The Synod of Bishops of the Patriarchal Church of Cilicia for the Armenian Catholics, convened by Pope Francis in Rome on September 22 and 23, elected as Patriarch the Most Reverend Raphaël François Minassian, currently the Archbishop of Caesarea of Cappadocia of the Armenians and Ordinary for the Catholic Armenian faithful of Eastern Europe.
The newly-elected Patriarch will be know as His Beatitude Raphaël Bedros XXI Minassian.
His Beatitude Raphaël Bedros XXI was born on November 24, 1946 in Beirut. He completed his studies at the Patriarchal Seminary of Bzommar (1958-1967) and studied Philosophy and Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University (1967-1973). He attended the specialization course in psycho-pedagogy at the Pontifical Salesian University.
On June 24, 1973, he was ordained a priest as a member of the Institute of the Patriarchal Clergy of Bzommar. From 1973 to 1982 he was parish priest of the Armenian Cathedral of Beirut, from 1982 to 1984 Secretary of the late Patriarch Hovhannes Bedros XVIII Kasparian, and from 1984 to 1989 in charge of founding the parish complex of the Holy Cross of Zalka, Beirut.
From 1975 to 1989 he was Judge at the Ecclesiastical Tribunal of the Armenian Church in Beirut. He taught Armenian liturgy at the Pontifical University of Kaslik from 1985 to 1989 and in 1989 was transferred to the United States of America, where he served for a year as a parish priest in New York. Subsequently, until 2003, he was parish priest for the Catholic Armenians in California, Arizona and Nevada.
In 2004 he was the director of Telepace Armenia TV, of which he is the founder. In 2005 he was appointed Patriarchal Exarch of Jerusalem and Amman for the Armenians. On 24 June 2011 he was appointed Ordinary for the Catholic Armenian Faithful of Eastern Europe, with the assignment by the Holy Father of the titular see of Caesarea of Cappadocia for the Armenians and the title of Archbishop ad personam.
From June 24 to 26 2016, he welcomed Pope Francis during his Apostolic Journey to Armenia.
The Armenian Revolutionary Federation Western U.S. Central Committee sent a congratulatory note His Beatitude Raphaël Bedros XXI.