New Armenian Catholic patriarch

The Synod of Bishops of the Armenian Catholic Church has elected Bishop Gregory Ghabroyan, 80, as the 20th Armenian Catholic Paticarch of Cilicia.

The prelate, now known as Gregory Petros XX Ghabroyan, succeeds Nerses Petros XIX Tarmouni, who died on June 25.

The new patriarch was born in Aleppo, Syria, in 1934 and studied in Lebanon and at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. In 1959, he was ordained a priest of the Patriarchal Congregation of Bzommar, an Armenian Catholic religious institute.

In his July 25 letter granting the new patriarch ecclesial communion, Pope Francis wrote that “the election of Your Beatitude comes at a moment when your Church is facing certain difficulties and new challenges, such as in particular the situation of part of the Armenian Catholic faithful who pass through great trials in the Middle East”.