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Russian Orthodox Church waits for court ruling on Pussy Riot

June 28, 2012, 22:57 UTC+3
The members of the Pussy Riot punk group held a punk-prayer on the Ambon of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in February and had been noticed in other actions
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Photo ITAR-TASS

Photo ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, June 28 (Itar-Tass) — Patriarch Kirill will say what he thinks about the Pussy Riot only after a court ruling. The head of the Russian Orthodox Church doesn’t want to exert pressure on investigators.

Deacon Alexander Volkov, the patriarch’s press secretary, said the patriarch had looked through all the letters which he received from various people. Some are asking to free the girl while others insist on punishment.

The members of the Pussy Riot punk group held a punk-prayer on the Ambon of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in February and had been noticed in other actions.

“No official statements on the behavior of the girls can be made before the court passes its ruling. The patriarch will voice his personal opinion on the incident shortly after a court decision is announced,” the press secretary emphasized.

Volkov said the Church couldn’t exert pressure on investigative bodies despite the fact that many people were outraged that the investigation had been so long.

The action and its consequences have aroused great public interest. Some cultural figures have collected signatures in Pussy Riot’s support. Volkov said that in their letters people were asking the patriarch to intervene. “However, the girls themselves haven’t addressed the Patriarch. He has only received addresses from groups of people concerned with their fate,” Volkov went on to say.

He recalled that thousands were being held in custody in Russia but the Church had been asked to help exactly those people who insulted it.

“If we were asked to give a church assessment of the events, we would call it sacrilege. But sacrilege is not part of the Penal Code and the state doesn’t punish its citizens for sacrilege,” Volkov said.

“A Church court would have called the girls sacrilegious. They will continue to be the enemies of the Church so long as they don’t repent irrespective of what a secular court rules,” Alexander Volkov explained.

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