Today, Pope Francis responded to the letter of the new Armenian Catholic Patriarch of Cilicia, His Beatitude, Grégoire Pierre XX Ghabroyan, requesting ecclesiastical communion with him, and See of Rome. With this letter of the Holy Father communion between the two churches is confirmed.
In history, the patriarch was known as Bishop Krikor Ghabroyan (emeritus bishop of the Eparchy of France having retired in 2013). As with the bishop of Rome, the new Patriarch has assumed a new name. A new name and office bears a new title: Grégoire will carry the title of “Catholicos-Patriarch of Cilicia of the Armenians” and the patriarchal headquarters is located in the convent of Bzommar and his residence in Beirut.
Pope Francis’ letter indicates his joy at the Patriarch’s election with the hope that his new ministry will bear many fruits for the Kingdom. One line worth noting: “illuminated by the light of faith in the risen Christ, our vision of the world is full of hope and mercy, because we are certain that the Cross of Jesus is the tree that gives life.”
His Beatitude Grégoire Pierre XX succeeds Patriarch Nerses Bedros XIX Tarmouni who died on June 25, 2015.
The Armenian Catholic Patriarch of Cilicia has jurisdiction over 18 eparchies world-wide.
His Beatitude Grégoire Pierre was born on November 15, 1934 in Aleppo, Syria, ordained a priest March 28, 1959, and consecrated bishop 13 February 1977. At his next birthday the Catholicos will be 81.