Body of Catholicos Taken to Etchmiadzin

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The body of His Holiness Catholicos of All Armenia’s Karekin I was transported from the St. Sargis church in Yerevan to the Mother See of St. Etchmiadzin on July 6.

The funeral procession in Etchmiadzin was led by Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia Aram I–Patriarch of Constantinople Archbishop Mesrop Mutafyan and Patriarch of Jerusalem Archbishop Torgom Manoukian. The funeral rites were attended by President Robert Kocharian–National Assembly Chairman Karen Demirchian–Prime Minister Vazgen Sargssian–government officials–foreign ambassadors–and clergymen of the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Roman Catholic Church who came to Armenia from different parts of the world.

Primate of the Canadian Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church Archbishop Hovnan Terterian said that "young priests encouraged by Karekin I to link their lives to the Church are serving the Armenian Apostolic Church worldwide today."

The funeral of Karekin I will take place on July 8. The body of Karekin I will be buried next to the gravesite of his predecessor Catholicos Vazgen I.

Robert Kocharian met with Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia Aram I on July 7. Aram I was accompanied by prelates of the Cilician See.

The sides expressed their condolences on the death of Catholicos of All Armenia’s Karekin I. Stressing that the entire nation mourns the death of the Catholicos–Robert Kocharian said–"We lost both the Catholicos of All Armenia’s and a close and dear friend."

Catholicos Aram I–stressing the importance of cooperation between the Sees of St. Etchmiadzin and the Great House of Cilicia–said that all difficulties can be overcome. "After all–we are united by a single mission," he said–adding that cooperation between the two Sees will have a positive impact on the development of Armenia-Diaspora relationship.

National Assembly Speaker Karen Demirchian met with Aram I Tuesday.

The sides called for greater appreciation of the role of the Church in the spiritual and cultural life of the nation–in educating the next generation and supporting the state. The Catholicos outlined the activities of the Great House of Cilicia.

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