Spokesman for UOC: Out of 47 Georgian bishops, only 7 want to recognize OCU
All Georgian theologians who congratulated Epiphany on the enthronement are representatives of the opposition who study in the West, the DECR deputy head said.
The Georgian Orthodox Church has not made its decision yet on the recognition of the OCU. During a visit to Georgia, the Ukrainian delegation did not notice the intention to recognize the new church structure of Ukraine, the deputy head of the UOC DECR Protopriest Nikolai Danilevich said on the “1Kozak” TV channel.
“I will not outpace their decisions but communicating with the hierarchs and the Patriarch of the Georgian Church, we did not feel that they were ready to take a step to the detriment of pan-Orthodox unity or harm our canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church,” Protopriest Nikolai told the journalists.
According to him, out of 47 bishops of the Georgian Orthodox Church, there are no more than seven that can recognize the OCU, however, they are simply not quite aware of the current situation in Ukrainian Orthodoxy. And those Georgian laypeople who wrote an open letter in support of Epiphany turned out to be fierce critics even of their native Georgian Orthodox Church.
“After the so-called enthronement of Epiphany, 30 Georgian theologians greeted him with a letter. And there was a list of those theologians. I showed this list to the Synod of the Georgian Orthodox Church. It turned out that all these people strongly criticize the Georgian Church. This is the opposition among the laity and people that mostly study in the West and criticize their Church,” the deputy head of the UOC DECR emphasized.
On January 30, 2019, the delegation of the Constantinople Patriarchate met with Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II of All Georgia and members of the Holy Synod of the Georgian Orthodox Church, but this meeting did not change the position of the Georgian Church regarding the recognition of the OCU.
On February 20, 2019, the Chancellor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanich) of Borispol and Brovary and the spokesperson for the UOC Protopriest Nikolai Danilevich met with His Beatitude Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II of Georgia and hierarchs of the Georgian Orthodox Church. During the meeting, the Ukrainian delegation discussed with the Patriarch and bishops of the Georgian Orthodox Church what is happening in the church life of Ukraine and the situation in world Orthodoxy. “All feel empathy. All are praying to God and hoping that the difficulties that have arisen in the life of the Church will be resolved sooner or later with God's help,” Protopriest Nikolai said about this meeting.