Istanbul Patriarchate Alarmed By Developments in Russian Diocese

ISTANBUL (Noyan Tapan)–In reference to recent problems in the Russian and New Nakhichevan diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church–the Armenian patriarchate of Istanbul has made it known that it hopes the problems involving the Hierarchical Chairs of the Armenian Church will be resolved soon and that cooperation will take place regarding all church problems.

This statement was released following a recent meeting held at the Armenian patriarchate of Istanbul. The patriarchate proposed the discussion of such problems by a special commission with the final decision to be made by the Council of Bishops–which is the supreme body of the Church.

The patriarchate has expressed serious embarrassment toward news spread by "Mir Religii" newspaper ,according to which "The Union of Armenian Apostolic Churches of Moscow" considers itself independent of the Russian and New Nakhichevan diocese and will no longer adhere to the authority of Karekin II. The union has also announced that it will be governed by the "canons and traditions" of the Armenian Apostolic Church and will be subject only to the supreme body of the Armenian Church – the Council of Bishops. These claims seem controversial to the Patriarchate–since only the Catholicos of All Armenia’s can authenticate the decisions made at the supreme council.

Consequently–the Patriarchate said it does not accept these statemen’s and is worried that the situation in one of the largest dioceses of the Armenian Apostolic Church has gone this far. The patriarchate hopes that personal emotions will not interfere in resolving the problem–and that all efforts should made only in accordance with the Christian and Church principals.

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