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MOSCOW, September 30 (Itar-Tass) — The Russian Orthodox Church has made an official commentary on the eve of an appeal court ruling on two-year sentences to three members of the Pussy Riot female punk band, asking them to repent. The Church asks to take into account the repentance of the inmates if they voice it.
“The Church sincerely wishes for the repentance of those who desecrated a holy place, being sure that this will benefit their souls,” a commentary of senior church spokesman Vladimir Legoida said on Sunday.
“As the aim of the punishment is correction, if any words of the convicts indicate repentance, rethinking of what they did, we would wish that they don’t go unnoticed and those who violated the law get a chance to mend their ways,” the commentary said.
Legoida reminded that after the decision of the Khamovniki district court sentencing the participants in the “punk prayer” in Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral to two years in prison, the Supreme Church Council made a statement in which it also urged for mercy “in the hope they will never repeat blasphemous actions”.
In the statement on Sunday, Legoida once again noted that “such deeds affecting the feelings of the believers deserve to be condemned and cannot be left unpunished whatever the justification”.
“The overwhelming majority of our fellow countrymen share this position,” he said. “At the same time the Church sincerely wishes for the repentance of those who desecrated a holy place,” the statement stressed.