NEW YORK – Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), announced unexpectedly this week that he would not seek reelection at the upcoming Diocesan Assembly from May 3 to 5 in Westchester, New York.
In a letter to Diocesan delegates and parish council chairs made public on April 27, Archbishop Barsamian, the longest serving Primate in the history of the Diocese, declared, “As the election has neared, I have found myself feeling increasingly anxious, even though I recognize that there is support for my candidacy. But the thought that keeps returning to my mind and heart is that the time has come for me to make space for someone else to lead this great Diocese. … I regret the sudden nature and timing of this news.”
According to the April 27 Diocesan communique accompanying the letter, his primacy will end in early May but what happens next is as yet unclear. The election might go forward as scheduled, or it might be postponed, with the election or appointment of a locum tenens in the short term, while “a suitable set of candidates would be assembled.”
The path to be taken should be clarified at the latest by the 116th Diocesan Assembly next week.
For the official Diocesan communique and a copy of the letter of announcement, click here.