ISTANBUL–The Chancellery of the Armenian Patriarchate in Istanbul announced that the Clerical Assembly of the Patriarchate convened Friday morning–following vespers in the Holy Mother-of-God Patriarchal Church.
Three consecutive elections were held. During the first voting 10 clerical delegates were elected–who will represent the clergy in the upcoming General Assembly Wednesday.
Second–a list of 18 clergymen was prepared as candidates for membership in the Patriarchal Religious Council–which will serve the Church along with the 84th Armenian Patriarch of Istanbul. The 9-member council will be elected by the General Assembly.
Third–a list of 11 bishops who were born as Turkish citizens were reduced to 7 by secret ballot–as follows:
Archbishop Mesrob Mutafyan 23 votes
Archbishop Khajag Barsamian 18 votes
Bishop Viken Ayvazian 17 votes
Bishop Sebuh Tchuldjian 17 votes
Archbishop Nersess Bozabalian 15 votes
Archbishop Shahan Sevadjian 9 votes
Archbishop Karekin Bekchyan 5 votes
This list will now be discussed in the Patriarchal Elections Central Committee which will further reduce it to five candidates eligible for election as Patriarch.
The two local candidates are Archbishop Mesrob Mutafyan and Archbishop Shahan Sevadjian.
On Sunday–October 11–thousands of Armenian Church members in Turkey will cast their ballots to elect 79 lay delegates who will represent the numerous Armenian communities in Turkey. The "purple ballots" will be cast to elect delegates supporting Archbishop Mutafyan–the "white ballots" for Archbishop Sevadjian.
Wednesday–the 79 lay and 10 clerical delegates will join to constitute the Armenian Church General Assembly which will elect the 84th Armenian Patriarch of the historic see.