MOSCOW, October 1 - RAPSI. The Russian Orthodox Church believes that repentance may "help the souls" of the Pussy Riot punk band members and hopes that the court will take due account of this.
The Moscow City Court will consider Pussy Riot's appeal in their presence on October 1.
"We repeat again that acts which cause hurt to believers' feelings deserve condemnation and cannot be left unpunished, whatever the attempts to justify them. This is how most people in this country feel," reads the statement by the Synodal Information Department head Vladimir Legoida.
"And since the aim of the punishment is to correct their ways, then if some of the convicts' words show repentance and reevaluation of their acts, this should not be overlooked and the convicts should be able to follow the way to reform," he went on to say.
On February 21, 2012, five young women wearing brightly colored balaclavas stood at the altar of Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral and performed a protest song entitled, "Holy Sh*t." Shortly thereafter, an edited video of the performance that was uploaded to the Internet incited a public outcry.
Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich were convicted of disorderly conduct and sentenced on August 17 to two years in prison.
After the sentence to Pussy Riot was handed down, the church issued a statement requesting the authorities to be merciful, in the hope that the convicts would not "repeat their blasphemous acts".