#212, 2003-11-19 | #213, 2003-11-20 | #214, 2003-11-21


Relations between churches bring together nations

On Thursday, November 13, 2003, Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), welcomed to St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral in New York City a leader in the Russian Orthodox Church: His Eminence Metropolitan Kyrill, Metropolitan of Smolensk and Kaliningrad and President of the Moscow Patriarchate's Department of External Church Relations.

Metropolitan Kyrill is in the United States to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Nicholas in New York City. Archbishop Barsamian noted that this weekend the Armenian Church is commemorating the 35th anniversary of the consecration of St. Vartan Cathedral.

"We Armenians feel the pride of a younger sibling towards St. Nicholas, at it reaches this worthy milestone," Archbishop Barsamian said during a special breakfast in honor of Metropolitan Kyrill with Orthodox church leaders at the Diocesan Center. "More generally, Armenians have great respect for the Russian Church, because we see that the Russian Church is for its people what the Armenian Church is for our own people. In both cases, the church embodies the soul of the people."

During the breakfast, Archbishop Barsamian presented Metropolitan Kyrill with the St. Vartan Award, given by the Diocese to distinguished guests who have shown a dedication to noble causes.

Metropolitan Kyrill said he was pleased to be recognized by the Armenian Church. The close relations between the churches, he said, have benefited both people.

"We have had difficult common histories. But even in those difficult times, we established such strong bilateral relations," he said. "Those historical relations and spiritual ties are a great power which have helped our people come together during great political difficulties. The relationship between the two churches today is a very important factor in bringing together the two countries."

He also was pleased to be welcomed again by his friend, Archbishop Barsamian. "You are a real church leader, not only in the Armenian Church but all Orthodox churches and for all Christians," Metropolitan Kyrill told Archbishop Barsamian. "All these ecclesiastical efforts play a very important role for our countries and their cooperation."

Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), November 13, 2003

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