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Russian Orthodox Church suspends protodeacon from service after critical remarks about archpriest who died from coronavirus

Source: ROC

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, has temporarily banned well-known Protodeacon and Orthodox theologian Andrey Kuraev from service.

According to Patriarch Kirill’s decree, this decision was made in connection with a “public insult” to the memory of the former rector of Moscow’s Epiphany Cathedral, Archpriest Alexander Ageikin. 

“And also taking into account your previous actions, about which I have received complaints,” Patriarch Kirill wrote.

Archpriest Ageikin died of the coronavirus on April 21. Kuraev later commented on his death in a post on the blogging platform LiveJournal.

The ban from service against Kuraev will remain in place until an ecclesiastical court makes a decision regarding his actions. 

Kuraev refused to comment on the Patriarch's decree for Meduza

“For me, a much more important event happened today — my confessor died, a bright man, who influenced many clergymen in Moscow — Archpriest Grigory Breyev. I am thinking about this now,” he said. 

  • Archpriest Grigory Breyev was the Rector of the “Rozhdestva Presvyatoy Bogoroditsy” Church in Moscow's Krylatskoye District. The 83-year-old priest died on April 29 due to complications from bilateral pneumonia, but he allegedly tested negative for COVID-19. His son reported his death.
  • In early April, the Russian Orthodox Church reported that a clergyman at Breyev’s church in Krylatskoye had tested positive for COVID-19, while two others has symptoms characteristic of the coronavirus.
  • On April 27, Patriarch Kirill lashed out at the clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church, demanding better compliance with quarantine restrictions and threatening dissident clergymen with church tribunals.
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