First Bishops’ Synod in 600 Years Commences in Etchmiadzin

Leaders of the Armenian Apostolic Church and President Serzh Sarkisian at the commencement of the Bishops' Synod in Etchmiadzin

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.


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  1. Ruby Minas said:

    What is the meaning of this SYNOD? does it mean Serj Sarkisyan thinks of himself someone like Tsar Peter or Armenia has to do everything as Russia does and still call herself INDEPENDENT!!!

    I also want to add that every time I read this words: His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, I feel so degraded to be one of those Armenians that this Good for nothing man is our CATHOLICOS! He is the perfect picture of an IDIOT!!!

    I found the following on Merriam Webster re SYNOD:

    Ecclesiastical governing body created by Tsar Peter I in 1721 to head the Russian Orthodox Church, replacing the patriarchate of Moscow. Peter created the Synod, made up of representatives of the hierarchy obedient to his will, to subject the church to the state, and appointed a secular official, the chief procurator, to supervise its activities. The Synod persecuted all dissenters and censored publications, and Peter disposed of church property and revenues for state purposes at his own discretion. In 1917 a church council reestablished the patriarchate, but the new Soviet government soon nationalized all church-held lands.

  2. Tsoghig said:

    I look forward to hearing about the meeting when it is over and whether or not the Catolicos of Etchmiadzin is asked to step down due to his behavior regarding the beloved Norvan Srpazan in France. He should be dismissed and someone who is more becoming of the cloth should be elected or appointed Catolicos.

  3. karakeuz said:

    Respect, respect for our traditions , religion,and history. Armchair critics, and keyboard wizzards abound aplenty ; when the boundary of respect is breached, we devalue ourselves beneath dignity. The man may not be up to the demands of his position. He will soon find out, and as silently as he came in , as silently he will bow out.

  4. Mihran said:

    “The only unifying institution, based on moral foundations, is being governed by Catholicos Karekin II, and not by the Episcopal Synod, according to the long-held canons of the Church. The hierarchy of the Church is not the soul of the Armenian people. The soul of the Armenian nation is its Church, Holy, Apostolic and Orthodox, upon which the hierarchies of Holy Etchmiadzin, Cilicia/Antelias, Jerusalem and Constantinople/Istanbul were founded, to protect and preserve ‘without blemish in spiritual love and one accord’.”

    Karekin II has lost all respect. He commands no trust in the Armenian nation. I don’t want to spell out all his sins as the list is so long.

    He hasn’t got an ounce of spiritual morality left in him. He is just an oligarch put there by certain influential Diaspora individuals. The latter have done disservice to our nation by pushing him to that position through methods which were not clean.

    He has ruined what the Church should stand for. It’s now all about business and nothing but business. He and his inner circle of bishops are all involved in all types of money-spinning schemes for their personal wealth. One of his bishops drives a Bentley… not to mention Karekin II’s children.

    People are sick and tired of seeing him, let alone hear him. The sooner he is defrocked the better for the health of our Church.