Catholicosate of Cilicia
Antelias - Lebanon
The Department for Ecumenical Relations
Ecumenism and inter-religious relations remain one of the main areas of mission and ministry of the Holy See Catholicosate of Cilicia. Since the fifties its clergy and lay representatives have taken an active part in global and regional ecumenical and inter-religious movement meetings and conferences.
The ecumenical engagement of the Holy See was more organized after 1962, when it became a member of the World Council of Churches. In 1975, at the Nairobi Assembly, Bishop Karekin Sarkissian (later Catholicos Karekin II) was elected a Vice-Moderator of the WCC Central and Executive Committees. In 1991, at the Canberra Assembly, Archbishop Aram Keshishian (currently Catholicos Aram I) was elected Moderator of the WCC Central and Executive Committees. In 1998, at the Harare Assembly, His Holiness Aram I was re-elected Moderator of the WCC Central and Executive Committees.
The Holy See sent observers to the Second Vatican Council. The visits of the Catholicoi to Popes, as well as joint declarations, meetings and consultations with representatives of the Roman Catholic Church greatly contributed to the development of warm relations between the Armenian Church and the Roman Catholic Church on international, regional and local levels.
The relations of the Holy See with the Churches of the Middle East have always been fraternal. As one of the initiators of the ecumenical movement in the region, it took an active part in the foundation of the Middle East Council of Churches in 1974.
The Holy See has played a key role in promoting the theological dialogue between the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Families. It had a significant part in the development of a more organized collaboration among the Oriental Orthodox Churches.
Since 1997 the Heads of the Oriental Orthodox Churches in the Middle East and the Standing Committee appointed by them regularly meet and discuss ecumenical, inter-religious and inter-church issues.
The Holy See continues with growing impetus its ecumenical relations with the Anglican Communion and the other Churches of the Reformation, as well as with various ecumenical and international organizations.
In 1997 His Holiness Aram I established the Department for Ecumenical and Inter-religious Relations at the Catholicosate to further strengthen mutual collaboration with our ecumenical and inter-religious partners. Also, the Department organizes ecumenical formation seminars and coordinates the activities of the dioceses. His Eminence Archbishop Nareg Alemezian is the Ecumenical Officer of the Department.
In 2002 the Ecumenical Relations Committee of the Holy See was formed with 7 ordained and lay men and women members.
In 2010 the Holy See became a member of the Christian Conference of Asia.
The Holy See participates in the meetings of the Co-ordinating Committee of the United Bible Societies and Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches Relations.
Armenian Church University Students Association of the Holy See is a member of Christian university and youth organizations.
On the local level, the Holy See has representatives in many committees; such as, Religious Textbooks Editorial Committee, Humanitarian Assistance Committee and Christian-Muslim Committee.
The Holy See works hard to generate tolerance and build mutual confidence between Christian and Muslim communities in the Middle East and worldwide. It initiates a number of inter-religious dialogues and takes active part in important inter-religious initiatives and conferences on regional and international levels and organizes meetings of the representatives of world religions in Antelias.
The Holy See actively participates in the ecumenical movement and inter-religious dialogue through its clergy and men, women and youth lay representatives in the commissions and committees of ecumenical councils and inter-religious organizations.
For more information you may contact His Eminence Archbishop Nareg Alemezian (Ecumenical Officer) or V. Rev. Father Massis Zobouian (Assistant to the Ecumenical Officer) or Miss Rita Abrilian (Administrative Secretary) at:
ARMENIAN APOSTOLIC ORTHODOX CHURCH
HOLY SEE CATHOLICOSATE OF CILICIA
P.O.BOX 70 317 ANTELIAS-LEBANON
Phone: (+961-4) 410001, 410003
Fax: (+961- 4) 417971, 410002
Cellular: (+961-3) 486943
Ecumenical Relations Committee members:
Arch. Sebouh Sarkissian
Arch. Kegham Khatcherian
Arch. Nareg Alemezian
V.Rev. Krikor Chiftjian
V.Rev. Massis Zobouyan
Ms. Teny Simonian-Pirri
Dr. Nora Bayrakdarian-Kabakian
Dr. Jean Salmanian