WASHINGTON (September 12, 2004)—Pope Benedict XVI has elevated the Armenian Catholic Exarchate of the United States and Canada to the rank of Eparchy, with the title Our Lady of Nareg in New York for Armenian Catholics.
Most Reverend Manuel Batakian, until now Apostolic Exarch for Armenian Catholics in the United States and Canada, has been appointed Eparch.
The announcement was made by Monsignor Leopoldo Girellli, Charge d'Affaires at the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington.
The Eparchy, headquarted in Brooklyn, NY, serves approximately 25,000 Armenian Catholics in New York, California, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
Manuel Batakian was born November 5, 1929, in Bourj-Hammoud, Lebanon. He studied at the Gregorian University in Rome and was ordained a priest December 8, 1954. Appointed Titular Bishop of Cesarea of Cappadocia and protosyncellus of Beirut, January 6, 1995, he was appointed Apostolic Exarch of the Apostolic Exarchate for Armenian Catholics, November 30, 2000, and installed January 20, 2001.