Tbilisi, November 13, 2023
It was announced on November 8 that, if it addresses a number of problem areas, the country of Georgia will be granted candidate membership status in the EU.
His Holiness Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II of Georgia issued a statement on the occasion, noting that the EU has always emphasized Georgia’s culture, including its spiritual tradition, as integral to European culture.
“Therefore, we always supported European integration,” he writes.
Read the Patriarch’s full statement below:
At the same time, the Georgian Church has also resisted certain initiatives coming from the EU. For instance, in 2014, the Church came out against so-called anti-discrimination legislation that provided for punishment for insulting sexual minorities. The adoption of the bill was set as a precondition by the EU for signing an association agreement.
However, the Church was categorically opposed to the bill. Pat. Ilia said it “would mark the recognition of the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah and its propaganda at the legislative level.”
In 2020, another hierarch, His Eminence Metropolitan Anthony of Vani and Bagdati warned that the country needs to seriously rethink its pro-Western orientation, saying the U.S. and various EU states actively fund institutions that sow hatred against the Orthodox Church and promote the LGBT agenda.