His Holiness Aram I Welcomed in Athens

September 2014

Athens: Upon his arrival at the Athens Airport, Catholicos Aram I was met by the representative of the Head of the Church of Greece, the Armenian Prelate Archbishop Khoren Toghtakadjian, the representative of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the ambassadors of Armenia and Lebanon to Greece, as well as representatives of the Armenian community.

After the reception at the airport, the Catholicos met with Archbishop Ieronymos II, the Head of Church and Holy Synod of the Church of Greece. In welcoming the Catholicos, the archbishop spoke of the contribution of Catholicos Aram I to the ecumenical movement and to bilateral theological dialogues. He then expressed his concern for the Churches in the Middle East. At the end of his speech the archbishop referred to the historical links between Armenian and Greek Churches and thanked the Armenian community for their contribution to Greek society.

In his response, His Holiness Aram I thanked the archbishop for his warm welcome and affirmed the importance of the historical ties between the two churches, and said, “throughout our respective long histories, we have remained united through our common convictions. We experienced the Ottoman rule and their genocidal politics together and today we must endeavor together for justice and human rights.” Catholicos Aram I then thanked Archbishop Ieronymos II for his warm reception and the kind words addressed to the Armenian community in Greece.

After exchanging gifts, the Catholicos and his delegation, including the President of the Church Council and Mr. Boghos Choloyan, the coordinator of His Holiness’s programme, were the guests of the Archbishop of Greece for lunch, in the presence of several Metropolitans.