Paris, June 29, 2020
The Archdiocese of Russian Churches of Western Europe under His Eminence Metropolitan John of Dubna has no intentions of opening a Georgian-language parish in Paris and it deeply regrets the misunderstanding that arose between the Archdiocese and the Georgian Orthodox Church over the issue.
The Archdiocese issued a communiqué on June 22 “Regarding the fake news of the creation of a Georgian-language parish in Paris as part of the Archdiocese of Orthodox Churches of the Russian Tradition in Western Europe of the Moscow Patriarchate,” categorically denying the veracity of the information that appeared in social media.
“In connection with the publication by Hieromonk Hierotheos (DAVIT MARGVELASHVILI) in his social network of the announcement of the creation of a Georgian-language parish within our Archdiocese with the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan John of Dubna, which provoked much misunderstanding between our Churches, we officially declare that we deny the veracity of this announcement,” the statement reads.
After Fr. Hieortheos’ announcement became known, His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasime of Zugdidi and Tsaishi, the Chairman of the Georgian Church’s Foreign Affairs Department, sent a letter to Met. John, dated June 16, calling on the Archdiocese to drop its plans to open a Georgian parish, noting that the Georgian Church already has bishops and dioceses operating in Western Europe for the care of the Georgian faithful abroad, including a parish that has existed in Paris since 2009.
“We hope that this misunderstanding will be timely resolved with a fraternal love and that it will not become an obstacle to our relationship,” the Georgian hierarch wrote.
Responding to the Georgian Church’s concerns, the Archdiocese’s statement continues: “We also assure our Georgian brothers … that we never intended to create such a community, because we know that there is a parish of the Georgian tradition in Paris, whose rector is the Reverend Archimandrite Anthony (Kandelaki).”
“We deeply regret the provoked misunderstanding caused by this publication, and we offer our apologies,” the communiqué reads.
Furthermore, “Hieromonk Hierotheos (DAVIT MARGVELASHVILI) is suspended from serving and his case is referred to the Ecclesiastical Court of the Archdiocese.”
Hieromonk Hierotheos was recently received into the Archdiocese from the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine,” being ordained by Met. John in Paris in March.