JERUSALEM, November 22nd, 2010 — It was announced that the Armenian Church in Jerusalem is to have a co-adjutor patriarch to assist His Beatitude Patriarch Torkom (Manoogian), the 96th Patriarch of Jerusalem.
This was proposed by Patriarch Torkom himself, during the four-day 19th general Assembly of the monastic Brotherhood of St. James, whose members administer the Patriarchate. Patriarch Torkom, who is 94, has been in declining health for some time although he co-chaired the Assembly with Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, the primate of Diocese of Armenian Church of America (Eastern).
Born in an Iraqui refugee camp in 1919 Patriarch Torkom studied at the Armenian Seminary in Jerusalem before becoming its Assistant Dean. Following his episcopal consecration in 1962 he served in the USA as Primate of the Western diocese and for a short period of the Eastern diocese, being elected Patriarch in 19990. Following the death of Catholicos Vazgen he served as locum tenens of Etchmiadzin 1994-5. He has tried hard to reinforce the Armenian presence in the Holy Land through administrative reforms, refurbishing the dilapidated residences of the priests, renovating churches and upgrading the educational standards of the theological seminary.
His insistence on accountability and transparency and imbuing the Armenian Church with his vision of a revived Jerusalem, has earned him universal respect from all Armenians and brought a measure of much-needed stability to the Armenian community but the strains have taken a heavy toll on his health.
Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem Issues Communiqué Following General Assembly of the St. James Brotherhood