International Orthodox Christian News

The General Assembly of the Catholicosate of Cilicia was launched in the Catholicosate’s Antelias headquarters with the prayers of His Holiness Aram I. The Pontiff’s opening message offered a comprehensive look at the current state of the Armenian Church and nation, reflecting on those priorities and challenges we need to consider for the coming years.

His Holiness developed his perspectives around three main points: church-building; nation-building; homeland building. Catholicos Aram I said: “In order for our Church to be able to realize its calling in an effective way, it has an urgent need for renewal. We deeply believe that it is only the Armenian Church, rich with centuries of experience yet in tune with the challenges and demands of the 21st century, that can become the true apostle of spiritual and moral values in the life of the Armenian nation. It is essential, therefore, that the Catholicosate of All Armenians and the Catholicosate of Cilicia together embark on this urgent task.” Referring to nation-building, His Holiness said: “In a growing and expanding Diaspora that is subject directly to the threats of identity-changing, the role of the Armenian school has become instrumental. The new lifestyle, brought about by globalization, the new challenges generated by the multi-religious and multi-cultural society surrounding us, urge the Armenian school to renew and reorganize itself.”

To meet all these challenges, the Pontiff strongly emphasized the need for human resources. “The formation of the new generation should take place in the life of the Armenian nation. Armenian formation should complete the professional formation, which is imperative in the present world. Our Holy See has set out to this sacred task through its Seminary, the Khatcher Calousdian Pedagogical Center, through the educational and cultural conferences it organizes on a regular basis. This extremely important task should continue with renewed vigor,” he observed.

The first two sessions of the meeting were dedicated to the presentation of the report by the Religious Committee. The Assembly discussed a number of issues pertaining to religious education, renewal of the church, youth, women, participation of the laity in the life of the church. A special attention was given to inter-religious dialogue. The Assembly also assessed all those activities which open up our Church to other churches, particularly in the field of ecumenical relations. The personal example set by His Holiness Aram I has paved the way for a constructive process in this respect, considered the Assembly. The meeting also discussed His Holiness Aram I’s recent visit to the Vatican, highlighting the tangible results of it and expressing its joy for the respect the Catholicosate of Cilicia enjoys on an international level.



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