ETCHMIADZIN (Noyan Tapan)–Upon the pontifical order of His Holiness Karekin II–Catholicos of All Armenia’s–Archbishop Tiran Giureghian–the former Primate of the Diocese of New Nakhichevan and Russia of the Armenian Apostolic Church–has been excommunicated due to his disobedience to the pontifical authority of the Catholicos of All Armenia’s.
The excommunicated clergyman from now on is considered to be a lay person and will be named by his secular (baptized) name Ghazaros Giureghian.
The Armenian intellectuals of Russia have reacted negatively to Giureghian–who announced he will no longer recognize the authority of the Catholicos. Giureghian and his supporters have stated their desire to form their own religious organization.
The intellectuals have called upon the Armenian community of Moscow to support the Catholicos and the newly appointed primate of the Russian and New Nakhichevan diocese–Vartabed Yezras Nersisian.
The Yerevan-based "Azg" Newspaper has alleged bluntly that Giureghian enjoys the support of ethnic Armenian "representatives of [Moscow’s] criminal underworld. The archbishop’s decision to break ran’s amounts to an overt revolt against not only the Armenian Patriarch–the National Ecclesiastical Assembly and the Mother See of Saint Etchmiadzin but also the centuries-old traditions and rules of the Armenian Apostolic Church."