An influential head of the Georgian Orthodox Church, Ilia II intervened in political standoff by hinting that the opposition should put aside demanding the President’s resignation.
“Part of our population is demanding President’s resignation. I want to say that this issue is so complicated and generally, it has to some extent become a rule in our country, where the first president [Zviad Gamsakhurdia], the second president [Eduard Shevardnadze] was forced to resign. You know what these resignations have brought to us,” Patriarch Ilia II said in his sermon in the Holy Trinity Cathedral.
“Maybe, it would be more correct - it is simply my personal opinion- if we listen to each other; we should be capable to listen to everyone; we should listen to each other and accept that good idea,” he said.
“Each person has his own opinion, but it does not mean that one should definitely carry out and fulfill that opinion. A person should listen to others and not only to one person and implement one, which is the best opinion,” he continued. “A wise man was asked what was most dangerous and he responded: categorical thinking. Categorical thinking means that a person can not listen to others and he thinks that the truth is only in him and that this idea should be implemented. Very often we think that our decisions, our will are enough to implement this or that opinion. Today I want to bless the Georgian nation. It is frequent, when we regard a person with different opinions as a stranger. We should all remember that we all are brothers; there should be unanimity among us. Different opinions should exist, but it does not mean that they should definitely be implemented.”
“We are arrogant. Arrogance is characteristic to us. Arrogance is a terrible sin. Arrogance has ruined the angel and turned it into the devil. Only the Holly Trinity can cure it. We are now standing in the Holly Trinity and asking it to save us from this sin,” Ilia II said.
As the Patriarch was speaking thousands of protesters were gathered in a huge yard of the Holy Trinity Cathedral, where they arrived from the national stadium where the rally was held earlier on May 26.