Echmiadzin Under Attack

Edmond Y. Azadian, The Armenian Mirror-Spectator, 29 July 2011

Below is Edmond Y. Azadian’s article in The Armenian Mirror-Spectator . The last portion deals with Keghart.com’s coverage of the recent Swiss Church developments and our stand regarding the manifold issues Armenia and the Diaspora face. We invite readers to comment on our coverage of the Swiss controversy and Mr. Azadian’s critique. Ed.

Armenians seem to have been cursed with a self-destructive gene, which will never allow them to achieve their aspirations. Mind you, the largest and only Armenian Empire was built by Tigranes the Great. That empire was destroyed by the Romans, whose army was led by Lucullus. He had the support of Tigranes’ son, who helped the Roman army to overthrow his father and destroy his empire.
 

Edmond Y. Azadian, The Armenian Mirror-Spectator, 29 July 2011

Below is Edmond Y. Azadian’s article in The Armenian Mirror-Spectator . The last portion deals with Keghart.com’s coverage of the recent Swiss Church developments and our stand regarding the manifold issues Armenia and the Diaspora face. We invite readers to comment on our coverage of the Swiss controversy and Mr. Azadian’s critique. Ed.

Armenians seem to have been cursed with a self-destructive gene, which will never allow them to achieve their aspirations. Mind you, the largest and only Armenian Empire was built by Tigranes the Great. That empire was destroyed by the Romans, whose army was led by Lucullus. He had the support of Tigranes’ son, who helped the Roman army to overthrow his father and destroy his empire.
 

In the year 1045, when the Bagratuni dynasty was in decline, one of the Armenian princes, named Vest Sarkis, handed the keys of the capital city of Ani to the Byzantine rulers, thus ending the history of another Armenian dynasty.

In more recent times, by the end of World War I, General Antranik was holding the fortress of Erzerum, with the help of ammunitions and supplies left over by the retreating Russian Army. Most of the Eastern Armenian soldiers defected, announcing that the area was not their homeland. Thus we lost valuable pieces of historic Armenian territory, perhaps unfortunately, for good.

These days that self-destructive gene has been bugging some people in the Armenian media and in positions of power, to undermine, or to destroy the foundations of the Holy See of Echmiadzin, under the most appealing slogans of “democracy” or "free speech" or defense of "human rights." without pausing to ponder the long-term damage they can cause.

Echmiadzin has been under Soviet rule for 70 years and is still recovering from the damage of that oppressive regime. Many Armenians, mindful of the historic role of the Mother See, have been supporting and helping the supreme spiritual center to overcome its challenges. Others, however, within and without Armenia, have unleashed an unholy war, based on manufactured gossip and self-serving causes.

This ugly campaign began with some trial balloons in the ARF media, proposing to create a diaspora structure, with Catholicos Aram I of Cllicia as its titular head.

Then the disease spread through the opposition papers in Armenia, namely Haykakan Jamanak and Chorrord Ishkahanutioun, with marching orders coming from the former President Levon Ter-Peirosian, who insulted the Catholicos for not joining the political street rallies, which he organized to "dismantle" the "kleptocracy".

Another tabloid named Hraparak, which seems to be willing to publish any article containing character assassination, for a fee, joined the chorus. Recently, a more Influential paper, Aravot has taken up the campaign, using an illegally-taped conversation between His Holiness Karekin II and the Georgian Patriarch lllya II, showing the Armenian Pontiff in an unfavorable light. That doctored tape was placed on Facebook by Geogians to embarrass the Calholcos. Aravot‘s editor, Aram Abrahamian, portrayed the Cathollcos in his lead article as "ignorant" and a "mafia figure." lt turns out that Mr, Abrahamian’s TV program was recently removed from "Shoghakat" television chanel, sponsored by Echmiadzin. So much for morality in media in Armenia.

These attacks have not been spontaneous; some quarters must be orchestrating them. We cannot blame all of these attacks on the Catholicosate of Cilicia, however, as much as it may serve the cause of that see.

When you have ill will, you can turn upside down any positive Initiative or project and criticize, If that is your main purpose. Thus, the Catholcos develops a program to meet the perennial problem of clergy shortage in the Armenian Church and generates the resources to send 30-40 young aspiring clergymen to the centers of higher learning or major seminaries overseas, some accuse His Holiness of trying to "take over" the diaspora or planning to place his "people" in positions of power. The Catholic Church is strong and unified because the Pope assigns cardinals in different dioceses and no one attempts to play the "democracy" charade. For a long time, in the absence of educated clergy, Armenians have been used to having the services of many pedestrian spiritual leaders, who would be displeased to be replaced by younger and more educated clerics.

Another point of criticism is that a certain monastery has not been renovated. Recently, the Issue was around Sanahin (which by the way is being renovated by the Ministry of Culture), ignoring the fact that a dozen other monasteries or churches have been renovated by Echmiadzin.

Armenians have been lackadaisical in their comfortable positions of local feudal lords and they get upset as the church strives to get organized as a unified — and unifying — entity. The cases In point are in Europe, especially in Switzerland and Nice, France, where troublemakers are trying to challenge the church hierarchy, always with the lofty slogans of “democracy" and "free will" of the people.

Following the Genocide and the deportations, Armenians settled in many European countries. Surviving the initial cultural shock, they settled into a more or less harmonious community life. Almost all the churches were local parishes without the framework of a diocese to make them a unified entity.

The new influx of immigrants has changed the scene entirely. Massive migrations from Iran, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria and Armenia have created an explosive situation, because each group was coming up with a different set of social and political baggage of values. This situation called for local leadership with foresight that could put to best use these differences. Unfortunately, polarization developed in Southern France between Armenians from Turkey and Armenia, and somewhat from Lebanon, reaching a critical situation, especially in Nice.

A crisis developed also in the Swiss-Armenian community, for entirely different reasons. The origins and the development of the Swiss crisis have been amply explained for anyone who has taken an interest to listen, but it has been exploited by some for their own selfish agendas.

The Geneva parish priest, Abel Oghloukian (Manoukian), otherwise an erudite clergy, with a rebellious nature, fomented trouble. Being an articulate person, he was able to enlist to his cause a few local leaders. Oghloukian, rather than using his education and religious training for constructive causes, created problems wherever he was assigned, first Vienna and then Geneva.

He broke his vow of celibacy and got married, contrary to church canons, and Echmiadzin was lenient considering his religious knowledge.

In 1992, His Holiness Vasken I had began to form a diocese for the growing Swiss-Armenian community. After his demise, Catholicos Karekin I continued the project, with little success.

And now the situation exploded in the face of Catholicos Karekin lI who simply tried to continue the task initiated by his predecessors. It looks like Oghloukian and his ilk rather prefer to keep the Swiss-Armenian community in small parishes, than in unifying into a diocese, where the rebellious priest would remain under the Jurisdiction of a Primate.

He challenged Echmiadzin’s plans and was defrocked.

In all these local conflicts, certainly no party is blameless. The onus is on the local leadership and particularly outside armchair pundits who run to the rescue of a rebellious clergy in the name of "democracy", "right to criticize authority"’ and so on.

Any freedom, not balanced with constructive responsibility, is reckless anarchy. Yet we find people with a great zeal to criticize without any constructive contribution.

The most vocal opposition to Echmiadzin, and for that matter to Armenia, comes from an online publication called Keghart, co-edited by Dr. Dikran Abrahamian. Each issue has an orgy of anti-Armenia diatribes, putting to shame the Turkish and Azeri media.

Keghart ran a petition against Echmiadzin "deploring patriarchal order" and in support of the rebellious clergy, rather than criticizing the indignant behavior of the defrocked priest.
 

Along with a number of insulting articles, we also find an editorial with a headline: "Hands off the Diaspora", with a further comment that "the scandalous Incidents in Nice and Switzerland are not isolated events. They seem to be part-and-parcel of a plan to subjugate diaspora communities to the will of disgraceful rulers In Yerevan.”
We have heard this same mantra for 70 years in the ARF press. It looks like the anti-Armenia crusade has changed hands and is being taken over by a more virulent group.

Any Armenian, with minimal sanity, would think what’s wrong if Armenia and the diaspora work hand in hand, even under "the rulers in Yerevan?” Why espouse the cause of our enemies, pitting the diaspora against Armenia? Don’t we have enough divisions imposed on us by our enemies and unfortunate turns of history?

Keghart seems to be the gathering place of former Communists, fellow travelers and anarchists willing to inject any amount of poison to further alienate the diaspora from Armenia.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Armenia’s independence with tremendous problems inherited from the past: a sagging economy, brain drain, many colorful religious sects infiltrating the society fabric and enemies in Ankara, Baku and Tbilisi bent on Armenia’s destruction.

Armenia’s leadership has been marked by many failures; Echmiadzin is reeling from its 70-year slumber; Armenia’s population is abandoning the historic homeland in droves, after dreaming of independence for six centuries.

Where is the cure?

Spewing poison or trying to place one stone over the other so that the much-dreamed of homeland will survive for posterity?

 

27 comments
  1. The Suppressed Infallibility

    The "infallibility" of the pope is reined in by the Catholic Church. Similarly, Catholicos Vazken I and Karekin II were and are not super-saints who should be free of Church control or rule.
    This article teaches the political history of Armenia. We can confidently say that Diaspora Armenians, starting from childhood, were better instructed in Armenian history than the citizens of Armenia or their leaders, including Catholicos Karekin II, whose only education was a little about the life Christ and much more about the revolutionary history of Marx-Engels-Lenin-Stalin.

    There are exhaustive articles on the origin of the Switzerland Church crisis. They should be taken into consideration by the author. Meanwhile, I would like to point out to him the still relevant 2,500-year-old teachings of Confucius.

    1-No one can know a man without knowing his words

    2-The superior man has self-respect. He is sociable, yet not a party man
    .

    1-Re the first Confucius point:
    Catholicos Vazken I was unable to judge the lies of Viken Vartabed  of Geneva, who–to be independent of Paris–misrepresented the Armenian community as having 26,000 members, while it had–as today– fewer than 5,000 members, including Catholics and Protestants.

    2-Re the second Confucius point:
    After the Swiss Church Council’s dismissal of Viken Vartabed, there was an unfriendly relationship between the priests of French-speaking and German-speaking cantons,  that is, Rev. Apel Manoukian and Rev. Shnork.

    To resolve the unfriendly relationship, Catholicos Karekin II should send a delegation to Geneva, to make it clear to all that the Geneva Armenian Apostolic Church Council is the sole representative of the Swiss Armenian community, and that cooperation between the two sides has to be established, as it was from the beginning. This would be the "self-respect and no party man" of Confucius, applicable to Karekin II.

    Karekin II exploited the situation and dismissed Rev. Apel and appointed Rev. Nerses to the Geneva church.  Karekin II should have been reminded that  Rev. Manoukian is not the originator of the conflict between Echmiadzin and Geneva. The conflict is between the Council of the Church and Echmiadzin. Twisting facts and blaming the priest, making him an easy target convinces nobody.

    So that he may better understand the situation, I advise the author of the article to read the two attached documents (“Անտարբեր չենք կրնար մնալ"), published in Keghart.com .
    Before handing the keys to Echmiadzin to the next catholicos, let’s find a solution to the current problem. Karekin II has to change his thinking, learn more of our history and that of our Apostolic Church constitution and tradition. That’s the short way to health of our national church.

     
     
     
     
     
     

    1. HH Karekin had an international education

      His Holiness Karekin II had an international education. From you base attack on his education, we can conclude where you stand on the Geneva church scandal, and it is not on the right side.

      Kudos to the writer of the article, and Keghart for re-posting it.

      1. It’s news to me

        Parev Mr. LG,
         
        I learn from you that HH Karekin II has international education. From his misguided actions, here in Switzerland and in other Armenian communities, we see that his international education has not qualified him to be:
         
        1) The elite of Echmiadzin, the Sacred Land, where Jesus landed;
         
        2) The successor to St. Krikor Lousavoritch, the founder of Echmiadzin;
         
        3) The head of the Apostolic Armenian Nation, creator of St. Vartan Mamigonian, Naregatsi, Shnorhali, Karekin I Hovsepiants, Karekin Badriark Katchadurian.
         
        He had still to read, to learn, perhaps to get further education, to reach to be the said elite.
         
        Catholicos Karekin II lacks:
        1) The virtue of understanding God (read Spinoza);
        2) How to recognize men by their utterances (read Confucius);
        3) How to be the superior being by having the self respect– to be sociable, but not a party man (read Confucius)
        4) In addition to
        other human qualities.
         
        HHK II did not want to understand that Rev. Viken of Geneva was lying when he claimed the Swiss Armenian community as 26,000 (to Gatoghigos Vazken I) and that the reality is the community had fewer than 5,000, including Catholics and Protestants. Rev. Viken did this to make Geneva a diocese and he, as its head, to be independent of Paris.
         
        Rev. Viken was creating false reasons to be absent, for many months, from Geneva and thus away from his service to his community.
         
        HHK II did not want to consider the letters and complaints from the Armenian Church Council in Geneva, to understand the realities, concerning Rev. Viken.
         
        HHK II did not want to understand that the creation of the diocese was illegal, based on lies. It could not be accepted as fait accompli.
         
        HHK II could not understand that the Geneva Church Council is the active partner and not Rev. Apel Manoukian, and dismissing the priest was his greatest failure.
         
        HHK II did not want to understand that Viken Vartabed was dismissed from his post in Geneva by the Church Council before Rev. Apel was nominated to the Geneva community, according to the statutes of the Church of Geneva.
         
        Neglecting the above facts, the Swiss Armenian community’s statute, and nominating Rev. Nerses  to Geneva as Arachnort is an illegal act by HHK II.
         
        To understand the Swiss Armenian Conflict with Echmidzin, please go to the two attached documents:
         
        "Անտարբեր Չենք Կրնար Մնալ" Սիմօն Տէտէեան http://www.keghart.com/Dedeyan-documents

         After all this, we deserve a qualified Gatoghigos.
         
         
        Regards
        1.  Sowing the seeds of

           
          Sowing the seeds of division, which you are doing, will get you nowhere.  In fact, it may lead to you and others like you being kicked out from the AAC.  And then you can go become a Catholic, Protestant or whatever else you wish.

          Catholicos > any church council

          1. Jehovah’s Witnesses Increase

            During the last 20 years the Jehovah’s Witness sect in Armenia has increased to 300,000 followers. In another 20 years, they will perhaps surround Echmiadzin, when the Gatoghigos settles in Yerevan.
            The construction of churches are neglected in Armenia. This proves the progress of Jehovah’s Witnesses..
            What do you think of the 300,000 Armenians who long ago settled in Poland, converted to Catholicism, and disappeared?
            Whose fault is this?
            Should we not worry? And if we do not worry, who will be happy?
            The biggest worry of Echmiadzin seems to be the Diaspora, the Diaspora which has the structure to defend itself.
            Dear Mr. LG, it would be good to read your name.

             

          2. 200,000 is false

            200,000 is false, you should seriously consider where you get your facts from, or is this part of the agitprop campaign being waged against the Holy See?

            The 300,000 Armenians in Poland disappeared gradually and a number of them were intimidated into converting to Catholicism, particularly those who found themselves in the Hapsburg Empire.  The Diaspora we have now is a new one and it too will be lost.  The only salvation for Armenians is an Armenian nation-state which we currently have and which we should make stronger day by day and year by year.  Instead, we have divisive figures within our ranks both in Armenia and the Diaspora who are more dangerous to the surivial of the Armenian nation that any Turk alive today.

          3. Witnesses

            Simon,

            You need to substantiate your claim of 300,000 adherents to the Jehovah's Witness sect in Armenia. Your comment also diverges from the issue of Diaspora Church relationship  too far off track.

            Jehovah's Witnesses are active in Armenia without a doubt. A review of their website indicates that. Currently they list 70 Armenian Witnesses as being imprisoned for being conscientious objectors to serving in armed forces, be it in Artsakh or in Armenia. They claim “Armenia continues to break its promises to the Council of Europe to free conscientious objectors and introduce a civilian alternative to military service. Baptists and Jehovah's Witnesses continue to be beaten up and jailed for conscientious objection.”

            As I understand, objecting to military service is one of the tenants of the sect. I would estimate that the number of the so- called conscientious objectors to military service would have been more than 70, had there indeed been 300,000 adherents to the sect in Armenia.

            I am inclined to believe that it is not the state of the Armenian Apostolic Church, but the state of the economy in Armenia that is catapulting some Armenians to embrace this sect or any other sect. An empty stomach and lack of a proper shelter work magic in attracting even the most pious to the fold of a sect that promises and may often deliver material rewards such as food and dwelling. The latter should be of concern to all Armenians, atheists, agnostics or the faithful to any of the mainstream Armenian denomination.

  2. No room for dialogue

    Edmond,

    Since you seemingly have come to conclude that the Keghart contributors and hence their readers, commentators are “former Communists, fellow travelers and anarchists willing to inject any amount of poison to further alienate the Diaspora from Armenia” does not live room to engage in any constructive and meaningful dialogue with you, even in an open cyber forum such as Keghart.com. 

  3. Mr. Azadian’s Comments

    Mr. Azadian’s comments re Keghart.com are uncalled for. They are personal attacks and lack factual basis. Of all the people in the Armenian public forum, Azadian should be the first to stay away from ad hominems, specially in light of his extended duel with the "Kharabian" Ramgavars.

    Reading Keghart.com comments from readers re the Echmiadzin and the Swiss Church controversy, I noticed that the website provided extensive space to both sides of the debate.

  4. The Cure

    Mr. Azadian, you are asking "What is the cure?"

    The cure to any problem is for people to acknowledge the problem and try to find a solution. In this case, you need to ‘see’ and to stop ignoring the faults of Armenians and Armenia and help fix them.

    Armenians, throughout history, have been famous for finding solution to problems. The Echmiadzin/Switzerland controversy is not an isolated case. We need to accept our ‘disease’ so we can find the cure.

  5. Armenian Chronic Disease

    The "Armenian Chronic Disease" otherwise known as "Armenian Fraticide" is alive & well!! 

    I wrote about this very topic just last night out of my inner frustration after reading about the Genocide Memorial Museum in DC not likely being ready for the 100th Commemoration!!!

    I could write thousands of pages impromtu now!!!  The article written by Mr. Azadian uses the same terms I used in my own article despite that they were written independently!!

    The reasons we don’t have any semblance of unity is that Armenians have been scattered among different nations for so long they have been influenced by those cultures.  Persian-Armenians, ones from Lebanon & Syria, Russian-Armenians, Hayastanstis, French-Armenians, etc.

    The list is long.  However, the excuses are short.  Wherever we’re from it’s time to put these things aside,. IF WE CAN.

    After all, it requires a certain level of understanding to see beyond one’s own group for the greater good.  I can assure you on one thing.

    This is our LAST CHANCE.  This generation is watching whether we realize or not.

    If these animosities continue for much longer it won’t matter.  Young people have enough to be concerned with and will walk away from the whole question of nationhood.

    In the end, will "Armenian Chronic Disease" prevail?  Or will some level of sophistication be the victor.

    Will we have unity despite our differences?  Or will we choose chaos over wisdom?

    If we fail, we work for nothing.  The last victims will be the Armenian people, all of its martyrs and those who really love the nation.

    Robert Kachadourian, Ph.D.

     

  6. Attack on Armenian Genes

    Armenians seem to have been cursed with a self-destructive gene, which will never allow them to achieve their aspirations..”

    Mr. Azadian, your above anti-Armenian thesis has no scientific or emperical basis. Those historical events you mentioned, even if true, do not support your thesis. The current supposed attack on the Mother See by certain individuals, have some reasonable basis. For example, the Mother See, although a religious entity and not political one, issued a political statement in support of the unfortunate protocols.

    ARF, as you know, has its own agenda and not necessairly one which promotes Armenian national interest. Armenians are not represented only by ARF or a few editors of certain publications. Next time be careful not to make blanket, destructive and anti-Armenian comments about Armenian genes.

    The reason reckless people like you can allow themselves to attack Armenians’ genes is because Armenians have no real protector of their national interest.

  7. Is Etchmiadzin being attacked?

    I find several aspects of Mr. Azadian’s long article intrigueing.

    -He speaks about the malevolence of showing "ill will", yet he uses Father Abel’s Oghloukian surname, rather than Manoukian. Of all people, he should not be doing that, specially because he does not like to be addressed as Godalazian. Besides, rather than adding any value to his arguments, that act has the contrary effect.

    -Substantiated criticism does not "destroy the foundation of the Holy See of Etchmiadzin". On the contrary, it reinforces it, because it has cleansing effect. It is pushing dirt under the rug time after time that destroys foundations. Do not abhor the messenger, even if  his message is "illegally taped". This applies equally to Mr. Azadian’s criticism of Keghart.com and its "orgy of anti-Armenia diatribes".

    -People in high offices should carry the full burden and be deserving of that office. Remember one of the terms of the treaty of Nevarsag in 484? The appointment of undeserving people to high offices did not serve the national interests.

    -Why is it that despite the "damage of that (Soviet) oppressive regime" Etchmiadzin under HH Vazken I was much more reverred than it is now. Doesn’t that say anything about the quality of leadership?

    World history has shown that authoritarian and despotic rule, rather than democratic values, causes "long term damage".

     

  8. With All Due Respect

    I do not agree with the author regarding most of his points. Talking about the "destructive gene" in Armenians, I would like to ask: "Is the Armenian Church not an Armenian entity?" If we point the finger and criticize the loopholes in our Church, we are called destructive, but when Armenian Church authorities cheat and steal from their own people, are they not displayng the same "destructive gene"?  

    Here we have been talking about Switzerland. But His Holiness’ men are robbing the Armenian communities everywhere, from Australia, Canada, the US to India–every place where there is a rich community. Are we going to say because we are patriotic Armenians we should not criticize our Church, thus letting them do whatever they want?  

    Talking of the Sanahin case. Why was it not the responsibility of the Armenian Church to look after the old monasteries? Because it has no income from it? Why are they busy building new churches then? For whom? Only last year they declared they wanted to demolish an old cinema in the heart of Yerevn and build a church there? For whom? What purpose do these churches serve when, thanks to the behaviour of the Armenian priests, most of the Armenians have been alienated from the Church? They may not be speaking up but the people see what’s going on. When the prelate of Yerevan drives an expensive car, walks with women and carries a gun, how do you expect  the people to trust them any longer? Can you tell me why should I respect them?

    Its disgraceful that the Church is looting its own people, but you choose to ignore that. When we say something against His Holinesss, you say we have a destructive gene. Please. 

    As far as the Swiss community is concerned, Catholicos Karekin’s intentions are  clear. He just needs more base to generate more funds. Closing your eyes and acting like its not true doesnt make you a patriot.

  9. Dear Mr. Azadian

    Dear Mr. Azadian,

    It seems you do enjoy spreading controversial views on Armenian matters. The ideological and political viewpoints of Keghart is similar to my upbringing and to describe us as "former Communists, fellow travelers and anarchists" is absolutely unjustified and unacceptable. It is name calling and has absolutely no value in a dialogue or discussion.

    In 1962, while student at St. Etchmiadzin I was involved in the underground Armenian Patriotic Movement of Yerevan. In 1964 the Movement’s 7 heroes were condemned and sentenced to hard labor. In near future, for the first time on Keghart.com, I will try to remember those brave men, whose followers, on the 24th of April 1965, at the 50th anniversary of the Genocide, organized the unprecedented mass demonstrations in Yerevan.

    Where were you Mr. Azadian and your Liberal Party during those trials, the first political trial in the Soviet Union after the mock trials of 1937?

    In Sept. 2009 you gave an interview in Turkish language on Turkish TV, and you praised Mr. Erdogan’s policy in Caucasus (YouTube, Yervant Azadian2, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8JRJmri0L4). Are you going to give another interview about  Mr. Erdogan’s recent "hysteria" after President S.Sarkissian’s courageous remarks about the occupied (for the time being) Armenian lands and Mt. Ararat?

    Gaidzag Magdassian
    Lugano, Switzerland

  10. Awful! I would not like to see this article in Keghart!

    I have two question after all this….Are you an Armenian, Mr. Azadian?

    Your aims on writing this kind of article?

                                                   

    1. Can I ask you “why” Armenian Girl?

      Dear Armenian girl,

      Can I please ask you why do you find it disgusting when WE ARMENIANS DISCUSS THE MATTERS OF OUR OWN CHURCH?  Moreover, it is disturbing to see you doubt the nationality of Mr. Azadian. What is so wrong in discussing THE WRONG? I mean, who says as Armenians we should not criticize our church? or does it make us bad sons of the Apostolic church when we talk about the priests? Mind you NOT THE CHURCH OF THE FAITH but the Priests, the very same bunch of people that do everything that are against the morals and values of the Armenian church?

      I am sorry, but had Jesus Christ known this would be the condition today, he would not have come down. Or at least God WOULD NOT send his Only Begotten Son to this earth.

      What His Holiness does today is shameful. He has transformed the entire church into his private Business center. I don’t know how long this will continue but sadly half of Armenia doesn’t know how to make the sign of the cross, not mentioning their ignorance about TERUNAKAN AXOTQ. I guess the priests should be busy preaching not doing business. In no time Armenia would cease to be a Christian nation.

      Think again ! Thank You. 

    2. This is Democracy, Armenian girl

      We know that Gatoghigos Karekin II has his supporters, his army, his armed clergy too.
      At Keghart.com we are open-minded, a plurality and multi-party. This is the Democratic Forum, as it was in the Antique Time of Socrates, and we hope that this Democracy will be implemented in every corner in Armenia.
      Someday, with Diogenes’ Lantern (Greek 413-317 BC) I hope to walk in the court of Etchmiadzine and ask Karekin II if there is a man in Etchmiadzin, the Holy Land.
      Greetings to Armenia from Switzerland. Keep strong. We are with you.
  11. Keep to the substance

    Comments may continue to be posted under this heading provided they are not inflammatory and are not directed against individuals. Please keep to the substance!

  12. This reminds me the story

    This reminds me the story that Sultan Abdul Hamid was very worried when the Henchag Party was founded.  Few years later when the Tashnag party was founded, he said and I quote: "I have nothing to worry about.  Now that they have two parties, they will destroy each other".  And he was right.

  13. Dear LG, The Facts are correct

    Dear LG,
     
    Your worries are our worries, and I hope our worries are also your worries.
     
    The facts are recorded. With a small effort I could find the source of the information.
     
    Please Read the Armenian Bi-weekly newspaper "ACHKHAR", No. 517, dated 23rd July 2011, page-3, under the heading "L’Arménie en bref"
     
    Here is the text:
     
    "350,000 adeptes de sectes vivant en Arménie: leurs activités menacent l’identité de la nation": tel est le titre du quotidien Azg, consacréà la conférance de presse de deux prêtres de l’glise appostolique arménienne." 
     
    When "sect" is said, it mainly refers to the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
     
    I had mentioned 300,000, without going back to the source. The subject is presented in a conference by two priests of the Armenian Church, I assume in Yerevan.
     
    We have Armenian families here in Switzerland, emigrants from Armenia,  converted to the sect. According to other sources, the majority of south Armenia are converted.
     
    We have to see reality to judge and do what we can. Surely the Gatoghigos is informed of the situation. This shows, the danger is in Armenia rather than in the Diaspora.
     
    Build more churches in Armenia and send the Vartabeds to every corner in Armenia rather than in Diaspora. The Diaspora can take care of itself.
     
    Please do not encourage the good Diaspora Christian Armenians to get converted to Catholicism or Protestant church if they request from Etchmiadzin to respect our ecclesiastic traditional constitution.
     
    I believe that our worries have to coincide somewhere concerning our church and our nation.
     
    Regards
     
     
  14. Reality Check, Please

    Audrey is a Keghart reader. We present her comments, re Edmond Azadian’s article ("Echmiadzin Under Attack") in our previous issue, in lieu of editorial.Editor.

    Click on

    Reality Check, Please



  15. How Can You, Mr. Azadian?

    How can you, Mr. Azadian, write such a misleading title as "Echmiadzin Under Attack"?  It should be "Karekin II and his policies under attack." 

    Don’t try to pretend that you and your organization are supporters of "Echmiadzin" and those who criticize Karekin are against the Armenian Church.

    I love and defend our Apostolic Church, and consider Echmiadzin the religious center of most Armenians. This doesn’t mean I will tolerate the oligarchic and mafia-type practices of Karekin II and his clan, his backing of the Yerevan regime or the way he has turned his back to the poor and opressed people of Armenia and doesn’t seem to care about their wellbeing. 

    If you really want to defend Echmiadzin against its enemies you need to join us and all those who put pressure on the catholicos clan to either stop their deviation and return to the right path or leave the post for good. Playing deaf and dumb to what is happening and writing such cheap defensive articles will do no good to the Armenian people.

  16. Please Leave

    Please keep Mr. Azadian away from Keghart. He has done enough harm to other Armenian organizations.

  17. Cheap shots at Dikran

    Mr. Azadian,
     
    I know Dikran well. I do not think you know him as well enough to throw your cheap shots at him. If you need to get your two seconds of fame, please try learning from Kim Kardashian and leave Dikran Abrahamian alone.
     
    The corruption within the Armenian Church is overwhelming and you are trying to be an apologist for all the wrong. I wish if the bishops of this church can eventually come out of their shells, stop being parasites of the rich and famous and take care of the poor and orphan. Isn’t that what Jesus did instruct us to do? The only thing that the current clergy did not do so far, is sell lands in heaven, may be they may start doing that soon.

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