HH Karekin II Leads Armenian Church Delegation at Funeral of Pope

Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, Information Services
Address: Vagharshapat, Republic of Armenia
Contact: Rev. Fr. Ktrij Devejian
Tel: (374 1) 517 163
Fax: (374 1) 517 301
E-Mail: [email protected]
April 11, 2005

His Holiness Karekin II Leads Armenian Church Delegation at Funeral of Pope
John Paul II

His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians,
accompanied by an official delegation of the government of the Republic of
Armenia, arrived in Rome on April 7 to participate in the funeral rites for
His Holiness Pope John Paul II, the 264th successor to the Apostolic See of
St. Peter.

At Ciampino Airport, the Pontiff of All Armenians was met by a special
commission of high-ranking Vatican officials and Rev. Fr. Aren Shahinian,
parish priest for the Italian Armenian Apostolic community.

>From the airport, His Holiness was escorted to the Vatican and St. Peter’s
Cathedral, where he offered his prayers up to heaven standing before the
body of John Paul II, lying in state.

On the morning of April 8, Holy Mass commenced in St. Peter’s Cathedral.
According to the traditions of the Catholic Church, 164 cardinals
simultaneously celebrated the three-hour long mass. His Eminence Joseph
Cardinal Ratzinger, Dean of the College of Cardinals, presided during the
funeral services for the Roman Pontiff.

Present for the services were 70 heads of state, delegations from nearly 200
countries, and leaders and representatives of sister Churches, including
Ecumenical Patriarch His Holiness Bartholomew II; Ethiopian Orthodox Church
Patriarch His Holiness Abba Paulos; Archbishop of Athens and Greece His
Beatitude Christodoulos; and Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Kyrill, among

Following the funeral services, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger greeted the
Ecumenical delegations which had arrived in the Vatican from throughout the

Representing the Armenian Church at the funeral of His Holiness John Paul II
were: His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All
Armenians; His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia;
His Beatitude Archbishop Mesrob Mutafian, Armenian Patriarch of
Constantinople; His Eminence Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the
Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern); His Grace Bishop Nareg
Alemezian, Director for Inter-Church Relations of the Catholicosate of
Cilicia; Rev. Fr. Aren Shahinian, parish priest of Italy; and Rev. Fr.
Geghard Vahuni, Staff-bearer of the Catholicos of All Armenians.

His Holiness Karekin II returned to the Mother See on April 9.