Tensions escalate at Istanbul Armenian Patriarchate as Ateshian refuses to step down

12:44 • 17.03.17



The refusal by the Patriarchate’s Vicar General Archbishop Aram Ateshian to step down following Wednesday’s election of a Locum Tenens and his apparent collusion with the Istanbul Governor’s office, which deemed the process illegal, have escalated tensions within the Patriarchate.


Immediately after the Patriarchate’s Clerical Assembly elected Archbishop Karekin Bekdjian as Locum Tenens—Patriarchal alternate—Ateshian produced a letter signed by Istanbul’s deputy governor charging that the election process for a new patriarch, which began in October of last year, was “legally impossible.” Soon after the vote Thursday, the governor’s office release its letter to the press.


The decision for Ateshian to step down after the alternate’s election was agreed to last month at Etchmiadzin, where His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, had summoned Ateshian and the Patriarchate’s Religious Council chair Bishop Sahak Mashalian, who had resigned earlier as a protest to Ateshian’s interference in the electoral process.

In an interview with Agos, published on Thursday, Mashalian said that the notice from the governor’s office had rendered the Patriarchate dysfunctional. He added that a meeting should be held at the governor’s office immediately, a sentiment echoed by the newly-elected Locum Tenens, Archbishop Bekdjian.


Mashalian also raised the possibility of collusion between Ateshian and the governor’s office, saying that the fact that the notice was revealed after the election raises unanswered questions.

“There are two possibilities,” Mashalian told Agos. “Either it [the governor’s notice] came earlier and it wasn’t going to be revealed if Ateshian were elected; or it was designed as a notice that would be revealed if Ateshian lost. We don’t know. However, the problem is that this notice caused a storm in our church once again.”

Mashalian said that the situation should be handled in a calm manner to prevent clashes with the state and to restore “our freedom to worship.”

However, the events of the last 24 hours have created a situation whereby the Patriarchate does not have a religious leader, according to Mashalian.


“His Eminence Karekin is our elected deghabah [Armenian word for Locum Tenens]. And according to the same law, His Eminence Aram is no longer the vicar. Now, after this improper and untimely interference, we have a vicar who is not a vicar and a deghabah who is not a deghabah,” stressed Mashalian.

 

“His Eminence Aram’s resignation would solve everything,” added Mashalian who cited the meeting in Etchmiadzin last month, when all sides agreed to a smooth transition toward the election of a Patriarch in Istanbul.

 

Meanwhile, more revelations have come to light about Thursday’s tense meeting and the election.

According to Agos, after the votes were counted and it became clear that Bekdjian had won, Ateshian made the announcement and stormed out of the room, only to return a few minutes later with the governor’s notice in hand.


After the revelation of the notice, Mashalian, Ateshian and Bekdjian reportedly retreated to a nearby office, from where shouts were heard.


Sources who overheard the heated exchange between the top clerics at the Istanbul Patriarchate told Agod that Mashalia urged Ateshian to accept the results of the election and go to the governor’s office to explain the decision of the Clerical Assembly.


“They [the state] are trampling on our religious life. This is interference. This election happened.

We have to go to the governor’s office and tell that Bekdjian is our deghabah. You are the one who should do it,” Mashalian reportedly told Ateshian, to which the latter responded “I am holding my seat until the state gives permission.”





Загрузка...

LATEST NEWSAll Today news

17:59 • 20/02

Edward Nalbandian to conduct official visit to Burssels

17:41 • 20/02

Seaside Startup Summit India.Goa gains governmental support  

17:12 • 20/02

Armenia creating 'institute of autocratic prime minister’ – human rights advocate  

16:30 • 20/02

KFC shuts down more stores amid chicken delivery fiasco

16:10 • 20/02

Canada’s Trudeau and family pass time by visiting Gandhi’s home while wearing traditional Indian dress as Modi ‘snubs’ him on official visit

15:55 • 20/02

Jennifer Lawrence is not taking a year off from acting

15:45 • 20/02

Shocking moment woman balances precariously on a tiny ledge five floors above ground to clean outside apartment windows

15:37 • 20/02

Mahmoud Abbas to urge alternative to US as peace mediator in UN speech

15:28 • 20/02

Nagorno-Karabakh developing steadily for 30 years after shaking off Azerbaijani yoke – Serzh Sargsyan

15:09 • 20/02

President Sargsyan’s attendance at the Munich Security Conference ‘had strategic significance’ – Richard Giragosian

14:48 • 20/02

NASA’s Opportunity rover surpasses 5,000 Martian days on the Red Planet

14:41 • 20/02

Last British-Armenian hotel sold in Calcutta

14:31 • 20/02

Canadian couple breaks short dance record in Pyeongchang

14:14 • 20/02

Armenia launching milk quality improvement project  

13:16 • 20/02

At least 17 killed in Mozambique capital as pile of garbage collapses

12:31 • 20/02

‘I'm still punching!' Sylvester Stallone dismisses bizarre hoax claiming he has died of cancer

12:18 • 20/02

Bitcoin breaks through $11,000 for the first time since January  

12:06 • 20/02

European Parliament to mark 30th anniversary of Nagorno-Karabakh movement in special event

11:51 • 20/02

European Parliamentarians ask Federica Mogherini why EU officials do not visit Nagorno-Karabakh

11:38 • 20/02

Three Iranian police killed in clashes with Sufi protesters

11:29 • 20/02

Turkish, Russian, Iranian presidents to meet in Turkey in April

11:08 • 20/02

Serj Tankian, Creative Armenia announce ‘7 Notes Music Challenge’ winners

10:59 • 20/02

Hraparak: Knesset speaker’s visit to Armenia ‘still questionable’

10:41 • 20/02

Football: Chelsea's Hazard dismisses comparisons to Messi and Ronaldo

10:28 • 20/02

Ocean plastic tide 'violates international law'

10:00 • 20/02

US students stage White House protest as Trump gives nod to background bill

09:31 • 20/02

Volcano Mount Sinabung  erupts in Indonesia

09:13 • 20/02

Saudi Arabia set to build 16 nuclear reactors with Russian help

15:23 • 19/02

Nagorno-Karabakh expands international cooperation

13:29 • 19/02

Armenian marksman qualifies for youth Olympics

12:55 • 19/02

Turkey, US to form a three-way mechanism to tackle festering bilateral issues

12:06 • 19/02

ISIL claims responsibility for Russian church shooting in which five women were killed

11:51 • 19/02

National Security Service chief hosts Russian counterpart to discuss cooperation

10:59 • 19/02

Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri enjoys a triumphant night at the BAFTAs as it becomes the big winner of the night with five prizes  

10:29 • 19/02

Asia shares extend global recovery, volatility subsides  

10:08 • 19/02

Winter Olympics 2018: Russian suspected of failed doping test

09:28 • 19/02

Mystery as shark falls from sky and lands in man’s back garden in Kent

09:14 • 19/02

Canada prime minister starts visit to India with Taj Mahal trip  

15:10 • 17/02

International community 'sees our campaign for justice' – Artsakh lawmaker  

14:51 • 17/02

Turkey, Germany pledge closer dialogue

14:42 • 17/02

Aravot: Genocide should not be underlying issue behind Armenian-Israeli relations

14:16 • 17/02

Japanese figure skater earns 1,000th Winter Olympics gold medal

14:06 • 17/02

Aliyev's belligerent rhetoric 'sign of solidarity with Turkey' – former defense minister

13:32 • 17/02

Nagorno-Karabakh reports 250 Azerbaijani ceasefire violations

13:13 • 17/02

Vic Darchinyan: I want to fight with Russian champion in Armenia 'before ending my career'

10:33 • 17/02

FBI under fire over Florida school shooting

09:12 • 17/02

Strong quake hits Mexico

17:53 • 16/02

Armenian, Russian emergency ministers discuss cooperation projects

16:51 • 16/02

Armenia-Belarus air transport cooperation discussed in Yerevan  

16:09 • 16/02

Armenian parliament rejects amendments to Tax Code

15:47 • 16/02

Arsenal boss Wenger confident of seeing out contract

15:30 • 16/02

Terrorist suicide bomber detained in Kyrgyzstan

14:53 • 16/02

18-year-old student saves toddler who jumped on tracks at Milan metro

14:39 • 16/02

US official ‘would be surprised' if Russia doesn't face more sanctions

14:31 • 16/02

iOS bug that displays an Indian character can crash iPhones and disable access to iMessages and WhatsApp

14:10 • 16/02

 NATO urges Turkey, Greece to ease tensions

13:15 • 16/02

Aravot: Supoerpowers' tolerance pushes Aliyev to further agression - politician

12:27 • 16/02

Major-General Tigran Parvanyan appointed commander of Russian-Armenian military contingent

11:52 • 16/02

Dutch parliament recognizes Armenian Genocide

11:28 • 16/02

Florida gunman who killed 17 in school shooting suffers from autism

10:50 • 16/02

Russian low-cost airline to launch flights from St Petrsburg to Gyumri

10:18 • 16/02

Aravot: Anti-Armenian propaganda contributed to tension over Karabakh, says official

09:41 • 16/02

Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux SPLIT after just two years of marriage

09:12 • 16/02

Australia PM Barnaby Joyce 'inept', says prime minister

18:18 • 14/02

Armenia named romantic travel destination

17:20 • 14/02

New anti-Russia sanctions ‘unrelated to Armenia’ – analyst

16:02 • 14/02

International community ‘turning blind eye’ to Turkey’s aggression – expert

15:33 • 14/02

Converse Bank offers agricultural loans

15:04 • 14/02

Amazon amid rare corporate layoff

14:18 • 14/02

Garo Paylan: Istanbul-Armenians unable to elect patriarch for 10 years       

13:27 • 14/02

Mammadyarov: EU-Azerbaijan cooperation not to affect Azerbaijan's partnership with Russia

12:54 • 14/02

Second US federal judge bars against Trump administration from ending DACA

12:44 • 14/02

Genes remain active after death

12:24 • 14/02

South Korea to pay North at Winter Olympics Olympics

12:13 • 14/02

Google Doodle celebrates Valentine’s Day 2018, Winter Olympics with two lovebirds skating together

12:03 • 14/02

Rare photos of celebrities back in days captured by one lucky teen photographer

11:46 • 14/02

Turkish citizen apprehended after illegally crossing Armenia’s border

11:15 • 14/02

No serious cooperation between our private sectors - head of Iran-Armenia Chamber of Commerce

09:35 • 14/02

Danish Quee’s husband Prince Henrik Dies at 83

09:15 • 14/02

Russian reported killed in Syria airstrikes

18:38 • 13/02

Planned sale of US fighters to Turkey ‘to be problematic for Armenia’ – Russian expert

17:32 • 13/02

Trump says America won't build more nuclear weapons – if other nations make commitments first

17:13 • 13/02

US planning cuts in economic, military aid to Armenia

16:21 • 13/02

Woman, 21, has abandoned by her husband and called a witch because of 'sweating' blood from eyes

15:57 • 13/02

Armen Sargsyan 'far more suitable candidate for prime minister' – Heritage party rep  

15:47 • 13/02

Ucom launches sales and service center in Armenia’s Agarak

14:56 • 13/02

Touching photo of baby gorilla hugging the man who saved her from being eaten wins wildlife photograph of the year

14:43 • 13/02

Boston Dynamics robots can open door for everyone (video)

14:33 • 13/02

Putin and Trump discuss North Korea by phone

13:42 • 13/02

Iran unveils new homemade nuclear-capable ballistic missiles

12:57 • 13/02

Iran has not proposed cheaper natural gas deal to Armenia, says official

12:31 • 13/02

Rio carnival dancers sparkle at samba parade as 72,000 spectators watch 'greatest show on Earth' 

12:13 • 13/02

Man who saved numerous lives with only one hand: Istanbul-Armenian doctor Hakob Kotoghian dies

11:38 • 13/02

CoE head to visit Turkey on Feb 15

11:06 • 13/02

Obamas' official portraits expand beyond usual format

10:53 • 13/02

Turkish prosecutor demands 10 years for HDP’s new Co-chairperson  

10:38 • 13/02

Winter Olympics: Chloe Kim wins halfpipe gold medal for US

09:57 • 13/02

Saakashvili seized at restaurant in Ukraine and Deported to Poland  

09:46 • 13/02

Trump administration aims to privatize the International Space Station

09:29 • 13/02

Zhamanak: PKK rebels seek asylum in Armenia