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Patriarch politicizes Christmas Epistle

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, January 9
The main issue of Georgian Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II’s Christmas Epistle was the family. However, it also had deep political messages. The head of the Georgian Orthodox Church made his position clear as well as that of the Georgian Orthodox Church about the very acute issues in the Georgian society.

The Patriarch condemned those groups of minorities, which are notorious by their position against Christianity and who are acknowledged as the representatives of “humanism.”

The Patriarch said they have privileges, promotion, support of mass media, and are protected by different NGOs. Sometimes there are new legislations adopted to comfort them, whereas those who oppose such developments, particularly the church, are discredited.

In this context, the major blow is targeted against the families. The utmost criticism of the Patriarch was targeted towards allowing one sex marriage and adoption of children by such couples.

This, according to the Patriarch distorts the whole concept of marriage and having a baby who in this case becomes an item, not a human being, which can be possessed by anybody.

The Georgian Orthodox church supports the country’s push towards Europe, considering its culture as a part of Christian Europe. However, it wants the European Union to consider the traditions and mentality of certain European countries too, thus such countries should be given an opportunity for free choice.

The Georgian church welcomed the position of the EU that states establishing same-sex marriage is not a precondition of Georgia’s becoming a member of the EU. As for sexual minorities, the Georgian church thinks that such people need support and assistance to overcome their sinful inclinations and return to a correct way of life. However, it does not mean that the church will support the propaganda of their sins.

As it is known on May 17, 2013 the Georgian population openly opposed the public demonstration of the sexual minorities and in doing so they were encouraged by some clergymen. Representatives of the sexual minority and their protectors have been criticizing the church ever since, demanding punishment of those clergymen who opposed the rally on the International Day against Homophobia.

The Georgian church is against the legalization of one sex marriage whatever criticism it would receive for that. Although some political figures claiming the Western orientation support this step, most Georgians will be backing the church’s position.

There were also other issues in the Christmas Epistle, which also caused controversies. In particular, the Epistle condemns abortion, in-vitro fertilization, as well as surrogate motherhood.

Representative of the parliamentary minority Zurab Japaridze challenged this latter issue of the epistle stating that babies born through surrogate motherhood are God’s blessing not their curse. Overall, the opinion of the population has been split over the epistle. Most of the Georgian people support the main ideas of the epistle. However, those with atheist interests claiming pro-western position challenge and criticize the position of the Patriarch.