David V (Devdariani) of Georgia

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His Holiness and Beatitude David V (Devdariani) of Georgia, (Georgian: დავით V (დევდარიანი), was the Archbishop of Mtskheta-Tbilisi and Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia of the Church of Georgia from 1972 to 1977. His tenure as first hierarch of Georgia was marred by allegations of complicity with the Soviet government and charges of corruption.


Khariton Devdariani, (Georgian: ხარიტონ დევდარიანი), was born on April 6, 1903 in the village of Mirotsminda, now Khargauli Imereti. Little is known of his early life. Khariton was ordained a priest in 1927. Upon his tonsure into the monastic life he was given the name of David.

Fr. David was consecrated a bishop in 1956. He served as chorbishop to Catholicos-Patriarch Ephraim II from 1959 to 1972 and was elected to replace him upon Ephraim's death in 1972. Bishop David was installed as Catholicos-Patriarch David V on July 2, 1972.

Throughout his tenure on the patriarchal throne, Catholicos-Patriarch David V was followed by controversy. Unlike his predecessor Ephraim II, who frequently appealed to Georgian patriotism, David never gained popularity because of his perceived loyalty to the Soviet government. Also, Georgian dissidents suspected that the Soviet KGB was involved in his election by rigging the election and undermining Ephraim's will. Ephraim had allegedly endorsed Bishop Ilia of Sukhumi and Abkhazia as his successor. The Georgian nationalist underground claimed in their samizdat publications that corruption and moral depravity flourished in the church under David V who was also accused of being involved, along with the Georgian Communist party officials and the Russian KGB, in the plunder of the Georgian church treasures.[1]

In 1977, Catholicos-Patriarch David V died in Tbilisi and was buried at the Sioni Cathedral in Tbilisi.


  1. Ramet, Sabrina P. (1989), Religion and Nationalism in Soviet and East European Politics, pp. 35-6. Duke University Press, ISBN 0822308916
Succession box:
David V (Devdariani) of Georgia
Preceded by:
Ephraim II (Sidamonidze)
Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia
Succeeded by:
Ilia II (Ghudushauri-Shiolashvili)
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