Chairman of the Department of Foreign Ecclesiastical Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk To Leonides, Archbishop of Vladikavkaz and Alanya
Greetings and Merry Christmas.
We are addressing you for the following important issue:
We have learned from the media that on January 7, 2021, on Christmas Day, a service was held at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Tskhinvali by the priest of the Russian Church in Vladikavkaz and Alanya, Sergi Kokoev.
As you know, St. Tskhinvali is the canonical territory of the Tskhinvali and Nikozi Dioceses of the Georgian Apostolic Orthodox Church, with the current bishop being Metropolitan Isaiah (Chanturia).
The Russian Orthodox Church, like other local Orthodox Churches, has always recognized and continues to recognize the jurisdiction of the Georgian Church in both Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region.
According to the ecclesiastical law, it is unacceptable for any religious service to be conducted by the clergy of other orthodox churches without the permission of the Georgian Orthodox Church and without our consent, and similar misconduct damages the relationship between our churches.
We hope that you will investigate the above-mentioned issue, take strict measures against the clergy who have committed this illegal act, and that a similar fact will not happen again.
I wish you health, happiness and the grace of God in your high service.
Chairman of the Foreign Relations Department of the Georgian Patriarchate, Metropolitan of Zugdidi and Tsaishi