Church leaders across the world have expressed deep sorrow over the death of Armenian Apostolic Patriarch Torkom II Manoogian, primate of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
Torkom II passed away on 12 October at the age of 96.
“The World Council of Churches mourns his death as it is a loss to the Armenians all over the world, and to the Christians in the Middle East to whom he dedicated his whole life and ministry in Christ,” said Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, WCC General Secretary.
“His Beatitude’s contributions towards reconciliation and peace with justice in the Holy Land will be remembered by all the churches for a long time.”
“I had the honour and opportunity to meet with His Beatitude and be inspired by his deep pastoral experience and wisdom,” added Dr Tveit.
Under the leadership of Torkom II, the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem was engaged in several initiatives for peace in the Holy Land by the WCC, including the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine/Israel.
Born in the city of Bakouba in Iraq, Torkom II studied at the Theological Seminary of the Armenian Patriarchate of St James in Jerusalem. He was ordained deacon in 1936 and priest in 1939. He also spent several years in the United States, where he served as primate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America.
As an ecumenist and theologian Torkom II made significant contributions to the debates related to peace in the Holy Land and history of the Armenian genocide. He was also a poet and a musician.
The funeral of Patriarch Torkom II will take place on 22 October in Jerusalem.