WASHINGTON–Following an invitation by the chairperson of the National Council of Churches–Archbishop Talbert–His Holiness Aram I–Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia attended the Council’s General Assembly–Nov. 12–and addressed the opening session of the meeting.
Catholicos Aram I–accompanied by his entourage–ended his 42-day long pontifical visit to the Eastern United States and Canada on Nov. 11–and departed Montreal for Washington–where he had already visit–on the first leg of his tour.
The Catholicos–the Eastern US Prelate Archbishop Mesrob Ashjian–Very Rev. Anoushavan Tanielian–and Scepter bearer Rev. Khoren Doghramjian were greeted in Washington by community members–Executive Council representatives and other clergy.
Executive Council chair Dr. Drtad Mangigian hosted a reception at his home in honor of the Catholicos. The event was attended by a cross-section of the community.
His Holiness paid a visit to the Armenian National Committee of America offices in downtown Washington where he met with Armenian Revolutionary Federation Bureau representative Garo Armenian–as well as the staff. He conferred with the attendees on the latest developmen’s in the Karabakh struggle–as well as the current issues being pursued by the ANCA.
At the NCC General Assembly–the Catholicos was greeted by a standing ovation–and Archbishop Talbert and the Assembly General Secretary Dr. John Campbell introduced the Catholicos as an international figure–having played an integral role in the international and inter-faith movemen’s.
In his address to the General Assembly–His Holiness Aram I–described his understanding of today’s world–and emphasized the very important role of the churches in this reality. He strongly urged the more than 400 attendees to become actively involved in the international inter-church movement. He outlined the various challenges being faced by the international church movement–noting that among other things new grounds of cooperation with the Catholic Church needed to be found.
At the conclusion of His Holiness’ address–Campbell praised Archbishop Ashjian’s work in the United States–and invited him to take his seat at the honorary table.