On July 5, 2011 year, the Parliament passed a bill amending the Civil Code. The Synod expressed the general discontent that, in spite of the Constitutional Treaty obligations, the adoption of the law has occurred without consultation with the Patriarchate of Georgia and the public, which angered many church members and clergy.The Holy Synod discussed the situation and
R E S O L V E D:
1. Georgian Orthodox Church, on the basis of the Georgian Constitution and the universally recognized principles and norms of the international community, states that people of all faiths living in Georgia, as well as religious associations existing in Georgia, are equal before the law. Religious freedom of citizens is not dependent on to which religious organizations belongs the citizen. Special legal status of the Georgian Apostolic Autocephalous Orthodox Church, stipulated by the Constitution and the Constitutional Treaty, which expresses the will of the people, does not restrict the freedom and equality before the law of other religious groups.
2. Appeal to the Government of Georgia with the following:
a) In order to avoid possible complications, because of the nature and sensitivity of the issue, to carry out in the future the preliminary consultations with the Patriarchy of Georgia on bills relating to religious and other similar issues.
b) To start the governmental negotiations on the status of dioceses belonging to the Georgian Patriarchy and the property of Georgian Patriarchy located outside the territory of Georgia.
c) The government should intensify its efforts aimed at preserving and patronage of the national spiritual and cultural monuments beyond the borders of Georgia.
d) Recognize as illegal the religious policy and other actions undertaken by the state from the loss of state independence and autocephalous church until the restoration of independence.
e) Create a commission that will oversee implementation of the obligations stipulated in the Constitutional Treaty.
3. The Holy Synod calls on the clergy and the church members, though the cause of unrest, to remain calm and refrain from any arbitrary action and pray for the unity of the people and peace in the country.
The Holy Synod also heard a report about the life and activity of the Catholicos-Patriarch Antony II (Bagration) and
D E C R E E D:
Recognize the Catholicos-Patriarch Antony II as a saint and call him a Great Martyr Anton II.
Assign a date for the commemoration of the holy Patriarch of All Georgia, December 21(January 3, NS).
In addition, create an icon and a corresponding church service.
The Holy Synod also discussed the facts of violation of moral norms by the clergy and
D E C R E E D:
Create a commission to study violations of moral norms in clergy as follows:
1. Metropolitan of Samtavisi and Gori, Andria (Gvazava);
2. Bishop of Gardabani and Martkopi Jacob (Iakobashvili).
The Patriarchy of Georgia
July 07, 2011