Services have been temporarily suspended in temples of occupied Abkhazia until the status of the so-called Abkhazian Orthodox Church will not be determined. At the same time, the temples have not been closed. According to Ria Novosti, the head of the so-called Abkhazian Vhurch Besarion Aplia was quoted as saying the above by local media.
"Worshipers should raise the issue of the Abkhazian Church in their designated dioceses before archpriests, who in turn should raise the issue before Patriarch Kirill. Thirty years of being in such a situation - it is already impossible. That is why I stopped services in the temples,” said Besarion Aplia.
According to him, the service was not stopped only in Sokhumi Cathedral.
"I served there before, during and after the war, so the cathedral has a canonical right," Aplia said.
According to him, during the Second World War, the Georgian government incorporated the Abkhazian Orthodox Church into the Georgian Orthodox Church without a canonical decision. He hopes that the Moscow Patriarchate will decide on the ecclesiastical situation in occupied Abkhazia and determine its status.
"The canonical status of the clergy ordained by the Russian Church must be determined. The main thing is that they should return here with a specific status for the Orthodox Church of Abkhazia. We cannot be part of the Georgian Church, we are not part of the Georgian Church and we cannot be," - said Aplia.
RIA Novosti says that the Georgian Orthodox Church lost control of the region and Abkhaz believers as a result of the 1992-93 war.
"At that time, most of the Georgian clergy were forced to leave the territory of Abkhazia for political reasons. The spiritual life of the region was restored by a group of local clergy. They formed a diocesan council and elected Besarion Aplia, the ruling priest of the Sukhumi-Abkhazia diocese. Immediately, with the support of the Russian Church, several Abkhazians received theological education and were ordained as priests. In addition, clergymen from Russia serve in Abkhazia with the blessing of the archpriests of the Russian Orthodox Church, "the Russian agency wrote.