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Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia

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Old 15 Dec 07, 17:03   #1 (permalink)
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Icon1 Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia

The Origin of the Armenian Church

On the seashore of Antelias, a suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, are located the headquarters of the Catholicosate of Cilicia. The history of the Catholicosate of Cilicia is closely linked to the life of the Armenian people.

~ Christianity in Armenia ~

The origin of the Armenian Church dates back to the Apostolic age. According to the ancient tradition well supported by historical evidence, Christianity was preached in Armenia as early as the second half of the first century by the two disciples of Jesus Christ, namely, St. Thaddeus (John 14:22-24) and St. Bartholomew (John 1:43-51). During the first three centuries Christianity in Armenia was a hidden religion under heavy persecution.

It was at the beginning of the fourth century, 301 AD, that Christianity was officially accepted by the Armenians as the state religion. St. Gregory the Illuminator, the patron Saint of the Armenian Church, and King Thiridates III, the ruler of the time, played a pivotal role in the official Christianization of Armenia.

It is a well recognized historical fact that the Armenians were the first nation to formally adhere to Christianity. This conversion was followed in the fourth and fifth centuries by a process of institutionalization and Armenization of Christianity in Armenia.

~ A Migrating Catholicossate ~

St. Gregory the Illuminator became the organizer of the Armenian Church hierarchy. From that time, the heads of the Armenian Church have been called Catholicos and still hold the same title. St. Gregory chose as the site of the Catholicosate then the capital city of Vagharshapat, in Armenia. He built the pontifical residence next to the church called "Holy Mother of God" (which in recent times would take on the name of St. Etchmiadzin, meaning the place where the Only-Begotten Son has descended), according to the vision in which he saw the Only-Begotten Son of God coming down from heaven with a golden hammer in his hand to locate the site of the new cathedral to be built in 302. The continuous upheavals, which characterized the political scenes of Armenia, made the political power move to safer places. The Church center moved as well to different locations together with the political authority.

Thus, in 485, the Catholicosate was transferred to the new capital Dvin. In the 10th century it moved from Dvin to Dzoravank and then to Aghtamar (927), to Arghina (947) and to Ani (992). After the fall of Ani and the Armenian Kingdom of Bagradits in 1045, masses of Armenians migrated to Cilicia. The Catholicosate, together with the people, settled there.

It was first established in Thavblour (1062), then in Dzamendav (1072), in Dzovk (1116), in Hromkla (1149), and finally in Sis (1293), the capital of the Cilician Kingdom, where it remained for seven centuries. After the fall of the Armenian Kingdom in Cilicia, in 1375, the Church also assumed the role of national leadership, and the Catholicos was recognized as Ethnarch (Head of Nation). This national responsibility considerably broadened the scope of the Church's mission.

~ Two Catholicosates within the Armenian Church ~

The existence of two Catholicosates within the Armenian Church, namely the Catholicosate of Etchmiadzin (the Catholicosate of All Armenians), Etchmiadzin-Armenia, and the Catholicosate of the Graet House of Cilicia, Antelias-Lebanon, is due to historical circumstances. In the 10th century, when Armenia was devastated by Seljuks, many Armenians left their homeland and came to settle in Cilicia where they re-organized their political, ecclesiastical and cultural life. The Catholicosate also took refuge in Cilicia.

In 1375 the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia was destroyed. Cilicia became a battleground for hostile Seljuks, Mamluks and other invaders. In the meantime Armenia was having a relatively peaceful time. The deteriorating situation in Cilicia on one hand and the growing cultural and ecclesiastical awakening in Armenia on the other, led the bishops of Armenia to elect a Catholicos in Etchmiadzin. The latter was the original seat of the Catholicosate, but it had ceased to function as Catholicossal See after 485.

Thus, in 1441, a new Catholicos was elected in Etchmiadzin in the person of Kirakos Virapetsi. At the same time Krikor Moussapegiants (1439-1446) was the Catholicos of Cilicia. Therefore, since 1441, there have been two Catholicosates in the Armenian Church with equal rights and privileges, and with their respective jurisdictions. The primacy of honor of the Catholicosate of Etchmiadzin has always been recognized by the Catholicosate of Cilicia.
 
__________________
Бог мой, как велико созвездие храбрецов на небосклоне нашей истории.
И как ослепительно их сияние. Увенчаны все, у всех есть шрамы славы.
В зрачках у них молнии, гнев, горечь.
Не осталось, почти не осталось в мире рода, который бы не узнал силу нашей руки.
Г. Нждеh

Judica, Domine, nocentes me: expugna impugnantes me.
Confundantur et revereantur quaerentes animam meam.
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Old 15 Dec 07, 17:15   #2 (permalink)
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Icon1 Ответ: ~ Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia ~

The Catholicosate of Cilicia in Antelias


During World War I (1915-1918), one and a half million Armenians were massacred by the Turks. In 1921, when the French forces evacuated Cilicia, a second wave of massacres ordered by Kemalist Turkey took the lives of another three hundred thousand Armenians. The rest of the Armenians were forced to leave their homeland and found refuge mostly in Syria and Lebanon. The Catholicosate in Sis was robbed and ruined by the Turks. Catholicos Sahak II followed his flock in exile.

After wandering in Syria and Lebanon, in 1930, he established the Catholicosate in Antelias, Lebanon. Thus, a new era opened in the history of the Catholicosate with the organization of Dioceses and the founding of a new theological seminary. The Armenian people spread all over the world looked at the Catholicosate with new hopes and expectations.

In order to fulfill the great task now entrusted to the Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia in the Armenian Diaspora, Catholicos Sahak II, already advanced in age, asked the help of Archbishop Papken Gulesserian, who was enthroned as Coadjutor-Catholicos in 1931. Soon a printing press was established in Antelias, a monthly review under the name of HASK (Ear of Corn) started to get published regularly, together with a number of religious, educational, historical and philological publications. The Coadjutor-Catholicos Papken I passed away in 1936, after five years of intensive and fruitful activities.


Archbishop Bedros Saradjian, Primate of the Armenians in Cyprus, was nominated Vicar-General to Catholicos Sahak II. By the donation of Simon and Mathilde Kayekjian, the property of the Catholicosate was purchased from the American Near East Relief organization, which 1922-1928 had run an Armenian orphanage in the same place where the Catholicosate was located in 1930. The Cathedral was built through the donation of an unknown benefactor, whose name, Sarkis Kenadjian, was announced only after his death. A Chapel in memory of the one and a half million Armenian martyrs, as well as a residence for the Catholicos and a new Seminary building were constructed one after the other. Catholicos Sahak died in 1939. He was succeeded by Catholicos Bedros I, who passed away the following year.


The election of the new Catholicos took place in 1943 and the Primate of the Armenian Church in North America, Archbishop Karekin Hovsepiantz, was elected Catholicos. During his pontificate (1945-1952), the Catholicosate flourished primarily in the area of cultural activities. Catholicos Karekin I, being a great scholar, encouraged the higher studies in the Seminary and gave impetus to Armenological publications and conferences. The scope of the work of the Catholicosate was considerably widened.

Four years elapsed between his death and the election of his successor, Catholicos Zareh I Payaslian (1956-1963), the first graduate of the Seminary of Antelias. Catholicos Zareh I was an experienced church leader, having served as Primate of Aleppo (Syria) for sixteen years.

During his short reign, the service of the Catholicosate was extended to various communities in the Diaspora who had been in desperate need of spiritual care for many years and the Seminary was given particular attention. His personal insights and saintly life had a determining influence on all and especially the seminarians who entered the service of the Church.

The relations of the Catholicosate with other churches and states of the Middle East were strengthened. In 1962, the Catholicosate became a full member of the World Council of Churches and sent observers to the Vatican Council II. His close associate, Archbishop Khoren I Paroyan, the Primate of the Armenian Church in Lebanon, succeeded him in 1963.


Under the pontificate of Khoren I, the Catholicosate went through an era of achievements in various domains. Through his strenuous efforts the Catholicosate reached financial stability; the terrain of the Catholicosate was expanded and new constructions came to meet the growing needs of the Catholicosate. In 1977, Catholicos Khoren wished to have an assistant.

Archbishop Karekin II Sarkissian, the Primate of the Eastern Diocese of the USA, was elected Coadjutor-Catholicos. Although 18 years of his pontificate were difficult years in Lebanon because of the civil war, Catholicos Karekin II succeeded to elevate the Catholicosate of Cilicia to a new level of witness and service.

He improved the printing house, restarted the publication of the annual "HASK Armenological", established the Christian Education Department, organized seminars on contemporary issues, and enlarged the scope of the ecumenical involvement of the Catholicosate. In April 1995 Catholicos Karekin II was elected Catholicos of All Armenians in Etchmiadzin, Armenia.

In 1995, Archbishop Aram Keshishian, the Primate of the Armenian Church in Lebanon, was elected Catholicos by an Electoral Assembly composed of 185 clergy and lay delegates.
 
__________________
Бог мой, как велико созвездие храбрецов на небосклоне нашей истории.
И как ослепительно их сияние. Увенчаны все, у всех есть шрамы славы.
В зрачках у них молнии, гнев, горечь.
Не осталось, почти не осталось в мире рода, который бы не узнал силу нашей руки.
Г. Нждеh

Judica, Domine, nocentes me: expugna impugnantes me.
Confundantur et revereantur quaerentes animam meam.
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Old 15 Dec 07, 17:30   #3 (permalink)
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Icon1 Ответ: ~ Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia ~

~ Biography of His Holiness Aram I Catholicos of Cilicia ~







Born in 1947, in Beirut, Lebanon, His Holiness Catholicos Aram I after studying at the Armenian Theological Seminary, Antelias, Lebanon and the Ecumenical Institute of Bossey, Geneva, Switzerland, received his M.Div. from the Near East School of Theology, his S.T.M. jointly from the American University of Beirut and Near East School of Theology, and his PhD from Fordham University in New York. He also holds several honorary degrees. His major areas of specialization are philosophy, systematic theology, and Near Eastern church history.

Church Ministry

Catholicos Aram I was ordained as a celibate priest in 1968 and obtained the title of Vartabed (Doctor of the Armenian Church) in 1970. In 1979, after serving for one year as Locum Tenens, he was elected Primate of the Armenian Orthodox Community in Lebanon; the next year he received episcopal ordination. In June 1995, His Holiness was elected Catholicos (the Head of the Church) by the Electoral Assembly of the Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia (35 clergy and 115 lay representatives), and was consecrated one week later.

Called to serve as Primate of the Armenian Community of Lebanon during the Lebanese Civil War, His Holiness reorganized parishes and schools, restructured and reactivated church-related institutions, and renewed community leadership.

As Head of Church, he:

• reorganized and revitalized the work of the Church, particularly in the areas of theological formation, Christian education, publications, communications, cultural activities, youth, justice and peace, and human rights.

• realized several construction projects in the Catholicosate, such as: the 'Cilicia' Museum, Center of Archives and Manuscripts, buildings for bishops and monks, a guesthouse and offices, a center for youth and university students, and in Beirut apartments for low-income families, etc.

• paid pontifical visits to all the dioceses of the Catholicosate in the Middle East, Europe, and North and South America, and brought a new dynamism to the relationship between these world-wide dioceses and the administrative center of the Church, the Catholicosate, in Lebanon;

• emphasized the Church’s outreach through social service (orphanage, old peoples’ home, blind peoples’ home, and school for the disabled);

• strengthened ecumenical relations and collaboration, by establishing a special department for this work, developing close personal relations with world church leaders, organizing important ecumenical meetings and events, and chairing and lecturing at international conferences and events in different regions;

• In the context of international relations, he met with a number of heads of states, political and religious leaders, and representatives of international organizations.

~ Academic and Intellectual Achievements ~

For many years His Holiness Catholicos Aram I has regularly lectured on armenological, theological, and ecumenical subjects at the Armenian Seminary and Haigazian University in Beitut. He has also given numerous public lectures in various universities, academic and cultural centers, and at public events and international gatherings.

In addition to his numerous articles and reviews in Armenian, English and French (some of which have been translated into Arabic, German, Spanish and Swedish), His Holiness Aram I has authored the following books:

Nerses the Gracious: Theologian and Ecumenist, 1974, Beirut (in Armenian).
The Witness of the Armenian Church in a Diaspora Situation, 1978, New York (in English), two editions.
The True Image of the Armenian Church, 1979, Antelias (in Armenian).
With the Will of Re-Building, 1983, Beirut (in Armenian).
With the People, 1989, Beirut (in Armenian).
Conciliar Fellowship: a Common Goal, 1991, Geneva (in English), two editions.
Orthodox Perspectives on Mission, 1992, Oxford (in English), two editions.
Towards the 1700th Anniversary of the Christianization of Armenia, 1996, Antelias (in Armenian).
The Challenge to be a Church in a Changing World, 1997, New York (in English), two editions.
Jesus Christ: the Son of God-the Son of Man, 1999, Antelias (in Armenian), two editions.
Church, Nation and Homeland, 1999, Antelias (in Armenian), two editions.
In search of Ecumenical Vision, 2000, Antelias (in English), three editions.
L’eglise Face aux Grands dйfis, 2000, Antelias (in French), two editions.
The Armenian Church Beyond the 1700th Anniversary, 2002, Antelias (in English), three editions.
The Mission of Faith, 2003, Antelias (in Armenian), two editions.
Justice, Paix, Rйconciliation, 2003, Antelias (in French).
The Christian Witness at the Crossroads in the Middle East, 2004, Antelias (in English), three editions.
Der Zor: A National Sanctuary, 2005, Antelias (in Armenian).
The Dignity of Serving, 2005, Antelias (in Armenian).
For a Church Beyond its Walls, 2006, Antelias (in English).
Pour un Monde Transformй, 2006, Antelias (in French).

~ Ecumenical engagement ~

His Holiness was appointed in 1972 as the Catholicosate’s representative for ecumenical relations and he served in this position until 1995. His Holiness has played a major role in the world-wide ecumenical movement:

- He was a founding member of the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC), in 1974. From the beginning he has served on the Council's Executive Committee and played a leading role in the major initiatives of the Council.

- As delegate of his church, he attended the Nairobi (1975), Vancouver (1983), Canberra (1991), Harare (1998) and Porto Alegre (2006) Assemblies of the World Council of Churches (WCC), and several international conferences.

- In 1975, he was elected as a member of the Faith and Order Commission of the WCC, and in 1983 as a member of its Standing Committee. At the Vancouver Assembly (1983), His Holiness was elected as a member of the Central Committee of the WCC.

- At the Canberra Assembly (1991), he was elected Moderator of the Central and Executive Committees of the WCC, the highest position of this global fellowship of churches, which comprises more than 350 churches from different confessions, cultures, nations and regions. He is the first Orthodox and the youngest person to be elected to the position of Moderator.

After serving as Moderator for seven years, His Holiness was unanimously re-elected at the Harare Assembly (1998). The re-election of His Holiness, which was based on his "strong leadership, firm commitment, theological knowledge and administrative experience", was unprecedented in the history of the WCC.

- Catholicos Aram I is a founding member of the Oriental Orthodox-Eastern Orthodox Theological Dialogue, Oriental Orthodox-Reformed Theological Dialogue, and the Orthodox-Evangelical Dialogue. He has played an important role in initiation of Oriental Orthodox-Roman Catholic Theological Dialogue. His Holiness is an honorary member of Pro Oriente.

- His Holiness was instrumental in creating, in 1996, the fellowship of the Three Heads (Coptic, Syrian, Armenian) of the Oriental Orthodox Churches in the Middle East.

~ Inter-Religious Dialogue ~

As a strong supporter of inter-religious relations, dialogue and co-operation, His Holiness Aram I has played a significant part in promoting common values, mutual understanding and peaceful co-existence among religions. In this context he:

• worked hard as Primate to create tolerance and build mutual confidence between Christian and Muslim communities during the most critical times of Lebanese Civil War.

• made frequent reference in his writings and public interventions to the vital importance of dialogue and collaboration among the living faiths of the world.

• initiated a number of inter-religious dialogues and took active part in important inter-religious meetings on regional and international levels.

• played an instrumental role in re-organizing the Christian-Muslim Committee of the Middle East Council of Churches, and in preparing the International Inter-religious Conference organized by the World Council of Churches (June 2005).

• organized in Antelias a high level meeting of the representatives of religions of Asia and the Middle East.

• gave lectures at inter-religious meetings, universities, and public events in different parts of the world.

• His Holiness is an honorary President of the World Religions Museum Foundation, and Religions for Peace international organization.

~ Commitment to peace with Justice ~

As a result of his strong commitment to peace with justice, and human rights, His Holiness:

• became a strong voice for mutual understanding among religions, cultures and civilizations.

• organized regional and international seminars and conferences at the Catholicosate, in Antelias.

• gave public lectures to university students, visiting academic, religious and NGO groups.

With his vision and commitment and with his hard work, His Holiness Aram I has made the Catholicosate of Cilicia of the Armenian Church “a living center of reflection, dialogue and action”.
 
__________________
Бог мой, как велико созвездие храбрецов на небосклоне нашей истории.
И как ослепительно их сияние. Увенчаны все, у всех есть шрамы славы.
В зрачках у них молнии, гнев, горечь.
Не осталось, почти не осталось в мире рода, который бы не узнал силу нашей руки.
Г. Нждеh

Judica, Domine, nocentes me: expugna impugnantes me.
Confundantur et revereantur quaerentes animam meam.
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Old 15 Dec 07, 17:57   #4 (permalink)
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Post * Pontifical visit to Syria *

* Pontifical visit to Syria *

Banquet in honor of His Holiness Aram I



His Holiness Aram I decorating Mr.Noubar Melikian with the "Cilician Knight" insignia





His Holiness Aram I decorating Mr.Noubar Melikian with the "Cilician Knight" insignia





His Holiness Catholicos Aram I



Primate of Tehran Archbishop Sebouh Sarkissian





 
__________________
Бог мой, как велико созвездие храбрецов на небосклоне нашей истории.
И как ослепительно их сияние. Увенчаны все, у всех есть шрамы славы.
В зрачках у них молнии, гнев, горечь.
Не осталось, почти не осталось в мире рода, который бы не узнал силу нашей руки.
Г. Нждеh

Judica, Domine, nocentes me: expugna impugnantes me.
Confundantur et revereantur quaerentes animam meam.
Амиго is offline  
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Old 15 Dec 07, 18:05   #5 (permalink)
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Icon1 Ответ: ~ Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia ~

Official luncheon given by Syria's Grand Mufti Sheikh Ahmad Badr al-Din Hassoun in honor of His Holiness Aram I



to left: Syria's Grand Mufti Sheikh Ahmad Badr al-Din Hassoun
to right: His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of Cilicia



Syria's Grand Mufti Sheikh Ahmad Badr al-Din Hassoun
offering a gift to His Holiness Aram I







 
__________________
Бог мой, как велико созвездие храбрецов на небосклоне нашей истории.
И как ослепительно их сияние. Увенчаны все, у всех есть шрамы славы.
В зрачках у них молнии, гнев, горечь.
Не осталось, почти не осталось в мире рода, который бы не узнал силу нашей руки.
Г. Нждеh

Judica, Domine, nocentes me: expugna impugnantes me.
Confundantur et revereantur quaerentes animam meam.
Амиго is offline  
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Old 19 Dec 07, 23:20   #6 (permalink)
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Ответ: Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia

 
__________________
Бог мой, как велико созвездие храбрецов на небосклоне нашей истории.
И как ослепительно их сияние. Увенчаны все, у всех есть шрамы славы.
В зрачках у них молнии, гнев, горечь.
Не осталось, почти не осталось в мире рода, который бы не узнал силу нашей руки.
Г. Нждеh

Judica, Domine, nocentes me: expugna impugnantes me.
Confundantur et revereantur quaerentes animam meam.
Амиго is offline  
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