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Ardzivian And The Historical Background of The Armenian Catholic Church The Church
1) Ottoman empire and Christians

"Because of their theological perceptions about the State, the Turks were classifying their non – Muslim subjects according to their clerical belonging and not according to their nationality. The Greek nation included all the Christians belonging to the Greek rite. The Bulgarians, the Serbs, the Rumanians, the orthodox Albanians, even the Arabs of Syria, also the Greek Hellenes.
The Greek Patriarch of Constantinople, who according to the clerical rules had jurisdiction only in the limits of his Patriarchate, it means that on Thrace and Anatolia, became the political chief of all the Greek Christians, who constituted "the Romans' nation"
Abraham Ardzivian
After a while, an Armenian Patriarchate was created in Constantinople (around 1461), which holder received the same jurisdictions that the Greek Patriarch had" (Colonel Lamouche, Histoire de la Turquie).
Therefore, following the governmental example, the Armenians holding a Turkish nationality, being apostolic, Armenian catholic or Evangelical, were subject to one clerical authority. The Armenian Apostolic Patriarch of Constantinople had higher authority close to the Sublime Door, being the only governmental representative of the Ottoman Armenians than the Catholicos of Sis, in spite of the national and clerical rules. "The Christians were conducting themselves according to their community standards, they were preserving their traditions and their language, under the guidance of their Leader and the advisers. In the Turkish regime, before being a member of the State, the individual was a member of his community. The Christian communities could collect taxes from their members for their clerical and cultural needs, and to have schools and benevolence institutions. The marriage, divorce and hereditary cases were transmitted to clerical tribunals" (J. Boulos, Les Peuples et les Civilisations du Proche Orient, vol V.). Therefore, all the Armenian Catholics of the Ottoman empire were subject to the Armenians Patriarch of Constantinople on the religion and political levels. They were prevented from having a separate chief, a separate church and clergyman. The Armenian Catholics were going to the churches of the Patriarch of Constantinople, to be baptized, get married and to be entombed, and to go to the court of justice. In the Ottoman empire, there were also European or Latin Catholics who were there before the invasion of Constantinople. Due to Capitulations (1535) and the presence of European ambassadors living in Constantinople, they were enjoying a religious freedom, they had their churches, clergyman and an archbishop. So, two groups of Catholics were living in the Ottoman empire. The ones who were Catholic could be pursued, imprisoned and exiled (of whom were the Armenian Catholics), and the ones who were able to live their Catholicism without punishment.
2) Is the Armenian Catholic Church a "concordant church?"

Ardzivian is not the founder of the Armenian Catholicism. In his days and before him, there were Armenian Catholic centers almost everywhere.
The bishop Garabed Amadouni, in the book "The Armenian Church and the Catholicity", (1978, Venise, Imp. T.L.A.) was concluding with other authors.
"The Armenian Catholic Church of our days , as the successor of the church that Saint Gregory the Illuminator built and that Saint Sahak , Saint Mesrob and the Catholicos protected , can’t be classified in the line of the Catholic churches, who were built in the XVI and XVII centuries in the East and who were called "concordants". All the Catholicos whose names we mentioned in this book, formed the Catholic warp from the beginnings till the XVIII century. In 1742, the initiative of Abraham Ardzivian to reestablish a separate Armenian Catholic hierarchy at Aleppo was the continuation of that chain. According to these notions, to call the Armenian Catholics "concordants" will mean to pervert the History" (Bishop Garabed Amadouni).
3) The Armenian Catholicism before Ardzivian

Before Abraham Ardzivian who reestablished the Armenian Catholic patriarchate, there were Armenian Catholics living in Constantinople, Mardin, Aleppo, Jerusalem, Ispahan, Baghdad, Nakhitchévan, Crimea, Poland, Transylvania, Italy, sometimes few, sometimes numerous, subject to different and marvelous Armenian or non – Armenian Leaders. They were a group of people without an Armenian Catholic hierarchy.
Was it necessary to continue in this way?
Some Armenian and Latin clergymen who considered that the Armenian Church was already belonging to the Universal Church and pushed only by ignorance that it was physically separated from it, they were preferring not to break with the Armenian Church, but to appropriate it from inside. This point of view was not taking into consideration what the Armenian Church was thinking about this matter.
Other clergymen, especially with the initiative of the French ambassadors of Constantinople, agreed to find a way to talk with the Armenian Patriarchs of Constantinople. From 1701 till 1830 the continuous negotiations remained fruitless, because of the difficulties caused sometimes by this side and sometimes by the other side.
The fundamental matter was the following. Was the Armenian Church considered separated or united to the Universal one. According to the positive or negative answer provided for this question, the Armenian Catholics were allowed or refused to go there. The Armenian Catholicism, particularly in Constantinople, was divided into two currents. The partisans of the positive answer were frequenting the national churches very tranquilly.
But for the partisans of the negative answer, the dilemma was a difficult matter of conscience, which took finally the form of a complaint against the need of a religious freedom and the suppression of conscience and pushed the Armenian Catholics to take the decision of becoming a separate community.
The first trial of independency took place in the Capital, in 1714, under the control of the Sultan and the Armenian Patriarch and ended with the exile of the participants, by imprisonment or escape. Among the prisoners were the Bishop Melkon Tazbazian who was designated Patriarch and the Bishop of Aleppo, Abraham Ardzivian and the ones who were condemned to galleys.

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