ARMENIAN DEMOCRATIC LIBERAL PARTY (RAMGAVAR)
On Saturday morning a delegation representing the Executive Committee of the Party, Mr. Mike Kharabian (Chair person) and Mr. Haroutiun Yerganian (a member) met with His Holiness Aram I in his office.
They discussed plans for the 100th anniversary commemoration of the Genocide, Armenia-Diaspora relations and cooperation between the Armenian political parties. Catholicos Aram I emphasized the urgency of all political parties to work together in preparing the 100th anniversary and to demand with one voice justice for the survivors of the Genocide and the Armenian Cause.
The representatives agreed with His Holiness Aram I’s suggestions and promised to prepare the 100th anniversary events in a spirit of unity.
SAID HIS HOLINESS ARAM I
As part of the celebrative events of 2013, Year of the Armenian Mother, around 200 women met with His Holiness Aram I. After his warm welcome, the Catholicos said, “Celebrating the year of the Armenian Mother should become integral to our daily lives. The Armenian mother is the foundation of our nation and, hence, should remain the essential partner in family and public life. We expect our mothers to socialize our children through the spiritual values of our church, the cultural heritage imparted through our schools and community organizations.” His Holiness Aram I concluded his message with a blessing and an expression of love and respect for the Armenian woman.
On Tuesday, 14 May 2013, the Ambassador of Romania visited His Holiness Aram I. They discussed the situation in the region, the formation of a new government and the proposed change in Lebanon’s electoral law.
They then talked about the historical relationship between the Orthodox Church in Romania and the Armenian Orthodox Church. His Holiness Aram I spoke of his long relationship with Patriarch Daniel from their active years in the World Council of Churches and urged the strengthening of ecumenical relations between the two churches.
SAID HIS HOLINESS ARAM I
On Saturday 11 May in the evening, His Holiness Aram I received 200 young members of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation movement.
After welcoming the youth and the movement leaders, Catholicos Aram I urged them to incorporate their cultural and spiritual heritage as they carry out their important role of shaping the future of the nation. His Holiness then took questions and invited the youth to discuss the Armenian Church and the Armenian Cause.
After spending two hours with His Holiness, the youth paid tribute to the Martyrs in the Memorial Chapel, visited the Cilicia museum and attended a lecture on “The Armenian Church and the national liberation movements in history.”
At the end of the sessions, Catholicos Aram I met with the youth again and blessed them individually.
MEETS WITH HIS HOLINESS ARAM I
On Friday 10 May 2013, the Executive Committee met, headed by Maronite Bishop Samir Mazloum. The Assembly was created six years ago with the aim of coordinating the activities and the human and material resources of Christian communities in the region in order to contribute effectively to their societies. The Holy See of Cilicia is represented by Mr. Jean Salmanian and the Very Rev. Masis Choboyan.
During the meeting they discussed the situation in the region and assessed the impact of the “Arab Spring” on Christian communities, particular in Syria. Bishop Samir Mazloum then invited His Holiness Aram I to the Conference to be held in October 2013, and to which representatives of the diaspora of local Christian communities are also invited.
His Holiness Aram I thanked the members of the Committee for their visit, and he encouraged them to work towards strengthening Christian presence in the region by advising people not to emigrate. The Catholicos further urged them to promote Christian-Muslim dialogue, despite difficulties, and he briefly discussed the continuing effort to release the two kidnapped Metropolitans of Aleppo.
MEETS WITH HIS HOLINESS ARAM I
On Friday, 3 May, Dr. Michel Jalkh met with His Holiness Aram I in in Antelias. Dr. Jalkh was recently elected as the General Secretary of the MECC by the Executive Committee at its meeting in Antelias, following the resignation of Rev. Paul Rohanna. The General Secretary wanted to discuss the situation in the region and issues challenging the MECC with Catholicos Aram I, who is one of the Presidents of the MECC and a Church leader with wide ecumenical experience. His Holiness identified church unity and strengthening cooperation among the member churches as the two most important concerns for the fellowship. The Catholicos then spoke of Christian-Muslim dialogue as an urgent priority for all member churches and the MECC.
On Tuesday 16 April 2013, His Eminence Metropolitan George Saliba and representatives of the Syriac Orthodox community met with His Holiness Aram I. After transmitting the brotherly greetings of the Patriarch, the Metropolitan introduced the representatives from Lebanon and the Netherlands, and said that the purpose of the visit was to discuss cooperation between the two communities in the Diaspora.
The former General Secretary of the EGCF, Huibert Van Beek, and his successor, Larry Miller, visited His Holiness Aram I as part of their wider visit to the churches in the region. Archbishop Nareg Alemezian the Ecumenical Officer accompanied the guests.
During the meeting, the secretaries discussed the role of EGCF in the ecumenical movement. At the end of their conversation, Holiness Aram I thanked the guests and said that the movement should now strengthen both ecumenical and interreligious dialogue.