Archbishop Jacob quits as Patriarch’s assistant, head of financial council of Patriarchate amid political controversies

Archbishop Jacob says that former and current officials were interested in the resignation of current Patriarch Ilia, 28 Oct 2019 - 14:19, Tbilisi,Georgia

Archbishop Jacob, who has been one of the most influential figures in the Georgian Patriarchate, has quit the position of Patriarch Ilia II’s assistant and the chief of the Economic and Financial Council of the Patriarchate amid political turmoil around him.

Jacob has told TV Pirveli on the weekend that former PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili, ex-head of the Georgian State Security Service [current Interior Minister] Vakhtang Gomelauri and former Interior Minister [current PM] Giorgi Gakharia asked him for help “to make Patriarch Ilia II resign.”

Jacob said that the reason he was selected “for help” was his influence in the patriarchate.

He stated that a meeting took place at the administration building of the government of Georgia under Kvirikashvili’s premiership [he did not name an exact date] regarding the issue, “when I told them [the former and current officials] that the Patriarchate must decide the issue [whether or not the patriarchate should quit] and not you, and how you stand against the patriarch?!”  

Ex-PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili has dismissed allegations. Photo: 

Jacob said that the founder of the Georgian Dream ruling party Bidzina Ivanishvili was “interested in Ilia II’s resignation, and making Shio Mujiri [interim patriarch] a new patriarch.”

The archbishop also said that former Prosecutor Generals Irakli Shotadze and Otar Partskhaladze “were extorting money from me and Kvirikashvili knew that,” without providing additional details.

Jacob also said that the high-profile cyanide case, in which cleric Giorgi Mamaladze was sentenced to nine years in prison, aimed the murder of Ilia II and “clerics and officials were involved in it”.

Jacob says that he has “all the evidence” proving his words.

After the meeting with Ilia II earlier today Jacob said that “it was my decision to quit.”

Kvirikashvili has stated that he has never done anything against Ilia II. 

Member of the United National Movement opposition party Roman Gotsiridze has urged for an investigation regarding the statements made by Archbishop Jacob.

Archbishop Jacob made critical statements regarding the bill offered by the Georgian Interior Ministry under Gakharia last year which said that marijuana should be cultivated for medical purposes.

Cleric Mamaladze, who was convicted for plotting murder of Patriarch’s secretary Shorena Tetruashvili, says that he is innocent and Jacob and Tetruashvili, “who actually run the patriarchate,” wished to send him to prison as he [Mamaladze] learnt about the financial violations in the patriarchate.