ASIA/TURKEY - Agreement reached on the procedures to elect the new Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople

Thursday, 2 March 2017 oriental churches

Yerevan (Agenzia Fides) - The summit convened in Yerevan (Armenia) by Patriarch Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, to try to resolve the increasingly tangled dispute in place concerning the next election of the Armenian Apostolic Patriarch of Constantinople, reached a common agreement that will lead to elect the successor of Mesrob II Mutafyan, the young and enterprising Patriarch who has been ill since 2008.
The summit between Catholicos Karekin and senior members of the Apostolic Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople - refer official sources of the Catholicosate, consulted by Agenzia Fides - was held on February 23-24, in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. The meetings were attended by three Bishops of the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople: His Eminence Archbishop Aram Ateshian, Patriarchal Vicar General; His Eminence Karekin Bekchian, Primate of the Armenian Diocese of Germany; and His Grace Bishop Sahak Mashalian, Chairman of the Religious Council of the Patriarchate of Constantinople .
The results of the meetings, thanks to the mediation of Catholicos Karekin were the following: before March 15 the Clerical Assembly will hold elections for a Locum Tenens. With the election of a Locum Tenens, the authority of the Patriarchal Vicar General will cease according to Church regulations. The member Bishops of the Brotherhood of the Patriarchate of Constantinople have equal right to nominate their candidacy in the Locum Tenens elections. After the Locum Tenens election the Religious Council will create a commission composed of priests and laymen, as prescribed by law, to organize the transfer of power from the Patriarchal Vicar General to the Locum Tenens. Following the Locum Tenens election, the elections of an Enterprising Committee is held within ten days, according to the accepted procedures of the Patriarchate. In turn, the Enterprising Committee led by the Locum Tenens must organize and conduct within six months, the election of the Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople according to existing procedures. If after a period of six months the Patriarchal elections have not been held, at the invitation of the Religious Council, the Patriarchal Clerical Assembly and the chairmen Assembly of the community institutions, are within their jurisdiction to hold a vote of confidence on the Locum Tenens and the Enterprising Committee . (GV) (Agenzia Fides 02/03/2017)