“Due to the public insult on your part of the memory of Rector of the Epiphany Cathedral [of Elokhovo] in the city of Moscow Archpriest Alexander Ageikin, despite the grief of his wife and children, on the day of his death, which characterizes this act as not only immoral, but also as particularly cynical, which evoked outrage from bishops, clerics, and laypeople of the Russian Orthodox Church, as well as given your previous acts, complaints about which I have received, you are prohibited from religious activity pending the ruling of a diocesan church court upon review of the abovementioned acts,” the patriarch’s decree, which was published on the website of the Moscow City Diocese on Wednesday, said.
Kurayev was once one of the most active representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church, who campaigned for Metropolitan Kirill to be elected to the post of head of the Russian Orthodox Church. Shortly after his election, Patriarch Kirill promoted Kurayev to the rank of protodeacon. However, in recent years, Kurayev has become one of the main opponents of a large number of leading clerics of the Russian Orthodox Church, subsequently resulting in his dismissal from the Moscow Theological Academy, where he taught for years.
In an interview with the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper, published on Wednesday, Kurayev also spoke about coronavirus in the Russian Orthodox Church.
“It’s sad that the period of bragging in our midst dragged on for two months. Superstitions are dangerous during an epidemic,” he said.
“As soon as the first news of this forthcoming disaster arrived, they should have closed [churches] immediately, begun thinking sensibly, and realized their responsibility not only for their own lives, but also for the lives of pilgrims. Worshippers who come to you may sincerely be mistaken in thinking that this is a place where they aren’t in danger. This self-delusion fully disarms them in the face of the disease, because they aren’t inclined to observe even basic precautionary measures in church,” Kurayev said.