Tuesday, 20 August

Armenian Primate of Cyprus: ‘I really can’t say if the Bishops Synod will discuss the Kjoyan offshore scandal story’

Hetq speaks with Archbishop Varujan Hergelian about the challenges facing Armenia and the role of the Church in resolving them. The Cypriot Primate is in Armenia to attend the Bishops Synod in Etchmiadzin.

- Your Holiness, what’s you opinion of the situation in Armenia today.

-  It’s not good. We visited the border villages in Tavoush Province and met with the people and students of the main schools. We saw the reality on the ground – the roads, the water shortages. The government, with the leverage of the Church, must provide more improvements so that the people’s concerns are addressed. Those people are prey to Turkish bullets. They have electricity issues, school and job problems. The schools should be free. The government, along with the Church, must improve social conditions so that people don’t leave their communities. It’s our border. I saw that in some areas almost 75% of villages have been emptied. If such a trend continues, only grandmas and grandpas will be left to defend the border.

- What are the mistakes that have caused such a situation?

- We all know it’s a result of the government and its policies regarding the homeland. We must put a stop to all those monopolies that have been given to some people. People must be free to work. Anyone who lives in the homeland must be free to conduct business and work, but they also have certain obligations, like paying taxes, etc. This is the meaning of freedom. Otherwise our people will leave the homeland. And we are seeing this happen.

- Has the Cypriot Armenian community discussed the offshore scandal here in Armenia in which Archbishop Navasard Kjoyan has been implicated?

- No. We have no idea about what happened. We only know as much as you do. We didn’t even know that some people conducted such transactions in Cyprus. We don’t know the amounts that were transferred and deposited in Cypriot banks, two of which have gone bankrupt. Our church held reserves funds in them and we also incurred losses.

- Armenians in Cyprus generally don’t have close connections to the Church. It’s only a small circle of concerned faithful that attend services. The number of mixed marriages has also increased.

- Your Holiness, I had asked you about a certain high ranking Church clergyman. Did you ever meet him in Cyprus?

- Never. The only people that visited the Diocese were His Holiness Bozabalyan and Martikyan. Recently, His Holiness Parkev and some priests came to visit.

- In other words, our diaspora clergymen aren’t interested in developments in Armenia, especially church matters.

- We only get information via the television or from individuals visiting Cyprus. And we don’t know if what they tell us is true or not. These issues must be discussed on both sides. We’ve never had such an opportunity and I think I never will. I am here in Armenia now and no one has approached me in this direction.

- Don’t you think that the matter should be raised in the Bishops Synod? Why hasn’t the offshore scandal matter been discussed at the meeting?

- We still have time. There are two main issues for us to debate – the sanctification procedure and the meaning of baptism. During the first session we will discuss the challenges facing the Church. If that specific issue is raised or not, I can’t say.


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Comments (1)
1. Mihran23:49 - 26 September, 2013
The crooks and thugs don't want your opinion just your money. Armenia will be emptied under serzh and karekin the two unelected people who have ruined Armenia.
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