Armenian Treasures of Jerusalem In Danger

Armenian Treasures of Jerusalem In Danger

17:29 14/12/2012
Story from News:

Four candidates have been nominated for the election of the Armenian
patriarch of Jerusalem. They are Archbishop Nuran, Archbishop Ares,
Archbishop Viguen and Archbishop Babken. Today Archbishop Babken
Anushyan stated this in a press conference.

The election to the patriarch will be on 23-25 January 2013. The
eligible candidates must be ministers, supreme doctor monks, bishops
and archbishops ordained in Jerusalem, at least 35 years old.

34 members of the Patriarchate will elect the Patriarch.

Each candidate has their development program. Archbishop Babken
presented his program, highlighting that his priority is spiritual
wakening which is highly important for both the clergy and people. He
says the seminary and museum of Jerusalem need renovation, teaching
must be upgraded. St. James’ Church needs reconstruction. A new
library building is needed for the 4000 manuscripts. The manuscript
library built in the 19th century is in ruins.

He says the Armenian community needs to be supported since of 35,000
only 10,000 Armenians are left in Jerusalem.

In answer to the question on the influence of the Holy See Echmiadzin
on the elections, he said according to the code of patriarchate, the
local members of the brotherhood can vote. At the same time, he did
not deny having a meeting with the Catholicos of All Armenians and
discussing different issues.

He stated that the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem needs support
from the Armenian state. Over the past 17 years the Patriarchate has
lost estates, including on the Mount of Olives which they can return
through court.

In regard to recent news that an Armenian cemetery had been desecrated
in Jerusalem, Archbishop Babken said he contacted Jerusalem and found
out that the Greek cemetery was desecrated by Jews.

He was also asked to comment on the water bill of Saint Resurrection
Church is 2-3 million dollars for the past 15 years. He expressed hope
that the issue will be solved through peace.

At the treasury of Jerusalem there are treasures of 300-400 years and
the Armenian estates which are leased for 99 years are worth 300
million dollars.