One year ago this July the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America received as an honored guest to his residence here, Dr Tedo Japaridze, the Ambassador of the Republic of Georgia to the United States. During this visit, which included an entourage from the diplomatic corps in Washington and New York, the Georgian Ambassador brought the personal greetings of the Patriarch and Catholicos of the Orthodox Church of Georgia, His Holiness, ILIA II. The greetings included a personal invitation from Patriarch ILIA to His Beatitude, Metropolitan THEODOSIUS, to make an official visit to the Georgian Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church in Georgia has been an autocephalous ecclesiastical body since 1917
A second part of this official pilgrimage will include a visit to Kiev and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. By formal invitation of His Beatitude, Metropolitan VLADIMIR, Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan THEODOSIUS will travel throughout Ukraine, including holy sites in the western regions of this republic. Many Orthodox faithful in America trace their roots to this area, which at one time was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church headed by Metropolitan VLADIMIR is an autonomous body under the Moscow Patriarchate, and is the only Church in Ukraine recognized by world Orthodoxy.
Metropolitan Theodosius and his delegation will depart New York on July 21, 1997.