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Sargsyan's visit to the Vatican – ''the fifth column'' in the context of Christianity

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Baku, 13 April 2015 – Newtimes.az

Nowadays, the Armenians present themselves humbly in front of the world as the land populated by Christians in the East and its ultimate fortress, i.e. mythical first Christian state. These myths are promoted internationally specifically after Armenians' betrayal of their protectors, the Turks during the First World War. In this regard, the background of the visit of the President of the Republic of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan to the Vatican is yet another attempt to deceive the world community and the Christian world. This visit is carried out at a date which coincides with April 24, date of so called big tragedy for Armenians which is yet another fundamental part of this deceiving policy. It is very frustrating that the Pope whose key mission is to establish peace and reconciliation, joined the political games and adopted a one sided approach based on myths and not the approach of authentic historical facts. The chronological evidences confirm that Gregorian Armenians were considered traitors and heretics even in the Christian world. Throughout different stages in history, the Armenians have played the role of the fifth column in Christian world internally.

The way with roots from Khalkedon church gathering

Regardless the importance of church and religion in Armenian's life, the history revealed it to be always a political leverage for Armenians. Gregorian, Catholic, Protestant, Greek Orthodox and Monophysite, Diophysite, Evangelist and Armenians of other religious beliefs scattered all over the world. The different religious schools Armenians belong to, are based, first of all, on different protectors and support from their big brothers. Interestingly, the biggest enemy of today's Turks, i.e. the Gregorian Armenians for many centuries since Seljuk times lived under Turkic states as Seljuk, Garagoyunlu and the Ottoman. The Christian European states of that time considered Armenians as untrustworthy. Armenian Gregorian church was functioning since the very first days of Ottoman state and was under Sultan's protection. If we look at the history of those times, it becomes clear that Gregorian Armenians were considered by Christian world as heretics (infidels) specifically because of their protection from Turks.

While the Greek-Orthodox Church considered Armenians heretics, Ottoman Sultans in contrast to Byzantium established good conditions for them. After Fatih Sultan Mehmet conquered Istanbul, the Armenian church was moved to Istanbul from Bursa and was granted religious privileges. This is also admitted by Armenian historians themselves. The Armenian traveller Simon Lekhachi who travelled to Ottoman Empire in the 17 century wrote: "The Greeks are Armenians' real enemy ... throughout the whole rule of Greeks, not even a single Armenian was allowed to settle, or enter Istanbul to trade. It was after Turks took over Istanbul, Armenians were brought here from many provinces." (Simon Lekhatsi. Travellers notes, Moscow, 1965).

However, the Armenians, skilful in satisfying interests of everyone, were looking for a way out by their representation among key Christian school. While Armenian Protestants were under shelter of missionaries from the UK and US, the Catholic Armenians were owned by France. France was constantly exploiting Catholic Armenians to influence and interfere in the processes in the Near East. The Ottoman state recognized Armenian protestant church in Anadolu in 1850 as a separate religion.

Thus, quite different religious beliefs of Gregorian and catholic relations experienced historical controversies. It is a known fact that Gregorian Armenian church perceived Catholic church religious pillars as threat to national Armenian identity. In order to get closer and cringe to the Sassanids, Armenians during the Sassanian-Byzantine wars were against Christianity in the West, for this they could receive different benefits from the Sassanid rulers. Armenian Church determined its attitude towards the West and Rome at Khalkedon Monophystite Church Council in 451.

The Arab Caliphate continued the Sassanids` identical policy against the Armenians. To turn Armenians of Byzantium into "the fifth column" the Arabs supported their religious belief in protecting it as monophysite religion and used the latter in accordance with the policy against the West (Byzantine and Roman) Christianity. Thus, in the mentioned periods of the history the Gregorian Armenians were against the Christian world as the "fifth column".

With the collapse of the kingdom of Cilicia in 1375 and the absence of state government for many centuries, the protection of national identity of the Armenians cherished great hopes for Gregorian Apostolic Church. Interestingly, during this period, which covers the period 1375-1918, Armenians did not consider Muslim Turks as the greatest threat to their national identity, but the Catholic Church. After the fall of Cilician Kingdom, the Armenian Church organized the Synod to avoid the influence of the Roman Church in 1441. The final decision was made there to relocate the Catholicos Union to the east, to the city of Echmiadzin. The Gregorian Apostolic Church that represents only the Armenians has always played a role of Armenian outposts not the Christian world and the greatest threat for them was Catholic church, and not Islam.

Armenian political hypocrisy targeting Catholic church

In the light of all these controversies, Armenian president Serge Sargsyan's visit to the Vatican in upcoming few days and his hope for the Pope’s demonstration of Christianity religious fervor can be assessed as a next step in their political hypocrisy. The history has repeatedly witnessed Armenians’ begging the Vatican for their own interests upon necessity though they always considered Catholic Church as a potential threat to their national identity.

It became known that Armenians' first inclination to Catholicism was during crusades period. During crusades, Armenians fought on the crusaders' side, thus betraying Turks and Arabs under whose auspices they were living. In crusaders' invasion of cities like Edessa, Antioch, there are tens of facts that confirm Armenians' help, residents of these fortress-cities, to cede the city to them. In our opinion, verily from that period on, there were made certain secret agreements between the Vatican, a main encourager of crusades, and Armenians, and currently Armenians misuse this mission.

At the next stage in the 16th-17th centuries, Armenians' embrace of Catholicism both in Europe (Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth) and in Anatolia was based on their political motives. It took the Vatican centuries, however, to trust Armenians. Only in 1792, the Pope officially accepted Armenian Catholic Church as a church-organization linked to the Rome church. In 1831 Sultan Mahmut II (1808-1839), was urged by France envoy, also recognized Armenian Catholics as a community. Thereupon, Armenians living in Ottoman territories became a tool of the Vatican and France influence.

Armenians are represented by a specific monarch order, which has a special place in the Catholic religious hierarchy. An Armenian named Mkhitar (1676-1749), who left Constantinople Armenian Patriarch, established a monarch order there in 1701, and afterwards fled to Venice and got permission to settle the order in San Lazar Island in Adriatic Sea in 1717. Mkhitar monarch order that took shelter under Venice – a main naval competitor to Ottoman Empire at that time – fell under Pope's auspices as well. The Mkhitar monarch order was granted with an island for its betrayal of Ottoman, and still continues to function today and defends Armenian interests in the Catholic world.

Thus, the attitude of Gregorian church, the protector of Armenian national identity throughout the history, towards the Catholic world, that always considered it as a greatest threat to itself, was never straightforward. However, Armenians who always used religion as a political tool looked down at their religious views over their political interests when considered needed and stood poised for any hypocrisy in favor of their personal gain. In our opinion, Serzh Sargsyan's visit to the Vatican is another key part of the chain of hypocrisy in their historical mission. Religion continues to serve antagonism and not peace in Armenian politics.

Arastu Habibeyli

PhD in Economy

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