Orthodox dissident seeks reconsideration of his case


RIA Novosti, 5 April 2021


Archdeacon Andrei Kuraev agreed to think over his position after Patriarch of Moscow and all-Rus Kirill imposed a moratorium on the decision of a church court depriving him of his clerical status. Kuraev wrote about this on his LiveJournal page.


Earlier on Sunday Patriarch of Moscow and all-Rus Kirill confirmed the decision of the diocesan court of Moscow refusing to reconsider the case for removing his clerical status from Archdeacon Andrei Kiraev, but he instituted a moratorium on its taking effect " for a time that is being granted to Archdeacon Andrei for reconsideration of his position and return to the path of the church." Patriarch Kirill's order was published on the website of the Moscow city diocese of the RPTs [Russian Orthodox Church]. A member of the diocesan court of Moscow, doctor of church history Archpriest Vladislav Tsypin noted in conversation with RIA Novosti that Patriarch Kirill can change the sanction and not rescind Archdeacon Kuraev's clerical status, and therefore in introducing the moratorium on the church court's decision he gave Kuraev a chance.


"So since I have been given time 'for reconsideration,' I shall think again and again," Kuraev wrote.


He noted that he wants to go along with the Church of Christ, "that is, along with the Church of the Nicene Creed, which possesses those attributes such as Unity, Holiness, Catholicity, and Apostolicity."


"Just what kind of relationship there is for this Church with the specific legal entity called the 'Moscow Patriarchate' in its present condition, I have difficulty saying. But it surely is not a relationship of precise identity. One can say: the Church exists within the church. But just how specifically, in what, in whom, in which aspects of the life of the church? But it certainly is not in 'the mystery of an infallible magisterium,'" the archdeacon noted. He said that there are many instances in the history of the Church when "somebody differed from the church contemporary with him and later (often even after death) he was justified." "The question of what, who, when, where, how much, and with what consequences someone veers from the 'path of the church' is not simple, and it is unsettled until the Last Judgment," Kuraev concluded.


In December 2020, the Moscow diocesan court considered reports about violations of church law by Archdeacon Kuraev, who was notorious for his critical statements against the RPTs, and it ordered to deprive him of his clerical status. The court identified in Kuraev's statements "evidence of blasphemy against the church." The court's decision also speaks about evidence of libelous activity by the cleric, particularly about charges that the Russian Orthodox Church "creates schism."


After this, Kuraev reported that he petitioned Patriarch Kirill for conducting a second session of the diocesan court on the matter of removing his clerical status. On 4 March 2021, the diocesan court resolved that it did not find a basis for reconsideration of its previous decision. (tr. by PDS, posted 5 April 2021)

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