Arch. Pozapalian Elected Catholicos’ Vicar General

ETCHMIADZIN (Noyan Tapan)–A joint meeting of the Supreme Ecclesiastic Council and bishops was held at the Mother See of St. Etchmiadzin Sunday evening. Presiding over the meeting was Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem Archbishop Torgom Manoukian and Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople Arch. Mesrop Mutafian.

Head of the St. Etchmiadzin Chancery Nerses Pozapalian was elected Catholicos’ Vicar General by secret ballot with 24 votes. Arch. Garegin Nersissian received 10 votes–and Bishop Vigen Aikazian received 1 vote.

The newly elected Vicar General of the Catholicos Archbishop Nerses (Hakob) Pozapalian was born in the Turkish town of Ghyrygh Khan–on July 5–1936. In 1939–he emigrated with his family and settled down in Beirut where he received an elementary education at the local Armenian seminary of Nuparian.

In 1951–was admitted to the cloistral school of Antilias–where studied until 1955. In 1955-1957–studied at the Central Higher Seminary in the district of Eshrefie. In September 1957 he repatriated to Armenia with his parents and a month later was admitted to the Theological Seminary.

In 1957–was ordained deacon by Haykaznun Abrahamian. In 1960–after graduating from the Theological Seminary–he left for Moscow and studied at the Theological Academy of Zagorsk for a year. On June 5–1961–he was ordained priest by Catholicos of All Armenia’s Vazgen I–took monastic vows and was given a priest name of Nerses.

In 1963-1965–he continued his religious and church education in Yorkshire (England) at the Higher Religious College. In 1965-1969–on returning to the Mother See of St. Etchmiadzin–held the post of Inspector at the Theological Seminary. In 1969-1970–studied at the Ecumenical Institute of Geneva.

In 1969-1972–he served at the St. Hakob Church in Geneva as a pastor. In 1972-1974–he was a pastor at the Armenian St. Sargis Church in London. In 1974–he was elected Prelate of the Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church in England by the Community Church Council. In October 1974–he was ordained bishop and sent to England by Catholicos of All Armenia’s Vazgen I. In 1982–at the invitation of Catholicos Vazgen I–Nerses Pozapalian returned to the Mother See of St. Etchmiadzin as Head of the Chancery. The Archbishop carried out ecumenical activities at the Mother See of St. Etchmiadzin. In 1983–he was elected member of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches. Pozapalian founded the Armenian Bible Society of which he has been director to date. In November 1998–he was elected Academician of the Russian Humanitarian Academy.

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