The secretary to Georgian Orthodox Patriarch Ilia II has resigned, and his security chief has reportedly been ousted, after a priest was arrested for allegedly plotting to poison the prelate.
Deacon Mikheil Botkoveli, the patriarch’s secretary, confirmed that
he had resigned “because I am tired of everything that has been
happening in the patriarchate recently.”
The security chief, however,
dismissed rumors of his removal, saying that he remained at his post.
On February 10 another Georgian Orthodox cleric, Father Georgy
Mamaladze, was arrested in Tbilisi airport, reportedly having purchased
cyanide with which he planned to kill the patriarch.
Orthodox Church has been caught up in a bitter dispute over the handling
of financial assets, and Church officials say that the lives of both
Patriarch Ilia and Father Mamaladze remain in danger.