23 December 2009, 13:03
Priest’s murder should not offer reason to revive death penalty in Russia – Patriarch Kirill
Moscow, December 23, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia believes that even the most dangerous criminals like the murderer of an Orthodox priest, who was killed in the Moscow region on Tuesday evening, do not deserve the death penalty, and they should be given a right to repent their crimes while serving their prison sentences.
Archpriest Alexander Filippov was shot dead in Podolsk, outside Moscow, on December 22 after he reproached a group of drunken men who were behaving inappropriately, Russian prosecutors' Investigative Committee said.
Patriarch Kirill told about the tragedy at a meeting with Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland at Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior on Wednesday.
The priest's suspected murderer has already been detained.
The head of the Russian Orthodox Church described Father Alexander as a "modest man."
"He [Father Alexander] simply stopped a man who was doing something very bad. That person pulled out a pistol and fired at the priest," he said.
Patriarch Kirill said he had information that the detained man had a lengthy criminal record.
"Imprisonment probably worsened the state of such a person. Nevertheless, our priests have been working in prisons very actively, because the abolition of the death penalty allows them to work even with the most dangerous criminals," he said.
The Church protects each person's right to life and right to protect his life from any dangerous interference, Patriarch Kirill said.
"There should be no reasons that could force one person to terminate someone else's life," he said.
The Russian Orthodox Church applauds the Russian Constitutional Court's recent decision to abolish the death penalty, he said.
"The work of the Church is guided by traditions that do not rule out the death penalty in principle. Holy Scripture does not contain any condemnation of the death penalty, either. But in reality, the Church, at least in Russia, has always asked the authorities to show mercy for people sentenced to death," Patriarch Kirill said.
- Belarusian Catholics deny info on U.S. interference in religious situation in country 30 September 2020, 12:24
- U.S. trying to play Belarusian Orthodox, Catholics off against each other - Russian foreign intelligence chief 29 September 2020, 16:32
- Patriarch Kirill prays for peaceful settlement of conflict in Karabakh 28 September 2020, 13:25
- Russian prosecutors seeking to shut down Church of Last Testament 25 September 2020, 17:34
- Patriarch awards Lavrov the church order of Glory and Honor 23 September 2020, 18:35
- Followers of Church of the Last Testament gave part of their income to sect every month - source 23 September 2020, 18:29
- Two followers in Vissarion's community developed mental disorders - source 23 September 2020, 18:18
- Court arrests 3 leaders of Krasnoyarsk Church of the Last Testament 23 September 2020, 13:07
- Putin bestows Order for Merit to Fatherland, 1st degree on oldest ruling bishop of Russian Orthodox Church 22 September 2020, 17:38
- Berel Lazar invited to Bahrain 22 September 2020, 13:18
- Russian Church wishes Depardieu to stop on Orthodoxy in his spiritual search 21 September 2020, 15:39
- Forty percent of Russia support Lenin reburial, 1 out of every 5 say his body should stay in Mausoleum - poll 18 September 2020, 20:44
- FJCR head views Hasidic pilgrims attempting to enter Ukraine as 'violence against common sense' 18 September 2020, 18:31
- Zelensky's Rosh Hashanah greeting expresses hope for return to normal rhythm of life next year 18 September 2020, 18:26
- No Hasidic pilgrims left on Belarusian-Ukrainian border 18 September 2020, 18:23
- The FJCR calls a huge breakthrough recognition of Israel in the Arab Emirates and Bahrain 18 September 2020, 16:46
- Case opened against 2 Baltic Fleet servicemen who washed shoes in holy spring in Orthodox chapel 18 September 2020, 16:32
- Hasidic pilgrims initially heading to Uman begin leaving Belarusian-Ukrainian border 18 September 2020, 12:15
- Putin notes Russian Jewish community's role in countering Covid-19, in strengthening peace and accord 18 September 2020, 11:17
- Some 1,000 Hasidic pilgrims expecting permission to enter Ukraine from Belarus 17 September 2020, 15:30
- Minsk accuses Kiev of empty rhetoric, urges it to respect rights of Hasidic pilgrims 17 September 2020, 10:39
- Kiev calls on Belarusian authorities to ensure Hasidic pilgrims adhere to quarantine regulations 16 September 2020, 20:27
- Ukraine urges Belarus to stop raising tensions on border, not to make false statements to Hasidic pilgrims (updated) 16 September 2020, 17:18
- Ukraine closes checkpoint on border with Belarus near which Hasidic pilgrims gathering 16 September 2020, 15:35
- Ukraine unable to let in additional numbers of Hasidic pilgrims due to current situation - Foreign Ministry 16 September 2020, 10:45
- Minsk seeks to agree with Ukraine on green corridor for Hasidic pilgrims 16 September 2020, 10:43
- Pope of Rome to consider possibility of visiting Belarus 16 September 2020, 10:42
- Vatican insists on Archbishop Kondrusiewicz's return to Belarus 16 September 2020, 10:40
- Tents set up for Hasidic pilgrims gathering on Belarus' border with Ukraine 15 September 2020, 20:00
- Archbishop Kondrusiewicz deprived of Belarusian passport, not citizenship 15 September 2020, 18:45