17 May Events

The Parade of the Seven Deadly Sins

Beka Mindiashvili
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A peaceful rally to mark the International Day against Homophobia on 17 May in Tbilisi was cut short by a horde of angry counter-protesters. When Georgian LGBT activists were assembling in Tbilisi's Pushkin Square, next to Rustaveli Avenue, thousands of conservative ultra-Orthodox supporters, led by dozens of clergymen, broke through heavy police cordons and chased after them, beating them and throwing stones, swearing and screaming "Kill them! Don't let them escape alive." Police were forced to evacuate the anti-homophobia demonstrators in buses, which were then attacked by the counter-demonstrators.

The ultra-Orthodox supporters were armed with rocks, sticks, nettles and crucifixes. One priest was seen carrying a stool. Angry counter-protesters were seen attempting to lynch some young people they believed they were gay. A young woman's head was split open by a stone and she was seen bleeding.

Two days earlier, the head of the Georgian Orthodox Church Ilia II had called for a ban on the gay rights rally, describing homosexuality as an "anomaly and a disease."

The violence resulted in 28 people being injured – 12 of whom were hospitalized, including three policemen and a reporter.

Thousands of Georgian citizens signed an e-petition calling on the country's government to punish those who organized and participated in the violent attack.

 

To your Holiness and Beatitude, to the bishops, priests and nuns, and to the other Orthodox Christians who, in the name of God, sanctified and blessed the violence and the hatred; who supported and participated in the sadistic hunt of those citizens merely wanting to hold a peaceful protest against homophobia on 17 May; who either feel a twinge of conscience but stay mute because of fear and conformism or who do not have any conscience and try to justify committing the deadliest sin. I want to tell all of you that, on that day, you revolted not only against the Georgian state and human rights, but, first and foremost, against God and His Holy Church!

For years you have been advancing towards that blasphemy – step by step, intentionally and consistently. For years, instead of the teachings of Christ, you have tried to stuff our heads full of misanthropic teachings invented by you. For years you have portrayed God as a furious and violent master who fights against sinners but not the sin; who, akin to Zeus and Moloch, strikes with thunder and lightning, persecutes, quashes and razes to the ground each and every person who does not obey your will, who does not think like you, and who is different from you. Therefore, today the result of your labors are not the signatures on a petition from only 24 students of the seminary, who years ago protested against the despotism of the hierarchs, but of some 14,000 citizens. Today, conscientious people have risen to fairly blame you for encouraging violence and demand that justice be served on Bishop Iakob and the priests! Do you realize what is happening in the blessed land of Iveria?

For years you have relentlessly sought out enemies of the nation and the Church everywhere, pointing your super-moral fingers at god knows who or what, calling them agents of Hell and demanding their punishment, inscribing their names on your black list and sparing no effort in directing the wrath of the people against them. However, at the end of the day, the truth was revealed – all of Christendom, the entire world, has learnt that you, and only you, are the furious enemies of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Those who are at least aware of the basic tenets of Christianity know perfectly well that the events of 17 May were not the denouncement and assault of the 40 courageous people who gained a moral victory over you – the multi-thousand-strong mob calling itself a congregation – but was the denouncement and assault of Christ and the Georgian Apostolic Orthodox Church.

No matter how much you disassociate yourself with the violence of 17 May, you will no longer be able to convince conscientious people that you are kind shepherds, that your service is the service to God, or that your sermons are those of the Gospel. For years you have glorified God only in words, but offended Him in deeds. We have seen that you based the virtue of hope not on God and the Holy Cross, but on yourself, on your despotic will, limitless authority and the size of your congregation; on the power of the stool and the bludgeon.

You are ignorant of God. God acts with freedom and love; God acts by sacrificing Himself and with His word; God stands next to us – the sinners involved in a myriad of sins – and shares our human pain and joy; God wants compassion for us, not victims; He wants to forgive sinners, not punish them. But you have portrayed yourselves as saints and the defenders of Orthodox Christianity and, armed with stools, bludgeons and stones, you have offended each and every person that did not agree with you. You ignoramuses of God! It is the sinners whom Christ pities; he loathes the stupefied moralist defenders of Orthodox Christianity!
Were your hearts and intentions indeed pure and sincere? Did you meticulously observe those moral laws that God prescribed for us? It is said in the Bible that: "For nothing is hid, that shall not be made manifest!" Your collective madness on 17 May has proved that, in reality, you have shut yourselves away in a religious and moral darkness, in a cave of impure, brutal passions and ignorance. Therefore, as an ordinary Orthodox Christian, I am obliged to publicly expose you; I am obliged to extend a hand of help to you; I am obliged to try to pull you out of the dungeons of sin and ignorance. This is precisely what I see as my responsibility before God and humanity.

Talks these days largely proceed as if the Church has gained the upper hand over the state, as if religion has subdued secular life. This is true only if we look at 17 May from the political, civil and legal standpoint. But let us try and explain what happened in light of Christian teachings – then the picture will be completely the opposite. In reality, on 17 May, with the blessing of his Holiness, the Patriarch Ilia II, and under the leadership of Bishop Iakob, a multi-thousand-strong congregation, which had been roused into a collective frenzy, mercilessly attacked and smashed not homosexuals, but Jesus Christ, the Bible, the Cross, the Church, and each and every honest priest and Orthodox believer! A dreadful reality, which had been hidden for many years, was unveiled on 17 May: the truth that the thing you called the Church was revealed not to be a consecrated place for the followers of Christ, but an intolerant, criminal organization overwhelmed with hatred! How have we fallen to such a low? How have we come to such a savage denial and hatred of God and humanity? The reasons are many, but the key one is that you proved to be ignorant, not only of Christ or Orthodoxy, but of what sins are and what love thy neighbor means. You proved to be ignorant of what virtues and vice are for God; even in such a simple, primate form that parents might use to explain the difference between good and evil to small children.

On 17 May, none of the religious servants recalled the parable of the Good Samaritan – the parable about he who is a neighbor of humanity is, consequently, the neighbor of God. On the road from Jerusalem to Jericho neither a priest nor a deacon extended a hand of assistance to a traveler asking for help, one who had been beaten, robbed and left half-dead on the road. Only an infidel Samaritan found the time to help the injured man. Jesus says that this very Samaritan is a neighbor to both God and humanity. What do you think you are? Who do you think you are according to this parable? You are very much mistaken if you consider yourself the uncompassionate priest or deacon – you have already passed beyond that point; it is also apparent that you cannot be the Samaritan either – compassion is indeed an alien and incomprehensible phenomenon to you. Then who are you, the clergy and laity, who "defended" morality and Orthodoxy all along Rustaveli Avenue? You know who you are. You are, of course, the robbers on the road, the villains of the darkness who chased after innocents to batter them mercilessly on 17 May.

When you were shouting that you had to stop the propaganda of sin, did not that crusade itself lead to the exposure, before Heaven and earth, of all the deadly sins at once and provide them with unprecedented propaganda? Do you, after all, know what sin is? You do not, of course. As you do not know, I must spell it out to you! Open up any catechism of the Orthodox Church and look up the seven deadly sins. These are the ulcers which, according to Church dogma, will, if developed, take a person forever away from God and turn his/her soul into nothing but feed for Satan. Attentively look up what those sins are! Is the answer homosexuality, homosexuality and homosexuality again? Not at all. Sisters and brethren, you must be disappointed. Homosexuality is not among the deadly sins; the whirlpool of sins and vice does not lie outside a person, for example, in Tbilisi's Pushkin Square, but exists inside a person; in the mind and heart, in the inner world of the human.

Pride

 

The deadliest of the seven mortal sins is pride. A soul seized with this gravest disease becomes a sympathizer of the devil; it was the pride that caused the angel of light – Lucifer – to fall from Heaven and turned it into the eternal enemy of both God and humanity. The repentance of pride, to descend from the peak of the sin, is, according to the teachings of the Saintly Fathers, almost impossible. A person who has developed metastases of this cancer becomes complacent and considers him/herself pure and innocent. In such a condition, a person loses the ability of self-survival, of penitence; the devil finds a place in him/her and, together with the subdued person, tries to become equal to God again. A person falling to this sin becomes an angry idol, a constant source of destruction, an ominous evil for the outer world.

Your Holiness and Beatitude, do you not stand today as a monumental idol before the entire Georgian people? Do ordinary believers not address you as God? Do they not chant for you? Do they not paint icons of you? Do they not devote prayers and glory, intended for God, to you? Take a good look at what is happening among the large army of your fans. Has not the glory to you overshadowed the glory to God? The idol of you has long toppled Jesus Christ and Orthodox Christianity! And what do you do? Do you denounce this paganism, this evil reverence? No, you do not! The most tragic thing, however, is that you yourself provide such blatant examples of pride and blasphemy – sometimes equaling yourself with God, portraying yourself as "the sun which shone in the midst of night", the savior of the nation and the Church. This is nothing more than the denouncement of God!

Brethren and sisters, who is more popular – the Patriarch, seated in the throne of glory, or the Crucified Jesus? Whose teachings do you hear more often, whom do you trust more – Ilia II or Jesus Christ? Of course, the Christ and the Bible are, much like people's consciences, well hidden away and neglected because the Church only needs Christ as a trade mark, the use of which brings ascension, glory and wealth! If that were not the case, the ignorant, glory- and wealth-hungry hierarchs would not have become so wanton; if that were not the case, we would have avoided not only 17 May, but many other disasters too!

Bishops and priests, for the sake of the savior of your souls, just try and look at yourselves from a distance. Observe and explore how arrogantly you move, speak and preach. Reflect upon how dearly it really costs you to be a priest. More importantly, try to realize that a religious rank has become just a tool to gain mightiness and dominance over others!

Brethren and sisters, you should face up to reality and reflect on what the teachings of Christ today have in common with the chauvinism of the Georgian Church and its misanthropic religion: the replacement of the worship of Christ with that of Ilia-latria; non-baptized infants being sent to Hell on the decision of the Holy Synod; the propagation of the religious exceptionality of the Georgian nation and its language; the constant bragging about Orthodox Christianity being superior to that of any other denomination, about the Georgian ethnicity besting any other ethnicity, or about the superiority of Georgian "chivalry"– these are all the mortal fruits of pride that have corrupted you spiritually and which now threaten you with eternal damnation if you do not repent and turn back to Christ! Which of you still remember that the Lord loves all of his children equally, irrespective of who they are in terms of standing, nationality, religion, gender or sexual orientation?

Before you collected rocks to stone those helpless people on 17 May, you should have considered that those small stones represent the heaviest of rocks of personal, national, religious and sexual pride tied around your necks; such weights infinitely distance you from God's favor and will lead you towards the abyss of Hell. Brethren and sisters, pride turns any person, no matter how much they believe that they serve God – be they a catholicos or a deacon – into a humble slave of the devil and an accomplice to its evil deeds.

Your Holiness and Beatitude, your time will come and then the supreme judge will necessarily ask: why did you forget me? Why did you hide the essence of the crucifixion from the believers? Why did you install yourself on my altar? Was it for that purpose that I installed you as the servant of God, Ilia? The time will come and you, Georgian Orthodox Christians, will also be asked: why were you better than anyone else, anyway? And you will feel dread, you will tremble and go mute because today's Georgian religiosity provides a shameful answer to that question. Whilst there still is time we, Georgian Orthodox Christians, must manage to humble ourselves and before death keep in mind that "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise!"

Wrath

The source of pride is wrath because only arrogant souls, who are shut off and absorbed in themselves, in their own species, own circles, and own beliefs or disbeliefs, can direct unfair wrath upon another, different, innocent person and neighbor. Intolerance, hate, swearing, aggression, violence and extremism are all fruits of a soul fallen to the sin of wrath.

Was it not a parade of deadly sins that you, incited by pride, undertook on Rustaveli Avenue? Should you be easily excused for showing to everyone, be they adult or child, a wrathful and darkly comic image of the Orthodox Church armed with stools and offending the sanctity of humanity, the Church, and Orthodoxy?

We have all seen that you are very skillful in torturing, beating and inflicting pain upon those poor souls who were extremely frightened and distressed because of people like you. "I'll kill you, fuck your mother!" This proved to be your genuine prayer, your genuine display of priesthood, your genuine sermon! Have you not been told by anyone yet that such swearing is first and foremost an offence against the Blessed Virgin Mary?

Are you also not aware that you have been honored to be the image of God on earth? That's why you priests are referred to as Fathers. Do you know that now the plea "Do not hit me, Father" has been eternally inscribed in Heaven for your judgment day? What are you left with now? I think you'd better refrain from even appearing before people in order to spare the name of God from being ridiculed.

What will you, Georgian Orthodox Christians, say on your judgment day when you appear before God equipped with those stools, stones, nettles and bludgeons? How will you open your vulgar mouths when He asks: Is this your legacy? Are these your stools on which you did not sit? Are these your relics? How will you respond? Will you reply: We swore, spat, beat and threatened with these stools in your name, Lord – will you tell Him that? Jesus was a carpenter and made chairs for you, Father, to sit on, not to turn into a tool of terror.

What will you say to God when you are shown the torture of those helpless people on the buses – those who you made go through a real hell of fists, stones, spit and swearing in the name of God? How will you justify yourselves for standing beside those chokha-clad machos who, deranged with hate, were chasing after homosexuals and trying to kill them whilst gulping for air as they attempted to chant the Lord's Prayer? Are they not the most appalling and pitiful victims of your sermons? It was indeed about the Georgian clergy that the psalmist said: "Nevertheless man being in honor abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish."

To understand your terrible deed you, in fact, have to put the simplest question to yourself: was the real initiator and commander-in-chief of the 17 May crusade the beast with its legion of fallen angels? Who was the conductor of that raid, the author of the roars of those frenzied werewolves? If you have even the tiniest desire to save your souls, you must realize and admit that, on 17 May, you were not the warriors of Christ but the soldiers of the devil!

You must admit that, on 17 May, the entire Church declared out loud something that you have been preaching and sowing in your congregations for years – that God is love is a lie! Your god is bitterness, wrath and hatred! Servant of God Ilia, servant of God Iakob, servant of God Iob, servant of God Davit, servant of God Anthimos, look at me attentively, am I hatred? You will definitely also be asked this come your judgment day.

Gluttony

Many of us are slaves to our stomachs, feasting joyously, overindulging ourselves with excessive amounts of delicious food and drink. I wish that were our only major vice. Gluttony is a sin and, more than physical insatiability, it implies internal insatiability and dissatisfaction and, as such, it corrupts us spiritually!

You "guardians" of the sanctity of the homeland and the Church, who in reality are just greedy for power, wealth and hatred, probably cannot even guess what areas of Hell you were taken to by Belial, what depths of gluttony you reached on 17 May; you probably do not even comprehend that the Satanic madness turned you, not only in those who beat, chase, swear, spit and smash, but also into eaters of human flesh.

On 17 May, you shepherds hunting for souls let man-eating dogs break free from your hearts; your intentions, your lips, allowed them to bite the flesh of an innocent girl! Now listen very attentively to Him, to the voice and pain of His bitten flesh, because you will be judged by Him!

It makes me sick even trying to imagine what awaits you on judgment day for allowing that cannibalism, for breeding and inciting those dogs over the years, for delivering a Black Mass on the streets of Tbilisi on 17 May and for proudly engaging the entire Church, the clergy and laity in it! Woe unto you, because you tempted them in the name of God and have abandoned thousands of deceived believers' souls to their demise!

Offender saints! Remember well that on 17 May, instead of the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ you served the Church the flesh and blood of humans! Was it delicious? Was the flesh of a human tasty? The judge will ask. Was the flesh and blood of that girl tastier than that of mine?

Envy

You also fell to such lows because you were engulfed with envy. Your souls were tarnished with bitter envy! You envied colorfulness! Did you not constantly envy free people? Did you not hate them and rally against their very existence just because they dressed as they liked, thought and said what they wanted, fell in love with whom they wanted, and went wherever they wanted? Were your hearts not filled with wrath because they acted without your blessing and control? Did you not mistakenly call that jealousy the care for their souls? Did you not love only the de-personalized, enslaved, your grey and colorless flock of sheep?

Was it not because of that envy that you responded to any challenge with multiple bans and various taboos? God urged you to be the guardians of the personal freedoms of humans, but you started poking your nose into everything; watching and spying on others' freedom, seizing and methodically ruining the heavenly privilege Christ bestowed on everyone. On 17 May, however, it became clear to everyone that you, consumed with envy about those freedoms unachievable for you, turned your flock of sheep into a pack of predators.

You were choked with envy if anyone else had more money and power than you and, on 17 May, you indeed went on a crusade to obtain everything that you had so diligently striven towards! You overstepped every limit of the law and embarked on a broad path to the heights of power, honor and wealth! Woe unto you, because you have become slaves to earthly possessions!

Was 17 May, along with everything else, not revenge against the state? The same state which, because of its stupidity and shortsightedness, has been feeding you for years, bestowing gold and silver onto you, humbly stroking your head and caring for you in order to keep you tied to them. The state seemed to fail to fully understand what a monster it was dealing with. In reality, the constant care you received from the state was the main reason for your endless envy and jealousy. In reality, you wanted to be the state – the source, in your understanding, of wealth, domination and law. Was it not you, in reality, who wanted to have everyone and everything tied to you, shackled in thick patriarchal chains!

The preaching of Saint John Chrysostom is indeed about you: "The envious is worse than vicious beasts, and craftier than devils. The wrath and evil of the beasts may result from hunger or fear from us; Whereas, concerning the envious, he who does them well is the same as he who deals unjustly with them."

Greed

Non-greedy clergymen are a rarity, there are just one or two, and, in my opinion, the source of our misfortunes is not pride but rather greed. This sin has also captured our souls. It is greed that prompts the majority of you to choose the priesthood. Some of you want to migrate from a village to the city; others, having failed elsewhere, find shelter under priesthood; a third group thinks of money and what they can gain, even at the altar; a fourth group seeks personal honor in the eyes of the people, a desire also rooted in greed. That the greedy episcopes and priests do not take any single step with a clear heart is a well known fact. Your baptisms, weddings, liturgies, funeral services and supplications have often replenished the coffers of the spiritual trade, let alone your commonplace blessings of apartments, businesses and motor cars.

You seek gain from everyone – from God, from the devil, from man and woman. True, there are a few honest devotees among you who do not serve for rewards of gold, silver and new Toyota cars, but how surprising it must be for you that they are able to use their non-greediness in trade with God and the people.

If, to this poison of greediness, is added some hatred and love, we will see that this magic mixture can also bring influence and power. You have mastered this magic very skillfully. That is why one can no longer find either love or hatred in their purest forms in the Church – both of them have become false and excessively materialistic or serve the aim of amassing symbolic capital. On 17 May, all that was well manifested in your amazing hypocrisy when you talked about forgiveness and love towards sinners; it was manifested in your warnings when you blackmailed the police: "do not let them hold the protest or..." This "or" is, of course, a form of trade – greed for hatred. Or what? Or blood will be spilt... Or an entire army of frenzied people will arrive at the whistle of a priest... Or we will overthrow the state too.

Engaged in constant calculations and entangled in a cobweb of intrigues because of greed, you turned your heart into stone and devoted it to the devil. Had that not been so, on 17 May you would have listened to your hearts and, in the midst of that turmoil, at least some of you would have witnessed a real miracle – perhaps a priest being a voice for calm or performing an act of aid or protection. Where do you think our Lord Jesus Christ was during that crusade? You, overwhelmed with greed for hatred, did not even recall that God warned us that He is always each and every one of those who are persecuted, offended, beaten, spat upon and marginalized. Of course, it was Jesus Christ who was looking out from the frightened and offended eyes of the passengers of the yellow buses; looking at you, priests, fathers, mothers, sisters and brethren... And before your day of judgment comes, perhaps you will do something to save your souls because at that point you will definitely be asked where you were on 17 May, when Christ was called names, persecuted, spat upon and beaten.

Sloth

Sloth might seem rather trifling against the other sins, but if we explore the matter, we will see that it has also contributed to the situation we are now in. Sloth is our national pride that we so often brag about. It is because of sloth that, despite the passage of time, you still remain so ignorant. It is because of sloth that many of you have perhaps not read, from start to the end, even one of the four Gospels, let alone the entire Bible. It is a result of sloth that the majority of you, be it at home or in the church, read prayers mumbling and humming, not understanding their essence and content; just doing so for the sake of performing the task. What you do not understand, you cannot perform – from your heart or otherwise. Heaven will have heard at least one prayer asking God to: open our minds to a deeper awareness and hearts to a deeper kindness... As it turned out, on 17 May, thousands of believers lacked both awareness and kindness...

Every morning and evening, an Orthodox Christian pleas for peace and forgiveness from God. In both the morning and the evening he/she confesses his/her sins to God and also prays for those who have hurt him/her, asking God to forgive those who hate and offend him/her, who oppresses and calls him/her names, asking God not to punish them for that, but to help them turn away from the evil they feel towards him/her.

The only answer for Orthodox Christians, the only power against their enemies and offenders, as incomprehensible and unacceptable as it may sound to you, are the generous blessings and prayers for his/her soul. Had you not been diseased with spiritual sloth, knowledge of this elementary and central Christian tenet would have at least impeded you from cursing and hating. You would have known that if you so much as hurt someone's feelings, let alone beat them up, and do not ask forgiveness for that, you will not be forgiven by God for all eternity!

Nor did you prove that you knew that fellow Orthodox Christians must each work diligently, training their minds and hearts, reining in any passions and dreams; you should not find time to judge others, but judge only yourself day and night. But you did the opposite, always hearing the sins of others, not only exposing them, but passing judgment and calling for the sinners to be roughed up.

The Saintly Fathers, speaking with one voice, teach that even if you spare no efforts in meticulously observing fasts or if you have spent all of your life in prayers without so much as sitting on a chair, all that toil will evaporate like a dream if you hurt the feelings of even a single person and do not repent this sin. Hurting any human means hurting God.

However, as has transpired, you have not even heard of all that, let alone learnt or understood it. Because of the deep spiritual sloth, your faith fell victim to dark passions; whilst the extreme innocence, clumsiness and un-refinement of your mind became a warm nest for the devil as you failed to erect obstacles to the dominance of evil, either with feeling, faith or knowledge.

Lust

We have all fallen for this sin. What did Jesus say? That both physical lust and lust of the mind and the eye are sins. Irrespective of the form of sexual intercourse, whether homosexual or heterosexual, a sin is always a sin. But the Bible also shows the attitude of the Lord towards prostitutes, it shows God's attitude towards those who do not refrain from satisfying their lust on the beds of others and, moreover, those who do so in the name of faith and morality.
The Pharisees brought a woman accused of adultery to Jesus and announced she should be stoned to death. Jesus stopped them without even raising his eyes to look at them, exposing immediately them by saying: "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." This is God's answer to religious and moral violence, He tells the woman "go, and sin no more." Jesus, contrary to the command of the law, forgives and bestows life on the woman because the community had harmed her, because she was a victim, because she had looked into the eyes of death. Is it too difficult to understand what that means? Lust is a personal, individual sin, and only God can judge it! Jesus did not give us mortals the right to judge others' sexual mores. Those who stubbornly still collect stones in order to serve justice on those whom they deem to be sinners, themselves fall for an incomparably graver sin; putting themselves to shame before God so that the Lord will not even deem it necessary to look upon them.

What should we do? Should we start counting the various sexual adventures, instances of homosexuality and other scandalous stories of the priests and episcopes, all of which have been concealed under the almighty religious vestment? Of course, not! Obviously, no one is safe from this sin! Obviously, this is a private matter for each and every person. Everyone has absolutely individual and unique experiences, and no one else – be it the Church or the law – must busy themselves exploring these individual sins! Therefore you, the guardians of our national sanctity and virginity, better stop grieving and lamenting about the private lives of others and start judging yourselves and, with repentance, subdue your lust!

But lust and adultery in the Bible takes on another, one may say, epic dimension when this word expresses the internal state of the entire nation and means the betrayal of God by Israel and the breach of the covenant it made with God.

The only covenant which Jesus Christ made with each of us and the Church is the obligation to love God and humanity. According to that covenant, Jesus Christ will forgive us only if we are also able to forgive. According to that covenant, God will do unto us as we do unto others. Therefore, we Christians, both individually and collectively, ask the Heavenly Father every day for support in the fulfillment of this very obligation: "Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us."

Denial of this obligation means turning your back on God, refusing God's favor. We must admit that on 17 May, a chosen nation of the New Testament, the Georgian Orthodox Church, betrayed God in a collective, massive and ruthless manner; it estranged itself from our Lord Jesus Christ, broke free from His light and sweet yoke, breached the covenant made with Him, and instantly engaged in love with the devil. Neither verbal disassociation and denouncement of the violence nor individual regret and collective repenting will any longer be sufficient to excuse this terrible betrayal and help remove the yoke of evil.

I think the cost of mercy should be for the entire priesthood, starting from the Patriarch down to an ordinary deacon, to kneel in front of those people who were trapped and assaulted in those yellow buses and to plead, in the name of the Orthodox Church, for forgiveness. First and foremost, forgiveness should be asked from those whom you pejoratively and hatefully called "sick people" and "pederasts."

After this act of repentance, forgiveness must, of course, be asked for the numerous sins committed and their propaganda on the streets of Tbilisi from the entire nation, from each and every that person that was dumbstruck by the sight of priests causing harm and going on a rampage in the name of God! This will be the beginning of the genuine revival of the Church! This will be the beginning of our reconciliation with both Our Lord Jesus Christ and with humanity!

"The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel!"

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