Russian priest banished to rural village after wife wins beauty pageant

Russian priest banished to rural village after wife wins beauty pageant

Oksana Zotova’s triumph at the “You’re Unique” pageant has ended badly for husband Father Sergii ( Instagram kosmetolog.magnitogorsk )

An Orthodox priest from the city of Magnitogorsk in central Russia has been banished to a village after it emerged that his wife had taken part in a flamboyant beauty pageant.

Following a disciplinary hearing, Father Sergii Zotov will now be forced to serve the tiny rural congregation of Fershampenuaz, about 35 miles north-east of his usual parish.

His wife, Oksana Zotova, a professional beautician, had won the “Miss Sensuality” prize in Magnitogorsk’s “You’re Unique” pageant. It was a triumph that may well have stayed local had it not been for a social media post that outed her as the wife of a priest.

The post, written by an anonymous internet user, claiming to be a cleric from the local diocese, attached some of the most scandalous pictures from the show and Mrs Zotova’s since deleted Instagram profile.

They show the professional beautician heavily made up, in stark red and pink lipstick, and with occasionally scanty clothing.

Church authorities reacted angrily to the revelations, and made it clear that Father Sergii wouldn’t be allowed back until his wife “repents.”

“It’s a major sin when the wife of a priest puts herself on show like this,” said Archpriest Feodor Saprykin, the chair of the local diocese court.

“What kind of a priest is he if can’t even manage his family?”

The anonymous social media post appeared to be a personal attack on Father Sergii from within the church structures, with the writer claiming to be shocked by the priest’s previous moral conduct.

“They were already under a warning … but life never teaches them,” the post read.

Speaking to local media Znak.com, Father Sergii suggested the man behind the post was motivated by less than honourable aims.

“We see everything, we understand that someone is after us,” he said. “Who it could be, I don’t know.”

But he said he accepted the punishment: “Oksana has made her conclusions, understood her mistakes, and understood that she did the wrong thing … What she won’t be doing is giving up her job.”

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