ISTANBUL (Armenpress, AP) — Patriarch Mesrob II, the leader of the Armenian Apostolic Christians in Turkey, died on March 8. He was 62.
Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency said Mesrob Mutafyan, the 84th Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople, died Friday at Istanbul’s Armenian Surp Pirgic hospital where he was being cared for. He had been incapacitated since 2008 because of early onset of dementia.
Mesrob was elected Patriarch in 1998, replacing the late Karekin II. He withdrew from his duties in 2008 and Archbishop Aram Atesyan was appointed as the acting patriarch for the Armenian community which numbers an estimated 70,000.
Mutafyan graduated from the American High School in Kornwestheim near Stuttgart in Germany. From 1974 to 1979, he studied philosophy and sociology in Memphis, Tenn.
On May 13, 1979, he was ordained to priesthood and was commissioned pastor of Kınalıada, one of the Prince Islands in the Sea of Marmara in Istanbul. Between 1979 and 1981, he continued his theological studies in Jerusalem.
On September 21, 1986, Mesrob Mutafyan was elevated to the rank of a Bishop in Echmiadzin, Armenia. From 1982 to 1990, he coordinated the ecumenical relationships of the Patriarchate. He attended the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome, Italy in 1988-1989.