Skip to comments.Bid to Excommunicate Patriarch Enflames Russia’s ‘Holy War’
Posted on 09/10/2012 9:21:05 AM PDT by marshmallow
Near boiling-point tensions between Russias major Christian faith and the creative class it says is waging a war against it were racked up even further on Monday after the head of a rights group launched a bid to have powerful Orthodox Church leader Patriarch Kirill excommunicated.
There are at least six arguments for Patriarch Kirills defrocking and excommunication from the church, wrote Mikhail Anashkov, the head of Russias Consumer Rights Protection Society, on his Live Journal account.
Anashkov said on Monday he had forwarded a request to have the patriarch excommunicated to the Council of Bishops, the only church body with the power to defrock and remove the patriarch from his post.
A statement by the rights organization said the 65-year-old patriarch was guilty of violating church law cited by the prosecution in the recent Pussy Riot trial. Three members of the group were jailed for two years each last month after a protest in Moscows landmark Christ the Savior Cathedral over Orthodox Church support for Vladimir Putin ahead of the March 4 elections that returned him to the Kremlin.
The organization, which unsuccessfully sued the Orthodox Church this year over the sale of religious items on the territory of the Christ the Savior Cathedral, said the patriarch was guilty of violations of church law including covetousness and trading in the House of God. It also said he had broken canon law on cohabitation with a woman who was not his mother, sister or aunt. Orthodox Church law has not been updated since the 8th century.
Church officials were not immediately available for comment.
(Excerpt) Read more at en.ria.ru ...
Perhaps instead Mikhail Anashkov could be excommunicated, instead.
First, even were Patriarch Kirill guilty of some heinous offense (let’s pick one no one has accused him of, say murder) both deposing or laicizing him (the proper term, not ‘defrocking’) and excommunicating him would be out of the question: Orthodox canon law forbids double punishment. A cleric can be laicized (or reduced to the status of a reader in some rare readings of the canons) for grievous offenses against canon law, but not laicized *and* excommunicated.
Second, if some ancient canon forbid the selling of religious items in churches, that canon has been inactive for centuries (something that happens to Orthodox canons when Holy Spirit leads the faithful along with the hierarchy all agree the circumstance that prompted the Holy Spirit to lead to their promulgation no longer applies): every Orthodox church in the world sells candles (since you cannot offer the Church’s candle to God in intercession for loved ones — you have to offer your own candle) and most have kiosks selling icons, prayer ropes and spiritually edifying books, with the profits helping to support the parish.
Which leave the charge of Patriarch Kirill residing with a subintroducta. This turns very much on the character (and perhaps age) of Patriarch Kirill’s cousin: the Nicene canon cited by Anashkov besides mother, sister and aunt concludes “or such persons only as are beyond all suspicion” (in the Greek version). The more expansive Arabic version of the same canon specifies old women and includes grandmothers in the explicit list. If the woman is the grand-daughter of the Patriach’s great-great-grandparents, this charge would be specious, as well.
thanks for this. What exactly is he accused of selling??
Beyond the vague phrase "religious items" the article says nothing, and I have no independent information.
thanks. And since it is so vague, I am going to discount this entire attempt to smear the Patriarch