Armenian cleric slams Georgian Church’s “intolerant attitude”

Armenian cleric slams Georgian Church’s “intolerant attitude”

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Archbishop Yeznik Petrosyan and Bishop Arshak Khachatryan speak about All Armenian Catholicos Karekin II’s visit to Georgia

Head of the Office of Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin Bishop Arshak Khachatryan told Armenian media on Tuesday that during the recent pontifical visit of the head of the Armenian Church to Georgia “the intolerant attitude of the Georgian Church towards the Armenian community was obvious.”

The bishop said that Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II did not visit Norashen Church of Tbilisi and Surb Nshan Church of Akhaltskha because of the reluctance of the Georgian Church.

“With the use of counterarguments, the Georgian Church tries to keep us back from demands to meet the spiritual needs of the Armenian community, but those counterarguments are artificial,” Bishop Arshak Khachatryan emphasized at a press conference at the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin.

Among such counterarguments, the clergyman named the issue of regulating the legal state of the Georgian community in Armenia and the demand to establish Georgian churches in Armenia.

Bishop Khachatryan also described the remarks by Georgian Patriarch Ilia II about Karekin II as “improper in terms of ethics”.

But he added: “The Catholicos of All Armenians respects the age and the experience of the Georgian Patriarch and prefers not to comment on this statement.”

On Sunday, commenting on the recent visit of Catholicos Karekin II to Georgia, Ilia II said: “Karekin II is young, and probably, he needs to gain more experience. He is smart, however he wants to do everything fast, which one cannot do. I told him that I have significant experience and that is why composure is the best thing.”