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Abuse charges close Russian orphanage

MOSCOW, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- A Russian Orthodox archbishop has fired a mother superior and other clergy members over allegations of child abuse at an orphanage in the Vladimir Region.

Archbishop Yevlogy of Vladimir and Suzdal sacked the mother superior of the St. Bogolyubsky and announced that the convent's boarding school for orphans would be converted to a standard parochial school.

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RIA Novosti said Saturday Yevlogy made the moves after teenagers from the orphanage told the media they had been routinely beaten and deprived of food by the resident nuns. A regional government panel, however, could not produce evidence backing up the claims.

Yevlogy said he decided to act nevertheless in order to defuse the controversy.

"The complicated situation around St. Bogolyubsky Convent was widely discussed in the church and secular circles receiving absolutely different and sometimes contradicting assessments," the bishop said.

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