Russian Orthodox Church officials suspended a priest for using an anti-Semitic pejorative while baptizing a girl, the Jewish Press website reports today (October 27, 2013).
The two-month ban on Andrey Estigneeva was announced on the website of the Diocese of Saratov -- a city about 450 miles southeast of Moscow. It resulted from complaints by the family and the Russian Jewish Congress.
The girl's parents said Evstigneeva used the Russian pejorative "zhidovskym" -- or "kike" in English -- in reference to the girl's name. The girl's mother is Jewish.
Church officials said Evstigneeva acknowledged the incident and insisted that "nothing untoward had happened." Evstigneeva's behavior was "incompatible with clerical dignity and disrespectful of parish members," the diocese's statement read. It added: "During the ban, you lose the right to wear the symbols of the church and teach believers, administer benedictions or hold services."