It is with deep sorrow that we inform our faithful that the Armenian Church Diocese of Ukraine, and the Armenian community in Kiev has informed the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, that on March 7, His Eminence Archbishop Grigoris Buniatyan suddenly entered his eternal rest while attending an event at a hotel in the city of Kharkov. He was a Member of the Brotherhood of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.
The death of the Archbishop is a great loss to the Armenian Apostolic Church and her faithful children.
His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians; the Supreme Spiritual Council and the clergy of the Armenian Church mourn the death of the spiritual Father.
Funeral information will be provided soon.
Blessed is the memory of the righteous.
Archbishop Grigoris Buniatian (baptismal name Grigor) was born in 1946 in the city of Etchmiadzin, Armenia, where he received his primary and secondary education. In 1960 he entered the Gevorkian Theological Seminary of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. In 1965 he was ordained to the diaconate.
After graduating from the seminary in 1966 he furthered his education in the Spiritual Academy of Moscow in Zagorsk and studied there from 1966 to 1967.
Returning to Armenia, he was appointed to serve as secretary at the editorial office of “Etchmiadzin” official monthly from 1967 to 1968.
Early in 1969 he was appointed to serve at the St. Gregory the Illuminator Church of Orjonikidze. That same year he was ordained as a celibate priest, and given the priestly name of Grigoris. Following his ordination, he continued his service as the parish priest of the Armenian community of Rostov-on-Done.
In 1971 under the directions of His Holiness Vazken I Catholicos of All Armenians of blessed memory Fr. Grigoris left for France to continue his education at the Catholic University of Lyons. During the same period he served at the Armenian Church of Lyons.
From 1973 to 1975 he deferred the continuation of his studies to serve in the Soviet army in the Ukraine. After the completion of his tour of duty, he returned to his service to the church and in 1975 he received the rank of Archimandrite (Vardapet).
From 1975 to 1979 F. Grigoris furthered his education at the Catholic University of Paris simultaneously serving as the parish priest of the Armenian Cathedral in Paris.
Returning to Armenia, he was appointed as the dean of the Theological Seminary of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin for the academic year 1979-1980 .
He left Armenia in 1981 at the request to serve as the parish priest of the Armenian Cathedral in Buenos Aires. In 1982, the Diocese of Argentina of the Armenian Apostolic Church elected him to serve as the Primate of the Diocese.
In 1983 Fr. Grigoris was consecrated as bishop by His Holiness Vazken I in the Mother Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin. In 1990 he was appointed to serve as the Primate of the Diocese of Shirak.
The Shirak Theological Academy was established in 1992 in the city of Gyumri. In the same year he was elevated to the rank of Archbishop by the Pontifical Encyclical of His Holiness Vasken I. In 1992, he was also appointed to serve as a member of the Supreme Spiritual Council.
During the Catholicosal Elections of 1995 Archbishop Grigoris was registered as a candidate for Catholicos.
From 1998 to 1999 His Grace temporarily took the responsibilities of the coordinator of the Armenian Church in Moldova.
From 1999 to 2001 he served as the Vicar General of the Diocese of Armavir of the Armenian Apostolic Church. In 2001 upon the order of His Holiness Karekin I Catholicos of All Armenians of blessed memory His Grace Archbishop Grigoris Buniatian was appointed to serve as the Primate of the diocese of Ukraine of the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church.