How Will the Church Deal With Married Priests Like This?
(Moscow) The Amazon Synod asked for a large majority of 75 percent of the synods to allow the admission of married men in the Amazon. But how will Church leaders respond to cases of domestic violence by married priests? At the same time as the final phase of the Synod, a concrete incident occurred.
Last Friday, October 25, a woman from Ryazan, a city of half a million people, contacted the press from some 200 kilometers southeast of Moscow.
The young mother of four children reported domestic violence. She also showed pictures of injuries inflicted on her by her husband. Her nose is broken, her left side of her face is purple and shows red spots. She told journalists present at the editorial office she is ashamed of her appearance.
The shocking thing about the case, according to the Internet newspaper YA62.ru, is the fact that the wife's husband is a Russian Orthodox priest, and his wife suffers from muscular dystrophy.
The names of those affected by the Russian media are not repeated here, since a fundamental question is to be shown in the concrete example. The fact is: The priest WP is a drinker and violent offender against his own family.
The Russian Orthodox diocese of Ryazan responded to the media report and suspended the priest for a year. As justification, the diocese stated that the priest had "systematically violated the ecclesiastical order" through alcohol abuse and violence against his family. This affects above all his sick wife, but also the oldest child. The woman, described as tender and fragile, has difficulty walking. This condition gradually appeared after which the doctors diagnosed muscular dystrophy.
With proper treatment, the disease can at least be slowed down. So far, however, she has not received it because her husband refused to submit to any such requests. He said to her, "What do I do with a disabled woman?"
Her husband worked as a cook when they met and got married. His father was a priest in Ryazan. He urged his son more and more to become a priest, which he finally did. Since the first violent incident in 2013, everyone has been following the same pattern. The man would get drunk, come home, beat his wife, sleep off the intoxication, apologize and asked for forgiveness. She was afraid of losing her family. Both had wanted and received four children, who are today between 10 and a half years old.
Even the presence of the children did not stop him from beating his wife. When he also put his hand to his eldest daughter and she was so frightened that her mother had to tell her stories and console her till five in the morning, the woman decided to go to the police.
Now she stays with the four children in a secret place.