Patriarch Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, convened at the Patriarchal See of Echmiadzin Catholicosate, in Yerevan, some of the protagonists of the dispute in place with regards to the next election of the Armenian Apostolic Patriarch of Constantinople, in an attempt to resolve the situation.
The summit between the Catholicos Karekin and the
senior members of the Apostolic Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople
- refer Armenian sources - is scheduled for the current week.
The head of the Apostolic Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople, based
in Istanbul, has been uncertain since 2008, when Patriarch Mesrob II
Mutafyan was suffering from Alzheimer's disease.
Since then, Archbishop
Aram Atesyan is running the day-to-day affairs of the Patriarchate after
being appointed as Patriarchal Vicar of Constantinople.
In recent years the Armenian Apostolic community of Turkey is going
through a debate, at times excruciating, on Mesrob’s possible
succession, with senior members of the Armenian community in Turkey who
supported the urgent need to elect a Co-Patriarch with full functions,
and others who referred to the strict rules according to whom it was not
possible to proceed with the election of a new Patriarch until his
predecessor is alive.
The situation was unblocked last October, when the Synod of the Armenian
Patriarchate had announced the withdrawal of Mesrob from patriarchal
functions, and with the consent of the civil authorities the procedures
for the election of a new Patriarch had been initiated.
In recent weeks
there was a new confrontation between Armenian Apostolic Bishop Sahak
Mashalyan and General Vicar Aram Ateshyan. Between the two contenders -
report Turkish media sources, consulted by Agenzia Fides - a protocol
was then agreed whereby the election of the new patriarch was to be held
on May 28th.
But this local agreement seems to have provoked objections
from the Catholicosate of Echmiadzin: according to Turkish media,
Catholicos Karekin judged the protocol signed by Ateshyan and Mashalyan
as a violation of the regulations in force for the patriarchal election,
and this is why he convened the two Bishops and other representatives
of the apostolic Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople in Yerevan,
with the intent to overcome their differences and together reach a
legitimate electoral procedure and recognized by all.