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Antelias: His Holiness Aram I decorates renowned writer Dr. PeterBal

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  • Antelias: His Holiness Aram I decorates renowned writer Dr. PeterBal

    Catholicosate of Cilicia
    Communication and Information Department
    Contact: V.Rev.Fr. Krikor Chiftjian, Communications Officer
    Tel: (04) 410001, 410003
    Fax: (04) 419724
    E- mail: [email protected]

    PO Box 70 317

    Armenian version:




    "Issues pertaining to genocide such as the prevention of genocides,
    impunity, criminal court, retributive justice, forgiveness and healing of
    memories have acquired crucial urgency and a focal attention by civil
    societies in the last decade. Such debates, which are determined by
    different agendas, have provided a proper framework for the Armenian people
    to bring to the fore of public attention the question of the recognition of
    the Armenian Genocide. The Armenian Genocide must be kept away from
    geopolitical considerations and be treated within the context of
    international law by spelling out its moral and legal implications" said His
    Holiness Aram I in his concluding remarks at a gathering honoring Dr. Peter
    Balakian, a renowned author of several books on the Armenian Genocide.

    Speaking about the history of the Armenian Cause after the Genocide, Aram I
    identified three periods.-

    "1) The first period is marked by the remembrance of the martyrs of the
    Genocide through requiem services and popular celebrations. This rather
    church-centered approach to genocide prevailed for some time in the Armenian
    Diaspora communities which were largely composed of the survivors of the

    2) The second period can be characterized as a period of serious studies of
    the Genocide emphasizing mainly the historicity of it based on archival
    documents and eye-witness accounts. This attempt, which also involved
    non-Armenian scholars and historians, was, in a sense, the beginning of the
    process of internationalization of the Armenian Genocide as a human rights
    issue. This process must continue with renewed approach and emphasis by
    attracting more academicians and institutions of higher learning.

    3) The third period can be referred to as a period of the recognition of the
    Armenian Genocide. In the last two decades, a number of nations, states,
    churches, international organizations and N.G.O.s came to formerly recognize
    the Armenian Genocide. The implications of these different forms of
    recognition have not yet been clearly defined by those who have recognized
    it, as well as by juridical and political institutions of the international
    community. This is a vital area which requires deeper investigation and
    close follow-up. The recognition process will undoubtedly continue with
    growing dynamism".

    Then, His Holiness said: "We must embark on a new process which will open a
    new period in the history of the Armenian Cause, a period which I would like
    to call compensation for the crime committed against the Armenian people. In
    fact, if the recognition of this crime against humanity is not followed by
    compensation, it will remain a superficial act of provisional nature and
    merely of moral value. Therefore, the Armenian Genocide must aim at
    retributive justice. In this context, I would like to emphasize the
    following: first, we must constantly raise the critical importance of
    impunity. Last year the Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia organized an
    international conference on impunity with the active participation of
    respectable scholars and lawyers including the representatives of the
    Rwandan government. Second, we must deal with the question of compensation
    within the international law by identifying the legal and material
    repercussions of such crimes against humanity. And third, we often refer to
    our demands from Turkey but we are not yet clear about it. What are our
    concrete, specific demands? What are the legal bases for such demands? These
    need to be carefully studied".

    Speaking about Peter Balakian, Aram I said: "Peter Balakian, an
    American-born Armenian has played a pivotal role by placing the Armenian
    Genocide in American context; by emphasizing the historicity of the Armenian
    Genocide and generating an American response towards it. Furthermore, Peter
    Balakian through his well-documented studies has made the Armenian Genocide
    a relevant and urgent issue that must be seriously addressed to prevent the
    new genocides".

    At the end of his remarks, His Holiness decorated Dr. Balakian with the
    insignia of St. Mesrob Mashdots.


    Picture here:

    The Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia is one of the two Catholicosates of
    the Armenian Orthodox Church. For detailed information about the history and
    the mission of the Cilician Catholicosate, you may refer to the web page of
    the Catholicosate, The Cilician Catholicosate, the
    administrative center of the church is located in Antelias, Lebanon.