Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Georgia, Abkhazia, and Autocephaly

I'm brushing up on my Abkhazian history as it's been a while since I read anything of that genre and I find it most fascinating that at one point the Local Orthodox Churches recognized the Catholicos-Patriarchs of both Mtskheta and All Georgia and Pitsunda and All Imereti, Abkhazia, Ossetia, and the North [Caucasus] as shepherding autocephalous churches. And this despite the fact that both were unilaterally granted their independence by the patriarchs of Antioch, not the ecumenical patriarchs of Constantinople. In our times one of these churches has regained its recognition and the other is seeking it.

It's all very interesting as regardless of what happens in Abkhazia, Georgia sets a very clear precedent for the granting of autocephaly by a mother church to its daughter. I'm sure there's another example of this somewhere, but it escapes my mind right now. Hm...well, I'm sure that if this happened again, His All-Holiness Bartholomew would be sure to recognize the action of a sister Orthodox Church in granting autocephaly to her daughter church. He is, after all, a great force for conciliarity and unity within the Church...

Pictured are St. Andrew the Apostle's Cathedral (upper right) in Pitsunda, Abkhazia, the former patriarchal see of the Imeretian/Abkhazian Orthodox Church, and St. Nicholas of Myra's Cathedral (lower left) in Washington, DC, the current primatial see of the American Orthodox Church (OCA).

No comments:

Post a Comment