Supreme Spiritual Council Discusses Armenian Diocese of Georgia

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Armenian Center for Cooperation in Georgia
MAR 09, 2006

On March 7, a meeting of the Supreme Spiritual Council was convened in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, under the presidency of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, with the participation of the members of the Supreme Spiritual Council residing in Armenia .

During the meeting, His Grace Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanian, Primate of the Armenian Diocese of Georgia , presented a report regarding the pastoral, spiritual and church-building activities within the diocese. He particularly noted that the renovations of the church of Saint Gevork (diocesan headquarters) and the church of Holy Etchmiadzin (in Tbilisi ) are planned for this year, the architectural drawings for which will soon be completed. His Grace happily reported on the spiritual reawakening within the diocese, underlining the need for new clergymen to be assigned, specifically to the vicarage in Javakhk. He also noted that the applications to Georgian state authorities have yet to be resolved, regarding granting of appropriate legal standing to the diocese and the return of six historic Armenian churches. His Grace also stated that certain mass media agencies within Georgia continue with anti-Armenian announcements and commentaries, which create an atmosphere of intolerance and tension.

In response to a query from the Supreme Spiritual Council, Bishop Vazgen confirmed that the Synod of the Georgian Orthodox Church, with their decision of February 6, 2006, announced the creation of a new diocese within the Republic of Armenia entitled Tashir-Agarak, subject to the bishop of the Diocese of Dmanisi in Georgia, “…with the intent of reestablishing its historic diocese”.

The Supreme Spiritual Council expressed disappointment that the Georgian Orthodox Church did not inform the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin regarding the creation of a new diocese located in the northern region of the Republic of Armenia; and further, that their Synod is creating a new diocese in a region where the Georgian Church has no faithful; while the rights of hundreds of thousands of faithful Armenians living in Georgia to have the Armenian Diocese granted appropriate legal standing and historic Armenian churches returned are being ignored and disregarded.

The Supreme Spiritual Council received the report of the Primate of the Armenian Diocese of Georgia with appreciation and satisfaction, and commended his successful implementation of his mission, exhorting him to enthusiastically continue his efforts aimed towards the enrichment of the Armenian Diocese of Georgia and the strengthening of the centuries-old fraternal relations between the Armenian and Georgian people and Churches.

Translated by Armenian Cooperation Centre of Georgia - Armenia.ge