Armenian News Network / Groong
January 18, 2009
By Arthur Hagopian
|Archbishop Nourhan Manoogian|
He has not been in the city long, but in those few years Archbishop Nourhan Manoogian has demonstrated that he has earned his place as a pillar of strength for the Jerusalem church, standing staunchly by the side of his Patriarch, Archbishop Torkom Manoogian (no relation).
And to accentuate the growing eminence of his second in command and the church's increasing dependence on him, Torkom has now appointed Nourhan his Patriarchal Vicar.
It is a move invoked but rarely throughout the annals of the Patriarchate and will mean more pressure on Nourhan as his responsibilities expand. In addition to overseeing the day-to-day running of his own office, he will have to keep a keen eye on the operations of the various Patriarchate enterprises, among them, the parish school and seminary, the printing press, the Gulbenkian library, the Mardigian museum.
But he is not one to buckle under the intense pressures, both from within and without, that will assail him now. He knows that the more pressure there is on him, the less the burden the Patriarch has to bear.
Nourhan was born in Aleppo, Syria, in 1948 and was ordained a celibate priest at the age of 23. He was consecrated a bishop in 1999.
He had served the church in the United States with distinction before the call came from Jerusalem, inviting him back.
Soon after his arrival, he was elected Grand Sacristan.
Nourhan is a pragmatist and believes in a hands-on approach to problems. He is not even aver to having his hands dirtied in the service of the church: when a discourteous passerby had the tenacity to insult a procession of Armenian priests, Nourhan was among the first to confront the miscreant.
-- Arthur Hagopian is a Jerusalem Armenian and has worked at the Patriarchate as Press Officer and personal secretary for His Beatitude Patriarch Manoogian. He has worked for major news organizations like Reuters and AP, and holds a MA in educational administration, authoring, web development.
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