Rorate Caeli

For the record: A new Doctor of the Church

As reported today on the Vatican Bollettino, Pope Francis has decided to elevate Gregory of Narek (c. 950 - c. 1005) perhaps the greatest of Armenian sacred writers, sometimes called "the Armenian Pindar", as Doctor of the Church. A translation of his Book of Lamentations can be found here.

Although not mentioned in the Bollettino, this act also apparently serves as an equipollent canonization of Gregory, who was already venerated as a Saint in both the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Armenian Catholic Church.

It is interesting to note that Gregory lived at a time when the Armenian Church, to which he belonged, was not formally in communion with Rome and Constantinople. However, as those interested in the extremely tangled history of Christianity in the first millennium are well aware, one cannot always speak straightforwardly of "schism" and "heresy" when dealing with the theological and ecclesiastical divisions of Christendom in that era.