Aram Ateşyan, the General Vicar of the Armenian Patriarch of Turkey has resigned, according to a report by Agos weekly.
Armenians in Turkey have been making efforts to initiate the election process for a new Patriarch for quite some time.
According to the traditions of the Armenian Church, the seat of the general vicar should be abolished in order to initiate the election process.
Thought Platform had launched a petition on change.org about the Armenians not being allowed to elect a patriarch for over eight years and requested that Aram Ateşyan resign to launch the election process.
Upon debates among the Armenian society, General Vicar of the Armenian Patriarch, Archbishop Aram Ateşyan came together with executives of some foundations and benefactors today (May 24).
Executives of the foundations attending the meeting have reported that Ateşyan has resigned.
Armenians in Turkey cannot elect their patriarch for over eight years. When spiritual leader of the Armenians in Turkey Patriarch Mesrob II Mutafyan got sick in 2008, the patriarchate elections couldn't be held.
After the two years passing with the discussions "whether the elections will be held", Aram Ateşyan was assigned as General Vicar by the İstanbul Governorship.
It was decided that Patriarch Mesrop II be retired in October 2016, however, no progress was made as to the election.
A new phase started with Spiritual Leader Board Chair Sahak Maşelyan's resignation in February 2017. In the meeting held by the mediators in Armenia, it was decided that the election process be initiated and a sub-governor be elected.
In the elections held on March 15, Spiritual Leader of Armenians in Germany Archbishop Karekin Bekçiyan was elected sub-governor to manage the Patriarch election.
After the election, then General Vicar Aram Ateşyan shared a message from the İstanbul Governorship with the press members:
"Rules and practices concerning the patriarchate election are well known to you and within this scope, initiating an election process is evaluated to be legally impossible".(NV/DG)
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