Erevan (Agenzia Fides) - The Armenian Apostolic Church is preparing to recognize the sanctity of the victims of the Armenian Genocide with a solemn liturgy, scheduled for April 23 at the Patriarchal See of the Catholicosate in Echmiadzin. The announcement was made on behalf of the Patriarch, Bishop Bagrat Galstanyan, during a press conference held on 3 February at the Patriarchal See. "The Armenian Church - said Patriarch Karekin in a statement issued for the occasion and sent to Agenzia Fides - does not sanctify. It recognizes the sanctity of saints or of those people that is already common among people or has been shown with evidence. The Church recognizes only what happened, that is, the Genocide".
The decision to recognize the victims of the Genocide as Saints had already been taken by the Armenian Apostolic Church in September 2013, during a meeting at the patriarchal seat in Echmiadzin, which for the first time after six centuries saw the participation of all the Armenian Apostolic Bishops, both those which refer directly to the Catholicosate of Echmiadzin, and those related to Catolichosate of the great House of Cilicia (governed by Catholicos Aram I, based in Lebanon). In the liturgy on the April 23 the Psalm "martyrs of April", composed by the late Bishop Zareh Aznavourian, will be used as the psalm for the canonization. The canonization will be attended by heads of sister Oriental Churches and delegations of other Churches. The canonization ceremony will begin at 16:00 and will end at 19:15, which will symbolize the Armenian Genocide in 1915. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 04/02/2015)