Ilia Ghudushauri-Shiolashvili, Catholicos-Patriarch of all Georgia, the First Hierarch of the Church of Georgia, will visit Moscow later this month to receive an award from the MP’s International Foundation for the Unity of Orthodox Christian Nations (IFUOCN). Patriarch Ilia, who turns 80 on 4 January, said on Wednesday that he’d receive an award at a ceremony in Moscow on 21 January. IFUOCN grants awards annually to political and religious leaders, as well as public figures for contribution to “strengthening unity of the Orthodox Christian nations”. Award ceremonies are in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.
3 January 2013
This so-called IFUOCN is a sham organisation that only exists to give out this award. It has no independent existence… and the awards ceremony has become a “Lenin’s Tomb” venue… one can tell who’s up and who’s down by the seating arrangement. Last year, Balashov, Mark Golovkov, and Vsevolod Chaplin were far closer to HH than the Blunder was… the last named was seated out with the hoi polloi in “Siberia”, across the aisle and far from HH.
The interesting question here is, “What’s the real reason for Ilia’s visit?” It’s clear that it’s cover for something. The IFUOCN award is a meaningless piffle, an empty prize from a nonentity, a nonstarter on all counts. It means nothing in and of itself. Is Ilia going to talk with VVP? He’s certainly going to confab with HH. Is Ilia going to chew the fat with Nino Burdzhanadze (who’s on the outs with Saakashvili and Ivanishvili‘s Georgian government)? It’s certainly going to be used as a neutral venue to get Russians and Georgians together. Is a deal on South Ossetia and Abkhazia in the works (either in the political or religious sense)? Now, of course, if the “award” gets pulled at the last minute… that would be a rather different kettle of fish, no?