Advertisement

Religion | IN BRIEF

Georgian Church Accused of Intolerance

September 27, 2003|From Times Wire Reports

VATICAN CITY — A high Vatican official has accused the Georgian Orthodox Church of issuing false information in a successful attempt to block the signing of a pact to guarantee religious freedom for Catholics.

Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, the Vatican foreign minister, made the charge in a recent statement issued by the Vatican as he left Tblisi at the end of a failed two-day mission to the Georgian capital.

The Georgian government postponed the signing at the last minute after thousands of Orthodox Christians took to the streets to protest the pact outlining the legal rights of Catholics, who make up about 1% of the overwhelmingly Orthodox population of 5 million.

The agreement would have opened the way to Catholic schools and allowed the study of Catholicism.

The estimated 50,000 Catholics in Georgia will suffer from the lack of an any juridical guarantee of their religious freedom, Tauran said.

He added that Pope John Paul II also will feel great suffering on their behalf.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|