Thursday, 24 April 2014

Czech Orthodox Church primate suspected of breaching oath

5 April 2013

Prague, April 4 (CTK) - The Czech Orthodox Church Primate Krystof has to refute by mid-May the suspicion that he has breached his oath as a monk and had sex with women, Jaroslav Suvarsky, head of the Orthodox Church's eparchial council, told CTK Thursday.

Before Krystof does so, his tasks as the primate will be temporarily exercised by Simeon, bishop of the Olomouc-Brno eparchy.

Krystof cannot sign agreements or contracts now, for example.

TV Nova has reported that Krystof, the Czech Orthodox Church Primate and Prague archbishop, has had several girlfriends with whom he has children. It said the church synod discussed the issue at an extraordinary meeting on Wednesday.

The synod "urged Primate Krystof to refute the accusations by its next meeting," Suvarsky said, adding that the synod will meet in mid-May again.

According to Nova, the church has accused Krystof of having sex with the wife of one of the priests for seven years. In addition, she is not the only woman with whom Krystof committed a sin. He has even children with others, maybe up to ten of them, the synod said, cited by Nova.

Krystof said he has two daughters, both born before he took the oath as a monk.

He said the accusation may be linked to the ongoing property settlement between the Czech state and churches, within which 1.14 billion crowns is to go to the Orthodox Church.

"Some would like the money to be exclusively spent on humanitarian projects for seniors, ill people and children. Others, however, say the money should be deposited in funds to draw more money for priests' [pay]," Krystof told TV Nova Thursday.

The number of Orthodox Church's followers in the 10.5-million Czech Republic is estimated at 100,000. The number has been rising mainly in connection with the arrival of immigrants from Ukraine and other countries with the Orthodox tradition.

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