Armenian Jerusalem
 

For the first time within living memory, the Armenian church in

Jerusalem is to have a co-adjutor Patriarch whose primary mission

will be to assist the incumbent guardian of the keys of St James,

Archbishop Torkom Manoogian, in the administration of the affairs

of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

                  The   measure,   proposed   by   Manoogian   himself,   was   put   forward   at   one   of   the sessions   of   a   four-day   marathon   conclave   held   in   Jerusalem   last   week   and   attended by members of the priestly Brotherhood of St James.                   Bowing   to   the   wish   of   the   ailing   patriarch,   who   is   in   his   90's,   the   28   participants of   the   19th   general   assembly   of   the   Brotherhood,   who   have   all   been   ordained   in Jerusalem    (and    of    whom    many    are    serving    the    church    overseas),    adopted    a resolution to consider the issue of holding elections at an opportune time.                   The   need   for   a   co-adjutor   has   become   increasingly   crucial   recently   in   view   of Manoogian's   tenuous   health   which   is   creating   difficulties   for   him   and   preventing him   from   attending   to   some   of   the   myriad   tasks   his   office   requires,   and   at   the same time giving cause for concern to those around him.                         Sources    close    to    the    Patriarchate    said    the    conclave,    presided    over    by Manoogian   and   co-charied   by   Archbishop   Khajag   Barsamian,   head   of   the   Armenian church    of    the    Eastern    coast    of    the    US,    discussed    the    "issues    concerning    the patriarchate   and   its   far-flung   establishments   in   the   Holy   Land,   particularly   the churches   and   convents   in   Ramleh,   Jaffa   and   Bethlehem,   and   reaffirmed   the   need to maintain and preserve these holy places."                   The   meeting   also   approved   the   budget   for   the   following   year.   The   Patriarchate oversees   an   extensive   array   of   institutions   besides   the Armenian   holy   places.   These include    the    Gulbenkian    library,    the    St    Tarkmanchatz    parish    high    school,    the theological   seminary,   and   the   museum,   and   relies   heavily   on   donations   to   meet   its payroll. Its sole income is from the rent of properties it owns in West Jerusalem.                   The   official   communique   issued   by   the   Armenian   Patriarchate   following   the conclusion    of    the    conclave    did    not    divulge    any    details,    but    there    have    been persistent    reports    of    encroachments    upon    its    properties,    particularly    the    St Nicholas monastery in Jaffa.                   It   said   the   patriarchate   attorney   had   presented   "explanations   about   various   real estate   related   issues   connected   with   St   Gregory   the   Illuminator   Church   in   New   [sic] Jerusalem   and   clarified   all   the   concerns   that   the   members   of   the   Brotherhood had."                   The   status   of   this   church   "remains   unchanged   under   the   jurisdiction   of   the Armenian Patriarchate," it added.                   Among   the   most   important   projects   discussed   during   the   conclave   was   a proposal   to   construct   a   hostel   on   land   the   Patriarchate   owns   on   the   Mount   of Olives, site of the Ascension of Jesus.                   The   meeting   comes   at   a   critical   point   in   the   illustrious   history   of   the Armenian church   in   Jerusalem   whose   origins   hark   back   to   the   4th   or   5th   Century,   shortly   after Armenia   became   the   first   nation   in   history   to   accept   Christianity   as   its   state religion.                   Ever   since,   the   Patriarchate   has   acted   as   the   focal   point   of   the   vibrant Armenian   presence   in   the   Holy   Land,   a   fount   of   hope   and   faith   for   the   thousands   of Armenian   pilgrims   who   travelled   to   Jerusalem   to   walk   in   the   footsteps   of   Christ over   the   centuries.   They   came   on   camelback   and   aboard   Boeing   777's   -   some   chose to   remain,   and   build   homes.   They   all   gave   back   Jerusalem   more   than   they   took back: the city's first photographic studio and printing press, among others.                   Since   his   return   to   Jerusalem   some   20   years   ago,   and   his   election   as   patriarch, Manoogian   has   tried   hard   to   reinforce   the Armenian   entity   in   the   Holy   Land.   Driven by    his    over-riding    zeal    for    reform,    Manoogian    has    set    about    refurbishing    the dilapidated    residences    of    the    priests,    renovating    churches,    and    upgrading    the educational standards of the theological seminary.                   He   has   succeeded   in   his   efforts   at   reform   and   reconstruction   to   a   considerable extent,   bringing   a   measure   of   much-needed   stability   to   the   Armenian   compound, insisting   on   accountability   and   transparency,   and   imbuing   the Armenian   church   with his vision of a revived Jerusalem.                   But   at   a   heavy   price   to   his   health.   Now   ailing   and   mobile   with   difficulty,   he   has finally   come   to   realize   that   he   cannot   shoulder   all   the   burdens   of   Jerusalem   by himself.                   Although   he   has   an   able   cadre   of   experienced   men   to   help   administer   the affairs   of   the   Patriarchate,   he   confided   to   me   that   there   were   still   so   many   things he   wanted   to   do,   and   so   few   resources,   particularly   in   manpower,   available   to   help him carry these out.      (Nov 21, 2010)
2,000 years of glorious history
This project has been supported by the Gulbenkian philanthropic Foundation, the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and members of the worldwide Armenian community. Reproductions of the genealogical documents [domar’s] are courtesy Photo Garo, Jerusalem. Copyright © 2007 Arthur Hagopian
 

For the first time within living memory, the Armenian church in Jerusalem

is to have a co-adjutor Patriarch whose primary mission will be to assist the

incumbent guardian of the keys of St James, Archbishop Torkom Manoogian,

in the administration of the affairs of the Armenian Patriarchate of

Jerusalem.

                  The   measure,   proposed   by   Manoogian   himself,   was   put   forward   at   one   of   the   sessions   of a   four-day   marathon   conclave   held   in   Jerusalem   last   week   and   attended   by   members   of   the priestly Brotherhood of St James.                   Bowing   to   the   wish   of   the   ailing   patriarch,   who   is   in   his   90's,   the   28   participants   of   the 19th   general   assembly   of   the   Brotherhood,   who   have   all   been   ordained   in   Jerusalem   (and   of whom   many   are   serving   the   church   overseas),   adopted   a   resolution   to   consider   the   issue   of holding elections at an opportune time.                   The   need   for   a   co-adjutor   has   become   increasingly   crucial   recently   in   view   of Manoogian's   tenuous   health   which   is   creating   difficulties   for   him   and   preventing   him   from attending   to   some   of   the   myriad   tasks   his   office   requires,   and   at   the   same   time   giving   cause for concern to those around him.                   Sources   close   to   the   Patriarchate   said   the   conclave,   presided   over   by   Manoogian   and   co- charied   by   Archbishop   Khajag   Barsamian,   head   of   the   Armenian   church   of   the   Eastern   coast of   the   US,   discussed   the   "issues   concerning   the   patriarchate   and   its   far-flung   establishments in   the   Holy   Land,   particularly   the   churches   and   convents   in   Ramleh,   Jaffa   and   Bethlehem, and reaffirmed the need to maintain and preserve these holy places."                   The   meeting   also   approved   the   budget   for   the   following   year.   The   Patriarchate   oversees an   extensive   array   of   institutions   besides   the   Armenian   holy   places.   These   include   the Gulbenkian   library,   the   St Tarkmanchatz   parish   high   school,   the   theological   seminary,   and   the museum,   and   relies   heavily   on   donations   to   meet   its   payroll.   Its   sole   income   is   from   the   rent of properties it owns in West Jerusalem.                  The   official   communique   issued   by   the Armenian   Patriarchate   following   the   conclusion   of the    conclave    did    not    divulge    any    details,    but    there    have    been    persistent    reports    of encroachments upon its properties, particularly the St Nicholas monastery in Jaffa.                   It   said   the   patriarchate   attorney   had   presented   "explanations   about   various   real   estate related   issues   connected   with   St   Gregory   the   Illuminator   Church   in   New   [sic]   Jerusalem   and clarified all the concerns that the members of the Brotherhood had."                   The   status   of   this   church   "remains   unchanged   under   the   jurisdiction   of   the   Armenian Patriarchate," it added.                   Among   the   most   important   projects   discussed   during   the   conclave   was   a   proposal   to construct   a   hostel   on   land   the   Patriarchate   owns   on   the   Mount   of   Olives,   site   of   the Ascension of Jesus.                   The   meeting   comes   at   a   critical   point   in   the   illustrious   history   of   the Armenian   church   in Jerusalem   whose   origins   hark   back   to   the   4th   or   5th   Century,   shortly   after   Armenia   became the first nation in history to accept Christianity as its state religion.                   Ever   since,   the   Patriarchate   has   acted   as   the   focal   point   of   the   vibrant   Armenian presence   in   the   Holy   Land,   a   fount   of   hope   and   faith   for   the   thousands   of Armenian   pilgrims who   travelled   to   Jerusalem   to   walk   in   the   footsteps   of   Christ   over   the   centuries.   They   came on   camelback   and   aboard   Boeing   777's   -   some   chose   to   remain,   and   build   homes.   They   all gave   back   Jerusalem   more   than   they   took   back:   the   city's   first   photographic   studio   and printing press, among others.                   Since   his   return   to   Jerusalem   some   20   years   ago,   and   his   election   as   patriarch, Manoogian   has   tried   hard   to   reinforce   the   Armenian   entity   in   the   Holy   Land.   Driven   by   his over-riding   zeal   for   reform,   Manoogian   has   set   about   refurbishing   the   dilapidated   residences of    the    priests,    renovating    churches,    and    upgrading    the    educational    standards    of    the theological seminary.                   He   has   succeeded   in   his   efforts   at   reform   and   reconstruction   to   a   considerable   extent, bringing    a    measure    of    much-needed    stability    to    the   Armenian    compound,    insisting    on accountability   and   transparency,   and   imbuing   the   Armenian   church   with   his   vision   of   a revived Jerusalem.                   But   at   a   heavy   price   to   his   health.   Now   ailing   and   mobile   with   difficulty,   he   has   finally come to realize that he cannot shoulder all the burdens of Jerusalem by himself.                  Although   he   has   an   able   cadre   of   experienced   men   to   help   administer   the   affairs   of   the Patriarchate,   he   confided   to   me   that   there   were   still   so   many   things   he   wanted   to   do,   and   so few resources, particularly in manpower, available to help him carry these out.      (Nov 21, 2010)
This project has been supported by the Gulbenkian philanthropic Foundation, the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and members of the worldwide Armenian community. Reproductions of the genealogical documents [domar’s] are courtesy Photo Garo, Jerusalem. Copyright © 2007 Arthur Hagopian
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