ISTANBUL (Armenpress) — A welcoming ceremony was organized for elected Locum Tenens Archbishop Karekin Bekjian at St. Mary Church of Istanbul’s Armenian Patriarchate, Agos reported. Apart from Bekjian and Chairman of the Religious Council of the Armenian Patriarchate Bishop Sahak Mashalyan no other cleric attended the ceremony.
Prior to the start of the ceremony, the doors of the church closed and the Patriarchate informed that there was no permission for the ceremony. The doors of the church again opened only after the arrival of Bekjian and Mashalyan. Nearly 50 people attended the ceremony. A prayer was offered for Bekjian following which the Locum Tenens gave a speech, mentioning that “future steps should be taken calmly.”
A meeting is expected to be organized later which will be attended by Bekjian, Mashalyan and General Vicar Aram Ateshian, as well as some other community representatives.
Bekjian returned to Istanbul on April 2. Despite arrangements had been made to host Bekjian at the Patriarchate, he preferred not to go there.