ANTELIAS: Catholicos Aram I meets with Patriarch Sfeir

Catholicosate of Cilicia
Communication and Information Department
Contact: V.Rev.Fr.Krikor Chiftjian, Communications Officer
Tel: (04) 410001, 410003
Fax: (04) 419724
E- mail: [email protected]

PO Box 70 317

Armenian version: nian.htm


His Holiness Aram I met with Patriarch Sfeir on August 17. The two spiritual
leaders had held a phone conversation last week. Discussions during the
meeting revolved around the current situation of Lebanon. The Armenian
Pontiff was then invited to have lunch with the Maronite Patriarch.

Before leaving the Patriarchate, Catholicos Aram I stated the following to
the press.-

"On the basic challenges confronting Lebanon, Patriarch Sfeir’s and our
viewpoints are similar. We support His Beatitude and find it important for
all the spiritual leaders to work together to bring Lebanon out of its
current uncertain situation."

Speaking about the presidential election, he said: "All efforts must be
exerted to elect a new president within the time-period specified by the
constitution. The new president should be elected in Lebanon, by the
Lebanese and by consensus of all sides. The new president should be someone
who builds bridges of mutual understanding and trust between the different
sides; someone who works for the integrity, sovereignty and independence of

On the parliamentary by-elections held in the Metn area last week, His
Holiness underlined the necessity of "looking at events and issues from a
wide angle and with a correct perspective." He said: "The source of evil is
the current election law. Clearly, this law, which was forced in 2000, led
to injustice and an unbalanced representation. At the time we expressed our
criticism and we reaffirm our position today. The election law should be

The Pontiff also referred to the role of the Church, saying: "The Church can
not be apolitical. However, it can not be politicized either. The church
should not become one with a political entity, a political agenda or
direction. It should not be involved in "petty politics". However, the
church should have its say on the major issues affecting the homeland and
the nation. The church is the voice of truth, the apostle of justice and
peace, the will of the people, the promoter of moral values, the preacher of
love and unity. Christian politicians should be humble enough to listen to
the voice of the church."

The Armenian Spiritual Leader added: "Lebanon is not merely a coexistence of
communities. It is a state built upon the harmonious coexistence of
communities. Therefore, we should work with the concept of statism rather
than the narrow mindset of confessionalism. When communities are strong and
harmonious in their coexistence, the state becomes strong and vice versa."

Concluding his statement, the Catholicos called on everyone- the majority
and the minority- to transcend the temporary interests; stay away from the
valueless political culture dominant in the country; gather around Lebanon’s
basic values and priorities; and work together for strengthening the unity,
sovereignty and integrity of Lebanon.

View photo here:
The Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia is one of the two Catholicosates of
the Armenian Orthodox Church. For detailed information about the Ecumenical
activities of the Cilician Catholicosate, you may refer to the web page of
the Catholicosate, The Cilician
Catholicosate, the administrative center of the church is located in
Antelias, Lebanon.