His beatitude Archbishop
Beatitude Archbishop Karekin Kazanjian the 83rd Armenian Patriarch of Turkey,
was born in 1927 in Istanbul. His baptismal name was Bedros.
Young Bedros attended Levon Vartouhian
School in Topkapu and then the Bezazian and Getronagan schools. In October
1940 he was accepted as a seminarian in the Patriarchal Seminary of the
St. James Brotherhood in Jerusalem.
In 1945 he was ordained a deacon
by the late Patriarch Cyril and on January 22, 1950, he was elevated to
the sacred order of the priesthood by His Eminence Archbishop Mampre Sirounian,
the Primate of Egypt.
From 1946 to 1949 Father Karekin
was the Assistant Dean of the Seminary of Jerusalem; he also taught at
the Seminary as well as at the Tarkmanchats School until 1951. For two
years, he was the Chancellor of the Holy See of Jerusalem, the second Chairman
of the General Assembly of the Brotherhood, and also a member of the Executive
Responding to an invitation by His
Eminence Archbishop Karekin Khatchadourian, Patriarch of the Armenians
in Turkey, Father Karekin returned to Istanbul in December 1951 to accept
the position of Dean of the planned Holy Cross Seminary. Until the formal
opening of the Seminary, which took place in January 1954, he taught at
the Getronagan and Bezjian secondary schools and served as the Dean of
classes for the preparation of priests at the Patriarchate. On the day
of the opening of the Holy Cross Seminary, he received the rank of Dzayrakooyn
Vartabed from Patriarch Karekin I. At this institution, he continued to
teach classical and modern Armenian literature and served as Dean until
In December 1959, he went to the
United States and accepted the position of pastor of St. Mary Church in
On October 24, 1966 he was ordained
Bishop by His Holiness Vazken I, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All
From the Washington DC. parish he
went to Australia as the first Primate of that newly established Diocese
where he presided until March 1981, when he was elected to the position
of Grand Sacristan of the Brotherhood of St. James in Jerusalem.
Bishop Karekin's thesis for the rank
of Vartabedootyoon was "Four Minor Prophets," which was published in the
1950-1951 issues of the monthly Sion, the official newsletter of the Armenian
Patriartchate of Jerusalem. His thesis for the rank of Dzayrakooyn Vartabed
was "The Encyclicals of St. Nersess Shnorhali", which he translated into
modern Armenian with commentary. Bishop Karekin published religious and
literary articles in several journals such as Dziadzan, Sion, Hayasdanyayts
Yegeghetsi, Nor Ashkharh, and Marmara.
Through his efforts, a beautiful
Armenian church was built in Washington DC. in 1962.
Bishop Karekin was also instrumental
in the construction of a new church in Sydney, Australia in 1972 and in
Melbourne in 1976. During his tenure of office, a beautiful and magnificent
building was purchased in Sydney to serve as headquarters of the Diocese
of Australia. He exerted much effort to alleviate the mortgage on these
From 1981 to September 5, 1990, he
was the Grand Sacristan of the Holy See of Jerusalem. Since 1981 he was
elected to serve on a committee that audited the finances of the Monastery
and with three other people he was in charge of the possessions of the
Monastery. During that time he also taught the senior students of the Seminary.
Archbishop Karekin Kazanjian was
elevated to the position of Patriarch of Constantinople in September 1990.