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Author Topic: Defense of Doctoral Thesis in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin  (Read 4145 times) Average Rating: 0
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Salpy
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« on: April 21, 2010, 01:27:13 AM »

This seems like an interesting doctoral thesis.  Maybe sometime it will be published and translated, and we can read it:

http://www.etchmiadzin.com/

Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, Information Services Apr 16, 2010 4:20 AM  

On April 15, a defense of doctoral thesis was held in the Gevorkian Theological Seminary of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.

For the ecclesiastical degree of Archamandrite (Vardapet), Rev. Fr. Hovnan Hakobian, a member of the Brotherhood Member of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin presented his thesis entitled "The False Heresy of the Tondrakians".

The members of the review commission were His Grace Bishop Arshak Khachatrian, Chancellor of the Mother See, President of the commission; His Grace Bishop Sahak Mashalian, Dean of the Gevorkian Theological Seminary; Rev. Fr. Mkrtich Proshian, Locum Tenens of the Diocese of Aragatsotn; and Mr. Pargev Barseghian, lecturer at the Gevorkian Seminary. After the presentation and defense of the thesis by Rev. Fr. Hovnan, the committee accepted the defense.

With the blessing of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, Rev. Fr. Hovnan Hakobian will receive the rank of Archimandrite (Vardapet) equal to a Master’s degree in Divinity. The service will be held in the St. Mesrop Mashtots Church of Oshakan, in the nearest future.

 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGbVv44EJfo&feature=player_profilepage&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2FArmenianChurch%23p%2Fu%2F0%2FHGbVv44EJfo
« Last Edit: April 21, 2010, 07:58:17 PM by Salpy » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2010, 11:40:54 AM »

Excuse my ignorance, but I don't understand whats going on. Is this person being ordained a priest or bishop?
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« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2010, 07:19:43 PM »

He's a celibate priest who is now being made a vartabed.  I'm not sure if there is an equivalent in other churches.  A vartabed is basically a very educated priest.  

An ordination to bishop is a different thing, and that is not what was going on here.  Recently, there was an ordination of three bishops at Etchmiadzin, but the priest featured above was not one of them.  He's still a priest, it's just that now he's a Vartabed priest.  

If Vasn Dearn sees this, maybe she can clarify it better.

Here's a video of the recent ordination of bishops, so you can see what that looks like:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BY7zpgVuz3o&feature=player_profilepage&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2FArmenianChurch%23p%2Fu%2F1%2FBY7zpgVuz3o

You can see it's very different.
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« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2010, 07:23:35 PM »

Here's another article from Etchmiadzin about the vartabed:


On April 20, the service of bestowing the rank of Archimandrite (Vardapet) was offered at the St. Mesrop Mashtots Church in Oshakan. After the successful defense of his doctoral thesis, Rev. Fr. Hovnan Hakobian received the rank of Archimandrite by His Grace Bishop Ararat Kaltakjian, Director of the Properties of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.

Following the reading of the Anathema, Fr. Hovnan made a Public Confession of Faith against all the old and new heresies and sects which distorted and distort the true faith of the Holy Church. After readings, prayers and singing of hymns from the Holy Scriptures, Bishop Ararat granted Fr. Hovnan with the Doctoral Staff as a sign of his wisdom and authority.

Present for the service were His Grace Bishop Mkrtich Proshian, Locum Tenens of the Diocese of Aragatsotn, Members of the Brotherhood of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin and guests.

Following the service, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians received Rev. Fr. Hovnan Hakobian in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. Congratulating the newly consecrated Archimandrite, His Holiness extended his paternal blessings to Fr. Hovnan and granted him the Pectoral Cross.





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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2010, 08:06:13 PM »

Fascinating! 

For the EO, Archimandrite is a title that historically indicated the person was an overseer over a or a group of monasteries, with no connotation or denotation of education.  We have no clerical ranks or titles that have educational requirements - the closest you get is that the salutation used to greet a theological-school trained priest is different from others (well, in Greek it is).  For us, an Archimandrite is also put onto the candidates list for ordination to one of the Episcopal ranks when a see is vacant.

What a beautiful tradition you have!  Is a similar practice found in the other OO Churches (Coptic, Ethiopian, etc.), or is this unique to the Armenian Church?
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« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2010, 08:26:33 PM »


What a beautiful tradition you have!  Is a similar practice found in the other OO Churches (Coptic, Ethiopian, etc.), or is this unique to the Armenian Church?

I also would like to know if there is something similar in the other OO Churches.  I've never heard of it outside the Armenian Church, though.  The only thing I could find in English explaining it was in Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vartabed
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« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2010, 11:00:21 PM »

No, I believe we don't have anything like that.  I think a priest/bishop is just well known by his reputation and education without a special consecration.  Fr. Tadros Malaty may be equivalent to a "Vartabed" as he is a leading authority in the Church for theological and Biblical education, but he's not really consecrated/ordained as a "doctor" of the Church.  He is a hegoumenous, or an archpriest, just an honorary priestly title, and used also to denote the head of other priests in a parish (in this particular instant he is the head of priests in the Church in Sporting, Alexandria, Egypt), and he also has the special role of being summoned by the Pope to help churches around the world with no priests until they get a permanent priest (our church in Holmdel, NJ had the special privilege of having Fr. Tadros as our interum priest for about a year).  By reputation, Fr. Tadros is also the brother-in-law of the late Fr. St. Bishoy Kamel, a recent saint in our Church (not canonized yet, but Copts all over the world seek his prayers).

Fr. Tadros will go down in history as a true scholar in our Church, and he is also known especially for his lengthy dissertation on Origen's life and beliefs.
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« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2010, 06:03:45 PM »

Mina is correct, at least within the Coptic church. I'm not sure of others either. We do not have a rank for scholarly priests or something like that. We have Hegumens which as Mina said are like Archpriests. They are not considered leaders of a parish over other priests, but its more of an honorary title showing he is the eldest priest. For the most part, you generally only find one heguman per parish. Although its not strictly that there must only be one per church.
Thanks salpy for clearing that up!

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« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2010, 06:35:46 PM »

We have no clerical ranks or titles that have educational requirements - the closest you get is that the salutation used to greet a theological-school trained priest is different from others (well, in Greek it is). 

But, in Greece, those different quasi-ranks within the priesthood correspond to different salaries/pensions from the guvment.
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« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2010, 07:22:03 AM »

In the Syriac and Indian traditions, priests known for their learning and erudition were called Malpans or Malfano (Syr).  These Malpans were entrusted the task of instructing candidates for the priesthood. At that time the Seminary system did not exist .

While for the most part Malpan was a popular title and not officially awarded, some priests have been officially called Malankara Malpans ( teachers pre-eminent in the entire Church).  In the Patriarchal jurisdiction in India, there exists one such Cor Episcopa today.
Generally in such cases they are awarded a Pectoral cross.
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« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2010, 12:58:32 PM »

While for the most part Malpan was a popular title and not officially awarded, some priests have been officially called Malankara Malpans ( teachers pre-eminent in the entire Church).  In the Patriarchal jurisdiction in India, there exists one such Cor Episcopa today.
Generally in such cases they are awarded a Pectoral cross.

Here is a photo of Very Rev Kaniamparambil Kurian Cor Episopa who is the Malankara Malpan with the Malankara Syriac Orthodox Church, the autonomous jurisdiction in India under the Patriarch of Antioch and All the East.  He is now 97 years old.

http://www.syrianchurch.org/bio/KaniamparambilCorepiscopa3.png

With the Catholicose
http://www.syrianchurch.org/bio/Birthday_1.jpg

In these photos you can see the Pectoral cross that Suraj is referring to.

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« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2010, 01:31:13 PM »

But, in Greece, those different quasi-ranks within the priesthood correspond to different salaries/pensions from the guvment.

I know that there are "categories" of priests pertaining to their education (so a priest with an MA in Theology will earn more than one with a BA in Theology), but do these correspond to priestly titles (e.g. Archimandrite or Protopresbyter), or are such titles given independently of the 'category' to which you belong?
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« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2010, 08:24:13 PM »

While for the most part Malpan was a popular title and not officially awarded, some priests have been officially called Malankara Malpans ( teachers pre-eminent in the entire Church).  In the Patriarchal jurisdiction in India, there exists one such Cor Episcopa today.
Generally in such cases they are awarded a Pectoral cross.

Here is a photo of Very Rev Kaniamparambil Kurian Cor Episopa who is the Malankara Malpan with the Malankara Syriac Orthodox Church, the autonomous jurisdiction in India under the Patriarch of Antioch and All the East.  He is now 97 years old.

http://www.syrianchurch.org/bio/KaniamparambilCorepiscopa3.png

With the Catholicose
http://www.syrianchurch.org/bio/Birthday_1.jpg

In these photos you can see the Pectoral cross that Suraj is referring to.

Mathew.

Now is a Cor Episcopa considered a sub-bishop (as the name claims) and therefore part of a synod of bishops (in other words, only the celibate can be a Cor Episcopa), or is a Cor Episcopa a priestly rank, higher than that of an archpriest (so even the married or widowed can become a Cor Episcopa)?
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« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2010, 02:54:16 AM »

Cor Episcopa in the Syriac tradition is a priestly rank and commonly married priests are elevated to that rank.  They are not members of the Synod of Bishops.  Usually celibate hieromonks were not made Cor Episcopas because in the Syriac tradition , celibate priests did not serve in parishes. Since that is not stricly followed in India, some monk-priests who now serve in the diocese have been made Cor Episcopa (how correct it is I do not know)

Canonically they can ordain candidates upto the Sub-deaconate.  Today this is not done in the Indian Church but people have been made Kuroyos (readers) by Cor Episcopas in the past.  I believe in the Malankara Catholic Church a Cor Episcopa is made, but the right to ordain anybody is explicitly withdrawn.  No such thing is done amongst the Orthodox.  They are usually awarded a pectoral cross , cassock with red trimmings of the Episcopate, and Cor Episcopas in the past have worn the black birretta that Bishops wear amongst the Syrian orthodox and carried the staff which is usually carried by Bishops ( This staff is not the crozier used in liturgical settings ).

My opinion is that Cor Episcopas were of sub-episcopal rank but over time the position is now a purely priestly one.  Amongs the Orthodox in India, no title of Archpriest or Protoprystbyter exists, hence today the Cor Episcopate has basically become a honorific awarded to senior priests.  I think ideally a Cor Episcopa should be the dean of the diocesan clergy and thus similar to the Roman Vicar General. 

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« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2011, 12:02:43 AM »

Here's another one:

Quote
On March 26, the service of bestowing the rank of Archimandrite (Vardapet) was offered at the St. Mesrop Mashtots Church in Oshakan. Rev. Fr. Mesrop Barsamian, Brotherhood Member and Vice Chancellor of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, received the rank of Archimandrite by His Grace Bishop Anushavan Zhamkochian, Spiritual pastor of the Mother Cathedral of St. Gregory the Illuminator in Yerevan. Recently, Father Mesrop successfully defended his doctoral thesis entitled "Being God" the three phases of the divinization of a man according to the doctrine of St. Nerses the Graceful".

http://www.armenianchurch.org/index.jsp?sid=3&nid=1786&y=2011&m=2&d=27&lng=en

The doctoral thesis seems interesting.  Again, I hope it gets translated into English and published somewhere.








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