04 February 2014, 16:02
Kazan seminary case is being investigated - Moscow Patriarchate
Moscow, February 4, Interfax - The Moscow Patriarchate has denied the allegations that the events that have taken place in the Kazan seminary are not being investigated.
Protodeacon Andrey Kurayev, the author of a popular blog, has started a debate on the "gay lobby" in the Russian Church, citing anonymous testimonies on homosexuals among priests and bishops. Specifically, he said students of the Kazan seminary have complained about sexual harassment by one of their mentors, who is a priest.
"Why is someone assuming that this case is not being investigated? A common church court is the last stage of any debate. It should not speak or act until a case is forwarded to it. There are a number of procedures related to the preliminary investigation. The fact that the common court is silent on the matter does not mean at all that the case is not being investigated," Archimandrite Savva (Tutunov), deputy head of the Property Management Office of the Moscow Patriarchate, told Interfax-Religion on Tuesday.
Archimandrite Savva recalled that a commission of the Education Committee of the Russian Church has visited the Kazan seminary with regard to the letters received by the patriarchate.
"By the way, they said these letters were received three years ago. It's not true. They were received not long before the commission visited there. As to the work of the commission, many people who are involved in the public debate are citing 'the conclusions drawn by the commission' and 'the commission's decisions.' I doubt very much that any of these people have read the aforementioned conclusions because very few people have access to such documents," Archimandrite Savva said.
As to "the commission's decision," Archimandrite Savva said the commission of the Education Committee has no powers to decide whether a specific person is guilty or not, or make decisions on someone's appointment, dismissal, or suspension from work.
"Decisions on whether a person is guilty or not are made by church law. Decisions relating to hierarchy issues are made by the Holy Synod and archbishops. What has the Education Commission done? It has conducted an investigation, and it was done only in the seminary. These materials will be provided to the relevant authorities. Any serious accusation requires a serious investigation," Archimandrite Savva said.
He also said the work of the church court will be improved, adding that "we are now analyzing experience, facts, and precedents, which may later lead to amendments."
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