On September 24, 2013, His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, and His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, presided over the commencement of a Bishops’ Synod of the Armenian Church at the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin, the first such congregation in 600 years. The Synod called together 62 archbishops and bishops (from a total of 75) from the church dioceses in Armenia and all around the world. They are due to discuss a number of theological and ecclesiastical issues over four days of meetings.
President Serzh Sarkisian attended the opening ceremony. Following the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer, the clergymen then extended their prayers, exhorting repose for the recently deceased Archbishops Shahan Svajian from Constantinople and Ardavazt Terterian from Antelias, and for the souls of all the deceased clergymen. The Catholicos of All Armenians then welcomed the clergymen and invited Serzh Sarkisian to address the participants of the Synod.
Following the President’s speech, His Holiness Karekin II, His Holiness Aram I, and His Eminence Archbishop Aram Ateshyan, Patriarchal Vicar of Constantinople, gave their opening remarks.
The Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Nourhan Manougian, and other clergymen of the Jerusalem Patriarchate were not in attendance, presumably due to recently strained relations.
After participating in the opening ceremony of the Bishops’ Synod, President Sarkisian visited Etchmiadzin’s newly opened Rupen Sevag Museum, named after the great Armenian writer and victim of the Armenian Genocide, the President’s Press Office reported.
The President toured the museum and was introduced to the exceptional and valuable collection created through the efforts of French-Armenian public figure, publicist, and philanthropist Hovhannes Tchilingirian, which includes personal items and documents belonging to Rupen Sevag, historical memorabilia, and numerous precious works of Armenian art.
www.armradio.am, September 24, 2013