International Orthodox Christian News

The Catholicosate of Cilicia’s General Assembly concluded its sessions on December 5, opening up new prospects and horizons for the Catholicosate’s services.

Three topics were on the agenda of the fourth day of discussions: the youth and the church, ecumenical relations and Armenia-Diaspora cooperation. Ms. Asdghig Djamboulian (Lebanon) and Mr. Kevork Hagopdjanian (Syria) gave talks on the challenges facing the youth today from the perspective of the youth-church mutual relations. Moving on to the second topic, Dr. Nora Bairakdarian-Kabakian (Lebanon) talked about the significant aspects of the ecumenical work of the Catholicosate of Cilicia. Mrs. Seta Khedeshian (Lebanon) gave a talk about the Middle East Council of Churches. The speakers on the third topic were Dr. Aida Hovhannisian (Iran) and Mr. Zohrab Tazian (U.S.A.).

The participants in the Assembly comprehensively discussed these topics during three consecutive issues, always basing their positions on the supreme interests of our church and nation. An emphasis was put on finding new ways of attracting the youth. The inter-faith and inter-church relations were considered particularly important, especially given the Catholicosate of Cilicia’s geographical position and its rich ecumenical experience and its active involvement in Christian-Muslim dialogue. With respect to the Armenia-Diaspora cooperation, the Assembly reaffirmed the Catholicosate of Cilicia’s positive approach and firm commitment.

The final item on the agenda of the meeting was the election of the Central Committee’s Religious and Lay Committee for the next four years. The following were elected as members of the Religious Committee: Archbishop Ardavazt Terterian, Archbishop Gomidas Ohanian, Archbishop Varoujan Hegelian, Archbishop Khajag Hagopian, Archbishop Sebouh Sarkissian, Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Bishop Kegham Khatcherian, Bishop Nareg Alemezian, Bishop Shahan Sarkissian, Bishop Shahe Panossian V. Rev. Fr. Krikor Chiftjian, V. Rev. Fr. Yeghishe Mandjigian and Father Masis Tchobouyan.

Elected as members of the Lay Committee were Hagop Ateshian, Vicken Kassabian, Dikran Djinbashian, Dr. Bedros Karadjerdjian, Dr. Hratch Hadjetian, Dr. Vahe Yacoubian, Dr. Dertad Mangigian, Khajag Dikirdjian, Dr. Jirayr Basmadjian, Hagop Yapoudjian, Dr. Levon Tavtian, Daron Avedissian and Ara Denirdjian, representing the world-wide dioceses of the Catholicosate of Cilicia.

Concluding the General Assembly, His Holiness Aram I addressed the attendants and praised the dedication they demonstrated towards our church and nation. His Holiness summarized that dedication in three words: faithfulness, commitment and vision. The Pontiff then spoke about the mission of the Catholicosate of Cilicia and its priorities for the next four years on the national, church, inter-church, inter-faith and international levels. “The Catholicosate of Cilicia will continue its ecumenical vocation. Our Holy See will continue its cooperation with the Catholicosate of All Armenians. It will continue supporting Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh. The Catholicosate of Cilicia has always been at the forefront of our nation’s life through its service, commitment and vision. This is the source of our strength,” said His Holiness.

At the end of his Pontifical address, His Holiness commended all the delegates. Particular praise was paid to the Religious and Lay committees ending their terms of service. Two members, Mr. Yervant Pamboukian and Mr. Tsolag Tutelian, received special recognition for their active participation in the life and mission of the church for over 50 years.

The Diocese of Lebanon organized a dinner in honor of the General Assembly’s participants in the evening.



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