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Catholicos Patriarch’s traditional Christmas epistle

By Keti Arjevanidze
Tuesday, January 8
Ilia II, Catholicos Patriarch of Georgia, celebrated Christmas and addressed residents of Georgia with his traditional Christmas epistle. “First of all we are responsible for our country, God and each other.”

According to the patriarch’s address, everybody’s portion of responsibility is essential. “Everybody’s function is very important, but the higher the rank, the higher the responsibility," reads the epistle.

Ilia II worries that today everybody lacks a sense of responsibility, “we are indifferent Christians, that is why we make so many mistakes, egoistic intentions are in power in ourselves, which ruins the true values,” said the patriarch. Ilia II remarked that those who lose their freedom fall into a slavery condition and their sense of responsibility falls as well.

The patriarch in his traditional epistle reviewed the near past of Georgia, saying that Georgia, after losing its independence, the whole system was ruined, power was passed to strange governors and accordingly, personal concerns took over a major place for Georgians instead of thinking about the country.

Ilia II highlighted church’s role in society’s development. According to him, the church plays an important role in a person formed as truly free and spiritually strong.

The epistle also contained the issue of equality. Ilia II pointed out the gospel of Christ about equality.

Ilia II sent a message to the youth to resist the attacks of information, which tries to pay under the influence of false values and pseudo-culture. The patriarch underlined the importance of literacy and advised the youth to love reading, in-depth thinking and to love and fear god.

During the Christmas liturgy, Georgian officials also attended. The President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili and several ministers attended as well. Saakashvili wished everyone a happy Christmas and hoped that every New Year in Georgia will be better than the previous one. The president said that Georgians should take care of what was built and take care of the country, do everything to strengthen the accomplished result. Saakashvili also said that Georgians should not allow a turn back to the past. According to him, in this regard Georgia faces serious challenges, but the president expressed optimism and added that Georgia deserves the development.

Bidzina Ivanishvili, Prime Minister also spoke and stated that “I believe that we together will build the country of our dreams, “said Ivanishvili.