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Ecumenical setback as Orthodox boycott papal Mass in Georgia

October 03, 2016

Georgian Orthodox clerics refused to attend a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis in Tbilisi on Saturday, October 1.

Vatican ecumenical officials had hoped that Georgian Orthodox Patriarch Ilia II would attend the papal liturgy, after the Pontiff had joined Orthodox clerics for an ecumenical ceremony the previous day. But the Georgian Orthodox patriarchate issued a statement indicating that they would not join Catholics in worship “as long as dogmatic differences exist.”

Greg Burke, the director of the Vatican press office, disclosed that Orthodox officials had informed the papal party of their decision not to participate on late on Friday, the day before the Mass. Burke said that the Vatican accepted the decision.


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  • Posted by: pvanderl7463 - Oct. 04, 2016 2:08 PM ET USA

    According to a report by Al-jazeera, Georgian Patriarch Illia II commented that when the head of the Catholic church says we should seek forgiveness from gay people this means he goes against Christ. After all the years of negotiations to heal the rupture between East and West, have we ignored the hierarchy of moral "dogma"? Do we have a rupture of intellect and heart? Just asking.

  • Posted by: wsw33410 - Oct. 03, 2016 8:47 PM ET USA

    Sorry to see that Pope's efforts don't succeed; the Georgian Orthodox patriarchate's statement says it all “as long as dogmatic differences exist.” What is Francis' point when he goes to Sweden CELEBRATING the Luther rebellion? Don't we have MAJOR dogmatic differences with them??? No lessons learned??