Representatives from Assyrian Aid Society (AAS), Seyfo Center, Assyrian Democratic Movement (ADM), Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA), American Mesopotamian Organization (AMO), along with Father Athanasis Toma of Mar Shaleeta Parish of the Ancient Church of the East met with His Holiness Mor Ignatius in Costa Mesa, where he was staying during the youth conference of the Syriac Orthodox Church. Also present at the meeting were His Eminence Mor Clemis Eugen Kaplan, Metropolitan and Patriarchal Vicar of the Western USA Archdiocese and His Eminence Mor Dionysius Jean Kawak Archbishop and Patriarchal Office Director.
The delegation congratulated His Holiness on his recent election as the Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church and discussed the importance of dialogue between our national churches and the need for unity during these turbulent times that our nation is facing in its ancestral Homeland (Iraq and Syria). His Holiness expressed high hopes for a close cooperation between our churches at a minimum, for now, if a full communion is not possible to achieve. His Holiness also stressed that we are one nation with multiple national names; similar customs and traditions; one language with two dialects. At this time, His Eminence Mor Clemis Kaplan stated “not only are we one nation, but we are one blood”.
His Holiness also expressed the need for all of our organizations and national churches to come together to raise awareness throughout the world about the Seyfo Genocide. He went on to state that next year will be the 100th anniversary of the Genocide and it is extremely important that 2015 be designated as the “Year of Seyfo” (Sepa), sword.
The delegation thanked His Holiness for taking the time from his busy schedule to meet with them and presented him with a replica of the Assyrian flag that was raised by the late Assyrian General Petros DeBaz during WWI along with several digital recordings from the Mesopotamian night concerts from previous years.