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By Hagop Hagopian, Toronto, 24 June 2023
In the Jerusalem Armenian Patriarchate real estate scandal, the foci of the public’s abomination have been Patriarch Nourhan Manougian and Rev. Baret Yeretsian (now defrocked), director of the Patriarchate’s real estate office. But there’s a third member of the treacherous gang who has remained in the shadows. It’s Archbishop Sevan Gharibian. Although he is a signatory to the criminal “lease”, he has been spared approbation. He has evaded the heat of the scandal because he is in his mid-eighties, is hard-of-hearing, and some people have wanted to assume he was forced to sign the illegal lease.
The true face of Archbishop Gharibian was exposed in a June 23 interview with CNN’s Hadas Gold. The archbishop of falsely sage mien was betrayed by his words as lies, obfuscation, and evasion poured from his crotchety mouth. In other words, he did a good imitation of Patriarch Nourhan and the erstwhile Baret. Acknowledging that a deal had been struck for part of the Armenian Quarter, he claimed “they” were working to cancel it. Incidentally, although the grand sacristan for many years, his command of English is inadequate for the job. The Grand Sacristan is, sort of, foreign minister of the Patriarchate and has to be fluent in several languages, especially English. In Armenian, Grand Sacristan is “Tarkman” (translator).
This is what the “wise old man” said to the reporter:
“We have rented it to the other company that is all. But about 99 years there. But we are doing our best to cancel it if we can."
He said he did “not know” why the land was leased but defended the Patriarch’s silence in the matter.
He continued: “We don’t answer to every question, every talking. Let them talk. Later we will see who is right. Because those people also have their personal trouble with the Convent, you know they want something for some reason, revenge. I don’t know. The body is working about these things. Not everybody must know what they are doing. They will spoil it or destroy it what we are doing.”
There you have it: the eloquent archbishop defends his boss and says people who want to know the content of the criminal deal, which gave away one-fourth of the Armenian Quarter, are driven by self -interest. What about the whole Armenian nation which opposes the deal? Is it also driven by “self-interest”? Perhaps opposing the loss of precious Armenian land falls under the category of self-interest in the tone-deaf lexicon of “barab dagar” (empty barrel) archbishop.
Thank you Mr Hagopian For a start, nourhan is the legally “defrocked” patriarch of St. James. But this Rasputin hangs on because he has not been expelled from the convent. Անհաւատալի: According to news, Sevan has been one of the three volunteer agents of lease of the Armenian church properties. As Sacristan, the votes of the church Synod were required to legitimize any property leases. He had the option to resign and expose the activities of potential property loss of the Armenian community and nation. He chose betrayal. Khachig too elected betrayal of the position he was entrusted with, and chose life of borrowed luxury. The patriarch on the other hand was finally delegitimized by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the Palestinian Authorities, because of his illegal activities of sale of precious lands to occupying authorities, after several attempts to reason with him. While the argument goes that a sitting patriarch’s signature was what the Israeli authorities accept(ed) as legally binding, Nourhan had overstepped his mandate by willingly bypassing the St James church synod required votes. պնակալեզ պահակներ և աշխատաւորներ, մի պահւըտիք, նուրհանը ձեզի ծախած է ձեր գոյգերով: He should be kicked out of the convent revoking his illegal signature on leased documents.
Hagop Hagopian: Thank you for a great article about the “eloquent bishop” who is not well versed in English but he signed the 99 year illicit lease of the Cows’ Garden. Let’s hope that the defence team can use his poor English skills as yet another reason for the illegal lease as he would not have known what he was signing. All of us now recognize Baret Yeretsian as the “defrocked” priest and this title seems to precede his name whenever he is mentioned. King Abdullah of Jordan and Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority no longer recognize Nourhan Manougian as the patriarch. So, why is Nourhan Manougian not called as the “ex patriarch”. He remains in his office against the will of the King of Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, not to mention against the will of all Armenians around the world.