The Catholicos
The Catholicos
Armenian Writers
Palm Sunday
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Lunch with the Catholicos
April 3rd, 2006 - Post 45

On Monday, April 3rd, I receive a phone call around 10 in the morning, asking whether I would be free to have lunch with his Holiness, Armenian Catholicos Aram the First, either that day or the next. I respond that Tuesday I will be teaching at the seminary, so it is agreed, I will go over to the residence of the Catholicos for lunch at 1 p.m.

Arriving a couple of minutes ahead of time, Fr. Housig, personal assistant to his Holiness, greets me and escorts me to the office of Catholicos at the back of the residence.

His Holiness is a gracious and cheerful host, and we spend an agreeable hour and a half enjoying a delicious lunch and discussing a wide range of topics. His Holiness takes time to tell me about his current publication project. His new book is in the final stages of publication and is entitled For A Church Beyond Its Walls, to be published in both English and French.

"What kind of church do we want to have for the 21st century: a church that lives within its established walls, self-contained and self-content, or a church engaged in the daily struggle of its people, in critical and creative interaction with the society, and bold enough to face the challenges of new times?" From a paper presented by his Holiness in October 2004, "Ecumenism in process of transformation."