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Armenians seek permission to organize elections of new Patriarch of Constantinople
2019-05-01 13:02:19

Archbishop Aram Ateşhyan, General Vicar of the Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople, and Bishop Sahak Mashalyan, Bishop Sahak Mashalian, the Chairman of the Religious Council, visited the Istanbul Governor’s Office and met with Governor Ali Yerlikaya.

The religious leaders submitted a written application for organizing the elections of a new Patriarch.

Governor Yerlikaya first offered condolences over the demise of Patriarch Mesrob Mutafyan and pledged to get the necessary response from Ankara as soon as possible.

According to the rules of procedure, the application should be forwarded to the Ministry of Interior, which is authorized to allow the election of a new Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople.

The Religious Council decided Tuesday that the process will be organized under the leadership of Archbishop Ateshyan.

The Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople, Archbishop Mesrob Mutafyan passed away on March 8. He was the 84th patriarch of Turkey's Armenian community and succeeded Karekin II in 1998.

Mutafyan, officially known as Mesrob II, began suffering from dementia in 2008 and had been in a vegetative state since then. However, he still officially remained patriarch and archbishop.

Archbishop Aram Atesyan was appointed to serve as Patriarchal Vicar, as Mesrob II had to withdraw from his duties due to his illness. A new patriarch could not be elected as Turkish laws prohibit any elections while a standing patriarch is alive.