CATHOLICOS RUNS CHURCH CONSTRUCTION
Society - 07 May 2015, 20:08
Yesterday the ex-prime minister of Armenia Hrant Bagratyan brought
up the issue of construction of churches noting that the Armenian
oligarchs based abroad who are building churches in Armenia are doing
more harm and are a burden on the country.
Note that soon a new church will be built in the pantheon of the
Komitas Park, Yerevan funded by Samvel Karapetyan.
"We have 6500 churches for 9 million Armenians, one church per 1450
people, only the Greeks have higher density. Of course, we need
churches but there should be a measure. The churches that we are
building, calculate wear and tear at 1.5-2%, who is going to maintain
them 500 years later? 30 billion dollars has been spent on 6500
churches, the annual wear and tear is 400 million dollars. Why doesn't
the catholicos, the head of state say what are you doing?" Member of
Parliament Hrant Bagratyan announced at the National Assembly.
"The catholicos runs the church construction, who do we expect to
announce that it is enough to build? He heads this business, he is
a champion. They need not expect the catholicos to say it's enough
to build churches. He encourages, welcomes, consecrates, honors the
builders," said the archeologist Samvel Karapetyan commenting on the
issue brought up in the parliament in an interview with Lragir.am.
"The Catholicos believes that in this way he is fighting sects. But
there must be an idea, when there is no idea, you cannot fight with the
help of buildings. There is no idea. The clergymen serving in these
buildings do not carry the national idea, and you cannot fight sects
unless you carry the national idea. These buildings may appear under
the control of sects. Darkness is ruling our country, and nothing is
ruled out in such a situation. These newly built churches are evidence
of reign of darkness," Samvel Karapetyan said.
Commenting on church construction, the ethnographer Hranush Kharatyan
expressed an opinion that Armenia does not have so many believers to
build another church.
"In modern life, religion is a matter of identity rather. The church
does not perform the role that is assigned to it. If the church states
a new problem, perhaps it should I don't know... On the other hand,
however, as far as I know, the church builders are mostly people who
eternalize their memory in this way," the ethnographer says.
Another aspect of the issue is that one has money and one spends
as one wants. "The second question is: how do we itemize the public
needs for which we assume that contributions should be made? Has the
government identified this list?"
The ethnographer also wonders whether the Armenian church has only
construction needs or the church also needs to spend its money on
hospitals, assistance or empowerment of people in need.
"Is there such a list and do the so-called investors prefer only church
construction or is it prompted to them as the main pipe? I don't have
the answers to these questions. Does money die when it is invested
in construction or does it have future? This is the issue. I don't
think that church construction is a matter of future for Armenia,"
Hranush Kharatyan concludes.