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Orthodox Metropolitan Claims EU, U.S. Embassies Force ‘Immorality’ on Georgia

“You want to force your profligate, obscene and depraved ideals” on Georgia, said on July 11 Metropolitan of Vani and Baghdati Diocese Anton Bulukhia in a lengthy address to U.S. and EU Embassies in Tbilisi.

Accusing the diplomatic missions of pressuring Georgian government officials and religious leaders into denouncing violence that took place on July 5-6, the senior clergyman asserted: “If anyone is violent, it is you, who force your warped views on the absolute majority” of the people.

The Metropolitan also criticized U.S. Ambassador Kelly Degnan who recently said “we were disappointed that [U.S.-provided] training and equipment was not deployed when it became obvious that there were those in the crowd that wanted to resort to violence.”

Referring to the death of TV Pirveli’s Aleksandre Lashkarava, assaulted brutally a week earlier, the senior clergyman noted: “One journalist has died and you’re making such a fuss, would you be satisfied with what could have happened during the mass disturbances [if riot police had dispersed the crowd] you vampires?”

The Vani and Baghdati Metropolitan was previously involved in a controversy in May, when Mtavari Arkhi TV aired footage of the senior clergyman calling all journalists “gremlins” and “energy vampires,” and then evidently hitting the channel’s reported in the neck.

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