March 9, 2019 - 10:39 AMT
PM sends condolences to Istanbul over Armenian spiritual leader's death

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has expressed condolence on the passing of the Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople Mesrob Archbishop Mutafyan.

"As a church leader, he made an invaluable contribution to the revival of national-spiritual life in Turkey and the consolidation of the Armenian Church and the Armenian community," Pashinyan said.

"Mesrob Archbishop Mutafyan enjoyed high reputation for his activities and will remain in our memory as a spiritual leader devoted to his mission."

Archbishop Mutafyan was diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and was able to carry out his duties throughout the past several years. The Armenian community has been in the process of electing a new religious leader ever since.

The Turkish state, however, argued that under Armenian Church traditions a new Patriarch can be elected if Mesrob II either dies or resigns.