Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   22 June

Expert on Turkish studies says Archbishop Aram Ateshian opposes the will of Catholicos of All Armenians

YEREVAN, MARCH 18, ARMENPRESS. Archbishop Aram Ateshian is going against the will of Catholicos of All Armenians, since it was the Catholicos’ will to hold locum tenens election, Ruben Melkonyan – expert on Turkish studies, told a press conference in “Armenpress”.

“One can only be surprised that Archbishop Aram Ateshian gives more priority to the suspicious letter of middle-class Turkish bureaucrat than to the call of the Catholicos of All Armenians”, Melkonyan said.

Asked what can be done in the current situation, Melkonyan said currently the only one who has a legal power of the Armenian community of Istanbul is newly-elect locum tenens Archbishop Garegin Bekchian.

“What is happening now means to suspend the process. They have asked for a meeting with the Istanbul Governor to discuss the issue. But this is already wrong since the Governor has no right to interfere in inner-church affairs based on the Turkish laws. This will negatively impact the process”, he said.

The expert believes that Garegin Bekchian must take the entire leadership on him, must gather all forces across him and solve the problem. He said in fact now the elected locum tenens is unable to assume the post, whereas Aram Ateshian, who lost the election, continues to de facto control the situation.

“He even announced that even though he wasn’t elected as locum tenens, but he will remain as vicar”, Melkonyan said, stating that the Catholicos of All Armenians must congratulate the newly elected locum tenens which will be an important support, a message addressed to the Armenian community.

Primate of the Armenian Diocese of Germany Archbishop Garegin Bekchian on March 15 has been elected locum tenens of the Armenian Patriarch of Istanbul.


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