Thursday, July 07, 2011

(Georgia) Patriarch: Legislative Amendment on Religious Groups' Status 'Dangerous'

Head of the Georgian Orthodox Church, Ilia II, expressed regret over hasty approval of legislative amendments on religious minorities’ legal status, saying that the law “is dangerous” and it required thorough consideration.

“This law is so important and so dangerous that lawmakers should have thought about what its consequences might be in ten, hundred years… We lack analytical thinking. Analysis should be made before doing something and not afterwards,” Ilia II said.

“You all know my [July 4] statement… We are not saying that religious [minorities] should not be granted with [legal] status. We are saying that we should sit down, invite academicians, clerics and specialists and discuss it.”

“It is regrettable that lawmakers were so in hurry that they passed [the legislative amendments] in one day,” the Georgian Patriarch said.

He also said that the Georgian Church’s position should not be interpreted as being against the Armenian Church or Armenians.

A senior cleric from the Georgian Orthodox Church, Archbishop Zenon, linked hasty approval of the legislative amendments by the Georgian Parliament to Armenia, suggesting that after a failure to agree with the Georgian Orthodox Church, the Armenian Apostolic Church managed to achieve its goal of gaining legal status through the consent of the Georgian authorities. Georgian Church officials also say, that the legal status would now pave the way for some religious minority groups, particularly the Armenian Apostolic Church, to formally claim ownership over several disputed churches in Georgia. The Georgian Patriarchate was insisting that the Georgian Church too should have been granted a legal status in Armenia in parallel to the similar decision by Georgia.
Read the rest here.

1 comment:

Jon Marc said...

Apparently the Georgian Orthodox Church in Armenia is already completely free legally to register, reclaim properties expropriated by the Soviets (though it doesn't seem like there are any), and so on. It's rather disappointing to see Patriarch Ilia endorsing such extremist positions - most of the disputed churches seem to have been Armenian Orthodox prior to their closure by the Soviets and reopening as Georgian Orthodox churches.