A man who donated the house of his deceased son to the Georgian Orthodox Church now plans to sue them, for mismanaging the property, according to LivePress. Valter Akubardia gifted the house along with a plot of land to the Church in 2009.
After Akubardia’s son died several years ago, he decided to give the church the house asking that the local priest turn it into a monastery, in the name of his son. He recently learned that the Church sold the house.
‘After some time, I asked the village priest, “why don’t you build the monastery?” and he said that it has become hard to find priests nowadays. I told him that if they don’t build a church, to let in homeless people. But time passed and nothing happened’, Akubardia told LivePress.
The Diocese of Tsaishi and Zugdidi, in north-western Georgia, gained possession of the house and 2.5 hectares of land in 2012, and recently sold it to an energy company.
‘They’ve installed high voltage poles in the village and they got money for my property and now they are damaging the house’, he said.
The local priest, Andria Marghania, confirmed that Akubardia gifted the land and house. He also said that he was against selling the land and dismantling the house, but that he didn’t manage to save it.
‘He [Akubardia] was right when he said “if i wanted to sell it, i would sell it”. Valter called me and told me he wanted his house back’, he said.
Metropolitan Gerasim, who Akubardia plans to sue, told LivePress that the issue is no longer up to the church.
‘Now he has to deal with the government and it is not related to us anymore. He should appeal to the state’, Gerasime said.
The press office of the diocese responded to the Akubardia’s statement on Facebook, writing that the money received from selling Akubardia’s property was used for construction of another church.
‘Due to the installation of high voltage poles in the village, some of the population were compensated, including our diocese. We signed the agreement. This money, ₾170,000 ($70,000), was spent entirely on the construction of the monastery complex in Zugdidi’, the statement reads.
They also claim that they have been able to get better value from the property provided, which has allowed them to build a monastery complex.
Metropolitan Gerasime has been Chairman of the Financial and Economic Council of the Patriarchate of Georgia since 2002.