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Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch
 Archdiocese of the Western United States





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Most Rev. Jose H. Gomez Hosts Ecumenical Prayer Service Commemorating the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide: LA Mayor Eric Garcetti Delivers Keynote Address

April,16 2015

A historic ecumenical gathering was held at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels on Tuesday, April 14, 2015. The service was hosted by the Most Reverend José H. Gomez, the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

The evening's keynote message was delivered by LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, who courageously reaffirmed the importance of recognizing the Armenian Genocide. "Today, in solidarity with the people of Armenia and the Armenian Diaspora, we speak of a Genocide" said Mayor Garcetti. "We heard what Pope Francis said and the courage that he had. But it shouldn't take courage to speak the truth," he continued.

More than 150 religious leaders joined civic officials and over three thousand faithful in honoring the memory of the 1.5 million Armenian and other Christian martyrs who perished during the Genocide of 1915.

During the solemn and moving service, which consisted of prayers and hymns of the Armenian Apostolic Church, the faithful enjoyed the participation of leaders of The Most Rev. José H. Gomez; Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles; His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Armenian Apostolic Church Catholicosate of All Armenians; His Eminence Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Armenian Apostolic Church, Catholicosate of The Great House of Cilicia; His Eminence Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian, Armenian Apostolic Church; the Very Rev. Fr. John Bakas representing His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco; His Eminence Archbishop Mor Clemis Eugene Kaplan, Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch Archdiocese of the Western United States; His Grace Bishop Serapion; Bishop of the Coptic Diocese of Los Angeles and Southern California; His Grace Bishop Daniel, representing His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin Diocese of the West the Orthodox Church in America; His Grace Bishop Zeidan, The Eparch of the Maronite Catholic Eparch of our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles; The Rt. Rev. Jon Bruno Bishop, Diocesan of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles; The Rev. Dr. R. Guy Erwin, Bishop of the Southwest California Synod of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; Bishop Mary Ann Swenson, Ecumenical Officer, Council of Bishop United Methodist Church anbd Vice-Moderator, World Council of Churches; Most Rev. Mikael Mouradian, Bishop of the Armenian Catholic Eparchy of the United States and Canada; Rev. Joe Matossian, Armenian Evangelical Union of North America and Rabbi Morley T. Feinstein, President of the Board of Rabbis of Southern California.

Two days prior to the historic ecumenical service in Los Angeles, His Holiness Pope Francis I affirmed the systematic annihilation of the Armenian people by the Ottoman Empire as "genocide." Referencing a 2001 declaration by Pope John Paul II, at St. Peter's Basilica he stated "In the past century, our human family has lived through three massive and unprecedented tragedies. The first, which is widely considered 'the first genocide of the 20th century,' struck your own Armenian people."

More than 20 countries have passed parliamentary bills recognizing the massacres as genocide, while nations like Greece and Switzerland have called for criminal charges against those who deny it. Domestically, 43 of the 50 states have recognized the Armenian Genocide either by legislation or proclamation.

The highly anticipated service was covered by major media outlets locally and internationally. The entire service was globally broadcast live via YouTube.


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The Western Archdiocese of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch, providing spiritual guidance and leadership to the Syriac Orthodox community, is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit, tax-exempt organization comprised of 18 churches and parishes in 17 western states. It was established in 1952 as the Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church encompassing the entire United States and Canada. In November 1995 by the Holy Synod, the Western Archdiocese was formed to exclusively serve the 17 states of the western half United States.

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