Bishop Spiridon (Gocha Abuladze) of Skhalta, previously involved in the Ninotsminda orphanage controversy, lashed out at the West and LGBTQ rights, and claimed that the EU and NATO integration is “the path to hell” for Georgia.
The Bishop claimed that the EU and U.S. are “poisoning and depraving” the country through their diplomatic missions. “Nothing can help Georgia as long as all these foul, filthy embassies remain,” he asserted in July 24 sermon.
The clergyman claimed that the Western embassies, and fifteen opposition parties, that agreed to defend LGBTQ rights, encouraged Tbilisi Pride to attempt holding the march on July 5, “despite the Church and the Government warning them not to demonstrate their immorality and depravity and anger the people.”
Bishop Spiridon claimed that LGBTQ rights activists “survived quite well” on July 5, taking into account they “insulted” the faith and “condemned” the God, which he said that Georgians have vehemently defended in the past.
Referring to a Georgian condom brand winning a blasphemy case at the ECHR, the clergyman claimed that the West is “telling us to insult the sacred.”
Another clergyman, Metropolitan Anton (Bulukhia) has accused the U.S. and EU Embassies of forcing “profligate, obscene and depraved ideals” on Georgia. The Orthodox Church also lambasted foreign diplomats over “supporting LGBTQ+ propaganda activities,” and accused them of “drastically interfering” with Georgia’s public spiritual life.