Lawsuit against Turkey concerning the return of Sis Catholicasate to be filed within two weeks

Under the leadership of His Holiness Aram I, after three days of meetings, the Central Committee representing the dioceses of the Catholicosate of Cilicia, its Executive Committee, the Council of Religion and the plenary of the Prelates adopted the document whereby:

  1. They welcome the activities planned by the Catholicosate of Cilicia on national and international levels for the commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, as well as those activities planned by the dioceses. They strongly support the proposal to pursue the political and legal aspects of recognition and restitution related to the Genocide and commend the Pan-Armenian Declaration recently adopted in Erevan.
  1. They are aware of the profound meaning of the decision of the two Catholicoi to make the martyrs of the 1915 Genocide into saints on 23 April 2015, during a special ceremony in Holy Etchmiadzin.
  1. They are grateful for His Holiness Aram I’s ecumenical commitment despite the dwindling interest of many churches in ecumenism. They also support Catholicos Aram I’s commitment to Christian-Muslim dialogue to help Christians and Muslims live together and condemn fundamentalism.
  1. They will organize a pilgrimage from their respective dioceses to Lebanon for the blessing of the Holy Muron at the St. Mary’s Monastery in Bikfaya in July and the commemorative activities at the Bird’s Nest and Antelias.
  1. They share His Holiness Aram I’s vision of the Seminary as an important pillar of the Catholicosate of Cilicia in preparing the clergy and sustaining the spiritual and moral values of the church. They promise to support the seminary financially and morally.
  1. They acknowledge the role of the Christian Education Department in enabling the women and the youth to learn the basic teachings of the church and her diakonia. They also urge the department to use modern educational approaches and technology to improve its teaching methods.
  1. They concur with His Holiness to include youth in the structures of the diocesan committees and other organizations of the community.
  1. They express their gratitude to the constructions and renovations committee for preparing the locations for the commemorative events.
  1. They thank the Board of the Khatcher Kaloustian Foundation for its effort in promoting the Western Armenian language and introducing new pedagogical approaches.
  2. They recognize the financial dependency of the Catholicosate on the dioceses and benefactors and appreciate deeply His Holiness Aram I’s achievements despite the limited funds.
  3. They share the pain of the Armenian community in Syria, and promise to accompany them during these difficult times and help them later to rebuild their lives. They consider the presence of Armenians in the Middle East extremely important for the whole nation and call upon all Armenian organizations to demonstrate their solidarity with Armenians in Syria.
  4. They are indebted to His Holiness Aram I for his initiative in preparing a litigation against the Turkish authorities demanding the return of the historical centre of the Catholicosate of Cilicia in Sis, in cooperation with international human rights lawyers. The lawsuit will be filed within two weeks.
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