Catholicos Karekin II Leaves for Moscow

ETCHMIADZIN–MOSCOW (Holy See–Itar-Tass)–His Holiness Karekin II–Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenia’s–left for Moscow Tuesday morning upon the invitation of His Holiness Alexii II–the Head of the Russian Orthodox Church–Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.

This first visit of His Holiness has the goal to develop and foster the centuries-old warm relations between the two Churches.

In the course of the visit His Holiness will have meetings with the representatives of the Armenian community in Russia–the Diocesan Council Members and the faithful–will visit the site where an Armenian Church is to be built.

Responding to the journalists’ questions at the airport–His Holiness referred to the newly formed Government staff and addressed his Pontifical message to the Newly appointed Ministers. "We consider it positive–that various parties have assumed responsibilities in the government–and we believe and hope that by means of joint efforts our people will manage to create safe and happy life–to stabilize the situation of the country and to come out of this grave economic and social state."

The Russian visit of His Holiness Karekin II–Catholicos of All Armenia’s is a testament to the "immemorial fraternal relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Apostolic Church of Armenia," Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Alexii II said on Tuesday following Karekin II’s arrival in Moscow–reported the Itar-Tass news agency.

Both churches–the two states and peoples–who have lived in peace and accord since ancient times–have good relations–Patriarch Alexii II said.

He congratulated Karekin II on his election as the 132nd Catholicos of All Armenia’s.

"It is symbolic that Karekin II heads the Church in the year of Christianity’s great jubilee–said Alexii II referring to the 1,700 anniversary of Armenia’s adoption of Christianity as a state religion.

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