Holy See of Cilicia

The Catholicos of Cilicia (aka Sis ) is an autonomous particular Church, the Armenian Apostolic Church.


It arose from the establishment of the Catholicos of the Armenians in the Kingdom of Lesser Armenia. Upon completion of a union with the Roman Catholic Church in 1439 at the Council of Florence, 1441 in Echmiadzin ( Greater Armenia ), constituting another Catholicossate which gradually became an honorary precedence over the following centuries. The " Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia " but remained independent until the present day and claimed the same rights and privileges.

In Catholicos of Cilicia of the Armenian rite gained its current expression. As the Christian population of Cilicia to part accepted the Turkish, was allowed in the 19th century, to read in worship in that language, in addition to the Armenian the gospel and keep preaching.

Was the seat of the Catholicos of Cilicia from 1293 to the 20th century in Sis (now Kozan, Turkey, Adana Province ), which had to be vacated in 1915 by the Armenians. The church treasury, especially liturgical books, vestments and equipment could be saved with difficulty. The cathedral, churches and monastic buildings in Sis ( Kozan ) were destroyed in the subsequent period.

In the 19th century the jurisdiction of the Catholicos of Sis about the Ottoman pashalik of Adana, Maras, Aleppo and Cyprus stretched. 1915 was one of the Catholicate 15 dioceses with 284,000 faithful.

Like all Armenian Katholikate and Patriarchate in the Ottoman Empire was the Cilician Sis 1916/17 resolved by state law in favor of a newly Catholicosate all Ottoman Armenians based in Jerusalem. Catholicos Sahag II of Cilicia Khabayan was in 1916 appointed the first " Catholicos - Patriarch ", but in 1917 banished from Jerusalem to Damascus. In 1918 he returned to Cilicia, trying to resettle its historical Catholicosate in the Cilician city of Adana.

After the French withdrawal from Cilicia and its annexation to the Kemalist Turkey in 1921, the seat of the Catholicos was for security to Syria (Aleppo ) and then moved to Lebanon. 1929 took over the Cilician Catholicos by the Jerusalem Patriarchate of the Armenian administration of the dioceses Beirut, Damascus and Latakia. Since 1930, the seat of the Catholicosate located in Antelias in Beirut ( Lebanon), where a seminary, a printing house, a new Patriarchal ( " Gregory the Miracle Worker ") and a Martyrion for the victims of the genocide of the Armenians were built. 1998 " Cilicia Museum " was opened.

Since 1962, the Catholicos of Cilicia is a full member of the World Council of Churches. At the 2nd Vatican Council, the Catholic Church was represented by its own observers.

CURRENT head of the Church is Catholicos Aram I


Today's dioceses in the Catholicosate are:

  • Lebanon ( Antelias )
  • Aleppo ( Syria)
  • Gezira (Syria )
  • Damascus ( Syria)
  • Cyprus ( Nicosia)
  • Tehran ( Iran)
  • Tabriz ( Iran)
  • Isfahan (Iran)
  • Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates
  • Greece ( Athens )
  • Prelature of the eastern United States, New York
  • Prelature of the western United States, Los Angeles
  • Prelature of Canada.
  • Venezuela

The Armenian Orthodox Catholicos of Cilicia of the Armenian Catholic has a branch in the united with the Pope in Rome Patriarch of Cilicia of the Armenians.