The Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem is gearing up for one of the most momentous events in the 2,000 year-old history of the Armenian presence in the Holy Land.
Preparations for the election of a new patriarch to succeed the late Archbishop Torkom Manoogian, are proceeding at a brisk rate, with the main event scheduled to take place today.
Under the rules and regulations of the Patriarchate, any member of the Priestly Brotherhood of St James, that is, priests ordained in Jerusalem, would be eligible for election. But in practical terms, the incumbent is chosen from among the ranks of the highest princes – the archbishops – of the Armenian church.
The total number of Armenian archbishops who were ordained priests by the Jerusalem Patriarchate today stands at 8, three of them based in Jerusalem, and the remaining five ministering to the needs of Armenian congregations in the Diaspora.
The sources revealed that the front-runners to become the 97th Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem, in a direct transmission from the first patriarch, Abraham, are the Grand Sacristan, Archbishop Nourhan Manoogian and Director of Ecumenical Relations, Archbishop Aris Shirvanian, the current Locum Tenens.