The decision of the Holy Synod of the Georgian Apostolic Autocephalous Orthodox Church has been published.
On February 11 of the current year, the next session of the Holy Synod of the Georgian Orthodox Church was held at the Georgian Patriarchate. The sitting was chaired by the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Mtskheta-Tbilisi Archbishop and Metropolitan of Bichvinta and Tskhum-Abkhazia Ilia II. Metropolitan of Gori and Ateni Andria (Gvazava) was appointed Secretary of the Session.
1. Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II addressed the members of the Holy Synod with a welcoming speech. He spoke about the urgency of the issues under discussion and raised the issue of the desert and the Chichkhituri monasteries of the Davit Gareji complex as the first issue.
The briefing on the topic was made by the enthroned Catholicos-Patriarch of Georgia, Metropolitan of Senaki and Chkhorotsku, Shio (Mujiri), and an extensive report was presented by Abba Alaverdi Metropolitan David (Makharadze).
The Holy Synod ruled:
The current disputed section of the Davit Gareji complex between Georgia and Azerbaijan, the monasteries: Chichkhituri and Desert, — are part of the historical, religious and cultural identity of the Georgian nation.
The main legal document establishing the state border is still in 1996. The June 13 protocol, which is recognized by both countries and signed by the authorized persons of the state commissions established by the Presidents of Georgia and Azerbaijan.
The document clearly states that the border between the states must be crossed in 1938. As of 1938. The preferred and legitimate cartographic material establishing the border condition is a 1: 200 000 scale topographic map printed in 1937-38. This is confirmed by all professional cartographers of Georgia, who have the relevant scientific authority and competence.
The Georgian Patriarchate has always stated its position regarding this section of David Gareji since 2007 and our attitude towards this issue remains unchanged to this day; In particular, since 1996, in this non-negotiable section of the border, no other legal agreement has been reached between our states, which would change the existing de facto situation, and according to the norms of international law, it is not allowed for the states to change the de facto situation unilaterally. This year the monastery in relation to the desert, as a result of which the clergy, pilgrims and those who came to see the cultural heritage of Gareja were forbidden to visit our holy monasteries.
We call on the Georgian authorities to negotiate with our friend and partner Azerbaijan to restore the status quo between the Chichkhituri Monastery and the Desert Monastery until 2019, when both monasteries were ruled by the Georgian side.
We hope that the renewed delimitation process will be carried out in such a way that the historical territories of our country, which belong to Georgia according to the norms of international law, legally and cartographically, will not be encroached upon.
It was also decided to instruct the Georgian Patriarchate TV to continue the program cycle with the involvement of relevant specialists on the issue of Gareji.
2. The Holy Synod heard the report of Bishop Grigol (Katsia) of Chkondideli regarding the COVID 19 pandemic and vaccination. The following were expressed by the Metropolitans: Shio (Mujiri), Nikoloz (Pachuashvili), Dimitri (Shiolashvili), Daniel (Datuashli), Isaiah (Chanturia), Ioane (Gamrekeli), Saba (Gigiberia), Archbishops Iakobon (Iakob) (Iakob)
The Holy Synod ruled:
The Church recognizes that health is one of the most important human rights and therefore supports all steps that are directed towards the protection of this right and is not contrary to Christian morality.
We welcome the fact that the Kovid-Pandemic vaccination process has been declared voluntary and not mandatory; This is especially important today, when the vaccine is newly developed and health professionals in different countries have different opinions about it.
We note that any person, regardless of his or her social status, public or private activities, harassment, harassment, or persecution should not be subject to either vaccination or immunity.
The Georgian Patriarchate contributed as much as possible to the fight against the pandemic; In particular, since April of last year, the Patriarchate Hospital — Tbilisi St. Joachim and Anna Medical Center — converted into a fever clinic and treated COVID-19 patients on 105 beds; To date, medical services have been provided to up to 10,000 patients, and various medical procedures have been performed.
We thank all the doctors and nurses, as well as the clergy, for their dedicated work during this difficult time.
In connection with the pandemic Ch