Tbilisi, May 17, 2019
More than 500 couples who had already started families but had no Church wedding participated in mass wedding ceremonies yesterday, reports the site of the Georgian Patriarchate.
The services were held with the blessing of His Holiness Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II of Georgia. The organizational work was undertaken by the Society of Chokhonetsev of Georgia, founded by the Georgian Patriarchate with the purpose of strengthening the institution of the traditional family.
More than 120 couples were crowned in the Holy Trinity Sameba Cathedral in Tbilisi alone.
“We congratulate them with this special and wish them holiness and familial stability,” the Patriarchate’s message reads.
The first general wedding was held in Georgia in 2017 and was attended by several hundred couples. Last year the event, which crowned about 400 couples throughout Tbilisi, coincided with the city-wide procession in honor of Family Purity Day. The annual procession is being held again today, reports Georgia Today.
Family Purity Day, launched by Pat. Ilia in 2014, coincides with and counteracts the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, which was launched in 2005.
“We note that this event is peaceful and it does not aim at any kind of aggression. It is the expression of our community’s support towards traditional values. The Church is distancing itself from any kinds of violence,” the Patriarchate said in a statement.
Demonstrating that the Church’s stance is not one of “homophobia,” but of fidelity to God’s precepts, the Georgian Patriarchate asked the Interior Minister in February 2016 to provide security to Giorgi Tatishvili, a representative of the LGBT community who campaigns for their rights, who had filed a lawsuit with the Constitutional Court seeking the legalization of same-sex marriage, saying, “As we know, most of our people (regardless of nationality and faith) feel negatively about this law. For this reason, there is a threat that certain forces will use this situation for provocation and the life of Giorgi Tatishvili may be in danger.”
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