09, 2008

President Serzh Sargsyan hosted His Holiness Catholicos of All Armenians Garegin II

Today President Serzh Sargsyan hosted His Holiness Catholicos of All Armenians Garegin II, the leaders of the Armenian Apostolic Church perishes, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople His Holiness Bartholomew I, who has arrived to Armenia to participate at the Myrrh blessing ceremony, and the representatives of the sister-churches.

Welcoming the guests, the President of Armenia said, “Myrrh has a special meaning for us, that of our national unity and spiritual concord. Every Armenian knows that being blessed at Echmiadzin, the myrrh will be disseminated all over the world, but later it will return to Echmiadzin – our spiritual center. And it is the spiritual appeal of our people.”

The President of Armenia attached special importance to the spirituality in the contemporary world for the preservation of peace, the upholding of moral values and the fight against despair, desolation, and temptations which are abundant in the modern world. According to the President, “the religious extremism on one side and the atheism on the other are very dangerous for the world, and these dangers are first of all destructive for the small nations. Noting that the Church, which has been functioning incessantly since the IV century, is the oldest Armenian structure, Serzh Sargsyan said, “We mention that fact not only as a source of pride but also to underscore the role of our Church. Armenian people deprived of statehood for hundreds of years were led to the 21st century by the Armenian Church. Every state official should return his debt to the Church, making our Church stronger so that our faith can take us to a better future.”

Catholicos of All Armenians expressed gratitude to the representatives of the sister-churches for their participation at the myrrh blessing festivities.

On behalf of Pope Benedict XVI, Chairman of the Vatican Council on the Eastern Churches Cardinal Leonardo Sandri wished the Armenian people peace and prosperity and noted, “The passion with which people were participating at the myrrh blessing ceremony proved the exceptional devotion of the Armenian people to the Church.”

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