Aghan Baliozian

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Aghan_Baliozian&chld=H_100&junk=junk.png Aghan Baliozian Mars symbol.svg
Birthplace Aleppo
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Positions Archbishop
Dialects Western Armenian

Archbishop Aghan Baliozian Dies At 66 In Australia

PanARMENIAN.Net September 22, 2012 - 10:48 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net - Australian-Armenian journalist/foreign correspondent Arthur Hagopian issued a statement on the death of Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of Australia and New Zealand Archbishop Aghan Baliozian.

"The Armenian church in the Diaspora has lost one of its most eminent leaders with the death of Archbishop Aghan Baliozian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of Australia and New Zealand.

Baliozian had been in poor health over the past few years, and had recently entered Sydney's leading Sydney hospital, the Royal North Shore, for treatment. His loss is particularly acute, coming at a time when the Diaspora church is facing crucial challenges on so many fronts.

Ever since the incapacitation of the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Torkom Manoogian, Baliozian has been touted as a possible strong contender to succeed him on the Jerusalem See, considered the second most important spiritual center for Armenians all over the world, after the mother church at Etchmiadzin, Yerevan, capital of Armenia," Hagopian writes.

"He was born in Syria's second largest city Aleppo, where Armenian survivors had found a safe haven following the genocide. The Second World War had just ended and the city was still wallowing in the misery of deprivation and starvation, a joint calamity that is now again being visited on its hapless inhabitants in the wake of the orgy of fratricidal bloodletting in Syria.

Early in his youth, Baliozian had felt stirrings of a deep spiritual yearning and this led him to Jerusalem where he enrolled as a student of theology at the Armenian Patriarchate's seminary. At the age of 22, he was ordained a celibate priest.

In 1982, he was elected Primate of Australia and New Zealand. A brilliant orator who was never known to have used notes, he could move crowds and congregations with his eloquent sermons.

Always approachable and contagiously gregarious, Baliozian had a growing loyal following. But ill health remained a pernicious shadow, and he succumbed to it at the relatively young age of 66.

During his tenure in Sydney where he was stationed, his astute native savvy helped the church bolster its finances and extend its landholdings.

Contemporary Jerusalemite Armenians remember his spirited leanings towards sports, particularly soccer. They recall he could kick a football right across the field, and straight into the opposing team's goal, with the greatest of ease.

Among the duties he undertook in Jerusalem, was teaching and administering the affairs of the Armenian Patriarchate seminary where he was appointed dean in 1974.

A year later, he was picked by the Catholicos of All Armenians, Vasken I, to become Vicar General of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of Australia and New Zealand.

Baliozian was always active in ecumenical affairs, and earned the distinction of being the first president of the National Ecclesiastic Council of Australia. He also represented the Armenian Church within the World Council of Churches. In 2001, he was elected Vice President of the New South Wales Ecumenical Council, a post to which he was elected three times.

In 1995 and again in 2003, the Australian government awarded him the state order of Australia for his "devout service and contribution to the country and society, especially to the Armenian community."

Inevitably, as with every other leader, he had to contend with his share of controversies. But he had the courage and determination to deal with them all as best he could.

Among the most prominent members of Baliozian's local congregation, is the NSW minister for transport, Gladys Berekijlian," the statement reads.


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Churches In Australia Expresses Sorrow Over The Death Of Archbishop Aghan Baliozian OAM

ChristianToday Sept 25 2012

Renowned Christian leader, ecumenist and former president of the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA) His Eminence Archbishop Aghan Baliozian OAM, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of Australia and New Zealand died on Saturday 22 September 2012 in Sydney.

Archbishop Baliozian was held in high esteem both in Australia and around the world for his wisdom and commitment to Christian unity, interreligious dialogue and peace building. He arrived in Australia in 1975 to serve as Vicar General of the diocese before being appointed as Primate of Australia and New Zealand in 1982.

As an active and passionate ecumenist he served as the first president of the NCCA (1994-97) and later as president of the NSW Ecumenical Council (2005-07). Archbishop Baliozian represented the Armenian Church within the World Council of Churches participating in the Assemblies of Canberra (1991), Harare (1998) and Porto Alegre (2006).

NCCA general secretary Rev. Tara Curlewis expressed deep sorrow over the Archbishop's death. She said; "Archbishop Baliozian will be remembered for his outstanding commitment to ecumenism."

"His role in promoting Christian unity, the participation of the orthodox churches both in the NCCA and WCC, and the importance of interfaith dialogue is a continuing legacy for the churches. Alongside his work with the churches he worked with the wider community where he was held in high esteem by both local community and political leaders."

For his significant contribution and service to Australia and the Armenian community he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 1995 and in 2001 the Centenary Medal.

Ms Curlewis concluded saying; "As a fellowship of churches we have all been touched by his leadership, passion for ecumenism, his encouragement of the youth and his love for people. Let us keep the Armenian Apostolic Church and its leadership in our prayers during this time of loss, mourning and transition."

http://au.christiantoday.com/article/churches-in-australia-expresses-sorrow-over-the-death-of-archbishop-aghan-baliozian-oam/14128.htm

PRESS RELEASE

Diocese of the Armenian Church of Australia & New Zealand 10 Macquarie Street Chatswood NSW 2067 AUSTRALIA Contact: Laura Artinian Tel: (02) 9419-8056 Fax: (02) 9413-1709 Email: armenian@idx.com.au


COMMUNIQUÉ: OUR BELOVED PRIMATE ENTERS HIS ETERNAL REST


It is with deep sorrow that we convey the difficult news that our dearly beloved spiritual leader, His Eminence Archbishop Aghan Baliozian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of Australia and New Zealand entered his eternal rest this morning, Saturday 22 September 2012 at 9.45 a.m. having suffered a heart attack.

At age 66 his Eminence succumbed to join our Lord after a long battle with illness.

The Clergy and diaconate, Diocesan Council, Church Councils of Sydney, Melbourne and Sydney West together with all other Church Committees and members of the parish are in deep mourning.

At this sorrowful time the Diocese will observe a period of mourning until Sunday 28 October and Armenian community organisations are requested to respect this period.

Expressions of condolence will be accepted in the Diocesan office from Monday to Sunday evening between 7.00 p.m. and 9.00 p.m.

Details of the funeral service and interment of our beloved late Primate will be announced through the Church and on Armenian Radio in due course.

Issued on Behalf of the Diocesan Council

22 September 2012

See attachment for Armenian & English Communiqué


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