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Russian Orthodox Church carries out reshuffle after child abuse at Convent

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=7899 Russian Orthodox Church carries out reshuffle after child abuse at Convent by OCP on November 14, 2010 in
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 15, 2010
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      http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=7899

      Russian Orthodox Church carries out reshuffle after child abuse at Convent

      by OCP on November 14, 2010

      in News

      Vladimir, November 13, Interfax – A senior
      Russian Orthodox bishop has removed the mother
      superior and the spiritual mentor after claims
      surfaced of violent abuse on girls staying at the
      Bogolyubsky Monastery in Vladimir.

      Archbishop Yevlogy of Vladimir and Suzdal fired
      Georgia, the convent’s mother superior, insisting
      on a new appointment “in conformity with the
      charter of the Russian Orthodox Church and Russian legislation.”

      Spiritual counsellor Archimandrite Pyotr (Kucher)
      was pensioned off but allowed to keep living in the convent.

      The main critic of the convent, Priest Vitaly
      Rysev, was dismissed as Suzdal District dean and
      principal of a boarding school though he remains
      chief priest of the Church of St. Michael the
      Archangel in Suzdal. The school is to be
      reorganized to become an ordinary rather than
      boarding school, under the same order.

      The order also prescribed that the convent’s
      leadership strictly comply with an earlier
      directive by the Archbishop prohibiting under-age
      children from living on the convent’s premises,
      even if they are the children of convent workers.

      The purpose of these measures is “to normalize
      the atmosphere” and address the “personal aspect”
      of the situation, the order said.

      In autumn 2009, two girls ran away from the
      convent to complain about the brutal treatment
      they suffered whilst living there. The Russian
      Public Chamber and the Prosecutor General’s
      Office responded by launching investigations.

      One of the girls, Valentina Perova, said she had
      been falsely imprisoned. However, the
      Investigative Committee under the Prosecutor
      General’s Office decided that her complaint did
      not provide sufficient grounds for criminal action.

      In November 2009, an investigation commission of
      the Moscow Patriarchate made recommendations
      after it found pedagogical mistakes and “a series
      of fundamental mistakes in the organization of
      the life of children living at the convent.”

      The findings of a working group appointed by
      regional governor Nikolay Vinogradov led to the
      mother superior being stripped of guardianship of the orphans in December.

      Archimandrite Pyotr also came into the limelight.
      Previously he had been dismissed from office on
      two occasions, had been punished by the Holy
      Synod and had joined the Old Believers, though
      after staying with the latter for one month on
      each occasion, he had rejoined the mainstream church.

      In March this year, the Publishing Council of the
      Russian Orthodox Church put one of his books on a
      list of publications not recommended for
      dissemination in churches, monasteries or convents.

      The Bogolyubsky Monastery became the scene of
      another scandal in autumn 2010 when criminal
      proceedings were launched after two other girls
      ran away from the orphanage and complained about physical abuse.
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