Tbilisi, June 25, 2018
The Holy Synod of the Georgian Orthodox Church met on Thursday in Tbilisi, chaired by His Holiness Patriarch-Catholicos Ilia II. The Synod addressed several topics, including the demographic crisis in Georgia and the sin of abortion, the nation’s stance towards marijuana, and the ongoing and heated issue surrounding the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
Three letters concerning the question of autocephaly for Ukraine were read out during the session: from His All-Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, from His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, and from His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev.
While the Synod itself declined to take an official stance, preferring to wait until the Ecumenical Patriarchate officially proclaims a clear stance on the issue, Pat. Ilia, the most loved and trusted man in Georgia, expressed his own view, stating his displeasure with the intervention of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the Ukrainian issue, reports Romfea.
One metropolitan of the Georgian Church reported that “His Beatitude disagrees with the initiative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate concerning Ukraine, as he recognizes only the legitimate Church headed by Metropolitan Onuphry.”
His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch has also expressed his support for Met. Onuphry. The Churches of Poland and of the Czech Lands and Slovakia have expressed their strong conviction that politicians must not interfere in Church life and that the entire issue must be resolved strictly according to Church canons.
One hierarch of the Georgian Church, Metropolitan Peter (Tsaava) of Chkondidi, has spoken out in favor of the Ukrainian autocephaly, arguing that 40 million Ukrainian faithful deserve their own Church.
“My view is that Ukraine should have an independent Church, although the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate has a reasonable position,” the metropolitan stated.
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