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A new church organization has created in Abkhazia: „Abkhaz Orthodox Church”

17 Mai

Interfax-Religion.com / 16 may 2011

Sukhumi, May 16, Interfax – An ecclesiastical congress has asked to set up a commission to discuss the status of an independent „Abkhaz Church”.

The congress, which took place at the New Athos Monastery in Abkhazia on Sunday, adopted an appeal to the Primates and Holy Synods of all Orthodox Churches, asking to set up an inter-Orthodox commission led by a representative of the Ecumenical Patriarch, to discuss the canonical status of the „Abkhaz Church”, an Interfax correspondent reported.

It was reported earlier that the ecclesiastical congress created an archdiocese with an arch-see in New Athos in Abkhazia on Sunday. The congress was convened by young Abkhaz priests at the New Athos Monastery cathedral.

The arch-see will gradually transform into an independent Abkhaz Church,” said Archimandrite Dorofey (Dbar), chairman of the ecclesiastical congress. He suggested asking the Abkhaz Justice Ministry to recognize the ecclesiastical congress as a new Church institution in Abkhazia.

The congress participants voted for appointing the ecclesiastical congress as a supreme church-governing body until a fully functional institution of the „Abkhaz Orthodox Church” has been formed, and elected the Abkhaz arch-see Council that will act as a management body until the issue regarding the creation of the „Abkhaz Church” is decided.

source>

http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=8453

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Georgian Patriarchate urges to prevent a schism between the Orthodox Abkhazians

Interfax-Religion.com / 16 may 2011

Tbilisi, May 16, Interfax – Georgian Patriarchate urged to prevent a schism between the Orthodox Abkhazians.

„It appears that the cause of this congress is an internal standoff. We ask the congress participants and all Orthodox believers living in Abkhazia to raise above the processes inspired by outside forces (which are the cause of the existing standoffs) and to restore with love and peace the canonical unity between us,” the Patriarchate said in a statement on Sunday.

We have always been open to meetings and talks with the Abkhaz clergy and laity,” the Patriarchate said.

The ecclesiastical congress, which took place at the New Athos Monastery in Abkhazia on Sunday, adopted an appeal to the Primates and Holy Synods of all Orthodox Churches, asking to set up an inter-Orthodox commission led by a representative of the Ecumenical Patriarch, to discuss the canonical status of the „Abkhaz Church”.

The congress created an archdiocese with an arch-see in New Athos.

„The arch-see will gradually transform into an independent Abkhaz Church,” said Archimandrite Dorofey (Dbar), chairman of the ecclesiastical congress.

source>

http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=8454

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UPDATE

Attempt to create Abkhaz „metropolia” will cause deadlock – Russian Orthodox Church

Interfax-Religion.com / 17 may 2011

Moscow, May 17, Interfax – The creation of a new „metropolia” in Abkhazia announced late last week will only make it more difficult to resolve the Abkhaz church issue, the Moscow Patriarchate has said.

The church canon laws do not involve the making of decisions to create new metropolitanates, let alone autocephalous churches, at „clerical-laic” congresses. And the nomination by the „laic congress” of bishop candidates is explicitly prohibited by the canon law,” Archpriest Nikolay Balashov, deputy head of the Synodal Department of External Church Relations, told Interfax-Religion on Tuesday.

On May 15 the cleric-laic congress at the New Athos Monastery in Abkhazia announced the creation of a „metropolia” with a center at New Athos, which should gradually transform into an independent Abkhaz Church.

The event attendees issued a letter to the primates and synods of manorial Orthodox churches, asking to set up an Orthodox commission led by a representative of the Patriarch of Constantinople to define the canonical status of the Abkhaz Church.

„We understand the desire of the Abkhaz people to regulate the situation of the Orthodox religion in this country. However, bringing hot political issues into the life of the church, the division among believers – all this only postpones the possibility of a legitimate resolution of the Abkhaz Church issue,” a Russian Orthodox Church representative said.

A member of the Abkhaz clergy, Fr. Vissarion Aplia, earlier urged the clergy and laity not to attend this congress. The Abkhaz Church can stand firmly on its feet with help from the Russian Orthodox Church, he said.

The congress is non-canonical, and its resolutions have no legal force for Orthodox believers, he said.

Abkhaz Prime Minister Sergey Shamba has expressed concern, while the Georgian Patriarchate urged the congress and all Orthodox believers living in Abkhazia „to raise above the processes inspired by outside forces and to restore the canonical unity with the Georgian Orthodox Church.”

source>

http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=8459

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