Armenian Catholic Church
Liturgical Form: Soorp Badarak (Holy Sacrifice) - Liturgy of St Gregory the Illuminator
Liturgical Languages: Armenian
The Armenian Catholic Church is a Church sui iuris of Patriarchal status.
Isolated instances of communion between Rome and Armenian Christians may have existed after the Armenian Church separated from the Eastern and Western Churches in consequence of the Council of Chalcedon. However, it was not until early in the 12th century that negotiations were undertaken with the objective of achieving formal reunion between the two Churches
Those culminated in 1198 with an agreement reached at Cilicia which formally re-established communion between the Latins and Armenians. That status remained in effect for somewhat more than 200 years, although never fully accepted or endorsed by Armenian hierarchy outside Cilicia itself. The combination of that continued opposition to union, the Tatar conquest of Armenia in 1375, and struggles for primacy within the Armenian Church itself, combined to effectively terminate the relationship between the two Churches. While no formal date is put to it, the actual break is usually cited as occurring about the beginning of the 15th century, but no later than 1450.
Although, reportedly, there continued to be pockets of communion through the next three centuries, none were of sufficient duration or strength to merit erection of a Catholic jurisdiction until 1740. That year, the election of an Armenian hierarch sympathetic to union resulted in a call for Rome to nominate a Patriarch, which it did in 1742. The current Armenian Catholic Church is ordinarily dated from that time.
The Church is organized under a Patriarch whose title is Catholicos & Patriarch of Cilicia of the Armenias for All the Catholic Armenians. Traditionally, each incumbent takes Bedros (Peter), as one element of his patriarchal name. The Church has canonical jurisdictions on every continent except Antarctica.
A photograph of Blessed Archbishop Ignatios Shoukrallah Maloyan, ICPB, accompanies the link to listings for this Church. At the outbreak of World War I, he was Archeparch of Mardin of the Armenians in Turkey, when government persecution of Christians began, in what would later come to be known as the Armenian Genocide.
Anticipating arrest and his own likely death, Archbishop Ignatios met with the Chaldean and Syriac Catholic Eparchs of Mardin and commended the canonical care of his ecclesiastical jurisdiction and the pastoral care of its faithful to the omophorion of his fellow bishops. Not long afterwards, he was arrested and tortured. Subsequent to a mock trial, he and 447 other Armenian Christians were marched into the desert. The Archbishop served the Soorp Badarak for his fellow prisoners and then was forced to watch as they were summarily executed.
After refusing once again to renounce his Faith, he himself was martyred in odium fidei on 11 June 1915. Archbishop Ignatios was beatified on 7 October 2001.
Icon: Saint Gregory the Illuminator, Patron of Armenian Christianity