KHRIMIAN HAYRIG’S FAREWELL ADDRESS
Delivered by Khrimian,
Holy Patriarch of Armenians
to the National Representative Assembly
at the historic 64th session, August 3, 1873
Translated by T.J. Samuelian
On August 3, 1873, after four frustrating years as the spiritual and political head of the Armenian community of the Ottoman Empire, Khrimian Hayrig went before the Armenian National Assembly in Constantinople (Bolis) to read in person his resignation from the Patriarchal Seat. What he delivered that day was not simply an address, but the cry of an anguished soul-a soul tormented for the sake of his convictions and for the love of his countrymen. With the humility characteristic of his magnanimous personality, he professed that he did not have the qualities the patriarchal chair required, fashioning himself a person “who had grown wild in one of the vineyards of Van” and who, for this reason, had not in his four-year tenure been able to accomplish works worthy of the post to which he had been elevated. Nevertheless, he did not hesitate to add that even persons of greater talent and ability might have been stymied in the same circumstances.
On this day, he blamed no one for the shortcomings of his tenure. He was firmly convinced that the causes which undermined the Armenians’ efforts were inherent in the situation. It was the design of the Constitution itself that was flawed. But, despite his ceaseless exhortations at the 63 sessions he chaired, he was unable to mobilize the Assembly to make the necessary reforms.
The structure inherited under the Constitution of 1863 provided for two deliberative bodies: one to deal with the civil affairs and the other with the religious affairs of the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire, the ethno-religious community, or millet, being the political unit of governance under the Ottoman regime. At the head of the community was the Patriarch of Constantinople, elected by the National Representative Assembly.
Of the many issues which occupied the attention of the Representatives, Khrimian lamented, only one-the issue of Sis-had even been dealt with. For the rest, the Assembly was inundated with local issues from Bolis and its surrounding districts, and being understaffed and structurally unsound, the fledgling Armenian “government within a government” was unable to meet its obligations to the Armenians of the provinces, where assistance was most urgently needed.
Probably Khrimian Hayrig’s greatest regret was that his flock in the provinces was left untended for lack of clergy, and he directly attributed this negligence to the endless flow of problems from the capital which monopolized the National Assembly sessions. Therefore, highest on his agenda was a reform of the government which would have created an additional pair of civil and religious bodies devoted solely to the affairs of the provinces. He was equally scandalized by the litiginous attitude of the Representatives who quite often construed the constitution in ways which, while adhering to the letter of the law, did violence to its spirit. Beyond all this, he, one of the progressive spirits of his time, had to endure the indignity of being called an anticonstitutionalist on account of his fervent desire to see the constitution work for the people as it was intended to, even if this meant major reform.
After years of watching the community suffer without cause, years of knowing that at least some of the community’s problems had cures which were within reach, years of proposing viable solutions to those problems, and years of meeting with indifference and hostility at every turn, he despaired for the future of his community and Church. At this dark moment in his life, burdened with a sense of failure, he longed only for the tranquility of his monastic cell, the calm and constructive solace of the literary life, and the simple ways of his native Van. He came before the Representatives that day to ask that they release him from his bondage that he might serve God and his fellow man in the direct and effective way which had earned him the love and respect of his countrymen. Thus unfettered, he might, like the Eagle which had adorned the masthead of his newspaper, soar once again to the heights of spirit and service which were the rarified atmosphere in which this extraordinary, saintly spirit thrived.
Representatives of the Armenians:
Today is the day I am to be set free. I ask you most humbly to permit me in this Cathedral, before the Representatives assembled, to say a few words, as I ask to be relieved from this Assembly, which by its free choice on September 4, 1869 bound and brought me from Taron to this place. At the beginning of November of the same year, on the altar of the Mother Cathedral of Constantinople, the ceremony of my enthronement took place. I do not know whether you remember that on that, my Palm Sunday, I gave you my word and pledge, “Representatives and Armenian People, you raised me to this throne with great difficulty. I pledge here before you, that without prodding, I myself will step down, honoring with humble respect, your verdict which bears the stamp of approval of the entire Nation; for by the law I was elected and by the law I wish to be set free.” I would ask only this, for the sake of the Church and the Armenian people, that you let me go in peace.
Yes, with great expectations you elected me and brought me here. I know how difficult it will be to let me go without hindrance. What was it, after all, that you and all of the Armenians of Turkey expected? Here’s what I think: You expected that Khrimian would increase the glory to the Armenian church. You hoped that he would improve the deteriorating condition of the servants of Church. You believed that by ceaselessly preaching schools, education, enlightenment, he had hitched the nation to the cart of progress and was taking it toward that goal. Let us say, in other words, that the great expectation was that Khrimian as a Patriarch who favored the Constitution would himself be able to lift the Constitution quickly and expediently on his Eagle’s (the name of his paper, Ardzvl) wings and spread it over the Armenians and their country, that he would baptize and enlighten everywhere at once the citydweller and the country folk, the learned and the common man, and transform them into a constitutionally governed people.
Moreover, the greatest expectation was on the part of the people of the provinces, who thought: now that Khrimian has become P-atriarch, Good News for all! We are to be liberated from all the miseries of oppression. What is amazing is that I also thought like you that I would be able to work such great miracles and crown with success this great expectation.
For this reason with a full heart and unfettered imagination, I pondered whether by leaving Taron, leaving Varag, my small vineyards, where I had labored and was at least conforted by commonplace rewards, I might be more useful to my people than this. Frankly speaking, I knew myself, that I did not have the character necessary for the high rank of Patriarch. I had no wisdom, nor scholarly inclinations, nor political acumen nor knowledge of foreign languages. With so many shortcomings, let it not be thought that it was ambition that drove me to this post. No, it was solely love for my people and a fervent disire to help my country. I thought to myself, that I’ll go to sit on the P-atriarchal Throne for a short while, that in the center of power I might perhaps be able to find a cure and take care of my people who are so in need. The extent of these shortcomings of mine is well known to you of the Assembly. Khrimian was not unknown to his people, but I am not sure for what purpose, perhaps for the sake of compromise, for a moment they lost their bearings and forgot the inflexible characteristics of the Constitution and brought in a man whose inclinations were more those of mountains, fields and monastic life.
What more could I have done, Representatives of the Armenians? You did not express yourselves with providential foresight that you might reap at the right time without disappointment. In a small farm you found Khrimian growing wild in the fields. Then, low and behold, you elected him. The fruit that wild tree will bear is only this much. You have no right to complain.
The Representative Assembly put me in charge, and naturally, it is its right to call me to account. Though there is still time, I have rendered my accounting in advance, believing that if I delayed, yet more time would pass and the weight of rendering account would rest even more heavily upon me. At the beginning of November, four years will have past since my election, and I am at a loss to present or recount accomplishments which might in some way acquit myself and the Central Administration honorably of our offices and raise the hopes of the people.
I presided over sixty three sessions of the Representative Assembly. In the beginning, when the first session was convened, the floor was opened to. discuss what was the most pressing and important issue-Revision of the Constitution. In the course of four years, this most important issue remained an unresolved item on the agenda; the Committee’s preliminary draft was rejected so that a better one could be drawn up. A few months ago, yet another Revision Committee was appointed by the Assembly. This Committee, so far as I have heard, has yet to revise a single article. This issue languishes unresolved. What other issues did the Assembly resolve? What about the issue of Sis? Yes, here’s an issue it resolved with great foresight. Did it bother with the issue of oppression? Yes, this was a life and death issue for a suffering Nation. After twice appealing to the Sublime Porte in the name of the people for mercy and compassion, we are still waiting for an audience. There are several other issues which arose in the General Assembly; for example,
Parliamentary and Judicial Law
Centralization vs. Decentralization
Relations between the Catholicos and the Patriarch His Holiness, the Catholicos’ Encyclical
The Catholicate of Aghtamar
Of these issues, which was important? which unimportant? which was resolved? which remains unresolved? I leave it up to you to figure out whether there was any profit from the Assembly’s deliberations or whether they labored in vain.
Take the acts and decisions of all our deliberative bodies-the Assembly of Civil Affairs and the Assembly of Religious Affairs, the Trustees and the Bureau of Overseers. In a word, the whole National Administration, and from the record of their proceedings you will learn that these issues and tasks were for the most part incompletely or only partially addressed. While the National Administration, excluding the General Assembly, expended its energies on such innumerable and endless questions, the Assembly members rested quite contentedly, it never entering their minds that their main duty under the Constitution was to care for the national welfare and raise issues of general concern. It is these issues to which I wish to address myself, that the Assembly might secure reforms in our national life. Be assured, I have no intention of passing judgment, and I can blame neither the Religious nor Civil Assemblies for not sharing my views on these issues and not deliberating upon them. Indeed they might feel and understand the Nation’s needs better than I do. But when, at what point in time, they are going to get around to deliberating, that is beyond me, for they are caught in a morass of minutiae. The storm of paperwork in the Secretariat, the people pressing at the door of the Council Chamber, do they leave time to take one day, one moment, to consider the general and internal needs of the people? To wit:
1. To transform the National Administration into a truly central and national body, and form a special Local Administration for Constantinople
2. To work out a more beneficial and law-governed relationship with the Ottoman Government
3. To establish a safe and effective election procedure so as not to abuse the provisions for free elections in the Constitution
4. To standardize and expand the National tithe
5. To make mandatory the accountability of National civil servants
6. To set right the present disarray in the Church and regulate the course of the clergy according to the ancestral spirit of the laws and directives of the Armenian Apostolic Church
7. To define a legal and compulsory means for guiding the actions of the leadership and for holding leaders accountable
8. To secure the income and estates of the national church and monasteries and use them for the benefit of the people
9. To take all necessary measures to propagate the true faith among the people and protect the independence of the Armenian Church and to work to stem the advance of conversion in the community
10. To undertake innovative and effective measures to spread education and knowledge among the people
11. To find funds for expanding programs of elementary education, and to open several centers of higher learning
12. To shore up Armenian family life, that is, the ties of marriage and morality, to eliminate abuses, to stem the refugee problem, and to transform the Nation into one large family. To seek from the Ottoman authorities stronger measures for the elimination of internal and external oppression. To forbid deportation. To defend the individual rights of our people, by which the Nation’s integrity will be assured
Having made these brief observations on the course of the Administration, I know that you, the Representative Assembly, wait impatiently for me to proceed to the important reasons which have inexorably driven me to resign this post of my own free will and accord. As I looked ahead, the National interest, the Church’s interest and the very grave conditions of the times, demand such a sacrifice of me. I am as prepared for this as Sahag, our forefather. I only ask that the Representative Assembly prepare its sharp verdict.
My first reason for resigning is exhausion and despair. I came to work, and accomplished nothing. For one or two years I was inexperienced and was only just beginning to understand national affairs and their trends, I do not think that there is any shame in confessing this, for even the most worldly of european figures needs experience and collaborative assistance.
Through this experience I certainly gained insight and I testify before the Nation and the Representatives that the several bodies envisioned by the Constitution are not inadequate to the Nation’s needs. We have one Religious Assembly, whose duty it is, in accordance with Church Law and the Constitution, to promote the Church and keep good works and religious feeling alive in the people’s hearts, you might ask, “Did it succeed in carrying out these duties?” It would answer, “No, for it didn’t have time.” Leaving aside care for the churches of the provinces and prescription of laws for their governance, it could not even reliably meet the needs of the 32 churches and the priests of the capital, and as things stand, it never will.
The Constitution has given the people an unrewarded and unsalaried Civil Assembly, whose duty it is to look after the nearly three million Armenians in Turkey by meeting once a week and then for barely three hours. I have observed the state of our Civil Assembly in person. I have seen that this Assembly has always been incompetent to decide even technical and minor problems, let alone thinking about and setting forth the vital issues and agenda for the Nation. I beg you, this Assembly is overburdened. Lift from its back the burden of the issues of the provinces and let us see whether it is able to deal even with those of the capital and its districts. Just yesterday, in confronting these problems, the Armenian Patriarchate became the scene of a riot to the consternation of all right-thinking, patriotic citizens. The situation is much the same with the other body, the Bureau of Overseers, whose constituency is only the capital, but have they ever found time to go to Brusa or Rodosto?
The Representatives know that the Constitution provides for the idea of division of labor, therefore, to ease this difficult state of affairs if only partially, a year ago I proposed to the cabinet of the Civil Assembly with persuasive words and reliable facts that at least two sub-councils be formed: one for local affairs and one especially for the affairs of the provinces. Our simple and lawful proposal became the subject of all manner of distorted opinion at the Civil Assembly, which judged it too irrelevant and unimportant for their attention, and I considered it prudent not to persist until the time when experience had convinced them. From this day and from this issue arose the rift between myself and the Civil Assembly, and as time went on various incidents made the rift grow wider. One has to be amazed. It is possible to attribute to so simple an issue, so sinister an aim and to go as far as to say that the proposal was anti-Constitutional? When I saw that the Civil Assembly always shied away from this issue, and it was impossible any longer to obtain approval, I thought it might be brought before the General Assembly so that this issue might be resolved in a fundamental way by the Committee on Revisions.
Therefore, two months ago, when the Assembly requested by official letter my observations about the articles in the Constitution, I wrote and presented my impressions to the Committee in person, considering that an appropriate occasion to take up this issue. During this session, I presented what I thought were very persuasive arguments, explaining the fundamental spirit and benefit of the proposal, so that even a child would have been convinced. But, today, it is with a heavy heart that I must report to the National Assembly, that the Civil Assembly as well as the Revision Committee have given little attention to my proposal. They saw no need to bring it before the General Assembly by a special report, instead leaving it to come to the General Assembly after the Constitution has been revised in full. Here my patience ran out, for I do not know, nor do I believe that this revision will ever get done. In order to understand the soul of this problem, I must read the exact copy of the proposal given to the Committee and then I must return and explain the second condition which is in no small way responsible for my resignation.
Illustrious Chairman of the Revision Committee of the National Constitution,
Several days ago I received a report from the officers of the Revision Committee in which you sought my opinion and observations on the articles of the Constitution under study.
On this issue, as I have told the Chairman of the Committee, I will for the time being express my observations with concise words.
The National Administration (with the exception of the General Assembly) has time and again proved unable and incompetent to deal with the problems of all the Armenian people of Turkey in a legal and effective fashion. It deals neither with the transient issues of the day nor with the internal and vital issues which transcending the concerns of an individual or a single province pertain to the general interest of the people. However it is in the solution of precisely these problems that the interests and progress of the Armenian people lie. These issues have been laid on the table indefinitely and are only the subject of casual discussion. The newspapers preach, but these issues have yet to have been acted upon or resolved, and the underlying cause is the lack of manpower and time.
For the resolution of the domestic problems of the Armenians of Turkey, the National Constitution envisions only a Civil Assembly, a Religious Assembly, and a couple of subordinate bodies. These Assemblies are able to meet but a couple of times a week, barely opening the floor to motions and deliberation at eight o’clock or later. If there is a point where the drafters of the Constitution erred, it is here: they were under the false impression that the existent Supreme Council and Clergy Council were able to govern the Nation and solve its problems. Therefore, they considered it adequate to replace the Supreme Council with the Civil Assembly and the Clergy Council with the Religious Assembly. Were they unable to think this through and see what was going to happen? If before the Constitution there were 1000 petitions a year, after, the number reached two thousand, which is highly understandable. When the people received the right to vote, when the principle of duties and rights is respected nation-wide on a day to day basis, of course, a multitude of problems arise, and these issues very often evolve into arguments and fights, the consequence of which has always been an impossible workload for the Administrative Assembly. Moreover, not only did the Constitution multiply the number of issues many fold during the twelve year period, but new issues concerning progress arise every hour, every moment, every day. Of this we are assured not only by human experience, but also by the Gospel: “You do not know what the new day will bring.”
The drafters of the Constitution committed yet another error: they have mixed the local issues of the capital with those of the provinces and other general issues. Guided by long experience, I can testify that the few meager bodies established in the Constitution are not adequate to administer even the affairs of the capital, let alone those of all the provinces. Conceding with some certainty that the problems of the approximately 100,000 Armenians in the capital are as numerous as those of the 2 million Armenians in the provinces, I still cannot understand how local issues often take precedence over those of the provinces. This confusion and this course has resulted in great and terrible deprivations for both the Armenians of the capital and those of the provinces. What is amazing is that despite these deprivations, the two sides remain indifferent and it never crosses their minds at least to raise legitimate complaints.
Explaining to the General Assembly that there are many other peripheral causes which contribute to this problem, let me draw this conclusion for the issue under consideration. One solution would be to separate the affairs of the capital from those of the provinces completely, and considering Constantinople as a central province, several constitutionally mandated assemblies should be established under a presiding officer for purely local affairs and problems. Another would be to establish a new office, which would convene for the entire week, having full power to solve everyday problems. In either instance, there is need for a separate Assembly to handle the vital and general problems of the nation, which convening at least once a week, would open the road and pave the way for national progress in whose way lie many grave obstacles.
Here then is our most important issue, an issue which today I submit to the attention of the Assembly, which has weighed on the people and which needs to be solved without delay, for the Nation’s interest demands it. If the National Administration continues on its present course, there is no hope for the Constitution and consequently our long awaited reforms will not be realized and will remain yet further out of the grasp of the Armenian people. Neither will the citizens of the provinces see the resolution of their main problem nor will the citizens of the capital be able to show the world any result for the reforms demanded in its name and on its behalf. They are neighbors of the european nations and it is their duty, more than any of the provinces, to set an example of progress.
How sad it is that they dissipate their energies on inter-district affairs and load down the Patriarchate’s Assemblies with insignificant matters, leaving neither time nor energy to deal with provincial matters. This unproductive course is detrimental and not a source of pride for the citizens of the capital, for it was itself the progenitor of the National Constitution. It is bound to spare neither time nor money for the citizens of the provinces; for of all the Armenians of Turkey they are the only ones with sufficient education and wealth and respite from the woes of oppression, which are borne by the wretched Armenians of the provinces, who expect enlightenment, reform, progress, and freedom from Constantinople. They have waited too long. Their eyes have melted in tears. They are close to despair. Attention must be given to the question of the provinces, and the only way for this to be done is division of the work and problems and the mechanics of everyday administration.
Wishing for the progress of the nation, (signature)
11 July 1873
In the Patriarchate of Armenians Constantinople
Be mindful! Do not forget, Representatives of the Armenians, the day when you asked of me my solemn pledge to uphold the Constitution. On that day I, with foresight, did see that much like Moses, I would not be able to keep the letter of the law with the stringency which would demand to have an old widow stoned who had been forced to collect firewood on account of the cold, or to deny the right to vote for four years to people who caused confusion on election day. Therefore, I considered it more than enough to pledge to support only “the spirit and permanent principles” of the Constitution. But on the day of Civil Assembly convened, the honorable Secretary, whose motive I do not understand, laying the Constitutional Code on the table, announced, “It is necessary to carry out every regulation of the Constitution as stipulated.” From that day till this, the Assembly has been run according to this rule, and I, in obedience, respected all the decisions and signed them. But, from time to time, only by way of observation, I advised the law be implemented with care and caution until the people got used to it, until they learned to write ballots, until they understood the spirit of the law, loved it and embraced it. If only the Nation deserved the consequences of the Secretary’s stipulation. Rather, as a consequence of following the law so strictly and literally, there were noisy riots in the districts of Constantinople and in the provinces. Let the shameful incident of July 30, 1873 at the Patriarchate be a lesson for the future. Is it possible, in the face of the facts, to twist the meaning of these words and to blame this on the Patriarch as keeper of the laws for not doing his duty and saying that he does not care about the proper observance of the laws? Against this I now and always do protest.
For Khrimian, long before 1860 came forth as a supporter of the Constitution. On April 4, 1820 from his mother’s womb he came into this world a supporter of the Constitution, and it is, indeed, very difficult for him to be accused of being against the Constitution. I want to embrace the Constitution, but I do not want to hug and squeeze it until it dies in my embrace. It seems to me that its pages are more delicate than petals of a rose. Do not touch them harshly, they will fall apart. How especially do I shudder when the hands of the police touch it; that is, when thoughtless and shortsighted people call in the police to restrain lawbreakers by force. To what end will this lead, I leave to you to surmise.
It is now time for me to speak about the second reason for my resignation-the state of the Church-which is as great and important as God. His Gospel and the Church are sublime. Heed me, Representatives of the Armenians! Heed me, my brothers in service! i am about to speak about the Armenian Church in Turkey, which is so degenerate, impoverished and decayed. Allow me to recite the lament of our holy Khorenatsi some 1300 years ago:
“I lament you, 0 Church of Armenia, obscured from splendor of the dais, deprived of brave pastors and pastors’ assistants.” Know, Representatives of the Armenians, I was the most humble and unworthy of the pastors overseeing that church, named Vicar by the August Patriarch of Holy Etchmiadzin. You put the Constitution in my hand and demanded that I vow to remain faithful to the Constitution. If I go astray, you will censure me by your vote. But before the Constitution, Jesus put His Gospel in my hand. Does not that Divine Man have a right to demand an accounting? Yes, more than you. Oh, I left that Gospel and have become a partisan official in the Patriarchal court together with several of my brothers in service.
The Constitution, while, of course, not ignoring totally service to the Church and Gospel, defines in Article 28 my role together with the Religious Assembly as follows:
The General Director of Religious Affairs. His responsibilities are to develop religious feeling in the people, to keep the creed and traditions of the Armenian Church unshakable, to supervise the good order of the Church and churchmen, to improve the present state of churchmen, to make the future tranquil and to take care of finding means to secure it, to visit the national schools from time to time, to oversee the teaching of Christian doctrine, to supply worthy and learned Vartabeds and priests, to study the religious disputes that arise in the Nation and to resolve them according to the laws of the Church.
You have composed these duties with mete and proper language, 0 Legislative Assembly of the Armenians, and you have piled up and loaded very heavy burdens on my back and on that of the Religious Assembly. I do not even know whether you asked us once to give an account of which of those obligations we had fulfilled and which we had left undone. I give you with a heavy heart the bad news that the entire upper paragraph is a dead letter. Only on the basis of the latter clause, “the religious disputes which arise in the nation,” can we render an accounting, but not by the Church law interpreted by the Constitution, but by the laws of conscience and sometimes also by conditions maintained by tradition or custom. Ah, if there were a just or impartial judge here, I would meet you in court. Legislative Assembly, you have placed so great a portion of the burden on me and the Religious Assembly. Do you never recollect that those obligations were tied inseparably to certain rights?
You only define the obligations, you forget the rights. Perhaps, in order to carry out those obligations you had in mind the great revenues of church officials; that is, the money from baptisms and funerals. These are the rations of a stingy person. All it takes to keep us alive is the cost of our daily bread. Or by some flight of fancy did you think that the current servants of the Gospel, without a staff, without sacrifice, and without the copper coin they keep in their belt, could go from Bolis to Trabizon, or as in the days of Christ and the Apostles they could work miracles without mammon. Since to meet such obligations you have not provided for rights, you cannot expect to see the results of their fulfillment; to wit, I shall present a situation which has my brothers of the Religious Assembly and me confused.
When various parishes of the provinces in Armenia seek pastors, there are none. The rich city of Kharpert, where many Armenians live, has need of a pastor; protestantism is on the upsurge; there is no pastor in the Church of St. Gregory to minister to their needs. Arapkir needs a pastor, it is their right. Agn also needs a pastor, but there is none. The pastor of Chmshgadzak fled of his own accord. Eudocia needs a pastor and is plagued by disturbances. Amasia and Marzvan are also in disarray having been left without priests. Erzinka needs a pastor, but has been left without one. Derjan long ago needed a priest, but there is none. Moush needs one, but there is none. Baghesh needs a priest, for their priest has been exiled. In Van the selection of a pastor has given rise to a feud. I am not even mentioning the state of the abandoned parishes of the unfortunate inhabitants of Cilicia, on whose behalf the poor Catholicos of Sis is constantly writing, grieving that he needs vartabeds. I barely found Ulnitsi Thvit, a lame vartabed, and sent him.
This then is the state of the Church. This is the heart-rending picture, Representatives of the Armenians, of which I have presented barely one percent. It has racked and embittered your heart and mine, yet you still remain indifferent. If that is so, then sweep it away. Have no qualms. Sweep away the entire brotherhood of the Church. Let there be no Catholicos, no Patriarch, no Bishops, no Vartabeds, no Priests. Let the Lord himself tend the Church and his people, May you, like the Jews, turn your countenance from heaven and say, “Let us wander without a shepherd and to you we shall come. . .”
But if for this you say repentance and you have misgivings, such criminal blasphemy is distant from your heart, your depths, your mouth. You have St. Gregory’s spotless faith and you are the vine he planted. Of course, you say for me, Workers of the Field are needed. Pastors are needed. Priests are needed. Mass is needed. Incense is needed. Until when? Until tomorrow and until the consummation of the world; as long as you are Christian and you have Faith and the Gospel is in your heart. If this is the way it is, Representatives of the People, then with balanced justice you should establish the laws. You should together with its obligations give the Religious Assembly its rights. And then if it still does not do its duty, in the name of the Church with severity and due process you can hold it accountable.
This problem is a bequest, which I will to my successor and I beg of you only one thing, that you pay more attention to this problem than to any other. Do not waver! The solution is easy and it is in your hands, for you are the great caretaker of the Church. You are the key to this Cathedral and its treasure is in your hands and under your supervision. We are now hired servants of this Cathedral. If you are wise and love the glory of the Church and try to find ways to ennoble the servants of Christ’s Church, that glory might also revert to you.
These are my rightful reasons for resignation, Representatives of the Armenians, which I ask that you take into careful consideration. And if you penetrate them to their depth, you will see that Khrimian has written, not only with sincere knowledge, but also with experienced truth. As a testament, I urge you, in a speedy and efficient manner, revise the Constitution and observe as unerringly as possible the rights and obligations of the fundamental laws. In the Administrative sphere, separate the affairs of the capital from those of the provinces. In the executive sphere, strive for unity and agreement. Know that the machinery of government without this balance doesn’t work. This much is sufficient.
I beg your indulgence, for all those faults, which as a fallible man have committed. I ask your forgiveness from the entire body of Representatives. I ask forgiveness from my co-workers and brothers of the Religious Assembly. I ask forgiveness of the honorable members of the Civil Assembly. I accuse you of nothing. I blame only the situation, whose direction and changes are under the care of the Legislative Assembly.
All that remains is for me to bless the entire Armenian people and bidding farewell to the Representatives, like Vahan Koghtnatsi I beseech you, “Free me, that I might see the extent of the ruin of the land of my fathers.”
Let me arise from this Chair and settle there. Perhaps by this I will present my successor with an example of peace. Release me! If as Patriarch I was not able to work as Khrimian Vartabed; .perhaps as Khrimian Vartabed I might be able to work as Patriarch.
Say then, “Farewell, Eagle. Go, find in Varak your cherished cell, your pen, and a little bit of tanabour. Stay there, like a troubled ship seeking refuge in a harbor.”