ETCHMIADZIN — On September 24, in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians; and His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, presided over the opening of the Bishop’s Synod of the Armenian Church.

The four-day conference, the first of its kind held in nearly 600 years, brought together more than 60 archbishops and bishops from the church dioceses in Armenia and around the world. They are due to review theological issues and ancient rites at the meeting chaired by Catholicos Karekin II. They will also discuss the beatification of some 1.5 million Armenians who were massacred in Ottoman Turkey a hundred years ago in the Armenian Genocide.

President Serzh Sarkisian also attended and addressed the opening session of what he described as a “historic event.” He expressed hope that the Synod will give new impetus to the “realization of our national aspirations.”

“With the commencement of this meeting the Holy Armenian Apostolic Church is entering a new historic stage. It creates an opportunity to get answers to a number of questions of our religious and moral life, to reform and improve the Church’s activity in line with the modern challenges,” President Sarkisian said.

Following the President’s speech, His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians; His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of Cilicia; and His Eminence Archbishop Aram Ateshyan, Patriarchal Vicar of Constantinople, gave their opening remarks.

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