Communique August 1, 2019

It was on the 7th of May 2019, His Beatitude Archbishop Nourhan Manougian, Patriarch of St. James Brotherhood of Jerusalem, rightfully defrocked Very Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Atajanyan from his ecclesiastical status for being negligent in his religious duties, disobedient to the monastic order, disturbing the peaceful coexistence of the Brotherhood by being very violent towards priests and monks, despite several warnings to behave and discipline himself.

Mr. Armen (his secular name) Atajanyan filed a petition against the Armenian Patriarchate and against His Beatitude the Patriarch himself, asking the Court to order that Atajanyan is entitled to maintain his residence in the priests’ residential quarter at the Convent, contending that his privileges as a priest have been deprived recklessly, brutally, violently, by rude unjust and unfair conduct.

Pursuant to hearing Atajanyan’s cross-examination at the court, on July 30th of 2019, the judge suggested and urged Mr. Atajanyan to withdraw his petition and arguments, immediately; otherwise her decision will be severe and he will not like what she has to say.

Seeing that the process was not in his favor, Mr. Atajanyan withdrew his petition; therefore it was stricken off.

Based on the affidavits filed by individuals against Mr. Atajanyan’s petition, and the arguments in the hearing – the honorable Judge pointed out is that the Court was not asked to determine – and it is doubtful whether the Court is authorized to determine – about letting Atajanyan enter the Patriarchate, but Atajanyan should realize that the Patriarchate considers unfavorably the fact that he is wearing priestly cloths after being defrocked.

The Judge also charged him a nominal fee of 3,500 Israeli Shekels (NIS) towards Patriarchate’s legal expenses.

It is pity that the Armenian Patriarchate had to face such an undesirable incident. However, we hope that this communique will dissipate rumors and misunderstandings.


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Armen Atajanyan before his defrockment.

Armen Atajanyan before his defrockment.