Russian Orthodox Church is open to dialogue with Pussy Riot, but without provocations

http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=10982 

The Moscow Patriarchate is hoping that the members of the feminist punk group Pussy Riot who have been released from prison today after being amnestied will improve.

“Every person has a right to make public statements, honest debates, and competition of ideas. However, when political manipulations and dangerous provocations happen, it’s unacceptable,” Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, the head of the Synodal Department for Church and Society Relations, told Interfax-Religion.

He said that, if the Pussy Riot members want dialogue, he and his colleagues “are always open to it.”

Pussy Riot members Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, who were sentenced to two years in a penal colony, walked free on Monday.

Alyokhina said after being released that she does not regret the “punk prayer.” “We would sing the song to the end. It should be listened to in its entirety, not just one verse,” Alyokhina told reporters, responding to a question as to whether she would participate in such a protest again and what she would change.

As for dialogue with the Russian Orthodox Church, Alyokhina said she is open to such dialogue. “of course, I’m open to dialogue,” she said in an interview with Ekho Moskvy radio. “If specific representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church express a wish to meet with us, I have no intention of declining their request,” she said.

Tolokonnikova also said she is ready for dialogue with the Russian Orthodox Church.

“If they [representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church] talk to me, I will talk to them. I hold no offence,” Tolokonnikova told reporters on Monday, responding to a question as to what she will do if representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church want to talk to her.

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