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  • Nina Tkachuk Dimas
    May 24, 2013
      [Keep in mind -- Catholicos-Patriarch of Georgia Ilia II said he plans to visit Abkhazia accompanied by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.]

      24 May 2013, 19:24
      Abkhaz president asks Moscow Patriarchate to
      ordain Abkhaz bishop
      Sukhumi, May 24, Interfax - Abkhaz President Alexander Ankvab has
      asked the Moscow Patriarchate to take the Abkhaz Diocese and ordain an Abkhaz

      "Even though we have deep respect for the Ecumenical Patriarch,
      Constantinople is still too far from us in many respects. Bearing in mind the
      fact that believers cannot be left without spiritual care and remembering the
      historical connections between Abkhaz and Russian Orthodox faith, I believe the
      Moscow Patriarchate should assume this high mission," Ankvab said at the second
      Russian-Abkhaz humanitarian forum.

      "Bearing in mind the importance of the
      issue, it is perfectly obvious that there is a need for the Abkhaz bishop to be
      ordained," he said.


      24 May 2013, 19:27
      Future of Abkhaz Orthodox faith should be based
      on church canons with regard for Abkhaz people's opinion - Russian Orthodox
      Moscow, May 24, Interfax - The Moscow Patriarchate believes a
      decision on the future of church life in Abkhazia should be made based on the
      church canons and the will of the people of Abkhazia.

      "The Russian
      Orthodox Church provided all possible assistance to the Orthodox people of
      Abkhazia with strengthening church life there for a long time," a Russian
      Orthodox Church official told Interfax-Religion on Friday, commenting on
      the Abkhaz president's request made to the Moscow Patriarchate to ordain an
      Abkhaz bishop.

      "The final solution to the complex church issue in
      Abkhazia will, of course, take some more time. The necessary consultations on
      this issue are being conducted," the source said.

      The Moscow Patriarchate
      official said "a long-term solution to the issue of church life in Abkhazia is
      impossible without strict observance of the church canons."

      At the same
      time, the official said this solution "should have regard for the will of the
      people of Abkhazia."

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]