Most Reverend Manuel Batakian is appointed Eparchial Bishop for the Armenians

Monday, September 12 2005

(CCCB – Ottawa)… His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has elevated to the rank of Eparchy the current Apostolic Exarchate for Armenian Catholics resident in Canada and the United States. Most Reverend Manuel Batakian, until now the Apostolic Exarch, is the first Armenian Eparchial Bishop for the newly named Eparchy with the name of Our Lady of Nareg, based in New York City.

Born in Athens, Greece, in 1929, the new Eparchial Bishop studied theology and philosophy in Rome from 1946 to 1954. Ordained to the priesthood in 1954, he occupied a number of various positions within the Armenian Catholic Church. He was pastor of the Armenian cathedral in Paris, from 1984 to 1990; in 1990, he was named rector of the Pontifical Armenian College in Rome; he was a judge of the ecclesiastical tribunal of the patriarchal eparchy in Beirut for many years; in March 1995, he was elected Auxiliary Exarch of the Armenian Catholic Patriarch of Beirut. He has been Apostolic Exarch for Armenian Catholics in Canada and the United States since 2000.

The elevation of an Exarchy to an Eparchy, which is the equivalent of a diocese, gives its bishop more authority and a larger margin of initiative in relating to the See of Rome. The Eparchy, like the Exarchy, works with the Congregation for Oriental Churches. Other than the Armenians, Canada has 10 other Eparchies, five of which are Ukrainian and two others are shared with the United States.

The Armenian Catholic population of Canada and the United States is 36,000, including 14 priests, as well as 20 men and women religious located in nine parishes, of which two are in Canada.

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