Author Topic: Armenian Church Question  (Read 1892 times)

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Offline John Setrak

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Armenian Church Question
« on: January 16, 2009, 06:49:09 PM »
Salpy and any other Armenians -

A question about our Church - we use the term "Arakelagan", meaning "Apostolic" to properly describe our Church, but also I have often heard and used "Louysavorchagan", meaning "Illuminated", after Sour Krikor Louysavoritch (St. Gregory the Illuminator).  Recently, I had a person tell me she finds "Louysavorchagan" to be borderline offensive.  Have you heard such a thing?  If so, why would that term be offensive in any way?  I understand that Apostolic is the more appropriate term but what's wrong with Louysavorchagan???  I'd like to know if you can shed light on this. 

Thanks!
- John Setrak

Offline Salpy

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Re: Armenian Church Question
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2009, 08:47:42 PM »
What I have heard--but I can't confirm--is that the term Loosavorchagan originated a few hundred years ago with the Catholics.  What I heard is that they didn't want to call us Arakelagan (Apostolic) because they believe that only they have Apostolic origin.  So they called us Loosavorchagan ("of the Illuminator") to express that our Church started with St. Gregory in the fourth century, instead of Sts. Thaddeus and Bartholomew in the first century.  Of course we believe that our Church started with Sts. Thaddeus and Bartholomew, which is why we call ourselves Arakelagan (Apostolic.)

I normally hear the term Loosavorchagan used by Protestants to refer to us.  I have no idea why the Protestants use it, except maybe they also want to deny that our Church has apostolic origin.  In any event, I rarely hear Protestants refer to us as Arakelagan and I often correct people who use Loosavorchagan.  I could see why your friend thinks it is borderline offensive.  I think it tends to be used pejoratively.  At least that is the feeling I get when I hear Protestants use it.

Offline Deacon Lance

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Re: Armenian Church Question
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2009, 10:41:39 PM »
In pre-Vatican II English publications I have seen the term "Gregorians" used but I don't think it is an attempt to deny your Apostolict as the same publications refer to St. Bartholemew taking the Gospel to Armenia.
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Offline Salpy

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Re: Armenian Church Question
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2009, 11:12:29 PM »
In pre-Vatican II English publications I have seen the term "Gregorians" used but I don't think it is an attempt to deny your Apostolict as the same publications refer to St. Bartholemew taking the Gospel to Armenia.

Yeah, like I said, the origin I cited is one of those things you hear, but it may or may not be correct.  Presently the term is mostly used by Protestants.

Offline Yeznik

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Re: Armenian Church Question
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2009, 05:18:09 PM »
The naming of the Armenian Church as Loysvorchgan, which translates to "From the Illuminator" who is Saint Gregory the Illuminator is given to the Armenian Church by the Roman Catholic Church. One of the major reasons is that the Roman Catholic Church believes that Saint Gregory was appointed and ordained by the Roman Catholic Church. On the contrary Armenia had priests and bishops prior to Saint Gregory the Illuminator as mentioned by the historian Eusubious. Several apostles, including Saint Andrew (stated by Saint Epiphanius, Bishop of Cyprus) Saint Simon (also known as Canaanite, or Cananean, or Zealot) and Saint John the Evangelist, helped preach Christianity and cultivated it Armenia. According to Armenian tradition, among the twelve the apostles Thaddeus and Bartholomew have been attributed to bringing Gospel of Jesus to Armenia, therefore are called the "First Illuminators," by the Armenians.

Offline Quinault

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Re: Armenian Church Question
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2009, 06:15:12 PM »
Could someone look at this yahoo answers question and see if it is being answered well? Most people just wikipedia everything on there.

Offline Salpy

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Re: Armenian Church Question
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2009, 06:56:33 PM »
Which yahoo answers question?

Offline Quinault

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Re: Armenian Church Question
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2009, 09:21:55 PM »
« Last Edit: February 16, 2009, 09:22:39 PM by Quinault »

Offline Salpy

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Re: Armenian Church Question
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2009, 09:54:59 PM »
It was an ignorant question which was sort of answered correctly by the person who said we believe in one incarnate nature (of God the Word,) which is fully human and fully divine.  I think the person had trouble wording it, but it seems like that is what they were trying to say.