Paris, June 18, 2020
The Georgian Orthodox Church is displeased with the reported plans of the Russian Orthodox Church to open a Georgian parish in Paris under its Archdiocese of Russian Churches of Western Europe.
Reports about the planned church appeared on social media last week, prompting a response from His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasime of Zugdidi and Tsaishi, the Chairman of the Georgian Church’s Foreign Affairs Department. The letter, published in Georgian and English on the official site of the Georgian Church, is addressed to His Eminence Metropolitan John of Dubna, the head of the Archdiocese that formally reunited with the Russian Church in November after its exarchate status was suddenly revoked by the Patriarchate of Constantinople a year prior.
In the letter, Met. Gerasime informs Met. John 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.
While Met. Gerasime characterizes the Russian Church’s reported plans as “a result of miscommunication between us,” he also emphasizes that they are “completely unacceptable” and an issue that is “the most significant” to the Georgian Church.
“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 concludes.
Read the full letter: