Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   23 October

Turkey letter to Armenian Patriarchate is obvious interference to church rules – Agos

YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 8, ARMENPRESS. The Istanbul-based Armenian Agos newspaper writes that the letter from Turkish authorities to the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul is a direct interference in the Armenian community’s affairs of electing a patriarch.

ARMENPRESS presents the Agos article, which is titled Will Is Being Ignored.

“The February 5 letter sent from the Istanbul Governor’s Office to the patriarchate will undoubtedly remain in history in terms of the Armenian community-state [Turkey] relations. The government of the Justice and Development party has openly interfered in church rules, traditions, and said: “You will not be able to elect your patriarch, continue your path with the patriarchal vicar”. The truths which are mentioned in the letter are disputable legally, it seems with this an attempt is made to cover up another intention. It seems the government has people whom it likes and won’t allow holding elections as long as the obstacles for those people aren’t yet eliminated.

In addition to this all, referring to the patriarchal locum tenens with the term “so-called” shows that elementary respect isn’t expressed for the will of the community and the clergy. But on the other hand, we see with sadness that there are people inside the Armenian community also which accept these positions of the state as an imperative.

Our past is full of lessons. It is enough to go back to the non-distant past of 1998 elections. That time the government again wanted to see another man as vicar instead of Mutafyan, however both the community and the spiritual assembly opposed it.  It was possible to be done in the atmosphere os the 98s, so we stress – we are not powerless”.

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