VATICAN (CWNews.com)–Pope John Paul II has given his official recognition to the election of a new Armenian Catholic patriarch.
Nerses Bedros XIX Tarmouni was elected at Patriarch of Cilicia by the Armenian Catholic Synod of Bishops–which met in Lebanon earlier in October. The Pope–in a short letter published October 18–extended his best wishes and his promise of full ecclesiastical communion to the new Armenian patriarch.
The new patriarch succeeds John-Peter XVII Kasparian–whose resignation was acknowledged by the Holy See in September.
The new patriarch will be enthroned on October 24–at a ceremony held in Beirut. The Armenian Catholic Church–with roughly 150,000 faithful who live mainly in Lebanon and Syrian–maintains full communion with the Holy See. The Armenian Synod has the authority to elect a new patriarch–but submits the results of the election to Rome as a gesture of communion with the Holy See.