The following letter was sent by Knights of Vartan Avak Sbarabed Dr. Gary Zamanigian and Avak Tbrabed Deacon Richard Norsigian to Very Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikian, Primate, Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, Eastern.
Dear Fr. Daniel:
The Brothers of the Knights of Vartan are concerned and strongly oppose the recent efforts to either sell and/or lease all or part of the property of St. Vartan Cathedral Complex in New York City.
Even as a non-church affiliated Christian organization, the Knights of Vartan recognizes the importance of the St. Vartan Cathedral Complex in New York City and is dedicated to its preservation. This complex is recognized both nationally and internationally as a symbol of the survival of all Armenians as Christians, regardless of what church, political affiliation, or even religious persuasion one may or may not have as an Armenian. It is as well of national significance to all Armenians regardless of where they geographically live in the United States.
This holy edifice and its campus is the legacy of both our Genocide Saints who gave their lives and the Genocide survivors. Upon its completion in 1968, it represented, and after 50 years, still represents, the fulfillment of a broad collection of the drams and aspirations of our forefathers. Historical documents reflect the crucial involvement of the Knights of Vartan in the realization of this Cathedral and Diocesan project, which is also reflected in the Cathedral being named after our namesake, Vartan Mamigonian. This property also needs to be preserved as possible the most valuable singe asset of Armenians in the world.
On July 13, 2018, at its annual convocation, the Knights of Vartan, with delegates from throughout the United States and from all churches and political persuasions, unanimously approved the sending of this letter as its formal opposition and objections to the sale and/or lease of any portion of either the land or buildings of the St. Vartan Cathedral and Diocesan Complex in New York City.
Dr. Gary Zamanigian and Deacon Richard Norsigian
For more information about the Diocesan Council’s undisclosed plans to sell or lease St. Vartan Cathedral Diocesan complex property, please see the latest coverage originally published by the Armenian Mirror-Spectator:
“Diaspora Must do Better in Keeping Institutions,” by Taleen Babayan, July 24, 2018.
“Extraordinary Petition Requests Special Session of Eastern Diocesan Assembly on Cathedral Complex Proposal,” by Aram Arkun, July 28, 2018.