BREAKING: Bishop Sahak Mashalian elected 85th Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople
YEREVAN, DECEMBER 11, ARMENPRESS. Bishop Sahak Mashalian has been elected the 85th Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople.
If he chooses to retain his name he will be proclaimed Patriarch Sahak II. (In 1707, the Patriarch was Sahak I).
Mashalian was elected by special delegates composed of representatives of both the clergy and secular circles, who in turn were elected by the patriarchate’s synod and the local Armenian community of Istanbul respectively.
According to earlier reports delegates endorsing Mashalian had received more votes, and the Bishop was expected to win in the election, defeating his only opponent - Archbishop Aram Ateshian, the former general vicar of the patriarchate.
The position of the Patriarch was vacant after Mesrob II passed away in March, 2019. Mesrob Mutafyan was elected the 84th Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople on 14 October, 1998. In 2008, the patriarchate announced that Mesrob II was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. He withdrew from all his duties and public life, but formally remained the Patriarch. Mesrob II was incapacitated and appeared in a comatose state, which led to the synod retiring him in an effort to hold new elections, something Turkish authorities were not in favor of.
Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan