After Maşalyan's resignation, a protocol was issued in a secret meeting that was held before the meeting of VADİP (Cooperation and Consultation Platform for Foundations), foundation chairs and executives. Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II made a statement on the recent developments. Catholicos stated that the protocol is against the traditional procedure.
The process of patriarchal election has accelerated after the resignation of Sahak Maşalyan, the head of the Clerical Assembly of the Patriarchate. On February 16, 13 people including General Vicar of Patriarch Aram Ateşyan, , Sahak Maşalyan, Dikran Gülmezgil, Erol Ergan, Melkon Karaköse, Hayk Aslanyan, Vasken Barın, Cezo Taş, Efrim Bağ, Kevork Okçu, Hrant Moskofyan, signed a protocol. It was announced that the election will be held on May 28 and Aram Ateşyan will continue to serve as the vicar throughout this process.
The secret meeting that was held before the meeting of VADİP (Cooperation and Consultation Platform for Foundations), foundation chairs and executives and the imposed protocol caused severe criticisms.
Lastly, Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II reacted against the the protocol that was signed during the secret meeting that was held with the participation of General Vicar of Patriarch Aram Ateşyan and Bishop Sahak Maşalyan. Stating that the item concerning the vicarship of Ateşyan is against the procedure, Catholicos was reportedly called Ateşyan and Mutafyan to his seat at Etchmiadzin.
According to the protocol, the Clerical Assembly was supposed to choose a değabah (trustee) today. It is reported that Ateşyan and Mutafyan are called to Etchmiadzin on February 21.
Here is the protocol signed in the secret meeting:
“Recent developments concerning the patriarchal election lead our society to conflicts with unpredictable outcomes. Wise people of our society, Their Eminences Archbishop Aram Ateşyan and Bishop Sahak Maşalyan came together and issued a protocol that will bring peace until the election.
1. A değabah (trustee) will be chosen among the esteemed clerics on February 17.
2. On February 18, Clerical Assembly and society leaders invited by the değabah will assign the Enterprising Committee, which consists of 15 people, 2 of them being clerics.
3. On February 20, değabah and the Enterprising Committee will write the proper letter and present it to the governor's office.
4. His Eminence Aram will continue to be the general vicar until the election, but he won't deal with and intervene in the election process.
5. May 28 is the day of our election.