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Author Topic: Patriarch Kirill to visit Armenia  (Read 1637 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: March 03, 2010, 10:58:40 PM »

From the Information Services of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin:


http://www.etchmiadzin.com/

On March 2, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians presided during the meeting of the Supreme Spiritual Council convened in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.

On the agenda was a discussion of the upcoming visit of His Holiness Kirill I, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia. Upon the invitation of the Pontiff of All Armenians, Patriarch Kirill I will pay an official visit to Armenia and the headquarters of the Armenian Church, the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, from March 16-18.

His Eminence Archbishop Yeznik Petrossian, General Secretary of Inter-Church Relations of the Mother See presented the details of the visit to the members of the Council.

On March 16, a welcoming service (Hrashapar) will be offered in the Mother Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin. Following the service, an agreement will be signed between the cities of Sergiyev Posad, Russia and Vagharshapat, Armenia, according to which they will become Sister Cities.

The two Pontiffs will then visit a monument dedicated to the memory of Russian soldiers who perished during the years of 1826-1828 during the war between Russia and Persia. Together they will place a wreath at the memorial.

On March 17, a visit is planned to Tsitsernakaberd Genocide Memorial and the Armenian Genocide Museum. A tree will be planted in the memorial garden commemorating the visit.

On the same day the Pontiff of All Armenians and the Patriarch of All Russia will also visit the Russian Church of St. Mary in Kanaker, where a meeting will be held with the representatives of the Russian community. Later a Prayer of Thanks will be offered in the Mother Cathedral of St. Gregory the Illuminator. In the late afternoon, the heads of the two Churches will meet Mr. Serzh Sargsian, President of Armenia.

On March 18, a ground blessing ceremony will be held for the St. Mary Russian Church, being built in Yerevan. In the afternoon, His Holiness Kirill I will present the Armenian translation of the books "Sermons of the Priest" and "Freedom and Responsibility" at the Yerevan State University. There the two Patriarchs will meet with students, professors and the media.

At the conclusion of the visit, His Holiness Karekin II and His Holiness Kirill I will issue and sign a joint statement. The visit will officially end with a farewell ceremony in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.

 
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« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2010, 12:13:28 PM »

More from Etchmiadzin:

http://www.etchmiadzin.com/

Upon the invitation of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, His Holiness Kirill I, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia arrived in Armenia and the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin on March 16 for an official visit.

The airplane of His Holiness Kirill I, landed at the "Zvartnots" International airport at 15:00. His Holiness Karekin II, and a delegation of the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church met the Patriarch of All Russia at the airport.

Mr. Armen Ashotian, Minister of the Republic of Armenia Minister of Science and Education as well as Mr. Vyacheslav Kovalenko, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to Armenia; Mr. Oleksandr Bozhko, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Ukraine to Armenia; Mr. Stepan Sukhorenko, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to Armenia; Mr. Shohrat Jumayev, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Turkmenistan to Armenia; and Mr. Aiymdos Bozzhigitov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Kazakhstan to Armenia; came to greet His Holiness Kirill I at the airport.

Following the fraternal embrace of the two Patriarchs, students from the Armenian Church Youth Center presented the traditional welcome of salt and bread to the Patriarch.

The two Heads of the Churches walked through a police escort to the awaiting welcoming delegation. His Eminence Archbishop Yeznik Petrosian, General Secretary for Inter-church Relations of the Armenian Church, introduced the clergy and the ambassadors to the Head of the Russian Orthodox Church.

In the airport, the Pontiff of All Armenians and the Patriarch of All Russia answered questions of the journalists who had gathered.

His Holiness Kirill I, is escorted by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, Chairman of the Department of External Church Relations; Archbishop Feognost of Sergiyev Posad, Metropoliton Sergi the Bishop of Solnechnogorsk; Fr. Filipp Ryabykhv, Fr. Alexsander Vastut, Senior Deacon Vladimir Nazarkin, Deacon Antoni Sevruk, Vladimir Legoida, chairman of the Synodal Information Department of the Patriarchate of Moscow and Michael Kuksov.

From the airport, the two Pontiffs and their retinue traveled to the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.



__________________________________________

Also, this article about the welcoming service at the Mother Cathedral of Etchmiadzin:

Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Welcomed to Armenia and the Mother See
Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, Information Services Mar 16, 2010 1:32 AM 


On March 16, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, and His Holiness Kirill I, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, were met in the Mother See by a procession of members of the Brotherhood and seminarians of Holy Etchmiadzin, Diocesan Primates and faithful. 

Under the ringing of bells and the singing of the hymn "Hrashapar", the two Pontiffs were led to the Mother Cathedral as they blessed the gathered faithful.

In front of the Holy Altar of Descent, the two church heads bowed and kissed the Holy Cross and the Gospel.  Under the singing of the hymn "Rejoice Today", His Eminence Archbishop Navasard Kjoyan, Vicar General of the Araratian Pontifical Diocese, entered with the Holy Right Hand of St. Gregory the Illuminator from the Museum of the Mother Cathedral. His Grace Bishop Ararat Kaltakjian, Grand Sacristan of the Mother See, placed the relic near the altar for the Pontiffs, clergy and the faithful to kiss and be blessed by the Holy Right Hand. The Russian clergy also sang hymns dedicated to St. Gregory the Illuminator.

Welcoming the visit of the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church to the Mother Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin, the Pontiff of All Armenians stated in part: "Your visit to Armenia begins with a prayer in this Cathedral of the Holy Descent of the Only Begotten. Our joint prayer is the guarantor and witness of the true unity of the Holy Church of Christ. It is the spirit of Christian fraternity when we, as the children of our Heavenly Father, address God with the Lord’s Prayer: "Our Father Who are in heaven". Your visit is witness to the unity of God, the Gospel and the Church, as the one body of Jesus Christ and a true and constant reality".

Reflecting on the spirit of Christian fraternity and the long-standing relationship between the Armenian Apostolic and Russian Orthodox Churches, the Catholicos continued, "Dear Brother in Christ, during these days our Church and nation will enjoy your love and blessings, prayer and support and will pass onto you the love and warm feelings of the Armenian people towards the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian nation. Over the centuries the Russian people have continuously showed hospitality and brotherly care toward the Armenians living in the Russia.

In his remarks, Patriarch Kirill extended his appreciation for the fraternal and warm reception. Reflecting on the importance of the Christian faith in the life of the Armenian nation, Patriarch Kirill mentioned the great saints of the Armenian Church: St. Gregory the Illuminator and St. Hripsime and her companions who sowed the seeds of faith in the blessed land of Armenia.

At the conclusion of the ceremony the two Pontiffs blessed the faithful with the Holy Right Hand of St. Gregory the Illuminator and were escorted to the Pontifical Residence by the ecclesiastical procession.
 



« Last Edit: March 19, 2010, 09:26:36 PM by Salpy » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2010, 12:16:39 PM »

There's more from the above source:




The official visit of His Holiness Kirill I, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia to the Armenian Church commenced with a welcoming service (Hrashapar), offered in the Mother Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin. Following greetings and remarks by His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians and His Holiness Kirill I, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, the two Pontiffs were escorted to the Pontifical Residence by the members of the Brotherhood of Holy Etchmiadzin, where the two held a private meeting.

Following the meeting, a signing ceremony was held in the hall of the Pontifical Residence, presided over by the two Pontiffs. The Agreement for Relationship and Cooperation was signed between the two cities of Vagarshapat, Armenia and Sergiyev Posad, Russia.

The Pontiff of All Armenians introduced to the Patriarch of All Russia, those in attendance; the Primates of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Members of the Supreme Spiritual Council and Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary accredited to Armenia.

His Eminence Archbishop Pargev Martirosian, Primate of the Artsakh Diocese spoke on the significance of the ceremony and invited the respective Mayors of Sergiyev Posad and Vagarshapat to sign the Agreement.

The two Mayors extended their gratitude to the two Pontiffs in their remarks, for their presence and blessings for the important step.

"This Agreement will serve as an inspiration to build upon the great friendship that has already been established during the history of the two states. I am certain that through our cooperation with the authorities of Sergiyev Posad we will contribute to the development of the relationship between the two cities", stated Mr. Karen Grigorian, Mayor of Vagarshapat.

In his remarks Mr. Nikolay Vakhrameyev, Mayor of Sergiyev Posad, stressed the importance of the relationship between the two cities.

Following the signing ceremony and a brief press conference, the two Pontiffs and their delegation traveled to a monument near the village of Oshakan, which is dedicated to the memory of Russian soldiers who perished in1828 during the war between Russia and Persia. After placing a wreath at the memorial, the Pontiff of All Armenians and the Patriarch of All Russia raised their prayers to Heaven for the repose of souls of the soldiers.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2010, 04:43:20 PM by Salpy » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2010, 12:22:21 PM »

Here's a video of the visit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czOYkb67Ktw
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« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2010, 04:36:50 PM »

Thanks for that.
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« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2010, 12:18:39 AM »

More from http://www.etchmiadzin.com/:



On the morning of March 17, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, and His Holiness Kirill I, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, visited the Memorial to the Armenian Genocide at Tsitsernakaberd and paid tribute to the eternal memory of the 1.5 million Armenian victims who perished in the first genocide of the 20th century. The two pontiffs were accompanied by members of the Brotherhood of Holy Etchmaidzin and the visiting delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The two Church heads placed floral wreaths at the memorial in commemoration of the victims, following which His Holiness Karekin II presided over a Repose of Souls service in front of the eternal flame, after which Patriarch Kirill offered his prayers to God for the souls of the victims of the Armenian Genocide.

Following the prayer service, the two Pontiffs visited the Armenian Genocide Museum with Mr Hayk Demoyan, director of the museum. Patriarch Kirill also planted a tree in the memorial garden of the monument.
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« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2010, 11:45:20 AM »

This is from Patriarch Kirill's website:

http://www.mospat.ru/en/2010/03/17/news14638/

Patriarch Kirill visits a Russian church in Yerevan

On March 17, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos Karekin II of All Armenians visited the Russian Orthodox Parish of the Intercession in the Kanaker district, Yerevan.

Patriarch Kirill said a brief prayer at the church and addressed the parishioners and compatriots who congregated for the occasion. Among those who came to meet the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church were servicemen from 102nd Russian Military Base deployed in Gyumri.

His Holiness awarded the benefactors who were actively involved in the reconstruction of the church. Mr. Ye. Gladunchik, general director of the Armenian Electricity Network, was decorated with the Order of St. Seraphim of Sarov and Mr. V. Khrulev, Russian General Consul in Armenia with the Order of St. Daniel of Moscow. In recognition of their contribution to the revival of the Russian military cemetery and construction of the Russian-Armenian Friendship Arch at the Hill of Honor in Gyumri, Mr. V. Gukasian was awarded the Order of St. Sergius of Radonezh.

His Holiness Kirill gave an icon of Our Lady of Kazan to the church and small icons of the Saviour Not-Made-With-Hands with his blessing to the parishioners.

Catholicos Karekin II, who spoke next, presented the church with an icon of Our Lady of Vladimir made by Armenian icon-painters.

The two church leaders were welcomed by the rector of the church, Archpriest Arseny Grigorian. He presented the Patriarch with icon-lamps decorated with semi-precious stones and the Catholicos with an icon of the Annunciation, the patriarch press service has reported.

His Holiness Kirill is accompanied on his trip by Metropolitan Hilarion, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations, Archbishop Feognost of Sergiev Posad, father superior of St. Sergius’s Laura of the Holy Trinity, Bishop Sergiy of Solnechnogorsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s administrative secretariat, Mr. V. Legoida, chairman of the Synodal Information Department, and Hegumen Philip, DECR vice-chairman.

The Church of the Intercession is the main church of the Russian Orthodox Church in Armenia. It was built across the barracks of the Cossack troops which had been deployed in Yerevan since the victory in the Russian-Persian war in 1828. At present, it stations one of the Russian military bases.

The church was closed in the Soviet times to be used first as a warehouse and later as a regimental club. Divine services were resumed in it in 1991. In 2004, the reconstructed church re-acquired a cupola and a belfry.

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« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2010, 08:25:12 PM »

More videos of the visit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuLz3fS1DO8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhBt4k2GVUA
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« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2010, 11:37:31 AM »

From Etchmiadzin's news source, about the visit to the Russian church in Kanaker:

http://www.etchmiadzin.com/


Catholicos Karekin II and Patriarch Kirill I Visited St. Mary Russian Orthodox Church in Kanaker

On the morning of March 17, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, and His Holiness Kirill I, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, visited St. Mary Russian Orthodox Church in Kanaker.

Following a short prayer service led by Patriarch Kirill, the two Church heads extended their messages and blessings to the faithful of the Russian Orthodox Church.

"Built on the hill of Kanaker at the beginning of the 20th century, this Church has been providing the Russian faithful, as well as the faithful of other Orthodox Churches, with spiritual nourishment for many years. During the years of Soviet atheism, this sanctuary of God also suffered losses. It only reopened its doors to the faithful after 1991. Together, our two Churches have felt the bitterness of persecutions carried out by the Soviet authorities. But we overcame the suppression and conquered the obstacles, remaining devoted to the name of the Heavenly Father and the Light of the faith." His Holiness Karekin II stated in part, expressing his appreciation to the descendants of the Russian nation residing in Armenia.

Reflecting on the importance of Patriarch Kirill’s visit, His Holiness noted that the visit of the Russian Patriarch would greatly encourage his faithful living in Armenia, support them in their faith and foster strengthening of the long-standing relationship between the two nations and Churches. On the occasion of the visit, the Pontiff of All Armenians presented a gift of a holy icon to the St. Mary Russian Church.

Following the visit to the church, the Church leaders visited the Russian school # 21 of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. They met with school authorities and toured the school. The two Pontiffs met with the students of the school and extended their blessings and fatherly messages to the youth. They each stressed the importance of the development of an individual with Christian values and encouraged them to be resolute and steadfast in their studies.






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« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2010, 11:52:39 AM »

Hopefully this will get EO Russia and OO Armenia up to speed with where the EO and OO Popes of Alexandria and the EO and OO Patriarchs of Antioch on Orthodox unity.
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« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2010, 03:40:55 PM »

From the website of Patriarch Kirill, about the laying of the foundation stone for a Russian Orthodox church in Yerevan:

http://www.mospat.ru/en/2010/03/18/news14676/

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill officiates at the foundation stone ceremony for the Church of the Elevation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross of the Lord in Yerevan


On 18 March 2010, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia on an official visit to Armenia officiated at the laying of the foundation stone of an Orthodox Church of the Elevation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross of the Lord to be built in Shengavit district of the Armenian capital city.

Present at the service were the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II and hierarchs of the Armenian Apostolic Church; members of the official delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church, including Metropolitan Hilarion, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for external church relations; abbot of the Laura of the Holy Trinity and St. Sergius Archbishop Feognost of Sergiev Posad; head of the Moscow Patriarchate administrative secretariat Bishop Sergiy of Solnechnogorsk; chairman of the Synodal Information department V. Legoida; DECR deputy chairman hegumen Philipp (Ryabykh), as well as the rector of the Russian Orthodox church of the Intercession of the Mother of God archpriest Arseny Grigorian; Russian Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Armenia V. Kovalenko and staff members of the Russian Embassy; the first deputy mayor of Yerevan Taron Markarian; chairman of the Union of Armenians of Russia Ara Abramian; and Orthodox residents of Yerevan.

The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church read out the certificate of the laying of the church.

After the service, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill welcomed those present and said that a representation of the Russian Orthodox Church would be opened at the Church of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross of the Lord.

“The decision to build a Russian Orthodox church in Yerevan and of an Armenian church in Moscow was made by His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II of the blessed memory and by Your Holiness,” Patriarch Kirill said addressing the Catholicos of All Armenians. “It is remarkable that both churches are dedicated to our common holy object – the Precious and Life-Giving Cross of the Lord. Many carved stone crosses, named khachkars, bear witness to the veneration of the cross in Armenia from the earliest times.”

Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II greeted His Holiness Patriarch Kirill and all those present at the divine service.

“A new holy object will be built at this beautiful place and gather under its vaults that give blessing and grace not only Russians, but also Ukrainians, Byelorussians, Greeks, and other Orthodox believers, the Primate of the Armenian Apostolic Church said. “Our churches built in the Armenian and Russian land symbolize the centuries-long friendship between our two nations marked by the spirit of fraternal cooperation.”

The Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II told the Armenian Orthodox believers: “We offer up prayers to God in Heavens asking Him to multiply your good undertakings for the good of the Church, to remain faithful children of the Russian Orthodox Church and worthy citizens of the Republic of Armenia.”


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« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2010, 06:59:14 PM »

The Western Diocese has pictures from the visit to the Genocide Memorial and Museum:

http://www.armenianchurchwd.com/church-leaders-visit-armenian-genocide-memorial/

The pictures are also available at etchmiadzin.com.








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« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2010, 09:32:00 PM »

Patriarch of Russian Orthodox Church Concludes Official Visit to the Armenian Church

http://www.etchmiadzin.com/

On March 18, His Holiness Kirill I, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia concluded his three day official visit to the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.

An ecclesiastical procession escorted the two Church heads from the Pontifical Residence to the Mother Cathedral, where a farewell ceremony was held.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians wished the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church and his delegation a safe journey, stating that the prayers of the Armenian nation and the Armenian Pontiff would always accompany them.

In his remarks, Patriarch Kirill extended his gratitude for the warm reception and asked for Almighty God to bless the Armenian nation, Armenian Republic and the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church.






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« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2010, 11:14:17 PM »

Glory to God! Smiley

May unity between our churches be seen quickly!
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« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2010, 11:20:32 PM »

The text of Patriarch Kirill's speech, given at Holy Etchmiadzin:

http://www.mospat.ru/en/2010/03/16/news14611/



Your Holiness, Honorable Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos Karekin II of All Armenians,
Your Eminances and Graces,
Dear Fathers, Brothers and Sisters,
Dear Representatives of the Armenian state and public:

With great joy and warm feelings I have set foot today on the blessed and much-suffered Armenian soil sanctified by the toil of St. Gregory the Enlightener of Great Armenia and stained with the blood of martyrs for the faith of Christ cultivated by many generations of the fraternal Armenian people.

As primate of the Russian Orthodox Church, I would like to testify on behalf of all its faithful our deep respect for the spiritual tradition and culture of your people. Your historical roots throw back thousands of years and your culture has given the world immortal works of literature and art, architectural monuments and a distinctive religious written language.

Whoever comes to Armenia receives an indelible impression, looking at its main symbol, holy Mount Ararat, on which the forefather Noah’s Arc had stopped. And today I can feel with awe that literary every stone in this land is a silent witness to great and glorious accomplishments, feats and works which have had a direct influence on the course of history of the entire humanity.

Christianity, which took root in Armenia thanks to the efforts of Sts Bartholomew and Thaddaeus, opened up a new page in the history of the Armenian people. Supported by a highly developed culture, scholarship and stable statehood, it was declared as the faith of all Armenians by King Tiridates III as far back the year of the Lord 301. The Christian faith was asserted among the people by the missionary efforts of Christ’s great saint Gregory the Enlightener. The Armenian soil was washed at that time by the blood of martyrs, which, according to Tertullian, ‘is the seed of Christianity’. The feat of martyrdom performed by the holy virgins Rhipsimia and Gaiania, called Hripsime and Gaiane in Armenia, contributed to the miraculous Christian conversion of King Tiridates, a former persecutor of the Church. In this way these saint testified by their feat to the divine truth of the Gospel’s words: Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds (Jn. 12:24).

Throughout its 1770 year-long history, the Armenian Apostolic Church has acquired the right to name itself truly the soul of the Armenian people. The faith, traditions and customs of the Armenian people have rallied around the Church the entire millions-strong diaspora dispersed throughout the world. A considerable part of this diaspora lives in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus – the countries nourished spiritually by the Russian Orthodox Church.

Your Holiness, the first quarter of the 19th century saw the beginning of Armenia’s joining the Russian Empire. At that time, it made it possible for the Armenian people to be defended against external enemies and to have an opportunity for a free national development. Since then there have been good and friendly relations between us, which are maintained to this day.

In spite of the fact that our Churches, for historical reasons, do not share the Eucharistic communion, we clearly realize our closeness. We see a reason for this in the commitment of both the Russian Orthodox and the Armenian Apostolic Churches to the early church Tradition. It is on its basis that the traditional values characteristic equally of the Eastern Slavic and Armenian cultures have been formed. It is the faithfulness to Christian tradition and its ethical ideals that links us and guarantees our co-work and friendship.

Together we have participated in the work of international Christian organizations and various religious forums and conducted a fruitful bilateral dialogue. We are gratified by the fact that Armenian students study in the Russian Orthodox Church’s theological academies, which enables them to familiarize themselves with the faith, history, culture and tradition of peoples inhabiting the space of historical Rus’.

Today, in this Cathedral of the Holy First-Throne Echmiadzin founded by St. Gregory, where his holy right hand is kept, I again feel the need to develop and deepen our relations, so that we could bear an effective common witness before the world suffering at it is from divisions, enmity and injustice. St. Paul, instructing his disciple Timothy, says, Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses (1 Tim. 6:12). Our duty also lies in a common witness to the Tradition of the early Church before the Christian communities which have embarked on the path of liberalizing the moral teaching through a review of basic norms of Christian life.

We have no right to reduce the history of our friendship to past achievements, and our goal is to hand down to our posterity the experience and fruits of this cooperation thus laying a foundation for future relations based on the principles of Christian love, brotherhood and mutual understanding. I trust in this way we not only create the right model of international and inter-church relations but also serve the cause of unity commanded by our Lord Jesus Christ.

In conclusion, I would like once again to thank Your Holiness and all the people of the Armenian Apostolic Church for the invitation to come to the Armenian land, for the opportunity to venerate its old shrines and to see the life of your Church and your great and glorious people.

May the Lord bless our stay in the Armenian land through the intercession of St. Gregory the Enlightener.
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« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2010, 11:29:28 PM »

Joint Declaration by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos Karekin II of All Armenians:

http://www.mospat.ru/en/2010/03/18/news14697/


We thank our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who has given us the opportunity to meet at the First Capital City of Holy Echmiadzin in the Lenten period from March 16 to 18, 2010, when the whole Christendom is preparing for the holy feast of Easter.

We venerated the relics of St. Gregory the Enlightener Equal-to-the-Apostles who is the patron saint of the Armenian Apostolic Church and who is also venerated as saint by the Russian Orthodox Church. We honoured the memory of Russian soldiers who fell in fighting on distant approaches to Holy Echmiadzin in 1827, defending Christian faith and the shrines of the Armenian Apostolic Church. We commemorated the victims of the 1915-1923 Armenian Genocide.

We visited the Russian Orthodox Parish of the Protecting Veil of the Most Holy Virgin in Yerevan. Patriarch Kirill and the Russian Orthodox delegation attended a service at St. George the Enlightener Cathedral in Yerevan, which was built to mark the 1700th anniversary of Armenia’s conversion to Christianity. Catholicos Karekin II has awarded Patriarch Kirill the Order of St. Gregory the Enlightener, the highest decoration of the Armenian Apostolic Church. In the presence of Catholicos Karekin II of All Armenians, Patriarch Kirill has laid the foundation stone of a Russian Orthodox church to be built in Yerevan and dedicated to the Elevation of the Lord’s Honourable and Life-giving Cross. The two primates visited the Yerevan State University and gave their patriarchal blessings to Armenian students, intellectuals and public leaders. They presented there an Armenian version of Patriarch Kirill’s two books entitled Freedom and Responsibility in Search for Harmony and A Pastor’s Word. The Yerevan State University has granted Patriarch Kirill the degree of doctor emeritus.

During our meeting with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, we discussed the development of church-state relations in Armenia and the countries nourished spiritually by the Moscow Patriarchate. We also spoke about the role of our Churches in public life today and the activities carried out by the primates of the two Churches to strengthen peace in the region. With interest we heard about the established and developing allied relations between the Republic of Armenia and the Russian Federation and about new plans for cooperation in the Commonwealth of the Independent States.

We praise the Almighty who helps us to strengthen ties between our two Churches and fraternal relations between their primates. We thank God for the fact that in our two countries the number of parishes has grown, new churches built, monasteries opened and beatified, church shrines preserved reverently, church-state relations developed, the number of church-affiliated youth, cultural, educational, social and humanitarian structures and institutions grown.

We attach great importance to the work of church representations at the patriarchal thrones of the two Churches as these representations are called to promote contacts between them. The Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians has his representative to His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia in the person of the head of the Armenian Apostolic diocese of Russia and Novo-Nakhichevan. The construction of a new Russian church in Yerevan creates conditions for His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia to send his representative to the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians.

Our two Churches will continue bilateral dialogue on pastoral and theological issues and maintain cooperation in the sphere of youth education and formation. The Russian Orthodox and the Armenian Apostolic Churches intend to help each other in training the clergy capable of responding to the challenges of today’s world.

Among important spheres of cooperation between the two Churches is social work including pastoral care of the military, service in prisons, work in hospitals and charity and rehabilitation centers.

In the globalization situation, we urge our clergy to increase their efforts for propagating Christian faith and values asserted on its basis. In response to new religious trends growing in the world today, we believe it necessary to take joint actions in preventing the harmful and destructive activities of various sects and pseudo-religious organizations.

Inter-Christian and interreligious relations are important for both the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church. It is only through the common efforts of all the traditional religions in the world that we can defend the value of faith for people’s private and public life. We re-affirm out readiness to develop the work of the Inter-confessional Advisory Committee of the CIS and Baltic Countries and the CIS Interreligious Council and to continue trilateral and quadrilateral meetings of the religious leaders in the region in pursuit of peace and well-being in the Caucasus. Patriarch Kirill has conveyed to Catholicos Karekin II an invitation from Sheikh-ul-Islam Allahshuqur Pasha-zade, head of the Caucasus Moslem Board, and from himself to take part in the Summit of Religious Leaders to take place on April 26-27, 2010, in Baku, Azerbaijan.

We thank God for the great gift of friendship between our two Churches and pray to Him that the fruits of this friendship may be manifested in the life of our faithful and may bear witness to God’s boundless love of all us.

+ Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia

+ Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians
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Tags: Armenian Church unity Patriarch Kirill 
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