Catholicos of All Armenians and Catholicos of Cilicia attended Opening of the 5th Armenia-Diaspora Conference

September 2014

On September 19, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians; and His Holiness Aram I Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia; attended the opening ceremony of the 5th Armenia-Diaspora Conference, during which Catholicos of All Armenians brought his blessing and message to the conference participants.

(September 19 Yerevan, Armenia)

Distinguished President of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic,
Dear Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia,
Beloved Patriarch, spiritual fathers,
Honorable participants of the conference, pious children of our beloved Church,
Honorable guests,

We have come from Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin to welcome you on the occasion of the 5th Armenia-Diaspora Conference and to bring our Pontifical blessing to the work of this conference.

Our souls are joyful, that you are again united from our communities worldwide, Artsakh and Armenia, and with unity, commitment, and a willing spirit, contemplate the urgent problems of our life, which need necessary attention and decisions both in Armenia and in Diaspora. We have the same vision; to make our homeland protected and powerful, thriving and developing, and keep the Diaspora secure, prosperous and vibrant. Our nation has undertaken great sacrifices for this cause, has united around national and patriotic programs, in which the Armenia-Diaspora Conferences have had an important role.

The strengthening relations between the Homeland and the Diaspora, and their close cooperation, is an imperative in our life. With this consciousness our people; although worldwide, remain as a whole ensemble, a spiritual inner world with the same identity, aspirations and hopes. The real divine presence and heavenly support of our life is in such unity, as our Lord Jesus Christ promises those united in his name (Matthew 18:20).

The hopes and prospects of a bright future and eternity, coincide in the crux of strengthening the Homeland. In the most recent phase, the numerous cases of ceasefire violations on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and the Karabakh-Azerbaijani forces contact line, and the continuous shelling of border regions, show how fragile is our country’s peace. The danger threatening our safe and peaceful life in the Homeland and for our people, once again emphasizes the necessity of being allied and united. Indeed, in our country there are still imperfections, manifestations of injustice, misdemeanors and crimes, which should not cast a shadow on our patriotism and filial love and loyalty towards the Homeland. Dear attendees we direct our speech to you with this confidence.

Our gathering is highlighted by the fact that it is being convened on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, which must compel our people to create a bright future and will in their lives, with positive reinforcement.

The government, religious, national and international, forces and programs, plus, our entire personal and complete efforts in which you have direct involvement, should be fully directed for this purpose.

We must also continue our coordinated activities, for the task of universal recognition of the Armenian Genocide and for our just cause of protection. The issue of international Genocide recognition is a priority for the Armenian Church. We were all encouraged by the fact that within the last decades numerous countries, state institutions and religious and public organizations have recognized and continue to recognize the Armenian Genocide, recognizing that the implementation of justice for the Armenian people is essential, and more truthful and peaceful for the formation of the world. Works are underway in our Church, directed at the canonization of our innocent victims, which we must implement in April 2015, within the sanctification cannons and traditions of the church; and with the faith that the heroism of our martyrs, and their eternal memory, will sustain and strengthen our future generations.

The best way in 2015 to honor the memory of the innocent victims on the 100th anniversary, would be to see our families continue to multiply and grow with children. We direct this appeal to our people and our young families. Today, under conditions of false and empty ideals, it is necessary, that we strengthen our care and efforts for educating our children with Armenian traditions in the Diaspora and the Homeland, so that they live with sincere and flourishing feelings of nationalism, love for the Homeland and nation, and that they continue with faith; firmly standing on the paths of salvation hope and eternal life.
With these ways we should be guided towards our desirable shore.

The continuing problems of our children in the conflict situations continue to be a great concern of our national life. The situation in the Middle East region is distressing, in the Ukraine it is martial law, where we have Armenian communities. Especially in Iraq and Syria, the Islamic violence and acts of terrorism threaten the peaceful population and especially for the Christian, including the Armenian communities, compelling them to leave their homes. From the first days of the outbreak of the conflict in Syria, we have urged our Dioceses of the Diaspora to exert all possible means for raising the issue before the state, diplomatic, international, ecumenical, legal protection organizations and companies, so that the displaced population through necessary appropriate means, be able to return to their homes as soon as possible and continue their peaceful lives. At the same time, we have made a call to invest more efforts and encourage the faithful Armenian sons to support their sisters and brothers with moral and material assistance, so that they can overcome the difficulties, as well as we implement the Mother See programs, helping the affected communities and the Armenian immigrants.

Dear beloved, the spirit of brotherly love, patriotism and unity, the values of peace building, justice and truth, will always give might to our spirits. We will grow our homeland with those values, keep the Diaspora vibrant, become hope and support and a brace to each other to overcome difficulties and achieve our desires.

Praying to God, we wish for productive results of the conference works. We ask for the blessings of God for the life of our Homeland and people worldwide.

Let the love and grace of the Lord be with us and everyone; Amen.