Tbilisi, September 21, Interfax - Several dozen representatives of the public organization Union of Orthodox Parents on Wednesday conducted a protest near the building of the Vatican embassy in Tbilisi against the visit to Georgia of Pope Francis in late September.
The protesters told reporters that "Orthodox Georgians do not need the pope's blessing." They were holding posters protesting the pope's visit. One of them said "The Vatican is a spiritual aggressor!"
Meanwhile, Guiseppe Pasotto, bishop of the Catholic Church in Georgia, told reporters it is unclear to him why anyone should protest the pope's visit to Georgia.
"The pope is coming to Georgia as a peace messenger. Why should anyone be against that? As far as I know, Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II of All Georgia is not against this visit," Pasotto said.
During his visit, which will take place in the period between September 30 through October 2, the pope will meet in Tbilisi with Ilia II, representatives of various religious groups and top officials of Georgia and will conduct a mass in a stadium, he said.