Supreme Spiritual Council Meeting Concludes

Supreme Spiritual Council Meeting Concludes 27.02.2021

From February 23 to 26, under the presidency of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians; a Supreme Spiritual Council meeting was held in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. The Chairman of the meeting's sessions was His Grace Bishop Vasken Mirzakhanian, Director of the Office on Ecclesiastical Liturgical Issues of the Mother See. During the four-day meeting, issues related to post-war losses, internal political situation, post-war dangers, families of victims, captives, the missing, other war victims, as well as, issues related to the preservation of the spiritual and cultural heritage of Artsakh were discussed; and a reference was made on the steps taken by the Mother See regarding the mentioned issues. SSC members emphasized the importance of the significant efforts of the Church to overcome the various challenges existing in public life. The continuation of the humanitarian assistance programs initiated by the Church during the war, was considered to be vital along with the spiritual care, to relieve the social problems caused by the war, to support the families from Artsakh, who have taken refuge in Armenia, return to their residences if possible. The Supreme Spiritual Council particularly instructed to continue the activities concerning the return of the captives and finding of the missing. Particular concern was expressed regarding the statement of the General Staff of the RA Armed Forces on February 25, and the tension followed by the response of the Prime Minister, in regard of which the Supreme Spiritual Council issued a statement. The report of the Subgroup of the Educational Issues of the Mother See related to the educational reforms initiated by the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport, and, in particular, the results of the discussions with the representatives of the Ministry concerning to the further teaching of the “History of the Armenian Church” subject, were presented to the SSC members. They were informed that the Subgroup considers the necessity of educational reforms in the context of exclusively spiritual-national education and upbringing of the future generation; and, in this regard, insists the need of teaching of the “History of the Armenian Church” subject entirely. W65 The Supreme Council, emphasizing the importance of teaching the subject of "History of the Armenian Church", instructed the Subgroup to draw the attention of the Ministry of ESCS to the positions of the Church related to the teaching of the subject of "History of the Armenian Church". Issues related to a number of services and activities being implemented by the Mother See within the framework of the programs being qualified as charitable, were also discussed. It was emphasized that a number of charitable programs of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin have been qualified as such by the relevant state authorized body; and these activities continue. Meanwhile, it was noted with concern that some problems had arisen in the customs clearance of goods, in particular, raw materials for candles, imported by the Mother See. Because of the problems mentioned, the stocks of candles in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin have significantly been decreased, which will soon make the process of proper organization of candle lighting difficult in churches. The SSC members expressed their bewilderment regarding such approaches been manifested, noting that the Church had never face such difficulties, even during the Soviet times. The Supreme Spiritual Council instructed the relevant structures of the Mother See to discuss the mentioned issues with the relevant state bodies and pursue their settlement. At the Supreme Spiritual Council Meeting, reports were delivered; discussions were held on the organizational work to convene the National-Ecclesiastical Assembly, as well as, the process of strengthening and renovating the Mother Cathedral. The 2020 activity report of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin was also presented. The meeting concluded with the speech of gratitude and Blessings of His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians.


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