Orthodox leader suspends punishment of dissident churchman


Interfax-Religiia, 5 April 2021


Patriarch Kirill confirmed the decision of the Moscow diocesan court finding Archdeacon Andrei Kuraev subject to removal from clerical status, the official website of the Russian church reported Sunday evening.


At the same time, according to the patriarch's order, the decision for removing Archdeacon Kuraev from clerical status will take effect after the publication of the order.


"A moratorium on the publication of the order will be introduced for a time that is being granted to Archdeacon Andrei for reconsideration of his position and return to the path of the church, which he chose at the time," the patriarchal resolution says.


As was reported, on 29 December 2020, the same court identified in statements by Father Andrei signs of "blasphemy against the church" and it ruled that he was subject to removal from clerical status. The decision was to take effect upon its confirmation by the patriarch.


The immediate occasion for the judicial consideration was when Kuraev on 21 April 2020 published in his LiveJournal page an offensive characterization of the archpriest Alexander Ageikin, who had died that day from complications of the coronavirus.


The court's December decision also spoke about evidence of libelous activity by the archdeacon, specifically in accusations of the Russian Orthodox Church as "arranging schism."


On 4 February 2021, the same court confirmed the legality of the verdict that it had rendered earlier. (tr. by PDS, posted 5 April 2021)

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