Catholicosate, Featured


In his visit to the Vatican last week, His Holiness Catholicos Aram I expressed his profound gratitude to Pope Francis for the solidarity demonstrated on the Artsakh issue. During the meeting on Wednesday, June 12, Aram I requested the continuation of the Pope’s support, emphasizing the need for international guarantees for the Armenians of Artsakh to return to their homeland and the urgent release of Armenian prisoners in Azerbaijan. 

In addition to his meeting with the Pope, His Holiness’ one-day visit to the Vatican on June 12 to give a lecture at the Pontifical Oriental Institute involved successive meetings with several high-ranking Vatican officials: 

  • Cardinal Paul Gallagher: Discussed the current challenges faced by Lebanon, the Armenian political prisoners in Azerbaijan, and the Lebanese presidential election. 
  • Cardinal Kurt Koch, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity: Addressed the current challenges in the inter-church movement and the theological dialogue between the Catholic and Eastern Churches. 
  • Cardinal Claudio Gugerotti: Discussed cooperation between Catholic churches in the Middle East and the Orthodox and Protestant churches, as well as Christian-Islam dialogue, and revisited the Artsakh issue and Armenian prisoners. 
  • Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith: Highlighted the importance of re-evaluating theology considering contemporary challenges. 

The Catholicos was accompanied during these meetings by His Eminence Archbishop Mesrob Sarkissian, Prelate of the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, and Rev. Fr. Sarkis Aprahamian, head of Inter-Church and Christian-Islam relations at the Holy See. 

Parallel to his high-level meetings in the Vatican, the Catholicos, who shares a long-standing personal friendship with Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Church, had earlier written a letter to him, appealed for an intervention from Russian President Vladimir Putin to secure the release of Armenian political prisoners in Azerbaijan and to safeguard Armenia’s spiritual and cultural heritage.