Tbilisi, January 30, 2019
The Georgian Church released a statement yesterday calling to preserve the unity of the Orthodox world and to exercise restraint in the question of recognizing Ukrainian autocephaly.
The document states that at the present time, “the main thing is to take care of preserving the unity of Orthodoxy” and to resolve the issue justly on the basis of the Church’s canon law.
His Eminence Metropolitan John of Rustavi of the Georgian Orthodox Church has noted that “The unity of the Orthodox Church is based not on the sole, Papist principle, but on conciliarity, which is reflected in the Nicene Creed.”
“The granting of a tomos to the Ukrainian church has evoked various opinions in the entire Orthodox world, both in secular and spiritual circles. We also have two defined sides who defend their position. At the same time, neither party refrains from insults and intimidation,” the statement reads.
The Patriarchate therefore calls on all to be careful in their statements on the issue and to direct their efforts towards prayer.
Meanwhile, a delegation from the Patriarchate of Constantinople, headed by Metropolitan Emmanuel of Gaul, has arrived in Georgia to meet with His Holiness Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II of Georgia to discuss the Ukrainian issue.
According to the head of the Patriarchate’s press service, Archpriest Andria Jagmaidze, the meeting was initiated by Constantinople, reports Interfax-Religion. He also noted that the meeting is unlikely to influence the Georgian Church’s position.
Fr. Andria earlier spoke about the increasing pressure on the Georgian Church from governmental and non-governmental forces to recognize the new Ukrainian schismatic structure.
His Eminence Metropolitan Nikoloz (Pachuashvili) of Akhalkalaki, Kumurdo and Kari recently stated that while the Georgian Church is in favor of Ukrainian autocephaly in principle, they cannot serve with anathematized and self-consecrated bishops.
The Georgian Church posted a statement in late September saying that the situation in Ukraine is very delicate and thus it needed to be worked out between the Patriarchates of Moscow and Constantinople. While the Georgian Synod has not taken a formal stance on the issue, it is known that His Holiness Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II strongly opposes Constantinople’s interference in Ukraine.
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