His Holiness Karekin II, the Catholicos of All Armenians, presided over a gathering of distinguished bishops and laymen this week, as the Armenian Church’s Supreme Spiritual Council convened at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. To begin the meeting on February 23, he blessed the council members and led them in a requiem prayer for the clergy, soldiers, and civilians martyred in the Artsakh war.
The substance of the week’s discussions will revolve around the challenges facing Armenia and Artsakh in the post-war period. Special attention will be given to the ongoing status of P.O.W.’s and M.I.A.’s; the effort to protect and preserve Artsakh’s Armenian Christian heritage, sanctuaries, and monuments; and concerns over the social fabric of Armenia. The council will also review issues of pastoral ministry and worship under the pandemic conditions.
The Supreme Spiritual Council’s agenda includes receiving reports on the outreach ministries of the Mother See during the past year; the continuing restoration of the Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin; and resuming plans for a National Ecclesiastical Assembly of the worldwide church—plans which had been postponed with the outbreak of the COVID-19 lockdown.