Moscow Patriarchate has condemned the attempts to use the tragic death of an acclaimed Russian Orthodox priest in the northwestern city of Pskov as a reason for declaring the positions of various religious and public movements and for criticizing the setup of church life in general. The condemnation was expressed in an official statement of the Synod in connection with the murder of the Right Reverend Pavel Adelgeim. It was released Wednesday. “The killing of a priest is a devilish crime,” the Synod said, adding that the Rev Adelgeim is far from the first Russian priest to die at the hands of criminals. “Clergymen are turning into targets for assaults more and more frequently,” the statement said. “Abusive speech spearheaded at Jesus Christ and the Church and unbridled addiction to disgraceful lewdness inevitably grow over into hatred and malice towards the servants of the servants of the lord’s altar.” “Many people are trying to discuss the public and civic position of the late /father Pavel/ and their innuendos push backstage the very fact of the priest’s horrifying death, turning it into a pretext for substantiating the difference of views of Church life,” the statement says. “An attitude of this kind testifies to moral impairment of a certain part of society where murders of clerics - and not only Orthodox Christian ones - have become rife.” The Right Reverend Adelgeim was killed Monday night in the parish house of the Church of St Myrrh-Carrying Women in Pskov. A 27-year-old man, a resident of Moscow, was detained on the suspicions of murder somewhat later. When the police were arresting him, the man inflicted several wounds with knife upon himself. A present, the suspected killer is getting treatment at hospital. Father Pavel will be buried August 8 in Pskov. The funeral service will be held in the church where he had been father superior over the past several years, and he will be placed to rest a cemetery nearby.