ArmInfo.Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan visited Holy See of Etchmiadzin and met with members of the Supreme Spiritual Council.
According to the press service of the Government of Armenia, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II thanked Prime Minister Pashinyan for visiting the Holy See of Etchmiadzin and meeting with participants in the annual meeting of the Supreme Spiritual Council, as well as presenting the agenda of the issues under discussion.
Addressing those present, Pashinyan said: "I am glad to meet today. Of course, there is a need for such meetings, and perhaps more often than they are taking place now. On the whole, of course, as the Catholicos noted, discussions about relations between the state and the church are very important , especially in the new situation and new conditions that we have in the Republic of Armenia today. These conditions and relations have many subtleties, and I hope that today we will be able to consider important details of these subtleties.
In general, when it comes to relations between the state and the church, I first of all understand not only and not so much the regulation of material relations, although they are also important and essential, but first of all I understand the discussion of spiritual life, spiritual values and the environment of spirituality in general our country".
At the same time, speaking about the environment in the country, Pashinyan expressed the conviction that, unfortunately, in our time the general trend leads to the rejection of spirituality. "And I do not mean in terms of services, I do not mean in terms of position, status, I mean, first of all, perception in public relations, that is, the relations of the elite and the public, the relations of any two citizens as a whole. I think that it is against the backdrop of this rejection of spirituality that political degradation and the spread of corruption takes place, and not only the spread, but this is becoming the usual way of doing things, and it is on the path and against the backdrop of rejection of spirituality that more and more layers of society are involved in such phenomena.
In general, I want to admit that when a political team or person gains power or receives leadership status, usually (at least historical logic often was) their first thought and desire: how to maintain this status for as long as possible and, if possible, assign it. I want to clearly emphasize that the mission of our government and my personal mission, not only in this status, but throughout my life, I believed that it is necessary to achieve real changes, to achieve such changes that will serve the people who will serve the country who will serve the state, who will serve the church, because spiritual values, spiritual life, spiritual content are very important for me, and I have said many times that I consider them an integral part of my political activity and life. I generally believe that political activity would not be so significant for me if this very important component were not in this activity.
And I want to say (this is my subjective perception and I will not insist on it, and this is the most correct or most justified or perhaps the most pragmatic perception, but this is my perception) that we should look at our life as a whole within the framework of this prism , because I represent modern civilized relations in the form of a circle divided into certain spectra and parts, where there are various components: the material component, the spiritual component, the political component, the value component and the legal component. It is in their correct combination that a competitive state and society are formed. I also want to say that it is from the awareness of this mission that I understand that we must be prepared for a direct, open, frank conversation with the public, with the church, with citizens and with political forces, and the purpose of these conversations is very important, and we must be aware of why this conversation is being held - to overcome the crisis or prevent the crisis in cases where there is no crisis. And in general, I think that in the Republic of Armenia there is a crisis in all areas, because if there had not been a crisis, the events that took place in the country simply would not have happened. And if there had not been a crisis, these events would not have occurred, and this is evidenced by the fact that hundreds of thousands of citizens of the Republic of Armenia and hundreds of thousands of our compatriots in the Diaspora, ranging from schoolchildren to elderly people, expressed a very clear position. This was evidence that, as of the spring of 2018, we did not have a single sphere where there would be no crisis. And, God forbid, I will not say that over the past year and a half these crises have been resolved, but one crisis has definitely been resolved - the crisis of confidence is definitely resolved. This is a good basis for us to continue our journey and resolve all other crises, and resolve them through constructiveness, mutual respect, open, frank, direct dialogue and discussion. At least that is how I represent the relationship between the state and the church. I can't say that in this sense we have reached such a level of dialogue that we can assume that everything is perfect, but that we are not standing still is a fact. We took some steps, talked, discussed, and I am primarily glad that we can do this. This is a very important indicator of health and a very important evidence of health, "said Pashinyan.
In the course of the dialogue held in an open and sincere atmosphere, a number of issues were discussed related to the relations between the state and the church, the challenges facing our state and our people, the existing problems and the possibilities for their solution, preservation of historical and cultural heritage, as well as issues of public interest.
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