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Armenian Catholic Church
|Armenian: Հայ Կաթողիկէ Եկեղեցի|
Cathedral of Saint Elias and Saint Gregory the Illuminator in Beirut, the cathedra of the Armenian Catholic Patriarchate of Cilicia.
|Orientation||Eastern Christianity (Armenian)|
|Patriarch||Krikor Bedros XX Gabroyan|
|Headquarters||Cathedral of St Elias and St Gregory the Illuminator, Beirut, Lebanon|
|Founder||Abraham Petros I Ardzivian|
Ottoman Empire (modern Armenia)
|Members||150,000 (independent estimates) |
757,726 (2017 Annuario Pontificio )
|Official website|| www|
|Part of a series on|
| Particular churches sui iuris |
of the Catholic Church
|Particular churches are grouped by rite.|
|East Syriac Rite|
|Latin liturgical rites|
|West Syriac Rite|
The Armenian Catholic Church (Armenian : Հայ Կաթողիկէ Եկեղեցի, romanized: Hay Kat’ołikē Ekełec’i; Latin : Ecclesia armeno-catholica) is one of the Eastern particular churches sui iuris of the Catholic Church. They accept the leadership of the Bishop of Rome, known as the papal supremacy, and therefore are in full communion with the Catholic Church, including both the Latin Church and the 22 other Eastern Catholic Churches. The Armenian Catholic Church is regulated by Eastern canon law, namely the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches .
The headof the sui iuris Armenian Catholic Church is the Armenian Catholic Patriarch of Cilicia, whose main cathedral and de facto archiepiscopal see is the Cathedral of Saint Elias and Saint Gregory the Illuminator, in Beirut, Lebanon.
The 451 Council of Chalcedon caused problems for the Armenian Church which formally broke off communion with the Chalcedonian Churches at the 3rd Synod of Dvin in 610, some Armenian bishops and congregations especially the Church of Caucasian Albania made attempts to restore communion with the Chalcedonian Churches after the 6th Ecumenical Council of 681. During the Crusades, the Church of the Armenian kingdom of Cilicia entered into a union with the Catholic Church, an attempt that did not last. The union was later re-established during the Council of Florence in 1439, but did not have any real effects for centuries.
Some Armenians converted to Catholicism, and in the absence of any specific Armenian Catholic Church in effect became Latins. In Medieval China, Armenians in China were converted to Catholicism by John of Montecorvino in Beijing and there was also an Armenian Franciscan Catholic community in Quanzhou.
In 1740, Abraham-Pierre I Ardzivian, who had earlier become a Catholic, was elected as the patriarch of Sis. Two years later Pope Benedict XIV formally established the Armenian Catholic Church. In 1749, the Armenian Catholic Church built a convent in Bzoummar, Lebanon. During the Armenian Genocide in 1915–1918 the Church scattered among neighboring countries, mainly Lebanon and Syria.
An Armenian Catholic community was also previously formed by Armenians living in Poland in 1630s the Armenian bishop of Leopolis (see Armenian Catholic Archeparchy of Lviv), Nicholas (Polish: Mikołaj) Torosowicz had entered into union with the Catholic Church. The community which had been historically centered in Galicia as well as in the pre-1939 Polish borderlands in the east, was after World War II expelled to present-day Poland and now has three parishes: in Gdańsk, in Gliwice and in Warsaw.
The church belongs to the group of Eastern Rite Catholic churches and uses the Armenian Rite and the Armenian language in its liturgy. The Armenian Rite is also used by both the Armenian Apostolic Church and by a significant number of Eastern Catholic Christians in the Republic of Georgia. It is patterned after the directives of Saint Gregory the Illuminator, founder and patron saint of the Armenian Church. Unlike the Byzantine Church, churches of the Armenian rite are usually devoid of icons and have a curtain concealing the priest and the altar from the people during parts of the liturgy. The use of bishop's mitre and of unleavened bread is reminiscent of the influence Western missionaries once had upon both the miaphysite Orthodox Armenians as well as upon the Armenian Rite Catholics.[ citation needed ]
Apart from Armenia, Georgia and Russia, Armenian Catholic Church is found widely in the Armenian diaspora, notably in Lebanon (where the Armenian Catholic Church is headquartered), Syria, Egypt, Turkey, Iran, France, U.S.A., Canada, Argentina, Uruguay, Australia.
Armenian Catholics originated in what is today Armenia, Georgia and Eastern Europe. Beginning in the late 1920s, persecution caused many Armenian Catholics to emigrate. In 1991, after the fall of the Soviet Union, the Bishop of Rome, Pope John Paul II merged the communities in Georgia and Russia with those in Armenia, creating a new ordinariate of Armenia and Eastern Europe, with its residence in Gyumri. The city was not chosen by chance: Most Catholic Armenians live in the northern parts of Armenia. This has become a kind of basis for fence-mending with the coreligionists on the other side of the border.
Today Catholic Armenians of Samtskhe-Javakheti live together in Akhaltsikhe and in the nearby villages, as well as in the regions of Akhalkalaki and Ninotsminda. The communities in the last two regions, which are mainly rural, are in rather distant areas, but the most important link is the historical memory of Catholicism.
A small seminary was established in Gyumri, Armenia, in 1994; there candidates for the priesthood engage in basic studies before moving to the Pontifical College of the Armenians (established 1885) in Rome, where they pursue philosophy and theology.
There are also tens of thousands of Armenian Catholics in Russia, due to the large amount of migration from Armenia to Russia that has occurred since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Presently, around 1.5 million Armenians live in North America, of which 35,000 belong to the Armenian Catholic Church.
In the 19th century Catholic Armenians from Western Armenia, mainly from the towns and cities of Karin (Erzurum), Constantinople, Mardin etc., came to the United States seeking employment. At the end of the same century, many survivors of the Hamidian Massacres had concentrated in several U.S. cities, chiefly in New York. Catholic Armenian communities were also founded in New Jersey, Boston, Detroit, Los Angeles, and other cities of California.
Catholic Armenian educational organizations were also founded in many cities. In Philadelphia and Boston Colleges of Armenian sisters were founded, educating hundreds of children. Later, a similar college was founded in Los Angeles. Mechitarists were preoccupied with the problem of preserving Armenian identity. By the effort of Mekhitarists in Venice and Vienna, the Mkhitarian College was founded in Los Angeles.
Many Armenians came to the United States and Canada from the Middle Eastern countries of Lebanon and Syria in the 1970s and in later years. Also many Armenians immigrated from Argentina, because of the economic crisis. At the same time, many Catholic Armenians inside the United States moved to San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Miami and Indianapolis.
In 2005, by Pope Benedict XVI's decision, the Catholic Exarchate of the USA and Canada was advanced to the status of a diocese. It serviced 35,000 Catholic Armenians in the United States and some 10,000 in Canada. The bishop, or eparch, of the diocese, which has jurisdiction over Canadian and American Catholics who are members of the Armenian Catholic Church, became Manuel Batakian. According to a Monday, May 23, 2011 news release by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Pope Benedict XVI, named Archpriest Mikaël Antoine Mouradian, superior of the Convent of Notre Dame in Bzommar, Lebanon, as the new bishop of the Eparchy of Our Lady of Nareg in New York for Armenian Catholics. The appointment of Lebanon-born Bishop Mouradian was publicized in Washington, May 21, by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.
Next to North America, France holds the largest number of Armenian Catholics outside of the areas of the Middle East and Oriental Europe. The Eparchy of Sainte-Croix-de-Paris was established in 1960 with Bishop Garabed Armadouni as exarch. Since 1977, the eparchy has been led by Bishop Krikor Gabroyan.
There are some 30,000 Armenian Catholics in the eparchy, the headquarters of which is in Paris. The eparchy has six churches apart from the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Paris: Arnouville-lès-Gonesse, Lyon, Marseille, Saint-Chamond, Sèvres and Valence. A community of Mekhitarist Fathers resides in Sèvres and a convent of Armenian Sisters of the Immaculate Conception runs a school in Marseille.
According to an 1842 article by C. W. Russell in The Dublin Review there were 150,000 Armenian Catholics worldwide.However, another source, the Society for the Propagation of the Faith estimated some 40,000 Catholic Armenians in 1847. In 1871 Roswell Dwight Hitchcock estimated 100,000 Catholic Armenians of the total 3-5 million Armenians.
Malachia Ormanian, a historian and an Armenian Apostolic Patriarch of Constantinople, estimated 136,400 Armenian Catholics worldwide in his 1911 book: 83,500 (61%) in the Ottoman Empire, 30,000 in the Russian Empire, 15,000 in Europe (Poland, Italy, Austria), 5,000 in Bukovina and Hungary, 1,500 in Egypt and 1,400 in Persia.The 1897 imperial census in Russia found 38,840 Catholic Armenians, while 1914 Ottoman government statistics provided 67,838 as the number of Catholic Armenians.
A 1971 article by United Press International (UPI) estimated the number of adherents of the Armenian Catholic Church at around 100,000.
According to Annuario Pontificio , the annual directory of the Holy See, the church had 142,853 followers worldwide in 1990. The number rose to 736,956 in 2015 according to the same source.However, the number is inflated due to overestimation of Catholics in Eastern Europe and Armenia (supposedly at 600,000). According to the 2011 census in Armenia there were 13,247 Catholics (of any ethnicity) in the country, far below the 600,000 figure.
Independent sources estimate the number of Catholic Armenians in the early 21st century at 150,000.
The Armenian Catholic Church is broken into Archdioceses, Eparchies, Apostolic Exarchates, Ordinariates for the Faithful of the Eastern Rite and Patriarchal Exarchates, each of which have functions similar to a diocese.
The Armenian Catholic Patriarchate of the See of Cilicia is the supreme authority of the Armenian Catholic Church. Krikor Bedros XX Gabroyan is the current Catholicos-Patriarch.
Following is a list of the jurisdictions with their number of adherents.
|Patriarchate of Cilicia, also sole Metropolitanate as Armenian Catholic Archeparchy of Beirut, Lebanon (Patriarchal proper archdiocese)||15,000||12,000||12,500|
|Archeparchy of Aleppo (Halab, Beroa), Syria||15,000||17,000||7,000|
|Archeparchy of Baghdad, Iraq||2,200||2,000||2,400|
|Archeparchy of Istanbul (Constantinople), Turkey||3,700||3,680||2,500|
|Archeparchy of Lviv, Ukraine||N/A||N/A||0|
|Suffragan Eparchies in the Patriarch's Metropolitan Province of Cilicia|
|Alexandria (Iskanderiya) actually in Cairo, Egypt||1,500||1,287||6,500|
|Kameshli ((Al-)Qamishli), Syria||4,303||4,000||3,500|
|Other Eparchies (dioceses), in the diaspora|
|Eparchy of Our Lady of Nareg in the United States of America and Canada||34,000||36,000||36,000|
|Eparchy of Sainte-Croix-de-Paris, France||30,000||30,000||35,000|
|Eparchy of Saint Gregory of Narek, Buenos Aires||established in 1989||16,000||16,350|
|Apostolic Exarchates (missionary, directly dependent on the Holy See)|
|Armenian Catholic Apostolic Exarchate of Latin America and Mexico||30,000||12,000||12,000|
|Ordinariates for the Faithful of the Eastern Rites|
|Ordinariate for Romania (Gherla)||N/A||1,000||626|
|Eastern Europe (except Romania) (Gyumri, Armenia)||established in 1991||220,000||618,000|
|Damascus, part of Syria||9,000||8,000||4,500|
|Jerusalem and Amman (Jordan & Holy Land)||N/A||280||500|
TO BE ELABORATED
Achrida (Ohrid), Pessinus, Traianopolis in Rhodope
Chalcedon, Colonia in Armenia, Mardin, Nisibis of the Armenians, Sebaste, Tarsus
Adana, Amida, Anazarbus, Ancyra, Artvin, Cesarea in Cappadocia, Garin, Kharput, Marasc, Melitene, Mush, Prusa, Tokat, Trapezus
The Armenian Catholic Church produces a number of publications:
The Armenian Catholic Church has presses that publish many liturgical, spiritual books, publications, pamphlets and translations from general Catholic publications.
The Syriac Catholic Church, also known as Syriac Catholic Patriarchate of Antioch, is an Eastern Catholic Christian Church in the Levant that uses the West Syriac Rite liturgy and has many practices and rites in common with the Syriac Orthodox Church. Being one of the twenty-three Eastern Catholic Churches, the Syriac Catholic Church has full autonomy and is a self-governed sui iuris Church while it is in full communion with the Holy See of Rome. The Syriac Catholic Church traces its history to the earliest days of Christianity. After the Calcedonian Schism the Church of Antioch became part of Oriental Orthodoxy, and was known as the Syriac Orthodox Church, while a new Antiochian Patriarchate was established to fill its place by the churches which accepted the Council of Calcedon. The Syriac Orthodox Church came into full communion with the Holy See and the modern Syriac Orthodox Church is a result of those that did not want to join the Catholic Church. Therefore the Syriac Catholic Church is the continuation of the original Church of Antioch.
The term exarch comes from the Ancient Greek ἔξαρχος, exarchos, and designates holders of various historical offices, some of them being political or military and others being ecclesiastical.
The Armenian Apostolic Church is the national church of the Armenian people. Part of Oriental Orthodoxy, it is one of the most ancient Christian institutions. The Kingdom of Armenia was the first state to adopt Christianity as its official religion under the rule of King Tiridates III in the early 4th century. According to tradition, the church originated in the missions of Apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus of Edessa in the 1st century.
The Melkite Greek Catholic Church is an Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with the Holy See as part of the worldwide Catholic Church. It is headed by Patriarch Youssef Absi, S.M.S.P., headquartered in Cathedral of Our Lady of the Dormition, Damascus, Syria. The Melkites, Byzantine Rite Catholics, trace their history to the early Christians of Antioch, formerly part of Syria and now in Turkey, of the 1st century AD, where Christianity was introduced by Saint Peter.
The Maronite Church is an Eastern Catholic sui iuris particular church in full communion with the pope and the worldwide Catholic Church, with self-governance under the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches. It is headed by Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rahi since 2011, seated in Bkerke north of Beirut, Lebanon. Officially known as the Syriac Maronite Church of Antioch, it is part of Syriac Christianity by liturgy and heritage.
The Slovak Greek Catholic Church, or Slovak Byzantine Catholic Church, is a Metropolitan sui iuris Eastern particular Church in full union with the Catholic Church. Its liturgical rite is the Byzantine Rite. L'Osservatore Romano of January 31, 2008 reported that, in Slovakia alone, it had some 350,000 faithful, 374 priests and 254 parishes. In addition, the 2012 Annuario Pontificio gave its Canadian Eparchy of Saints Cyril and Methodius of Toronto as having 2,000 faithful, 4 priests and 5 parishes. The Slovak Greek Catholic Church is in full communion with the Holy See.
The Patriarchate of Cilicia is the only patriarchate within the Armenian Catholic Church. The St. Elie and St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Catholic Cathedral in Beirut, Lebanon, is the seat of the Patriarchate. The Patriarchate is headed by Patriarch Krikor Bedros XX Gabroyan elected in July 2015.
The Syriac Catholic Church, established in the second half of the 17th century as an Eastern Catholic offshoot of the Syriac Orthodox Church, had around a dozen dioceses in the eastern provinces of the Ottoman Empire in the 18th and 19th centuries. Three of these dioceses were ruined during the First World War in the Assyrian and Armenian massacres, and the 20th century also saw the growth of an important Syriac Catholic diaspora in America, Europe and Australasia.As of 2012 the Syriac Catholic Church has fifteen dioceses, mostly in the Middle East, and four patriarchal vicariates for the diaspora communities.
Armenian Catholic Eparchy of Our Lady of Nareg in the United States of America and Canada is located in Glendale, California, United States and is immediately subject to the Holy See. It was created by John Paul II on July 3, 1981 as the Apostolic Exarchate of United States of America and Canada for the Armenians. It was elevated to an eparchy on September 12, 2005. The seat of the eparchy is St. Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral in Glendale, California.
Manuel Batakian, I.C.P.B. is a bishop of the Catholic Church in the United States. He served as an auxiliary bishop to the Armenian Catholic Patriarch from 1995 to 2000, as the third exarch of the Apostolic Exarchate of United States of America and Canada from 2000 to 2005, and as the first eparch (bishop) of Armenian Catholic Eparchy of Our Lady of Nareg in New York from 2005 to 2011.
Nechan Karakéhéyan, I.C.P.B. was an Ordinate emeritus of Greece to Armenian Catholics.
Krikor Bedros XX Gabroyan, I.P.C.B. is the Catholicos-Patriarch of Cilicia of the Armenian Catholic Church after his election on 24 July 2015 and the necessary concession of the ecclesiastical full communion by Pope Francis one day later. He was officially enthroned on 9 August 2015.
The Armenian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate of Jerusalem and Amman is the missionary pre-diocesan jurisdiction of the Armenian Catholic Church sui iuris in the Holy Land (Palestine/Israel) and (Trans)Jordan.
The Armenian Catholic Eparchy of Alexandria is a suffragan eparchy of the Armenian Catholic Church sui iuris, in the Patriarch's own 'ecclesiastical province of Cilicia', covering Egypt and Sudan.
The Armenian Catholic Eparchy of Qamishli is a suffragan eparchy of the Armenian Catholic Church sui iuris in the Patriarch's own ecclesiastical province 'of Cilicia', serving part of Syria.
The Armenian Catholic Eparchy of San Gregorio de Narek en Buenos Aires in an eparchy of the Armenian Catholic Church for Argentina.
The Armenian Catholic Eparchy of Isfahan is a suffragan eparchy, covering all of Iran, in the ecclesiastical province 'of Cilicia' of the Armenian Catholic Patriarch, the head of the Armenian Catholic Church.
The Armenian Catholic Eparchy of Sainte-Croix-de-Paris is an eparchy for the faithful in France of the Armenian Catholic Church sui iuris, which uses the Armenian Rite in Armenian, in full communion with the universal Pope of Rome.
Abraham Petros I Ardzivian was the founder of the Armenian Catholic Church and its first Catholicos-Patriarch from 1740 to 1749.
St. Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral is an Armenian Catholic cathedral located in Glendale, California, United States. It is the seat for the Armenian Catholic Eparchy of Our Lady of Nareg in the United States of America and Canada.
According to Vatican sources, some 250,000 Armenians are members of the “Armenian Rite” of the Catholic Church (others put the number closer to 150,000) with communities in Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey, Jerusalem and the US.
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