PM Nikol Pashinyan welcomes Catholicos of All Armenians Garegin II and Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia Aram I
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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan today met with His Holiness Garegin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, and His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia.
In his greeting remarks, Prime Minister Pashinyan stated, in part:
“Your Holiness, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians,
Your Holiness, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia,
It is a great pleasure to meet with you. Indeed, we have met in the past, and I warmly remember my visit to Antelias on the occasion of your activities’ anniversary. I meet His Holiness on a regular basis. Some of our meetings are given media coverage, others not. I appreciate our dialogue. I even think that the conversation has not started yet, because there was a period when we were cautious about some issues and that was natural.
But I think we have succeeded in that we have shaped a truly open atmosphere of dialogue, as especially as this dialogue is important for the future of our country, the future of our people, because I think we have a crucial mission of discussing the nationwide agenda and forming our national agenda.
We are convinced in one thing: our people, our church, and our clergy share the view that we should not be defeated; we must defy the challenges facing our statehood, our people, the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Artsakh and the Diaspora.
I am convinced that this kind of communication, our relations with the Church, and all discussions on this issue have a decisive significance. I am happy for today’s occasion and I am grateful for your visit.”
Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, His Holiness Garegin II stated, in part:
“Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister. Today, we have a wonderful occasion to visit you with Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, Aram I. Thank you for this opportunity. As you may know, Catholicos Aram I has been in Armenia at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin for several days now. We have discussed issues facing the Church, as well as issues relevant to national life. We told Catholicos Aram I that you have set up a commission to study the relations between the State and the Church and find a satisfactory solution.
We touched upon the mission of our Church, our national life, our spiritual life, highlighting the efforts aimed strengthening the spiritual unity of our people, the national unity of our people, as well as the progress of our country.
We emphasized, in private, the need for stability and an atmosphere of love in our country. The Armenian Church has always been with the State and has brought its support to the safe, secure existence of the state and its patriotic activity.”
Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia Aram I, said:
“Dear Mr. Prime Minister, this is our second meeting, and this time I officially welcome the Prime Minister as your mission because the work of a person dedicated to the homeland is not an ordinary matter, but a mission for his essence and purpose and that mission must be accomplished with the consciousness of the title. And I am convinced that with this consciousness you are committed to this mission, having responsible people around you on the path of the same mission.
Consequently, I wish you all the best and every success. Your success is the Homeland’s success. In turn, the Homeland’s success is that our nation, because the Republic of Armenia has some responsibilities that are beyond the borders of the Republic of Armenia. Therefore, I see your mission from a broader perspective.
My expectation is that people’s expectations and needs will be fulfilled in a milestone. With this commitment, you have taken on this mission and emphasized the importance of all your public statements that you come from the people who are the power, and the people’s expectations must become a driving force for you and your government. Naturally, it should be realistic: one cannot immediately conceive of emotions and fulfill those expectations. Having different opinions is enriching, provided they meet somewhere, interact with each other over our national values and ideals.
We have to make sure that we do not cause polarization. If there are polarizations, they should be bridged over commonly shared values. And I think the role of the Church in this direction is very important.
I am glad that you touched upon the role of the Church in your speech. The Catholicos himself said that the Church-State relations or rather their cooperation is imperative in the sense of nationalism and patriotism, even allowing for different opinions and different approaches. As I said, differences should complement each other, because we are all in the same circle and on the same road. Consequently, Mr. Prime Minister, I once again wish you every success in your mission. May God save you and our beloved Homeland.”