World/Foreign News

Russian priest presiding over Navalny’s memorial suspended from duties

 A Russian Orthodox priest who presided over the memorial service for the late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in March has been suspended from clerical duties for three years, the Moscow Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church said.
In a statement published on its website on Tuesday, the diocese did not say what was the reason for the punishment, which forbids the priest, Dmitry Safronov, from giving blessings, wearing the frock and bearing the church’s priestly cross until 2027.
Safronov was also to be moved to another church in Moscow to perform the duties of a psalm-reader.
“At the end of the period of penance, based on feedback from the place of obedience, a decision will be made on the possibility of his further priestly service,” the diocese said in its statement.
On March 26, Safronov held a memorial service attended by thousands for Navalny, who was President Vladimir Putin’s fiercest critic inside Russia and who died at the age of 47 in an Arctic penal colony in February.


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