Doors of the Armenian Church in Geneva were closed. The Church Council decided to close the church on Sunday.
However, a reliable source told Armenian News-NEWS.am, church closed its doors not to let in the believers and a delegation from Etchmiadzin by Fr. Abel Manoukian.
Earlier the Armenian Apostolic Church Council of Switzerland has repeatedly sent letters to the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin that rejected formation of a diocese in Switzerland and reaffirmed Fr. Abel Manoukian as priest. In 1990s Church Council of Switzerland asked the head of Armenian Apostolic Church, Catholicos Vazgen I to transform an Armenian community to a diocese. In 1992 the diocese was formed.
After the changes in council’s leadership, the Church Council rejects instruction of Vazgen I and then under Catholicos Karekin I invites Fr. Abel Manoukian to head the church. Karekin I condemned the move, which the church considered illegal, and banned Fr. Manoukian from serving in Switzerland. His decision was also rejected.
Under the recent decision of His Holiness Karekin II, Fr. Mesrop Parsamyan was appointed vicar of the Armenian diocese of Switzerland. According to some reports, Abel Manoukian closed the doors of Geneva’s church because of Etchmiadzin delegation and believers who came to attend the liturgy.
There are around 2000 Armenians residing in Geneva, part of them opposed Etchmiadzin’s decision. However, this position is presented as if it was decision of the entire Armenian community of Switzerland.
The Church Council says they have made such decision, as Etchmiadzin will take control of money belonging to community and diocese. As to closed doors of the church, the Council claims they wanted to avoid tension in community.
Etchmiadzin dismissed reports on taking control of money, while decision to appoint a vicar is aimed at organizing religious life of the community.