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In the evening of 12 December 2010, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, currently in Armenia with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and at the invitation of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, visited the Vasken I Theological Seminary of the Armenian Apostolic Church located on the Sevan Peninsula of Lake Sevan.

The seminary, which numbers some seventy students, was re-opened by Archbishop Karekin (now His Holiness the Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians) in 1990, when he was the head of the Ararat diocese.

Metropolitan Hilarion was accompanied by Bishop Ovakim, head of the Inter-Church Relations Department of the Armenian Apostolic Church, and by Bishop Mark of Gegarkuni.

The Metropolitan and his companions were met at the main entrance by the seminary’s rector, archimandrite Shnork. The guests was the student’ cells, auditoria, classes of the Russian language, and recreation hall. The seminarians have prepared a concert of Armenian religious music for the high guest.

Metropolitan Hilarion addressed the students, speaking about the developments of theological education. He underscored a particular importance of mastering foreign languages and the knowledge of the theological heritage that would be a basis of a new stage in theological dialogue between the future generation of pastors of the Orthodox and the Armenian Churches.

The DECR chairman donated his book, “Orthodoxy,’ in two volumes, to the library of the seminary in commemoration of his visit.