Assessments from Bekdjian and Ateşyan

After the meeting in Etchmiadzin, Primate Diocese of the Armenian Church of Germany Karekin Bekdjian and General Vicar of the Patriarch of Istanbul Aram Ateşyan assessed the developments.

Their Eminences Aram Ateşyan, Sahak Maşalyan, Karekin Bekdjian and Sebuh Çulciyan came together in Etchmiadzin upon the invitation of Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II. They agreed on electing the değabah (trustee) by March 15 and resignation of Ateşyan as the vicar. We asked the bishops about the results of the meeting and the process of electing the değabah. While Sebuh Çulciyan said that he doesn't want to comment on this point, Aram Ateşyan stated that he will be a candidate for değabah. His Eminence Bekdjian said that Ateşyan should not be a candidate for değabah in order to have a healthy process. 

Primate Diocese of the Armenian Church of Germany Karekin Bekdjian spoke as the following:

“I think that talks in Etchmiadzin were generally positive. There was only one point on which we cannot agree with His Eminence Aram. We asked him not to be a candidate for değabah, but he refused us. The reason for this suggestion is this: clerics in Istanbul know His Eminence Aram; I am also a candidate, but clerics and people in Istanbul don't know me and I have to promote myself. We have six month for holding an election and if Ateşyan is elected as değabah, the society might end up in the same point. We said that he should leave this process to other clerics, but he didn't listen to us. Of course, it is his natural right. He will have six more months, if he will become the değabah. He hopes that he will be elected as the patriarch.”

General Vicar of the Patriarch of Istanbul Aram Ateşyan spoke as the following:

“The meeting in Etchmiadzin was very positive and fruitful. After two-day meeting, we agreed that three clerics will be candidates for değabah. I hope we will have a peaceful and brotherly process. After the değabah is elected, my vicarship will end, regardless of who is elected. On March 5, there will be Kerakuyn Hokevoragan Khorhurt meeting in Armenia. I will be back on March 13. On March 14, the Clerical Assembly will come together and the değabah will be elected on March 15.”


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Miran Manukyan