International Orthodox Christian News

From February 25 to 26, under the presidency of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, a meeting of the Supreme Spiritual Council was convened in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.

The meeting opened with the Lord’s Prayer. His Holiness welcomed the members and extended his pontifical blessings and wishes for a successful meeting. Prior to the adoption of the agenda, His Holiness first reviewed the process of implementing and monitoring approved projects and activities from prior sessions. After discussing and adopting the agenda, His Holiness invited His Eminence Archbishop Aram Ateshian, Chairman of the Religious Council of the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople to report on the of health of His Beatitude Archbishop Mesrob Mutafian, Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople.

His Eminence informed His Holiness that according to the diagnosis of his doctors, Patriarch Mesrob is suffering from irreversible memory loss and the condition is permanent. His Eminence also reported that the Religious Council has declared their support of His Beatitude Mesrob to remain in his position as Patriarch for life, however, the Religious Council has not excluded the possibility of electing a coadjutor to the Patriarch to assist him.

His Holiness expressed his appreciation to His Eminence for the information noting that the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin will support the will and decisions of the Armenians of Constantinople according to the principals and rules of the Patriarchate. His Holiness also called upon everyone to offer their prayers and ask the Almighty to grant heavenly blessings and strength to the Patriarch.

Next on the agenda was a discussion of the revised proposed diocesan by-laws. The report was presented by His Eminence Archbishop Yeznik Petrosian, President of the Permanent Commission on Constitutional Guidelines. His Eminence reported that all the suggestions received from the dioceses were thoroughly reviewed and discussed, and the results were incorporated into the updated version of the draft.

The members of the Supreme Spiritual Council expressed their appreciation for the work that has been completed. Following discussion on the proposed amendments, a final draft of the diocesan by-laws was confirmed. The draft document will be presented for consideration at the next meeting of the Diocesan Representational Assembly.

His Eminence Archbishop Yeznik Petrosian, General Secretary of Inter-Church Relations of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin reported on the results of meetings of the International Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches, recently held in Rome. His Eminence reported on the review of the document entitled "Nature, Constitution and Mission of the Church". A special commission is being created to review and discuss the document from the theological standpoint of the Armenian Church. The results of the commission will be presented to the Supreme Spiritual Council.

Other agenda items included presentations of the annual administrative and financial reports of the Mother See; and issues concerning intra and inter-church life. The session closed with His Holiness expressing his appreciation to the Council members and a final prayer.


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