2019-03-15 17:34:00

Georgian president calls on Armenian Church to change its mind regarding subordination of Abkhazian parishes

Tbilisi, March 15, Interfax - Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili has addressed the subject of Armenian churches in Abkhazia at a meeting with Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II, the press service for the Georgian president said on Friday.

According to the press service, Zourabichvili called on Karekin II to change his decision regarding the subordination of the Armenian Church in Abkhazia to the Diocese of the South of Russia of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

This decision is perceived as an infringement on Georgia's territorial integrity by the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Georgian president said.

Zourabichvili said she believes that the Armenian parishes in Abkhazia and their senior priest should be "under the jurisdiction of the Georgian Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church, as happened historically," or be subordinated to Karekin II directly.

The Georgian Orthodox Church shares the same stance, she said.

According to the press service, Karekin II described the decision on the subordination of the Armenian Church in Abkhazia to the Diocese of the South of Russia as a temporary measure and said that the Armenian Apostolic Church recognizes that Abkhazia is a canonical territory of its Georgian Diocese.

"The president welcomed this statement and noted that a way out of the temporary measure should be negotiated," the press service said.

On Thursday, Zourabichvili held a meeting with Karekin II as part of her official visit to Armenia, the press service said.