Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   21 July

Expert on Turkish studies says it’s still early to speak about Ateshyan’s final departure from Istanbul Patriarchate

YEREVAN, MAY 25, ARMENPRESS. The resignation of Archbishop Aram Ateshyan from the post of Patriarchal Vicar of Istanbul’s Armenian Patriarchate is not the logical continuation of demands of the Holy See, the Supreme Spiritual Council and the Armenian community of Turkey, expert on Turkish studies Ruben Melkonyan told Armenpress.

“Archbishop Aram Ateshyan yesterday announced that he is going to host the newly-elected locum tenens, to transform the power to him, moreover, with a ceremony. He could do this earlier, and there is no logical explanation why the process so prolonged. If we look at Ateshyan’s steps, it is obvious that he is guided not by the church interest, rather, by the order from various circles of the Turkish leadership. His resignation again happened by the same order”, Melkonyan said.

The expert stated that during those years Ateshyan’s actions led the Armenian community, the Patriarchate to a difficult situation, and still quite a long time is needed to overcome it. According to Melkonyan, Aram Ateshyan will be remembered in the church history with negative emphasis since during his tenure no issue of the community was solved, quite the contrary, the existing issues more intensified.

The expert on Turkish studies stated that the Turkish authorities understood that Ateshyan doesn’t have any power both in the community, the church, Armenia and Diaspora. Although he is loyal to the Turkish authorities, however, they perhaps didn’t consider it appropriate to use the services offered by that person at that moment. Aram Ateshyan has no power, authority in order to benefit the Turkish authorities. In any case, Ruben Melkonyan considered it too early to speak about Ateshian’s complete leave from Patriarchate since he is one of the three bishops of the Holy See, and it is obvious he will continue his presence in the community and patriarchate. Moreover, in case of receiving an order, he will again enter that process to carry out the unconstructive tasks assigned to him.

“Let’s be satisfied with the fact that Aram Ateshyan eventually had a courage to resign by obeying the orders. Let’s hope his resignation will signal the launch of process of election of patriarch”, Melkonyan said.

Archbishop Aram Ateshyan has stepped down as Patriarchal Vicar of the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul on May 24. Ateshyan announced his resignation during a meeting in the Patriarchate.

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