YEREVAN (Combined Sources)—Armenian Catholicos Karekin II and Russian Orthodox leader Patriarch Kirill I on Thursday consecrated the foundation stone for what is to become the first Russian Cathedral in Yerevan.
“I pray that this holy church will be not only a place of prayer for Orthodox believers, but a living spiritual monument to friendship between our peoples,” the Patriarch said after the ceremony.
The late Russian Patriarch Alexy II and Karekin II had agreed to build the Russian Elevation of the Cross Cathedral at Admiral Isakov Avenue in Yerevan.
Later in the day, Kiril I invited his Armenian counterpart to visit Baku for an upcoming CIS inter-faith conference.
“On behalf of the leader of the Muslim community of Azerbaijan and myself I have invited His Holiness Karekin II to Baku to participate in the conference initiated by the CIS Inter-religious Council,” Kiril I said. “The first conference was held in Moscow, the second will take place in Baku. Thus, I have come with an invitation and proposed His Holiness to participate in the conference.”
The invitation was announced at Yerevan State University (YSU) where the Patriarch was given an honorary doctorate and gold medal following the presentation of the Armenian translation of two of his books.
“The day is particularly memorable, because this is the first time the 90-year-old university hosts the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia,” YSU Rector Aram Simonyan said in his opening remarks.