YEREVAN (ArmRadio)—On September 24, at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, and His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, presided over the commencement of a Bishops’ Synod of the Armenian Church, the first such congregation in 600 years. The Synod called together 62 archbishops and bishops from the church dioceses in Armenia and all around the world. They are due to discuss a number of theological and ecclesiastical issues over four days of meetings.
President Serzh Sarkisian attended the opening ceremony. Following the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer, the clergymen then extended their prayers to God, exhorting repose for the recently departed souls of Archbishop Shahan Svajian, Archbishop Artvazd Trtryan and for the souls of all the deceased clergymen. The Catholicos of All Armenians then welcomed the clergymen and invited Serzh Sarkisian to address the participants of the Synod.
Following the President’s speech, His Holiness Karekin II, His Holiness Aram I, and His Eminence Archbishop Aram Ateshyan, Patriarchal Vicar of Constantinople, gave their opening remarks.
The Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Nourhan Manougian, and other clergymen of the Jerusalem Patriarchate were not in attendance, presumably due to recently strained relations.
After participating in the opening ceremony of the Bishops’ Synod of the Holy Armenian Apostolic Church, President Serzh Sarkisian visited Etchmiadzin’s newly opened Rouben Sevak Museum, named after the great Armenian intellectual and martyr of the Armenian Genocide, the President’s Press Office reported.
The President toured the museum and was introduced to the exceptional and valuable collection created through the efforts of the French-Armenian public figure, publicist, historian, and philanthropist Hovhannes Chilinkirian, which includes personal items and documents belonging to Rouben Sevak, historic memorabilia, and numerous precious articles of Armenian art.