Priest punished for wife's "unworthy" lifestyle

The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
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#1
Protopriest Sergey Zotov of the Russian Orthodox Church, who had headed a prominent cathedral in Magnitogorsk (South-West Siberia, near Kazakhstan border); at right - with his wife, Oksana Zotova


Mrs. Zotova has been leading a somewhat flashy lifestyle.

She owns her own, highly successful beauty parlour/spa business and has posted lots of glamorous pics of herself advertising/bragging about it


She has also recently won a local beauty pageant

which involved her and other constants prancing around the stage in various sexy costumes, among other things


In general, there's lots of interesting shots of her out there


And this has now attracted the ire of reactionary conservative hardliners within their parish, as well as her husband's superiors in the archdiocese.

For, you see, her behaviour is considered to be unworthy and unbecoming of a clergyman's wife.

It is true, she looks like a highly unconventional wife of a priest, for the Russian Church.

Russian Orthodox priests are typically referred to by the believers in their community as Otec or Batyushka ("Father") and their wives - Matushka ("Mother"), and most fit that role perfectly, they are motherly figure, always wrapped in her headscarf and with the kids around her

Aside from her duties to her own husband and family; the Matushka is expected to serve as an example and role model to the women of the congregation- of religious piety, wholesome modesty, devotion to her children, and indeed submission and obedience to her husband...

Perhaps the most famous Matushka in modern Russia, is Anna Kuznetsova, wife of a Church bigwig, mom of 6, famous anti-abortion activist, and Putin's national Ombudswoman for Child Protection for last couple years

While it is seen in the Church as sinful and amoral for any Matushka to become any sort of a public figure, it seems Madam Kuznetsova's sins are cancelled out by her aforementioned tireless campaign to restrict abortion rights, her strong support for anti-LGBT measures, etc. lol

Not so for Oksana Zotova. The Archdiocese has now released a statement, essentially condemning Sergey Zotov for his "weakness". In effect, what it says is that a man who cannot even control his wife and her sinful impulses, cannot be counted upon to control a large and important congregation, at a regional cathedral no less.

As a result, the Zotovs have now been banished and exiled, for all intents and purposes, to a remote church in some village in the middle of nowhere in Siberia where, in the words of the archdiocese, "they will, we hope, reflect upon their moral and spiritual failings, which have led to this unfortunate outcome"... Oksana has also had to shut off and delete all her social media, in the face of waves of trolling and harassment and threats from religious whack-jobs. And she has given up control of her business. Which may, btw, have been the whole original idea, there are some suspicions, online, that the whole brouhaha against Oksana was started, secretly, by another lady who is also a cosmetologist and business rival of Oksana's!

I will say this, these medieval values and attitudes of the Church, especially regarding women and controlling their behaviour, is exactly what plenty modern, younger believers chafe against. Eventually, it will all backfire and hurt the Church itself...
 

The Man

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Jul 2011
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#2
An Orthodox priest in Russia's Urals region has been posted to a remote village as punishment for his wife's participation in a local beauty pageant during Lent.

Oksana Zotova, who runs a beauty salon in the city of Magnitogorsk, won the Miss Sensuality prize at the contest, and attracted a wave of criticism after an anonymous account on Russian social news aggregator Pikabu revealed that she was the wife of a priest.

Once religious authorities in the diocese got wind of the story, Sergei Zotov was promptly dismissed from his post at Magnitogorsk's Cathedral of the Ascension of Christ.

He must now ply his trade in the village of Fershampenuaz, around 65 kilometres away from Magnitogorsk, and with population of just 4,000.

The village was named in honour of Cossacks who fought against Napoleon in the battle of Fère-Champenoise in 1814.

The diocese of Magnitogorsk was not entertained by the exploits of Fr Sergei's wife.

Archpriest Feodor Saprykin, chair of the diocesan court, declared that "it is a great sin when the wife of a priest exposes herself for show".

He ruled that Sergei Zotov "will not be rehabilitated until his wife repents".

"What kind of a priest is he if he cannot control his own family?" he questioned. "How does he intend to control his congregation?"

'Unacceptable behaviour'

The anonymous Pikabu post also claimed that this was not the first example of her "outrageous behaviour".

Father Lev Baklitsky of the Magnitogorsk diocese confirmed that after one beach holiday Mrs Zotova posted photographs of herself in a swimsuit and that she deleted the pictures after being told off.

He called this behaviour "without doubt unacceptable" and confirmed that Father Zotov's posting was "a temporary measure so that he comes to his senses".

For his part, Father Sergei admitted that he made a mistake and described his posting as "quite a merciful punishment".

But he complained that his wife received abusive comments on social media and hit out at those who fanned the story online.

'Just ordinary people'

The story has gripped Russia, featuring in many news outlets and online forums.

Some users were not impressed with the priest and his wife. "This is all you need to know about the wives of priests. And priests themselves as well. They preach one thing and practise something else," one person lashed out.

But many others scoffed at the church's decision and came out in support of the clergy couple.

"Why shouldn't she enjoy her life? Are there really people who still believe that priests are pure of sin? They're just ordinary people with a good job, " said the most-liked comment on the Pikabu post.

"Have I missed something, what's the problem?" another person asked. "Where in the Bible does it say that priests can't have a pretty wife?"

Komsomolskaya Pravda conveyed another user's sarcasm directed at the "holier-than-thou who have nothing to do during Lent but to look for motes in others' eyes, even if they are covered in make-up".
Russian priest 'exiled' over wife's 'sin'

From the article

Sergei Zotov's new commute may include this Fershampenuaz bridge

lol Wow...
 
Mar 2019
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TN
#5
Bunch of tire fat old men that can't get it up punishing the young priest for having a hot wife. Ironically they'd praise Putin if his wife/girlfriend was half as hot. I think the priest should resign and help wifey build her company.

Personally I think a lot of the religious right's bullshit here in the states is pure unadulterated jealousy. They can't or won't enjoy their own sex lives, or they are jealous their sex lives might pale in comparison, so they seek to punish everyone else for theirs.
 

The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
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31,142
Toronto
#6
Bunch of tire fat old men that can't get it up punishing the young priest for having a hot wife. Ironically they'd praise Putin if his wife/girlfriend was half as hot. I think the priest should resign and help wifey build her company.

Personally I think a lot of the religious right's bullshit here in the states is pure unadulterated jealousy. They can't or won't enjoy their own sex lives, or they are jealous their sex lives might pale in comparison, so they seek to punish everyone else for theirs.
At least Russian Orthodox ones don't go around molesting little boys, like the Catholic ones...

Though, I have heard some stories about older high ranked priests and monks and young nuns in the female monasteries

but, of course, the Church is tight with the Kremlin there, as you mentioned, who controls the media, so, whatever happens there happens behind closed doors, and the public rarely hears much about it... :(
 
Mar 2019
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TN
#7
At least Russian Orthodox ones don't go around molesting little boys, like the Catholic ones...

Though, I have heard some stories about older high ranked priests and monks and young nuns in the female monasteries but, of course, the Church is tight with the Kremlin there, as you mentioned, who controls the media, so, whatever happens there happens behind closed doors, and the public rarely hears much about it... :(
I bet being married has a great deal to do with the lower instance of molestation. I have long wondered why the Catholic church hangs on to that anachronism ?? There are married priests out there. They make an exception for clergy of other denominations who are married when they convert to Catholicism and become priests. They don't have to give up their wives and family.
 
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The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
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Toronto
#8
I bet being married has a great deal to do with the lower instance of molestation. I have long wondered why the Catholic church hangs on to that anachronism ?? There are married priests out there. They make an exception for clergy of other denominations who are married when they convert to Catholicism and become priests. They don't have to give up their wives and family.
Yeah, that was always kinda strange, to me...

Russian Church never banned their priests from marrying or having kids, on the contrary, there are to serve as a living example to all believers of what Orthodox family values look like lol

Numerous priest families have received Putin's annual Parental Glory medals for large families at the Kremlin

:D