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Aram I: ready to be part of conciliation in Indian church

Staff Reporter

Armenian Catholicos calls for unity among Indian churches



Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia.

KOTTAYAM: Catholicos Aram I of the Holy See of Cilicia of the Armenian Apostolic Church has called for unity and reconciliation based on mutual respect, tolerance and confidence among churches.

Speaking to mediapersons here on Friday, the pontiff, a champion of ecumenism, said he was here as a guest of the Orthodox Church (Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church). While he has not come here with any specific mission of conciliation among the churches in India, as a person who firmly believes in ecumenical causes, he could not remain indifferent to the divisive situation (involving the Orthodox Church and the Jacobite Syrian Christian Church).

Reacting to a question, Catholicos Aram I said while he would not initiate any reconciliation initiative on his own, as a person, he was ready to be part of any initiative in that direction. At this stage it is not proper to ask any of the sides to take the initiative, but unity is the need of the hour for the Oriental Orthodox churches. The primary initiative should be on confidence-building measures among the people. Any move towards consensus would remain nonsense if it is not brought down to the people-to-people level,” he said and added that not only the clergy but also the laity should form part of the initiative. “Together they should work to heal the divisiveness,” he said.

It is the necessity of all communities to combat intolerance and lack of confidence among various communities, he said.The Catholicos said India was an exemplary example of diversity, as was his homeland, Lebanon, in preserving and respecting diversity. India is unique in the sense that it combines rich diversity with profound spirituality, he said.

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