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Kristine Aghalaryan

Defrocked Former Primate of Russia Plans to Sue Armenia TV for Slander

Archbishop Tiran Kyureghyan, the former Primate of the Armenian Apostolic Church Diocese of New Nakhichevan and Russia, is planning to sue Armenia TV for defamation of character.

In an October 23 broadcast covering the consecration of crosses to be placed atop the dome of the newly constructed Armenian Cathedral in Moscow, Armenia TV reported that the former Primate and defrocked clergyman was the reason for the delay in the construction of the edifice..

The TV station alleged that Archbishop Kyureghyan had embezzled some $3 million in donations raised specifically for construction purposes.

Archbishop Kyureghyan had been dismissed as Primate by Catholicos Garegin II in October, 2000 and replaced by his brother Ezras Nersisyan, who at the time had been serving as the priest in the Saint Petersburg parish.

Archbishop Kyureghyan was offered the post of Primate of the Ukraine Diocese of the Armenian Church.

At the time, reports in the Russian and Armenian press stated that Archbishop Kyureghyan refused to hand over the reins of the diocese to Nersisyan and had declared that he would be starting a separate religious body.

Supporters of Kyureghyan staged a number of protest actions but they failed to change the mind of Catholicos Garegin II.

Citing “disobedience and unruly behaviour”, Catholicos Garegin II defrocked Kyureghyan in May of 2001.

By then, construction of the Holy Cross Church had begun and plans were to complete the structure by 2002.

Holy Cross Church was only finished this year.

In October, 2004, the newspaper Kommersant wrote an article about the construction of a religious center for Armenians in the Russian capital and linked the delays to the former Primate, Archbishop Tiran Kyureghyan.

The paper reported that the clergyman had been charged with embezzling $3 million and that he had been defrocked in 2001. It added that the new Primate, Bishop Yezras, had been forced to raise new funds for the church.

Ghazaros Kyureghyan (the lay name of the former Primate) took the Russian newspaper to court. The Moscow Civil Court found in favour of the former clergyman and ordered the paper to publish a retraction. Kommersant did just that on September 16, 2005, saying that the embezzlement allegations were not substantiated.

Forward to today. Armenia TV, at the end of its October 24 news broadcast, issued the same retraction that Kommersant had done in 2005.

Photos from the October 23, 2011 "Zham" Sunday news report

The TV station also removed the article in question from its website. However, the news anchor’s introduction with a photo of Kyureghyan and a question regarding the missing $3 million still appear.

Ghazaros Kyureghyan says that it’s a tragedy that after 1.5 years of working on the church, laying the foundation and importing stones from Armenia, that attacks on his person appeared.

Mr. Kyureghyan claims he had nothing at all to do with the donations raised since a special foundation had been set up to manage the money. He says that after Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov was fired in 2010, the foundation was dissolved.

“Those reports say that I was defrocked due to $3 million that went missing. Where did Armenia TV get this information? This is a completely new charge against me. After ten years such distortions are again being directed at me. It means that someone supplied that info to the news anchor,” says Kyureghyan.

The former clergyman says he never acted in a disobedient manner to Catholicos Garegin II.

Kyureghyan says the Catholicos decided to defrock him when the Armenian Church leader was on a pontifical trip to the United States and Canada and had told his brother of the decision by phone.

“Such things just aren’t done to a high ranking member of the church. There’s a definite procedure involved. Defrocking someone is a matter of last resort when there are serious ecclesiastical charges involved,” says Kyureghyan.

The former clergyman describes his defrocking as illegal and says that any charges against him should have been reviewed according to the bylaws of the church and the Supreme Religious Council.

Kyureghyan also claims that Catholicos Garegin II, after returning to Etchmiadzin, rounded up a few members of the Religious Council and wrote up a defrocking order on the spot with the correct date.

Kyureghyan says that Jerusalem Patriarch Torkom Manoogian and Istanbul Patriarch Mesrob Mutafyan refused to sign the document.

On November 3, 2000, Kyureghyan claims that Archbishop Mutafyan sent a letter to Catholicos Garegin II, noting that any charges levelled against a Diocesan Primate of the Church must be “fully corroborated and a tribunal created so that the individual can defend himself”.

After the court case with Kommersant, Moscow tax authorities filed criminal charges against Kyureghyan for land tax evasion on the Moscow church site. The charges were later dropped.

P.S. – In the near future, Hetq will be conducting an interview with former Archbishop Tiran Kyureghyan regarding the construction of Holy Cross Church, the current slander suit against Armenia TV, and his past dealings with Catholicos Garegin II.

Comments (25)

Арман
Лучше наших Арийских Богов нет! я им поклоняюсь! там нет ни денег, ни зависти! А Тирана Кюрегяна реально подставили братья-мафиози СЛАВА ВААГНУ!
Anahit
Уважаемая Кристине! Ваша статья, на мой взгляд, затрагивает очень важную для армянского народа тему. Далеко не многие знают, что в 2001, когда Гарегин II, нарушив Устав ААЦ, принял единоличное решение о лишении архиепископа Тирана сана, Президент Российской Федерации В.В.Путин в этот же год лично наградил Владыку Тирану за его самоотверженное служение людям государственной наградой - орденом Почета. На мой взгляд, важен и тот факт, что Гарегин II не написал ни одного открытого или закрытого обращения к армянам, которое объясняло бы причину его решения. Равно как и нет ответа на сотни писем московских армян с просьбой оставить Владыку Тирана служить в московском приходе. Видимо, и поэтому тоже, в народе Гарегина II называют Католикосом БЕЗ ВСЕХ армян.
Samvel
Tiran srpazaninkoxke havatakov matiken isk Garegin B-in pashanumen nernak ov uzumen vochinchacnen hay ekexecin.
LIAna
Ayo, anpatchar hamamitem, vor miak mardn, vor MEC arjanikner uni ghekavarelu mer HAYKAKAN EKEXECIN te hayastanum, ev te rusastanum, da iharke Tiran srbazanne, vorin miyan anhimn mexadrankneren nerkayacnel vomn verohishyalnery... Petker vaxuc ays harcy barcracnel ev yntack tal ays harcin.
unknown
u vonc e erevum vor naxkin episkoposy ir merzavornerin asel e vor sensacia sarqen ir antaxand barbajanqic
Arsen
Blagodarya takim ludyam kak Tiran prodolzaesh verit v Boga.
Արշակ
Պետք է Գարեգին Բ-ի փոխարեն Տիրան Սրբազանի պես մարդիկ ղեկավարեին մեր եկեղեցին...
Elina
Арман, напишите мне на почту и я Вам дат номер Владыки. Он правда Священник от Бога! Мой адрес [email protected]
Арман
Уважаемый Святой Отец Тиран. Я часто слышу о Вас исключительно восхищение. Где и как можно с Вами повидаться? А дзядь Гаре (гарегин толи второй толи третий) просто комерсант.
Albert
Indz kenkela srpazana. Hyisovem in erexanerinel inke ke kenki ev irandz harsaniknere inke keani.
Քաջիկ
Չնայած աթեիստ եմ, բայց հպարտանում եմ, որ մեր ազգի մեջ կա Տիրան արքեպիսկոպոսի պես շիտակ և անկոտրում անձնավորություն:
Анна
Люди!!!!!! В церковь надо идти, но ноги не идут. За 10 лет я там не была. А когда был Архиепископ Тиран можно было исповедоваться, посоветоваться, получить душевный покой. А сейчас от церкви стало пахнуть деньгами.
Elina
Anania ete duk uzumek gerek indz es keuxarkem srpazani heraxosahamare. [email protected]
Արտակ
վորջիվերջո ամեն մեկը պատասխան է տալու իր արածի համար, և կարևոր չէ կաթողիկոս ես թէ ով ես: Եվ այս ամենը ցույց է տալիս թէ մենք ինչպիսի ժողովուրդ ենք....: Մեր մէջ ուժ գտնենք, և միշտ արդար, ու արդարության կողմնակից լինենք և խոսքով, և գործով, որպեսզի Աստված էլ ողորմելով ազատի մեզ ազգային թերություններից....
anania
Tiran Srpazan, where are you?
Ruzanna
Предводителем Ново-Нахичеванской и Российской Епархии Армянской Апостольской Церкви для нас, российских армян, был, есть и будет Архиепископ Тиран!
Зара
За 10 лет, Езрас ничего не сделал для Российской епархии. Бизнес, вот, что его только интересует. Учитывая то, что в семинарии в Эчмиадзине ввели предмет Менеджмент и экономика, то можно предположить, что Езрас отрабатывает практику.
Тигран
Архиепископ Тиран явно не вписывался в свиту Сатаны Гарегина! Вот его и снял, назначив родного брата на его место.
Маринэ
Уважаемый Архиепископ Тиран! Главное держитесь! Отвратительная травля, клевета и беззаконие по отношению к Вам, не только позорит этих людей, но и оскорбляет нас, московских армян, которые знают, верят, любят и гордятся Вами.
Elina
Спасибо большое Кристина за эту статью! Владыка для московских армян был и остается Архиепископом, а те кто не поддержал его...пошли за деньгами братьев Нерсесян. Бог им судья.
rahageets
So, what ever happened to the $3 million that allegedly disappeared? How much was spent to build the new cathedral in Moscow anyway?
Kevin
Abriq, shnorhagal enq, Tiran srbazani m'a besazniv ev nvirial hogevorakani m'a nergaiutiuna pativ bedq e ellar amen ekexecii hamar. Isk anorinakan karg arnile.... chem uzer xosil, baic gaitakxutiun e amenus hamar. Apsos vor Mayr Atorin mech txamard ma chexav pashtpanelu Tiran srbazana
Алиса
Разжаловав по телефону Архиепископа Тирана, и поняв, что это ему сошло с рук, Гарегин начал разваливать Армянскую церковь.
VAHAN
Mianshanak [email protected] Araqelakan ekexecin che, ayl` Garegin B-n.
Մաթևոս
Ապրես Հետք, ապրես Քրիստինե Աղալարյան: Այ էսպիսին պետք է լինի որակյալ հոդվածը: Թե չէ ստից անդուր դեղին հոդվածներ էիք գրում եկեղեցու մասին: Պետք ա հասկանալ, որ պրոբլեմը եկեղեցին չի այլ էդ Գարեգին Բ-ն:

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