The Patriarchate of Georgia responds to criticism of parishioners over the situation with COVID-19 and says that banning parishioners from attending church services is unjustified and an offence before God.
“The current situation regarding the coronavirus is said to be further exacerbated. Some media outlets are portraying the situation so that we have a feeling that they are artificially preparing people in order to blame the church of possible problems in the future, despite the fact that we are trying to implement the recommendations of the Government and the National Center for Disease Control as much as possible.
We continue to urge those who have health problems to stay at home until they are fully healed. We also call on people to observe the distance of 2 meters inside churches and 1.5 meters in the church yards.
When it comes to the spread of the virus, it is incomprehensible why there is so much emphasis on the arrival of worshipers at the churches once a week, while there are more people in public transport, pharmacy or grocery stores.
They especially oppose the centuries-old rite of communion, while majority of them do not have enough knowledge or belief about the spiritual essence of this mystery.
Drinking wine from a shared chalice is a symbol of unity between parishioners and Jesus and its refusal is the refusal of the Christ”, - reads the statement of the Patriarchate.