ISTANBUL—The Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul has announced on Thursday the four candidates vying for its patriarch’s seat.
The nominees include Archbishop Aram Ateshian, the patriarchate’s vicar general, Bishop Sahak Mashalyan, head of the patriarchate’s Religious Council, Archbishop Karekin Bekchian, the German-Armenian community’s religious leader, and Archbishop Sebouh Chouljian, prelate of the Armenian Apostolic church’s Diocese of Gugark.
After being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, Patriarch Mesrob Mutafyan II has withdrawn from his duties since 2008. Since then, the Religious council voted Archbishop Aram Ateshyan to lead the Patriarchate.
On October 27, the Clerical Assembly of the Istanbul Patriarchate voted to superannuate Patriarch Mesrob II after seven years, according to Turkish-Armenian newspaper Agos. “Legal experts state that no permission is needed for holding an election and a written notice would be enough,” reported Agos. The application process for nominations began after the meeting.