Armenian Apostolic Church’s Dethroned Catholicoi

Posted on February. 12. 2019



YEREVAN – Over the past few days, the issue of Catholicos of All Armenians Garekin II’s resignation was widely being discussed. History remembers many cases, when some Armenian Catholicoi didn’t enthrone till their death. Also there were Catholicoi, who resigned or were dismissed. Let’s refer to some of them.

    Husik I Partev (341-347). According to King Tiran’s order, he was whipped and killed in Bnaberd Fortress of Copk Province.

Bishop Daniel. After the death of Husik I in 347 he was designated as Catolicos of Armenians by Tiran’s order ((nevertheless) on the official church list of Catolicoi, Bishop Daniel is not mentioned as a Catholicos).

Sahak I Partev. Over the period from 387 to 436 intermittently he served as Catholicos of All Armenians. From 428 to 429 he was replaced by Surmak. The latter wasn’t mentioned in the “Gavazanagirk” of the Armenian Catholicoi until he was ordained as the bishop of Manazkert. After Sahak Partev refused to reclaim his throne, Surmak once again took over the leadership of the Mother See (437-443). From 429 to 432 Brqisho took over the throne of the Catholicos. But his opulent lifestyle provoked a huge discontent and resulted in his dethronement.

Kristaphor II Apahouni (628-630). According to Sebeos he was very proud- spirited, arrogant and had a sharp tongue. He opposed to the governor, who forced the Catholicos to resign.

Sargis I of Sevan (992-1019). He willingly abandoned the throne and ordained Petros Getadardz as Catholicos.

Petros I Getadardz (1019-1058). His Byuzantophilia (pro- Byuzantium policy) irritated King Hovhannes-Smbat. In 1037 the latter deprived him of his throne and placed him under house arrest at Bjni fortress. In 1039 Petros managed to re-establish himself as a Catholicos.

Jacob (Hakob) II of Anavarzia. He served as the Armenian Catholicos twice. The first phase was from 1327 to 1341.  Due to political circumstances and oppression he resigned from his throne in 1341. After the death of his successor Mkhitar I Garneci in 1355, he was re-elected as the Armenian Catholicos — unprecedented in the history of the Armenian Church.

    Hovhannes (John) VII Ajakir (1474-1484). In 1484 he left for Poland to manage local religious affairs and to collect donations from the Armenian migrants. And he didn’t return from Poland. After his departure Sargis III Mjusayl, who was his Coadjutor took the throne.

David IV of Vagharshapat (1590-1629). This Catholicos had several Catholicoi Coadjutors. Some researchers mention him as Davit VI. Due to debts, he spent the main part of his rule outside of Edjmiadzin. He was deprived of the throne in 1629.

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