YEREVAN, OCTOBER 12, ARMENPRESS. On October 12 Vicar of the Patriarch of Jerusalem Archbishop Nurhan Manoukyan informed Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians Garegin II that after long illness at the age of 93 Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem Rev. Archbishop Torkom Manoukyan died.
As Information Centre of the Mother See informed “Armenpress”, Catholicos of All Armenians, Supreme Spiritual Council and all clergymen of Armenian Apostolic Church are mourning over the loss of merited Holy Father Patriarch and praying to God to grant consolation of Holy Ghost to our Christian people and bless Armenian Patriarchy of Jerusalem and its brethren.
Honourable Rev. Archbishop Torkom Manoukyan was born in Northern Baghdad (Iraq) on February 16, 1919 and after receiving elementary education at Armenian school of Holy Translators he entered St. James’s seminary of Armenian Patriarchy of Jerusalem.
Torkom Patriarch could exert his authority over development of international ecumenical relations. He was a chairman of “Religion in American Life” Council. He also was a member of the council of directors of “Call of Conscience” foundation.
He was author of more than 20 monographs including three books of poetry, study on Armenian Divine Liturgy, books dedicated to the Armenian Genocide and detailed guide to the holy places of Jerusalem. The deceased Patriarch was a prominent expert on Komitas.
Manoogian was born on Feb 16, 1919 in a refugee camp near the sand-enshrouded Iraqi town of Baqoubah. As a child, he attended a school in Baghdad, the capital that Armenians who had sought refuge from the Turkish massacres, had established.
He was ordained celibate priest in 1939 and remained in the city until 1946 when he traveled to the U.S., only to return a few years later.
He was elected patriarch of Jerusalem on March 22, 1990.
Throughout his life, Manoogian garnered numerous honors and tributes, both from religious and lay institutions, among them the U.S. Statue of Liberty Medal.
He was also chosen “Man of the Year” by “Religion in American Life.” He nurtured a keen interest in ecumenical affairs and has been instrumental in helping maintain the spirit of brotherly relations between the various religious institutions in Jerusalem. (In the U.S., he had also served on the Board of the National Council of Churches of Christ).
A perennial diplomat, Manoogian meticulously maintained smooth relations with both sides of the political divide in the country. The aura of charisma that enveloped him and his standing in the Armenian world, could have very easily secured him the highest accolade the church could ever grant: Catholicos (supreme head) of All Armenians. But although he served as Locum Tenens following the death of Catholicos Vazken I, he felt he would never leave Jerusalem.
Manoogian will be buried on Oct 22, in the Armenian cemetery on Mount Zion, just outside the towering walls of the Old City, bare weeks after the Armenian church mourned another of its princes, Archbishop Aghan Baliozian, Primate of the Armenian Diocese of Australia and New Zealand.
Manoogian will be remembered as a caring shepherd and reformer. Under his tenure, the Patriarchate workforce almost quadrupled: there were more employees within the confines of the Convent of St James, seat of the Jerusalem Patriarchate, than there were people living there.