He preaches to one and praises another
meghoun guh kahrozeh, moiyssuhn guh lolozeh
The implication of this saying is that a person does not treat everyone equally.
It may also be used for two-faced or deceitful persons who say one thing to someone and something else to another for their personal advantage.
He steals at night and the next day he says “God have mercy on us!”
keehsehruh koghoutioun eh ahnoum, tzehreguh “dehr voghormia” eh ahssoum
He feeds the hen with one hand and steals her egg with the other
mehg tzerkohv sehrmuh hahveen goudah
mouhssohv hahvgeetuh guh khoghahnah
He is a priest outside and a devil inside
Toursuh kahana nersuh sadana
The Armenian Archbishop of London during the 1920s was a friend of Calouste Gulbenkian, one of the richest men in the world at that time. Gulbenkian was known as Mr. 5 % because he received a 5 % interest of all oil extracted from Saudi Arabia. He was also a major benefactor of the Armenian Church of England and many Armenian causes. The Archbishop developed a sexual relationship with Gulbenkian’s attractive Armenian wife. “Toursuh kahana, nersuh sadana – He is a priest on the outside and a devil inside.”
When Gulbenkian found out about it, he was furious and vowed never to help the Armenians again. When he died, he did not allocate any of his wealth for the Armenian nation in the diaspora. Later, on the repeated appeals of the Armenians, the Portuguese executor of Gulbekian’s will agreed to allocate some small portion of his wealth to aid the Armenians.
There are many sincere priests in the Armenian Church and some rascals also. I lived with a priest during my student years in Paris while I stayed in the Armenian Student’s House in the City University. The Priest’s name was Hayr (Father) Zareh. We would sit together at night and read the Bible in Armenian. He would explain it to me. However, sometimes I noticed some unsavory things in his character. He could be short tempered and unpleasant at times and often cynical toward his peers in the priesthood.
Once he explained to me in Armenian: “Yeteh ays ahskaruh chee vaiehlesneh, mouish ahskaruh ches gernarh vaiehleer – If you don’t enjoy yourself in this world, you won’t enjoy the next world.”
I was perplexed by his statement because of the way he said it. He s seemed to imply that one must enjoy the worldly pleasures here and now to enjoy the pleasures of God’s Heaven. He didn’t venture to explain what he meant in detail, but smiled with an impish look on his face.
In the Armenian Church there are priests who make a vow to never marry and they gradually rise in the hierarchy of the Church. There are also priests who can marry, but are not permitted to rise in the Church hierarchy while married. Father Zareh was a rising star in the Armenian priesthood.
Some years later, I was shocked to hear that he left the priesthood to marry and begin a business in Paris. Reflecting on my experiences with Father Zareh, I realized he was a priest outside and somewhat devilish inside. On some occasions in the Armenian Student’s House, Father Zareh became drunk and acted foolishly.
Mark Twain has written that the Devil can quote scripture. My priest friend was an expert at quoting scripture, yet he had certain habits that undermined his priestly vows. He enjoyed eating meat and drinking alcoholic beverages that inappropriately stimulated him. He liked to party and was attracted to women. He could be affectionate one minute and harsh the next. His bad habits weakened his ability to follow scripture. He knew scripture, but could not consistently follow scripture.
Such patterns behavior are external signs of internal turmoil.
On the other hand, I befriended at the same time, Father Norvan. He was also staying in the student house. Father Norvan was very spiritual in behavior. He was humble, dedicated and gentle. He didn’t manifest any external strangeness or inappropriateness in his behavior. It was always a pleasure to be with him. He is now an archbishop in the Armenian Church.