Honest and respected leading fathers are deprived of their apostolic authority
Posted on February. 12. 2019
…In August and September of 2005, when I was still a serving monk of
the cathedral, and I was at the University of Muenster (Mьnster) to prepare my doctoral thesis, I have sent two
detailed letters to the Catholicos Karekin II on abusive practice of his
monarchy and many other important issues.
In addition, during that time the Mother See and the Supreme Spiritual
Council received written applications from several German-Armenian church
communities and the deacons complete class of our Diocese, so that the current
Supreme Patriarch and his advisors interpreted how it is possible to unfrock
the serving and educated clergy upon “patriarchal supremacy”.
The Armenian leader of Germany (this entails Archbishop Garegin
Bekchian) also repeatedly tried to talk about this with the Catholicos and get
an explanation concerning the illegality around. Unfortunately, a few years
ago, Holy Etchmiadzin denied all our requests.
Here I consider it necessary to note that after many unjustified
expulsions of many clergy and seminary students, a number of similar
applications and complaints have been sent to Catholicos Karekin II.
Both local and diaspora different communities, diocesan departments,
individual benefactors and many of believers have written about such problems,
however, till today none of them has received any reply.
In fact, the Mother See, which is considered to be the safeguard of our
national values and faith, just disrespects its people in such an important
In contrast, however, we must confess that most of our current bishops
have always agreed with the idea that the issue of punishing the clergy and
seminary students should be resolved in a different way, that is, in a humane
and Christian manner.
However, none of our leaders still dares to say something publicly about
this issue or take some practical steps …
The commanders of our church will still keep silent. Some of them are afraid
of the persecution of His Holiness, while others believe that regardless of the
shortcomings and the gross mistakes of the church leader, we must all respect
his high priest holy anointing and blindly obey all his incomprehensible
Thus, we ourselves continue to keep alive “the cult of the elevated
personality” typical for Stalin era in the Armenian Church or it would be
more correctly to say the mania of worshiping a mortal man, having an important
chair, as an idol.
Unfortunately, the high-ranking clergymen of this hypocritical type
forget that the priests who are educated by the nation’s donations and then
expelled from the church for some reason are also God’s ministers anointed by
We continue to hold this sacred sacrament on our foreheads, in contrast
to the instruction on being proclaimed as unfrock according to the written on a
plain piece of paper “patriarchal supremacy”, by which they are trying to
permanently remove us from a backward communist establishment.
With a great deal of pain and hardship, it is possible to be reconciled
with the fact that the still alive honest and respected leading fathers are
deprived of their apostolic authority at present.
If the Catholicos had forbidden them even to make a priestly consecration
at their dioceses on their own initiative, how could those poor people reserve
the right to defend us – the unfrocked exiled persons?
This means that we in vain expect any kind of support or sponsorship
from them, since they are miserable people who are in a sorrowful situation as
we are or in a much worse situation than we are.
Therefore, it turns out that the time can be our only doctor. Probably,
all such issues will be resolved only if during the next Catholic elections the
Armenian government again does not sin against God by interfering with the
affairs of the Church and at any cost not to push forward its favorite
I hope that in that case, our bishop fathers and their diocesan deputies
will be able to freely choose a truly deserving and, most importantly, a
believing person, who will become the 133rd patriarch of our suffering nation
and will glorify the flock entrusted to him.
Father Garegin Harutyunyan:
Former monk of Holy Etchmiadzin