Armenian Prelacy of Canada
3401 Olivar Asselin
Montreal, Quebec H4J 1L5
514-856-1200 TEL
514-856-1805 FAX
e-mail: [email protected]



It was with a deep sense of surprise and disappointment that we
read the communiqué which was recently put into circulation in the name of
the Diocese of the Armenian Church of Canada (Etchmiadzin). Through the
premeditated distortion of well-established historical facts, misinformation
and baised conclusions, this Communique attempts to create an atmosphere of
confusion and tension within the Armenian community as well as non-Armenian

We do not wish to engage in a senseless and harmful public
debate. Nevertheless for the sake of truth we wish to present the following
facts to our people:

A. Our community, which in fact represents the majority of Armenians in
Canada, has never been a part of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of
Canada (Etchmiadzin) either by way of churches, educational institutions or
other organizations.
B. Our community along with all of its aforementioned structures was
always an organic and integral part of the Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic
Church of the Eastern United States and Canada (Cilicia).
C. "The Prelacy of the Eastern United States and Canada" had its
headquarters in New York. Beginning in 1997, a Canadian Vicarage together
with a Vice-Prelate was established in Montreal, which during the ensuing
years officially received Their Holinesses of Blessed Memory Vazken I and
Karekin I and His Holiness Karekin II Catholicoi of the Holy See
Etchmiadzin, as well as Their Holinesses of Blessed Memory Khoren I and
Karekin II and His Holiness Aram I, Catholicoi of the Holy See of Cilicia.
D. Considering that the "Prelacy of the Eastern United States and
Canada" was divided geographically between two different countries, certain
practical problems coupled with the ever-growing needs of the Armenians in
Canada, compelled the higher authorities of the Prelacy to separate Canada,
which was already endowed with its own By-laws and diocesan structures, from
the "Prelacy of the Eastern United States and Canada" and render it fully
autonomous. For the record with the same reasoning, an identical decision
was implemented in 1984 by the Diocese of the Armenian Church of the Eastern
United Staes and Canada (Etchmiadzin).
E. In 2002 the National Representative Assembly of the Canadian Prelacy
elected a Prelate according to its by-laws, giving to the Catholicossal
Vicar the title of Prelate.
F. Despite the fact that the election was legitimate and was the
natural consequence of internal administrative reorganization, His Holiness
Catholicos Aram I, motivated by the desire to enhance the cooperation
between our Prelacy and the Diocese, advised our Prelate-elect, not to use
his title, and continue to keep that of Catholicosal Vicar.
G. However, the good will shown by His Holiness, the Catholicosal Vicar,
as well as the Executive Council and all affiliated bodies and
organizations, unfortunately was not reciprocated in the same spirit by the
Primate and diocesan authorities.

Therefore, it is a plain fact that a new Prelacy was not established as the
Communique of Diocese and some circles attempt to portray in order to incite
provocation and misunderstanding in our community and in the Diaspora at
large. The fact is that this was simply an internal administrative
reorganization within an existing Prelacy and diocesan structures.

We do not wish to state anything further. We simply wanted to bring the
aforementioned facts to the attention of our community and those interested.
We are grieved by the spirit demonstrated by the Diocese and the misleading
conclusions of the Communique.

This is our statement and stand. We remain firmly committed to cooperation.
We will not respond to any further negative expressions directed at us.
Rather we will continue unswervingly to serve our people, the Armenian
Apostolic Church, our Fatherland, the Armenian Cause, Armenian education and
culture under the auspices of the Catholicosate of the Great House of