St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral Complex [photo: Aram Arkun]

Community Input Needed Before Deciding Fate of Diocesan Complex


(The following letter, sent to the new Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), Very Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan, and Diocesan Council Chairman James Kalustian, was shared with the Armenian Mirror-Spectator by its author, Hirant Gulian.)

I am sure you know the turbulence in the Armenian community concerning the sale of Diocesan air rights.

Over the past 100 years, the community worked very hard to purchase one of the most valuable properties in New York City and built the Diocesan Center and St. Vartan Cathedral. No one has the right to sell anything without consulting the Armenian community.

Today, the Diocesan Council and its chairman are in the process of selling, or better yet, giving away the blood and sweat of those who sacrificed and made possible the purchase of the Diocesan Complex.

Therefore, it is the Armenian community members who should make the final decision, not the Chairman of the Diocesan Council.

In the United States, like in Armenia, people speak, leaders listen, and those leaders who do not listen to the people will have to resign and go home.

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I have been communicating with community benefactors, delegates, parish council members and other Armenian community members at large — they are all against the sale of the air rights.

Hokeshnorh Hayr Soorp, I respectfully request a Town Hall meeting at the Diocesan Kavookjian Hall and invite members of the community and the leaders of community organizations to acknowledge and discuss the Diocesan Council’s plan.

A decision of this magnitude for the Diocesan Complex and St. Vartan Cathedral cannot be made by a single person without consulting the community leadership and members.

Thank you in advance for your assistance and understanding.

Deacon Hirant Gulian

Member, Knights of Vartan, Inc.

Cliffside Park, N.J.

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