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Bzommar – The Holy Synod of Armenian Catholic Bishops, gathered from the evening of June 22 at the Lebanese Convent of Our Mother of Bzommar in order to elect their new Patriarch, has not so far managed to find the necessary consensus to choose the successor of Patriarch Krikor Bedros XXI Ghabroyan, who died on May 25 at the age of 86. This was reported in a statement released today, Wednesday, July 7, by the Armenian Catholic Church.
In compliance with the canons relating to the election process of the new Patriarchs of the Eastern Catholic Churches, the sessions of the elective Synod are interrupted. The Bishops – announces the short text, sent to Fides – postpone further consultations to a later date to try to fulfill the task of choosing a new Patriarch for the Armenian Catholic Church, and will announce the times and methods of this resumption of work synodal. “We ask you – adds the concluding formula of the statement – to accompany the fathers participating in the Synod with prayer, for the good of the Armenian Catholic Church”. With regard to the procedures for the election of the Patriarchs, canon 72 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, in the first paragraph, establishes that “He is elected who obtains two-thirds of the votes, unless particular law establishes that after an appropriate number of ballots, at least three, an absolute majority of the votes suffices, and the election is to be conducted according the norms of can. 183, §3 and 4”. The second paragraph of the same canon 72 clarifies that “If an election is not successful within fifteen days from the opening of the synod of bishops of the patriarchal Church, the matter devolves to the Roman Pontiff”.
The elective Synodal Assembly was convened by Boutros Marayati, Armenian Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo, who has been Administrator of the Patriarchal Church of Cilicia of the Armenians since 26 May, as the most senior prelate according to episcopal ordination among the Bishops – article 127 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Catholic Churches. In this capacity, the main task of Archbishop Marayati was precisely to convene the Synod of the Armenian Catholic Church to elect the new Patriarch. 12 members of the Synod of the Armenian Catholic Church, who come from the episcopal sees scattered throughout the Middle East and in the countries with the greatest concentration of the Armenian diaspora, took part in the elective assembly, which ended without success.