His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, learned Friday that Archbishop Torkom Manoogian, the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem, has passed away at the age of 93 after a long illness, Information Service of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin informs.
The Catholicos of All Armenians, the Supreme Spiritual Council and the clergy mourn the death of the Patriarch.
Archbishop Manoogian was born in 1919 in a refugee camp near the desert town of Baquba, north ofBaghdad,Iraq.
He was ordained into the diaconate on August 2, 1936, by Patriarch Torkom Koushagian. At his ordination as a priest on July 23, 1939, he was given the name Torkom. Manoogian served as Primate of the Western (1962-1966) and Eastern (1966-1990) Diocese of the United States. He was elected 96th Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem on March 22, 1990 and enthroned on November 1, 1990.
His Beatitude has played a vital role in the promotion of international ecumenical relations. He has served on the Board of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States, and was Chairman of the Board of “Religion in American Life “. He has also been a member of the Board of Directors of the “Appeal of Conscience Foundation.”
In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake which struck Armenia in December 1988, he was instrumental in coordinating international efforts aimed at mobilizing and marshaling financial and material support for the rehabilitation process, in which he is still active.
A musician, choral conductor, composer, poet and writer, Archbishop Torkom has a wide range of personal interests and pursuits. He has published some 20 books and monographs including three books of poetry under the pen name “Shen Mah”, original research on the Armenian liturgy, books on the Armenian genocide, and a detailed guide book of the holy places of Jerusalem. He has recently rendered into Armenian the 154 sonnets of William Shakespeare.
He is considered a foremost expert and lecturer on the Armenian composer, Komitas, and is currently working on a book of Armenian liturgical music by the great musicologist.