New Exarch Named for Armenian Catholics in North America

Thursday, November 30 2000

(Ottawa– CCCB) His Holiness Pope John Paul II today named Bishop Manuel Batakian as the Apostolic Exarch for Armenian Catholics in Canada and the United States. He succeeds Most Rev. Hovhannes Tertzakian whose resignation was accepted having reached the age of retirement. Bishop Batakian was the Auxiliary to the Armenian Patriarch of Beirut, Lebanon.

Bishop Batakian was born in Athens, Greece, in 1929, ordained to the priesthood in 1954 and ordained bishop in 1995. He studied theology and philosophy in Rome from 1946 to 1954 prior to his ordination as a priest, and was pastor of the Armenian cathedral in Paris from 1984 to 1990. He was named rector of the Pontifical Armenian College in Rome in 1990 and was a judge of the ecclesiastical tribunal of the patriarchal eparchy in Beirut for many years.

An exarchy is a church jurisdiction, similar to a diocese, established for Eastern Catholics living outside their native land and is usually headed by a bishop known as an apostolic exarch. Exarchs are named when population numbers warrant.

The Armenian Catholic population of Canada and the United states is 36,000, including 14 priests, as well as 21 men and women religious located in nine parishes of which two are in Canada.

The exarchy Chancery for Armenian Catholics in Canada and the United States is located in New York City.