New Scandal at Patriarchate of Georgian Orthodox Church

After the high-profile “Cyanide Case,” which resulted in the arrest of Archpriest Giorgi Mamaladze for an attempt to kill the Patriarch’s Secretary Shorena Tetruashvili, a new scandal has emerged at the Patriarchate of Georgia’s Orthodox Church.

Edisher Karchava, lawyer of the Patriarchate, claims that Metropolitan Petre Tsaava is trying to overthrow the Catholicos-Patriarch, Ilia II. Tsaava as metropolitan is the second highest ranking official of the church. He is a member of the Holy Synod and leads the strategically important Chkondidi diocese.

Karchava made several critical statements of the Metropolitan, accusing him of acting against the church. The lawyer says he will also present his evidence to the Holy Synod members at the next meeting and will request punishment for Tsaava.

Later, he was questioned by the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia about the issue. The lawyer says that he handed over evidence to the prosecutors proving that Petre Tsaava is acting against the Patriarch. "The Patriarch knew nothing of this proof,” he said. “What I am doing was not agreed with anyone beforehand.”

Father Tsaava says that the allegations towards him are “dirty slurs” and claims that he is the target of slander staged by a group of people inside the Patriarchate who want to rule the system. He says that the lawyer is acting on behalf of Shorena Tetruashvili, who the Metropolitan has accused many times of staging the Cyanide Case.

“I have never had any ill will for the Patriarch. Most of all, I fear that an insidious plan is being prepared against his holiness. The government should understand that this woman [Tetruashvili] is capable of anything,” Metropolitan said. He added that the lawyer cannot have any evidence that he is acting against the church or the Patriarch, as no such act has ever taken place.

The cleric doubts that the charges against him were raised to cover the Cyanide Case, the hearings of which have been closed to media and society recently.

The Patriarch has yet to comment on the latest scandal.

Deacon Kakhaber Gogotishvili says he was with Ilia II when the Patriarch learned of Karchava’s statements. He claims the Patriarch was not aware of the new developments within the church.

Thea Morrison

01 June 2017 18:05
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