Talk:Georgian Orthodox Church

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Former good article nominee Georgian Orthodox Church was a Philosophy and religion good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
August 26, 2012 Good article nominee Not listed
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Request for mediation[edit]

To all editors involved in the current content dispute on this article,

This notice to inform you that a Request for Mediation will be submitted at some stage today. In the meantime, may you all please make sure you read the Mediation Guide to familiarise yourselves on the procedures and what to expect.

Thank you - WesleyMouse 10:37, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

The request for mediation has now been submitted and can be found at Wikipedia:Requests for mediation/Georgian Orthodox Church#Georgian Orthodox Church. Now we wait to see if they request gets approved or rejected. WesleyMouse 11:04, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
Wesley, I'm glad the process has started. Do I have to write something in the mediation page? Or should we wait here on this talk page? GeorgianJorjadze (talk) 13:17, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
On the mediation page please. You need to let them know if you agree or disagree with them taking over with dispute case. Although Meowy has already stated he disagrees with them because the dispute hasn't been resolved. I think he doesn't understand that MedCab are there to help everyone to find a solution. WesleyMouse 15:22, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
The folks over at MEdCab are not going to pay a visit to some university library and consult the specialist articles that we need to resolve this. So how else can they help? We can only decide on content if we have sources, we can only discuss source content if we have sources. Maybe further down the line such mediation will be useful. Toough, I suppose I've been thinking that this mediation will be a couple of weeks thing - if it is more extended then maybe we will by that stage have actual sources to discuss there. I've got that "The Blackwell Companion to Eastern Christianity" book - will have a look at it asap. Meowy 15:39, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
I've posted on the Med page as well. GeorgianJorjadze (talk) 15:41, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
Please Meowy, take time to read and understand what MedCab are actually there for, and their purpose. I hope you are not feeling intimidated of them due to your previous personal involvements with MedCab?. As you know, that matter was over something different, and won't be taken into consideration on this one. MedCab are there to help others to find a solution on an article dispute. If you didn't want to be a part of this MedCab, then perhaps you shouldn't have participated in the dispute above? However, as you are now involved, then MedCab would probably question why you got so involved, and now reject their help. WesleyMouse 15:46, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
For some reason, mate, your words serve to only alienate and irritate me. At the end of my "the folks over at..." posting I had almost convinced myself that there could be some use to the mediation, but, thanks to your weasily-worded threats in the above comment, I now doubt that I will change my "disagree". Meowy 16:33, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
Wesley, thank you for the tip on my talk page. I just opened the case here - [1].--Krosenstern (talk) 19:25, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

Reworking this article[edit]

I propose to make some major changes to this article to bring it in line with what sources say. Boldness is needed to address the article's problems. I'm starting by using the content of "The Blackwell Companion to Eastern Christianity" book. I've begun by altering the paragraph dealing with St. Andrew because that was an obviously inaccurate section given that it contradicted other Wikipedia articles dealing with St Andrew, and it was easy to correct. I'm going to place further proposed edit changes here, for discussion, given that they are going to be more complex. Meowy 18:40, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

Wesleymouse has seen fit to delete my edit regarding St. Andrew, giving an invalid edit reason. Anyone who wants to can restore that edit now - Wesley will not revert the edit again now that the invalid reasoning in his edit explanation has been explained to him. As I thought, Rapp's chapter on Christianity in Georgia in The Blackwell Companion to Eastern Christianity disagrees quite radically with much of the existing claims and content of this article. He dates the emergence of the Georgian Orthodox Church to the tenth century: "With the definite expansion of the K'art'velian Church beyond lands inhabited primarily by K‘art‘velians in the tenth and eleventh centuries, we can begin to speak properly of the Georgian Church". In Rapp's account there is a lot of history before that date (all the way back to the first Christian communities in what is now Georgia) which explains how that emergence occured - that will all need to go into the article Meowy 02:43, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

Sorry for breaking again into the discussion, but as I found access to Blackwell (rather easily, on Google Books, I thought I could help bringing this new source into the discussion and, hopefully, the article.
This Rapp chapter indeed seems a much better source than what the article had until now. It makes clear there was a doctrinal break between the churches that would become GOC and AAC in 607 (Council of Dvin) but their relation beforehand, from this read, seems to have been more of communion between 2 similar Caucasian churches than of submission of the Georgian (or Kartvelian, as Rapp calls it) to the Armenian church, although the Armenian catholicos claimed seniority. I fear the wording of "independence" is still too clear-cut for the processes at work between the churches. Anyway, those relations, the break-up and subsequent turn towards the Byzantine Church are to Rapp the crucial narrative in GOC history in the Early Middle Ages, and they are totally missing from this article now.
Given all the electricity in the air here right now, I highly doubt the best thing to do is to go ahead and edit. Some might find it too procedural, but it also gives us time to incorporate as much sources and information as possible, and find the right wording. Posting proposed changes to each section of the article in this section of the talk page for discussion and improvement seems the right way to go, and I hope I'll be able to contribute to that process.
Last, regarding Saint Andrew, I'd be critical of Meowy's edit not only for procedural reasons. This founding myth of the GOC should be first presented at face value ("this is what tradition claims"), then explained/criticized by modern scholarship ("however, according to GOC scholar Stephen H. Rapp, this tradition is a late one, from the 9th century"). Meowy's way of putting it did not look to me as npov as it could have been. Wikilinks to similar national church founding myths could also be used to illustrate the point.--Susuman77 (talk) 09:40, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
OK, just read the discussion on User_talk:Drmies (hope that won't draw accusations of stalking) and it seems to say that editing with good sources the parts of the article that are not directly linked to the dispute is ok. We should be cautious, but well-sourced boldness is not forbidden. As a consequence, I've taken upon myself to reintroduce the St. Andrew edit, with, as explained above, a slightly more neutral tone.--Susuman77 (talk) 12:26, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
OK - however we do not present myths at "face value", we would not write "dragon: a large fire breathing fying lizard known for its fondness for virgins and dislike of knights. Some modern scholarship alleges they do not exist". This St. Andrew / Georgia myth is a late one, and a second-hand one at that. Later in the article we can perhaps go into detail why the myth emerged (Byzantine attempts to reduce the influence of the Papacy by elaborrating the alleged travels of St. Andrew) and why it was adopted by the Geogian Church (in the 10th-century it was attempting to invent itself as a National Church, and was seeking to expand its history backwards in time to justify itself and enhance its prestige, going back all the way to the age of the Apostles in order to make a claim that it is an Apostolic Church). Thus, very late in the history of Christianity in Georgia, it became the official position of the Georgian Orthodox Church. My edit was neutral, in fact it was probably too positive towards the myth: It need to be said that it was without actual historical foundation.
Rapp is quite clear that the "church in Kartveli" is NOT the same as the "Kartvelian Church", which is NOT the same as the "Georgian Church". His account explains that the church in Kartveli is the church founded and supported by the Kartveli monarchy, was Christian but was not specifically Georgian (or even Kartvelian), the Kartvelian Church develops after the schism with the Armenian Church and becomes specifically Kartvelian, the Georgian Church as a "national Church" develops out of the historical circumstances that affected the Kartvelian Church after the Arab invasions. Meowy 12:30, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
Well, myth-wise, what matters in my opinion is not whether it is absurd or not (and yes it is), but the fact that still today, it is the official position of the Church regarding its origin. I agree that later in the article should come a discussion of the emergence of it, as you put it very well here. Regarless, I think this foundation myth - and the debunking of it - has its place in the beginning section. Anyway, have a look at how I put it this time, I don't think there's too much of a difference with your version.
For the rest, indeed this evolution is what I read in Rapp (only it's church in Kartli, not Kartveli), and I hope we can get this narrative into the article. However, saying "not the same" is tricky. As in all long-term historical processes, each new incarnation of the Church evolved from the previous one, there is continuity, and we can also say that the Church in Kartli ended up becoming the GOC as we know it today. Of course, thinking about 4th century Church history in nationalistic terms is absurd. But I don't get what you're aiming at by insisting on "not the same".--Susuman77 (talk) 12:53, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
it is Rapp, the source, that is insisting that they are "not the same". If they "are the same" then we might as well take the view that it the Georgian Orthodox Church is the same as the Roman Catholic Church, since it traces its foundation back to the preachings of Paul and of Christ himself and considers itself to be the mother Church. There comes a point in the development of one thing when it no longer holds much comparision to what it started out as, the changes are so substantial that it becomes a different thing. The lead says "Since the 4th century AD, Georgian Orthodoxy has been the state religion of Georgia" - this is not correct. In the 4th-century there was no Georgian Orthodoxy, there was no state religion, there was no Georgia. Each of those things emerged at different and at later time periods. Meowy 13:16, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
In an article about the GOC, we have to document its origins. As much as present-day Georgia is a faraway descendent of the Kingdom of Iberia (and others), the GOC today is a descendent of the Church in Kartli. Calling it orthodox in the 4th century is of course premature. However, it was very much a state church (rather than a national religion as it would become later). From Mirian's conversion, the development of the Church was a royal enterprise, that they often encouraged to weaken the local nobles (whereas in Armenia, each bishopric was attached to the local ruling family). So in the 1st centuries, we had a church, which had no autocephaly, which was subordinate to Antioche or Constantinople, which was less developed than the Armenian one, and relied on them for theological advice. However, I quote Rapp: "The Long Sixth Century is perhaps the single most developmentally significant period of Georgian Christianity. Though the K‘art‘velian political situation plunged deeper and deeper into crisis, the Church in K‘art‘li was strengthened and remade itself into a ‘national’ organization." (p. 142) This process intensified in the next century, when Rapp say the Church of K. "was transformed" into the K. Church (p. 144). Then came the re-byzantinisation, so to speak, of the 9th-10th century, and the full integration of the Church into the Orthodox world and away from Armenia. Those are processes, evolutions, transformations, often radical, but I don't read in Rapp as strong a stance as yours. When he writes that the Church was "strikingly different" from what it had been a century earlier, you seem to read it as meaning that they were 2 distinct entities, which is not the same claim.
Anyway, I agree that the lead will need to be changed, because that the formulation as it stands is misleading and historically shaky. I think however that attempting changes in the lead already, before having developed and sourced the historical part of the article, is premature and ill-advised, will lead to edit-warring, and should only mark the achievement of the task.--Susuman77 (talk) 13:50, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
I disagree that it can be called a state church in the 4th century. A church founded by and operating under the protection and patronage of the leader of a state (Kartli) is not the same as what is meant by a "state church". Rapp says almost all its early church leaders were not Kartvelians, and that it was not a national or nationalistic church in its practices. I'm not suggesting that because the Georgian Orthodox Church is not the same as the early church in Kartli, we should exclude all that early history from this article. It just has to be properly presented. We also have to remember that this article is not titled Georgian Christianity or Christianity in Georgia. Meowy 14:17, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
Do you think there was a strong difference between the state and its leader in ancient monarchies? Quoting State church, "State churches are organizational bodies within a Christian denomination which are given official status or operated by a state." Seems a pretty clear case of that here. Furthermore, Iberian monarchy was stronger than its Armenian equivalent (Toumanoff, Studies in Caucasian History, p. 141, here) and thus more able to organize the development of the Church. Otherwise, I agree with you (no national church at first, few or no Kartvelians, need to present the transformations with modern scholarship references, etc.) I also welcome future creation of an article Christianity in Georgia (country)... On a related note, the terms used by Rapp (Church in Kartli, Kartvelian Church) are useful, but judging from the passage p. 144 on the transformation from one to the other, they were not the ones in use at the time. Obviously, neither was "GOC". It should be interesting to find sources, even primary ones, to clarify the name(s) used for the Church in those first centuries.--Susuman77 (talk) 14:50, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I think that "state church" definition is more for modern religious institutions operating in nation states - I don't really think it can, or was ever meant to apply, to the situation in 4th-century kingdoms. I would need to see that definition being used for other equivalent churches in similar time periods before I could accept it (what about in Ireland, or in Charlemagne's empire). Its self-definition name would be useful to know, as well as to know what others called it. And even to know what it called others - especially other churches operating on other parts of what was to become Georgia. Same for the Armenian Church actually. Meowy 16:06, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

Google book results for "state church" in Byzantium here and here (about Constantine, so 4th century), the Carolingian Empire here. It is used in scientific literature about the period, with no "national" meaning attached to it, as states were not national either. Name question: I'll look into it, but it can take some time...--Susuman77 (talk) 17:14, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
Finally, it looks like there is cooperation going on. Which is what my main aim was in the first place. In all honesty, I don't even know how I got roped into Georgian related articles in the first place, as I'm not Georgian, and it isn't one of my main interests either - although some of the articles are interesting to read on an academic point of view. But seeing as things now appear to be running smoothly again, am I safe to walk away, and get back to the main things I was dealing with and return to stressing out over London 2012 Olympics preparation? Got loads to organise (travel to training; finding accommodation etc) and not enough time to do it in. Meowy, sorry if I came across as hasty with you, as you can imagine, when someone gets accusations about "racing for admin" and whatnot; then it does get a little touchy, and reasonable for someone to get narky in return about. If it makes you feel better, I'll give ya a wave during the opening/closing ceremonies of London 2012 :-) WesleyMouse 15:23, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
Well, I wasn't that interested in Georgia either the first time I visited, and now I live in Tbilisi, so I guess the magic works the same on those wiki articles. Better to take all wikipedia interactions with a grain of salt, too, as in the end, all of it is only words on a screen. We'll try to keep things smooth here, until the next nationalistic or theocratic rage starts anyway, so don't feel obliged to keep stressing about some Eastern Church and do what you have to do. Good luck, and still, I hope our wikipaths can cross again! --Susuman77 (talk) 16:02, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
Oh drop by my talk page anytime Susuman77. Even if its just to deliver a weekly/monthly wikilove-coffee thing. I like coffee, and strawberries - hint, hint ;-) WesleyMouse 16:09, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
As I had said earlier, I have little time nowadays. will join you later when I am able to read it all so please wait. Aregakn (talk) 12:29, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
Aregakn, you may wish to inform the meditation page about your limited time on here. They will start the case whenever they are ready, so unless you tell them otherwise, they won't know. Plus from what I've been told mediation is like dispute resolution, but not as strict. They are there to point us in the right direction, and aid everyone to work cooperatively and if possible scrutinise the sources in question. If anything, their help could be just what's needed. Although I'm trying to find out if I really need to take part in the mediation cable, or if I can sit out of it, as I have no real interest in this subject, I was just here to try and help. WesleyMouse 15:05, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
Aregakn. You seem pretty interested in Armenia. Why won't you go start "fixing" the Armenian Apostolic Church's mess of a page. This page has plenty of editors as it is.--Krosenstern (talk) 15:43, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Everyone has a right to contribute here, as long as they conform to the rules and bring sources to sustain their edits. Please feel free to contribute to this article in that spirit, Krosenstern, if you so wish, instead of suggesting other editors have no place here. For instance, do you think this source (Rapp, Stephen H., Jr (2007). "7 - Georgian Christianity". The Blackwell Companion to Eastern Christianity. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 137–138. ISBN 978-1-4443-3361-9. Retrieved 11 May 2012. ) can help us bring some modern scholarship views into this article?--Susuman77 (talk) 16:43, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Google books is really strange - when trying earlier I could not access that chapter online (maybe there is a country block on it) but I can when using this direct link to the pages! However, I have a pdf copy of the book anyway. Meowy 17:38, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
Yes, Google books is always tricky. I got the pdf too, it's easier for editing. Anyway, I just used it to expand the 13th-18th century section, still far from the heart of the contentions. Rapp is awesome, it has a bibliography, maybe some other good sources exist that aren't in it... --Susuman77 (talk) 17:52, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Here started a heated off-topic discussion between User:Wesley Mouse(Talk), User:Meowy (talk) and myself. To end the dispute, as a manifestation of good will, and to keep the talk here focused on the article, all 3 have agreed to remove it from here. It can still be accessed in the history here.--Susuman77 (talk) 03:45, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

Great to see things really going on as a discussion and not a race of word-fight.
That is true not only about google books. For example the discussed Britannica also shows full articles when linked through WP but when searched separate, it hides. There might be some agreement between these and WP for full access.
Guys, let us take the Church of Sweden as an example of a formation of a national church (was called such before lately, by the way). Although nearly all the churches in the Western, central and Northern Europe derive from the Catholic Church would be funny to call them such from the very establishment of the Catholic Church or trace them back to St. Paul, wouldn't it? So yes, the state churches are being established at a certain point even if they derive from another. The only difference here is the scale of Catholicism. In the case of the Church of Sweden there is a certain decree of schism, split, separation from the Catholic Church and the establishment of a national church. So there surely is a process and steps but then there is a point of having an established state church.
If I may propose a neutral wording we can start working on, just to start imagining what it can look like, I'd start with something like: "The Church itself traces its roots back to the beginnings of Christianity the Kingdom of Kartli, but its identity is principally shaped by (in)......."
What I clearly see too is that a restructuring and sourcing of the article is in deed needed as it does not reflect the actual development of the church and the formation of the national church for Georgia. Aregakn (talk) 03:57, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
The Church of Sweden is indeed a good exemple of a Church which drastically changed from its origins towards its present form, most crucially during the Reformation. However, the transition from subordinate church (to Rome) to independent one is rather clear-cut in the Swedish case, whereas the history of the Georgian one, as it goes back to older, less documented times, is more murky. As I read it in Rapp, from the 4th to the 10th century, it evolved within the larger context of Eastern Christianity, in 3 ways. First (not in a chronological sense), from a church subordinate to Antioch to a fully autocephalous body; second, from a church which took its theological (and cultural) inspiration from neighboring Armenia, and was in communion with them, to one who chose the Byzantine model and dogma; third, from the church of a state (Iberia/Kartli) to one of a nation (Georgia), as this nation itself was shaped in reaction to various invasions. Those 3 processes are related but distinct.
Your proposed wording (I assume it's for the lead) looks promising, I would at this point only object to the unnecessary "but". I propose something along the lines of: "The GOC originates from the establishment of Christianity as the state religion of Kartli in the 4th century. Its current identity was mostly shaped in the next centuries, when it expanded to other parts of Georgia, gained autocephaly, and chose the Eastern Orthodox communion." The details of each process will then find their place in the history section.--Susuman77 (talk) 09:15, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
This "state religion" thing is still causing me problems. We see above, in Aregakan's comments, the risk of readers assuming that "state church" means "national Church" - but they don't mean the same thing. Have we got a source which says that Christianity was the state religion of Kartli as opposed to just being the religion supported by its rulers. In Armenia, the king went around and personally oversaw the destruction of all the pagan temples, confiscating their lands and other possessions, and he surpressed all public displays of the older religion. So it really was a case of Christianity becoming the state religion within his realm. Did things like that also happen in Kartli? Meowy 15:18, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
I understand your concern about the need to stress the distinction between state and national, but at least one source is pretty clear. In the Encyclopedia of Eastern Christianity, we have the following quotes: "When Christianity was established as a state religion in Kartli, it was introduced in its Hellenistic form..." (p. 266) and "It was precisely during this period that Iberia declared Christianity an official state religion (326/330)." (p. 267) (on Google books here, I also have pdf, easily found). Interesting passages in the same passages about Rome/Persian rivality and the role of local Jewish communities in the conversion. So no explicit stuff about royal campaigns against pagans, but nonetheless clear use of the term. --Susuman77 (talk) 15:57, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
Aregakn, if you are suggesting that the Georgian orthodox church takes roots from its "mother" Armenian Church as the Swedish Church takes roots from the Catholic, I suggest you erase that thought right now. There is nothing in the sources to suggest any kind of formal relationship between the Georgian/Armenian church establishments, other than initial concurrence of opinions as to which council decisions to follow. You are pushing the same thing the other users have pushed for but now with a different song.--Krosenstern (talk) 12:52, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
Krosenstern, Wikipedia:Assume good faith is official policy. Your last sentence at least clearly violates it. Maybe that is what Aregakn was suggesting, maybe not. What matters is to read the sources, and to agree on language that puts information from them into the article without deformation. Indeed the relation between GOC and AAC never seems, according to the sources we are now examining, to have been one of dependence such as between Rome and national Catholic churches. However, the GOC has always part of the complicated landscape of Eastern Christianity, and her current status in that landscape was not hers from the origins, but was shaped over time, through estrangement from the ones, and closer agreement with the others. In that sense, it is comparable to a national Protestant Church which was once catholic.--Susuman77 (talk) 13:28, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
Krosenstern, I'd rather ask you to leave aside your aggressive approach to me or any other editor than continue commenting on your provocations. Aregakn (talk) 19:52, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

Back to "independence" discussion after all: first, the autocephaly/independence from Antioch[edit]

Well, as Krosenstern (talk) had started adding new sourced material in the "Expansion and Transformation of the Church" section, which deserves recognition, I figured I might as well follow his lead, so added a source to confirm his addition, corrected a misspelling of "Britannica", and corrected the unsourced sentence relating to the gain of autocephaly from Antioch in the 480s with a direct reference to Rapp. Krosenstern has reverted all those changes, first on the grounds that "there is no such thing" as the term I used ("Church of Kartli"; indeed for this period, Rapp prefers "Church in Kartli", which I should have used), then calling for a "you discuss and then include" policy (which he didn't follow in his 19:45 edit), and claiming that "Autocephaly means autocephaly. Autocephaly is not a step towards independence, it is independence."

Rather than attempting to judge on my own if autocephaly and independence are synonymous, which we should not do, let's turn to the sources, and to the very one Krosenstern had referred to in his 19:45 edit, the "Patriarchal Orthodox Church of Georgia" entry of the Encyclopedia of Eastern Orthodox Christianity (most pages visible here. I quote the section "The Autocephaly of the Georgian Church", pp. 272-273: "By this means (the 480s appointment of a catholikos), the Church of Georgia was granted partial independence, comparable to what is now called autonomous status. (...) Even so, the church in Iberia did not gain complete independence from the mother church of Antioch. (...) This situation of continuing canonical dependence was altered after the 11th century, when the catholicos of Mtskheta spread out his jurisdiction over western Georgia."

Rapp is less definite on how long dependence on Antioch would last, but also insists that full autocephaly did not come out of the 480s initiative: "In an attempt to secure K‘art‘velian support and to acknowledge local support of the empire, the Byzantine government recognized – and perhaps itself instigated – the change in status of the K‘art‘velian chief prelate from archbishop to catholicos, around the year 480. Fully-fledged autocephaly would not be achieved, however, until the Arab conquest or later." (p. 141).

The formulation I used about the 480s event, "step towards autocephaly", is fully coherent with those two sources. Neither "fully-fledged autocephaly" nor independence were achieved from Antioch at the time, even if the Church gained more autonomy. If no contradicting sources of similar value can be found against those, I'll put this version back into the article.--Susuman77 (talk) 13:19, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

I agree. Although Rapp does not use the exact phrase "step towards autocephaly" to describe the 480s event, in the very next sentence following on from his mention of the 480s event, he says "Fully-fledged autocephaly would not be achieved until the Arab conquest or later" (on page 142). So he is saying very clearly that autocephaly was NOT attained in 480, but is implying that it was a step towards it. Meowy 15:03, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
Susuman, I cannot find term "Church of Karli" in any of the two sources that you list, including Rapp. Could you please tell me the specific page? If a search does not bring it up, I don't see what can.
In addition, I see no reason why the word literally meaning "self-headed" could mean anything other than what it means. One source I found says "autocephaly means total administrative independence" - The Vision of Unity By John Meyendorff, page 38
Another says, "Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) achieved its full independence (autocephaly) from Greek Orthodoxy" - The Oxford Handbook of Global Religions By Mark Juergensmeyer, page 300
So I have plenty of reason to believe that they are synonymous.--Krosenstern (talk) 15:10, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
Krosenstern, you should have read more carefully my comment right above, where I wrote that the term used by Rapp was "Church in Kartli", not "Church of Kartli"; for all the difference it makes, I should have used in, the point being however that for the 5th/6th centuries, we cannot yet talk about a "Georgian" Church covering all the nation, but only about the Church of the Kingdom/Principate of Kartli/Iberia. Hope it clarifies things.
I don't deny either that independence and autocephaly are synonyms. What the sources I quoted say however, and towards what the ones you bring here have no relevance, is that the appointment of the catholikos around 480 did not mean full autocephaly/independence from Antioch, but rather a status similar to present-day "autonomous" status (see Autocephaly#Autonomy). Notably, "until the 740s the Antiochian patriarch was commemorated at the liturgy and a locally elected catholicos of Mtskheta had to be confirmed by the synod of the Church of Antioch" (Encyclopedia of Eastern Christianity, p. 273), showing that the Church was not "self-headed" (auto-cephale in Greek). Hope that answers your concerns.--Susuman77 (talk) 15:27, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
The Encyclopedia of Eastern Orthodox Christianity seems to have a lot more about this 480s appointment of a catholicos that Rapp does. And gives a clearer explanation of the Antioch connection. Meowy 15:45, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
Indeed! I've just added those details to the article with the ref.--Susuman77 (talk) 16:04, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
The Church of Kartli seems to an accepted term among scholars; and not because the church was not Georgian, but in order to avoid the confusion with the all-Georgian church unity, which was achieved a couple of centuries later. According to Tamila Mgaloblishvili, one of the leading students of Georgia's Christian history, [2]

"In the fourth to fifth centuries, the head of the Church of Kartli had the rank of archbishop; he was hierarchically subordinate to the authority of the Patriarch of Antioch. By the end of the fifth century, however, during the reign of King Vakhtang Gorgasali, the Church of Kartli was radically re-organised. The foundation was then laid for complete independence of the Georgian Church".

--KoberTalk 15:47, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
Thanks a lot for this clarification, and above all for a new source, Kober! I'll be sure that it gets used where needed.--Susuman77 (talk) 16:04, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
I think this new source needs to be treated with great caution: for example, take the claim on page 37, "..the possibility of the arrival of the Apostle Andrew to Samtskhe is wholly supported archaeologically". Really! The second and third paragraphs on page 8 are something you would expect to find in a work of propaganda. Meowy 02:33, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I saw the Andrew thing too... However, it is a separate contribution from the introduction Kober referred to here, and I don't think there are grounds to treat the introduction as an unreliable source. On page 8, formulation is a bit rosy, but also quite vague. In such cases, the burden of proof would be to show that persecutions took place and were initiated by the GOC, which I haven't read yet. Also, the continuous presence of non-Georgian saints in the GOC pantheon is non-controversial, and is to be understood together with Rapp's analysis of the "multiethnic" nature of the Church in Kartli in its 1st centuries. Anyway, sorry for not being more active here these days, lots of real-life obligations haven't left me much time; I hope to be able to start work again on this article soon...--Susuman77 (talk) 10:54, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
Yes, Rapp correctly explains the large number of non-Kartvelians in the early church in Kartli as being due to its non-national identity. Mgaloblishvili's wording, however, is trying to imply that this is because of "foreigners" being "respected" by the "Georgians". That is an entirely different explanation from Rapp's - and one that must have been written to be read in a modern context by non-experts (given that there would be no basis for claiming it for a 4th-century context). As for the passage that preceeds it, that could have been lifted word-for-word out of a Genocide-denying Turkish source, with only the word "Turk" changed to "Georgian". While not as obscene a claim as its Turkish equivalent, I think that it is still a disgraceful claim for anyone to make given the treatment that Armenian churches, graveyards, and other sites have undergone in Georgia (and especially in Tbilisi) in recent decades at the hands of the Georgian Church. Those paragraphs reveal that Mgaloblishvili has an agenda, and this raises questions about the accuracy of her writings. Meowy 19:47, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I am keen in not trusting or giving weigh to this source. Several symptoms of not-seriousness:
1) an exaggerated title/name of the book "Ancient Christianity in Caucasus" when the book introduces itself as "..the first in a series of works on ....... studies of medieval Georgia." A good advertisement on the cover, yes.
2) it reads "the majority of the contributions here were intended for presentation at conference 'Early Christianity and Georgia' which was scheduled to be held in Georgia back in October 1991.: Not at all a scientific study, is it?
3) it is also a well known period of rise of nationalism and repressions against national minorities (in all the post Soviet territory), as a result of which civil war started in Georgia and Abkhazia with S. Ossetia broke away. Considering the source of the work and the period of time it was tended to be presented in makes me more cautious.
4) Vivid is also that improper sources were used for the work too. For example just on the start we can see a nice map titled to be from the 1-4 century AD writing a word "Azerbaijan" to the South of the presented Iberian territories. "Excuse me?!"
Should one continue reading what makes it unreliable? Aregakn (talk) 12:38, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
The time-period may be significant. I remember being in Batumi in 1993 (got stuck there after Gamsakhurdia's forces had blocked transport routes to the rest of Georgia) and hearing about how, a year or two earlier, Georgian nationalists had gone round the university libraries of Georgia and made bonfires of books they considered to be "un-Georgian". In Batumi, Gamsakhurdia himself paid a visit to supervise the burning. Against that sort of background, I doubt that any conference in Tbilisi in 1991 would have permitted participants to present papers that went against the very nationalistic official Georgian viewpoint. Meowy 20:02, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
OK, let me answer both of you here about Mgalobishvili. Indeed, those were the worst years for nationalist passions and distortion of history in Georgia (as elsewhere in the post-Soviet world), and such bonfires were into fashion. It should be noted that the conference planned in 1991 never happened due to the political circumstances: in such a case, one could as well argue that it was not "Georgian" enough, maybe. It is in any case hard to draw conclusions about each paper, separately sent by researchers who did not have in the end the opportunity to meet, and published 7 years later. However, caution is always good. For Mgalobishvili herself, and her introduction to the studies, I have no opinion on her value as an historian; I only read Rapp, in the study everyone here agrees is a good source on the GOC, praise another work of her (p. 141, "T‘amila Mgaloblishvili’s splendid investigation (1991) of the Klarjet‘ian mravalt‘avi". I take this as an indication that she was, even in 1991, publishing works that were highly regarded by other, non-Georgian, scholars, and as such not totally unreliable.
Your critics, regarding this particular book, are however serious, and should lead us to caution. I also agree about the inadequacy of rosy statements regarding current Arm/Geo relations, destruction of Arm heritage, etc. As a consequence, I think this source should be used only as much as it does confirm, or precise, information present in other ones.
In this spirit, regarding the early centuries of Georgian ecclesiastical history, I did not find in the introduction any controversial statements of facts (interpretations, as Meowy reminded, are another matter). In the section I just wrote about evolution towards a national Geo church, I used mostly Rapp and Grdzelidze, and Mgalobishvili only to expand the description of the western church, as there were no discrepancies, but greater precision in her about it (mention of service being in Greek rather than Georgian, date of merge with Mtskheta). Please judge if you concur with this particular use of the source.--Susuman77 (talk) 21:45, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

Autocephaly equals not independence. Yet have I not seen any reliable source that claimed the Kartvelian church becoming fully independent by gaining autocephaly. If somebody uses dictionaries to try to find synonyms let them also search for the word "autonomous" and will find the same claim for being synonym of independent in the same dictionaries. Clearly autonomous does not mean independent fully. So I'd leave this discussion. I find it very curious that Rapp calls it the Church in Kartli. If we see it as it is said this will mean A Christian Church in the Iberian/Kartvelian Kingdom. This would imply a Christian Church established at its maximum by the state - the monarch. I agree that it still does not imply a state religion or a national church. We should also be careful when using sources of religious establishments as references over the scholarly sources or terminology used there. Aregakn (talk) 19:46, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

My point would rather be that we should use the specific relevant term rather than a more vague, ambiguous one: in this case, autocephaly over independence. In this particular case, the sources explain the "semi-autocephaly" (my term, we could also say incomplete) of the Church from ca480 by referring to the "autonomous" churches of present day Orthodoxy, another concept already explained at autocephaly. The problem with "independent" is that it can mean many different things: self-determination of the doctrine, not having to seek approval from a higher authority for nominations and elections, not having to pay tribute, etc. Rather than using this vague term, we should explain what, according to the sources, the Church could and could not do, did and did not do, at different periods.
I don't totally get your point about the "Church in Kartli". Rapp writes "the Church in Kartli", not "a Church in Kartli". His point is rather that, contrary to the next centuries, the Church is not yet a national one, who seeks to embrace all Georgian or Kartvelian-speaking people, but a state one, linked to the political power of the king. In this sense, we can speak of a state religion of Kartli (as do at least two sources) in contrast to the national church it would only become later.
Last point: indeed, scholarly sources should be prominent over those produced by the church itself. I think we all agree about that, unless I missed something.--Susuman77 (talk) 20:45, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
Where did I use "a Church in Kartli"? I only said either "a Christian Church" or "...A Christian Church" (has it's specifics) but not "a Church in Kartli". I was trying to say there is a difference (as I see essential) between "the Church of Kartli" and "the Church in Kartli". In give a location but does not show belonging. Christianity might have become an official religion but the Church, with the wording in Kartli, does not seem to be an Iberian/Kartvelian state church. Hope I expressed it more clear this time. Aregakn (talk) 22:32, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
Sorry if I misunderstood. I think our positions regarding what the sources mean are close enough. We should stay as close to them as possible in any case to avoid misinterpretations and disputes over meanings. I agree that there is a difference between C in K and C of K, but I am not sure yet what Rapp intends when he chose in over of, as he never makes explicit in that text his reasons; we shouldn't second-guess, and as other sources use of for the same period, that shouldn't be too important. The opposition that Rapp stresses most is between the C in K and the "Kartvelian Church": the crucial quote to understand what he means by both is on page 144: "Indeed, it was in this period (7th century) that the Church in K‘art‘li was transformed into the ethnically focused K‘art‘velian Church." The difference is in the ethnic focus; though the Church before existed in Kartli, and undoubtedly had official status, it did not build itself around Georgian/Kartvelian identity. I'll try to write the paragraph about this evolution tonight so you can judge whether the sources are transcribed faithfully into the article.--Susuman77 (talk) 13:56, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
I guess you are right about the position on sources but maybe not fully. Let us wait before we put in the evolution as I think we can still discuss it. I'd even post the content here so we don't need to edit the article if something needs discussion.
So here about C in K and C of K as well as Kartvelian C. Let us try and see which are different or the same.
1) C in K I think all agree, is quite vogue in description. For instance, if we speculate, it could be the branch of the Church of Sweden (or any other) in Iberia that was recognised by the Sovereign as the church IN Kartli. That is how vogue I see it is
2) C of Kartli seems very exact and direct meaning a state and national Church of Iberia
3) Kartvelian Church is again vogue although not as broad as C in K. of course the word "Church" starts with a capital "C" to note it is not a church as a structure but an institution. But giving a belonging to the church it does not imply to be a fully independent state church. To me Kartvelian Church does not mean exactly the Church of Kartli and if you swap the "Kartvelian" with other: "English Church", "Swedish Church" etc. they don't imply exactly "church of england" or "Church of Sweden". Oh my... my vocabulary has not been enriched with linguistic terminology so maybe you can correct me in that, is that term "Possessive Genitive"? I mean the word Kartvelian here I see standing in the same way as it would in "Kartvelian church" as for a structure. Hope I explained it right, lol.
And there from comes my understanding why trying not to create confusion Rapp uses Chutch in Kartli. And exactly as you say he describes it on the p.144 he used "Kartvelian Church" definition when he describes a "fully ethnically focussed" Church.
I would say it should not be disregarded but considered. Aregakn (talk) 11:54, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
I understand, and mostly agree with your analysis. What matters, as we agree, is the change from C in K to Kartvelian C. I just wrote the paragraph about it, and avoided writing about a Church of K, in order to avoid the possible confusion you explain (between state and national), favoring the "church in K" approach in a way that still reads natural in an encyclopedic article and does not need explanation, before introducing the term "Kartvelian Church", between quotes and with ref to Rapp. Please read it and judge if it looks good enough, in which case further discussion is of course possible!--Susuman77 (talk) 21:45, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

Current issues[edit]

1. The infobox. It still has numerous issues (as the article now details, independence from Antioch cannot be said to have happened at a clear-cut date; total number of adherents must be higher than the numbers given here, but no source yet on that, St Andrew as founder should be at least qualified with "mythical" or something like that...). Still, the question here and now, from Krosenstern's edits, is only about the name and image used. I'm not convinced by the use of Sabinin's icon. It is indeed revered in Georgian churches, but is not a manifestation of the great Georgian religious art tradition as would be , for instance, medieval encaustic icons or frescoes, or a picture of one of Georgia's most prominent churches (Alaverdi, Svetitskhoveli, etc.) which is the solution adopted on the Russian Orthodox Church page. Coats of arms are still used in a majority of the autocephalous Church articles (11 out of 15, if I count right, and a flag for Serbia), and have been used on this very article for long without controversy. As for the text, Georgian version of the Church's name is indeed superfluous, and similar articles usually don't use the original language in the infobox, but using the full, official name of the Church there seems better to me.

2. The Sameba Cathedral controversy. One cannot deny that relations between the GOC and AAC are still tense today, and mentioning this problem seems necessary in this section. Once again, detailed discussion of the claims of each party shouldn't appear in this general article, but rather on the monument's page. Instead of Sameba, we could use the example of churches in Tbilisi Armenians claim are being "georgianized". In Sameba's case, the controversy is already documented on the Cathedral's article, which is why I decided to mention it here. You have all the right to think that the Armenians' claims are unfounded, but wikipedia should document disputes, and such a dispute exists here, and affects the GOC and its relations with its southern neighbor. That's why I think a sentence about protests, with reference to an Armenian source voicing protest, is useful.

Anyway, I won't revert back those changes now, but hope we can get some consensus. Please come and discuss!--Susuman77 (talk) 09:27, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

The reason I chose this specific icon is provided in the caption: because it allegorizes the Georgian orthodox church and its legends. It is also very inclusive of saints and kings. You are not going to find a medieval icon that allegorizes the orthodox church in this manner. Moreover, if we were to choose a cathedral in display, it would have to be the main seat cathedral, as on other pages, which in this case would be Sameba, and not Alaverdi or the Cathedral of the Living Pillar. In any case, I don't think a cathedral is a better allegory than the painting made specifically for this purpose.
I don't see what's the point of stating the full length name in bold and in several languages both in the intro and the infobox. Could you explain what could justify this redundancy, considering that most Georgians use the formal name only in very official documents?
I do not think wikipedia exists to document "controversies" fueled by unverified claims from websites and blogs of questionable nature. If I rant about something online as a self-proclaimed reporter or an activist are you going to include it? Just because it's included on the Sameba page does not mean that it should be there, it just means that the article is a mess. Just look at all the irrelevancies that were there - [3] - should we include this too?
If you want to mention something about tense relations between the GOC and the AAC, you should write about the dispute on the ownership of various churches in Georgia and Armenia, for which more reliable sources can be found. If you do that, the information will have to be included on this page, as well as the AAC church page, as it concerns bilateral ties.--Krosenstern (talk) 10:19, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for your answer! Your point in favor of the icon is indeed well-argued. For the text, I still think the full name should be put back at least in English: it is used in similar articles, and in the Georgian-language wikipedia (where even the article name is the full name!).
Controversies: I think your edits are erring on the side of caution, regarding the sources. The diff you linked to: there indeed seemed to be an Armenian church in the cemetery before 1917, as is visible on this map. Once again, the point here is not to debate whether the Cathedral was built on, or near, this cemetery (that belongs on the Cathedral or cemetery's articles), the point is that there has been controversy about it. Of course sources about it are going to be partisan, that's the whole point of a controversy. The source I linked to here, and you reverted, is a news site, not a blog - the fact that it is Armenian is not enough grounds to discount it, as the problem relates to relations between the GOC and Armenian inhabitants of Tbilisi. As long as we don't have a more reliable source claiming that those inhabitants don't have a problem with the Sameba complex, I don't see on which grounds we could dismiss those sources.
Regarding your suggestion about church ownership disputes, information about that would be welcome. I haven't seen sources about it in articles here, but will look it up. If you know any, please make them known here. As for including them in the AAC article too, why not? I have no idea about it, as I don't read Armenian and don't have enough knowledge and interest into Armenian matters to start editing there. Improving the GOC article should not in any case be made to depend upon improvement of other articles.--Susuman77 (talk) 12:00, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

I don't think you got my point. The reason you used for including the mentioned "controversy" in the article was that "One cannot deny that relations between the GOC and AAC are still tense today, and mentioning this problem seems necessary in this section." I agreed and told you that if you want to illustrate the tense relationships a more appropriate subject would be the dispute over church ownership, which certainly has more sources than this "controversy"; you can type in google and see.

This being said, if you want to talk about bilateral ties, the pertinent information needs to be included on both pages, not only one. You yourself agreed with this when you suggested that including the cemetery "controversy" should have been included in this article because its already present on the Sameba and other articles. We would not want to repeat a situation in which GOC page claims one thing, (such as independence/schism from Armenian church) and AAC claiming that its been around in its own right since the beginning of times. I don't think its necessarily against the wikipedia rules but then again, being a shabby editor is not against the rules, as you can see with some of the previous edits.

As for the title usage on the Georgian wikipedia, we need to keep in mind that non-English wikipedias often copy content from English wikipedia because we have a lot more articles that are also more developed. I have read a lot of Georgian press, both in English and translated Georgian, and never encountered the full name. The Church itself tends to use the shorter version - [4] - and uses the formal name only when referring to formal documents, such as the constitutional agreement [5].--Krosenstern (talk) 14:41, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

OK, so what you are suggesting is to replace the Sameba case with other examples of tension between GOC and AAC, and you claim that church ownership disputes are much better sourced and more appropriate. Still, you did not come forward with any of those sources, or a detailed version of what you'd like to include (both in GOC and AAC articles, if I follow you), but only used this argument to remove the sourced example I had included, and which in my opinion is at least better than nothing. Once you come up with a correctly sourced version of what you think would be an appropriate example, rather than just referring me to google, I think we can have a balanced debate about what to include here or not.
For infobox title, I think both of us have presented valid arguments; I'll be glad to hear opinion from other editors about it (and about the Sameba controversy as well, of course).--Susuman77 (talk) 18:53, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
Susuman, I dont see why I have to come up with sources for something that you want for the article.I suggested including the church ownership dispute only after you insisted that you wanted the sameba "controversy" because "One cannot deny that relations between the GOC and AAC are still tense today, and mentioning this problem seems necessary in this section." Having already stated this, I am starting to think that you are simply trying to overtax me with these long posts about pointless things, like how the name is going to appear, just so that I let you be.
This being said, here are some reliable sources I came up with just one click on Google in the past 1-2 years alone and if you were really interested in meaningful issues between GOC and AAC, and not just provocative, baseless "controversies" worthy of tabloids, they would come to your attention:[6][7][8] --Krosenstern (talk) 21:41, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the sources, and sorry if I tend to be long or sound harsh in my talk page posts! Name problem was for me unrelated, but deserved to be discussed. For Sameba, I think its value here is that it puts together 2 phenomena of the contemporary GOC: construction boom, and uneasy relations with Armenians. I think we can frame it, and now the church ownership dispute, in a more npov and positive way (mentioning improvement of relations since the 1990s), and indeed try to integrate that into the AAC article too. To improve the Sameba situation, please refer to the discussion I initiated there.--Susuman77 (talk) 22:59, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
Honestly, I suggest that we leave these issues alone until the main problems with the article (the history of the Georgian Church) are worked out. The GOC as it currently operates in Georgia is a particularly nasty organisation, culturally and socially oppressive, allied to criminal and extremist elements in Georgia, and becoming almost fascistic in nature. To a lesser degree, similar things could be said of the Armenian church, and what I wrote a while ago on the Armenian Church talk page applies even more to the Georgian Church: ("There is rather too much of the "cuddly and quaint" in the content of this Wikipedia article. Its writers seem to have forgotten that the Armenian Church is a living organisation with substantial social, financial, and political power in Armenia. There needs to be content detailing the current status of the Armenian Church within Armenia and its connections with and influences on political organisations and political or nationalist ideologies"). However, in both cases, because the articles are already rather long, it may be better to create fork articles to deal with the modern aspects of the activities of these Churches. Susuman, your sentence that had the citation for the second UNESCO report on the Bagratli cathedral problem (edit with summary "restored latest UNESCO Bagrati developments with source") was not supported by the source's content and I have rewritten it. However, I think that whole sentence, even in its rewritten form, is probably not needed here and would be better on the cathedral's article. Meowy 11:41, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
Wow, you have some talent for strong-worded statements, Meowy. Still, I share your opinion about those complex "living organisations" that have gained so much power in the Caucasus states in the last 20 years. The problem is to document that complexity with reliable sources, and unfortunately, in this region, you'll always find hagiographic material, or so polemic that it cannot be trusted, but few sources both objective and incisive. Sad. As to article length, fork articles, and so, I've been thinking about it. We should obviously avoid pov forks that keep all the "not cuddly and quaint" stuff out of the main article. What would your idea of it be?
Otherwise, I concur with your rewrite of the Bagrati UNESCO thing, and that it's best to put it on the cathedral article anyway. As there seems to be consensus against too much inclusion as of now, I'll just take those controversial exemples out for now and focus on the articles they came from (have you seen my proposal on Talk:Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi btw?).--Susuman77 (talk) 12:13, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

Note to all: Krosenstern has been blocked as a sockpuppet account of a blocked editor, and GeorgianJorjadze has been blocked for 3 months for edit warring on other articles. Though this alone is not a reason to ignore their points made here (unless those points have either been answered, taken into acount, or dismissed) I think we no longer need to be as restrained in editing the article, and any consensus will be easier to reach. Meowy 01:27, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Georgian Orthodox Church/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: JZCL (talk · contribs) 20:14, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

  1. ^ Compliance with other aspects of the Manual of Style, or the Manual of Style mainpage or subpages of the guides listed, is not required for good articles.
  2. ^ Either parenthetical references or footnotes can be used for in-line citations, but not both in the same article.
  3. ^ This requirement is significantly weaker than the "comprehensiveness" required of featured articles; it allows shorter articles, articles that do not cover every major fact or detail, and overviews of large topics.
  4. ^ Vandalism reversions, proposals to split or merge content, good faith improvements to the page (such as copy editing), and changes based on reviewers' suggestions do not apply. Nominations for articles that are unstable because of unconstructive editing should be placed on hold.
  5. ^ Other media, such as video and sound clips, are also covered by this criterion.
  6. ^ The presence of images is not, in itself, a requirement. However, if images (or other media) with acceptable copyright status are appropriate and readily available, then some such images should be provided.


  1. Well-written:
    Criteria Notes Result
    (a) (prose) Seems OK - the Structure section lists seem appropriate here Pass Pass
    (b) (MoS) Fix the bare URLs to get a plus. On hold On hold
  2. Verifiable with no original research:
    Criteria Notes Result
    (a) (references) Problems explained underneath Fail Fail
    (b) (citations to reliable sources) No problems. Pass Pass
    (c) (original research) Not knowledgable enough - sort of ties in with the references. Neutral Neutral
  3. Broad in its coverage:
    Criteria Notes Result
    (a) (major aspects) Neglects certain points - what worship practices do they carry out? Current minus. Fail Fail
    (b) (focused) Only problem is that the history section goes into a lot of detail. Remove some less important facts. Neutral Neutral
  4. Neutral: it represents viewpoints fairly and without bias, giving due weight to each.
    Notes Result
    Some edit disputes get heated here, but just about alright to pass. Pass Pass
  5. Stable: it does not change significantly from day to day because of an ongoing edit war or content dispute.
    Notes Result
    No problems. Pass Pass
  6. Illustrated, if possible, by images:
    Criteria Notes Result
    (a) (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales) Nice pictures. Pass Pass
    (b) (appropriate use with suitable captions) Fine. Pass Pass


  1. There are a lot of unsourced statements, especially in the history section. In fact there are entire paragraphs without references. A lot of references need to be added to get GA status.
  2. Sort out the bare URLs at the bottom.
  3. You probably need a section about prayer, worship and services. To which branches of Christianity is it similar?

These are initial comments. I'm putting the article on hold. JZCL 20:22, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

Hi, and thanks for reviewing the article!! Let me try to give you first answers to your comments, before starting the real hard job of editing the article.

  1. About the unsourced statements, I think a large part of them are based on the sources already given. I've usually neglected to add a footnote when using the same page of the same source for a few sentences, even when it's about distinct facts. I'll add more footnotes in those cases. In the first centuries, some statements need better sourcing and I'll also be looking for it. I haven't used footnotes in the lead, as most statements of fact there are sourced in the relevant sections, but maybe it would be better to have them there too. I'll do my sourcing homework in any case, but I would be most grateful if you could point to the specific paragraphs that most lack sourcing in your view!
  2. Indeed, I missed those ugly URLs in the notes and shall remedy that.
  3. About a section about liturgy, etc., it would certainly be welcome, although many Orthodox Churches articles don't have one, as they all share the same liturgy and theology. I based my efforts to get this to GA on the only other such article to have reached it, Orthodox Church in America, which only deals with history and organization. Still, I can sum up the main characteristics of the faith and the rituals in a dedicated section, to make all that clear, and maybe develop which beliefs get more prominence in the GOC compared to other churches.
  4. And last, you suggested that the historical section goes into too much detail. That might be true, but having contributed to most of it, I'm afraid I cannot have anymore the necessary objectivity to ascertain what could be trimmed. Do you think the creation of a specific article is warranted to keep all the detail there while axing here, or are you only talking about minor stuff that could just go, or be relegated in a footnote? Thanks a lot if you can point to specifics...

Anyway, it's quite late here already, so I'll keep the article work for tomorrow, and would like to thank you again, and wish we can work together to pass this!--Susuman77 (talk) 22:05, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

Sources - I'm sorry if they're elsewhere in the text but you need to cite them. If the same source is used for three sentences, that's fine; bits I'm talking about are where there's one source for every three paragraphs. See this section to get an idea of what I'm talking about. If there's one source for three sentences - that's fine, but for GA status, other than the lede and other obvious statements, every paragraph must have sources. There are several lengthy ones that don't. These are the ones I was talking about.
About the history section: the only reason I was suggesting to trim it was that there were a lot of unsourced statements. If you can find sources to verify your statements then please do - don't let me hinder you - but I thought it might be a bit difficult. After all, criteria 3b is only that it addresses the main points of the topic - the coverage of the histroy section is probably almost FA standard - it just needs sources to verify your statements.
Would it be benificial to have a small section on liturgy and worship with something like {{main|Eastern Orthodox Christian theology|Divine Liturgy}}? Up to you, but be honest.
A couple of other points that will need fixing some time of another:
  1. The Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia subsection cites no sources. One of WP's policies is that if mentioning another article: i.e. {{Main|}} and {{Further|}} then you don't need to cite which is what has happened. However, there are no sources in the main article itself, so you do need to cite - while you're at it, add the citations to the main article.
  2. There is a {{fact}} tag in the infobox - this also needs to be cited.
I hope this is clearer to you, Susu. Keep going! JZCL 16:58, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

I'm sorry Susuman77 that I cannot contribute any edits at the moment (I am travelling and can only use internet cafes). Glancing at the article I think some of the section titles need small changes. I think the "long" in "The long path to autocephaly" could be seen to be pov. Why not just something like "The development of autocephaly". "Territorial expansion and birth of a national church" - Church should be capitalised, shouldn't it. "Relations with the Armenian and Byzantine churches": Again capital C, and was there such a thing as the Byzantine Church"? Bell-the-cat (talk) 13:18, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

  • The review seems to have been abandoned by the nominator, who hasn't edited on Wikipedia since July 4, and never returned here after commenting on that day. It is probably time to close it, as no progress has been made in well over a month. It can always be resubmitted if Susuman77 returns. BlueMoonset (talk) 04:59, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Failing per above. Wizardman Operation Big Bear 00:13, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

Great Job making all the changes[edit]

I would like to thank all participating in the discussions and changes of the article. It was done very well and I'd say a huge work was done in the sense of reworking, rephrasing and sourcing the article. Hopefully this can always be so cooperative. Aregakn (talk) 22:19, 28 November 2012 (UTC)

Church position on homosexuality[edit]

I have read some recent media reports that suggest the Church (including priests) has been very active in resisting efforts in Georgia to establish greater toleration for people who are homosexual. Should we include something, and if so then what do we say? Contaldo80 (talk) 10:22, 23 May 2013 (UTC)