The Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem vowed to protect the interests of the Armenian Church on Friday, a day after the governments of Jordan and Palestine said they were distancing themselves from the Jerusalem Patriarch Archbishop Nourhan Manougian, whom they blamed for ignoring the historic heritage of the Armenian Church in the Holy City.
The Jerusalem Patriarchate voiced its “deep concern” regarding the decision by Jordan and Palestine and to explain that the individual responsible for initiating a real estate deal involving the grounds of the Armenian Church had been punished, and in fact defrocked.
“The urgently convened Holy Synod meeting on May 12th, 2023 expresses its deep concern regarding the news circulated on May 11th through social media and the publication of various Jordanian and Palestinian news sources, in which both the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and Palestinian government have decided to freeze the Patriarchal recognition of the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude Archbishop Nourhan Manougian,” the Patriarchate said in a statement posted on Facebook by Father Aghan Gogchian, chancellor of the Armenian Patriarchate on Friday.
“The most disconcerting aspect to this decision is its timing. Notably, becoming public just after the Holy Synod leveled the strictest punishment against the main person responsible for the ‘Cows Garden’ issue. That person is Khachig Yeretsian (formerly Archimandrite, Very Rev. Father Baret), who previous held the position as the former Director of Real Estate Department. Per the directive of the Holy Synod, this individual has been defrocked of his priestly rites, banished, and is no longer living on the premises of the Patriarchate,” the statement added.
“The Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the Holy Synod will do their best to protect the interests of the Armenian Church and the community,” said the statement.
Jordan and Palestine on Thursday issued a joint statement, announcing their decision to suspend their recognition of Archbishop Nourhan Manougian as the Patriarch of the Armenian Church in Jerusalem, the holy land and Jordan.
This decision comes after numerous unsuccessful attempts to address the patriarch’s handling of properties in Jerusalem’s Armenian Quarter, which hold cultural, historical and humanitarian significance, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.