On Saturday, June 2, the Canadian Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church elected the Very Rev. Fr. Abgar Hovakimyan as its Primate. His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America wrote a congratulatory letter to the newly elected Primate wishing him renewed strength and vigor in his Primacy as the spiritual leader of the Armenian-Canadian community.Why is there an "Armenian Church in Canada?" Why wouldn't Armenians in Canada answer to a Canadian primate? Wasn't there something that happened in 1872 that addressed this sort of thing? I assume it was important, because when some young American-convert-nobody makes noises about a "white" Church in America drawn around Anglo-European lines, he gets excommunicated.
Fr. Abgar Hovakimyan was educated in Armenia and Austria and was ordained to the Sacred Order of the Priesthood in 1996 at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. He has served as Pastor of the Holy Savior Church in Batoumi; as diocesan vicar of the Diocese of Georgia and of the Diocese of Syunik and has served in the Diocese of Canada.
From 2011 to 2014, Father Abgar served as Locum Tenens of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of Bulgaria.
I assume, therefore, that this passes canonical muster because Canada is not a nation but empty terra nova, enabling the Armenians to set up their own nation within the geographic coordinates known as "Canada."
By the way, what is the "Diocese of the Armenian Church of Bulgaria?"
Of course, the Armenian Church is a non-Chalcedonian Church, so presumably in the absence of any other non-Chalcedonian Churches, they get to set one up on Canadian soil. But it turns out there's also the Ethiopian Orthodox Tawehedo, and there's also the Assyrian Orthodox. And the Egyptian Copts.
Maybe it's just time to admit that diverse nations need their own Church with their own cultural expressions.