Archbishop Avak Asadourian Says He Will Return to Iraq

GLENDALE–Having heard from reliable sources that the Prelate of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Baghdad Archbishop Avak Asadourian is currently in United States–and even speculations that ‘the shepherd has abandoned its flock,’ Asbarez contacted Archbishop Asadourian in order to clarify the matter.

In refuting the rumors–the Archbishop stated that he has been in the US for over a month now–conducting Iraq-related meetings in New York with Cardinal Edward Egan–the National Church Council–as well as directors of Karaguezian Establishment–and with Cardinal Francis George in Chicago.

Archbishop Asadourian–who has served the Iraqi Armenian community for over 24 years–stressed the importance of the US meetings which addressed both military actions against Iraq–and the fate of Iraq’s 18,000 Armenia’s.

Iraq’s Diocese has nine churches–nine pastors and an Executive Council; the majority of council members are currently in Iraq. "The community is essential to us and we consistently perform our community and spiritual duties," confirmed Asadourian.

Asked when he plans to return to Iraq–the Archbishop said–"We left [Iraq] to conduct several meetings abroad; now it is the time to go back."

After his last scheduled meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury– he plans to return early next week by way of either Syria or Jordan.

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