The Stonewalling Catholicos

Editorial, 1 March 2014

After years of keeping silent and praying that Catholicos Karekin II would mend his wayward ways, many Armenians in Armenia and in the Diaspora finally threw in the towel last summer and made their criticisms of the catholicos public. They circulated petitions, published open letters, wrote articles, convened meetings, flooded websites with their condemnation, and demanded his resignation.

Keghart.com joined the outcry and published, in its August 8, 2013 issue, an editorial titled “Catholicos Karekin II Stands Accused”. The editorial listed such charges as his fraudulent election, the fathering of two children, his lack of spirituality and theological knowledge, limited intellectual capacity, rampant corruption, the illegal control of all the levers of power at Echmiadzin, the unheard of defrocking of nearly 160 archbishops, bishops, clergymen, deacons; and alliance with the Sarkissian regime…some 23 allegations. An unprecedented 41,500 people have read the editorial in Keghart, in addition to an unknown number who’ve read on other websites.

Editorial, 1 March 2014

After years of keeping silent and praying that Catholicos Karekin II would mend his wayward ways, many Armenians in Armenia and in the Diaspora finally threw in the towel last summer and made their criticisms of the catholicos public. They circulated petitions, published open letters, wrote articles, convened meetings, flooded websites with their condemnation, and demanded his resignation.

Keghart.com joined the outcry and published, in its August 8, 2013 issue, an editorial titled “Catholicos Karekin II Stands Accused”. The editorial listed such charges as his fraudulent election, the fathering of two children, his lack of spirituality and theological knowledge, limited intellectual capacity, rampant corruption, the illegal control of all the levers of power at Echmiadzin, the unheard of defrocking of nearly 160 archbishops, bishops, clergymen, deacons; and alliance with the Sarkissian regime…some 23 allegations. An unprecedented 41,500 people have read the editorial in Keghart, in addition to an unknown number who’ve read on other websites.

Five months after the uproar, the catholicos had not responded, although he had had many opportunities to do so. Finally, on January 6, on Armenian Christmas day, Karekin II issued a message to the “Dear and faithful people in Armenia, Artsakh and the Dispersion” wherein he went after his critics.

After tendentiously quoting the Bible—“Teach me the way I should go, Lord, for to you I lift up my soul”–he archly said: “Our Lord proclaimed that truth is a value equal to life. He dispersed the darkness of aimless wanderings and sinfulness with the rays of truth, and granted to men the Holy Spirit so that the path of mankind is established in a life of peace and righteousness—a life founded on love and honesty for one another.” It was surreal to hear the message—words which he should heed before parroting them to his flock.

He reminded us that “Evil has no rest”. Like his corrupt reign? “Evil creates the path when vigilance for the truth is lacking in life, and falsehood finds its collaborators. The beguiling ways of evil are strengthened when man strays from the principles taught by Christ—filling life with falsehoods and distortions…” he said and then he came to the point: “It is thus that the presentation of realities are transformed into intrigues and false evaluations; arbitrary and selfish interpretation in religion, give birth to cults; by the demands of the defense of human rights, society is at times also compelled to adopt behaviors that are contradictory with societal thinking and value structures.” He seemed to be condemning the proliferation of cults in Armenia, but his real targets were his critics.

A petulant Catholicos Karekin II then went for the kill with his inimitable prose: “Freedom of speech is transformed to licentiousness of speech, and testimony becomes the distortion of truth. By distorting the truth, political interests often oppose peace and justice, frenzy to acquire the material and selfish desires oppose mercy and philanthropy, and multiply the conflicts, sorrows, wants and pains in the world…” he opined. Looking at his sumptuous lifestyle, one could ask whether he cares about the pain of his flock and whether he had his tongue firmly pressed against his cheek when he talked of people’s frenzy to acquire material goods and for their selfish desires.

Karekin II also defended a government which has a notional aquaintanship with freedom of speech. As an oligarch, albeit in shiny sutine, he had to defend his secular counterparts. They are the same people who fraudulently made him catholicos.

“In our reality, dear pious faithful, regrettably we also find impropriety and slander, indifference towards the general welfare of the country. Traditional family values are in retreat…Unreserved behavior and insults are regarded as courageous; responsibility is subordinated to rights. Frequently, the right to express one’s personal opinion is wrongly utilized to distort the truth, in order to spread subjective or biased opinions…It is in this mentality that falsehood is veiled with a mask of truth, debate becomes arguments, discussion transforms into scorn and condemnation…” went on his murky, obtuse prose. Picking just one sentence from his portmanteau paragraph: “traditional family values…” KII is certainly qualified to comment on it since he reportedly has two daughters and a brother whom he appointed head of the Nor Nakhichevan diocese in Russia.

Re-read the above impenetrable text and consider that it is being uttered by a man who is accused of committing the very same sins. Rather than disprove the charges leveled against him, the catholicos made, in his Nativity address, broad accusations while cynically dragging in the Bible as his witness and advocate. 

KII’s train of logic chugged along on this track: to guarantee a strong Armenia and to be a member of good standing of the Armenian Apostolic Church, we should keep our eyes shut tight to KII’s shortcomings and that of his clique as well as to the failings of President Sarkissian’s lawless and banal regime. Karekin and Serge, old pals, know what’s best for Armenia, Armenians, and the Apostolic Church. 

The catholicos ended his homily with “Christ is Born and Revealed. Great Things to All.”                   

Wasn’t there something in the Ten Commandments about not taking the name of the Lord in vain?

 

18 comments
  1. Գարեգի Բ.

    Մե՜ղք Հայաստաեայց առաքելական եկեղեցիին, որ այսպիսի ապականած հոգիով ու մտքով աւազակապետ մը բերած  Լուսաւորիչի գահին բազմեցուցած են:

    1. Եթէ այդքան վստահ էք

      Եթէ այդքան վստահ էք ձեր ըրած զրպարտութիւններուն համար ինչ՞ու դատարան չէք դիմեր:

      Ոչխարամիտ Վեհափառներու շրջանին, բազմաթիվ Էջմիածնական թեմեր յափշտակուեցան. ո՞ր աւազակապետներուն մասին է ձեր խօսքը:

  2. Disgusting Article

    Your article "The Stonewalling Catholicos" is disgusting and very shameful. You also criticized our president and the oligarchs. You don't know them; you never talked to them; you don't know how they think, how they behave, why they act and behave the way they do. Your accusations are based on untruths and hatred. You are not the only one. I wonder who gave you the right to interfere in the internal affairs of Echmiadzin. Who gave you the right to decide what kind of cars they drive, what do they eat, what do they drink, that's none of your business.
     
    If our clergymen have decided to study theology, does that mean that they have to drive the cheapest cars, eat rubbish, have no girlfriends? They could have studied business and become billionaires and led a luxurious life but thy chose to study theology. The choice is theirs. Why are you jealous of our clergymen and oligarchs? Our clergymen are made of flesh and blood, just like you.

    Remember that to make good money or become a rich man, you must have talent, and that talent is a gift from God. In other places they describe an oligarch as a rich person who is on the list of the Wealthiest 500, etc. When I hear baseless accusations toward our leaders, I feel sorry for Armenians who think in such a primitive manner. From the beginning of history people have been divided into different classes… working class, nobles, the clergy, etc.

    I am shocked that my people are on their way to the abyss because of the miserable way they think. I can only pray and cry because this is so hopeless, I am afraid that even God will have a tough time to put my people on the right path and grant them their wisdom of the 5th century back.

    Yours faithfully,
    Nicolai Romashuk Hairabedian
     

    1. Blind Guides

      You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.
      Leave them; (Mr. Hairabedian) they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit."
      This is what we have been told by the man only he who claimed that has seen God His father alone.
      I left them alone in their pit with their girlfriends with their Bentleys with their offshore accounts with their custom made homes and gifts in envelopes demanded by them every service they perform (marriage, death and baptism).
      But I am not alone Baron Nicolai Romashuk. The one who had no pillow to put his head on it in this earth, with me. Four thousand and five hundred earthquake survivors are with me while your rich person who is on the list of the Wealthiest 500 was busy to build a cathedral for them in Moscow.
      And here is a last warning for them by who they use his name in vain every day.
      "If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”
      Time is approaching fast.
      Շնորհավոր Բարեկենդան

      Hagop Tarian

      1. Dear Mr.Tarian

        Dear Mr. Hagop Tarian,

        "Only the sun shines for free". Just for your general knowledge, please try to take a look at the Church that the so called oligarch Gagig Dzaroogian has built in Abovian last year. I am very jealous of him. Please help me to disgrace him so that he will never dare build another church, because we do not deserve it.
           
        Nicolai Romashuk Hairabedian

    2. Response to Nicolai Romashuk

      To Mr. Romashuk Hairabedian:

      Ագռաւը որքայն ալ լոգնայ կարապ չի դառնար։

      1. Յարգելի պարոն Պողոս

        Յարգելի պարոն Պողոս Միքաելեան,

        Շատ շատ շնորհակալութիւն ձեր գրած օրինակին համար, ապա թէ ոչ, ամբողջ կեանքիս ընթացքին պիտի հաւատայի թէ, մարդը կապիկից է առաջացեր:

        Նիքօլա Րօմաշուք Հայրապետեան

    3. Reading Nikolai

      After reading Nikolai's comments, I would say that he lacks religious or moral values. Too bad he was born in Jerusalem. He finds nothing wrong with the lifestyle of the corrupt groups who take advantage of  honest and decent citizens.

      You, sir, are not part of the solution but part of the problem.

      1. In the Mirror

        Dear Mr. Sam,

        Please take a look in the mirror. You have even renounced your name under which you were baptized. What follows next?

        Nicolai Romashuk Hairabedian

        1. Renounced My Name?

          I changed my Turkish given name into Terian which is all-Armenian. Your comment shows how petty and shallow some people are,

  3. Tiny Percentage

    Even if a tiny percentage of the accusations/allegations are justified, Catholicos Karekin II should do the right thing and resign. 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, just like 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. Yes, Mr. Mihran

      Yes, Mr. Mihran, If you are appointed judge and replace God, you will have the right to sentence. 

                                            "IF".

      Nicolai Romashuk Hairabedian

  4. Stonewalling Catholicos

    I am grateful to Keghart for the publication of this article. Like you, I singled out the wonderful line: "Traditional family values are in retreat…" Do his two daughters have the same mommy? Somehow, I thought "traditional" Armenian "family values" meant you got married, had babies, and slept in the same bed every night.

    1. Dear Perouz

      Dear Perouz,

      Who Knows? Maybe they have the same daddy. What's wrong with that?

      Nicolai Romashuk Hairabedian

      1. Not Moralizing

        Nicolai,

        At least I am not moralizing Karekin II's conduct, should it be true, whether he has one or many progenies from one or multiple women but simply holding him accountable for the contract he took out of his free will and without duress,  that of poverty and celibacy to best attend to the needs of the flock entrusted to him without being burdened by personal responsibilities and distractions . He seems to have broken his contract and it's natural that those who forfeit their contract bear the responsibility of their act and its consequences.  That is normal course of business conduct.  Would you not agree?

         

        1. Church Not Charity Organization

          Dear Garabed,

          The Church is not a charity organization. The first task of the Church is to prepare seminarians, priests, and bishops to preach Christianity and explain to their flocks about the saints, holidays, about the traditions of the Armenian Apostolic Church, to bless baptism, marriages, funerals, etc. To do all this, the Church needs good transport, good cars… to serve the flock and travel zig-zag from one village to the other.

          If you know Armenia, you should know that Armenia is a mountainous country and is poor. At the moment it has no oil fields, no diamond mines; imports are higher than exports. It's near bankrupt. Thanks to Russia and Iran the inhabitants are surviving the winter months. Please let's look around and see what's going on in Ukraine, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Cyprus, etc.

          When I was young, I read in the Bible: "Increase, multiply and fill the world". Please take a good look at the "Last Supper" and analyse who is sitting on His right.

          It's certain that the sectarians are doing their utmost to ruin our Church, language, and homeland. Take a look, for example at the Jehovah's Witnesses. Do you think they are publishing and spreading  their message in all the languages of the world for free? Who is financing them? Big Brother, of course, a great number of visible and invisible professionals and trained sectarians, are struggling 24 hours a day on payroll to ruin our Church and  steal and brainwash our flock, our political leaders. They have a thirst for power are on a black mission.

          It's not fair to blame the spiritual leader of Armenians. We must search deeper into the Diaspora political leaders, brother murderers and gangsters. They are the only people who must be blamed and sentenced for their catastrophic mistakes.

          Yours faithfully,

          Nicolai Romashuk Hairabedian

  5. Writes like a Lawyer

    Nicolai writes like a lawyer hired to protect the Al Capones of the Church. Are you, sir, being compensated and, like them, have no scruples? It's obvious that you had no Christian upbringing and never read the Bible. What makes it worse is that you were born in Jerusalem.

    1. The Stonewalling Catholicos

      Dear Sam,

      According to the Holy Bible, you are the one who is committing a sin by slandering our spiritual leader, without having any proof. I am ashamed for you and for people like you who call themselves Armenians.
       
      When they were crucifying our Lord Jesus Christ, He said, "Father forgive them, because they don't know what they are doing".

      Do you know Mr. Sam that when I decided to write comments to defend our president or our spiritual leader, I never expected that the Armenian Diaspora consisted of so many neo-Nazis and gangsters.
       
      Nicolai Romashuk Hairabedian

       

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