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Moscow Theological Academy fires popular theologian for ‘flamboyant publications’

December 31, 2013, 16:53 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The theologian has commented on the document at his page in Facebook, saying he is astonished by the decision

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© ITAR-TASS/Stanislav Krasilnikov

MOSCOW, December 31. /ITAR-TASS/. Popular Russian theologian Dr. Andrei Kurayev, who has won acclaim among the Russian readers and audiences by his diversified and sometimes offbeat views, has been dismissed from the corps of lecturers of the Moscow Theological Academy for a number of his publications in the Internet.

“Research Board (of the Theological Academy) has stated that Senior Deacon Andrei Kurayev regularly puts up flamboyant materials in the mass media and in blogs and that his activity has had a scandalous and provocative tonality in a whole number of cases,” says a resolution issued by the Theological Academy Monday.

In the light of it, the Research Board “has taken a decision to dismiss Senior Deacon Andrei Kurayev from the corps of lecturers of the Academy, with due regard of the fact that the title of Professor was bestowed on him at a different school of higher learning.”

The resolution also notes the protracted character of the problem, saying that Father Andrei was told about the dubious features found in his publications at a meeting of the board March 12, 2012.

The theologian has commented on the document at his page in Facebook, saying he is astonished by the decision, since “no claims against his books or lectures at the Academy had been made in essence.

He thanked Prof Mikhail Ivanov, a Deputy President of the Academy, and a number of other colleagues for support, as they had disagreed with the proposals to dismiss him.

“I’m thankful to the Academy, which is my home, for the seven years of studies and then ten years of lecturing here,” Father Andrei wrote. “I’m bowing deeply to the shrines of the Holy Trinity/St Sergius’s Monastery. I don’t have any grudges either against the President of the Academy or my colleagues.”

“Given the situation where the pre-revolutionary (meaning the Bolshevik revolution of 1917 — Itar-Tass) autonomy of academies has long been wiped out, might certainly goes before right,” Father Andrei wrote in Facebook.

He believes that his remarks “on the homosexual scandal at the theological seminary in Kazan” might become one of the reasons of the Academy’s decision. Father Andrei noted in this connection that he had simply commented on the issue, which had been raised by the media.

He also recalled that the Research Board had highlighted his special position on the punishment for Pussy Riot.

“I denounced their outrage from the very start and, what’s more, I toughened my stance on them after they received freedom,” Father Andrei wrote adding that what he disagreed with was the imprisonment of the Pussy Riot members.

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