Aram I to Make Pontifical Visit to Western Prelacy

His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia

LA CRESCENTA—Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian and the Religious and Executive Councils announced that in October of 2011, His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, will honor the Western Prelacy with his fourth Pontifical visit.

The Pontifical visit is scheduled to take place from October 13 to 31.  The last Pontifical visit was in October of 2005.

The Prelate and Councils have already begun preparing for the Pontifical Visit, which will no doubt be a historic one.

“The Holy See of Cilicia, under the leadership of Catholicos Aram I, is the spiritual lighthouse of the Armenian people and whose light guides our path of service. With each Pontifical Visit that light shines brighter and breathes new life into our mission,” said the Prelacy. 

“This Pontifical visit will also be an opportunity to highlight our collective challenges which are addressed by His Holiness to our people.  They are; spiritual renewal, reassertion of our spirit of national aspirations, and further anchoring and continued progress of Armenian schools,” added the Prelacy.

The Catholicos will have various opportunities to meet with the community’s faithful to share with them his thoughts, messages and concerns, and to offer his paternal guidance.

The schedule of the Pontifical visit will be published when it becomes available.


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  1. Levon Lokmanian said:

    Armenian Church should unite.This is very importnt for the future of our nation.

  2. Panos said:

    Both Catholicoses should make Pontifical Visits at the same time to signify the unity we need and expect. The Catholicosate of Cilicia is a very important hierarchical see of the Armenian Apostolic Church, however, it should be transformed into a Patriarchate (like Constantinople and Jerusalem). Our Church must have one Catholicos and that is HH Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians.

    • Christo said:

      You and Levon Lokmanian are addicted to CRACK.Thank you very much but Catholicos Aram I is my Catholicos, and the Great House of Cilicia is my church that I like my family members in the past will die to defend. Never, Ever will these two Catholicosates unite. This “unity” that both of you, and ( I sure that you both are from the diocese), are espousing is intended not to unite the church, however, is a ploy to seize the assests of the Great House of Cilicia, their revenues and total submission and annihalation. The Great House of Cilicia, has never been under the jurisdiction of Etchmiadzin. Remember, St. Krikor Lusavorich, according to Armenain Church history established the Catholicosate in Sis, Cilicia before the Armenian nation adopted Christianity. Thank you very much, but I would rather stay away from a church whose every Catholicos since Vazken I has been a card carrying member of the Communist party. I would rather stay away from a church who allowed Khoren I of Etchmiadzin (1932-1938) to be strangled by a clergy member aka (Bornig Piruz) , because he wasn’t willing to hand over the treasures of our nation stored at Etchmiadzin, by the way he is still alive today in Armenia. Thank you very much, but I rather stay away from a church who decieved Karekin I of Cilicia, pressured him to unify the church, and eventually killed him killed. How ironic that his successor who isn’t 1% of the intellect and nationalist of Karekin I, adopted his name and basterdized its spelling. Thank you very much but I rather stay away from a church whose Catholicos Garegin I, sat and watched semi naked women perform in his presence during the celebration of the city of Yerevan. Thank you again, but I wouldn’t want to be part of a church who’s archbishop Kchoyan drives around in a Bently while over 30% of the population is picking their evening dinner from trash cans. Thanks again, but I would rather have a Catholicos who is willing to stand up against the Protocols and against a President and lecture him or her, rather than an weakling who rubber stamps whatever a politician demands. Thank you very much, but I would rather have a Catholicos like Sahag I who sold properties in order to feed, shelter and teach trades to thousands of orphans in the deserts of Syria, (by the way, where was the church in Etchmiadzin during the Genocide?) who had the vision to re establish an independent Church, in order to safeguard and lead a population of orphans during the early days of the genocide, who was and willing to open up orphanages and school and provide the best education a nation could provide to it’s people. And most importantly have teach them to love their nation and their people no matter who is its leader. Not one clergy member has either been beaten, killed or maimed in the seminary in Bikfaya or in the Great House of Cilicia., however, wasn’t an prominent archbishop beaten to death in Etchmiadzin a couple of years ago! Thank you very much, but I would rather be a part of a church who isn’t losing hundreds of its followers for the past 2000 years to Jehovah’s witnessess.
      Take a walk to any cemetary in Souther California, and you will notice a handful of retired Der Hayrs from Etchmiadzin who for a 20 or 40 spot, will bless a beloved one, because, their church hierarchy is driving around in Bentlys on the streets of Yerevan, but they can’t have a retirement fund to a fellow clergy who has dedicated decades of his life to bring the word to its’ flock.
      Oh Yeah, have you seen the monstrosity in burbank, guess the western diocese is in the business of catering and renting banquet halls, I thought the clergy were to lead their flock not conduct in profitable business ventures.
      MATHEW 10:34
      If the administrator of asbarez will allow me I will shed more light to the pilfering of the arm of Krikor Lusavorich and re establishment of the Etchmiadzin church in 1441 by two archbishops who later became the Catholicos of Etchmiadzin Giragos I 1441-1443, and Krikor X 1443-1465.

      • Zack said:

        Dear Christo,

        You do bring a lot of good facts to the table. I agree with you on some points.
        having said that, i believe that as rich and powerful The Great House of Cilicia was, it does not have the same value it once had in the Diaspora. I can name a lot of clergy members who are within the ranks of Cilician Catholicosate who are as corrupt as Kchoyan.
        Did you know that in Beirut there is a thing called “Sessin”? that “church” is ran by a self made minister who “heals” sick people. Name of that person is “Yeghpayr Kevork” (you can youtube him). Did you know that some clergy members under the supervision of Aram I, ARE FOLLOWING THIS MAN AND FUNDING HIM? Did you know that last year Aram I visited Montreal and snubbed the youth and did not show up at the last minute to the youth gathering? Did you know that he spent tens of thousands of dollars on a useless project for the veharan in antelias lebanon? Now i’m not a fan of both Karekin II and Aram I. Antelias and Etchmiadzin need to get rid of their garbage. Don’t you know that in lebanon there are starving families as well? while Khacherian and Aram I parade in the Benz with their drivers and bodyguards? Do these 2 help the poor? while the diocese or the prelacy hold banquets or rent out their halls for reception it is to secure funds for their church organizations, instead of taking more donations from their communities.
        Can you tell me what the difference is between etchmiadzin and antelias? all the clergy members are ordained with the same Muron and both of them have corrupt clergymen.
        When asked Aram I what did he think about our church followers leaving our church and joining Sessin with yeghpayr kevork..he answered : mdahoketsoutsich che.

        Park ou badivi yedevits yegeghetsagan ghegavarner unenk menk,

        • Christo said:

          I noticed and watched 1 video on youtube. Unbelievable! You must have misunderstood my comment. I pointed out the corruption of the clergy at Etchmiadzin, and I don’t feel that one church is the solution. Having a choice is always better. Remember Wendy’s commercials in the 90’s, a overweight woman on the catwalk, and the only difference between day wear and night ware was a flash light. That’s my point. Each catholicos has its role, and unifying them is not a solution.

  3. Common Sense said:

    “Christo” I agree with you that the Armenian church needs reform and cleansing. I agree with most of your points, but you are a blinded radical that only sees this on the side that you are not on. Unfortunately with people like you, logic and facts are never acceptable. Being so closed minded and hateful, you have shut your self from the luxury of common sense.

    • Chirsto said:

      I read your reply and couldn’t stop laughing, a blinded radical, a closed minded and hateful. My understanding is that you would want the church to unite, and the vartabeds and the der hayrs are going to perform circle dances around Etchmiadzin and sing cumbaya. There is Gadsden flag depicting a rattle snake coiled and ready to strkie, below it, reads DONT THREAD ON ME
      The days of kings, emperors, life time presidents, dictators are over. You cannot and should not impose your will (one church), which is directed by the Armenian Assembly and the AGBU INC., on a large segment of the diaspora, in order to impose the majority of the diaspora to either give up the notion and the will to reclaim our lands, seek compensation, but also restitution. The reason, Oh yea, to open up the borders with RoT. The Catholicosate in Etchmiadzin is losing perishoners by the hundreds to other religions, and you expect that leadership to create a larger administrative staff to lead? I am sure you are aware that in the past 10 years over 33 Armenian schools were shut down in Lebanon alone, why you ask, the answer is to punish the Armenians in Lebanon, because it was under the auspices of the Holy See of Cilicia. Let’s not even mention The Melkonian Educational Institute in Nicosia, Cyprus. Do you wonder what happened to Institutes library? Let me shed some light to you, it was transferred to Istanbul Turkey to a second hand book seller ( a turk mind you) who has been selling them off on e bay. Catholicos Garegin II was so vociferous that even my local tv news channel had a breaking news flash.

  4. Panos said:

    Hello Christo, I am not solely from the Diocese as you suggest and actually am a member of BOTH the Eastern Prelacy and Eastern Dicocese because I believe in unity and both are ONE Church, divided administratively by hot heads like you who, while thinking they are helping our cause, actually cause division and weakness in our church. My great grandfather was Dashnak from Van and I greatly respect and honor the Cilician See as it has fulfilled a noble and divine mission in our people’s lives during the time we were without statehood and during the Communist era. All hierarchies have corruption and their own elite. Please don’t be naive and think Cilicia is some pure and honest See living in the land of milk and honey. It is corrupt as well and under various influences. Don’t forget the Dashnak assassination in New York in the 1930s of an Armenian archbishop. All organizations / people have faults. The fact that today the Republic of Armenia is our nation and Etchmiadzin is located in Armenia means that we must look toward them. We should work toward changing the culture of post-Communism and not just trash them and say they are corrupt. If you know anything about Armenian history you know that Christ did not descend on Antelias, etc. but on our Holy Etchmiadzin, on Armenian soil. Did you know (if you go to church) that in all Cilician See churches Karekin II’s name is used every Sunday during the Badarak before Aram I? The POSITION of Catholicos of All Armenians has a primacy of honor in the Armenian Church that must be respected. Have you ever been to Armenia? Be courageous and help our Church not by saying Etcmiadzin is not your Catholicosate but by saying that both are yours.

    • sako said:

      well said.. the era for divisiveness and mutual antagonisms died out with the cold war. two catholicoses are an anomoly of history and the situation must be rectified. The Republic of Armenia is exactly what its name says it is, there is a reason it is not referred to as the “Republic of Eastern Armenia”. It is the future, if any activist wants to be productive they should focus on strengthening it instead of preaching for continued divisions. Cilica, just like the Diaspora, is a consequence of the Genocide and to a small extent the soviets, lets not make the turks happy by validating the situation they put us in

    • Chirsto said:

      Panos, I started to read you reply, and mind you I was respecting your point of view, until you brought up the Tashnak assassination in New York in 1934. If your great grandfather was a Tashnak, I doubt very much that you would have brought that up. However, an archbishop, who was cursing and espousing anti nationalist views during his sermons off the pulpit, an archbishop who refused to respect the tri color, an archbishop who refused to fly the tri color, an archbishop who was an outright communist living in America during the cold war, who on a daily basis expressed contempt to Armenian nationalists, is hardly a person that needs to be respected, or even be interred in a cathedral I wonder if J. Edgar Hoover, spoke Armenian, do you think that archbishop would have been blacklisted? Dzoor nesdink shidak khosink, please, let me not lose respect here. Any person, in a leadership position, in America, or anywhere in the world would be ostracized, if they espoused 1%, of what tourian espoused in regards to our nation.
      I never said that the Holy See if Cilicia is corrupt or not, however, it seems that when the this idea of one nation one church comes up, there is an inherent inference that it is going to be beneficial to our nation, but, I strongly disagree.
      What is the urgency of the the church to be united? Each has a very unique and influential role for its flock. I strongly feel that Giragos I and Krikor X, were opportunists who decided to usurp the Catholicosate in Sis in 1441. Giragos I who had contacted Yaghoub Bey, the then Persian governor of Yerevan, and was granted permission to re establish a catholicosate in Etchmiadzin after 956 years. Every one of the 300 bishops, and vartabeds, abbots and priests who were present at Vagharshapet in 1441 in order to elect Giragos I as catholicosate had a vested interest in reestablishing the Catholicosate in Etchmiadzin. However, in order to have true authority, the hand, which was in the posession of the Catholicosate in Sis must be in their posession, for without it they have no claim and no authority. The hand you ask, ” The relics of Saint Gregory the Enlightener. These relics had been encased in a silver box shaped like a right hand. The cathloicos of all Armenians used it to bless the holy muron or oil for the performance of certain sacraments. It was also used in the consecration of bishops,. Whenever the catholicos issued encyclicals in which blessing were imparted to all the peole he would write: “We impart our apostolic blessings from the Hand of our Enlightener Gregory.” This hand was the sign of the true authority of the catholicos. It was closely guarded by him.. If the hand could be brought to Etchmiadzin the problem would be largely solved. p.206 A History of the Armenian Church by Hagop Nersoyan NY1963. Guess what Panos, while Giragos I was being elevated to the see of catholicos of all Armenians, the ” hand of the Enlightener” reappeared in Etchmiadzin. What a story huh, this gives Etchmiadzin the right to demand the Holy See of Cilicia to obey and subjugate. I guess Houdini, or David Copperfield were time travelers, since, in order to have true authority of the catholicos, the right hand of Krikor Lusavorich has to be in their posession. Thus, my point of view, Etchmiadzin needs to return the stolen relics of Krikor Lousavorich to the rightful owner The Holy See of Cilica. Since, anyone who steals needs to either compensate, pay restitution and return the stolen propery. Since, depopulating Armenia is a priority to turkey, azerbaijan, and the west, Etchmiadzin will no longer exist in the next century and it’s in their interest to subjugate themselves to the proper Catholicosate.
      I apologize for any grammatical or spelling errors, since, I am responding in between client at work.
      Mathew 10:34, Luke 5:27-32 Look it up, it might surprise you.

    • Chirsto said:

      The fact that Garegin II’s name is used at every Badarak on Sundays is a very annoying and sacrilegious. I am surprised that Etchmiadzin doesn’t pursue the unification of the church by announcing that historians should research and decide which catholicos is the legitimate and supreme. We have two Armenian republics today, and two Armenian presidents. I don’t see a call by Armenians living in Armenia or individuals belonging to the diocese demand that we have one republic and one president.
      Your call of a united church, is like asking me as an adult to pool all my financial assets with my entire extended family, and that one family member out of 600 members decides how I should run my family, my family finances, my family and business decisions. That would be unacceptable. The fact that the church needs to be united is somehow going to cure all our problems is unrealistic. The Catholicosate in Etchmiadzin has no clue as to the traditions and culture of the Cilician Armenians. Two minds are always better than one, but the egocentric clergy in Etchmiadzin seem to think that it’s either their way or no way. My response to them, is Live and Let Live. Planet Earth is large enough not only to accomedate The Holy See of Cilicia, but also Etchmiadzin and even the more legitimate and now defunct catholicosate, and that is the one in Akhtamar. Then again, thanks to the Armenian Genocide, that issue was resolved 96 years ago, and the silence of Etchmiadzin, in regards to the Akhtamar Catholicosate is deafening. One down, one to go! I got news to the clergy and the administrators of Etchmiadzin,
      Dream On, like MLK said ” I have a dream” keep dreaming, there is no gold at the end of the rainbow!
      I’ll quote Rodney King Jr. “Why can’t we just get along”

  5. Kirk said:

    Do not forget the fact,that during 70 years of soviet rule,the only reason that Holy Etchmiadzin survived it was
    because Catholicossate of Cilicia existed in diaspora headed by CATHOLOCOSES.
    So,thank you for unification calls.We can live with two Catholicosses.
    If just a title switch (from Catholicos to Patriarch) will satisfy Etchmiadzin,then I propose to call Karekin II
    Super Catholicos and leave Aram I as is,Catholicos.

    • A Hye said:

      Yes I remember back to my youth attending Sunday School in an Etchmiadzin church…I used to just love all my communist classes, I can still see the picture of Stalin hanging in our room. We used to love dressing up in red.

      • manooshag said:

        A Hye. Ayo!
        You tell the truths, communism still permeates our leaderships, not only in the governments of our Haiastan, but too, still reeks of communism’s ill effects in the religious sector as well. Haiastan needs their bretheren who come from the free and open societies to lead our homeland out of the mire our citizens of Haiastan must be freed… for they are worthy and deserving of honesty – both in their governing, and more, in our ancient Armenian sacred religion – first of all the nations/states to recognize Christianity in 301 A.D. – constant in our beliefs, despite the horrors of the Turkish Genocide of the Armenian nation.

  6. MK said:

    Its a must that Catholicossate of Cilicia stays as it serves a safety valve for our nation.

    • manooshag said:

      MK, ayo,
      When the communists controlled the Armenian republic it was, and is, the Catholicossate of Cilicia, in Antelias who carried the torch, and called out our hopes for a free Haiastan – even for those like minded in Haiastan! Too, through the efforts of our Giligia leaders our Armenian church leaders have been outstanding and recognized in the free world… Over the years, Giligia’s voice was heard – loud and strong. Etchmiadzin could not speak, and does not speak, even today, as our Giligia!

  7. A Hye said:

    If two are better than one, then surely three is better than two.

  8. Zack said:

    Christo, unger jan,,,, unfortunately you lack a lot of sense in your responses, stating historical facts that you read off Wikipedia does not give you any common sense, but i have to give it to you, you my friend…you know your Armenian history. Wendy’s commercial?? lol good one.

  9. Panos said:

    Christo, did it occur to you that i am not a radical and even though my great-grandfather was Dashnak I still see their shortcomings? I am not Dashnak but I respect and donate to ARS, ANC, ARF and was the Chairman of AYF for years. Dashnaks are one of the reasons we have kept Armenianism alive in the Diaspora. To your point of 2 Armenian Republics and 2 Armenian Presidents, this is a political and diplomatic anomaly and NECESSITY. It is a game of chess with the international community because Armenia cannot be seen as the de jure occupier of Artsakh right now. It is all politics and the 2 have to remain separate temporarily until Artsakh joins Armenia as a province, which will happen once the issue is resolved. I respect your views. But remember that the churches of the Diocese are still Armenian and to keep all Armenian churches close to your heart. We are too few and too fragile. This has been a good discussion and I hope that for our Nation’s sake we will all see the clear path ahead whatever it may be. Best of luck to our great Nation!!!!

    • Christo said:

      I truely enjoyed this discussion. I’m in the future we will have more opportunities to exchange our views, and through dialogue we can achieve and unite.
      Just one point Panos, there are other Armenian political parties that are much more to the right of the Tashnak party. I am way too right of the Tashnak party. There is nothing wrong with being a radical, ultra radical, or somewhere in between or to the left. Every one has a role and the common denominator is a Hezor Hayastan, Artsakh, Arevmedian Hayastan yeve Giligia, all united. For example, less than 15,000 cops maintain law and order in LA> We need to have a slogan GO WEST YOUNG MAN/WOMAN! meaning, Western Armenia, and Giligia.

  10. Zack said:

    Btw to me both Aram I (you can put a Y in front) and karekin have ruined our church. I have seen Aram I on 4 different occasions within 15 years and everytime he has given the same “karoz”. Look he is proud of an armenian just as any of us, no doubt so is Karekin II. But they’re both lazy…all talk no action. Power, fame and money hungry leaders.

  11. manooshag said:

    Historically, our Armenian church leaders fled to preserve our church, our religion. even to Germany. Then, the anti-Tashnags chose to return to the Armenia which was then a republic of the USSR. The pro-Tashnags then chose to locate tp safety of Antelias, Lebannon.
    Now, evident today, that Etchmiadzin is, as have been all their government leaders, are all of the communistic mentality. Our church leaders from Antelias have been our Armenian voice and representatives to the free world… since Etchmiadzin’s clergy was constrained by the Armenian communists and unable to speak freely – which Antelias was free to do. To this day, our Antelias clergy have been leaders who have been connected/participants with religious communities the world over. Evidently, it is obvious, too, that Antelias has carried forth the hopes of Armenians for Azad, Angagh Haiastan during all the years whilst Etchmiadzin was controlled and directed by Armenian communists. Today, both the governing leaderships and the clergy of Etchmiadzin are still of the communist mentality — all wrong people, too the wrong time to divert and abuse our diasporan bretheren, and too, our bretheren citizens of our fledgling homeland, Haiastan.
    Today, our fledgling Haiastan is in need of honest patriots… who love our nation, who love our religion, who love our diasporans the world over!

  12. A_Hye said:

    I am sorry but can’t for the life of me figure out how Antelias saved the Armenian church in the diaspora. By far the greatest majority of all Armenian Churches in the Diaspora are affiliated with Etchmiadzin. Just look at the number of parishes in the US affiliated with Antelias then count the number affiliated with Etchmiadzin. There is a huge difference…so what role did Antelias play in all of the Etchmiadzin churches in the US???
    How did Antelias save these churches??

    Am I missing something??

    Those Etchmiadzin churches had nothing to do with Antelias. Today we have at least a little communication but in years past, there was no dialog. So again I ask, how did Antelias save the Armenian Church in the Diaspora? How did it help the Armenian Church in Armenia??

    Please SOMEONE explain it to me.

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