Tuesday, January 8, 2019

On Georgian Autocephaly

This is mostly a reminder-to-self, but I've been meaning for years to write a post on the Patriarchate of Antioch's historical relationship to the Church of Georgia [in the meantime, read this about the Patriarch Macarius III ibn al-Za'im's description of Georgia here.]. Someone should hold me to that. In any case, this recent post by the must-read site Orthodox Synaxis on the acknowledgement of Georgia's autocephaly by the Patriarchate of Constantinople in 1990 is worth reading. Among the many oddities of this acknowledgment is that it did not in any way involve Georgia's mother church, the Patriarchate of Antioch.

The Case of Georgian Autocephaly

In recent months, various representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate have spoken about how Constantinople has granted all 19th and 20th century autocephalies, including among them the Church of Georgia. In the case of that church, however, things are much more complicated, as Georgia’s autocephaly was originally granted at a very early point by Antioch, a fact recognized in the medieval canonical literature. While the autocephaly of the Georgian Church was suppressed by the Russian Orthodox Church in 1811– an action that could hardly be considered legitimate– it was reasserted in 1917 and recognized by Moscow in 1943. Recognition from Constantinople was a more difficult process, as the Georgian Church’s history poses obvious problems for the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s claims to have the exclusive right to grant autocephaly.


Read the rest here.


Nathanael said...


Have you seen the recent TASS report in which President Assad is reported to say that there is a movement to separate the Beirut Metropolis from the Patriarchate of Antioch? Have you heard of such a movement before?

Samn! said...

There were some inaccuracies in what was being said that made it look like the end result of a game of telephone. There is, however, a disagreement between Met Elias Audi and the rest of the patriarchate over his decision to start a university in Beirut, which is probably the origin of any rumors going around.