ETCHMIADZIN (Armenpress)–Upon the invitation of His Holiness Karekin II–Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenia’s–His All Holiness Bartholomew I–the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople–will visit the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin on Saturday. The visit of the Ecumenical Patriarch is dedicated to the 1700th Anniversary of Proclamation of Christianity as the State Religion of Armenia. On Saturday–following the ecumenical welcoming Service held at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin–the Ecumenical Patriarch will have a meeting with the Armenian Pontiff and the Bishops and Diocesan Primates of the Armenian Apostolic Church.
On November 4–the Armenian Pontiff and the Ecumenical Patriarch will attend the Divine Liturgy–celebrated at the Holy Etchmiadzin Cathedral. The same day–at 6:00 p.m.–an ecumenical service will be held at the St. Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral in Yerevan. Following the service there will be a concert of spiritual music–after which His All Holiness Bartholomew I–will deliver a message on the occasion of 1700th Anniversary.
On November 5–His Holiness Bartholomew I will meeting with Theology professors of Yerevan State University–and at the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia–His Holiness Bartholomew I will make a presentation entitled–"Urgency and Perspectives of Dialogue between the Oriental and Ancient Oriental Churches."
The same day His Holiness will meet with the President–the Speaker of the National Assembly and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia.
The three-day visit of the Ecumenical Patriarch will be concluded by the pilgrimage to the Monastery of Khor Virap.
This is the second visit of His All Holiness Bartholomew I to Armenia and the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. The first visit was in July of 1997.
Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople was established in 330–and has been called "Ecumenical" since 451–when according to the decision of Chalcedon meeting its borders and authority was spread on the bishops of those dioceses–"which are among the barbarians". Until the downfall of Constantinople in 1453–the Patriarch of Constantinople headed the Church of the Oriental Roman (Byzantine) Empire–and the Cathedral of St. Sophia–of Constantinople–was the center of the spiritual life of Oriental Christian (Chalcedonian) world.
At the present time–the Orthodox communities of Turkey–Western Europe–North and South America–Australia–as well as some parts of Greece–including the monastic republic of the Mount Athos–semi-autonomous Church of Crete–making up nearly 3,5 million faithful–are under the jurisdiction of the Constantinople Patriarchate.
His Holiness Bartholomew I–(born in 1940) was elected the Head of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in 1991.