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Patriarchate finds it unacceptable for Georgian parish to be established by Russian counterpart in Paris

By Natalia Kochiashvili
Thursday, June 18
According to the Patriarchate of the Georgian Orthodox Church, the Russian Orthodox Church in Paris plans to establish a Georgian parish in Paris, which is unacceptable to and considers it to be the result of the lack of proper communication.

In connection with this fact, the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs of the Georgian Patriarchate, Metropolite Gerasim of Zugdidi and Tsaishi addressed the Metropolite of Dubnin, Ioane, Archbishop of Western Europe and the Slavic Diaspora of the Russian Church.

The letter states that the opening of the Georgian parish in Paris became known through the information published on the Internet. According to this information, the first service in the Georgian parish of Paris will be held on June 20, and Archimandrite Ieretheos (Margvelashvili), a priest of Georgian origin, who is under the jurisdiction of the Russian Church, will be appointed its leader.

In a letter sent on behalf of the Georgian Patriarchate, Metropolitan Gerasim wrote to Metropolitan Ioane that the Georgian Orthodox Church is providing spiritual care for Georgians living outside Georgia, including Paris, where Queen Tamar's Georgian Church has been located since 2009. Thus, in the official correspondence, the Georgian Church's bishop notifies the head of the Russian organisation’s head about a functioning Georgian church and parish in Paris, in operation since 2009 and led by archimandrite Anton.

“That is why the desire to establish a Georgian parish under the leadership of Archimandrite Hierotheos is completely unacceptable to us and we consider it as a result of lack of proper communication with you,” Metropolitan Gerasim wrote.

The letter expresses hope about a "timely" resolution of the "misunderstanding" between the two official bodies.

Reports about the Russian Orthodox Church's plans for launching a Georgian parish in Paris appeared on social media earlier in the week.