05/26/2021, 16.54
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Armenian Catholicos Krikor Bedros XX has died

by Fady Noun

The patriarch died yesterday at the age of 87 at the See of the Armenian Catholic Church in Beirut. His funeral will be held on Sunday, followed by burial inside the patriarchal convent in Bzommar. A man of prayer and culture, Patriarch Krikor Bedros showed great openness and remarkable steadfastness. His successor must be chosen within 40 days.

Beirut (AsiaNews) – The Armenian Catholic Church announced the death at the age of 87 of its leader, Catholicos-Patriarch Krikor Bedros (Gregory Peter) XX Gabroyan, who passed away yesterday at the See of the Armenian Catholic Patriarchate of Cilicia in Beirut, Lebanon.

The patriarch’s funeral will be held next Saturday at the Cathedral of Saint Elias and Saint Gregory the Illuminator, in downtown Beirut. The burial will follow at the patriarchal convent in Bzommar (Keserwan).

Krikor Bedros XX Gabroyan (1934-2021), officially the Catholicos-Patriarch of Cilicia of the Armenians, was elected on 24 July 2015 and enthroned in Bzommar on 9 August at the age of 81.

Born in Aleppo (Syria), he grew up in Lebanon where he first studied with the Marist Brothers before pursuing his studies at the Armenian monastery in Bzommar and later in Rome (first at the Armenian Leonine Pontifical College, then at the Gregoriana University). He was ordained priest on 28 March 1959.

Fr Krikor Bedros served for many years the Armenian Catholic community in Burj Hammud, Beirut's largest Armenian district, and was chosen in 1976 to serve the Armenian Catholic community in France.

Ordained bishop on 13 February 1977, he founded the Eparchy of Sainte-Croix-de-Paris, of which he was bishop from 1986 to 2013, when he retired.

Following the death of Catholicos-Patriarch Nerses Bedros XIX Tarmouni, as senior prelate, Bishop Krikor Bedros summoned the Synod of Bishops to meet in Bzommar to pick a successor. To his surprise and despite his advanced age, he was elected as the new patriarch of the Armenian Catholic Church.

A man of prayer, with a broad culture and an extraordinary memory, Patriarch Krikor Bedros was also a man of great openness and remarkable steadfastness.

Under Church rules, the Synod of the Armenian Church, chaired by its eldest member, in this case Bishop Pierre Mariati of Aleppo, must now pick a successor within 40 days.

Although the senior prelate is tasked with choosing the date and location of the election, the latter is usually held at the Armenian Catholic patriarchal convent in Bzommar.

The Armenian Catholic Church, an integral part of the Catholic Church, is an Eastern Catholic Church.

The primate of the Church bears the title of "Catholicos-Patriarch of Cilicia of the Armenians," with residence in Beirut, Lebanon.

The Armenian Catholic Church follows the Armenian rite with its own liturgy.

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