Callistratus (Tsintsadze) of Georgia

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His Holiness and Beatitude Callistratus (Tsintsadze) of Georgia, (Georgian: კალისტრატე, Kalistrate), was the Archbishop of Mtskheta-Tbilisi and Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia of the Church of Georgia from 1932 to 1952.

Life

The future Catholicos-Patriarch was born on April 24, 1866. His family name was Tsintsadze. After finishing his basic education he continued his higher education at the Tiflis Theological Seminary in Georgia and at the Kiev Theological Academy in Russia. After graduating he entered the Holy Orders and was ordained a priest at the Didube Church in Tbilsi (Tiflis) . He also was tonsured a monk with the name Callistratus.

In 1903, Fr. Callistratus was appointed priest at Kashveli Church in Tbilisi where he became involved with the movement to regain autocephaly for the Church of Georgia. In 1905, he produced a study about the Georgian Orthodox Church defending the actions of the group. In late March 1917, the Church of Georgia declared itself autocephalous following the 1917 February revolution in Russia, and Fr. Callistratus became active in the restored Georgian church administration that soon fell under the domination of the Bolshevik government that had assumed power in Russia and extended its control to include Georgia.

In 1923, Fr. Callistratus was designated locum tenens after Catholicos-Patriarch Ambrose was imprisoned by the Soviets. He remained in the position until 1926. In 1925, Fr. Callistratus was consecrated Metropolitan of Ninosminda, and then in 1927 he was appointed Bishop of Manglisi.

After the death of Catholicos-Patriarch Christophorus III, Bp. Callistratus was elected Catholicos-Patriarch on June 21, 1932. Since the Church of Georgia had been under heavy pressure by the Joseph Stalin led Bolshevik government Catholicos-Patriarch Callistratus attempted a conciliatory approach with the Soviet government. With Stalin, a Georgian by birth, providing mediation assistance, Callistratus was able to reconcile the Georgian church with the Church of Russia and received, in 1943, recognition of its autocephaly.

In 1948, Callistratus was appointed to the Soviet Peace Committee. Despite official Soviet atheist propaganda, Callistratus maintained that Christianity and communism could coexist.

On February 2, 1952, Catholicos-Patriarch Callistratus died and was buried at the Tbilisi Sioni Cathedral.

Succession box:
Callistratus (Tsintsadze) of Georgia
Preceded by:
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Metropolitan of Ninosminda
1925-1927
Succeeded by:
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Preceded by:
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Bishop of Manglisi
1927-1932
Succeeded by:
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Preceded by:
Christophorus III (Tsitskishvili)
Catholicos-Patriarch of Georgia
1932-1952
Succeeded by:
Melchizedek III (Pkhaladze)
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