Friday, February 4, 2011

Russian Clergy Can Now Run in Elections; Can Run Only Against Dissenters of Orthodox Church

The RIA Novosti (Russian) website reports that the Bishops' Council of the Russian Orthodox Church on February 2, 2011 allowed priests to run in elections in exceptional cases.

The three-day council -- the Church's top administrative body -- gathered in downtown Moscow's magnificent Christ the Savior Cathedral to solve the most urgent issues for the church and society.

Normally, Russian Orthodox priests cannot be nominated to run in elections to any legislative power bodies. This time, however, a document was adopted that contains a reservation.

The reservation says, "exceptions from this rule can only be made when election of hierarchs or clergy to a legislative power body is caused by the necessity to oppose forces, including those schismatically minded or those of other faiths who try to use elections to power bodies to fight the Orthodox Church."

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