Voices from Russia

Friday, 3 January 2014

Kuraev Gets the Boot for Thumbing His Nose at Church Authorities in Blog Posts

andrei kuraev


Editor’s Note:

Andrei Kuraev was at his zenith in 2008 (along with the Blunder). However, he lost out when HH became patriarch. Bit by bit, he became increasingly cranky. The Church doesn’t allow that in its clergy (under normal circumstances… the American Russian Orthodox diaspora isn’t “normal” yet, and it won’t be until we wise up and unite)… at least, not in public. As a priest told me once, “I have to be diplomatic, as I represent the Church. You, as a laywoman, can be more direct”. You see, Kuraev wanted the post that Vladimir Legoida ended with. Finally, the Church shitcanned him… he’s been spouting off for some years now. Will he spin off into heresy? I don’t know… I do know that he’s spun off into irrelevancy. It’s a sad end for him… we all had great hopes for him in the early 2000s…



The MDA sacked Archdeacon Andrei Kuraev, a prominent Orthodox academic and well-known blogger, from his post as a professor for writing blog posts and giving interviews at variance with the MP’s official position on current affairs. On Tuesday, according to sources at the MDA, the Church fired him from the faculty for “scandalous and provocative activities…in the mass media and in the blogosphere”. Frequently, Kuraev aired his views on current events on his personal LiveJournal account, including the anti-Kremlin protest group Pussy Riot and a recent church sexual harassment scandal. Although the MDA didn’t specify which of Kuraev’s comments attracted the Church’s ire, it said that he’d ignored how his public statements reflected on the academy and the church.

Kuraev complained that the decision about his sacking was on the MDA’s Monday meeting agenda without a vote and in his absence. He wrote in a post on LiveJournal, “[The decision] happened not by reason, but by fervour. I couldn’t recall a similar case in the 300-year history of the Academy”. Kuraev criticised the Church’s handling of a scandal in Kazan in mid-December, when a clergyman dismissed for allegedly sexually harassing male students went immediately into another diocese in Tver. Kuraev said on his blog that the incident was “proof of the existence of an influential gay lobby in our Church”. Kuraev has a kandidatura in philosophical sciences, being on the MDA faculty since 2004.

Besides that, he questioned the motivation behind Pussy Riot’s “punk prayer” protest in a Moscow cathedral last year. Three of the group’s members received two-year prison sentences for the stunt; one got out on probation, while the other two got early release due to a presidential prison amnesty earlier this month. Kuraev called a Pussy Riot documentary made by a pro-Kremlin TV journalist untruthful, and told liberal newspaper Novaya Gazeta that a top city official might’ve staged the protest to boost support for President Vladimir Putin before the election.

31 December 2014



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