Archbishop of Canterbury to Introduce Genocide Bill to British House of Lords

LONDON–Upon the recommendation of His Holiness Aram I–Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia–Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey will introduce–to the British House of Lords–a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide of 1915. On numerous occasions during his official visit to England–Catholicos Aram I had discussed with Archbishop Carey the issue of recognition of the Armenian Genocide–and stressed that following France’s lead–England’s recognition would greatly signify the British people’s dedication to protecting human rights.

Catholicos Aram I further explained to the Archbishop of Canterbury that a resolution coming from the Church of England will exemplify the church’s responsibility in the pursuit of justice–peace and human rights. The more than 400 members of the House of Lords belong to the Church of England and its 25 bishops of which one is the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Honoring an invitation from Archbishop Carey –His Holiness Aram I embarked on a three day official visit to England on Friday–June 5. The Catholicos was officially received at London’s Heathrow Airport and then escorted to Lambeth Palace–religious center for the Church of England.

Accompanied by his entourage–the Pontiff visited London University–at the African and Near Eastern Studies Department where he delivered a speech on "The Place and Role of Religion in the Middle East." Aram I then met with university deans who asked for his guidance in establishing an Armenian chair in the Near Eastern Studies Department. The Catholicos also visited the university’s museum and libraries and reviewed their collection of Armenian man’scripts.

During a special joint religious service held Friday evening at Lambeth’s main cathedral–Archbishop Carey welcomed Catholicos Aram I and highlighted the Armenian Church’s role in the life of the Armenian nation and the Holy See of Cilicia’s unique role in the Middle East. The Archbishop of Canterbury memorialized the victims of the Armenian Genocide–addressed inter-church relations and Aram I’s significant role in the World Council of Churches–and stressed the necessity of strengthened relations between the Church of England and the Catholicosate of the Holy See of Cilicia.

The Ambassadors of Armenia and Lebanon to England were among those present at the religious service and the ensuing dinner banquet the Archbishop of Canterbury held in honor of Catholicos Aram I.

During Aram I’s visit–at several public gatherings the Archbishop of Canterbury honored the memory of the victims of the Armenian Genocide.

Archbishop Carey is scheduled to visit Lebanon in January.

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