Info

Schisms and divisions continued to plague the Armenian Catholic Church until the genocide (1915). Pius IX's bull Reversurus of 12 July 1867, aimed at putting an end to these problems, stipulated that henceforth Rome would choose Armenian Catholic bishops from a list of three names, that laity and lower clergy could no longer participate in patriarchal elections, and that patriarchs would have to be confirmed by Rome before exercising their office.15 This provoked a violent reaction, and several Armenian Catholic bishops and most of the Antonine monks passed to the Armenian Orthodox Church.16

In letter after letter, Pius IX returned to the intractable internecine divisions provoked by lay interference in the affairs of the Armenian Catholic Church (Non Sine Gravissimo, 24 February 1870; Quo Impensiore, 20 May 1870; Ubi Prima, 11 March 1871; Quartus Supra, 6 January 1873), even appealing to the sultan to restore order. The Turkish revolution of 1908 led to further disruptions. Patriarch Terzian, unanimously elected by the synod of 1910, was deposed by the government in 1912 through the machinations of influential laity opposed to his reforms. Because of this intractable mess, Pius IX's intention to apply the dispositions of Reversurus to other Eastern Catholic communities was prudently shelved.

In 1850 Pius IX had established the diocese of Artvin for Armenian Catholics in the Russian empire, but Tsarist antipathy for 'Uniatism' led to its abandonment, and in 1912 the Armenian Catholics there were placed under the Latin bishop of Tiraspol.17

Seven of the fifteen Armenian Catholic bishoprics existing in 1914 were wiped out in the genocide, when seven bishops, 130 priests, forty nuns, and up to 100,000 faithful perished.

Maronites

The Maronites,18 a strongly monastic community with no Orthodox counterpart, flourished early in this period under the beneficent regime of Emir Bechir (1749-1840). The immediately subsequent political turmoil, however, led to their massacre in 1842 and 1845 by the Druze. The church's inner life also suffered from outside pressures: the Latinisation of Maronite usages was reinforced by the synod of 1818. But signs of resistance presaged later reforms, when Patriarch Boulos Mas'ad (1854-90) declined the proposal of the apostolic delegate in Syria to invite Latin missionaries to the Synod of Bkerke in

15 Hajjar, Les chretiens uniates, pp. 289ff.

16 Janin, Les eglises orientales, pp. 356-7.

17 Roberson, Eastern Christian Churches, p. 253.

18 Janin, Les ├ęglises orientales, pp. 454-7; Hajjar, Les chretiens uniates, passim.

0 0

Post a comment