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Supreme Spiritual Council Held at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin

His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians presided over the Supreme Spiritual Council meeting at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin from November 3-5, 2015. The meeting was co-chaired by H.E. Archbishop Aram Ateshian, Patriarchal Vicar of the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople, H.E. Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America and H.E. Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America.

A number of topics were discussed during the meeting including the relations between the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin and other Hierarchical Sees, Diocesan activities, ecumenical relations as well as liturgical and canonical issues.
A report about the Centennial Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide at the church level was presented by H.G. Bishop Arshak Khachatryan, Chancellor of the Mother See. The members of the Supreme Spiritual Council expressed their commendations to the Centennial Commemoration Organizing Committee on the outstanding execution of the commemorative events.
The dire situation of the Armenian communities in the Middle East was also discussed at length. Reflecting on the humanitarian aid and financial assistance demonstrated by the Hierarchical Sees to the Syrian Armenian community, it was confirmed that the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin will continue to its support of the Syrian-Armenian community as well as those needy Syrian Armenian refugees presently residing in the Republic of Armenia.
A report on the progress of the mission parish formation of the Armenian community of Belgium was presented by the Rev. Fr. Barouyr Avedisyan, Director of Intra-Church Relations Department of the Mother See. Additional information related to the matter was presented by His Grace Bishop Vahan Hovhannisyan, the Pontifical Legate of Western Europe.
A discussion convening a national-ecclesiastical assembly in 2016 at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin was held during the meeting. Appropriate committees to oversee the task were established.
A report was also presented by the Very Rev. Fr. Zacharia Baghumyan, the Director of the Department of the Synod of Bishops. The future activities of the department were introduced and discussed.
On November 4, the Supreme Spiritual Council led by His Holiness offered a prayer for the repose of the souls of the victims who passed away in the overturned bus accident while riding from Tula, Russia to Yerevan, Armenia.
At the conclusion of the meeting, the members of the Supreme Spiritual Council congratulated His Holiness Karekin II, the Catholicos of All Armenians on his 16th anniversary of enthronement conveying their wholehearted wishes to His Holiness and steadfast leadership in the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church and the Armenian people.   

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