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Garegin II let down by his… youth2011-06-21 22:49
The long-awaited Georgian visit of Garegin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, which was even called historical in advance, unfortunately, resulted null. Actually, the only positive result is just the fact of the visit. Armenia explains the failure of the negotiations by inappropriate ambitions of the Georgian party, while Patriarch Ilya II said that they did not manage to arrive at a common opinion because of... the young age of the Armenian Catholicos.
The visit of the Catholicos of All Armenians Garegin II to Georgia had been expected for long, and great hopes were laid on it. It was a question of the legal status of the Armenian Church in Sakartvelo, where an Armenian commune of several hundreds of thousands of people lives. And the Georgian diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church still has the status of just a "public organization" in Georgia.
So the Catholicos of All Armenians came to visit the Georgian Patriarch Ilya II as a Church head to a Church head, to let the Armenian commune in Georgia belong to a registered church and not just to some "organization".
But, unfortunately, the hopes were not realized. No document was signed during the Catholicos' visit. The Georgian party raised a counter-claim declaring that the Georgian Church in Armenia does not have a legal status, either. And when they started speaking on the fact that some Armenian Church buildings are located in the territory of Sakartvelo and that it would be nice to return them under the jurisdiction of the Armenian Church, Patriarch Ilya II remembered that Armenia also has some ancient Georgian churches.
"Speaking about churches, we must not forget that both parties have their requirements. Both parties have some facts and documents proving that Georgia has some Armenian and Armenia Georgian churches", said Ilya II.
Well, no wonder that two neighbouring countries have some churches that "changed" jurisdiction in the course of history. E.g., there are some churches in Lori - Akhtala, Alaverdi, Kobairi, and they are really considered Orthodox and Georgian by origin. There are also some Armenian churches that changed their initial predestination and became Orthodox churches. The requirement on an equal status of both Churches in the two countries looks logical, too. But for the Armenian party the Georgian Patriarch's declaration was unexpected and even aroused his indignation.
"In the case of the Georgian eparchy of the Armenian Apostolic Church it is a question of the Armenian commune of Georgia including several hundreds of thousands of people, while the Georgian religious commune in Armenia is several times smaller, - declared the Press Secretary of the First-Throned Echmiadzin Vagram Melikyan. - Obviously, the Georgian party does not consider the situation existing de facto. The spiritual guides of Georgia tried to demonstrate that the Georgian Church in Armenia has the same problems as the Armenian Church in Georgia. This is definitely not so, and such issue formulation was one of the reasons why the press communiqué was not accepted".
Patriarch Ilya II believes that the documents were not signed for another reason, quite unexpected.
"Garegin II is a young person and he might require some more experience. He is intelligent but he would like to do everything too quickly. I told him that I have much experience, so it is better to remain placid", - noted the Georgian Patriarch in his traditional Sunday sermon.