ISTANBUL (ArmRadio)—Armenian Patriarch’s Locum Tenens, Archbishop Karekin Bekdjian, released a written statement on April 19 after his meeting with VADİP (Cooperation and Consultation Platform for Foundations), Agos reported on April 21.
On April 19, Karekin Bekdjian and Bishop Sahak Mashalian came together with the Coordination Committee of VADİP. Their joint statement said that “the process of election should start now,” Bekdjian criticized the attitude of the foundation executives. Bekdjian stated that he will launch meetings for forming the Electoral Committee and he criticized the current administration of the patriarchate.
“In the last 5 weeks, I preferred to wait and hold some meetings to listen to opinions and recommendations of various authorities. There was a referendum ahead and the state advised us to be patient for a while. Though the patriarchal election is an internal matter of our church and society, we had to consider the recommendations and needs of the government. However, in my opinion, we should start the process for electing our 85th patriarch now.
After the Locum Tenens election, I expected civil society and foundation executives to respect and support this election. I also expected the current administration of the patriarchate to act in accordance with the result of election. Unfortunately, I have to say that my expectations haven’t been met.
We held a meeting with Coordination Committee of VADİP and Bishop Mashalian accompanied me. I saw that the members of the committee respect the result of Locum Tenens election, but they hesitate over starting the process of patriarchal election and think that we have to wait for a while.
Nevertheless, members of the committee stated that relations with the patriarchate and the process of election would normalize within 10-15 days. Relying on this statement, I will work for forming the Electoral Committee.
On the other hand, it is clear that clerics who held the Locum Tenens election are under serious pressure. As the elected Locum Tenens, I have to urge the current administration of the patriarchate to stop this unfair and improper behavior and act in accordance with the ecclesiastical ethics.”