By Prof. Osheen Keshishian
After the Azerbaijani invasion of Artsakh, with the assistance of Turkey, Russia’s intervention created peace. Meanwhile, the war claimed thousands of lives on both sides. Changes will be introduced to the Agreement, according to President Vladimir Putin.
The war upset Armenia which lost territory and lives thus created a very difficult situation and thousands of people demonstrated for weeks in the streets of Yerevan and other cities,  demanding basic changes and for Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s resignation. However, some 50,000 Artsakh citizens who had left their homes and moved to Armenia, now they returned to Artsakh, indicating a positive movement. Although the military is trying to control the crowd as much as possible, the demonstrations are continuing their demands, men and women, without considering the positive steps that Pashinyan took.
PM Pashinyan said that change should occur by having new Parliamentary elections.
Last week a new problem was created. His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, and His Holiness Aram, Catholicos of the House of Cilicia, issued statements demanding Pashinyan’s resignation.
THEY HAVE NO RIGHT TO DO SO.
The church has no right to interfere in politics. According to the Armenian Constitution, it is mentioned very clearly and succinctly that the church and the government are detached entities, and the church cannot interfere in the affairs of the government. Yet, for whatever reason, both Catholicoi took the wrong step and issued statements asking Pashinyan’s resignation.
In this case the issue is not whether Pashinyan should resign or not, that’s a different issue, which has nothing to do with their statements.
They could have done other things – give sermons and advice to the people to calm down, to get together with real leaders and negotiate, think of other ways to have Pashinyan resign (whether he should or not that’s another issue). They have the right to speak up. Why they did not say anything during Serzh Sargsyan’s fraudulent election?
If the rule of law should be obeyed, they should follow the Constitution and not whatever they prefer or like.
I hope this point is very clear and there is no misunderstandings.
Prof. Osheen Keshishian is the editor/publisher of “Armenian Observer” weekly
16 comments
  1. If anyone including the clergy remain indifferent and silent towards this tragedy that has been deliberately caused by a single person, they can no longer be the religious leaders.
    His Holiness Garegin II cannot betray our nation and he has all the right to stand by His people.

  2. Well said.
    Both Catholicon should do what they have been elected to do. They should keep out of politics.
    I am afraid to say they are very good in hording wealth for themselves. They should resign and not
    Pashinyan.

  3. I do not believe that Prof. Osheen Keshishian realizes what really happened to Armenia and Armenians with this shameful defeat and lose of so many young lives everybody including the Armenian churches in Armenia and diaspora have all the rights to ask Nikol Pashinyan’s resignation.

  4. As far as I know Professor Oshin Keshishian is a prominent individual, well aware of all Armenian affairs, during the last 30 years and even beyond that, he has been in Armenia over 100 times, he has always talked the truth.
    The issue is not the Pashinian should go or stay, the issue is what both Catholicoses did was not right. We the people, especially high ranking officials and clergies, have to learn to say the truth. Professor Keshishian is right. Anahid Sarian

  5. His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, and His Holiness Aram, Catholicos of the House of Cilicia have all rights to express their opinion in the interest of the Armenian Nation. But you, prof. Keshishian don’t have any rights to judge actions of our spiritual leaders.

  6. Their actions did not contradict constitution. They expressed their opinion based on the situation in Armenia. Pashinyan does not demonstrate any ability to govern the country. But Pashinyan’s actions in 2018 were not in accordance with the Constitution. He claimed that: “Prime Minister will be me or nobody”. He did not demonstrate respect to the Constitution. And he never demonstrate respect to spiritual leaders.

  7. The Catholicoi just like everybody else have the right to offer their opinion, specially based on facts. That’s called Freedom of Speech.
    In this case, the prime minister of Armenia, without consulting the church and the people gave hundreds of churches away to the enemy. Churches that are over thousand year old. These churches and flocks were administered and shepherded by the Catholicoi, at least one of them. Of course they have the right to speak. And demand what’s rightfully and legally theirs. They can no longer trust their churches and flock in the hands of the same Prime Minister.

    The professor’s opinion is wrong, but he is entitled to it just like everyone else.

  8. “Both Catholicon should do what they have been elected to do” under normal circumstances YES however right now the tragedy is so deep that by no means he should be allowed to stay in office specially as time goes by damages could very well be beyond repair.

  9. Prof. Osheen Keshishian is quite right. It is well documented that the city of Ani had 1001 churches. I wish we had 1001 cannons, weaponry and drones in addition to churches. Genocide and Artsakh tragedy might have been prevented.
    British concurred the world in the name of Christianity, Armenians lost wars, kingdoms and sea to sea ARMENIA for being the first Christian nation.
    Old oligarchs should not return to power in Armenia.

  10. Mr. Keshishian knows very well that Pashinian has
    also not ruled for 2.5 years according to the Constitution. Whoever is the Catholicos, is elected by 75% of votes from Diaspora and 25% of votes from Armenia( including Artsakh).
    Therefore, the Armenian Government nor the people have the majority vote to ask the resignation of any Catholicos ( which they were trying to do unsuccessfully since May 2018).
    Both Catholicos have the obligation to defend the Armenian people (Diaspora and Armenia) wishes.
    The Constitution of Armenia nor of Lebanon does not apply to our any Catholicos.

  11. Regardless of the constitution, since the Clergy did not express an opinion when the country and military were being robbed by the two previous authoritarian governments, they have ZERO credibility. We will see that the biggest loser in Armenia after this war will be the Church.

  12. If Mr. Pashinian didn’t have signed the war-stop, WHOLE Artsakh would have been LOST to the throat-
    cutters, and MUCH more young (poor) boys would have been martyrised . The state-church is for NOTHING positive, because of total HERETICAL,occult teaching –it’s just NOT christianism , it’s FAKE .
    –> read the Holy Bible and you will soon discover : that’s true !!
    These dark figures are NOT connected with GOD by a real conversion to Jesus-Christ –they are just
    pharisees– well payed and good living

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