The Catholicos of All Armenians (plural Catholicoi, due to its Greek origin) (Armenian: Ամենայն Հայոց Կաթողիկոս) is the chief bishop and spiritual leader of Armenia's national church, the Armenian Apostolic Church, and the worldwide Armenian diaspora. According to tradition, the apostles Saint Thaddeus and Saint Bartholomew brought Christianity to Armenia in the first century. Saint Gregory the Illuminator became the first Catholicos of All Armenians following the nation's adoption of Christianity as its official religion in 301 AD. The seat of the Catholicos, and the spiritual and administrative headquarters of the Armenian Church, is the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, located in the city of Vagharshapat.
Catholicos of All Armenians
4 November 1999
|First holder||Saint Gregory the Illuminator|
|Diocese||Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin|
|Cathedral||Etchmiadzin Cathedral, Vagharshapat, Armenia|
The Armenian Apostolic Church is part of the Oriental Orthodox communion that do not subscribe to the Christological formulas of the Council of Chalcedon. It includes the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, the Syriac Orthodox Church, the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, and the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church.
The current Catholicos is Karekin II.