Tbilisi, May 25, Interfax - Festivities to mark the 40th anniversary of the enthronement of Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II of All Georgia have been cancelled, the Georgian Patriarchate said on its website on Wednesday.
"Given the unstable situation in the world and the current social situation in Georgia, with the blessing of His Holiness and Beatitude Ilia II, the celebrations linked with the 40th anniversary of the enthronement of the catholicos-patriarch and the invitations to Georgia sent to the heads of Orthodox Churches and other honored clergymen and secular figures have been cancelled," the Georgian Patriarchate said.
There were 15 dioceses and around 30 functioning churches when Ilia II became the patriarch of Georgia. Today, Georgia has 47 dioceses, approximately 2,000 functioning churches and monasteries and up to 3,000 clergymen and monk elders.
Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II of All Georgia was born Irakly Gudushauri-Shiolashvili in Vladikavkaz on January 4, 1933. He studied at the Moscow Theological Seminary and Academy. He was elected head of the Georgian Orthodox Church on December 23, 1977.