Scandal in Jerusalem: Armenian priests turned out to be pedophiles

The topic of depravity in educational institutions of the Armenian Church recently resurfaces in Armenia. Including abroad and in particular in the Jerusalem diocese. Latest story at the time caused a lot of noise, however, despite the fact that a crime is obvious, the case with punishment of perverts did not move off the ground to this day.

It’s been 5 months, since the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem is studying the accuracy of the publications in the media about the sexual abuse of a minor Hrayr Yezegelian by Archbishop David Sahakian. It is unclear why the press-service of the Patriarchate does not hurry to make a corresponding statement with respect to these publications, everyone is surprised in Armenia.

The bishop of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem Paret Eretsyan in an interview with Armenian News – said that they have lawyers who are engaged in this issue. “In Israel there is a court, and if Hrayr Yezegelian will appeal, we will issue a statement, but until then we will patiently wait”, – said Eretsyan.

According to him, he is familiar with Hrayr Yezegelian, and his parents, and they do not understand why a young man voices such accusations now. “I think that he has a personal score to settle. He must explain why he makes such statements, and puts forward such accusations against the Patriarchate. If necessary, we will appear with a message”, – noted the bishop of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

Website reminds us that there were publications in French and Israeli press, reporting that in the 1990s a minor Hrayr Yezegelian was raped by the high priests of the Armenian monastery of Jerusalem. In 2013 he submitted a complaint against Archbishop David Sahakian, who at the time lived in France. In 2015, criminal case was filed against the archbishop, which was sent to the court in 2016. The trial was expected soon, but the archbishop died.

The Armenian side has not yet expressed its official position on these publications. The press service of Etchmiadzin note that they are waiting for clarification. Etchmiadzin will make a statement after receiving the response.

Recall that in March this year the Armenian wrote that the priest Hada Dzhunduryan was removed from his position of Inspector in Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, accused of raping a former pupil of the Armenian Theological Seminary in Jerusalem Hrayr Yezegelian. His place was taken by Aspet Palian.

According to, February 29 after a 15-minute documentary “The demons of the past” aired on the 10th Israeli TV channel, by the decision of the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Nurhan Manukian and administrative Assembly, a special group was established to conduct an internal investigation. In the documentary, 38-year-old Hrayr Yezegelian claims that 20 years ago, while being a disciple of the seminary, he had been sexually assaulted by three Armenian priests. He gave the names of Hada Dzhunduryan, Demetrios Ataryan , head of the Greek Orthodox Church in Sao Paulo (Brazil), and Archbishop David Sahakyan, who lived in recent years in France, and died March 15.

It is a blatant case, but far from being the only one. The editorial office of the Armenian received a letter from Boghos Churukyan living in Paris.

“It’s unbelievable to read about the newly deceased archbishop, that there are criminal proceedings on “pedophilia” against him, however, much worse is the publicly known fact that even today there are priests-pedophiles operating in the Armenian Church and occupying the posts of leaders of Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

Recently I saw a post on Facebook, which was unbelievable, however after long searches and research, after talking with priests of that time and asking questions, I faced the fact and was convinced that all I read was 100% truth, worth the investigation and the attention of law enforcement.

I am talking about the current leader of the Russian and New Nakhichevan Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church Archbishop Ezras Nersisyan, the brother of the Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II. This fact is confirmed by the clergy and pupils of Gevorgyan Theological Seminary of that time”, – notes Churukyan.

Armenian presented to readers an article widespread on Facebook. The article is very emotional, the author is literally mad on what he found out, and therefore is not careful with words.

“In the 80-ies an Armenian descent Michael (Marcello)became an orphan as a result of a car accident in Argentina, and was sent to Armenia  by Archbishop Grigoris Buniatyan, which was the leader of the local diocese, so he did not remain abandoned and studied at the Etchmiadzin Theological Seminary. Taking advantage of depressed and abandoned boy, the brother of Non-Catholicos Karekin II, now the leader of the Russian Armenian Diocese, blasted Bishop Ezras (at the time a graduate of the seminary) raped Michael and did it many times. Things reached the point that he was bringing junkies of Echmiadzin to shack up with Michael for cash. This is a true portrayal of the sinister son of Grigor, at the time known as Mkrtich, whom his “all-powerful” brother Non-Catholicos made a bishop. This is an adventure of another prostitute from this perverse family, which continues to this day. And Non-Catholicos prostitute Karekin is well aware of that”, – reads the article.

Social networks are also very sensitive to such news. As Armenian media reports, from the comments on Facebook, you can find out that one should not talk about molestations of minors in institutions of the Armenian Church as if it was left in the past. Catholicos and his brother, even today continue this shame, seminary students get molested, and those who do not wish to be involved get expelled…

And the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem is just sitting and waiting for someone from the victims to have the courage and appeal to the court. Although it is clear that there will be no appeals since the Armenian Church is by default unattainable for the law, it is beyond both state and human laws. Not only depravity, but also corruption and crime prevail in the Catholicos. A complete absence of any spirituality goes without saying. Mafia head of the church grows rich and blasphemes remaining outside the jurisdiction.

Author: Zulfuqar Ibrahimov


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