New Head of Russian Diocese of Armenian Church Dismisses Actions of Predecessor

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Conflicts within the Russian and New Nakhichevan diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church should be resolved according to modern and spiritual rules–said new primate of the diocese–Archbishop Ezras Nersisian.

During an interview with Noyan Tapan–Nersisian stated that the Armenian Apostolic Church is not responsible for the actions of ex-primate Ghazaros Kyureghian–who was recently excommunicated by His Holiness Karekin II–Catholicos of All Armenia’s.

The ex-primate has created and is now the chairman of an organization called "Union of Armenian Apostolic Churches of Moscow"–which includes the St. Harutyun Church and Holy Khach (Cross) Church –which is not completed yet as well as the St. Hovhannes Mkrtich Church–which is yet to be built. Kyureghian still considers himself a spiritual leader–occupying the diocese office near the St. Harutyun Church. Kyureghian has sent a note to Archbishop Nersisian–according to which he will remain within the Armenian Apostolic Church–but will no longer be under the jurisdiction of Karekin II.

In response to statemen’s made by Kyureghian in the media–claiming that only the Council of Bishops is authorized to make such decisions–Arch. Nersisian indicated that in such cases the Catholicos is authorized to make decisions on his own–adding that all bishops on the council were informed about the actions of His Holiness.

Nersisian said he has not taken action to remove Kyureghian from the diocese office located at the St. Harutyun Church of Moscow–in order to avoid undesirable consequences within the Church.

Several prominent Russian-Armenia’s–including Vice-Speaker Artur Chilingarov of the Russian Parliament and political analyst Andranik Mihranian–have refuted commen’s made on several Russian television channels–claiming the factionalism of the Armenian Church. The leaders of the Armenian community of Moscow said all that has been done is the appointment of a new primate since the former one refused to obey the Catholicos’ authority.

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