Pro-gay Russian Orthodox priest defrocked
October 07 2003 11:00 PM ET
The Russian Orthodox Church has defrocked a priest for performing what media reports said was the country's first gay wedding in a church. The church's Holy Synod ruled Monday to defrock the Reverend Vladimir Enert for the wedding, which it called "blasphemy against the sacrament," the church said
on its Web site.
The September 1 wedding of Denis Gogolev and Mikhail Morozov in the Volga River city of Nizhny Novgorod was reported in the popular daily Komsomolskaya Pravda, complete with photographs of the ceremony. The church said the paper's reporter helped arrange the wedding by convincing another priest to give her the keys to the church.
The Holy Synod ruled to bar a second priest, the Reverend Mikhail Kabanov, from leading services, saying he had been an accomplice. The church said the reporter, posing as a bride, had approached Kabanov with a young man, saying they needed to use the church for a wedding that the woman's parents opposed.