By Florence Avakian
ROME — Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, former Primate of the Eastern Diocese for 28 years, has been busy since arriving in Rome on his new assignment from Echmiadzin by Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II.
Appointed in September 2018 as the Pontifical Legate of the Armenian Church in Western Europe, and Representative of the Armenian Church to the Holy See, he has been meeting with high-ranking Vatican officials to strengthen the relationship between the Roman Catholic and Armenian churches.
In relaying the appointment in a September 1 letter this year to Pope Francis, the Catholicos received the Catholic Pontiff’s response that Barsamian’s presence at the Vatican will “definitely be helpful for deepening further” the relationship between the two churches.
Barsamian was warmly welcomed to the Vatican by Armenia’s Ambassador to the Holy See Mikayel Minasyan whose working relationship with Archbishop Barsamian on many projects during the Armenian diplomat’s assignment in Rome for more than six years, have borne successful results for Armenia.
Also welcoming the former Primate was Armenia’s Ambassador to Italy Victoria Bagdassarian, who extended a special invite to the archbishop at a concert organized by the Armenian Embassy in celebration of the 2,800th anniversary of Yerevan at Rome’s Opera House.