Talk:Armenian Apostolic Church

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RE: "Structure and Leadership" section[edit]

This error was so blantantly ovious : - "The Armenian Apostolic Church should not be confused, however, with the Armenian Catholic Church whose patriarch is Nerses Bedros XIX, which is an Eastern Catholic church in communion with the See of Rome (whose bishop is Benedict XVI)."

It just had to be makes no sense or is just improperly written. Obviously Nerses Bedros is the leading bishop of the Armenian Catholic Church (one of the 22 Rites of the Catholic Church) which is in union with the Holy See...though it does not make Benedict XVI its bishop. Benedict XVI is the Patriarch of the Western Church (the Latin Rite equivalent to Nerses Bedros). Union with the Universal Petrine Minister(a separate, higher office, though the same individual as the Patriarch of the Western Church) however, does not make the leader of the Catholic Church suddenly Armenian Catholic. No, it simply means that Nerses Bedros is the leader of the Armenian Catholic Church which is in full agreement with the Universal/Catholic Church, headquarted in Rome (The Holy See).

By the way, if the Catholic Church and the Armenian Apostolic Church have recognized their 1600 year old misunderstanding, what is keeping them from re-uniting as they were those first several centuries after Christ?Micael 07:26, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

NPOV / Dubious / Weasel word tags[edit]

This paragraph:

St. Gregory is reported to have been imprisoned by the King in an underground pit, called Khor Virab, for 13 years after which he healed the King of an incurable disease, and thereby converted to Christianity.

contains weasel words ("is reported..."). If this has actually been reported by a creditable source (outside the dogmatic canon of the religion), then please post a citation. Additionally, the assertation that the church is:

one of the oldest denominations in Christianity

needs a citation. Additionally,

the labeling of "Gregorian church" is wrong

should be backed up with a citation as well. Thanks! --Kevinmooney 21:36, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

I'm at a loss as to why a citation should be needed for the "Gregorian" label (though there's some disagreement within the church as to whether they want to call themselves Gregorian... the name refers to St Gregory the Illuminator). As to the words "is reported," I disagree with you, particularly if you are claiming that a citation outside the church's own religious texts is needed. What is being reported is the church's teaching about its origins. The editor, I think, made that clear. If you are looking for a citation to a church source for the story, that would be another matter... however, the objection would not be to "weasel-words," but a simple request for a citation needed. The date of Tiridates' conversion is not normally a matter of great dispute, but a source more closely placed with the church can provide that, too. Here, again, the objection should not be considered to be one related to "weasel-words." By the way, for a cite on the "Gregorian" question, I should note that this is official church teaching. I'll offer, just for the moment (and don't laugh) the closest Armenian reference I have at hand, the Children's Encyclopedia of Armenian Christianity, 1998, 2001, Areg/Arek Publishing House, Vatche Ghazarian tr & ed; page 32. Well. Better cites can certainly be provided, given a bit of time. I mostly have a problem with your use of the "weasel words" objection, instead of simply saying "citation needed." Xenophon777 23:38, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
I understand what you're saying. "Weasel words" does sound a little belligerent, but it isn't my own expression, it's wikipedia's own specific terminology for when an entry contains the type of phrasing using grammatical quantifiers in the passive voice which says that something has been reported without saying who reported it (see their "Generalization using weasel words" section). So, I'm not calling the editor a weasel or anything, I'm just trying to be as specific as possible :)
I'd agree with you that a citation doesn't have to come from outside the church's teaching, as long as the citation is labeled, one way or another. I think your edits of the Origins and History section went a long way towards making it clearer which parts are undisputed historical facts, and which parts are according to the church's teachings; thanks for that. I think it's a lot clearer and NPOV-compliant now, and should be great once citations are added. --Kevinmooney 15:55, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Old talk[edit]

Regarding monophysitism and recognizing the authority of the Pope, hasn't this issue been solved in 1996?


NN 18:15, 5 Mar 2004 (UTC)

AFAIK the leaders of all churches of the Oriental Orthodoxy (and the so called Nestorians) had meetings with the Vatican and common declarations were issued, stating (rought extract) that both signee

  • don't consider the other one to be heretic
  • hold that the differences in Christology or less important and to a large extent are only differences in terminology
  • are not far enough in the process of reapproachment to be in full communion

Pjacobi 23:12, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Note: The source material at is GFDL compatible if the source is stated. --Pjacobi 23:12, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

"The Armenian church does not hold to monophysite doctrine, however, but confesses the two natures of Christ." This statement is untrue, because why wouldn't they accept the council of Chaledon, if they accept the two natures of Christ? Even if, the church of Armenia have never been a church interested in theological controverses, and they today have close relaton to the pope and the western church, they still reject the council of Chaledon and that Christ would have more than just one nature.User:

Because of semantics and unofficialy to remain distinct I suppose.

Catholic and Orthodox say: two natures, one divine and one human. the Armenian Church says: one nature, where divine and human are united. Basically the same thing.--Eupator 19:45, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

Personally I must agree with You, the difference is practically non existence and many bishops from Catholic, Eastern and Oriental churches today say that the schism was rather a confusion of languages. But... the Armenian Church which not accepted the council of Chaledon, are still separated from both east and west, and don’t recognise Christ's to natures. That makes them Monophysits or Miaphysits (which is the more theologically correct term.)

Wrong. It makes the AAC a non-Chalcedonian Church it by no means makes it a Monophysite Church and the AAC isn't and has never been Monophysite and to this day vehemntly rejects such accusations.--Eupator 21:21, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

Regarding the first official Christian state :

"Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as its official religion, in 301, when St. Gregory the Illuminator converted Tiridates the Great (the King of Armenia) and members of his court."

What about St. Thomas' conversion of a king in Kerala, Southern India?

or Malta which says it is the oldest Christian country?

Proposed Oriental Orthodoxy project[edit]

There is now a new proposed project at Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals#Oriental Orthodoxy for a group which would focus on articles relating to the Oriental Orthodox Church. Any individuals interested in working with such a group should indicate as much there, to allow us to know if there is enough support to actually begin such a project. Thank you. Badbilltucker 14:24, 11 January 2007 (UTC)


Why has an enormous amount of untranslated Spanish text been dumped on this page? It's unsourced too, so before anybody goes rendering it into English they might need to look into the referencing. --Folantin 12:55, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

I've commented it out for the time being in case any reader gets the impression there was a catholicos called "Desconicidos", for example. --Folantin 13:06, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
I don't think a list is necessary for this article, I removed it altogether and added a see also link to the List of Catholicoi of Armenia VartanM 05:03, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

First Christian state[edit]

<<The Kingdom of Armenia was the first state to adopt Christianity as its religion>> I thought it was Edessa!? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:30, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

It was Osroene. That it was Armenia is a common misconception. The only manner in which the statement about Armenia is correct is that Armenia is the first remaining state to adopt Christianity. Deusveritasest (talk) 09:28, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
A wrong misconcept Deusveritasest! There are no facts proving an official STATE church being established. What you say is a legend only. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Aregakn (talkcontribs) 12:07, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
I don't know what you mean by "official state church". But Osroene was the first state to adopt Christianity as its religion. Deusveritasest (talk) 22:24, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

State Church (for Christians), state religion, official religion... do you know these terms? So the subject is about the Armenian Kingdom adopting Christianity as it's State Religion. It was the first state to do so.

"But Osroene was the first state to adopt Christianity as its religion."

What is your claim based on? You cannot change encyclopedias by claiming something with no proofs, can you? Tell us a good reason and the sources and what can contradict with world encyclopedias and major universities. Please also pay attention, that you don't bring a belief or legend as a proof! And I have added some more links you can find in the article's 2nd line. Sincerely Aregakn (talk) 06:59, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

It looks like Osroene was the first state to have a Christian King, but not a first Christian State. —Anna Comnena (talk) 09:33, 5 November 2010 (UTC)


Within the Oriental Apostolic Church, how common are converts from non-Armenian backgrounds? Are these welcomed, as in Eastern Orthodoxy? Thanks--Dawud —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:40, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

I'm aware of no proscription against it; and, in fact, non-Armenians (particularly those who have married into Armenian families) not uncommonly become full-fledged members of the Armenian church. It is my understanding that the Armenian church does not require baptism of converts from [all?] other Orthodox churches, nor from the Roman Catholic Church, but does require it of Protestant converts, as well as of converts from non-Christian backgrounds. A minor semantic point: I've been told by a priest that under old church law, anyone who has been baptized into the faith in an Armenian church is an Armenian, hence no longer a non-Armenian...

Image nominated for deletion[edit]

No notice was placed here that this image has been nominated for deletion. Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) (talk / cont) 22:57, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Other images used on this page may also have been nominated -- please check them all by clicking on them to see if there is a deletion notification on the image page. If there is, use the link that takes you to "this image's entry" to comment on the nomination for deletion. Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) (talk / cont) 00:57, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Full communion with other Non-Chalcedonian churches?[edit]

`Under the jurisdiction of the (Armenian) church was also the Georgian Orthodox Church` Which sources is this statement based on? Please, let us know in which century these sources were written and how many scholars consider them to be reliable. Simon Payaslian in his `The History of Armenia` writes the following (page 34): ``The conventional narrative depicting the Armenian conversion to Christianity is mixed with facts and myths. As historian Leo (Akakel Babakhanian) has pointed out, the historiography of the Armenian people is replete with literature on the conversion of Christianity, but there is litle credible material on the subject.`` As we see, not every material is credible. So, we kindly ask you to provide us with credible material proving the above mentioned statement. Georgians. May 2010. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:37, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

I recently was reading The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, and in the article about Armenian Christianity I found this curious statement: "Owing to the wars in which they were involved, the Armenian were not represented at the Council of Chalcedon, but in 555 the Armenian Church definitively repudiated that Council and the schism has not been healed. The decision seems to have been partly motivated by fear of domination by Constantinople, and the Armenians never entered into full communion with the other Oriental Orthodox Churches". The bold is what I found particularly curious. I was always under the impression that the Armenian Church was in full communion with the other major Non-Chalcedonian churches (Coptic, Syriac, Ethiopian). Is it actually not? Did it establish full communion at a later time? Or has it actually been in full communion ever since 555? Does anybody have any idea why the Oxford Dictionary said this? Deusveritasest (talk) 22:47, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Oxford is correct. When the Armenian Church repudiated Chalcedon in the sixth century, it was a major theological break with the other Orthodox churches. For political reasons they had started to become insular in the fifth century. They stopped sending their Patriarches to Alexandria to be consecrated. They made a formal break with the Patriarche of Constantinople and stayed to themselves. (See David Marshal Lang, Armenia: Cradle of Civilization 3rd ed. (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1980), 171) Both the Greek Orthodox and Catholic churches labeled the Armenians as "schismatics." (See Adrian Fortescue, The Lesser Eastern Churches. (London: Catholic Truth Society, 1913), 410) Recently there has been a thawing of relations between the Armenian church and the Catholic and Orthodox churches. I don't know if full communion has been restored yet.Bob Caldwell CSL (talk) 23:36, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps you misunderstood. The term "Oriental Orthodox Churches" does not refer to the communion that includes the Greeks, Russians, Serbians, Romanians, etc (which I am myself a part of). That group is rather called the "Eastern Orthodox Church(es)". The term "Oriental Orthodox Churches" refers to the main body of churches that rejected the Council of Chalcedon and held to Miaphysite Christology as the only orthodox position. This includes the Coptic Church, Syriac Church, Ethiopian Church, Eritrean Church, and (I thought) the Armenian Church. Deusveritasest (talk) 05:56, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

I guess I did misunderstand. I read quite a bit about the history of the Armenian church and don't remember anything about not being in communion with the other monosophyte churches. It seems to me that some of the same issues that impact their lack of relationship with the chalcedonean churches applies here. For the longest time, to be Armenian meant belonging to the Armenian church. If you belonged to the church you were Armenian. For the most part, at least until significant Armenian immigration following the Turk's slaughter of Armenians, they just stayed to themselves. I don't think it ever came up. They certainly had no eccumenical spirit about them that cause them to seek out relations with other churches. In other words, lack of full communion historically may have stemmed from neglect more than design. There is an official English web-site that might have info: One more thing to remember is that all those other churches are quite small nowadays. I think I remember reading that the Syrian church is nearly extinct. Sorry to ramble so long. Hope this helps. Bob Caldwell CSL (talk) 14:27, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Why do you call them Monophysites? Deusveritasest (talk) 06:40, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Dysleskia. Or because I can't spell? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bob Caldwell CSL (talkcontribs) 13:14, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

This brings me to a question, which perhaps could be addressed in the article: To what extent do non-Armenians participate in the Armenian Apostolic Church? Surely there must be a sprinkling of converts, inter-married couples, etc...? Dawud (talk) 03:56, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
Dawud, I do think it should be a different subject to discuss as it has nothing to do with the communion of the Arm A.C. with Oriental Orthodox Churches. I'd recomend opening a different chapter if you really are interested. (Aregakn talk 04:22 GMT 05/02/2010)

This is THE answer you have been looking for Deusveritasest: The Armenian Apostolic Church has been always in communion with Oriental Orthodox Churches or, as they call them, "Sister Churches". The Oxford Dictionary, by telling "full communion", probably meant the doctrine. the Apostolic Church never accepted Monophysitism. After Chalcedon, the Armenian church was considered by the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches to be monophysite—i.e., taking the theological view that Christ had only one, divine nature (physis), despite his incarnation in a human body. But like the other “pre-Chalcedon” or Oriental Orthodox churches, that did not offer allegiance to Rome or to Constantinople—the Armenian Apostolic Church in fact rejected Monophysitism and promoted a doctrinal position known as Miaphysitism, which holds that both divinity and humanity are equally present within a single (hence the Greek prefix mia-) nature in the person of Christ. When the Georgian church broke away from the Armenians and reunited with Eastern Orthodoxy in the early 7th century, the Armenians remained in communion with the other Oriental Orthodox churches. Hope this answers your question :) (Aregakn talk 04:32 GMT 05/02/2010) —Preceding undated comment added 04:33, 5 February 2010 (UTC).

Thanks for your response Aregakn. I understand that the Armenian church and its sister churches have never taught Apollinarianism or Eutychianism and have always affirmed the continued fullness of divinity and humanity in one nature of the Incarnate Word. But I do not understand how the original statement about the Armenian church having never been in full communion with the other OO churches could be understood. At the very latest it would appear that full communion was established with the "Jacobite" church would appear to have been established at the Council of Manzakert in 721. I don't see how the statement could be true given either understanding of the OO. If the OO are orthodox and have always been (as I understand it) then it would follow that the Armenians have long been in full communion with the other Miaphysite churches. If, on the other hand, the Chalcedonian polemics against them are true, it would appear that their "heresy" is the same as the other OO churches and that they would thus still be in full communion with them. So I really don't see how the said statement about them never having been in full communion could possibly be understood. It would appear that the doctrine has always been the same, one way or the other. Deusveritasest (talk) 22:14, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
Well, the Armenian Apostolic Church has always been in a communion with OO. If not the miaphysism and Monophisism differencies, I cannot even think of anything the dictionary would mean. Maybe it is a good idea to ask them directly...Aregakn talk 04:05 11/02/2010 GMT —Preceding undated comment added 04:06, 11 February 2010 (UTC).

"Ethno-religion teachings"[edit]

Noticed this in RFE/RL Armenia Report of 20th Nov 2008, in their review of the Armenian press, quote:
Aravot publishes an interview with a member of the board of the governing Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) who was in Jerusalem during the recent fight between local Armenian and Greek clergymen.

The paper quotes Artak Grigorian as saying that he himself participated in the squabble and "enjoyed" the scene: "To be frank, as a nationalist and conservative I enjoyed immensely seeing those fighting clergymen. We've got there monks who are genuine followers of [Armenian political thinker] Garegin Njdeh's Tseghakron (ethno-religion) teachings and who have dedicated themselves to the nation and God and are ready to face anything. They are ready to die any moment in the name of national dignity, without fearing a truncheon, a bullet or even God's curse."

There is rather too much of the "cuddly and quaint" in the content of this Wikipedia article. Its writers seem to have forgotten that the Armenian Church is a living organisation with substantial social, financial, and political power in Armenia. There needs to be content detailing the current status of the Armenian Church within Armenia and its connections with and influences on political organisations and political or nationalist ideologies. Meowy 00:38, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

I've created a new section "Armenian Apostolic Communities in Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh" to deal with the present-day situation of the Armenian Church. Meowy 00:34, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

Orphaned article[edit]

The article St. Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church, Dearborn, Michigan seems to be orphaned and I figured this would be a good place to make note of that in hopes that someone more familiar with the Armenian Church to decide on where to reference it. Cheers, JaakobouChalk Talk 03:36, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Category:National churches vs. Category:Armenian Apostolic Church[edit]

Category:Armenian Apostolic Church is itself a category within Category:National churches. — Robert Greer (talk) 01:47, 13 June 2009 (UTC)


"Catholicosate" is a weird word. Shouldn't it be Catholicate? After all, we call a bishopric an Episcopate, and not an "episcoposate". Rwflammang (talk) 13:45, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

It is derived from "Catholicos". See also [2]. Sardur (talk) 14:20, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
I agree. 'Catholicosate' is a dreadful word, which appears to have been coined by some modern scholar with a tin ear and no knowledge of Latin. 'Catholicate', which forms as regularly from the Latin word 'catholicus' as 'episcopate' does from 'episcopus' (bishop), is much better. In the interests of elegance and classical decorum, I hope that somebody will remove all instances of 'catholicosate' from Wikipedia.
Djwilms (talk) 03:53, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
It may have been an Anglicized version of the Armenian word "Կաթողիկոսարան" which means Catholicosate and which includes "Կաթողիկոս" meaning Catholicos without omitting "ոս" or "os"... Catholicosate is commonly used now, but thanks for your concern. --Davo88 (talk) 07:09, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
I have just been reading Sanjian's book on Armenian colophons - Sanjian, A. K., Colophons of Armenian Manuscripts, 1301–1480: A Source for Middle Eastern History (Harvard, 1969) - which uses the term catholicosate throughout. Ugh! He also seems to have contributed to the popularisation of those unintuitive letters for representing the sounds of Armenian that only experts can understand. His place names look as though they are something out of Star Trek. I'm familiar with the geography of the Armenian world, but even so I had to keep referring to the index to decipher them. Give me Akhtamar and Echmiazin any day, not the Klingon versions in Sanjian's book.
Although an academic myself, I have no sympathy with other academics who make things unnecessarily difficult for the average intelligent reader. The term catholicosate is just another example of needless obfuscation. But there we are. It has obviously taken on a life of its own. My forthcoming book on the Nestorian church, to be published next April (God willing), uses the term 'catholicate' throughout to describe the Armenian and Nestorian patriarchates.
Djwilms (talk) 01:33, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
I think it is about time you ceased this continuous self-advertising of your "forthcoming" book that (based on the numerous times you have mentioned it in your Wikipedia posts), has been "forthcoming" for the past two years.
The book (The Martyred Church) came out in September 2011 and has received warm reviews in the Times Literary Supplement and in several specialist journals. Anybody who wants to know about the relations between the Nestorians and the Armenians should buy it at once. As promised, the term 'catholicosate' does not appear. Those who enjoy reading stylish prose will be relieved.
I would have contacted the author of the last comment personally with this good news, but he seems to have been too timid to sign his name.
Djwilms (talk) 05:53, 27 August 2013 (UTC)


should we add a note at the top saying, "not to be confused with arminianism"? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:14, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

No. No such convusion exists.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:35, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
Believe me, it does. I have heard people mix the two up before (I've heard people say Armenian when they meant to say Arminian, or vice versa.) FiredanceThroughTheNight (talk) 22:00, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

I find it strange that this article doesn't mention stature, role and importance of the Armenian Church in the Ottoman empire, as it was one of the two christian churches in the empire... Is it the same institution? If it is, then History section of the article needs expanding, it ignores the period from the 12th century to modern times. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:06, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

That's the way the Armenian Church seems to present itself. It lays great emphasis on its ancient origins and traditions, states they have continued unchanged (the last innovations being in the 12th century), and uses its supposed unalterable nature to define its present-day viewpoints and setup (thus ignoring almost everything in between those two periods). (talk) 17:42, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

Biblical canon and status with regard to the EO/OO split[edit]

According to the official website of the Armenian Apostolic Church's North American branch, the church apparently recognizes only a 66-book canon (like Protestants!) This notably contrasts with the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church which uses 81 books, and the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox which have 73 and 75 respectively.

Even more interesting is that the Chalcedonian Schism is not mentioned at all on the website, and it is heavily implied that the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox comprise a single communion. [3]. Are these the official positions of the Armenian church in the motherland, too, or just in the USA? FiredanceThroughTheNight (talk) 21:55, 17 August 2014 (UTC)