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Easter wishes of the Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II

By Salome Modebadze
Tuesday, April 17
The Georgian Orthodox Church celebrated Easter on April 15th, with the festive liturgy delivered by the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, Archbishop of Mtskheta-Tbilisi and the Metropolitan of Bichvinta and Tskhum-Abkhazia Ilia II. His Holiness congratulated everyone living in Georgia and outside the country with the Pascal Epistle.

In his traditional address to his Orthodox parish, Ilia II worried at the low indicators of the national industry and small and medium businesses, the domination of imported goods on the local market, and the unrealistic increases in taxes, including communal expenses and the low incomes the citizens of Georgia get.

Talking of the great potential of the Georgian agricultural sector, His Holiness suggested the introduction of a new law which would decrease the taxes and encourage the farmers to produce more on their lands, buy all the necessary pesticides and cultivate ecologically safe products. Further success of Georgian produce on the World market would become the stimuli for development of the agricultural sector.

Worried about the high number of detainees at the Georgian penitentiary facilities, His Holiness asked the Early Release Commissions to actively work on the cases and think of alterative penalties for those with small crimes. “It would be nice to create jobs at prisons where they would demonstrate their talents and skills,” he said, adding that a released man is never dangerous to society.

Promoting a healthy lifestyle, Ilia II referred to the healthcare conditions of the prisoners and said the distribution of prophylactics at detention facilities would avoid the spread of diseases like hepatitis C, HIV, etc. His Holiness also suggested the adoption of law encouraging the release of seriously diseased people to have treatment at home.

Talking of the importance of the doctor’s profession worldwide, Ilia II said improvement of their qualifications, protection of their prestige and bringing up younger generations to esteem the medical profession, would restore doctors’ trust among our society. Ilia II also suggested paying special attention to the quality of local and imported medicine because patients’ treatment also depends on effective and safe medicine.

Discouraging egoism and arrogance as the most dangerous “lancet for our souls” Georgia's Patriarch encouraged everyone to be modest and love others. “But part of mankind doesn’t believe in God and eternal life,” reads the Pascal Epistle. Encouraging people to struggle with their own sins, Ilia II worried the modern World is not welfare oriented and cares only for its own comfort.

Calling it “a new approach” towards life, His Holiness worried the well advertised “individual truth” backed up by propaganda machines has replaced the “common truth.”

The Pascal Epistle also reads the Orthodox Church can’t tolerate the sins, despite its humanism. Discouraging the construction of the Buddha Bar at the place where 100 000 Georgians were tortured, as well as casinos and slot clubs being built in the centre of Tbilisi, His Holiness explained such institutions are prohibited in most States, but even in these Countries where they are allowed to operate the law strictly defines their location away from the educational and religious institutions, cultural and relaxation centres.