- Title: Georgia's Orthodox hard-liners protest against Pope Francis
- Date: 1st October 2016
- Summary: TBILISI, GEORGIA (OCTOBER 1, 2016) (REUTERS) GEORGIAN ORTHODOX PROTESTERS HOLDING ANTI-POPE POSTERS GATHERED AT ENTRANCE TO STADIUM WHERE POPE FRANCIS IS TO LEAD HOLY MASS POSTER READING (English): "POPE ARCH-HERETIC, YOU ARE NOT WELCOME IN ORTHODOX GEORGIA!" PEOPLE WALKING TO STADIUM PAST PROTESTERS POLICE OUTSIDE ENTRANCE TO STADIUM PROTESTERS HOLDING POSTER READING (English): "VATICAN IS A SPIRITUAL AGGRESSOR" GEORGIAN ORTHODOX PRIEST AT PROTEST POSTER READING (English): "HUMANITY KNOWS THREE FALLS: THAT OF ADAM, THAT OF JUDAS AND THAT OF PAPISM. ST.JUSTIN" VARIOUS OF PROTESTER HOLDING CARICATURES DEPICTING POPE GEORGIAN ORTHODOX PRIESTS AMONG PROTESTERS (SOUNDBITE) (Georgian) GEORGIAN ORTHODOX PRIEST, FATHER DAVID, SAYING: "We are protesting against proselyte actions by the pope. The purpose of his visit is a missionary one, I am sorry, but Georgia has been an Orthodox country for 2000 years. Three Apostles preached here. Apostles have already preached to us. We have already accepted the Orthodox faith once and we do not want to change our faith." CHILDREN PROTESTERS PROTESTERS ON STREET CARS DRIVING BY PROTESTERS
- Embargoed: 16th October 2016 10:02
- Keywords: Pope Francis Georgia Tbilisi stadium Holy Mass protest Orthodox believers
- Location: TBILISI, GEORGIA
- City: TBILISI, GEORGIA
- Country: Georgia
- Topics: Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA00152697IF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:A group of Georgian Orthodox hard-liners protested against an official visit by Pope Francis to the country on Saturday (October 1) outside a stadium in Tbilisi ahead of Holy Mass being held there.
About 50 protesters gathered outside the stadium, holding up signs reading: "Vatican is a spiritual aggressor" and "Pope, arch-heretic, you are not welcome in Orthodox Georgia."
The Georgian Orthodox Church is one of the more conservative in the Orthodox world.
The group of protesters has followed the pope since he arrived on Friday (September 30) to protest against the visit.
"We are protesting against proselyte actions by the pope. The purpose of his visit is a missionary one, I am sorry, but Georgia has been an Orthodox country for 2000 years. Three Apostles preached here. Apostles have already preached to us. We have already accepted the Orthodox faith once and we do not want to change our faith," said Father David, a protest participant and Georgian Orthodox priest.
Pope Francis said Mass for an unusually small crowd of just a few thousand Catholics in Georgia, a celebration that was further dampened when a delegation from the Orthodox Church stayed away.
Ex-Soviet Georgia is overwhelmingly Orthodox Christian and less than 1 percent of the population is Catholic, according to government figures.
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