Pat.-Catholicos Ilia II of Georgia not to attend Primates’ Synaxis in Amman

17 February 2020 17:55
His Holiness Patriarch-Catholicos Ilia II of Georgia. Photo: His Holiness Patriarch-Catholicos Ilia II of Georgia. Photo:

The Primate of the Georgian Church addressed a letter to the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, with a refusal to participate in the Council of Primate.

His Holiness Patriarch-Catholicos Ilia II of All Georgia will not be attending the upcoming Council of Primates in Amman, Jordan, organized by the Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

Pat. Ilia’s response to the invitation of His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem, dated February 7, was published by the online media outlet Оrthodox Тimes.

Pat. Ilia declines not because he believes that bishops can only be gathered by the Patriarch of Constantinople but because, as he writes, the desired result can only be attained if every primate participates in the gathering.

“But if this consent cannot be attained, we will refrain from coming for the gathering,” the Georgian primate writes.

His Holiness also assures Pat. Theophilos that “We share your position and according to the seriousness of the present circumstances and in connection with the problematic issues, we consider that the convocation and mutual discussion is very necessary.”

Pat. Ilia also emphasizes the importance of such convocations and expresses the hope that the issues can be worked out as soon as possible: “We hope with God’s blessing, the synaxis of the primates of the Orthodox Churches will be attained, and the issues, which do harm our unity, will be evaluated according to the canonical norms of the Church. Also, we should add here that it will be the best outcome for all of us if the goal is achieved before long.”

The Council of Primate will be held at the initiative of Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem. During the event it is planned to discuss the "Ukrainian religious issue" and a number of serious problems that have arisen in world Orthodoxy. So far, 6 Churches have publicly announced that they are attending the Synaxis, whether via their Primate or other representative hierarchs: Jerusalem, Moscow, Serbia, Romania, Poland, and the Czech-Slovak Church.

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