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Moscow Patriarchate demands Gusev, Venediktov resignation

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=2987 04 May 2007, 10:01 Moscow Patriarchate demands Gusev, Venediktov resignation Moscow, May 4, Interfax - The
    Message 1 of 1 , May 4 9:13 PM
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      http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=2987

      04 May 2007, 10:01
      Moscow Patriarchate demands Gusev, Venediktov resignation

      Moscow, May 4, Interfax - The Father Vladimir Vigilyansky, the head
      of the Moscow Patriarchate's press service, said that Ekho Moskvy
      radio editor-in-chief Alexey Venediktov and Moskovsky Komsomolets
      daily editor-in-chief Pavel Gusev, who, he said, aired rumors
      alleging that Patriarch of All Russia Alexy II was dead or seriously
      ill, should resign, but the journalists have dismissed the calls.

      The website of the Orthodox Foma magazine cites Fr. Vigilyansky as
      saying in particular: "The news around the supposed death of the
      Patriarch was not accidental. This is not an absurd mistake in
      interpretation, as we thought in the beginning; now we see malevolent
      intentions. One of the purposes of the slander could be the desire to
      sow discord in the signing of the Act of Re-Unification of the
      Russian Orthodox Church Abroad with its Mother Church, the Russian
      Orthodox Church. On the other hand, the purpose of this PR-campaign
      could be the desire to gauge how high-ranking Church officials will
      behave if they lose the patriarch."

      Vigilyansky said: "I do not blame the publishers on the whole, I
      blame specific people behind Moskovsky Komsomolets and Ekho Moskvy
      radio. This is their invention, and this is 'evil intent', as the
      Apostolic Patriarch said. Therefore, I hold that Alexey Venediktov
      and Pavel Gusev should resign."

      Venediktov told Interfax in response that Ekho Moskvy radio had said
      nothing regarding the Patriarch's death or critical condition, it
      only said that Alexy II was receiving treatment in Switzerland, which
      was confirmed later.

      He said that "the Patriarchate's press service, which should have
      explained this (the Patriarch's absence) to believers, citizens, did
      nothing, and now it was trying to blame journalists who sought to
      inform." Venediktov said he did not plan to resign.

      Gusev said the call for his resignation from the representative of
      Moscow Patriarchate was "absolutely unfounded."

      "First of all, I want to stress that we have a secular state. And
      although we have freedom of speech, and everybody can say what he
      likes, an official Church representative ought not engage in such
      issues," Gusev told Interfax on Thursday. He urged Vigilyansky to
      resign himself.

      Meanwhile, Tatyana Medyukh, the editor of MK.ru has published a
      letter of apology to Alexy II.
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