By Nubar Dorian
“One does not choose one’s subject, one submits to it.” – Gustave Flaubert
Jews, Christians and Muslims all across the universe consider Jerusalem the most histor- ical, meaningful, significant city in the world. Very few, including Armenians, know that some 1,000 acres of the most valuable parcel of land belongs to Armenians, just a little larger than the land owned by Greek and Catholic communities. All three consider their share inviolate, God-ordained and price- less.
Now that the Armenian Patriarch, His Beatitude Torkom Manougian, is seriously ill and unable to function, the situation remains most critical. Most urgent and most fatefully, it is tragic if not incomprehensive to note the complete silence of Armenians, the press, newscasts. No community interest, no debates, no discussions. It is simply left to the pleasure and whim of some three-dozen clergy to determine the future of the Jerusalem Patriarchate. What irony. To leave the fate, the symbolism, the treasure, our most precious heritage and proud possession
is pure folly, if not insanity, in following the dictates of a constitution written decades ago giving full power to the brotherhood, excluding all lay voices, lay input, lay experi- ences and lay participation.
Just take a minute and view the situation. The Primate of the smallest diocese of Armenians was elected by both lay and cler- gy combined. All future plans, future actions are debated, discussed and voted upon. Long ago, there was lack of transportation, lack of funds, lack of education and by-laws and the constitution had to be written accordingly. The Jerusalem Patriachate was to prepare the clergy and attend to the needs of the Armenian community’s religious needs. All that has been drastically changed except for the same old, same old constitution.