Aram I, Catholicos of Cilicia, visits Canada

 — Oct. 14, 200514 oct. 2005

[Montreal] On the Montreal leg of his visit to Canada, Aram I, Catholicos of Cilicia of the Armenian Apostolic Church and president of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches, addressed leaders of various churches at a dinner held at the Armenian Prelature of Canada on 26 September. The next day saw His Holiness and his entourage as guests at the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism.

Over late morning tea and coffee, Dr. Stuart Brown, Executive Director of the Centre, gave the Patriarch a brief introduction to the Centre’s activities, its working relationships with different churches and its involvement in interfaith dialogue. Aram praised the work of ecumenical centres and recognized the essential contribution they make to a healthy and engaged ecumenism. He spoke to the Centre’s staff and members of the Board of Directors coming from Orthodox, Protestant and Catholic churches, about the necessity of churches’ involvement in ecumenism. Along with the local identity of belonging to a particular church comes the call to actively witness to the global Church.

For Aram, one cannot be a passive ecumenist. In response to an opinion suggesting that ecumenism lacks visibility because the media favour sensationalism in their coverage, Aram challenged his listeners to generate a “sensational” ecumenism. Other questions revealed his conviction that while ecumenism may have begun as a European and Protestant affair, it has developed into a global peoples’ movement.

Aram strongly supported the suggestion that youth should be encouraged to play a vital role in ecumenism. What ecumenism needs now is not just restructuring, which seems to suggest rearranging what is there, but transformation. Rev. Canon David Oliver, president of the Board of Directors, thanked His Holiness for his inspirational message and told him what an honour it was to receive him at the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism.

Posted: Oct. 14, 2005 • Permanent link:
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