ISTANBUL (Agos) — The process of Istanbul Armenian patriarchal election has accelerated after the resignation of Sahak Mashalyan, the head of the Clerical Assembly of the Patriarchate. On February 16, 13 people including Vicar General Archbishop Aram Atesyan, Sahak Masalyan, Dikran Gülmezgil, Erol Ergan, Melkon Karaköse, Hayk Aslanyan, Vasken Barin, Cezo Tas, Efrim Bag, Kevork Okçu and Hrant Moskofyan, signed a protocol. It was announced that the election would be held on May 28 and that Ateshyan would continue to serve as the vicar throughout this process.
The secret meeting that was held before the meeting of VADIP (Cooperation and Consultation Platform for Foundations), foundation chairs and executives and the imposed protocol resulted in severe criticisms.
Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II reacted to the protocol that was signed during the secret meeting, stating that the item concerning the vicarship of Atesyan is against procedure and therefore he summoned Ateshyan and Mashalyan to Echmiadzin for consultations on February 21.
According to the protocol, the Clerical Assembly was supposed to choose a deghabah (trustee) today and the election of new Patriarch will be held on May 28, 2017 and the process is explained as follows.
“Recent developments concerning the patriarchal election lead our society to conflicts with unpredictable outcomes. Wise people of our society, Their Eminences Archbishop Aram Ateshyan and Bishop Sahak Mashalyan came together and issued a protocol that will bring peace until the election.
A deghabah (trustee) will be chosen among the esteemed clerics on February 17.