OPEN LETTER TO THE PRIMATE, DIOCESAN COUNCIL, BOARD OF TRUSTEES , CLERGY, AND DIOCESAN DELEGATES

Posted on February. 12. 2019

By now, you’ve all received numerous letters, e-mails and phone calls from community leaders, major donors and the community at large expressing their disagreement with the proposed sale of the Diocesan building and the potential erection of a high rise. PERHAPS THE SIMPLICITY OF MY POINTS IN THIS LETTER WILL HELP YOU MITIGATE THE ISSUE. * PLEASE READ THE LETTER IN ITS ENTIRETY.

1. The survivors of the Armenian Genocide who sacrificed for decades to raise money to build the Diocese and St. Vartan Cathedral chose the block where both sit so that there wouldn’t be any buildings overshadowing the cathedral/diocese.                                                                                                                                                                                                                

2. Despite some repairs that need to be made the Diocesan building is very sound  regardless of allegations from those trying to convince others into going along with their plan to sell it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3.The Diocese can also sell air rights without selling its property.                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

4. If the Diocese needs money for repairs there are many avenues to raise/borrow the money without selling the symbolic legacy of the survivors of the genocide.                                

5. Having some knowledge of “the deal” there are also many reasons why knowledgeable people have referred to it as “a bad deal”. It’s obvious that those promoting it haven’t availed themselves of input from those with expertise.

   HERE’S THE REALITY: The President, Senators, and Congressmen are elected to promote the will of their constituents, whether they agree with their positions or not, as should the religious leaders of our church/churches, the Diocesan Council, the Board of Trustees, and the Diocesan Delegates. They need to listen to the community who is totally against the sale of our Diocese and should not promote the will of a few. Everyone feels that there is a need for transparency and a review of other avenues to monetize the Diocese. No Diocesan land should be sold and the Diocesan Council shouldn’t turn a blind eye and deaf ear to the will of the Armenian community – an  unchristian and an undemocratic mindset to say the least.

I hope that this plan is abandoned before the relationship between the community and the aforementioned representatives of our church is irreparably damaged. The ramifications of this deal will also be devastating to our church for years to come. The church is only a building without its parishioners.

Adrienne Alexanian NYC

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