His Holiness Karekin II Elected as One of the Presidents of the World Council of Churches

On November 4, during a business session of the World Council of Churches 10th Assembly in Busan, Korea, the assembly delegates collectively voted for His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, to serve as one of the President of the world council of Churches for the upcoming eight years.

The WCC presidency consists of eight members. The mission of the WCC Presidents is to foster inter-church and ecumenical relations, defend human rights, justice and peace.

The Pontifical retinue and delegation of the Catholiocossate of All Armenians consists of His Eminence Archbishop Aram Ateshyan, Patriarchal Vicar of Constantinople, His Eminence Archbishop, Viken Aykazyan, Ecumenical Officer of the Eastern Diocese of North America, and WCC executive and Central Committee Member representing the Armenian Church; His Grace, Bishop Mikael Ajpahyan; His Grace Bishop Haykazun Najaryan, Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Australia; Rev. Fr. Pakrad Berjekian, member of the Brotherhood of St. James in Jerusalem, and Director of Properties of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem; Mr. Kabriel Jemberjian, benefactor of the Mother See, and others.

There were 4000 delegates from 150 countries.

His Holiness Karekin II met with Most Reverend and Right Honorable Justin Welby, the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury. During the meeting, they reflected on the events devoted to the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide as well as the dialogue between the Anglican and Orthodox Churches.

Armenian Delegates Involved in Programs

The delegation of the Catholicosate of All Armenians, were involved in various programs and committees of the assembly. Prior to the Assembly, WCC Central Committee members, His Eminence Archbishop Vigen Aykazyan, served on the Central Committee Assembly Planning Committee; and Ms. Paula Der-Matoian served on the Continuation Committee on Governance Review, as well as attended the 2-day Women’s Pre-Assembly.

Members are also participating in the “ecumenical conversation” – sustained, in depth dialogues on critical issues that affect eh unity, mission and witness of the church today; which are a series of 4 day meetings taking place over the course of the Assembly.

Numerous suggestions were discussed and adopted during the WCC 10th Assembly in Busan, South Korea. On November 6, the issue of the right of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic to live free and independent was raised by the delegation of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin during the discussion on Stateless people. The delegation called on the WCC to condemn the double standards on the issue.

Also on November 6, during the afternoon business session, election of the Central Committee members was held. Two delegates of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin; Archbishop Vicken was immediately elected to serve on and lead the Nominations committee as the Moderator. Over 300 delegates from the 345 churches passed by consensus, a Special Minute on the 100th Anniversary, as a result of the official requests by His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of all Armenians; and His Holiness Arma I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, as well as result of the ongoing work of the representatives of the Armenian Apostolic Church serving on the Central and Executive Committees.

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