Georgian Orthodox Church to celebrate centenary of autocephaly

The one hundredth anniversary of the restoration of the Georgian Orthodox Church’s ancient autocephaly will be celebrated by His Holiness Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II of Tbilisi, with other clergy and faithful of the Georgian Orthodox Church on March 25 with a solemn Liturgy in Mtskheta’s Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, northeast of the capital city of Tbilisi, reports Sputnik-Georgia.

The cathedral is known as the burial site of Christ's mantle and was the site of coronation and burial of the kings of Georgia. The original church was built in the fourth century under King Mirian II of Kartli.

The Georgian Church was initially under the See of Antioch until 1010, when the Catholicos of Kartli was elevated to the honor of patriarch. The Russian imperial court abolished the Georgian Church’s autocephaly in 1811, and its patriarchal rule, and reduced it to an exarchate subordinated to the Russian Holy Synod.

After the abdication of Royal Martyr Tsar Nicholas II, Georgia’s bishops restored their Church’s autocephaly on March 25, 1917. The first new patriarch of the Georgian Church was Catholicos-Patriarch Kirion II. The Russian Church recognized this already-existing independence on October 31, 1943, and the Patriarchate of Constantinople on March 3, 1990.

Several other activities are also planned to celebrate the occasion. The exhibition “Autocephaly 100” will open in Tbilisi State University on March 23, featuring a number of unique Church publications and manuscripts, including a part of the collection of books of Catholicos-Patriarch Kirion II, as well as photographs of those clergy who took part in the restoration of autocephaly.

An academic conference, featuring professors and lecturers from various educational institutions, and representatives of the Georgian Patriarchate will present lectures on the importance of the Church’s autocephaly, including previously unknown information surrounding the issue of its restoration.

Source: Православие.ру