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Have our spiritual leaders lost their moral compass?

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  • #81
    Re: Have our spiritual leaders lost their moral compass?

    A Church that is All Business

    http://en.aravot.am/2012/10/30/125276 October 30 2012

    by Denis Donikian


    We can often be heard cursing the current leadership in Etchmiadzin. This
    probably won't change for a long time to come, at least until the church
    stops paying lip service to its intended evangelical message and instead
    puts this message into action in its everyday thoughts and actions. My
    novel *Vidures *describes this phenomenon in detail. The minute that a
    spiritual institution gives precedence to the institutional over the
    spiritual, you can be sure that it has completely distorted its true and
    proper vocation. And in Armenia, a Christian nation where one constantly
    repeats the now rather hollowed expression *tsavet danem *(*Let me take
    your pain from you*) and where a philosophy of every man for himself has
    completely eclipsed any type of altruistic behavior, it seems somehow sadly
    fitting that the Church be concerned with money rather than the wellbeing
    of its flock.

    In the current phase of its history this Church, which is dipping its wick
    in the century's xxxxhole, can hardly expect to enlighten anyone on the
    Orthodox faith without either being stupidly blind or blissfully
    nationalistic. Its parakeets in gold vestments continue to revel in magic
    and incantatory formulas that people seem to be so fond of, but far from
    seducing God, all they are really doing is widening the gap from which a
    strong odor of ethnocentrism emerges. We rarely see them drag their
    polished shoes to poor Armenian neighborhoods, for fear that they may have
    to share the latter's soup with them. Instead we see them, standing
    side-by-side those who have stolen the country's money, blessing weapons,
    fruit and newly built constructions, whatever it takes in order to bless
    money-making concerns. Yesterday it was apricots at the opening of a film
    festival. And who knows? Tomorrow it may be a Barbie doll at the Miss
    Armenia competition. The fall has been so steep. And yet=85

    An anecdote. One fine day the director of Etchmiadzin's affairs has the
    Caholicos' car prepared for a trip. Not a Bentley like the one owned by the
    Archbishop Navasard Kchoyan, who is in charge ofYerevanand the Southern
    half of Ararat province, no. The South is poor and a Bentley reeks of
    wealth. And one musn't show off one's wealth too much. On the agenda today
    is a tour of the construction site of the Tatev funicular, as the
    legitimate owner of the lands where the former is being built. But on the
    way there, the large right hemisphere of the church's autocephalic
    representative, decides to stop along the way and break bread in a local
    restaurant, where he can mingle with the populace and also cop a free meal
    along the way in exchange for a papal blessing. Then he has an even better
    idea: why not invite the heads of the Italian company actually building the
    funicular so that they can narrate their progress as he scans the menu.
    The Italians take their leave=85disheartened: `They say that we complain a
    lot about our Pope. But compared to yours, he is a Saint.' Need one say
    more?

    For all that, the Director of business in Antelias, or the Small Left
    Hemisphere of the autocephalic Apostolic church, isn't shy about giving out
    its blessings either. As long as they bring in some cash. And for all one
    knows, perhaps a papal understanding exists between him and his Big Brother
    in Etchmiadzin in order to build a new church, Sourp Garabed, right in the
    middle ofLas Vegas, the world gambling capital, the world capital of all
    sorts of excesses. Poor Garabed, if only you could see the quagmire that
    they've buried your sainthood in! Little Left Hemisphere has already won
    the day by consecrating the foundations, probably in the hopes of later
    pocketing substantial dividends. A sign of the cross - it's like magic! Even
    though the church proffers benedictions, it also needs to know how to
    monetize them in order to keep its standard of living and carry out God's
    plan. And financial manna doesn't fall from heaven with any greater force
    than inLas Vegas, since money reproduces faster there than bread in the
    hands of Jesus Christ. In thisDisneylandof cardboard and dollar bills,
    Sourp Garabed may yet add a lowly touch of Armenianness to this artificial
    and pompous world, one filled with vile taste and lost souls.

    But before this, Big Right Hemisphere, who some mean-spirited anticlerics
    have renamed The Director of the National and Celestial Bank of
    Etchmiadzin, had his own ideas about how to profit from the situation.
    Otherwise what money would he use to build his branch offices in Yerevanat
    the crossing of Abovian and Sayat Nova streets. Only one solution came to
    mind: make off with the European parishes, especially those whose patronage
    extend to the great banks, casinos, hotels and families. Like those in
    Brussels, or Geneva, or why not the one in Nice which is the second oldest
    Armenian Apostolic church in Franceafter the Cathedral in Paris' Rue
    Goujon. Azuredly in this part of the coast, our Director tells himself
    rubbing his hands together, with the Sun's help and the cicadias buzzing to
    their hearts' content, the Angels will join in and everyone will blindly
    respect the MotherChurch`that has played such a crucial role in the
    millennial history of the Armenian people. Hence it is enough for our
    church to demand completely blind allegiance for their flock to do
    everything it can to obey without ever revolting. Hence the members of the
    Nice Cultural Association were expected to simply accept statutes that
    would be summarily imposed on all parishes and in a way that would devolve
    all powers (spiritual, political, representative and administrative) to
    ecclesiastical authorities. During a general assembly, where they did
    however accept a negotiated compromise, parishioners rejected this
    proposal, rare Armenians for whom Armeniameans everything=85but they did not
    reject every single thing. Since people in high places felt that this
    outcome was inadequate, they sent the parish a former priest from the
    parish itself, a certain V.A. whose apostolic duty seemed to lie in him
    raping all the members of the parish. But one still would have needed to
    give them a child, that is to say put them at the behest of Etchmiadzin. In
    the following weeks, this V.A., aided by a few sycophants he had recruited
    as doormen from the gorilla cage from God knows which public zoo, took on
    the mantle of some petty little dictator, separating, on Earth as in
    heaven, those parishioners who were worthy of entering their own church,
    from the others - which included the President of the cultural association!
    And that is how the Nice parish was transformed into a zone where no rights
    exist. In short, a mini version of Armeniaemptied out of any sense of
    justice whatsoever, celestial or temporal, and emptied as well of any
    evangelical compassion, where the average citizen has no choice but to fall
    to his knees and put him or herself at the mercy of the more powerful.
    Master Catholicos, upon being informed of this certain V.A.'s actions
    pouted and remained perched from in his lofty heights. As for the
    Primate-who-transmited-information, he declared: `Accept the statutes that
    we introduced or step down!' A clear indication of how much one these
    blessers of apricots really care for their flock! Moving forward, both
    V.A. and the primate used every known method of harassment and
    intimidation - none was too great: sabotage, threats of excommunication, a
    forced coup d'état, insults and even bodily harm and attacks=85In short, they
    acted like pugilists who enjoyed attacking. Arrests occurred, followed by
    resignations. The only response by the Primate to help this now
    traumatized parish was to appoint a commission to replace the Nice parish
    council. As a response to all these attacks against it, the latter
    requested the appointment of an ad hoc administrator from the Nice High
    Court - Xavier Huertas was thus appointed on July 10th, 2010. As one might
    imagine, the General Asembly that Huerta organized was not to the Primate's
    liking. Then, the Primate's illegal committee ignored and superseded the
    Nice court, under the pretext of changing the Nice cultural association's
    statutes! In March 2011, the newspaper Nice-Matin got involved in the
    matter, underlining all of V.A.'s criminal activities in the matter, and
    during their inquiry revealed that within the Russian mafia there existed
    an Armenian mafia which was implicated in sordid dealings such as money
    laundering and high class prostitution. Starting then, the merely shameful
    turned into the scandalous. The Catholicos' emissary, father K.K.,
    interrupted a mass so that he could order the parish's elected treasurer to
    leave stage area where candles are lit. And then this same K.K. celebrated
    the Mass of the Nativity in the Catholic church of Saint Peter of Arena
    rather than Saint Mary's Armenian Apostolic Church under the pretext that
    the latter was too small, the real reason being that he then instituted a
    new cultural association. Since then, father K.K. leaves Saint Mary's
    presbytery where he lives, in order to lead Armenian apostolic mass at
    Saint Phillip's Catholic Church. As for the Parish Council, it had to call
    on Father Sahag all the way from Moscow so that he could officiate at Saint
    Mary's, over the objections of the ecclesiastical authorities.

    The next visit of the Catholicos of all Armenians will perforce be
    problematic. But I suppose that the man must have something in mind. To
    mollify the most fragile of the parishioners and to present himself as a
    conciliatory spirit, as a means of reaching his ends. Either way, in the
    long run, Etchmiadzin's strategy is to count on even the most ardent
    dissidents becoming tired and discouraged, in the hopes that it can deal
    itself another, more profitable hand.

    (One may consult the file on the Armenian Apostolic Church parish of
    Nice-Côte-d'Azur on the internet at the following address:*[*
    http://www.eglisearmeniennenice.org/...ion/index.html.)

    Since the new statutes were meant to be imposed on all Apostolic Armenian
    European parishioners, anywhere that lay people sought to avoid the
    Etchmiadzinification of the parish and conserve a minimum amount of
    autonomy, explosive situations broke out. In Brussels and Geneva, for
    example, the exact same things occurred as sin Nice, although on a less
    excessive scale. Until then the Ecclesiastical Assembly of Geneva was
    simply following the traditions and rules of the Church which had been for
    centuries based on a democratic process. In this tradition, the lay
    Assembly decides on its system of organization, including its institutions,
    finances and the role of its priest. But in its desire to impose the
    Diocese in the entire diaspora, the Catholicos sought to impose his sole
    authority everywhere. And so thanks to the Vehapar, after numerous
    exchanges, parishioners in Geneva were deprived of the services of their
    priest who was abusively defrocked, as well as of their ability to choose,
    their right to organize, of its attaché in Etchmiadzin. Today they are
    deeply disillusioned and worried about the absence of charity, tolerance
    and compassion that this incident has revealed; disillusioned as well by a
    Church empty of any spiritual values, and by a pontiff who has forgotten
    that he was elected in order to act as the Catholicos of all Armenians.

    One can accept that the Mother Church would like to impose a certain
    statuary unity to all of the diaspora's churches. But shouldn't it have
    prepared such change in consultation with the lay members of the church? In
    fact the differences, not to say the hostility, that exists between the
    Catholicos and the parishioners in the diaspora can be explained by
    cultural differences. The lay people in Geneva, Brussels, Nice and
    elsewhere, although they are all Armenian, have a different mindset from
    Armenians in Armenia proper. If one's Apostolic faith transcends all other
    differences, each person's presence in the world is unique due to one's
    history, geographic location, and one's adopted culture. Given this fact,
    the Church would have been wiser to keep its own cultural prerogatives to
    itself and let the lay people define and form the cultural aspects of their
    religion. Today these same lay people find themselves commanded to give up
    their identities, their church locales - everything that they and their
    parents built up themselves. Given this fact, resistance was inevitable. To
    the extent that lay and religious people form one organic whole, the roles
    that each play should be mutually respected. A transitory period was needed
    in order to dialogue and divide up roles. Instead it seems that the Church
    had decided to take over all powers and reduce practitioners to complete
    submission, transforming the latter into a virtue.

    However under the guise of an apparent normalization of all parishes, which
    one might understand, one detects hidden intentions of the most purely
    political nature. These are tantamount to the transfer of power and goods
    from the lay to the religious. In other words, nothing has changed. The
    Church seems to be playing the same tune as the Armenian state when the
    latter believes that the diaspora must remain submitted, mute and inert
    with no influence whatsoever on Armenia, except as a source of financial
    manna. When one knows that the Church does all it can not to contradict the
    State, and does even less to bring up its terrible treatment of the poor in
    Armenia, it is because the relationship between the two institutions goes
    beyond collusion to the point that they exchange one favor for another. You
    authorize me to teach religion in schools, I will move into your diaspora
    parishes in order to help manage your goods. In fact, all of these stories
    demonstrate that the Armenian State, by using the Church and soon by
    manipulating information itself, is attempting to control the diaspora, or
    at the very least to divide it in order to conquer it. For Armenia's great
    fear is that the Diaspora will one day be organized enough to influence its
    own decisions. Hence the representatives of the Armenian church in Europe
    would one day become channels to transmit and relay the wishes of the
    Armenian state. Once this happens, the rising critics of the country's
    disastrous management will no longer be able to express themselves freely.
    Impeded as they will be by the voice of the Armenian church - parishioners
    will have only one choice - to shut up.
    Plenipotentiary meow!

    Comment


    • #82
      Re: Have our spiritual leaders lost their moral compass?

      But the saddest part of all of this lies in the complete disarray that
      parishioners find themselves in. Their suffering is but the reflection of
      the church's pathology. Torn between a love of their church and the
      pathetic behavior of its representatives, between their faith and the
      political ends that their religion is being used for, they no longer
      recognize themselves within the context of their nation or within its
      religious institution which behaves like a monarchy of divine right by
      dictating to all its codes of behavior under threat of expulsion. Those
      who thought that their Church would teach the compassion that is so cruelly
      missing today in Armenia will have instead witnessed with their own eyes
      its cupidity and intolerance unleashed. They will have witnessed a priest
      who is the leader of a violent gang. Another who interrupts his mass under
      the guise of a punishment in order to scold a parishioner assigned to sell
      candles, as if the latter were a temple merchant. Because what one can see
      in no other church in the world, one can witness in ours! A picture to
      bring tears of blood to Christ's eyes.

      P.S.

      1): It would be wrong to accuse us by reducing the contents of this
      article to a systematic attack and belittling of the Armenian Apostolic
      Church. We recognize without a shadow of a doubt the immense amount of work
      that it has accomplished throughout the course of Armenian history in order
      to maintain its unity and spirituality within often hostile conditions. But
      one must also recognize, all evidence to the contrary, that its political
      function has overtaken its initial vocation and that today it finds itself
      in complete contradiction with its mission. The proliferation of sects in
      Armenia will suffice to prove our point.

      2) Out of respect for our reader, we hesitated before posting this text.
      Because it is not hard to see that what we observed in the Nice parish has
      some shades of grey to it. In that affair, no one was safe from the
      multiple and insidious manipulations that led to the current situation.
      Beginning with the manipulators themselves. Since we could not investigate
      on the spot, we cannot claim to have been completely thorough in our
      coverage. But the spirit of the events at hand has been completely
      respected.

      3) The CCAF's call to welcome the Catholicos during his upcoming trip to
      the Nice region demonstrates that this organization is acting within its
      usual role when it stigmatizes parishioners in order to respect a certain
      idea of the Armenian state. Just as I am acting within mine when I defend a
      certain notion of human rights. For the CCAF, which worries about the
      cultural and religious sights with rotten luck, the Armenian church
      represents first and foremost a historical and nationalistic institution.In
      this way, one should help it to bring people together by rejecting all
      those who might divide it. And no one has any idea by what sleight of hand
      usually peaceful parishioners should have becomes crazed fomenters of
      discord within their own community. Yet the Armenian Church as it exists
      today elicits feelings ranging from respect to suffering. Respect when it
      comes to its eminent role in past Armenian history. Suffering when one
      witnesses how it treats its illuminatory vocation today. By seeking to
      reject any divisions within the diaspora, the church seeks to impose its
      own influence. But its lack of exemplariness, not to mention its
      indifference to saintliness, are not without consequences. To begin with,
      it falls into the hands of other, competing religions. By losing ground in
      Armenia and the diaspora, it is the Armenian nation which disintegrates.
      And the CCAF, obsessed by a legitimate desire for unity which it confused
      with uniformity, in truth acts against the church's bets interests. In
      short, by letting the Catholicos exert his power over a part of the
      Armenian community, the CCAF also acts against the diaspora itself.
      Starting with itself. Because soon, after the creation of the Ministry of
      the Diaspora whose goals are blurry, servants of doubtful intentions, and a
      Church that acts in a Totalitarian manner, other emissaries of the state
      will arrive to complete their work and spread their influence and rigidity.
      Today it is in the realm of the religious. But tomorrow it will be in the
      realm of information. Trying by way of propaganda to manipulate, counteract
      or torpedo this same CCAF's aspirations to become a united political power.

      Denis Donikian http://denisdonikian.wordpress.com/c...-viva-armenia/

      Translated by CA
      Plenipotentiary meow!

      Comment


      • #83
        Re: Have our spiritual leaders lost their moral compass?

        Nothing new there. The armenian church is starting to behave like any other religious institution. Atleast the sexual abuse of young boys is not like the catholic fiasco.
        Hayastan or Bust.

        Comment


        • #84
          Re: Have our spiritual leaders lost their moral compass?

          You Won't Have St. Valentine's Day
          Artur Remyan

          http://www.lragir.am/index.php/eng/0/society/view/28943
          Society - Friday, 15 February 2013, 15:37

          This year too, St. Valentine's Day was accompanied with timid
          confessions of lovers and church's swaggering. The attitude of the
          church towards the day of love can't be justified by religious views,
          because no religious issue is discussed on that day. The day of love
          is a commercial holiday which can't be controlled. In Armenia, the
          church has either tried to be a state model or coalesced with the
          state copying the attitudes of the ruling class. While European
          religious fathers retire, former kings in Armenia are psychologically
          unable to leave the throne. The wish to rule people is not determined
          by ambitions but commercial appetite, which makes the church fight
          against St. Valentine's Day or rather against the day of love as a
          symbol of treacherousness. The commercial government accepts only
          calculations excluding any type of ideological or sentimental context.
          While if many dwell on the emigration issue on any occasion, for the
          commercial government, it is found out to be tolerable. Let's view its
          reasons. 1. This government system is unable to provide the population
          with income received from jobs because there are no relevant measures.
          Citizens without honest and competitive jobs become a burden for the
          country because they hinder the clans and monopolies to enjoy the
          resources and appropriate investments. The process of creating jobs
          becomes artificial and the salary gets far from the consumer basket.
          Shortly, the fewer the participants are, the more the income will be.
          2. The increasing population in Armenia and its deteriorating social
          situation decreases the rating of the country raising issues about the
          fair and unfair distribution, undermining the calmness of the
          commercial government. The ideal composition of the population for the
          government is the following: 80% transfers money and 20% receives it.
          At the same time, ideal conditions are created for disappointment and
          emigration of the active part of the society because they, as a rule,
          are also active demanders. 3. The money allocated to the media and
          other ideological structures is a sacrifice for such a government
          aimed at suppressing public moods and eliminating them at all, which
          is inevitable because the final purpose of the commercial government
          is to eliminate every attempt of public freedom. Weakening control is
          fraught with collapse of the system and for this reason all kinds of
          institutions, including the church, are engaged in the `sacred' task
          of control. By the way, the real function of all the institutes,
          including the church, is to love and serve people. Dear Armenian
          citizen, you will not have a St. Valentine's Day as long as it goes
          on, because your country does not love you...
          Plenipotentiary meow!

          Comment


          • #85
            Re: Have our spiritual leaders lost their moral compass?

            Yeh just look at the love USA citizens get from their country lol.
            Originally posted by bell-the-cat View Post
            You Won't Have St. Valentine's Day
            Artur Remyan

            http://www.lragir.am/index.php/eng/0/society/view/28943
            Society - Friday, 15 February 2013, 15:37

            This year too, St. Valentine's Day was accompanied with timid
            confessions of lovers and church's swaggering. The attitude of the
            church towards the day of love can't be justified by religious views,
            because no religious issue is discussed on that day. The day of love
            is a commercial holiday which can't be controlled. In Armenia, the
            church has either tried to be a state model or coalesced with the
            state copying the attitudes of the ruling class. While European
            religious fathers retire, former kings in Armenia are psychologically
            unable to leave the throne. The wish to rule people is not determined
            by ambitions but commercial appetite, which makes the church fight
            against St. Valentine's Day or rather against the day of love as a
            symbol of treacherousness. The commercial government accepts only
            calculations excluding any type of ideological or sentimental context.
            While if many dwell on the emigration issue on any occasion, for the
            commercial government, it is found out to be tolerable. Let's view its
            reasons. 1. This government system is unable to provide the population
            with income received from jobs because there are no relevant measures.
            Citizens without honest and competitive jobs become a burden for the
            country because they hinder the clans and monopolies to enjoy the
            resources and appropriate investments. The process of creating jobs
            becomes artificial and the salary gets far from the consumer basket.
            Shortly, the fewer the participants are, the more the income will be.
            2. The increasing population in Armenia and its deteriorating social
            situation decreases the rating of the country raising issues about the
            fair and unfair distribution, undermining the calmness of the
            commercial government. The ideal composition of the population for the
            government is the following: 80% transfers money and 20% receives it.
            At the same time, ideal conditions are created for disappointment and
            emigration of the active part of the society because they, as a rule,
            are also active demanders. 3. The money allocated to the media and
            other ideological structures is a sacrifice for such a government
            aimed at suppressing public moods and eliminating them at all, which
            is inevitable because the final purpose of the commercial government
            is to eliminate every attempt of public freedom. Weakening control is
            fraught with collapse of the system and for this reason all kinds of
            institutions, including the church, are engaged in the `sacred' task
            of control. By the way, the real function of all the institutes,
            including the church, is to love and serve people. Dear Armenian
            citizen, you will not have a St. Valentine's Day as long as it goes
            on, because your country does not love you...
            Hayastan or Bust.

            Comment


            • #86
              Re: Have our spiritual leaders lost their moral compass?

              What has the Armenian Church got against this guy to have gone to all the effort to get him excluded from Armenian for the last 12 years?

              AUTHORITIES BAN ENTRY OF ALEXANDRE VARBEDIAN INTO ARMENIA; HELD IN ZVARTNOTS TRANSIT LOUNGE
              http://hetq.am/eng/news/25108/author...it-lounge.html
              12:29, April 4, 2013

              Friends and relatives have issued a public letter to President Serzh
              Sargsyan demanding to know why Alexandre Varbedian, a French citizen,
              is being held in the transit lounge of Yerevan's Zvartnots Airport
              and not being allowed into the country.

              Armenia's authorities have prohibited entry into Armenia for Varbedian,
              an ontologist and genealogist, since 2002.

              They say that Varbedian, is exercising his right to enter Armenia
              based on the European Union's January 10, 2013 decision to allow visa
              free entry to all EU member states.

              Varbedian wishes to visit Armenia to celebrate his 70th birthday.
              Plenipotentiary meow!

              Comment


              • #87
                Re: Have our spiritual leaders lost their moral compass?

                An earlier article:
                Vardbedian, who had moved from France to Soviet Armenia at the age of five and received his education in Yerevan, moved back to his birthplace of Marseille in 1975. Although he acquired French citizenship, he also kept his Soviet passport with him. AfterArmenia's independence, that transformed to Armenian citizenship at his own request.

                However, a law abolishing dual citizenship was passed in 1994 and Varbedian was deprived of his Armenian citizenship three years later. However, in the period from 1998 to 1999 and then from 1999 to 2002, Varbedian lived in Armenia thanks to residence permits he acquired through the Armenian Ministry of Education and Science as well as the Ministry of Culture. In 2002, his permit was not extended and no reason was cited for the rejection.

                A1+ wrote the following in 2002 in that regard – The deadline on the Armenian residence permit of the President of the Essence Union, French citizen Alexandre Varbedian, has expired. Alexandre Varbedian has been told that he will no longer be given permission to reside in Armenia because he belonged to a sect. “The Essence Union is ready to collaborate with the Armenian Apostolic Church,” Varbedian assured, but such proposals have not been met with a reply. The Union has proposed a program called Nation and New Millennium. According to Union members, this is a sanative program that has been planned for years, meant to keep society from foolishness and sin.

                http://hetq.am/eng/news/6648/alexand...r-5-years.html

                Comment


                • #88
                  Re: Have our spiritual leaders lost their moral compass?

                  "this is a sanative program that has been planned for years, meant to keep society from foolishness and sin."
                  I guess the religious authorities in Armenia don't want competition. I wonder what sect this guy belongs to?
                  Hayastan or Bust.

                  Comment


                  • #89
                    Re: Have our spiritual leaders lost their moral compass?

                    Originally posted by Haykakan View Post
                    I wonder what sect this guy belongs to?
                    His own, I think.

                    What right has the Armenian Church to give secret orders that someone cannot even get a visitor's visa to enter Armenia.
                    Plenipotentiary meow!

                    Comment


                    • #90
                      Re: Have our spiritual leaders lost their moral compass?

                      Armenia's best known criminal, Gagik Tsarukyan, pays a visit to his new church in Abovian. No wonder the Armenian Church maintains complete silence on the country's social ills (except for its perverted obsession with "sects") - the Church grows fat from the donations from Armenia's criminal class.

                      Plenipotentiary meow!

                      Comment

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