Keghart.org, 11 May 2023
As predicted in recent articles (“The Two-faced Patriarch” and “The Convenient Scapegoat Called Baret“), Hagop Hagopian’s belief that Patriarch Nourhan would punish Vartabed Baret Yeretsian so as to discourage the Jordanian government and the Palestinian Authority from withdrawing their recognition of the scandalous Patriarch has become reality. The defrocking of Baret has not impressed the two Arab governments. As the below announcement makes it clear, Nourhan’s ploy has fallen flat on its face. Rejected by everyone, he has nowhere to turn to. He has to resign. He has lost all dignity and authority.
Jordan and Palestine decide to freeze the recognition of the Armenian Patriarch Nourhan Manougian
May 11, 2023
Amman – The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the State of Palestine issued a joint statement, today, Thursday, announcing their decision to freeze their recognition of the Armenian Patriarch Nourhan Manougian, as Patriarch of the Armenian Orthodox Church in Jerusalem and the rest of the Holy Land, and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, after many efforts and attempts that did not succeed in correcting the Patriarch’s dealings with the real estate of the Armenian Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem, which is a cultural and human heritage, and a historical part of the mosaic of the Holy City.
The statement stated that the two countries had taken this decision based on the instructions of His Majesty King Abdullah II and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, after Patriarch Manougian took real estate measures and deals that would affect the future of the Holy City, without agreement and consultation with the relevant parties, and without involvement–the Synod and the general body of the Sts. James Brotherhood, as required by law and Church regulations, and his disregard for the calls of Armenian institutions at home and abroad.
The statement indicated that the decision of Jordan and Palestine came after the “deal” related to the Al-Bustan site known as the “Cows’ Garden” and its surroundings, which extends to the “Al-Qishla” building in Bab Al-Khalil, which constitutes a large part of the Armenian neighborhood, as Patriarch Manougian was asked to stop any measures of this would affect the historical and legal status of these properties, which would change their demographic and geographical nature, but he did not respond to any of these demands.
The two sides affirmed that the Armenian Quarter is an integral part of the Old City as occupied territory, to which resolutions issued by the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly apply.
According to the statement, the Executive Council of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has issued several decisions considering the Old City and its walls on the List of World Heritage in Danger, and that Patriarch Manougian’s dealings constituted a clear violation of relevant international covenants and decisions, which aim to preserve the status quo in Jerusalem and the protection of the authentic Jerusalemite Armenian heritage.
الأردن وفلسطين يقرران تجميد الاعتراف بالبطريرك الأرمني نورهان مانوغيان
11 أيار 2023
عمان – أصدرت المملكة الأردنية الهاشمية ودولة فلسطين بيانا مشتركا، اليوم الخميس، أعلنتا فيه قرارهما بتجميد اعترافهما بالبطريرك الأرمني نورهان مانوغيان، بصفته بطريرك الكنيسة الأرمنية الأرثوذكسية في القدس وسائر الأراضي المقدسة والمملكة الأردنية الهاشمية، وذلك بعد جهود ومحاولات عديدة لم تُفلح في تصويب تعامل البطريرك مع عقارات الحيّ الأرمني في البلدة القديمة في القدس، والذي يعد إرثًا حضاريًا وإنسانيًا، وجزءًا تاريخيًا من فسيفساء المدينة المقدسة.
وجاء في البيان أن البلدين قد اتخذتا هذا القرار بناءً على تعليمات جلالة الملك عبد الله الثاني والرئيس الفلسطيني محمود عباس، وذلك بعد أن اتخذ البطريرك مانوغيان إجراءات عقارية وصفقات من شأنها التأثير على مستقبل المدينة المقدسة، دون توافق وتشاور مع الأطراف ذات الصلة، وبدون إشراك “السنود” والهيئة العامة لأخوية مار يعقوب كما يقتضي القانون والأنظمة الكنسية، وتجاهله لنداءات المؤسسات الأرمنية في الداخل وفي المهجر.
وأشار البيان إلى أن قرار الأردن وفلسطين جاء عقب “الصفقة” المتعلقة بموقع البستان المعروفة بـ “حديقة البقر” ومحيطها الذي يمتد إلى بناية “القشلة” في باب الخليل، والتي تشكل جزءًا كبيرًا من الحيّ الأرمني، إذ تمت مطالبة البطريرك مانوغيان بوقف أية إجراءات من شأنها التأثير على وضع هذه العقارات التاريخي والقانوني، والتي ستغير من طابعها الديمغرافي والجغرافي، لكنه لم يستجب إلى أي من هذه المطالب.
وأكد الجانبان أن الحي الأرمني جزء لا يتجزأ من البلدة القديمة باعتباره أراض محتلة، ينطبق عليها قرارات صادرة عن مجلس الأمن الدولي وعن الجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة ومنها قرارات مجلس الأمن 1515، 476، 338، 242، 2334، وغيرها من القرارات الدولية ذات العلاقة.
ووفق البيان فإن المجلس التنفيذي لمنظمة الأمم المتحدة للتربية والعلم والثقافة (اليونسكو) قد أصدر قرارات عدة باعتبار البلدة القديمة وأسوارها ضمن قائمة التراث العالمي المهدد بالخطر، وأن تعاملات البطريرك مانوغيان شكلت مخالفة صريحة للمواثيق والقرارات الدولية ذات العلاقة، التي تهدف إلى الحفاظ على الوضع القائم في القدس وحماية الإرث الأرمني المقدسي الأصيل.
Գարեգին Բըըը-ն եթէ փչացած է, ինչո՞ւ Նուրհան, Պարէտ, Եզրաս, Պարգեւ, Նաւասարդ, Միքայէլ, Բագրատ, Աբգար, Գէորգ Սարոյեան, Ասողիկ Կարապետեան եւ դեռ տասնեակներով սքեմաւոր անամօթներ չփչանան: Զարմանալի է սակայն նուիրապետական միւս Աթոռներուն եւ անոնց գահակալներուն կապիկի երեք դիրքերու որդեգրումները: Մի՞թէ բոլորով միասին չէ Հայ Առաքելական Եկեղեցւոյ սուրբ մարմինը, որ այսօր պղծուած է վերը յիշուած եւ չյիշուած անպիտան բազմաթիւ արարածներով: Համազգային եկեղեցական ժողովի մը գումարումը անյետաձգելի է՝ Հայ Առաքելական Եկեղեցին դուրս բերելու այս մահաքունի վիճակէն: Կարգալուծութեամբ հարց չի լուծուիր. վնաս պատճառած բոլոր արարածները պէտք է պատժուին, նուազագոյնը՝ պէտք է մինչեւ իրենց ներքին հագուստները ունեզրկուին՝ ի զգուշացում աղտոտ գործերու մէջ մտնելու գայթակղութիւն ունեցողներուն:
FINALLY the deed is done. Where was Etchmiadzin in condemning these thefts, and joining the Palestinian authority and the kingdom of Jordan?
This was inevitable. The disgraced Patriarch has to resign. There is no alternative. This is not a matter of being called back! He has to show remorse for his actions or he will be the target of persecution by his own community. His flock has lost faith in him. His mideast/arab partners do not trust him. He has broken over 600 years of history and presided over leasing of historic Armenian lands. There is no turning back until he himself repents.
Despite unprecedented and massive demonstrations in recent days against him at the center of the Armenian Convent, Nourhan remains obdurate and in an infantile denialist mode. Together with his hired hands (a number of priests whom he recently promoted–read receiving bigger salaries), he issued a statement two days ago declaring his innocence, asserted everything was being done legally, and that he couldn’t comprehend the actions of the Jordanian and Palestinian governments. Reminds one of the Three Monkeys: Didn’t do, didn’t say, didn’t hear. Now that scapegoat Khachig (ex-Rev. Baret Yeretsian) has been allowed to flee to Turkey, everything is in order: justice, legality, and peace have descended upon the Good Ship Patriarchate headed by the corrupt and treacherous Nourhan.
An option: The community should excommunicate Nourhan. No one deals with him, talks with him: from the people who cook for him to people who clean his palace and clothes. The Patriarchate comes to a standstill.
There’s only one explanation as to why Nourhan dares ignore the local Armenian community, world Armenian public opinion, condemnation by overseas Armenian clergy, and the governments of Jordan and Palestine. The answer is obvious: he is backed by the Israeli Occupational authorities who are hungry for Armenian lands in their “Judaization” designs of Jerusalem. To plea to Israeli courts is a waste of time, energy, and money when the “justice” system is part of the Zionist occupational government.
Thank you Hovan for such an accurate statement. The silence of Etchmiadzin speaks volumes on this subject. Is the Catholicos getting his share from Patriarch Nourhan? Who is leasing Armenian church properties in Jerusalem?
I spent a week at a time in Jerusalem in 2012. My third visit was in October of that year. I met a man who was from the U.K. of a noble family. He told me he had been negotiating a deal for the property in question with Rev. Koosan, who allegedly along with Nourhan had the authority to make such a deal. This took place before the elections for patriarch had taken place. I reported what I learned to a member of the St. James Brotherhood, which I was told put an end to that deal.
That same year Nourhan paid a visit to Turkey. He and his delegation investigated over 900 properties that were willed over to the church. On his return, Nourhan proclaimed that those properties needed to be sold and the funds would be invested in an income generating hotel. Whether this happened or not, I don’t know. Nevertheless, it shows a pattern of who Nourhan is. This trip to Turkey and his declaration took place before he was elected patriarch.
I should mention that the former patriarch Torkom Manoogian was my uncle. He opposed any deals with the property in question. When he suddenly fell ill in the beginning of 2012, Nourhan did everything in his power to make sure my uncle remained in the hospital and later, in hospice care, claiming that my uncle was in a comma. When I arrived after he had been hospitalized for a week, according to the official medical report, he had a sudden recovery and came out of his comma. The church refused to issue a statement to reflect this change. They also refused to allow my uncle’s return to the monastery, to which his doctor had agreed. There was even a room that years before was specifically dedicated to care for clergy in such conditions. Their refusal prompted my uncle’s doctor to write me and state that it appears the church does not want him.
Against the instructions of another of my uncle’s doctors my uncle was kept in ICU for months. The doctor advised me that my uncle was stable and keeping him in ICU posed the risk of catching something deadly in the ICU environment, unrelated to what he had been hospitalised for. Eventually, they placed him not in a room in the monastery, as he wanted and we and some members of the brotherhood were trying to, but in the Franciscan’s hospice facility. Very few went to visit him other than Aris Serpazan and a seminarian I made friends with, who took audio messages and reported back to me on his condition.
The day before my uncle passed away, he had been given a blood transfusion in the hospice facility, instead of transporting him to the hospital, as such a procedure would have called for. This resulted in blood poisoning, which ended up taking his life.
On the morning he passed, we went at the start of visiting hours to see him and were greeted at the door by the head of the Franciscan church. He asked, “didn’t they tell you?” The Franciscans had called the Armenian Church hours earlier to report that something happened, and my uncle was bleeding to death. Rather than calling us, they called for a meeting of the brotherhood to discuss what they would do following the Patriarch’s death. I rushed into the room my uncle was in, to find him alone in a pool of his blood. His body was still warm. No one from the Armenian church was there. I called the church, and they sent over someone with a clean robe. They did not console us nor talk to us, as if we were their enemies.
Later I talked to the doctor at the Franciscan hospice and one thing he said was that no one looked into how my uncle got sick in the first place. This reminded me of someone at the monastery who was angry at me for insisting to have my uncle return there. He said, “why do you want him to return, so they will poison him again?!”
I insisted autopsy be performed. Nourhan objected and Rev. Koosan, ordered that my uncle’s organs be removed.
These facts make me wonder if Nourhan was one of those involved in the original poisoning of my uncle as I was told happened, and maybe also the botched blood transfusion that took his life?