Georgian Church appalled as Russian Patriarch hails new Tskhinvali leader –

The Georgian Orthodox Church (GOC) Patriarchate has expressed dismay at Patriarch Kirill (Vladimir Gundyayev) of Moscow congratulating Alan Gagloev on the victory in the South Ossetia leadership race.

The Georgian Orthodox Patriarchate’s statement, dated May 16, said Patriarch Kirill’s congratulatory message “raises misunderstandings” because the Russian Church recognizes the GC’s jurisdiction over the territory of the region.

Moreover, as affirmed by the Patriarchate, “the Church of Georgia, the Georgian State and the international community also recognize the internationally recognized borders of Georgia and regard the administrations operating in the occupied territories as an occupation regime. “.[s].”

“It is regrettable that today, when any attempt to strengthen relations between the Orthodox Churches proves to be crucial, such measures are taken which negatively affect the current state of affairs and complicate the situation.”

Letter from the Russian Patriarch to Gagloev

“Possessing significant administrative experience and a strategic vision of the priority tasks of state-building and security of the country, you have worked for the benefit of your compatriots for many years,” the Russian patriarch addressed on May 13 to Gagloev.

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church said that “thousands of people hope for positive changes in the social and economic sphere of South Ossetia, for the dynamic development and prosperity of the region after your election to the head of the Republic”.

In the note, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow also expressed his belief that “good interaction of religious communities with the authorities and all well-meaning forces can make an important contribution to the establishment of eternal moral ideals, to the salvation of the people and the preservation of the national culture”. ”

Alan Gagloev, 41, leader of the opposition Nykhas party, defeated incumbent “president” Anatoly Bibilov in the second round on May 8.

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