ROME — On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue, between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches, an important pan-Christian event took place on Tuesday, January 23 in the university hall “Angelicum,” at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome.
During the academic event, Cardinal Kurt Koch, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity, Bishop Kyrillos [Abdelsayed], Auxiliary Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Cardinal Walter Kasper, President Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for the promotion of Christian Unity, Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Representative of the Armenian Church to the Holy See, and Fr. Frans Bouwen, former editor of the journal Proche-Orient Chrétien, made presentations on the successful journey of twenty years of dialogue.
At the conclusion of the academic event, Cardinal Koch, on behalf of Pope Francis, presented the Benemerenti Medal of Honor to Archbishop Barsamian for his many years of committed work on behalf of Christian unity – and specifically for his efforts toward deepening the relationship between the Armenian and the Catholic Churches.
Archbishop Barsamian is also the Pontifical Legate of the Armenian Church in Western Europe. He is widely known for his work in the fields of education and pastoral duty, and for his contributions to various educational and scholarly journals. He is the recipient of honorary doctorates from the General Theological Seminary, Seton Hall University, and the Academy of Sciences of Armenia.