Catholicos Karekin II Stands Accused

Editorial, 8 August 2013

Contributors: V. Mekhitarian, M. Kojayan, D. Abrahamian
Compiled and edited by Jirair Tutunjian

Faced with local or national crisis most Armenians go into two modes these days: “Let’s not wash our dirty laundry in public” or “Exposure is the first step in resolving a crisis.” In the past few months a scandal—immense, terrifying and excoriating—has crashed into our national public arena. It’s no less than the management style and reputation of the Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II. As catholicos, he is not just the spiritual leader of the Armenian Apostolic Church, but is almost as important to the Armenian Nation as the president of Armenia. A smear on the catholicos is a smear on our Nation—even on those who are members of the Cilicia See, are Catholic, Protestant… atheist.

The critics of Catholicos Karekin II have circulated petitions, published open letters and articles, convened meetings, commented on the electronic media, and some have even demanded the resignation of the catholicos. The accusations leveled are in the many scores: Fraud, moral turpitude, corruption, autocracy, the decline of Echmiadzin clergy’s morals and morale, malaise among the clergy…the litany goes on…inclusive of the Seven Deadly Sins and some. A diatribe orgy? Hidden agendas by his enemies or enemies of the Church? Far-fetched allegations? Poison letters? Here is a compilation of the alleged failings of the catholicos.

1. Catholicos Karekin II was elected (1999) through widespread fraud, thanks to the help of former President Robert Kocharian and Armenia oligarchs. Intimidation and bribes were used to get pro-Karekin votes. The $3-million bribe came from wealthy Diaspora donors, particularly from a famed family of benefactors.

Human rights worker Ara K. Manoogian of Los Angeles has aired graphic data on how the catholicos was fraudulently elected. To summarize Manoogian’s main point, the delegations from Russia and Armenia were illegally allowed a far greater number of votes than their congregation numbers justified. Manoogian, the nephew of the late Patriarch Torkom Manoogian of Jerusalem, also says that his uncle told him about the election fraud and that he had protested to Catholicos Karekin II about the blatant chicanery but to no avail.

As well, a month prior to the election, a number of archbishops released a statement which said that Armenia authorities “at the highest level have come to a consensus in favor of one candidate and are trying to install him on the throne.” The reference was to the future Catholicos Karekin II.

2. The catholicos has fathered two children. A photo of one of his supposed offspring is on the Internet. There’s also talk that he is too intimate with a female North American donor.

3. He lacks sound knowledge of theology; knows little of the history and traditions of the Armenian Church. Despite his studies in Armenia and in Europe, he has superficial academic grounding. He even stumbles when reciting the Lord’s Prayer. There’s doubt whether he is a believer.

4. He has no spiritual grace or dignity. He is the dictatorial manager of Echmiadzin, an oligarch in royal purple soutane.

5. He has monopolized all authority as supreme judge, as head of the legislative body, as president of the Supreme Spiritual Council and as head of the College of Bishops. Transparency and accountability are foreign concepts to him.

6. He is rude, crude, common, capricious, unjust, uncouth, intemperate, incompetent, vicious, vain, venal, abusive, authoritarian, glory- and money-seeking, lacks spirituality, and is secretive….It’s not even certain whether he was born in 1951 or 1954.

7. Under his management, Holy Echmiadzin has become a cesspool of intrigue, suspicion, fear, jealousy, intimidation, and nepotism. His Stalinist-Berian style has turned Echmiadzin into a snake-pit.

8. Under his watch, senior Armenia clergymen have fathered children and lead extravagant lives. One of them—Archbishop Navasart Kjoyan, head of the Araratian Diocese—owns a Bentley, one of the most expensive cars anywhere. Kjoyan is also accused of involvement in an off-shore financial scam.

9. Homosexuality among Armenia and Diaspora clergy is another failing the catholicos hasn’t addressed.

10. Under his watch, senior Armenia clergymen have become businessmen and owners of companies. In addition to Archbishop Kjoyan, another clergyman-businessman is Bishop Abraham Mkrchyan of Vayots Dzor. He owns several mini-hydro plants.

11. As an oligarch, the catholicos is part owner of a Yerevan minibus company.

12. He has appropriated property belonging to the Church.

13. He has neglected the restoration of crumbling historical monastic buildings while spending $309,000 to purchase seven Toyotas. To avoid VAT payments, he alleged the money was donated by oligarch Samvel Karapetyan, owner of Tashir Corp. The catholicos’ “neglect” of historic church buildings has been described as “cultural genocide against Medieval Armenian churches and monasteries.”

14. His behavior and that of his Armenia clergy have driven thousands of Armenians into the arms of cults such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Mormons.

15. He has defrocked at least 160 archbishops, bishops, clergymen, and deacons. Never in the 1,700-year history of the Armenian Church have so many clergymen been dismissed for non-heretical reasons. His mass defrocking has been described as “a reign of terror” and “spiritual massacre of the Armenian Apostolic Church”. As a result of his capricious defrocking binge, he was rebuked by Patriarch Mesrob II Mutafyan of Istanbul. The Patriarch pointed out to him– when a certain senior clergyman was defrocked peremptorily–that if the accusation is clear and evidential “a review board must be formed, the subject accused must be given the opportunity for self defense.” The patriarch also accused the catholicos of interfering in patriarchate affairs.

16. When he defrocked Archbishop Tiran Kyoureghyan of the New Nakhichevan Diocese, for alleged disobedience, Catholicos Karekin II installed his own brother—a priest—as primate.

17. To hide his mediocrity and limited intellectual capacity, he has driven his contemporaries from Echmiadzin, according to a group of Canadian-Armenians.

18. He didn’t condemn the recent fraudulent presidential elections. Instead, he extended his blessing at Serge Sarkissian’s inauguration.

19. His crude and immature behavior during his meeting with Catholicos Elia II of Georgia embarrassed the Armenian Church, Armenia, and Georgian Armenians. As such, he is a harmful representative of the Armenian Church and Nation.

20. He blundered, for the nth time, in his ecumenical responsibilities when he treated the Jerusalem and Istanbul Patriarchates as if these august Sees were minor diocesan entities. An irritated Patriarch Nurhan Manougian of Jerusalem announced earlier this month that he would not attend an upcoming meeting of senior churchmen, organized by the catholicos. He like, the patriarch in Istanbul, expressed his displeasure with the catholicos’ inexplicable tactics to precipitate the resignation of Archbishop Norvan Zakarian, the long-time and popular Primate of France.

21.While visiting Jerusalem a few years ago, the catholicos threatened senior clergymen of the Sts. James’ Brotherhood and said: “I will strip all of you of your ranks.”

22. He attempted, in Western Europe (e.g. Switzerland)to centralize the management of the various churches. The French-Armenia community publicly condemned his heavy-handed interference in the internal administrative affairs of the French diocese.

23. He supported convicted criminal clergyman (Fr. Vatche Hayrabedian) against Archbishop Zakaryan. When Hayrabedian was the pastor of the church in Nice, his congregation pleaded with the catholicos to remove the disreputable clergyman. Their pleas were ignored.

In the past 1,700 years at least 15 times Armenian catholicoi have been removed or forced to resign. The first to be deposed was Kristapor II Apahooni in 630; the last Yeprem I of Tsoragegh in 1830. We don’t know if any of the grotesque accusations leveled against Catholicos Karekin II are justified, but if even 10% of the allegations are well-founded, the Catholicos of All Armenians has no option but to resign. The longer this wound festers the worse it would be for the Church and the Nation. And those in the “bien-pensant” corner who say we should not talk (“dzamots tartsank” in Armenian) about these accusations for we would be aiding our enemies, we say the days of covering up the truth are long gone. The cat is out of the bag. How could the Church survive when these accusations hang over the head of its supreme leader? As well, keeping silent would surely help make the Church and clergy irrelevant.

Even at the best of times we can’t afford an undeserving catholicos. Considering that the Armenian Nation is groping through precarious and tumultuous times, we cannot tolerate a catholicos who has lost his moral compass and doesn’t belong on the Echmiadzin throne.  The existential challenges we face leave no room for a catholicos who, according to his accusers, behaves like a modern-day Roderigo Borgia (Pope Alexander VI).

The nation waits for Catholicos Karekin II to reply to the charges.

126 comments
  1. Catholicos Karekin II Stands Accused

    As the editorial says, even if a tiny percentage of the accusations/allegations are justified, Catholicos Karekin II should do the right thing and leave pronto. He has accumulated enough wealth to keep him and his offspring in the clover for a long time.

    Armenians expect nothing less than a clearing of the temple–a la 12-year-old Jesus who tossed the usurers and other vermin from the temple.

    In the Middle Ages there was the acronym "saligia" which represented the Seven Deadly Sins:

    Superbia (pride), Avaritia (greed), Luxuria (lust), Invidia (envy), Gula (gluttony), Ira (wrath), and Acedia (sloth). It seems, if the allegations are accurate, Catholicos K II has committed all the sins found in saligia, except perhaps gula. It's hard to tell what's behind the black robe.

    1. Criminal Oligarchs

      Have you seen any criminal oligarch resign or accept his wrong doings? Our catholicos is busy blessing casinos instead of blessing orphanages, hospitals, and schools. The sooner he disappears, the better for the Church. We don't need a thief as a catholicos. We have enough thieves who, like him, are choking Armenia.

  2. կաթողիկոսի վեղարը

    Այս անձը կաթողիկոսի վեղարը հագնելէն անդին ոչ մէկ կապ ունի հայկական եկեղեցիին հետ.  այսօրուայ հայաստանի մէջ գտնուող գողական շրջապատի կերպարներուն զուգահեռ անձն է եկեղեցւոյ մէջ.  փողոցային բարքերով եկաւ մտաւ եկեղեցի եւ հայոց եկեղեցւոյ մակարդակը իր կերպարին նմանեցուց։

    Հայոց մօտ կարծես  չիկայ աշխատող համակարգ ստեղծելու պատրաստակամութիւնը, ցուցադրականով մարդիկ կը բաւարարուին: Ի՞նչ կը նշանակէ որ այսչափ տարի անցնի դեր այս մարդը կաթողիկոսի պաշտօն վառէ: Ի՞նչ է ամէն ինչ պէտք է փլի մեր չորս կողմը որ մենք հասկնանք որ այս ապուշը տուն պէտք է մեկնի:

     

  3. Karekin, Leave the Church

    Karekin, leave the Church effective immediately. The Armenian Church doesn't belong to you; it belongs to the Armenian people. Shame on you. I will burn every picture I have with you. some here in the U.S. and some in Armenia.  God bless our homeland and the Armenian Church. 

  4. He Was the Real Assassin

    To add to your list of accusations…

    24.  He was the real assassin of John F. Kennedy.
    25.  He was the real assassin of Robert Kennedy.
    26.  He was the real assassin of Martin Luther King.
    27.  He didn’t send presents to his grandchildren last Christmas because he was  too busy planning the murders at the school in Connecticut.
    28.  He accepted the conversion of Adolph Hitler into the Armenian Church and  gave Hitler the last rites.
    29.  He was the real assassin of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, thus  precipitating World War One.
    30.  He was the real assassin of Abraham Lincoln.
    31.  He betrayed Christ; it wasn't Judas.
    32.  He burned the library at Alexandria.
    33.  He killed Abel; it was not Cain.
    34.  He caused the death of the dinosaurs.

    My investigations aren’t complete, but I have heard rumors that he swore profanely one morning when he stubbed his toe when getting out of the bathtub.

    It has been reported that he once said that he liked the taste of Matzo Ball Soup, but I am still checking this.

    Avedis Kevorkian
    Philadelphia

    1. The Sequel

      Avedis,

      While your comment is witty, it doesn't provide a solution as to what Armenian Apostolic Church members should do about this alleged calamity.

      Incidentally, I thought you were too America-centric in your examples. The least you could've done was to point out that Karekin is  a distant cousin of Tala'at, that he betrayed to Turkey Armenia's plans to take back Kars and Ardahan, and that the catholicos secretly buys petroleum from his buddy Ilham Aliyev and sells it–at inflated prices–to the poor villagers of Echmiadzin.

    2. Avedis

      My understanding is that you are one of the supporters of the charlatan in charge from Diaspora. Before showing your sarcasm maybe you should really understand the facts. There is a saying in Armenian, English, Turkish… Loosely translated, it says: "If there is no fire there is no smoke."

    3. To Avedis

      You are defending this criminal so passionately that I start thinking that you must be one of the investors in catholicos's shady business enterprises? I pray for you or better even, I suggest you ask your beloved catholicos to pray for you (if he knows "Hayr Mer" by heart). You seem to be aware of every crime that he has committed as a priest, Bishop, Archbishop and now "mer glkhin medz tsav u amot dardzats – catholicos…

       

  5. Talaat Pasha Then Karekin II

    The Turks tried to kill our Nation. We exploded as a Diaspora.

    Karekin II is trying to kill our Diaspora assisted by Armenian and Russian governments.

  6. Regarding the Catholicos

    I think it is time for all the Armenians in the world to sign a petition for the resignation of this man–who is not even worthy to be called Armenian–to drive him out of the Armenian Church. All the points mentioned in article are accurate: the people in Armenia know more about the details.

    The Armenian Church must be a solely religious institution: no oligarchs and no political parties in it.

    In Armenia you’ll see villages and whole neighborhoods given back to the Church. There are also the so-called “aghandavors"(cultists) who have turned against the Armenian religion and do not want to serve in the army to defend the nation. It is a terrible situation.

    Varvara Gasparyan

  7. Thank you to Keghart Publisher

    Thank you to Keghart Publisher for the overview of the situation. We have a long way to go. I would like to encourage everyone, be they members of our Church or not to get proactive and help us put an end to this madness. I predict that in about a month we will be rid of Karekin II and will be faced with the challenge of electing his replacement. I pray that at that time we will remember our past and will work hard to hold a fair election.

  8. Charisma

    The Armenian Apostolic Church and the Armenian Nation will be better served by a more charismatic, and less of a businessman like catholicos.  It would be an extra benefit if the governing body of the Church was not a one man band "choch."  

  9. Catholicos, Leave

    The catholicos is a blood-sucker and a thief. He should go and leave everything in Echmiadzin because nothing is his personal property. He is corrupt, just like the government. Shame on him. The people of Armenia are very nice and educated, especially the young generation. I say to the catholicos: "Instead of turning Echmiadzin into Vatican, help your people. LEAVE. ARMENIA DOESN'T NEED YOU."

  10. Of Chastity, Obedience and Poverty

    Armenians, who lived outside the Iron Curtain, congregated around the Echmiadzin-affiliated Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church, supported Echmiadzin and kept their subordinate organizational ties with it even during the Cold War, unafraid to be regarded as Communist sympathizers, because of what Echmiadzin stood for and because of the beloved and respected catholicoi who occupied St. Gregory Illuminator’s throne, the last being the long-reigning Vazken I (1955-1994).

    Lately, among the same communities, discomfort has been heard about the present catholicos. Keghart.com’s editorial is the very first bold step to publicly state the alleged causes of these grievances and expect that the catholicos come forth to respond to the accusations. 

    Obviously, Karekin II has his very high-placed supporters among the lay and clergy in and outside Armenia. High-stake political, financial and power-grabbing interests bind his supporters. I doubt that, with their tacit approval, he will respond to these accusations in a manner that will be satisfactory to the Armenian Nation, let alone voluntarily step down. This will be one historically decisive and divisive battle. May God help us not to lose our faith in our Church and help the Armenian Nation.

    In some circles the celibacy of Armenian priests is questioned as being out of date and that it  needs to be abolished. In fact, not living a celibate life is one of the primary causes of their failure. They cannot possibly regard the members of the Armenian Nation as their de facto children whose welfare they need to attend to when they have wives and children in the closets of their shadowy worlds.

    We cease to owe any allegiance to our priests when they forfeit the fundamental tenets of what constitutes the Armenian Apostolic Church – chastity, obedience and poverty.

    1. Princely Priests

      In the comment I submitted to Keghart.com I had alluded to princely priests to distinguish between our celibate priests and married ones, whom we call Kahana and address as reverently as Der Hayr. That qualification – princely – was removed from my comment.

      As far as I have come to understand our National Church, our celibate priesthood -bishops and above – are modeled on a royal court whose  mission is to safeguard the spiritual and temporal well being of its subordinate kingdom. – the Armenian Nation. In fact our church started as royal dynasty with Gregory the Illuminator's descendants to inherit the spiritual throne and his children in fact did and served remarkably well. The practice however was changed.

      These elite ecclesiastical princely priests under the command of the catholicos are expected to take vows for chastity, i.e. celibacy, of poverty to better serve the Armenian Nation under the absolute obedience to the catholicos. The latter being enthroned by the laity  as well serves at the will of the nation.

    2. Celibacy Must Go

      I agree 100% that celibacy needs to be abolished. Just on a practical note, I’ve always wondered how someone who has not experienced marital bliss can give advice to couples who are going to get married. What is sad is that one of the first issues that was put before Karekin II was the abolishment of celibacy and he outright refused to hear of it. This is one issue that must be addressed once Karekin II is removed from the throne and we should discuss the possibility of giving amnesty to the many celibate fathers of our church.

      1. Again of Celibacy

        The last Armenian reformist movement that did not start as a separatist movement but was genuinely reformist re our national Church ended up as a separate Church – as the Armenian Evangelical Church (Hayasdaniants Avederanagan Yegeghetsi) and established the order of married priesthood in the persons of their pastors.

        Armenians who aspire to be spiritual shepherds but do not want to commit to celibate priesthood nor want to become part of the married priesthood of the Armenian Apostolic Church – "kahana"–may embrace Armenian Evangelical rites. The Armenian Church is not the only Apostolic Church, even though it’s our national and mother Church.

        As for knowing how to best uphold a family, not all prominent Evangelical pastors have upheld the sanctity of marriage and family. Prominent Evangelical pastors with wives and children, have sired out of wedlock (Rev. Jessie Jackson), frequented lowly street prostitutes (Rev. Jimmy Swaggart), paid from the Church coffers to buy the silence for a rape they committed (Rev. Jimmy Baker), engaged in homosexual liaison (Rev. Teg Haggard), not to mention pedophile pastors.

        Those among us who have embarked on celibate priesthood have committed themselves to a higher order most of us cannot. Because of them and in spite of the failings of some, our Church became the beacon for centuries, without which we would have long ceased to exist as a nation.

        Without our celibate priests continuing to uphold the tradition of celibacy handed down by Jesus of Nazareth and the two of his disciples who brought Christianity to Armenia, the Armenian Apostolic Church, as we have known for the past 17 centuries, will cease to exist.

        Ara, I am glad to hear that Catholicos Karekin II refused to consider abolishing celibacy. I suggest you spare the next catholicos you claim we will soon convene to elect.

        1. Point well made Garabed

          Garabed, your point is well made and should be presented if and when the subject should arise. Note that I said the eradication of celibacy should be considered.

  11. United We Stand…

    These allegations, and many others, have been in wide circulation and well-known all over the world for more than a dozen years. I am not sure whether, with the current published commentary, if the line is being drawn in the sand, and if there is a paradigm shift to the "business as usual" attitude or if it is now open season to publicly bellyache and criticize the holiest of the holy sinners.

    I see strong parallels to the one million or so of the "silent majority" who have left Armenia. I hope the same has not been happening to the Church in Armenia.

    Rather than "divide and conquer" we should focus on solutions that would unite the 10-million-plus Armenians.

     

  12. Very Few Done Good

    Very few Armenian clergymen have done good for Armenia. Think of the destruction of Ani. The city was betrayed by an Armenian clergyman.

    Our Christian religion has become a battlefield at times, and the Armenian state has declined since we adopted Christianity. Our history is proof of that.

    Most of our clergymen are good for nothing and have become a burden on the Armenian people. The only thing to do now is to threaten the catholicos that if he doesn't resign, we shall send a petition to the Catholicos of Cilicia in Lebanon and ask to join the Holy See of Cilicia. That should shake him up.

    1. Cilicia See Not Much Better

      I don't think Karekin II will feel any threat from such a petition as the Holly See of Cilicia is not in much better shape. The fact is Aram I has some major house cleaning to do and, if he is smart, he will start now, before we knock on his door for a visit to his past and present. The only viable solution at this point is ousting Karekin II, holding fair elections and then shifting our attention to Cilicia, followed by the two patriarchates (Istanbul and Jerusalem). The time is nearing for the Armenian Church serve the Armenian people and not the faithful serving up riches to the clergy.

  13. They Have Robbed

    They have robbed Armenia of all material that they could rob. The latest plan is to force the wealthiest Diaspora churches, such as the ones in Geneve and Nice and potentially others in France, to give financial accounting to Echmiadzin so that they may also rob those churches.

    It is the greatest sin for him to keep the Geneve and Nice churches closed for Sunday service and to repel the communities built over generations. Echmiadzin is the only institution that does not give any accounting–none whatsoever–while handling the congregation's money. Even if 1% of the above allegations are true, HE SHOULD RESIGN IMMEDIATELY. But this is not the end of the story. He has his brother waiting in line for the throne.

  14. Let Them Marry

    The idea that bishops should not marry and should be celibate is as outdated as the forced genital mutilation of boys (Jewish and Muslim circumcision).

    Let them marry and have ten children!

    1. Let them marry

      Celibacy for Armenian bishops is a self-serving practice.

      We are ashamed and trembling in rage with respect to the immoral and UN-holy conduct of the current Armenian Catholicos. Until  such time of his trial at a peoples' court, he should RESIGN.  

      Our bishops must stop competing with Jesus Christ in a race to celibacy. As as a national strategy, all bishops should be allowed to marry and have Armenian wife and several children and stop fooling themselves ever since the 4th century. 

      In a Toronto meeting organized by CABC toronto where Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan was present I personally raised this issue and stated that this self-serving celibacy competition is Wrong and it is against the national interest of Armenia. Suffice to say that the clergy have an everlasting employment. The audience heard the minister saying, "yes, even in Armenia we think it is Wrong". 

      Unfortunately celibacy competition  between Armenian bishops and Christ continues while Armenia is burning. 

      Another task on our plate…

      Mr & Mrs Tom and Alvart Siraki

    2. Undesired Job

      Van, you said: "Let them [priests] marry and have ten children!" But then they have to work to sustain the family. I think they don't want so hard a life.

      Maria Cristina Koutoudjian
      Sao Paulo
       

  15. Karekin II

    It is all well and good to make anonymous accusations without any evidence. Let the accusers show their face and prove their point at an ecclesiastical trial.

    1. Here’s My Face

      Dennis, my brother, is your Freemason brotherly relationship with Karekin II calling you to come to his defense? 

      You know who I am and know that I stand by every claim I make (search Google for "theturthmustbetold").

      If you are asking people to stand up publicly, without hiding their face when they make a claim, I ask you to also stand by the claims you made in 1995 regarding the catholicos' election fraud (search google, "dennis papazian karekin 1995") which in your June 4, 2013 email to me you answered as follows:

      "7. If you were a delegate or were you present and if so did you observe irregularities similar to what you saw in 1995?

      "Yes."

      Dennis, the reality is that you were a witness to the election fraud which took place on or around October 27, 1999, that resulted in Karekin II's rise to power.

      And now that we have that established, I have to ask you publicly what you did to try to stop it from happening?

      (BTW, for the public record, Dennis R. Papazian, PhD., has threatened me with possible legal action for attributing words to him that he claims are not his and for using images of him without his permission in our video reading of an article in which he is quoted (search Google for "Government-Appointed Armenian Catholicos Karekin II and Demand for His Resignation"). The last threatening email I received was 11 hours ago and in response to my refusal to remove the video in question. In addition, today's message was also sent to Paula DerMatoian, who, I believe, works at the Holly See and is the head of the social media department.

      I await your public response, Dennis.

  16. Cilician See

    No wonder that not much can be expected. Thus vital time is wasted regarding the fixing of "our house" with the Cilician See. We are still looking to Echmiadzin to free itself of the Cold War mentality. Our Church belongs to the people, not to oligarchs. It's long overdue that "We, the People" self-clean our ranks and take this Church to its people… Enough of fake artificial Church divisions.

    The city I reside in has three generations of about 50,000 Armenians. After losing the trace of the 48,000, this church is fighting over the last 2,000… as if it's more important to outlast the Cilician See within the 2,000 rather than keep track of the 48,000 already lost.

    "Such a village DESERVES this kind of yogurt"…

  17. Գարեգին երկրորդականը և ծախու գործակիցները

    Գարեգին երկրորդականը և ծախու ու քծնող գործակիցները, վախկոտ կճո մճոները,  անամոթաբար և տարիներ շարունակ ստել  ու ստում են` առանց ամաչելու ո՛չ Աստծուց են երկյուղում, ո՛չ էլ մարդկանցից են ամաչում։ Նրանք  իրենց ցեխոտ ու կեղտոտ ոտքերն արդեն մի քանի անգամ մաքրել են Նորվան Սրբազանի մաքուր հոգու և հավատքի մեջ։ Այդպես են վարվել   գրեթե բոլոր նվիրյալ ու հավատացյալ հոգևորականների հետ և ձեռքի անպետք թաշկինակի նման դուրս  նետել Հայ Առաքելական Սուրբ Եկեղեցու ետևի պատուհանից։

    Ցայսօր չեն էլ հասկացել թե դա ինչ է  նշանակում, քանի որ Սրբությունից ու առ Աստված հավատքից շատ հեռու մարդիկ են, այդ են ցույց տալիս նրանց  Աստուծո կամքից շաաատ հեռու ավերիչ,  կործանարար ու անհեռատես գործերը։ Թող բարի Աստված Նորվան Սրբազանին համբերություն տա և  հավատքը զորացնի, քանզի սրանք   ահավոր հոգևոր փորձություններ են, բայց հենց փորձությանների  մեջ է ճշմարիտ հավատքը հաստատվում ու զորանում։  Երանի՜ նրանց ովքեր կհամբերեն և մինչև վերջ բարի Աստծուն կհավատան ու կվստահեն։

    1. Whoever You Are

      Whoever you are "Hye heart", do you have the fear of God? Is that why you are opening your mouth and becoming judgmental, and accusing with no proof?  God's punishment will come upon all those who are lying, and bad- mouthing their spiritual head who for fifteen years worked in the Church of Christ, and almighty God gave him special graces with the consecration. God Almighty is the judge of us all, and no one has the authority to allege criticism and lies upon his Church. Just because there have been some unfaithful bishops and priests no one has the right to throw mud on the whole Church which has been a blessing for our Nation.

  18. Papazian Idea

    Few Armenian Apostolic Church members know what Church canons require in cases when a catholicos is accused of such charges. I don't think most Armenians would know of the existence of an ecclesiastical court. But more importantly, since Catholicos Karekin II controls all the management levers, as head of various supreme Echmiadzin councils, what an "ecclesiastical court" would decide would be suspect.

    Our two patriarchs, primates (including those who are members of the Echmiadzin See), learned bishops and archbishops, Armenian Church historians, scholars of the Armenian Church history, public and private individuals, Armenian organizations, etc. should step forward, form a committee and investigate the charges.

    At this stage of the debate, I am sure the catholicos would loftily dismiss the charges as gossip, unworthy of a reply. However, if the above mentioned group starts an inquiry, the catholicos might be forced to come forth and challenge the charges. That would be the beginning of the trail leading to the truth.

    Another approach would be through the president of Armenia. He is a fellow oligarch associate of the catholicos. If the president sees an advantage to him in pushing the catholicos from Echmiadzin, he might do so. He might see it as a neat way to quickly earn the support of Armenians.

    Of course, it would be best if the catholicos claimed "ill health" and resigned, sparing the Armenian Nation and Church a painful process. But I doubt that he would have the grace to do so. He has mismanaged the Church for 15 years. Why would he change?

  19. The editorial

    Permit me to thank Mesrob for more of Karekin II's shortcomings.  I will add it to the list I am compiling. Perhaps others out there–from France and Germany and the Fiji Islands–will list more of his evil ways. We must have as complete a list as possible when we bring him to trial.  For instance, someone has contacted me privately to say that there is a rumor that when a child Karekin actually puffed on a cigarette though, he admits, Karekin coughed violently as a reaction. This will need a follow-up. Any volunteers?

    And, I want to thank Serj for his brilliant observation about fire and smoke. Surely, this qualifies him for a Nobel Prize in Chemistry–or is it Physics?  But, I have to wonder if the matter in hand depends on who has set the fire to create the smoke that seems to offend some people.

    Avedis Kevorkian

    1. Avedis List

      Avedis,

      I am glad I'm enriching your list.

      Re your questions as to who had set the fire… the fire has been smoldering for some time. It seems to me Keghart presented what is being talked about with increasing frequency, especially after the wretched behavior of the catholicos at the Paris airport, and the subsequent resignation of  Archbishop Norvan Zakarian. The "last straw" comes to mind.

      I am sure Karekin's establishment friends in the Diaspora will circle the stage coaches and  electronically convene soon to tackle their man's troubles. But the days of "Father Knows Best" are gone. No establishment figure or mouthpiece, no clergyman, no party honcho or party organ can convince the Armenian public to drop the matter. Fourteen years of mismanagement and shame are enough. If the said establishment values our people and values its shrinking reputation, it better condemn Karekin.

  20. All in The Family

    It appears that Catholicos karekin II Nercessian's brother Yezras is the Primate of both the Armenian Apostolic Church diocese in Moscow, understandably the largest  and the most affluent outside Armenia and of the New Nachijevan.

  21. Karekin II & Cardinal Richelieu

    Karekin II has most likely read history books about Cardinal Richelieu of 17th century France. He is following the footsteps of the cardinal. He is a criminal and is associated with the Armenia mafia. A man like this should not be permitted to bless anything. He should be banned from handling Soorp Krikor Lousavorich's hand at "myuron orhnek" or at any ceremony. Shame on you, Karekin II for betraying the Armenian Church.

     

  22. Electing the Catholicos

    Dear friends,

    Electing the highest member of the Church has been an issue for a long time. In the Diaspora one party, the Tashnag, has been electing the catholicos of Cilicia. In Armenia usually the president has a say in the election. The idea that we, as an Armenian people, cannot elect the best clergyman to the highest post is not new. Only this time the person elected has surpassed all norms of a real clergyman. He has surpassed all standards. He has become an oligarch.
      
    The Armenian Church has been degenerating since the 1950s when politicians began to have a say in the administration of the Church in the Diaspora. Clergymen are still elected for their allegiance and not for their virtues. Virtuous clergymen have left the Church or have been isolated. We have two choices to amend this bad situation: either we let the clergymen elect among themselves, like the Catholic Church or globally elect a body of prominent people who, together with clergymen, elect the members of the Church. Politicians have ruined our Church. People don't go to Church any more. 

  23. Integrity

    Anyone who still believes in the integrity of our bishops fully deserves what he gets.

    1. Integrity of a Bishop

      During my lifetime I have witnessed the stewardship of Catholicoi Zareh I, Khoren I, Karekin I/II, Aram I and Vaszken II of the Armenian Apostolic Church. These men and many of the lesser-ranking bishops were titans who honorably and devotedly served our Church. We trusted them and rightfully, Ara, we got what we deserved.

      The issue that the Keghart editorial raises is specific. It pertains to the Catholicos Karekin II. His authoritative and rude conduct re the churches in Europe; his cronyism; his ill-mannered conduct with the head of the Georgian Orthodox Church cannot be disputed. They may not be impeachable offenses as they do not infringe on the integrity of his priestly vows but nonetheless are not what one would expect from a compassionate, understanding Christian spiritual head and a representative of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Other aspects reported here are allegations that have come across more believable than not. It’s time to clear the air so as to establish trust.

      Let us not lose the focus of the editorial.

  24. The catholicos can not resign

    He can not resign since he became a state employee. Priests' platoon was marching during the military parade; he fully supports Prez even if he makes odious statements… Only the President of Armenia can fire him and this is barely possible…

  25. Ի շահ մեր ժողովուրդին

    Մեծ ուրախութեամբ կը կարդանք այս առողջ հակազդեցութիւնները, հանդէպ՝ Էջմիածինէն ծաւալած ցեխի ու ամօթի յորձանքին։ Երանի մեզի որ ազգը բոլորովին կորսնցուցած չէ իր ապրելու ջիղը։

    Անհրաժեշտ է որ այս կարողականութիւնը անմար մնայ մինչեւ գործնական արդիւնքի հասնիլը, ի շահ մեր ժողովուրդին , Սփիւռքին եւ Հայաստանին։ 

  26. Karekin will succeed

    The fake Karekin II will succeed in doing what the atheist Bolsheviks failed to do in 70 years: destroy the link between the Church and the people.

  27. Our Corrupt Clergymen

    Sadly, the 'cloth' for some of our clergy has become a mean(s) to enrich themselves. The same goes for our corrupt government officials. Weaken Armenia, rob the people, and then run away. All the Azeris have to do is wait a few more years, when the country is emptied of it's inhabitants, when only the 'dirt poor' are left to fend for themselves, and then simply "walk into Armenia" and own the lands without firing one single shot.

    I strongly believe that greed is part of our Armenian DNA, and as such, we are condemned to lose our tiny homeland in the not very distant future.

    1. It’s in our DNA

      Preston, I agree that in our DNA is greed, but believe that the indifference DNA is much stronger. If we could teach people how to deal with their indifference and stand up, being more socially  responsible, those greedy people that threaten our existence will not be able to survive, thus in time we will reduce greed.

      I highly recommend that everyone watch Dr. Seuss' "The Lorax". I would love to have it professionally translated and audio overdub done in Armenian so everyone in Armenia and the Diaspora can see it and understand it. 

      “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not.” ― Dr. Seuss

  28. It is just lamentable

    It is just lamentable that people expressing their ideas show how ignorant they are about Armenian history, church canon and other facts. Think before you open your mouth

    It is embarrassing vis a vis other churches like the Greek, Coptic, Russian Orthodox, the Catholic and so many other churches. What will they think about the Armenian people arrogantly speaking about celibacy, church canons and administration, about Christian ethics and spirituality, and the Christian knowledge of the Armenian people who boast very often that they were the first Christian nation?  How very sad it is hearing and reading such inhumane expressions and pretensions of being so knowledgeable. On the contrary, they are merely showing their ignorance.   

    Two wrongs do not make a right. If the Catholicos has wronged because he is human, your attitude is even worse.  And do not forget, he did not come from another planet nor from another race or nation. He is Armenian and the son of an Armenian. He is your offspring and blood. You people are accusing and ridiculing your own selves. Amot, amot, amooot!

     

  29. Sacramental Traditions

    Celibacy is not an institution only in the Armenian Church. Most of the Eastern and Orthodox churches, also the Anglican and Episcopalian churches have had the discipline of celibacy for centuries.  So it is not an issue that comes and goes with time like a fashion. To say that it is outdated is baseless.  What about clerical robes or vestments, rules of fasting, and other sacramental traditions of centuries old that are held sacred and venerated by pious Christians? You wish to abolish as outdated just because you do not adhere to it or it does not suit your taste…..

    The present sad event gave an opportunity to so many people to utter verdicts on several issues that are above their understanding.

     

    1. The Concept of Celibacy

      Whether the concept of celibacy is outdated or not is irrelevant. Currently it is mandated and as such should be followed by those who choose to join the ranks of the celibate clergy. If they are against celibacy they should work to change the rules, not flout them.
       

  30. Reader Comments

    I have not seen a Keghart article with so many readers and comments in such a short time. Since this is a very timely subject, let us put everything in perspective and in a modular way. What is the issues here? Is it the personal conduct of the catholicos? His shortcomings? His authoritarian style? There is no smoke without fire. But before examining his conduct, let us clear a few things.

    Ara and Ara:

    Ara Baliozian is the contemporary Hagop Baronian. I agree with most of his thoughts on his blog. However, I disagree with him on the integrity issue because of two exemplary bishops I have had the pleasure of  knowing: Archbishops Zareh Aznavourian and Ardavast Terterian. I would not rule out Zareh as a catholicos of the highest integrity.

    On the other hand, the more I read Ara Manoogian's articles and listen to his radio programs, the more I come to the conclusion that he should have continued his hunger strike. He and Prof. [Dennis] Papazian cannot be on the same scale. Prof. Papazian needs no introduction. As far as I know, Prof. Papazian is affiliated only with the Knights of Vartan and not the Freemasons. The distinction might be that the Knights of Vartan is counterfeit masonry and might be cultish, while Masonry is a cult that's far from the Christian position. Their being humanistic movements is a good reason for Christians to stay away from both.

    Election fraud:

    It is too little too late to bring up the fraud. There is fraud in every election, but people move on and prepare for a better election. We should not waste time beating the dead horse. We should prepare our community members to elect worthy parish councils, diocese council members, and priests. I like to see one parish council member who can recite the Lord’s Prayer accurately, let alone the Nicene Creed.

    House of God/Temple of God:

    There is a major distinction between Old and New Testament theology with respect to “temple of God” or “house of God”. Jews needed a temple to perform their sacrifices for the redemption of their sins, but in Christianity the house of God are the believers. There is no need for sacrifice since Christ died for the redemption of our sins. It is ironic that most of the churches the Armenians built and called them house of God are now in ruins, as if God is reminding us where He wants to live.

    Christianity and Armenian Christianity:

    The Christianity in Armenia was successful until 301AD, when it was just a Christian movement. It was personal and stayed outside politics. With the adoption of Christianity as state religion, it became popular culture, when pagan priests had to convert willingly or unwillingly. It made the movement a bureaucratic nightmare. Armenian Christianity lost its edge when it lost its evangelistic mission. The proof of that? We did not spread Christianity to Persia and to the invading Mongols and Turks. If we had preached Christianity to pagans, the Battle of Avarayr would have been unnecessary, not to mention the existence of the Ottoman Empire.

    Celibacy:

    Celibacy is a 10th century tradition and is not Biblical. St. Paul’s instruction on priesthood differ dramatically from the traditions of the Church. St. Paul instructs: “Bishop must be the husband of one wife.” Likewise for deacons. All the disciples of Jesus had families. St. Paul's instructions “it is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am” is just an exception rather than the norm.

    Catolicos Karekin II

    Matt. 7:1 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged."
    Karekin II may have many shortcomings, like most of us. The position of a catholicos is not that of a saint. It is just an administrative position. It is a waste of time to spread rumors in an unconstructive manner when we know nothing can be done, especially when it is a lifetime position. I would encourage pushing for Church reform such as the abolition of celibacy, accountability of finances in the Church, a better understanding of priesthood, the removal of the Church hierarchy, the role of women in the Church, etc. The reason why we got here is because we paid less attention to all of the above, and suddenly we woke up and realized that we are in a mess. Also, idolatry is deep rooted in us …kissing hands and relics, bowing to people, addressing people with titles.
     

    1. Freemasons and Hunger Strikes

      Dear Hagop,

      Thank you for taking the time to skim over the interviews and articles that I have published on this subject. I truly thought that I had presented them so even uneducated individuals could comprehend them. I never thought that highly educated individuals like yourself would have issues comprehending simple terminology, though I keep forgetting that if someone has “Dr.” in front of their name does not mean they can change a light bulb (I know PhD holder that really can't or fear the possibility of being electrocuted if they do).

      You mentioned that I should have continued my hunger strike. I didn’t really understand what that suggestion means or implies, probably since I’m not as educated as you or have I ever claimed to be the brightest bulb in the chandelier. Can you please dumb things down a bit so I can understand and consider your suggestion?

      As for Dr. Dennis Papazian, my implying his affiliation with the freemasons came from his claiming that the Knights of Vartan are one in the same and both trace the ancestry to King Solomon. The question was posed to him when he was the Grand Pooba of the KOV (so I don't loose you, the Grand Pooba was the leader of a secret society club that Fred Flintstone belonged in the 1960’s American cartoon series “The Flintstones”). The following is a 2012 correspondence with Dr. Dennis Papazian and  a prominent member of the Diaspora:

      Q: Are you a member of Knights of Vartan?

      DP: Yes, I am a member of the Knights of Vartan, I'm the national head, the Grand Commander.

      Q: Any relationship between Knights of Vartan and Freemasonry?

      DP: Of course, we both trace our ancestry back to King Solomon.

      Q: You mean Armenians have Jewish origins?  Can you explain?

      DP: Adam and Eve. Then Noah. Then Noah sons and daughters. We all traced back to Noah. King Solomon was a polygamist. He had at least one Ethiopian wife. He probably also had a couple of Armenian wives. He also brought in architects and builders from all over, including Egypt, to build the temple to Yahweh (God). That is another point where Armenians and Jews probably mixed, since Armenia had great stonemasons just as Egyptians.

      Q: Is this what Knights of Vartan believe in and work for, i.e. Judaism?  Can you further expand?  What are the objectives of Knights of Vartan regarding Armenia and Armenians?

      DP: To uphold Armenian Christianity and traditions.

      Q: Via Freemasonic and Judayistic principles?

      DP: You may recall that Jesus was a Jew of the house of David, a kingly house. His disciples were also Jews, including Thaddeus the first converter of Armenia. The second converter was Gregory, who had been ordained by the Greeks, but was of the Parthian ethnic group, namely a Persian. In the prayer book they say, “Gregory, of that sinful nation,” etc. etc. etc.

      Nothing is that simple.

      Q: So Knights of Vartan is following principles of Judaism and Freemasonry.  Are you also following principles of Zionism as well?

      DP: (STILL AWAITING AN ANSWER)

      My dear Hagop, now I have a 2 questions for you and your answer will help me and I’m sure others who were not given your gift of insight and wisdom.

      1. Who are you? In lieu of biography, please provide: full name; age; education; affiliation with the Armenian Church
      2. Your perspective and in a modular way of the 2012 correspondence of Dr. Dennis Papazian.

      I have to be honest with you, I have not read your comment in full as it does not seem to compute. I don’t get your logic nor do I believe that do I believe that someone who is faithful to Christianity could make such comments (at least the comments you made that are found above your heading “Election Fraud”). I’ll consider reading the rest of your comment as soon as I believe you are even qualified to put thing in perspective and in a modular way.

      I await your answers.

      1. Answering Ara

        Dear Ara,

        Thank you for taking the time to read my comments.

        –Your interview with Prof. Papazian does not reveal anything new. As I stated, because Knights of Vartan is a humanist movement, it is not a place for a Christian to hang out. I do not subscribe to any such movement. Prof. Papazian is a distinguished intellectual, with decades of service to Armenian communities, Armenian churches and much more. I find it improper to tarnish the reputation of an individual of his caliber. I respect him, but I do not necessarily encourage all his affiliations.

        –The first part of your email focuses on my background and I am very sure you do not have the slightest idea who I am. I would like to leave it that way. I do not hide behind my credentials; I put my words and ideas out there and we need to focus on that only.

        –With respect to fraud, this is an endless and unfruitful endeavor. If I need to continue my discussions with you, I would like to know your stand on Christianity. Are you Christian? I mean, do you believe if Christ is risen, the virgin birth of Christ, the divinity of Christ, that He is the only begotten Son of God, if He is the only truth and the way, only savior, His second coming, and the concept of Trinity. I can list a few more, but let us be content with only these. If you do, then our further discussion can be fruitful, until then I wait for response.

        –I grew up hearing and sometimes witnessing of so many misconducts of the clergy, extra marital affairs of priests, pedophilia, and fornication of celibate priests, to say the least. Monasteries are not a place for saints. Again, I did not deny what is happening; I am questioning whether it will be constructive to go further. I am not sure if you will be ready to incriminate your own relatives if we dig in more. We should stop making a career out of allegations, which you have done, but I encourage you think positive and try to change the system so that we can move ahead, but not destroy what exists. I like to hear one constructive suggestion from you that would enhance and make our Church worthy. If you do not have a single idea of Church reform, your time is up.

        –As far as your fasting goes, I thought that was the “stupidest” idea ever. You tried to challenge and get Mr. Obama’s attention. I was more worried about you as a passionate but misguided individual, then Obama. Five years ago, I wrote so many emails warning Armenian organizations, such as ANCA, and AGBU for another disappointment when all parties passionately waited a miracle from Obama. If you had starved to death, Obama wouldn’t have blinked, but it would have been a sad day for people like me. My sarcasm was to make you feel on your skin that “people don’t care” and to tell you not to waste your time and energy, but snap out of that state to be more productive individual for our communities.

        Just a friendly advice: please do not consider every individual who disagrees with you as your enemy. Always remember the words of our great Catholicos Sahag I: “I know, but a sick lamb is better than a healthy beast.” Check the link: "catholicism<dot>org<slash>crowns<underscore>for<underscore>armenia<dot>html". I wish you changed your style of negative crusade to positive one, one that builds our youth, helps bring the young talented individuals together rather than help our gifted youth to distance themselves from our organizations. We have mountain of challenges ahead of us, but we need to work together as soldiers, not seek credit and recognition. I hope my words can help.

      2. False Quotation

        Ara Manoogian has stooped to print a false interview. If he is not outright lying, then the DP [Dennis Papazian] he quotes is a figment of his imagination. Shame, Ara. How can you throw the first stone since your morals are not above that of your victims. I never said that you wrote as a quote.
        Dennis R. Papazian   

        1. Are You Sure?

          Dennis,
          I have one question for you. From May to June of 2012 were you using the email address of papazianATumd.umich.edu?

      3. Questions for Ara Manoogian

        Dear Hagop and Ara,

        Ara Manoogian is not a joke. He is a member of the prestigious "Policy Forum Armenia" group. He is a serious human rights activist. His employment at Burbank Lock Shop is a hobby, something similar to Bruce Wayne running Wayne Enterprises, while being Batman in real life. It is why Policy Forum Armenia sought him.

        As for Ara, you have unanswered questions, too. Please answer them to prove my point that you are a serious human rights activist:

        1) Re: hunger strike [Deleted by publisher]

        2) Re:Obama's advisor [Deleted by publisher]

        3) Re: Continuance of hunger strike [Deleted by publisher]

        4) Re: Videotape [Deleted by publisher]

        5) Re: Papazian and Knights of Vartan [Deleted by publisher]

        Best,

        Varto

  31. Catholicos Stands Accused

    Haygagan "Game of Thrones". Religion has no place in modern society. The fact that the public is against the "pope" of Armenians in Yerevan (even though we have two "popes") is evidence of two things: the Church is corrupt to its core; "Mafia"-style workings to replace one corrupt person with another. So society continues with it's corrupt way of life.

  32. Dennis Papazian’s Report

    Following up on the comments of the Keghart editorial, I came across Ara Manoogian’s reference to an article Dennis Papazian had written critical of the election process bordering on fraud. The allegations that Keghart.com editorial raises about Catholicos Karekin II have no relevance to the election process, as far as I am concerned. A fraudulent election does not justify a stellar performing catholicos, as well occupying Saint Gregory Illuminator’s throne. Nonetheless, I reread the article. Let me give my impressions.

    I found the report a factual narration of the events that to the election of the late Catholicos of Blessed Memory Karekan I Sarkissian [of All Armenians] who formerly occupied the throne of the Cilician See. Dennis speaks of representatives being appointed while others were elected, of the number of delegates from different dioceses and of the nature of their affiliation with their dioceses, of delegates not speaking and understanding Armenian but being solid Armenians, of issues for the intermingling of delegates because they came from different backgrounds, of delegates having come to the election with a candidate on their minds. Dennis further speaks of government officials taking an active role in campaigning for their favored candidate and giving reasons for doing so. And yet, Dennis reports, the election was not a “done deal”.

    The report is sentimental as well with such titles as “Chosen by God”, “Solidarity of Spirit”, “Celebration” and of the President of the Republic, Levon Der-Bedrossian, hurrying to kiss the ring of the newly-elected catholicos.

    There is absolutely no malice in his report. Whatever issues Dennis raises he does in a spirit of good will and understanding, and never casts doubt about the legitimacy of the election process while stating outright that “Church has no constitution to govern the proceedings”.

    This was the first time that I've read a delegate reporting his experiences in electing a catholicos. How insightful it was of Papazian to report of his experiences in a transparent manner for the benefit of the interested. I wish it became a customary practice for delegates to report on their impressions of any election they participate. Dennis Papazian, thank you so very much.

  33. Judging Karekin II

    I am in no position to pass judgment over our catholicos. It is a matter for him and his conscience to make the right decision. The overwhelming consensus shows he should stand down. What is the Church, if not the people? The people have spoken.

    We all make mistakes, some minor, some major and one would hope we have learned from them. But we do not walk in the accused’s shoes, so how are we to know the circumstances or the juxtaposed position he [Karekin II] has found himself?

    We have no right to accuse. If Karekin II was elected fraudulently then those who implemented that false status should also find it in their hearts and minds to stand down from their positions. There is the Armenian saying, ‘Tzooge koolkhen guh hodi.’ Having elected him, we find his choices and action unacceptable. We create the monster after which we want to destroy him.

    Christianity is about love. So how do we expect to segregate a man from love, family, children?

    Keeping women out of such an influential and integral part of nature and life could be or may be the cause or result of the decline of our beliefs in the Holy Word.

    Seta

  34. What Can We Do?

    It is interesting to read an article of such great condemnation and proportion. I would like it to be untrue for the good of the Armenian Nation. We need to stand as one and look at the bigger picture. All that is written in the article is based on true facts (hopefully, if untrue I would welcome that more). If I am correct in my conclusion then I am certain there will be action taken by people who stand for justice, including His Holiness Karekin II. 

    1. To Baghdassar

      Baghdassar from Australia asked: "What can we do?"

      That is the right question. Let me explain: We have had equally bad catholicoi in the long history of our Mother Church. I happen to be Catholic. We have had even worse popes in that even longer history. If you read about each of these periods and ask "how could this catholicos or that pope have gotten away with these things?" the answer is always the same: they have had a king protecting them, and the behavior of the bad catholicos or pope is merely an extension of the behavior of the unchecked actions of the undemocratic authority.

      It is exactly the same now. The way to solve this devastating catholicos problem is to change the governance of our country. Note, I say governance and not just government. We do not need "ishkhanapokhoutyoun". We need "hamagarki pokhoutyoun". And we need it soon, very soon.

      In the homeland: "Nakhakhorhrdaran."
      In the Diaspora: Armenian Renaissance.

      THAT is the DO. The rest is talk, and talk, and more talk.

      Berge

       

      1. I Agree With Dr. Minassian.

        I agree with Dr. Minassian. We have become "experts" in complaining about corruption in the clergy, corruption in the government, apathy of the traditional Diaspora, etc… Of course, all of the above are closely, if not intrinsically, interconnected one way or another. But these complaints will remain fruitless discussions as long as we refuse to actively engage in CHANGE and try to actually DO something about them.

        Change is needed within Armenia, where we are witnessing the increasingly loud voices of discontent raised by individual activists, various civic movements, and by the Nakhakhorhrtaran (Pre-Parliament) which is trying to bring together and institutionalize these various civic activities.

        Change is equally needed in the Diaspora which needs to rise to its rights and obligations that come with belonging to and the ownership of the ONE NATION. Our Diaspora needs to gather and direct its immense potential in an Armenia-centric direction. Not to the government, not to the clergy, not to the political parties, not to the oligarch-owned institutions, but to the PEOPLE of Armenia. The ARMENIAN RENAISSANCE aims to the creation of that much-needed Diasporan alternative movement. The ARMENIAN RENAISSANCE is the Diaspora redefined.

        We can do it. Together.

  35. Love Triangle

    A love triangle–Armenian style.

    At the top, a couple hundred of the most vicious gangsters with an insatiable greed for money. They are running the affairs of this impoverished land. At the right-hand corner is Echmiadzin, an important institution and spiritual centre for Armenians who were subjected to Genocide by Turkey, almost 100 years ago. But the gangsters don't care about all these. They install an imposter, someone who will watch and congratulate them as they rob the people.

    The left corner is taken by important Diaspora organizations. They are administered by important Diaspora leaders whom you see in the business-class section of the aircraft when flying to Armenia. They fly business-class with the money you entrusted them for the orphans of Armenia. They are flying to Armenia to attend important meetings in Yerevan with the minister of Diaspora, other high-level dignitaries, and if they are bringing enough money, the president. These Diaspora organizations also publish newspapers which Armenians buy. In those papers, the gangsters, at the top of the triangle, are congratulated for their election victories, emphasizing the large margin of votes by which they got elected. If someone would like to know which Diaspora leader got what honorary medal from the catholicos or the president, those are the papers to read. In the meantime, the robbery intensifies. New churches are being built everywhere, while Medieval Armenian architectural jewels are left to destruct.

    Inside the triangle, are the Armenia's children who cannot go to school for lack of shoes, freedom fighters who liberated Artsakh but are now left with nothing, ordinary citizens whose homes were illegally confiscated in the heart of Yerevan and left homeless, mothers waiting for justice for their assassinated sons, and thousands of hungry citizens.

    While one may guess the motives of some of the individuals running the Armenian organizations in the Diaspora, Echmiadzin was not meant to be a partner to a criminal regime that is destroying our homeland from inside.
     

    1. In Total Agreement

      Varujan,

      I am in total agreement with your excellent comment.
      If we continue down this corrupt and disastrous path, we will soon have an empty Armenia at best: an Armenia of only old people.
      All forecasts predict an Armenia of no more than 1.5 million people after seven years of corrupt rule by political and religious thugs.

  36. Get to the Point

    It's conceivable that Catholicos Vazken I was elected due to fraudulent string pulling by the Soviet government.

    It's conceivable that Patriarch Yeghishe was promiscuous, gambled and chased prostitutes in Tel-Aviv and Paris, along with his squire Archbishop Shahe Ajemian.

    It's conceivable that a former Detroit celibate priest and a number of current Armenia celibate priests have children.

    It's also conceivable that many of the accusations against Catholicos Karekin II have been leveled, over the centuries, against other Armenian Church leaders.

    But one can't think of an Armenian Church leader, say in the past several centuries, who has faced the mountain of opprobrium Karekin II has to tackle, as enumerated in Keghart.

    While the letters regarding this issue are written by knowledgeable, intelligent, and caring people, I see we are running the risk of being bogged down by digression, on the nitty-gritty, on ad hominem attacks and wasting time on arguable details. Let's get back to the vital and urgent question: When will a prominent Armenia (lay or clergy), a committee of wise men, an organization come forth and say: "We have a problem which should be addressed immediately"? How long are we going to wait to see someone come up with a process to investigate the accusations and decide on a course of action?

    1. They Have Spoken

      Two of the patriarchs have made written statements that we have a problem with H.H. Karekin II. The first letter was dated November 3, 2000 and the second August 3, 2013. Both these letters can be found on my website (thetruthmustbetold dot com) in Armenian and English.

  37. Karekin II Fraud

    The current Karekin II was kept from the supreme patriarchal seat when Karekin II of Cilicia was elected instead. Echmiadzin insiders during Karekin I's enthronement, which I attended, made various accusations about the present pontiff, about his corrupt character and the children he had fathered.

    This fake clergyman should step down at his own accord or be stripped of his rank. What Armenian on this earth would take holy communion from this man’s hands?
     

  38. Publisher’s Note

    This site is moderated. Comments will be posted within 24 hours. Irrelevant and inappropriate content, wide digressions from the topic at hand, similarly slogans and ad hominem attacks will not be published. Thank you for your understanding–Publisher.

  39. Faith, Hope, and Love

    Faith, hope, and love.

    To my dear people, I say: "Follow Jesus, not the catholicos".

  40. Your Editorial

    Words fail to express my deep appreciation after perusing your “Karekin II Stands Accused” editorial in Keghart.com (August 8, 2013). Your laudable comments truly divulge the actual monarchic regime reigning within the walls of the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin.
     
    It is a full-blown disgrace that the Supreme Spiritual Executive Officer of All Armenians has unarguably proven his tactlessness to administer the divine Armenian Holy Apostolic Church and worse–his impotence in adjusting all delicate emergency situations with honesty, a minimum of savoir faire, courtly diplomacy, religious erudition, and refined linguistic prominence. Furthermore, to display his authority as the Sublime CEO of his supernal position, “he has defrocked at least 160 archbishops, bishops, clergymen, and deacons. Never in the 1,700-year history of the Armenian Church have so many clergymen been dismissed for non-heretical reasons.” While the Head of Araratian Diocese sauntering in his personal Bentley, the stumbling monastic buildings have been overhauled by “seven Toyotas” to offer much-needed comfort to jaded surplus hindquarters.

    Many thanks for disclosing  “the reign of terror of the spiritual massacre of the Armenian Apostolic Church."

    The unfortunate sequel to all these is that the Supreme Spiritual Corporate Executive Officer has scrupulously choreographed to obtain an instantaneous sanction of the Geraguyn Hogevor Khorhurti Patkar Andamner for his transcendent, sacred purging exploits, business endeavors and particularized numerable expensive blessings.

    Part of the monastic ideology or ethical responsibility is to build on the premise of treating the clergy as your most valued assets. Happy, motivated churchmen are not only a sign of a well-managed order, but they spawn many charitable acts of moral and spiritual teachings that can, when need be, conceal even the incapacity of their peerless  foremen.
     
    Only a few months ago, Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation as the leader of the Catholic Church, stating that the reason for the decision was his declining health due to old age. Benedict's decision to step down as leader of the Catholic Church made him the first pope to relinquish the office since Pope Gregory XII in 1415. The move was unexpected, given that the modern-era popes have held the position from election until death.
     
    Ergo, under the actual circumstances, it is quite becoming for an honorable Catholicos of All Armenians, the Chief Bishop and spiritual leader of Armenia's national church, and the worldwide Diaspora to consider abdicating and relinquish his chair which has apparently, according to many different sources, been procured as a result of intricate, bountiful, and honorable donations. (He'll neither be the first nor the last to relinquish the seat of the catholicos). As a respectable Vehapar and the chief religious administrative executive he should call for an election to select a less acquisitive and more spiritually endowed bishop–whose graceful comportment, theological erudition, and humble posture before all benefactors shall hopefully reverse the recent past along with its wretched exploitations into a centenarian history.
     
    … may your devoted, unremitting efforts in the service of your people and journalism go on with undiminished vigor. I couldn't have written these few paragraphs without your inspiring guidance.
     
    Thank you,

    Dr Agop J Hacikyan,
    Montreal

  41. Addendum to Dr. Hacikyan Comments

    Dear Dr. Hacikyan,

    I agree with your timely citing of Pope Benedict's recent retirement.

    The head of the Catholic Church took the responsible step and retired for health reasons. His commendable act should be an example to Karekin II who has far more–not to mention revolting–reasons to resign.

    Your mention of the Catholic Church reminds me of another famous page from that Church's history. On Oct. 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed a piece of paper to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. On the paper were 95 thesis against the corruption of the Catholic Church. Luther's revolutionary act led to the Protestant Reformation and changed the Catholic Church, Christianity, and the world forever. I hope Keghart's listing of 23 accusations become the beginning of similar changes in the Armenian Apostolic Church.

    Hayorti

    1. Piece of paper on the church door
      Thank you for reminding us of Martin Luther's piece of paper nailed to the door of the Castle Church of Wittenberg. Excellent, every little effort counts!

  42. Waiting for Church Communique

    We are all waiting for a communique from the Church, either by Karekin II or his PR machine. Perhaps there are already discussions among the different Diocesan Primates as to how to reply to these allegations that, if not addressed, will damage the relationship of parishioners around the world with the Church. There may be other resignations and general dissent. I am deeply disappointed that the Echmiadzin College of Bishops has accepted the "resignation" of Archbishop Norvan Zakarian. They seem to be in cahoots with K II. They will go down with the disgraced leader.

    Zaven

  43. Rotten at the Head

    Yet another reason to condemn Karekin II is that through his immoral behavior he has set a bad example for immorality among some Armenian Apostolic Church clergy. When I see promiscuity (having mistresses and children, frequenting prostitutes, addiction to pornography) and greed among the clergy–in Canada, U.S., in Europe, in Armenia and elsewhere–I wonder whether these "priests" feel guilt or a sense of irresponsibility when they know that the head of the Church is an old hand at indulging in greed, promiscuity, and love of materiliasm.

  44. Catholicos you said?

    This … man, whose name is Ktrij Nersissyan , was fraudulently elected by the help of AGBU's Louise Simone. They were intimate friends and had numerous secret meetings in Larnaca, Cyprus, verified by Bedros Kalayciyan (former  member of Cyprus parliament and leader of the Armenian community, now deceased).  Nersissyan should be defrocked immediately. He is a disgrace to all Armenians. And while we are at it, many of his followers holding high offices in Armenia and in Diaspora communities, should resign and hang their heads in shame.

    1. Alexander Selian’ s comment

      Dear Alex,
      Thank you for your crucial contribution to the ongoing so-called sanctified masquerade. I fully agree with your comment and wise contribution.
      With much appreciation and gratitude,
      Agop J Hacikyan

  45. Did Not Read

    Karekin II is a shame.

    I would not be surprised to hear that he has a chain of car-wash outlets or gas stations. He celebrates his birthday at a Hrazdan Gorge restaurant in the company of oligarchs. Our modern top clergy think that their job is to be no different from that of the members of Armenian parliament, i.e. to use their positions to enrich themselves.

  46. Addendum to my comment

    ADDENDUM
     
    In my comment of August 13 to the editorial, I suggested that under the actual circumstances it would be honorable for Catholicos of All Armenians to abdicate his chair procured after intricate, bountiful, and candid contributions. Then I was reminded that  I was (and still am) in “the Fantasy Cycle of Wishful Thinking.”      

    I  must admit that my “make believe” can be reconciled with reality if  Catholicos  Karekin II  has the courage to sever his clubby relation with  power and wealth; if he can manifest humility, simplicity, and fidelity; if he possesses spiritual conscience,  selfless compassion, morality, tender linguistic proficiency, and much more…

    Msgr. Eduardo Garcia, Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires, says, “Pope Francis will surprise us even more through the power of Holy Spirit, gestures and action.” And I would like to say, “Catholicos Karekin II will surprise us even more through his sacred power and wealth of his oligarchs, and dishonorable fulfillment of lewd deeds.”
     
    Dr. Agop J. Hacikyan
    Montreal, Quebec

  47. “Alea iacta est”

    When the Armenian Church split, did anything good come from it?  What we see now is just what we have in front of us. Let the bickering, in the Diaspora, continue! It does no good to judge from without. Keep up the good work, children.

  48. This is Religulous

    He is a …. The whole Armenian church/business and its childish separation is suffocating Armenian communities throughout the world and taking a huge share of donations that could be used for more useful causes such as education. This is Religulous…

  49. HH Karekin II Catholicos of all Armenians responds

    My sincerest apologies to Keghart.com readers. The video is retracted.

    Dikran Abrahamian

    1. Finally, an awkward response though

      Following 12200 readers of Catholicos Karekin II Stands Accused and 75 comments his holiness responds. Blaming "sources" with a political agenda?

      Your Holiness,

      Ուրիշի աջքի շիւղը կը տեսնէք, բայց ոչ Ձեր աջքի գերանը:

      1. Some Reply

        The prepared reply was a sleep-inducing festival of guile, platitude, and presumption. So… people who point out his mountain of sins are politically motivated, want to tear apart the Armenian Nation and Church. Meanwhile, he tries to skate away from the fact that he is one of the major culprits tearing us apart.

    2. Misleading

      This video/interview is from 2011! Check the date on the right side of the Youtube video description. His Holiness hasn't made any comment regarding the malicious campaign against him.

      1. Response to Factual Allegations

        In fact K2 HAS responded to some of the factual allegations via Reverend Father Vahram Melikyan, Chief Spokesman of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, on a couple of occasions, as well as via Reverend Father Vatche Hayrapetyan, K2's appointed pastor of the Armenian community in Strasbourg, in an exclusive interview given to TTMBT. Both clergy equate the allegations as nonsense and gossip. These responses can be found at thetruthmustbetold dot com. If there was no validity to the allegations, K2 and his representatives would not have engaged and attempted to minimize the claims being made.

    3. Not a response – Rerun from 2011

      This video is regarding another issue that people stood up to him in 2011. It was posted on youtube on July 25 2011.

  50. Two Different People

    Would you please underline that Hagop and Agop are two different people?
    Thank you very much for your attention.
    Dr. Agop J. Hacikyan

  51. Shame on You

    I will not write a long comment. I just want to say "Shame on you, Catholicos."

    If they still call you "Catholicos" after all these accusations, even if half of them are true, you are an Armenian "tassibov" [tassib-honour]. Please resign. Please let our Church worship His Holiness the Catholicos of All Armenians Vazken I, blessed be his name.

  52. The Chair

    I venerate and revere the Holy Chair of the Catholicos, as long as  it is occupied by by spiritual and divine godliness.

    This is my very last humble comment.

    Dr. Agop J. Hacikyan.
    Montreal
     

  53. Lost the wick fighting over the lighter..

    It's ironic that we have lost the wick and are fighting over the lighter… We are so diverse, dispersed, and divisive that we forget our core issues: our survival is at stake as we waste our energy on such a mediocrity [as the catholicos]. 

    Our elected are a reflection of our state of mind. Why elect a new one, why elect anyone, if things have not changed in our state-of-mind? Who are the elected? Who are the electors? Who represents what aspirations? Trickle-down politics: oligarchs of different affiliations from each Diaspora Armenian community, as well as Armenia proper, are sent as delegates to elect other oligarchs, who in turn will feed back to elect the same oligarchs to elect a new oligarch…

    The Armenian language is dying; its history is unread; its culture celebrated as "kofteh, dolma, and lahmajoon"; its Holy Mass id boring, incomprehensible, unappealing. The church is empty, the school is not attended… on whom will those elected reign?

    The process of change starts at one's backyard, from that tiny church, school, organization. Where are those masses, those devoted, those "khent" who will embark to hold all elected accountable? It is such a state of malaise. The majority stays away from community events  (thus they do not take part in  failure). Through apathy this leads to dissolution, and the minority sustains itself through "democratic" elections…

    Hayrenik without inhabitants; "lezoo" (language) without speakers; church without attendance; culture without followers.

    Enough of breeding hatred among Armenians. Every aspect of Armenian life is in decline and disarray. We ought to clean this race from top to bottom. We already are at the brink of extinction, and I could care less who elects who!

    In an earlier comment, I mentioned that the town I live in has some 50,000 people of Armenian ancestry. Some 48,000 are totally, irreversibly wasted and gone. All the churches, cultural associations, athletic groups, ancestry and heritage houses, professional societies… are fighting over the remaining 2,000. If those elected were any good, why is this house stinking and this people suffering? Enough of the M.Ds, Ph.Ds, D.D.S., pharmacists, lawyers… ALL WE NEED ARE PEOPLE WITH   PH.Ds IN ARMENOLOGY, ARMENIANNESS, INCLUSIVENESS, AND A SPIRIT OF NON-HATRED.

    Many of the events in my town are represented by more association names than people present. And people in other towns, reading about Armenian events in my town, think my town has sooo many viable representations…

     

  54. To Organize, to Survive

    To organize and to survive as an organization in any Diasporan setting one has to serve the local policies of that environment. As democratic, free and liberal your surroundings may profess, your organized group ought to serve "a higher purpose"; it should adjust to its immediate political agenda. You may live very free as an individual, say, in America, Lebanon, France, Syria, Iran…but your organized politics cannot profess to be far from existing atmosphere. In a nutshell, there is nooo Armenianness independent of U.S. policies in America, nor Lebanese in Lebanon…

    Who is better organized, funded, accepted, tolerated, encouraged, adopted, praised…more than those who follow the demands of local politics? And if one thinks that Armenia is the only place where delegates and the elected serve mainly Armenian aspirations… sometimes countries are sold "en grosse" to regional politics.

    So who remains independent? The one who knows that exposure serves no purpose, who prefers to stay humble, low-profile, incognito, with no colorful titles? For colorful titles serve only masters or are persecuted as dissidents.

    1. Clean the Church

      ''If one thinks that Armenia is the only place where delegates and the elected serve mainly Armenian aspirations… sometimes countries are sold 'en grosse' to regional politics''. In this context, some high ranking clergy from Armenia serving in the diaspora are doing just that, playing politics. With the knowledge, order and approval of Karekin II, they are helping empty Armenia of its inhabitants for a price, no doubt. These are the God-fearing, patriotic clergy, who are going to pray for us, and lead our people.     

  55. Mark of Ownership?

    Can anyone enlighten me as to why the letter "E" as in Etchmiadzin is above the altar of my church (St John) in Detroit? It wasn't there all these years. Is it all over the parishes and what do you make of it?

    1. The Letter “E”

      Sam,

      This would be an opportune time for a clergyman to explain to us, in depth, the significance of the "E" on the interior and exterior of our churches.

      I am surprised it was not there, high in the altar of St. John Armenian Apostolic Church in Detroit. The letter should be high in the altar in every Armenian church, including, of course, Apostolic Churches affiliated with the Cilician See.

      I understand it signifies divinity. I am also told that it is the seventh letter of the Armenian Alphabet because of the biblical significance of number seven. The first letter–"A", I have been told stands for Asdouatz/God. The last letter in the original Armenian alphabet was "K" for Kristos.

       

      1. The Letter “E”

        "Thanks" to Vahe and Jirair regarding the meaning of the letter "E" (A) = Eyoutyoun on our churches.

  56. Catholicos Karekin II

    If the accusations are proven to be true, the man has to be burned on a stake. As a follower of Christ and an elderly Armenian, I have no pity on the disgraced man.

  57. Don’t Tell the Heroes

    Don't tell the heroes who sacrificed their everything to have a homeland. Let them rest in peace. As for us, the survivors, do we even need a homeland? Do we even care whether we are Christian, let alone Armenian Christian, Armenian Apostolic Christian, Armenian Apostolic Christian of the Holy See of Echmiadzin?

    We don't deserve what our devoted ancestors sacrificed for.  Show me anything that's not corrupt in Armenian circles of power, in Armenia or in the Diaspora. Yes, we had had some Armenian "khent"s, but those were the real owners of the lands they were living on. Only those who know the value of a land, language, heritage, culture, history…

    We have much more renters, tourists, merchants than owners of Armenianness. The profit-minded uprooteds will sell any "value" for a price. Nothing good can come from them.

    Who cares who is the catholicos? Of which see, the patriarch, president, premier is. So why the calls for resignations, appointments, fair elections, just representations? 

    The real change starts in me, in you, in the unit that forms the circles of our existence. Positive results come from dedicated minds only, not from merchants.

  58. Waiting for Church communiqué

    We are all waiting for a communiqué from the Church, either by Karekin II or his PR machine. Perhaps there are already discussions among the different Diocesan Primates as to how to reply to these allegations that, if not addressed, will damage the relationship of parishioners around the world with the Church. There may be other resignations and general dissent. I am deeply disappointed that the Echmiadzin College of Bishops has accepted the "resignation" of Archbishop Norvan Zakarian. They seem to be in cahoots with KII. They will go down with the disgraced leader.
    Zaven

  59. Non-constructive Assignment

    A certain David gets more excited about going to a demolition derby than watching the construction of a bridge. Probably because you get more bang for the buck. I wonder how many more here have the same intent? Should he ever cross that bridge, he just might get a better view of what he was thinking. He just might like what he sees compared to the bigoted community he speaks so fondly about. Rave on David! You've been coached well.

  60. Stop the Cash Flow!

    Stop the Cash Flow

    I see Catholicos Karekin chaired one of his business-as-usual gatherings in Echmiadzin, where everything was rubber-stamped to his satisfaction. And it looks like Archbishop Derderian of the Western Diocese is going along with KII's games. Perhaps he hasn't given up his ambitions of becoming catholicos some day. Advice to Derderian: this is the wrong way to go about your goal.

    Since they do not respond to popular opinion, the way to bring these "elders" of the Church to their senses is through good old cash. The followers of the Apostolic Church (Echmiadzin See) should stop attending church, and hold baptisms, weddings and funerals at other Armenian churches. Finally, they should stop giving money to their parish churches. This could force the parish clergy, etc. to get together and pressure their "superiors" to give the shove to KII.

    1. Money sent to the Holy See

      People need to understand that every Armenian parish in the world sends money to the Holy See. I know for a fact that the Eastern Diocese sends money a few times a year equating to millions of dollars. These funds are for no specific project, but rather general support to the Holy See in Armenia. As Mesrob advises, stop supporting the Armenian Church financially until such time as the issues at hand are addressed.

        1. Support the Holy See

          If you are a member of the Armenian Apostolic Church, then it would make perfect sense to support the See in Armenia. What I would like to note is that people hold onto the support they would usually give and only release it to the Holy See after such time that the issues of concern that are noted above are addressed and resolved.

          1. Is Everyone Happy?

            Comments against the catholicos go back decades. I've spent time in Armenia talking to people who had to overcome the hard times after the dissolution of the USSR. Both Catholicos Vazgen and Karekin I were sharply criticized. "Why weren't the jewels in Etchmiadzin sold off to buy food and lodging? Why was Vazgen traveling to New York to attend banquets? Where was the money going?"

            So now we have a catholicos who appears to be vulnerable in today's democratic society. Criticism is inherent in Armenian society. I wonder if Karekin II is a target because he is the only catholicos I know that actually comes out of Armenia? His methods are not western oriented. They're Russian. The schism between the east and the west is wide and its still crawling its way back. Even Pope Benedict didn't have to stand up to so much criticism although the Catholic Church has much bigger problems. Maybe we should follow the lead of the Catholics and work through our problems in a dignified manner. Don't turn the Armenian Church into a Mexican standoff.

          2. He Took a Vow of Celibacy

            Karekin II is very different from Vazken I and Karekin I, as far as I know.

            To minimize the damage the Church incurs before he is removed, let Karekin II not turn this situation into a standoff. Before he is further humiliated, let him step down and reunite, in public, with his biological children–two of the five for whom I have evidence of. Karekin II has to decide if his two eldest daughters deserve a dignified life or should be sacrificed.

            Need we say more, Darwin?

          3. Put it on the Table

            If you want to win over skeptics, "show me the money" is the way to go. Otherwise, the earth is still flat.

          4. Majority Rules

            Showing you the whole bank [of facts] will not change the opinion of the minority of skeptics. There will always be those who are not convinced even by undisputable facts. For this reason, I will not waste time to jump hoops for you. I ask that you wait and see, since it's still not the time to show all our cards. Right now we are waiting for K2 to draw or fold.
             

          5. Vow of Celibacy

            I am curious to know if all of Karekin II's children are from one woman or several, and what are we waiting for (if the report of his having children is true)? He should be  defrocked; he is not entitled to the cloak or the title. Not only should he step down, but he should also be humiliated, because he has disgraced and humiliated our Church. He took the sanctity out of our Church. Shame on him and to those who keep him in that position.

            The Council of Bishops should take action, otherwise the church is on a downward path under his leadership and will be weakened. In case of inaction, the bishops will be losers, too. If it is not cleansed soon enough, reversing the trend would be difficult and the damage irreversible. His corruption, inefficiency and irresponsible behavior has spilled onto some of his bishops and affected churches and communities elsewhere. Once the herd is scattered, it will be difficult to bring it back to the holy table.    

          6. K2’s not the only one

            I would not expect much from Karekin's hand picked counsels. People who live in glass houses usually will not cast stones. I know of at least 2 members of the council of bishops who have children. I know of others who have had quite serious relationships with women. Our church needs a good cleaning and the removal of Katekin will be the first step, but in order to do this without destroying the church in the process, we have to prepare our flock for the change.

            Anyone who proposes and advocates for radical and shocking methods to be used for change is knowingly or unknowingly going to make things worse. If we care about our church and want it to grow into what we need, the change needs to start within us and our homes. Once we do this, we will toss all the celibate clergy who have violated their vows out of our church if need be.

          7. The celibacy vow

            Good for him. Breaking the vow of celibacy is like breaking a new year's resolution. No more ice cream for me… I never thought much of the celibacy vow. And I'm Catholic. I think, in light of a major depopulation crisis looming in Armenia's future, polygamy should be allowed in the next hundred years.

    2. Very Well Said

      Very well said. I hope some Armenians are listening. The collusion of the criminal establishment and the Church in Armenia is reaching new heights every passing day with the resulting enslavement of the vast majority of the population and the destruction of the country. We, in the Diaspora, have an obligation to support the progressive forces in Armenia, and condemn as vigorously as we can those who are not up to the task, including the Church leadership. And for those who are not sure what great Armenian Church leaders look like, I suggest they read, for example, the life and the work of Karekin Badriark Khachaduryan (by great humanist and Genocide survivor (H.C.Siruni – Aras Yayincilik 2003). Of course, not to be confused with the present day Karekin.

    1. Conspiracy

      Those who defend corrupt Karekin II have offered no credible defense for their despicable "clergyman".
      Some genuinely believe a criticism of the Etchmiadzin oligarch would hurt the Church and Armenians. They don't mind vile Karekin II as long as the father of several offspring maintains appearances (dresses as catholicos, parrots Church rites, looks holier-than-thou). In other words, if he talks like a duck, walks like a duck, he must be a duck.

      Others see conspiracies, especially by the Tashnags and their church division in Antelias in suburban Beirut. While some/many blind Tashnags would like to see mud on Etchmiadzin, it doesn't follow that the followers of the Etchmiadzin See should automatically, blindly support an Armenian Borgia.

      Other Etchmiadzin supporters are people who have always supported that See and regard any criticism of Etchmiadzin or a catholics a personal attack on them… they see it as a goal scored against them or their team.

      As it has been said, mendacious Karekin's immoral and extravagant lifestyle has given "permission" to many priests down the line–priests who have no spiritual grace and who are no more than church managers with contracts, salary and benefits. And some do very well at it, thank you. According to one report, one such clergyman–in Toronto–earned $150,000 last year, in addition to other revenue streams which are not made public. His salary is untouchable because, it is said, it draws on a trust fund. For comparison purposes, the average income of a highly-educated rabbi serving affluent Toronto synagogues is about $100,000. While this priest basks in his lucrative job, another priest–in an outlying area of the city–leads an impecunious life and doesn't even have a car to serve his far-flung parish.

      The situation reminds me of the gilded catholicos basking in his worldly wealth while in remote Armenia villages impoverished clergymen in threadbare garb serve their equally impoverished parishes.
       

  61. Karekin II

    Although I had said my "last word," I find that I must comment on Mesrob's accusation/suggestion that Karekin II is another Borgia.

    Whatever his faults–too many to list here–Borgia made the Church of Rome the powerful, strong, and more secure institution that it is today.  Before him, the Church of Rome was the plaything of kings, princes, dukes, and any powerful ruler who wanted to exert his control or influence over the Church. Borgia put an end to that and eliminated the influence these kings, princes, dukes, and powerful leaders could have.

    After his death, and the 30-day pontificate of Pius III, Pope Julian had the authority and the power to rule over the king, princes, dukes and any would-be powerful leader.

    Would it be in order to suggest that, maybe, Karekin is. . . .  No, let's not wander down that path.

    Avedis Kevorkian
    Philadelphia

     

    1. Borgia and Rubber Dolls

      Avedis,

      While claiming that you are not defending Borgia, you wrote: "Borgia made the Church of Rome the powerful, strong, and more secure institution than it is today." I consider that a wholesome defense. Others might too.

      And pray tell, why is it a good thing for the Church to become politically and militarily the strongest institution in Italy? One could safely  speculate that had Borgia ran the show on the Italian peninsula–as you wishfully wrote–the Reformation would have had a far more difficult time to be established. No Reformation, no Age of Enlightenment, no Age of Reason… an age very much like vile Karekin II is living in, surrounded by his corrupt cohorts, and supported by blind apologists from thousands of miles away.

      According to you, when one claims similarities between two entities, the similarities should be 100% bang on or should not to be considered valid. Thus, according to you, to claim similarities between Borgia and KII, the latter should have nine children and five mistresses, like the fiendish pope. Avedis, in rhetoric this is called logical fallacy. It was discredited five centuries before Christ.

      When a correspondent loses his temper and begins to utter nonsensical insults ("learn how to read… sell your computer and buy a rubber doll"), it's wise to stay clear of him. Are rubber dolls something that an adult like you should inject into a supposedly civil exchange of ideas between adults? Future insults will not be offered the generosity of a reply.

  62. Karekin II

    Avedis,

    This is sophistry to the nth degree. I am speechless… to find that there's someone in the world who defends Pope Borgia, perhaps the most notorious pope in the long history of the Roman Catholic Church. The man's many abuses "prepared the ground" for the Reformation. What's next? Rasputin was a lovable guy, although slightly misunderstood?

    1. Oh, Please!

      Oh, please!

      Learn how to read, or sell your computer and buy a rubber doll. I was not defending Borgia. I was merely trying to say, pick a better example if you want to vilify Karekin II. Alexander VI was one of the best things to happen to the Church of Rome. I was trying to indicate that whatever his morals, he made the Church of Rome the powerful church that it is–or, anyway, more powerful than it was.

      Incidentally, had he lived a bit longer–maybe even one year longer–Italy would have been unified in the 16th century instead of the 19th century, because of the support that he gave to Cesare, Yes, one of his illegitimate children. But, that is neither here nor there.

      Apparently, it doesn't pay to try to be clever with the anti-Karekin II crowd. If Karekin II is to be compared with Alexander VI, then the Armenian Church will be the better for it.

      If Karekin II is to be compared with Rodrigo Borgia, then produce his nine children and name his five mistresses, as a starter. And then, give me a list of those he had poisoned

      Until then, learn how to read. Or, pick on someone else.

      Avedis Kevorkian

       

  63. Five Million Assimilated Armenians?

    Just read on CivilNet.am that there might be as many Islamized Armenians in Turkey as the total population of Armenia.

    Since there may be as twice as many Armenians in the Diaspora, tells me that the focus of the Church should be in an outreach to the potential five million or so of people of recent Armenian ancestry who have apparently assimilated, rather than the continued bickering and distractions by our esteemed church "leaders" to a diminishing constituency of the disheartened.

    Time for the church leaders to rise to the occasion.

    1. Five million assimilated Armenians in Turkey

      Clearly the Armenian leadership is missing out on a huge opportunity. The re-acculturation of the Muslim Armenian population of Turkey into an Armenian rather than Turkish national identity is paramount. Armenians are hung up about the "Islam" issue. As if an atheist Armenian is somehow better than a Muslim Armenian. No one would dispute the Armenian identity of half Armenian like me, of Catholic background. I speak Armenian so I'm in like Flynn. Show me an Armenian married to a Turkish girl, and no one sits at at their table in church.

      What to do? The Armenian Mechitarist Catholic Seminary goes into Islamized Armenian villages, where the women eagerly but quietly present their boys for a lifetime of Christian priesthood. In my youth at the Seminary I recall at least one such acolyte. Armenia should have a huge educational institution for Muslim Armenian studies, free of charge to Turkish Armenian students from below the border. Istanbul and Ankara is a world away when compared to Armenia next door.

      Not to denigrate Armenian Christianity, however in a cursory review of Armenian religious history, it appears that Armenians have gone through at least three major religious eras. Christianity is just the last. Zoroastrianism before, various regional pantheon deities for  a while, and something else like nature shamanistic  beliefs before that. Who can predict what new belief system may develop in the future? Why ignore the possibility of adding to our numbers, by acculturating a population that is already in place, in historic Armenia.

  64. Who Wrote This?

    "You are either with us or against us" is obviously Satan's words. Whoever typed this article is a self-declared Protestant because protestant means protester against the Catholic Church. He or she is  protesting against their own original Fathers of the Church, without going into theological issues. Shame on them. They are supposed to kiss his hand if they are not foreign entities of the Armenian Church.

    "Let who is without sin cast the first stone."

  65. Cowardly Nature

    It is obvious that you have cowardly nature. You have discussed issues and dictate to people as if you are God. You may not have freedom over there; where I live it is a free country!

  66. Re: Karekin ll

    Do not worry, soon his turn will be the same as Serj & other Oligarchs. Our Nation will get up again & kick Karekin out & force him to resign as he does not deserve to be Catholicos of Armenians & reside in Holy City of Etchmiadzin. Armenians have had enough of tyrants & dictators & it's about time we clear them all from our land.

    1. K2’s Turn…

      I agree with you 100%. At the time we were pushing to dethrone K2, I was told that first Serzh has to go and then K2 will follow.

  67. Let’s build another church…

    Thanks for an edition of the "National Inquirer…"

    Show me a priest who has clean hands! Torkom sold Jerusalem property…he rented other property to brothels… so what's new….? 

    Oh… I know… let's build another church…

    1. Show us the proof

      Show us the proof of your national enquirer claim of Torkom Patriarch and selling of lands. 

    2. Patriarch Torkom Manoogian

      What proof have you that Patriarch Torkom has sold Jerusalem properties? He was a role model within our Armenian clergy as well as Archbishop Zaven Chinchinian of Egypt.

      Probably you are confusing Torkom Patriarch with a previous one?

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