Bishop György Mártonffy and the Armenians in Transylvania Cover Image

Mártonffy György püspök és az erdélyi örmények
Bishop György Mártonffy and the Armenians in Transylvania

Author(s): Kornél Nagy
Subject(s): History, Cultural history, Diplomatic history, Social history, 17th Century, 18th Century
Published by: Erdélyi Múzeum-Egyesület
Keywords: György Mártonffy; bishop; Transilvanian Armenians; 18th Century

Summary/Abstract: This article is dedicated to the unknown chapter of the Armenians’ church-history in Transylvania in the early 18th century. Bishop György Mártonffy (1663−1721) himself is regarded as a key figure of the Roman Catholicism during the period of the Catholic Renewal in Hungary and Transylvania. According to scholarly accepted belief, Bishop Mártonffy had a very cordial relation to Armenian communities in Transylvania. However, the newly discovered sources, kept at the Holy See’s archives in Rome, have definitely tinged this belief. In 1718 and 1719, Bishop Mártonffy and his fellows composed a couple of letters, addressed to the Holy See’s authorities. In these documents, they reported upon the Armenians’ ecclesiastical errors and abuses in Transylvania, which caused a harsh conflict to the Armenian community in Transylvania. Moreover, Mártonffy knew with a complete certainty that the Armenians in Transylvania had already declared their church-union officially with Rome since 1689. In addition, this act initiated by Bishop was clear. Bishop Mártonffy, in fact, wanted to extend his ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the Armenians. Furthermore, hereby, the bishop took advantage of the opportunity that the Armenians’ bishopric see had been still vacant since Oxendio Virziresco (1654−1715), the fi rst Uniate (Catholic) bishop of the Armenians, deceased in 1715. Therefore, the main aim of this brief article is to enlighten the historical background of this conflict very thoroughly, resting upon the partly discovered and undiscovered sources, as well as analysing critically a handful of secondary literature.

  • Issue Year: LXXVIII/2016
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 68-84
  • Page Count: 17
  • Language: Hungarian