In Penza anti-clerical one-person protests draw archbishop's attention
Penza, 17 November 2017. PenzaNews. The Archbishop Seraphim of Penza and Nizhnelomovsk witnessed a series of one-person protests that were held near the diocese building on Friday, November 17.
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Coordinators of the Penza regional Left Front department in turn unrolled posters and flags with symbols of the movement.
Thus, Sergei Nosko held a sheet of paper with the inscription "Merits of the holy tsar". It also contained enumeration of tragic events connected with the name of the tsar Nickolas II.
According to the activist, there has been a tendency to present historical figures that "fully discredited themselves in the course of Russian history" as heroes.
"It is a matter of great concern that there is an insistence to revise and rethink recent pages of Russian history. In particular, the outcome and significance of the Great October socialist revolution are often questioned," Sergei Nosko told PenzaNews.
Then, it was a turn of Victor Khomets, who held a poster with Konstantin Balmont's poem "Our Tsar".
After that, Alexei Bulanov stood at the entrance to the diocesan administration with a banner that contained a joke of the beginning of the 20th century.
A noticeable enlivening to the protest was made by the Archbishop Seraphim. He came to the diocese building with a minivan Toyota Alphard V6 about 20 minutes after the protests had begun.
The archbishop asked what the ground for the demonstration was. After he found out that it was made in order to raise the awareness of residents, the Archbishop Serafim recommended that next time in order to cover larger audience the protesters should stand in more crowded places, in Moskovskaya street for example or near the Stalin Centre, which worked in the territory of the regional committee of the Communist Party of Russia.
In turn, Victor Khomets reproached the head of the Penza metropole for the fact that the Russian Orthodox church imposed religion on people including through organization of various events and exhibitions. In response, the archbishop advised the Left Front to organize events of their own.
He also reacted to the phrase about budgetary allocation for construction of the Spassky cathedral.
"This is done because some taxpayers are also members of the Orthodox Church," the archbishop noted.
In continuation of the dispute, Victor Khomets noted that the cost of religious rites in churches was overstated. As an example, he mentioned baptism, which according to him cost 15,000 roubles.
The Archbishop Serafim did not get confused and suggested checking information immediately – finding out the real price at the church shop in the territory of the Spassky cathedral.
As a result, the three coordinators of the Left Front and the head of the press service Sergei Padalkin followed the archbishop.
The women who worked at the shop said that the rite of baptism cost 1,000 roubles.
Then Victor Khomets promised to inform the archbishop in what cathedrals church members have to pay much more money for the service. For this purpose, the protester and the church hierarch exchanged phone numbers.
"I think this is nothing more than pure misunderstanding, that's all," the Archbishop Serafim noted.
When the activists left the church shop, they were met by police officers who asked the protesters what was going on there. The representatives of the Left Front explained that "a spiritual conversation" took place and broke up without hindrance.