Locum Tenens Discusses Catholicos Recuperation

ETCHMIADZIN (Armenpress)–The Locum Tenens of the Catholicos of All Armenia’s Archbishop Karekin Nersissian said that all was being done to ensure a fast and full recovery period for His Holiness Karekin I–Catholicos of All Armenia’s–who returned to the Mother See Monday–following months of cancer treatment in New York.

Arch. Nersissian recounted the warm reception the Catholicos received Monday at Zvartnots airport by Prime Minister Armen Darbinian and other high-level officials–and assured that a similar reception was demonstrated at the Holy See.

Both at the airport and the Etchmiadzin cathedral–the Catholicos addressed a message to the people–explaining about his illness–his recuperation and expressing heartfelt appreciation to the people for their support and get well wishes.

Nersissian explained that the messages were conveyed in written form–since the Catholicos’ speech–which was impaired following surgery–was not yet fully recovered.

A protion of the Catholicos’ tongue was removed in an operation which–according to doctors in New York–rid the Catholicos of the the cancer.

The Locum Tenens and the Vicar General of the Catholicosate explained that while the Catholicos was still weak–he–however–immediately went to work and presided over executive board of the religious council.

Arch. Nersissian added that the Catholicos–himself–had wished to return to Armenia and the Mother See to continue his convalescence–and has been in constant contact with physicians.

The Locum Tenens assured that the Catholicosate staff and colleagues–were doing their utmost to ensure that the pontiff is not over burdened with excess work.

The Catholicos was accompanied to Etchmiadzin by his personal physician and his Armenia-based doctor. A full-time nurse is also monitoring the Catholicos’ condition–announced the Vicar General.

"We still do not know when the Catholicos will regain his speech. As for what developmen’s will ensue in the future–that is difficult to say also. But–now–obviously the Catholicos communicates in writing," concluded Nersissian.

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