Full text of the statement that Etchmiadzin released after the meetings concerning the patriarchal election in Turkey.
The meetings that was
held in Etchmiadzin concerning the patriarchal election in Turkey
ended on Friday. It is expected that a değabah (trustee) will be
elected not later than March 15 and Ateşyan will step down as the
general vicar of the patriarch.
The result of the meetings was announced by Etchmiadzin Catholicosate of All Armenians.
Here is the full text of the statement:
“At the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, a consensus was reached regarding the problems in Armenian Patriarchate of Turkey
On February 23-24, General Vicar of the Patriarch Archbishop Aram Ateşyan, Armenian Primate of Germany Archbishop Karekin Bekdjian and Head of Clerical Assembly of Armenian Patriarch of Istanbul Sahak Maşalyan visited Etchmiadzin upon the invitation of Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II.
Before the meeting that was held on February 23, bishops Karekin, Aram and Sahak visited Etchmiadzin Cathedral led by the Catholicos of All Armenians and prayed for the prosperity of Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul, solution of the current problems, peace of the Armenians of Istanbul and restoration of reconciliation. They also prayed for retired Patriarch Archbishop Mesrob II.
During the two-day meetings, recent developments in Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul, problems in the process of patriarchal election and disagreements had been discussed.
Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II encouraged the bishops to do whatever they can for strengthening understanding, peace and fraternity among clerics and in the lives of Armenians of Istanbul. His Holiness Catholicos Karekin II advised that the process should be handled indulgently and in accordance with the rules of Armenian Apostolic Church and standard and traditional procedures accepted by Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul.
After the bishops provided the Catholicos of All Armenians with the necessary information and explanations for solving the problem, discussions started. Clerics of Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul also discussed the challenges that the seat of the patriarch is faced with. As a result of the discussions, following co-decisions had been made:
Clerical Assembly will elect a değabah by March 15. Upon the regulation of the church, the powers of the vicar of the patriarch will be ended with the election of değabah.
Bishops affiliated to the patriarchate will have the right to declare their candidacy for değabah.
After the değabah is elected, a commission consisting of clerics and lay members of the patriarch will be formed in order to manage the handover procedure between the general vicar and değabah.
Within 10 days after the election of değabah, the Enterprising Committee will be formed in accordance with the customs of the patriarchate and this committee will organize the election within 6 months.
Enterprising Committee and Clerical Assembly will issue a report once a month concerning the developments on the way to election.
If the election is not held within 6 months, a vote of confidence might be taken for the Enterprising Committee and değabah.
Enterprising Committee ensures that all candidates carry out their campaign equally.
On February 24, General Vicar of the Patriarch Archbishop Aram Ateşyan, Armenian Primate of Germany Archbishop Karekin Bekdjian and Head of Clerical Assembly of Armenian Patriarch of Istanbul Sahak Maşalyan came together under the leadership of Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II. Metropolite of the Diocese of Gougark Sebuh Çulcuyan, who is also a candidate for the patriarchate, was also invited to this meeting.
At the end of the meeting, the Catholicos of All Armenians appreciated the efforts of the bishops who are trying to solve the problems of the patriarchate and Armenian society in Istanbul.”