- Title: Pope Francis visits Georgian capital, undeterred by protests
- Date: 30th September 2016
- Summary: IN AIR (SEPTEMBER 30, 2016) (AGENCY POOL) POPE'S NEW SPOKESMAN GREG BURKE HOLDING MICROPHONE / POPE FRANCIS APPROACHING (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) HEAD OF ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, POPE FRANCIS, SAYING: "Thank you for your work. This trip will be short, thank God. In three days we will be back home. Thank you very much and now I am going to greet you." POPE GREETING JOURNALISTS POPE TALKING TO JOURNALISTS TBLISI, GEORGIA (SEPTEMBER 30, 2016) (AGENCY POOL) GEORGIAN FLAG FLYING OVER PRESIDENTIAL PALACE POPE FRANCIS SITTING BESIDE GEORGIAN PRESIDENT GIORGI MARGVELASHVILI WHO IS SPEAKING AT LECTERN FLAGS MOVING IN BREEZE VARIOUS OF POPE FRANCIS AND MARGVELASHVILI DURING SPEECHES OUTSIDE PALACE
- Embargoed: 15th October 2016 18:31
- Keywords: Pope Francis Tblisi Georgia visit trip flight
- Location: IN AIR / TBLISI, GEORGIA
- City: IN AIR / TBLISI, GEORGIA
- Country: Georgia
- Topics: Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA00151REWQV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Pope Francis was confronted with protesters in Georgia on Friday (September 30), as he arrived for a visit in the ex-Soviet state.
Less than one percent of Georgia's population of about 3.7 million are Catholic. The overwhelming majority belong to Orthodox Christianity, which broke with Rome in 1054.
The Georgian Orthodox Church is one of the more conservative in the Orthodox world and some of its more hard-core members protested at the airport. They held signs reading: "Vatican is a spiritual aggressor" and "Pope, arch-heretic, you are not welcome in Orthodox Georgia".
Under Francis, who was elected in 2013, the Vatican has made a concerted effort to improve relations with Orthodox Christians in the hopes of an eventual reunion. Earlier this year, he held a historic meeting with Kirill, the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church.
On Friday evening there was no sign of tension between the two Churches as Georgia's ailing, 83-year-old Orthodox leader, Patriarch Ilia II, warmly welcomed the pope.
Francis also visited a church of the country's Assyrian-Chaldean Christian community, where he prayed for victims of war in the Middle East, asking God to comfort those "wearied by bombing" and to "raise up Iraq and Syria from devastation".
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