Georgian churches within the Republic of Armenia should be returned to the Georgian Orthodox Church!

15.01.22 11:00

The non-canonical "re-subordination" of the honour of African priests to the Moscow Patriarchate, or rather the expansion of the ROC to Africa on the canonical territory of the Alexandria Patriarchate, coordinated by Archbishop Leonid (Gorbachev) of the ROC diocese of Yerevan and Armenia, also illegally and anti-canonically created, shows that the Armenian lobby still managed to bring confusion to world Orthodoxy.


It all started with trampling of canons that concern the canonical territory of the Georgian Orthodox Church and encroaching on its holy places on the territory of the Republic of Armenia. In this regard, member of the Holy Synod of the Georgian Orthodox Church Archbishop of Dmanisi and Lore-Tashir, as well as Archbishop Zenon sent an official letter to His Beatitude Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa Theodore.


Here is an extract from this letter dated 12 January 2022:


 " It is with grief that I learned of the decision taken in Moscow on December 29, 2021 to establish its own exarchate on the territory of the famous Holy and Apostolic Patriarchate of Alexandria.


Personally, I particularly understand your grief, as a couple of months ago, on October 15, 2021, Moscow made the decision to establish the Diocese of Yerevan and Armenia under the leadership of the same Archbishop Leonid Gorbachev, who is currently on a mission to your blessed continent.


As I told you, my jurisdiction includes the 1600-year-old Agarak-Tashir (Akhtala) diocese, which includes the region of present-day Northern Armenia. Historically, even when the Moscow Patriarchate did not exist, the clergy of the Georgian Catholic Church were engaged in pastoral ministry of Orthodox Christians (in letters - Chalcedonians) residing on the territory of present-day Northern Armenia. After the restoration of ancient autocephaly by the Georgian Church in 1917, even the Moscow Patriarchate by its decision of December 31st, 1943 considered the Orthodox (Chalcedonians) living in Armenia as congregation of the Georgian Church.


This historical fact notwithstanding, the Moscow Church still had its exarch in Armenia and subordinated all of Armenia to him....


It is already clear that we are in communion with each other, and if anyone understands your just heartache, I am one of the victims of the invasion of the Russian Church in the historical diocese entrusted to me by the Holy Spirit of the Georgian Apostolic Church.


As one of the high priests, I am concerned and looking for solutions in my mind, because, unfortunately, there is no end to the anti-Church actions of Russia, both within the political boundaries of Georgia and in the region of the South Caucasus, where the Mtskheta Catholicosate historically existed.


Let me express my solidarity and prayerful support in the difficulties that you are facing and I would like to ask for your support. Let us pray for the Russian priestly brethren, that the Holy Spirit may plant in them the good seeds of peace and save the Church from the harm of imperialist ideology.


Archbishop of Dmanisi and Agarak-Tashir, UK and Ireland


† Zenon"


The question of the status of the Georgian churches in the Republic of Armenia must be resolved once and for all. The authorities of the Republic of Armenia, Echmiadzin, as well as the Moscow Patriarchate must give a clear answer to the question - whose churches are these? Who built them, who prayed in them, whose inscriptions are on their walls and whose frescoes?


And, the slyness with some fictitious and "mysterious" "Chalcedonite Armenians" will not pass for an argument. Parishioners of these churches were Orthodox Christians, primarily Georgians, and the Orthodox and the "Armenian" concepts have always been historically mutually exclusive.


The issue of the registration of the few remaining Orthodox Christians in the Republic of Armenia (these are, in addition to Russian soldiers and diplomats, the few citizens of the Republic of Armenia of Russian nationality) must also be resolved. If priests of the ROC want to conduct services for soldiers of the Russian military base in Gyumri and staff of the Russian embassy on the territory of the embassy or the military base, this issue can be resolved in the canonical territory of the ROC, which is the entire territory of the Republic of Armenia, by agreement with the Georgian Patriarchate.


Today, Georgian churches in Armenia, to which neither Georgian priests nor restorers are allowed, are either illegally appropriated by Echmiadzin, or abandoned and destroyed, and should be returned to their rightful owner, the Georgian Orthodox Church.




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