news  articles  all
rus на русском ქართულად
Saturday, 22 October 2016


Georgian church delegation goes to confer with the Holy Synod

2008-11-06 09:55

On 4th November an official delegation from the Georgian Orthodox Church is arriving in Moscow. It is highly likely that Metropolitan Gerasim of Zugdid and Tsaish, Metropolitan Grigol of Poti and Khobi and Archbishop Andrey of Gori are going there to divide up canonical territory. And in particular, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The issue of South Ossetia's status in the church arose back in September. Back then the expectations of the Moscow Patriarchy diverged from the interests of the state. Despite repeated requests from the Abkhazian and Alanian dioceses, the Moscow Patriarchy did not take them under its patronage. "There can be no question of incorporating the Ossetian and Abkhazian churches into the structure of the Russian Orthodox Church," said the


press-secretary of the Moscow Patriarchy Vladimir Vigilyanskii at the time. Earlier the deputy head of the Department for External Church Relations Vsevolod Chaplin had already informed the public that "political decisions do not define questions of church jurisdiction".

Naturally, the Patriarchy did not turn away its petitioners out of any love for Georgia's territorial integrity. The fate of the Abkhazian and Ossetian parishes is being decided by church diplomacy.

In recent times serious battles have been taking place throughout CIS territory for the hearts and minds of parishioners. Squabbles with the Uniate Church members from Western Ukraine were only the start. Now churches are dividing up rival Orthodox dioceses. Hence Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko, relying on the support of the Constantinople Patriarchy, is trying to get round the Russian Orthodox Church in creating an independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church. It cannot be said that he has had any great success, but he has nevertheless managed to take away some believers. There is a similar situation with Orthodox Church members in Estonia - with support from the country's authorities they have created the Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church. Under the patronage of the Constantinople Patriarchy. The new creation immediately entered into a legal struggle with its Russian colleagues, desperately trying to divide up the country's parishes. The most humorous confrontation has been with Romanian Orthodoxy. Two years ago in the Moldovan town of Ungheni the police had to force parishioners out of a church, where a bitter hand-to-hand fight was taking place between supporters of Moscow and Bucharest.

According to the well-known church and public figure Deacon Andrey Kuraev, the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church has been afraid of losing influence in the post-Soviet sphere and has not wanted to be deprived of practically its sole ally - the Georgian Church, whose voice has been vital in the battle with Constantinople for parishes and property. From 10th-12th October the long-awaited meeting between representatives from 15 Orthodox patriarchies took place in Istanbul. The union of the Russian and Georgian churches successfully overcame the resistance of the Constantinople Patriarchy, which was trying to bring representatives from the Estonian Orthodox Church to the conference. At the meeting they even came to the agreement that from now on Constantinople will not summon its dissenters to such events.

The question of what to do with the Abkhazian and Alanian dioceses arose once again two weeks later. This time representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church were not so unambiguous.

Code for blog
Add: Magnolia Livejournal Reddit Google
Permanent link :
Rambler's Top100
Select spelling error with mouse and press Ctrl+Enters
Система Orphus