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Ivanishvili on Georgian Orthodox Church

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=25938 Ivanishvili on Georgian Orthodox Church Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 10 Apr. 13 PM Ivanishvili said on April 10 that
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 11, 2013
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      http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=25938

      Ivanishvili on Georgian Orthodox Church
      Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 10 Apr.'13

      PM Ivanishvili said on April 10 that “problems exist” in the Georgian
      Orthodox Church too and speaking publicly on these issues should not be
      a taboo.

      Ivanishvili was speaking during a press conference, held for a group of
      senior editors from some print media and major television channels. He
      made these remarks after he was asked about his stance on relations
      between the state and the Georgian Orthodox Church in general and in
      particular on recent debates in which some senior Orthodox clerics were
      criticized for driving luxury cars in the country with large number of
      socially vulnerable population; critics also claimed that spending of
      taxpayers’ funds, received from the state budget, by the Church was not
      transparent.

      “The Church should be independent from the state,” Ivanishvili
      responded, adding that Orthodox Christianity “is a huge part of our
      culture, so I have a huge respect” towards the Church.

      “How religious personally I am – that’s another issue and it’s not
      interesting for you,” he said.

      He defended practice of allocating funding to the Georgian Orthodox
      Church from the state budget. This year the Church has GEL 25 million
      funding from the state budget.

      “But the state should not in any way try to use levers to influence on
      the Church,” PM said.

      “No matter how we try to hide it and no matter how much we take care of
      our Church, which we respect, we know that problems exist there too and
      in some cases representatives from the society react on these
      [problems],” Ivanishvili said when he was asked what his stance was on
      some criticism voiced recently against the Church.

      “I think it’s normal and everyone should have a possibility to express
      [opinion] on everything and there should be no taboo topics. Every
      representative of the society should be able to ask a question, but
      without insult,” the PM said.
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