Armenian Apostolic Church – Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin
On November 2, 2009, the 2nd day of the Diocesan Representative Assembly convened in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. The Assembly continued its work under the presidency of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians. Present for the morning session was the President of the Republic of Armenia, Mr. Serzh Sargsian.
The Pontiff of All Armenians welcomed President Sargsian and reflected on the relations between the Church and State. His Holiness expressed his appreciation to the President for the continuous support of the Republic of Armenia authorities to the spiritual center of Armenian life, the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin; to the Armenian Apostolic Church and her world-wide Dioceses.
President Sargsian addressed the clergy and participants of the assembly, wishing them success in their meetings. He welcomed all the steps being taken for the reinforcement of the mission of the Armenian Church and for the fulfillment of the spiritual needs of Armenians living in the Diaspora. The President stressed the significant role of the Armenian Church in the life of the Diaspora, in the education of youth, and her role in the military, fostering a Homeland founded on moral values.
The President praised the international peace making efforts of the Armenian Church and her important contribution to the ecumenical movement. He pledged that the State would support the Armenian Church in all her activities, and strengthen their successful cooperation for the welfare and reinforcement of the nation and the Homeland. He also reflected on the 10th Anniversary of Consecration of His Holiness, expressing his gratitude for the enormous works that were implemented during the last decade. Wishing His Holiness long-lasting Pontifical years and new achievements, President Sargsian granted to His Holiness the Order of St. Mesrop Mashtots, for his efforts in the preservation and development of national and spiritual values and virtues.
His Eminence Archbishop Yeznik Petrosian, Co-Chairman of the meeting, congratulated His Holiness on behalf of the participants, for being awarded the high Order of St. Mesrop Mashtots which is also an expression of the gratitude and love of the nation for His Holiness.
His Holiness expressed his appreciation for the high honor stating in part, “We accept it as an appreciation of the efforts as well as the service of all our spiritual servants of the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church. It is also for the merits of our forefathers and patriarchs who struggled for the welfare of the Armenian Church and for the stability of the Armenian State”. The Pontiff of All Armenians gave his assurance that the spiritual servants of the Armenian Church would do their best to meet the expectations of the nation.
During the session, President Sargsian answered questions from the representatives regarding the ongoing process of normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations, negotiations on the Republic of Nagorno Karabagh and current issues facing the nation.
Also in attendance for the morning session was Mr. Berge Setrakian, President of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU).
The morning, afternoon and evening sessions continued with the work of deliberation and approval of the guidelines on Diocesan Bylaws and Parish Policies.