairpersons–and Archbishop Aznavourian and Rafael Babayan were chosen as secretaries.

After setting the agenda–the two parties reported on their Holy See activities since 1988–when they had last met. The next topic of discussion was the "strengthening of the unity of the Armenian Church," which was addressed in three categories: the Holy Sees; the necessity and manner of collaboration between the Holy Sees; and reforms of the Armenian Church.

The meeting was conducted in a cooperative environment. Discussion of church unity were prioritized and viewed positively.

Upon adjournment of the meeting–participants expressed the desire to regularly hold meetings of this nature. They also recommended the formation of a committee to specifically deal with church reforms–which will further enhance the process of church unity.

Written texts of the discussions and amendmen’s adopted by the two delegations will be presented to His Holiness Karekin I–Catholicos of All Armenia’s–and His Holiness Aram I–Catholicos of the Holy See of CIlicia.

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