In guardianship case, the court refused Ateşyan's request

The case for assigning a guardian for the Patriarch Mesrob Mutafyan is concluded. On the hearing held on March 8, the court decided Mutafyan's mother Mari Mutafyan to be assigned as the guardian.

In the verdict, it is stated that the court decided Mesrob Mutafyan's legal competence to be limited. The representative of Archbishop Aram Ateşyan was present at the hearing and he repeated that they request the rejection of the case. The court didn't consider this request and Aram Ateşyan, as an intervening party, have the right to appeal the decision. 

As a result of the case, an official medical report for the Patriarch is also obtained. Having went to Surp Pırgiç Armenian Hospital on February 12, a forensic expert determined that Mutafyan lacks legal competence because of frontotemporal dementia. It is wondered what will happen after this decision which legally determines that the Patriarch is not able to perform his duty. The Patriarch Mutafyan has been unable to perform his duty since 2008 and Archbishop Ateşyan serves as the Patriarch with the title of “the general vicar of patriarch”. After this development, we talked to the prominent figures of Armenian community. 

Bedros Şirinoğlu: We need a principal patriarch, not a vicar

Surp Pırgiç Armenian Hospital Chair Bedros Şirinoğlu talked about the assignment of guardian: “The Patriarchate says 'Mutafyan is out patriarch, the patriarchate should be the guardian.' They may be right, but Mari Mutafyan is his mother. If I were a judge, I would assign the mother as the guardian. On the other hand, with the assignment of guardian, it is legally approved that our patriarch is unable to perform his duty and retired due to disability. Now, the patriarchate and the community should make a decision. Today, the community is divided which might lead to destruction. Thus, having a principal patriarch instead of a vicar might prevent this.”

Toros Alcan: This disturbance was completely unnecessary 

Tıbrevank Foundation Chair Toros Alcan also assessed the decision. “In fact, there was no need for assigning a guardian, because the seat of the patriarch has been vacant according to civil law, tradition and ecclesiastical law. The current situation is equal to vacancy of seat due to death. Assignment of guardian legally approved the fact that our Patriarch lacks legal competence. On the other hand, we already had medical reports showing the condition of the Patriarch.  This disturbance was completely unnecessary. We should have been able to elect a new patriarch without going through this process.”

Dikran Gülmezgil: “The appointed cannot overrule the elected”

Pointing out that Armenian community has no consensus on almost anything, Gülmezgil talked about the decision of the court. “We should immediately hold patriarchal and foundation elections. There is nothing else to do for overcoming this disorder. If you wish to have the power of sanction, you should be elected to a seat. The appointed cannot overrule the elected.”


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Baruyr Kuyumciyan