official schism of the Armenian church in the VIth century did not prevent
many bishops, along centuries, to remain in communion with the Universal
Church. Henceforth, since the XIth century, the Armenians united their
efforts to those of the Crusaders for the re-conquest of the Holy places,
and entered in relation with the church of Rome. However, this union did
SITUATION IN LEBANON
birth of the Armenian Catholic Church did not take place until late 1742.
It was recognized as such by the Pope Benoit XIV, and having at its head
the patriarch Abraham-Pierre 1st ARDZIVIAN. Its residence was first at
the Kreim, close to Harissa, then the patriarch bought land at Bzoummar
where his successor built a convent and placed the first patriarchal ecclesiastical
community which became thereafter a center of radiance for Lebanon, Cilicia,
Mesopotamia and Egypt.
Catholic Armenians have dioceses in countries of the Middle East, Europe
and in the American continent. Three congregations or masculine religious
institutes and a congregation of Catholic Armenian Sisters of the Immaculate
Conception share the monastic life.
1928, the Armenian Catholic Church was again reorganized to the administrative,
scholar, cultural and social level. The number of its supporters is evaluated
at approximately thirty thousand, served by about thirty priests and monks,
spread over eight parishes.
Catholic Church is present in the religious, cultural, political and social
Lebanese scene. Although the Armenian people are scattered, they maintain
a sense of their national, cultural and religious identity.