On March 19, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians; met with the Armenian community of Finland. The event was the first in His Holiness’ Ecumenical visit to Finland. The gathering was held in the Lutheran Evangelical Cathedral Hall of Helsinki.
The meeting was attended by members of His Holiness’ delegation: His Grace Bishop Gevork Saroyan, Dean of the Spiritual and Educational Institutions of the Mother See; Very Rev. Fr. Shahe Ananyan, Director of the Ecumenical Relations Department of the Mother See; Rev. Fr. Tiran Petrosyan, Pontifical Legate of the Central European and Scandinavian countries; Rev. Fr. Garegin Hambardzumyan, Dean of the Gevorkian Theological Seminary; and Rev. Fr. Aghan Yernjakyan, Staff-Bearer of His Holiness; as well as Mr. Artak Apitonyan, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentary of Sweden and Finland to the Republic of Armenia.
Father Tiran, speaking on behalf of the Armenian community in Finland, expressed filial gratitude and welcomed His Holiness to Finland, emphasizing the positive changes and developments which have taken place in the life of the Finnish Youth in the past few years.
The Armenian Pontiff expressed his joy for the opportunity to meet with the Armenian community, highlighting the spirit of the community’s organization and mobilization. In his remarks, His Holiness stated in part: “We are pleased to see that today, not only your pastors and clergymen are beside you, but also homeland authorities, represented by the honorable Ambassador Apitonyan. Our wish is that you’ll be able to unite and be organized in the near future, to preserve your Christian identity, transferring your zeal toward the national values and native language to your children”.
At the end of the meeting, His Holiness blessed the Armenian community representatives, listened to their proposals and answered questions.