Skip to comments.Georgian monastics driven out of Abkhazia
Posted on 04/07/2009 9:28:22 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
Seven Georgian monastics were forced to leave the territory of Abkhazia by separatist forces on April 2-3. Representatives of the breakaway region had accused them of politicking.
The three monks and four nuns were from the Saint Giorgi Monastery in the village of Azhara, located in the Kodori Gorge, the only part of Abkhazia that was controlled by the central Georgian Government before the August Russian-Georgian conflict. When Georgian troops were driven out of the area the monastery and its residents stayed. [After the August conflict] we proposed to the Georgian priests that they accept the regulations of the Abkhazian Orthodox Church and continue to serve in Azhara, however they refused, stated the head of the so-called Abkhazian Eparchy Vissarion Aplua, as quoted by the Apsnypress news agency on April 3. Instead of undertaking spiritual activities they were convincing residents of the [Kodori] Gorge that Abkhazia is Georgia. To prevent any kind of provocation we have decided to send them to Georgia so they can continue their service to the Georgian Church, said Aplua, adding that the monastics were occupied in politicking not spiritual service.
The Abkhazian side denies that the monastics were subjected to any kind of physical abuse. The priests stated that they dont recognize the Government of Abkhazia and the Abkhazian Church and that they obey only the Georgian Orthodox Church, so we have proposed to them that they return to its fold, said Sergey Jonua, the so-called Special Representative of the Abkhazian President in Kodori Gorge.
The Georgian Orthodox Church has confirmed the forced exile of the Georgian monks and nuns. They have already arrived in Tbilisi, where they met Georgian Patriarch Ilia II on April 5. Ilia II blessed them and expressed the hope that they will be able to return to their church soon. The Patriarch also ordained one of the ousted monks, Father Ioane, as an Archbishop. There are people in Abkhazia today who have forgotten our kindness and my personal kindness and are oppressing Georgians. The monastics have been ousted from Abkhazia and I want to console them and tell them that Abkhazia is an indivisible part of Georgia and will never be separated from Georgia, Ilia II said in Tbilisi.
The Tbilisi-backed Abkhazian Government-in-Exile called this incident outrageous. This happens when the Abkhazian side is saying that it agrees to accept refugees and confirms this position at the Geneva negotiations. This fact clearly shows that the Abkhazian side is absolutely not ready to see refugees return to secure conditions, said the head of the Abkhazian de jure Government Malkhaz Akishbaia. He also promised to provide assistance to the nuns and monks from the Azhara monastery. They will continue their service to the Georgian Church, he stated on April 5. The separatist authorities have already announced that the Georgian monks will be replaced by representatives of the unrecognized Abkhazian Orthodox Eparchy.
Abkhazia and South Ossetia are two Georgian breakaway regions who declared their independence from Georgia soon after the collapse of the Soviet Union. On August 26 2008, after a conflict with Georgia, the Russian Federation recognized the independence of the regions. This step was however condemned by the international community. The Abkhazian and South Ossetian churches also announced their independence and expressed a wish to join the Russian Orthodox Church. However the late Russian Patriarch Alexey II declined their request, recognizing Abkhazia and South Ossetia as historic territories of the ancient Georgian Orthodox Church.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you...
“...the Abkhazian Orthodox Church”
As +Alexey of blessed memory pointed out, there’s no such thing.
“Should Russian Orthodox priests therefore be expelled from Ukraine and Georgia?”
You misunderstand the ecclesiology of the Orthodox Church. Ukraine is part of the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church, though there are, I believe, two schismatic groups there claiming to be the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. I doubt there are many, if any, Russian Orthodox priests in Georgia as Georgia, and Abkhazia and South Ossetia are in the jurisdiction of the Georgian Orthodox Church. Any Russian priests functioning there are doing so with the permission of the Georgian Church.
Wow, you really don’t know enough about the Orthodox Church to fill up a matchbook, do you?
I’d encourage you to stop before you embarrass yourself any further.
I know that the Georgian Orthodox Church has jurisdiction in Abkhazia and that the anti-Christian nazi government of Russia does not respect that jurisdiction. So why should any nation respect the jurisdiction of the Russian church? It will be Putin’s fault when Ukraine treats the Russian Orthodox the way Russia treats the Georgian Orthodox.
The new Russian patriarch has said he is against Ukrainian independence. He should be banned from Ukraine and so should other Russian orthodox priests who promote treason against Ukraine.
I told you not to embarrass yourself by showing your ignorance about the Orthodox Church, but you just had to make an ass of yourself, didn't you?
Stupid is as Chicago Tailgunner does.
Of course you can't explain, because you're not smart at all and don't even know what you are talking about.
Because Christians know that two wrongs do not make a right, Joe. If you knew anything about Christianity, you wouldn't ask such stupid questions.
Orthodox Christians don't judge people by the actions of their secular countrymen, Joe.
You are the one who keeps going on and on about the KGB roots of the modern Russian! Do you expect Christian actions from people YOU claim are modern-day KGB thugs?
Stop embarrassing yourself. Even fools should have a little pride. Leave with what is left of yours.
Discuss the issues all you want, but do NOT make it personal.
LOL. Wikipedia shouldn’t be your source for Orthodox ecclesiology, TG. What is complained of in the article is not a violation of Orthodox polity or praxis.
Interesting link. It confirms that this is a schismatic group with a “made up” hierachy installed by the revolutionaries. No Orthodox Church has recognized the autonomy or autocephally of this group. Indeed, it appears they are guilty of the heresy of ethnophyletism and so are to be condemned.
TG, that the new Patriarch of Moscow sent a letter to the leader of the break away region to thank him for sending his best wishes on the MP’s enthronement isn’t at all remarkable. Its simply good manners.
The letter is telling in an ecclesiological sense in that +Kyrill says he remains committed to the course of his predecessor regarding relations between Russians and Abkhazians...which means no recognition for their schismatic church.
BTW,here’s a little Orthodox ecclesiology 101 for you. Were Moscow to unilaterally recognize the Abkhaz group as a sui juris church, it would likely result in a break in communion with ALL the other Orthodox churches which is the last thing the MP wants.
“”It’s not your business. It’s our territory.” Abkhaz Deputy Foreign Minister Maxim Gvinjia backs the right of the Abkhaz Church to enforce its will on the monks and nuns. “Of course we won’t defend their rights, given the context of current developments...”
This is what the heresy of ethnophyletism looks like. Its another reason why Orthodoxy won’t recognize these characters.
Will the “patriarch” show good manners to the President of Ukraine, I wonder? Will he recognize Ukraine’s indpendence as he has the independence of the heretics in Abkhazia he has praised and promised to further relations with?
I think it's the Patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church to whom you should deliver your lecture about Orthodox ecclesiology! You should explain to him how there is no hypocrisy at all involved in the ROC's activities inside the Georgian jurisdiction! The ROC's complaints about other churches sending their own priests into the ROC's jurisdiction are not at all hypocritical! It's just that the same rules do not apply to Russians that apply to everyone else. Because two wrongs don't make a right, and only the Russian Orthodox Church is allowed to violate their own rules with impunity!