Why is Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem Mute on His Original Demand of Defrocking and Resignation of Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II?

Posted on December. 7. 2019

Executive Publisher/Managing Editor
USA Armenian Life Magazine

During one public statement in 2014 on rampant corruption among such religious leaders as Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians and Western Diocese’ Arch. Hovnan Derderian, Jerusalem Armenian Patriarch Arch. Nourhan Manougian called them “foot lickers.”
In his scathing letter to Karekin II, Arch. Manougian had written: “Your Holiness, if you recall, a few years back, when with great pride – and justly so – you were showing me the beautiful buildings You had erected within the campus of the Mother See? I said to You, that equal to and more important than physical buildings, is reinforcing the spiritual foundation; and You reassured me that this would also happen. … Nevertheless, the time has come to establish that it is the superficial and the financial elements that are important and interesting to You.”
In the 2014 letter, Arch. Manougian called on Karekin II to self-defrock and resign.
Fast-forward to 2019. During the years following his original demand of defrocking and resignation of Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II, Arch. Manougian has been mostly silent.
Did something transpire in favor of Patriarch Manougian through ‘businessmen’ Karekin II and Arch. Hovnan Derderian that might have compelled the Patriarch to retreat from his valid criticism and demand of Karekin II’s resignation, and to distance himself from calling as “foot lickers” Karekin II and his clansmen such as Arch. Derderian?
Are the following developments mere coincidences or covert acts of ‘horse-trading’?

  • A MILLION-DOLLAR ‘GRANT’ TO THE ARMENIAN PATRIARCHATE OF JERUSALEM: Is it a mere coincidence? Or is it a indirect result of backroom dealings by Karekin II with his oligarchic allies in the former Sargsyan government? A while after Patriarch Manougian’s scathing criticism of Catholicos Karekin II’s misbehavior as a religious leader, the government of Armenia’s Former President Serzh Sargsyan issued a million-dollar grant to the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
    The first fundraiser: In late 2018 Arch. Derderian organized a reception and an unpublicized fundraiser for Arch. Manougian’s Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
    The second fundraiser: in late 2019.
    To set the record straight, it’s commendable that one Armenian Christian Brotherhood (Holy See of Etchmiadzin) helping another Brotherhood in a time of need. But when the motive is not clear, it can easily be seen as a hush money indirectly given by the party (Karekin II and Arch, Derderian) that had been targeted with open criticism by the recipient (Arch. Manougian of Jerusalem).
    Since late last year, the situation of corruption and nepotism at Western Diocese has gotten worse, and embattled primate Arch. Derderian’s public standing has deteriorated exponentially because of a litany — a couple dozens of serious of wrongdoings by Derderian and his religious and lay clansmen at the Diocese.
    It’s astonishing how Arch. Manougian who had labeled individuals like Arch. Hovnan Derderian as ‘foot lickers’ only few years ago, now has allowed himself to be closely associated with him in organizing a reception-fundraiser at the Diocese!
    The Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem that has played a providential role in the destiny of the Armenian Nation, during several centuries, deserves much better.
    There is a growing consensus within the American Armenian community that any fundraiser for any purpose involving Arch. Derderian and Karekin II is subject to abuse and mismanagement. It is also deemed as counterproductive.
    The Armenian Patriarchate’s good name and reputation shouldn’t be associated with widely discredited individuals like Karekin II and Arch. Derderian.

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