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Pope Francis in Georgia: The world war against marriage is caused by ideological colonization

2016-10-03

On his second day in Georgia, Pope Francis celebrated a Mass in Mikheil Meskhi stadium in Tbilisi. 

Before the ceremony, he crossed this unusual Holy Door that stood alone, with no temple adjacent to it.

It was a sign of solidarity with the Catholic community in Rustavi, a small town where the mayor does not allow construction of a Catholic Church.

One of the main themes for this trip was ecumenism, which suffered an important setback when an Orthodox delegation, who was scheduled to attend the Mass on Saturday, finally decided not to. They argued that "as long as there are dogmatic differences between our churches, Orthodox believers will not participate in their prayers.”

This circumstance however, did not prevent Pope Francis from delivering his prepared message.

In a meeting with priests and religious people later that day, he said that trying to proselytize the Orthodox people is a sin. 

POPE FRANCIS
"Proselytism is a great sin against ecumenism. You should never practice proselytism with the Orthodox! They are our brothers and sisters. Friendship, walk together, pray for one another, do works of mercy together. This is ecumenism. We should never condemn our brothers and sisters, never turn our backs away from them, just because they are Orthodox.”

During this meeting the pope also warned about gender ideologies, and the threats they pose to marriage.

POPE FRANCIS
"There is a world war against marriage. Today there is ideological colonization that destroys, not with weapons, but with words. We need to defend ourselves from ideological colonization.”

In the afternoon, Pope Francis visited charity workers outside the Camillian center in the outskirts of Tbilisi, where they help both sick people and refugees from the conflict in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. 

He topped off his day with a visit to the beautiful Svietyskhoveli Patriarchal Cathedral of Mtskheta, the most important temple of the Georgian Orthodox Church, where he was joined once again by Patriarch Ilia II. 

There, he witnessed this breathtaking rendition of the Our Father prayer in Aramaic, Jesus' language. 


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