ISTANBUL (Catholic World News) — A Turkish tribunal has confirmed a medical diagnosis that Armenian Patriarch Mesrob II of Istanbul is no longer capable of making his own decisions because of advancing dementia, and a guardian should be appointed to handle his duties.
Patriarch Mesrob has been suffering for years from Alzheimer’s disease, and since 2008 a patriarchal vicar has been handling the daily affairs of the Armenian Church in Constantinople. But other Armenian prelates have been reluctant to elect a successor while the Patriarch is alive.
In November 2014, during his trip to Turkey, Pope Francis made an unscheduled private visit to meet with Patriarch Mesrob. The Armenian prelate’s physical health, as well as his mental condition, has reportedly been deteriorating since that time.