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Part of Society Sent Tabooed Questions to Chatholicos Patriarch of Georgia

04.12.2009
Tako Khutsishvili

Part of society, who previously discussed the issue at internet-forums and social networks, sent questions to the Catholicos Patriarch and the government of Georgia.

Several authors of the petition – Tea Tutberidze, Beka Mindiashvili, Dato Amirejibi, Kakhaber Kurtanidze and others held a press-conference at the Ioane Petritsi street on December. 3. According to them, part of society has questions and they should be answered by all means.

30-member-group collected the questions from internet. As for the petition to the Patriarch and the government is signed by 235 people so far; the signing of the petition continues.

27 questions were asked to the patriarch of Georgia; among them are questions which have not been answered so far and they are tabooed: what was the relationship between the patriarchate of Georgia and security committee of the Soviet Union? Were clergymen of the Georgian Orthodox Church agents of the Soviet Security Committee? Did the Patriarch Ilia II cooperate with them? Why did not the patriarch mercy the clergyman Teodore Chikhladze, who was shot in 1983 for hijacking a plane? What is the relation between the patriarchate of Georgia and the government of Russian Federation? What are the goals of the meetings of high-hierarchs of the Georgian Orthodox Church with Karasin, Shvidkoi and Kovalenko? Why does the Patriarch support independence of the churches of the Ukraine and Estonia?

“We have full right to ask these questions and request answers to them. These are questions which were asked by citizens on internet. Internet users discussed these issues and unfortunately it did not reach TV-audience. Any answer, even ignoring of these questions by the Patriarchate can be considered as a reply,” said Tea Tutberidze at the press-conference.

Beka Mindiashvili, representatives of the Public Defender’s Office: “We wanted these questions to reach the patriarchate. It is very important because at least we should find out what was the relation between the patriarchate and the KGB. On the other hand, we should know what are the obligations between the state and the church; why is the Orthodox Church funded by state budget while they are separate institutions? Is not it involvement in the activities of the church and is not it discrimination of other religious minorities who pay taxes to the budget? We also ask questions about the violence expressed by various groups of the Orthodox Church against religious minorities and people with different opinion. Why does not the state react on the restriction of freedom of religion? Society has not spoken about these questions yet. Maybe they will remain rhetoric questions but it will be kind of reply too.”

The press-conference did not end without incidents. Members of the parish of the Orthodox Church got irritated by the idea of sending the questions to the patriarch. The protest turned into a quarrel.

Avtandil Dumbadze, member of the Orthodox Church: “These are fabricated questions to discredit the church. They are concerned because the church has high rating. They are eager to get more and more grants and rely on foreign donors and enemies who lead anti-church and anti-state policy because of money. With the support of the God they will not succeed.”

Authors of the idea replied to the complaints of the people.

Davit Amirejibi, psychologist: “Their complaints are completely unclear. Shall we remain indifferent to the questions of the society?! We are kind of mediators and want the society to know answers to these questions, materials, historical facts, analytic articles and opinions about post-soviet regime. We are eager to defeat the inheritance of the soviet regime?

You can see the full list of questions on internet forums: www.planeta.ge and www.forum.ge 

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