Plans Get Underway for Catholicos Elections

ISTANBUL (Lraper)–The Supreme Spiritual Council of the Armenian Apostolic Church met in Byurakan–Armenia–the summer residence of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin Thursday–presided over by Catholicossal Locum Tenens Archbishop Nersess Pozapalyan and chaired by Istanbul Patriarch Arch. Mesrob Mutafyan.

The Council dealt with matters pertaining to the National Ecclesiastical Assembly–scheduled to convene in Holy Etchmiadzin from Oct. 26 to 29–in order to elect a new Catholicos of All Armenia’s.

The preparation for the Ecclesiastical Assembly are being coordinated by Western Primate Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian–along with bishops Nathan Hovhannisian of Ukraine and Yeznik Petrossian of the Southern Diocese in Russia assisting.

Following a close examination of the reports submitted by different sees and dioceses–the Council ruled that the Ecclesiastical Assembly would consist of the four hierarchical delegates–Locum Tenens Arch. Pozapalyan–His Holiness Aram I–Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia–Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem Arch. Torkom Manoogian and Patriarch of Istanbul–Arch. Mutafyan.

The College of Bishops will be represented by the following 47 delegates: Archbishop Papgen Varjabedian–Archbishop Knel Djerejian–Archbishop Husig Santurian–Archbishop Dirayr Mardigian–Archbishop Shahe Ajemian–Archbishop Zaven Chinchinian–Archbishop Shahan Sivaciyan–Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian–Archbishop Kyud Nakkashian–Archbishop Arsen Berberian–Bishop Nareg Shakarian–Archbishop Kevork Seraydarian–Bishop Hmayak Intoyan–Bishop Aris Shirvanian–Bishop Guregh Kapigian–Archbishop David Sahagian–Archbishop Yeghishe Gizirian–Archbishop Vosgan Kalpakian–Archbishop Aghan Baliozian–Bishop Norvan Zakarian–Archbishop Avak Assadourian–Archbishop Krikoris Buniatian–Archbishop Karekin Nersessian–Bishop Anania Arabadjian–Archbishop Datev Gharibian–Archbishop Mesrob Krikorian–Bishop Vagharsh Khatchatourian–Archbishop Vahan Topalian–Bishop Sevan Gharibian–Archbishop Diran Gureghian–Bishop Asoghig Arisdagesian–Archbishop Barkev Mardirosyan–Archbishop Kisag Mouradian–Archbishop Khajag Barsamian–Bishop Hagop Kilinjian–Archbishop Hovnan Derderian–Bishop Husig Baghdassian–Bishop Daron Djerejian–Archbishop Karekin Bekdjian–Bishop Viken Aykazian–Bishop Yeznik Bedrossian–Bishop Sebuh Tchuldjian–Bishop Navasart Gdjoyan–Bishop Abraham Mgrtchian–Bishop Nathan Hovhannisian–Bishop Arakel Karamian and the Episcopal Locum Tenens of Shirak–the Very Reverend Father Karen Avedikian.

Aside from the four religious leaders–the hierarchical sees will be represented by 16 delegates–three from the Holy See of Etchmiadzin–two from the Catholicosate of the See of Cilicia–2 from the Jerusalem Patriarchate–two from the Istanbul Patriarchate–three from the Israel-Palestine-Jordan Diocese under the jurisdiction of the Jerusalem Patriarchate–and four from Turkey-Crete Dioceses under the jurisdiction of the Istanbul Patriarchate.

The Western Diocese will be represented by 23 delegates–the Eastern Diocese by 25–Canadian Diocese by four and the dioceses of South America by a total of seven representing Argentina–Brazil–Uruguay and Chile.

Armenia will have the most delegates–161–representing the dioceses of Aragadzotn–Ararat–Armavir–Gegharkunik–Gugark–Shirak–Kotayk and Syunik.

Some 129 delegates will represent dioceses in the CIS–including the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic–Georgia–Russia–Southern Russia and Ukraine.

The Middle East and Africa will participate with eight delegates representing Egypt–Ethiopia–the Sudan–South Africa and Far East–as well as the dioceses of Australia and New Zealand.

Europe will be represented by 28 delegates from Romanian–Bulgaria–Greece–Paris–Marseilles–Lyon–Germany–Great Britain–Switzerland–Austria–as well as the Armenian communities in Belgium–the Netherlands–Italy–Albania and Sweden.

A total of 452 delegates will take part in the National Ecclesiastical Assembly in October–the largest in church history.

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