ANTELIAS HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMENIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH?
Once again the Catholicosate of Antelias has recklessly issued a pair of press releases in English (April 2, 2006) entitled "The Feast of St. Gregory the Illuminator in Antelias". Contained within the joint releases are the following absurd statements, quoted verbatim: " ...and the Catholicosal procession escorts the Catholicos, Apostolic leader of the Great House of Cilicia... "
"The relic is no doubt authentic, passed down through the generations from Catholicos to Catholicos over the 1,705 years of Armenian Christianity. It is the sign of the authority of, Catholicos, as the heir of St. Gregory and is thus treated with tremendous reverence."
"A large number of the faithful gathered in the Mother Cathedral in Antelias on April 2 to attend the feast of St. Gregory the Illuminator and kiss relic of his Right Hand, kept with much care at the Antelias headquarters of the Armenian Orthodox Church (Catholicosate of Cilicia)."
"...He pointed out that since the day His Holiness Sahag II put Holy Chrism in the river of Antelias and baptized hundreds of Armenian orphans there, the land of Antelias became holy
For the record, although the Catholicos of Antelias is the head of a regional Catholicosate, he is NOT the "Apostolic'" leader. Not one of the twelve apostles ever visited Antelias. Ever.
The relic may or may not be authentic. Nevertheless. I can firmly state that the Catholicos of Antelias is NOT the heir to St. Gregory the Illuminator. That would be the Catholicos of All Armenians, who is seated on the very throne of the Illuminator, as successor to the Holy Apostles Sts. Thaddeus and Bartholomew, in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, in our biblical and free land of Armenia.
Antelias is not now, has never been, nor will ever be the "headquarters of the Armenian Orthodox Church".
And finally, what is it exactly that makes Antelias "holy"?
Jerusalem is Holy because Christ lived there.
Etchmiadzin is Holy because Christ descended there.
Antelias is merely another recently established community of the Armenian Diaspora.
As the saying goes - You can sleep in the garage, but that doesn't make you an automobile. No matter how many times you try it.
* By Rev. Fr. Ktrij Devejian, Yerevan, Armenia 22 April 2006
Antelias Headquarters Of The Armenian Orthodox Church?
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