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News > Greek Armenians > Catholicos Aram visits Athens and Kokinia

With President PapouliasOn Friday 15, 2010, His Holiness Aram I arrived in Athens. At the airport he was met by the representatives of the government, Metropolitans and Bishops representing His Beatitude Ieronymos II, Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, Bishop Khoren Doghramadjian, Prelate of the Diocese of Greece, Members of the Executive Committee of the Armenian Church and the ambassadors of Lebanon and Armenia.

After the salute of the Guard, His Holiness was led to the Presidential Palace, where he met President of the Hellenic Republic H.E. Karolos Papoulias. During their meeting His Holiness Aram I and the President spoke about the positive contribution of the Armenian community to the country and Greek society, and Catholicos Aram assured the president of the loyalty of Armenians in the diaspora to their adopted countries.

They also discussed the situation in the Middle East. His Holiness Aram I spoke of the importance of strengthening Christian presence in the Middle East, the cradle of Christianity, and at the same time intensifying existential dialogue with Islam.

They further discussed the long and fruitful relations between the Church of Greece and the Armenian Church. His Holiness emphasized the role of the church in the life of societies as promoter of dialogue, mutual understanding and moral values.

At the end of the visit, in recognition of the close ties between the two peoples, His Holiness Aram I honoured the president with the decoration of "Prince of Cilicia". The President offered to His Holiness a silvergilt Gospel cover representing the Annunciation.

His Holiness Aram I and his delegation left the Presidential Palace to join the Ambassador of Lebanon to Greece, who had organized a banquet in his honor.

With Archbishop of Athens

On Saturday 16 January 2010, His Holiness Aram I visited His Beatitude Ieronymos II at his residence, where the leaders had a private meeting.

Afterwards they joined the representatives of the two Churches. In his welcoming remarks, the Archbishop spoke highly of the contribution His Holiness Aram I has made to the ecumenical movement and praised the will of the Armenian people, which enabled them to rise again after the Genocide.  Finally, His Beatitude expressed his appreciation of the Armenian community in Greece for their contribution to the country.

In his response, His Holiness Aram thanked the Archbishop for his kind words and his desire to see the theological dialogue between Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches continue, noting that the churches need to work together to promote justice and human rights.

After exchanging gifts, the Archbishop invited the guests to a luncheon in honor of His Holiness Aram I.

His Holiness Aram I was invited to Athens by the Orthodox Church of Greece.

With the Armenian community in Kokinia
In the afternoon of Saturday 16 January 2010, His Holiness Aram I met with the Armenian community at St. Hagop Church in Kokinia suburb of Athens - Piraeus.

After welcoming the Catholicos, Bishop Khoren Doghramadjian, the Primate of Greece, invited His Holiness to address the people. His Holiness expressed his joy at being with the people. He said, “The church cannot exist without people. Being church,” he continued, “means becoming the church of the people. The church is the place where believers encounter God through prayer and discover Christian values. It is, therefore, important for young and old to go to church and impart the values that guide Christian life.” He then concluded, “Therefore, being a spiritual leader means listening to the people and being energized by them.”
Following a brief evening service, His Holiness met with the people and greeted everyone personally. 

Source: Website of the Catholicosate of Cilicia

Official welcome ceremony in Athens airport

With His Beatitude Ieronymos II at his residence

Lunch with His Beatitude Ieronymos II at his residence

In the Embassy of Lebanon in Athens

Posted on Tuesday, January 26, 2010 (15131 reads), comments: 0
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