Ilia II denied rumors of a regular debate on the status of churches in Georgia
On the eve, the head of Georgian Orthodox Church Ilia II presented a rebuttal to information published in a number of local media that some members of the Holy Synod went against him in discussion on attribution legal status to religious organizations. As reported by "Georgia-News", Patriarch also mentioned anti-church campaign launched under the guise of supporting the head of the Georgian Orthodox Church.
"We reiterate that there were differences on a procedural issue between members of the Synod at a meeting on July 11, 2011 - to listen lawyers invited to a meeting or not. The majority supported this proposal and on the basis of this decision the Synod listened to experts. After that, the invited experts left the hall, and members of the Synod after discussion unanimously made a decision which was announced the same day", said in a statement of Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, posted on the official website of the Patriarchate.
Despite the fact that the decision was taken unanimously, different media published "a non-existent reality, defamatory material, allegedly, members of the Synod went against the Catholicos-Patriarch and therefore betrayed Patriarch and Motherland", said further in a statement of Georgian Patriarchate.
After the appearance of such information, the Holy Synod has repeatedly stated that it is not true. However, these rumors were being published further.
In this regard, Ilia II urges his flock to stop controversy surrounding the decision of the Holy Synod. "Because of this situation, I give my blessing to spiritual children of Georgian Apostolic Church to stop all sorts of controversy surrounding the decision of the Holy Synod and every person who cherish the unity of the church should steer clear of a smear campaign aimed at discrediting the clergy and the church", said in a statement of Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia.
Recall, in early July this year the Georgian Parliament in an expeditious manner approved amendments to the Civil Code on conferring the status of legal persons of public law to all religious associations which enjoy a similar status in the member countries of the Council of Europe. However, this decision was criticized by the organization and the public of the country. Georgian Orthodox Church also opposed it.