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Church will help to mend differences2008-12-29 09:34
Recently many Georgian and Russian politicians have been competing in exchanging harsh statements towards each other. Will the church be able to reconcile the parties?
Today Dmitry Medvedev sent greetings to Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, Archbishop of Mtskheta-Tbilisi Ilia II to honor the anniversary of the patriarch enthronement. As the Kremlin press service reports the president highly appraised his merits in restoration of mutual understanding between the people of two countries.
"To a large extent due to your personal efforts the Georgian-Russian ecclesiastic, cultural and humanitarian links keep being a firm basement for preservation of good traditions and mutual understanding between our peoples", - the greeting reads.
In the meantime Georgia's president Mikheil Saakashvili came to the Cathedral of Holy Trinity to congratulate the patriarch in person and thank him for serving Georgia. He emphasized: "For decades after Ilia Chavchavadze nobody has done more for Georgia than Ilia II".
It will be remembered that due to him the Russian-Georgian dialogue was started - for now at the level of people's diplomacy.
Catholicos came to Moscow for the ceremony of burial of the late Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Alexy II. During his visit Ilia II had a meeting with the president of Russia. It was reported that Dmitry Medvedev and the head of the Georgian church had not discussed political issues. But the warming-up tendencies became evident. Back to Tbilisi Ilia II said the following analyzing his conversation with the Russian president: "These were quite good, positive agreements that however need continuation and a prudent, diplomatic approach. I believe our government will carry this on".
The public figures were the first to react to these words. At the meeting in the Russian Public Chamber the Georgian and Russian delegations reached first agreements on humanitarian issues. There is a conviction in Tbilisi: God has blessed resumption of dialogue between the countries.
Yesterday under the guidance of the Georgian Orthodox Church the international conference "Faith and knowledge as the basis of the world culture" began in Tbilisi. The Russian delegation is chaired by the advisor to the president of Russia Mikhail Shvydkoy.
These are the words of Ilia II opening the conference: "All our culture is based on Christian faith. When people's relationships are built on faith and knowledge it's much better. We are glad there is a metropolitan representing the Ecumenical Patriarch and the delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church".