Geneva,16.10.12: The World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary has 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 WCC 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, the 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 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.
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Read full text of WCC general secretary’s condolence message
Condolence letter to Armenian Orthodox churches on passing away of Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem Torkom Manoogian
Your Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians,Your Eminence Archbishop Nourhan Manougian, Locum Tenens,
Respected members of the Holy Synod of the Armenian Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem,Dear Brothers of the Brotherhood of St. James,
Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live…
It is with great sorrow that we received the news of the passing away of His Beatitude Patriarch Torkom II on Friday, October 12, 2012. The WCC 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.
During my several visits to Jerusalem, I had the honour and opportunity to meet with His Beatitude and be inspired by his deep pastoral experience and wisdom and his devotion to the service of the Lord. Being himself a survivor of the Armenian Genocide, and born in a refugee camp near Baghdad, made him sensitive to and compassionate in regard to the sufferings of both Palestinian and Israeli peoples. 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.
With this message, we wish to express to Your Holiness and to the Brotherhood of St. James our deepest sympathy during these moments, hoping that our incarnated loving and merciful Lord will give you all the consolation and hope you need.
May His Beatitude Torkom II rest in peace, and his memory remain kept in the Lord's mind and in the heart of the ecumenical family.
Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit
WCC general secretary