Etchmiadzin, 17 October, 2012: On 17 October, 2012, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, received Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola the Minister of Defense of the Republic of Italy. The delegation was led by Mr. Davit Tonoyan; Deputy Minister of the Military Ministry of the Republic of Armenia and His Grace Bishop Vertanes Abrahamian, Head Chaplain of the Republic of Armenia Armed Forces Ministry.
His Holiness welcomed the guests to the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, Spiritual Center of All Armenians, and stated his great appreciation for the collaboration between the Ministries of Defense of the two countries. The Catholicos of All Armenians remarked that the Armenian – Italian friendship, which has existed for centuries, was demonstrated not only at the State, but also at the Church levels; the vivid example of which is the brotherly relationships between the Armenian Apostolic Church and Roman Catholic Churches.
During the course of the meeting they discussed the spiritual ministry in the RA Armed Forces. His Holiness noted with appreciation that currently more than four dozen clergyman fulfill their military duty by serving in the RA Armed Forces. His Holiness also mentioned that the military chaplains frequently have the opportunity to gain experience of the same kind of service in other countries.
The Pontiff of All Armenians and the Italian Defense Minister also talked about church-state relations and the peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh.
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