Court recommends excommunication of conservative Orthodox monk


Interfax-Religiia, 10 September 2020


The court of the Ekaterinburg diocese on Thursday adopted the decision to send a recommendation concerning expulsion from the church of schema monk Sergius Romanov, who has been stripped of his clerical status, Archpriest Nikolai Maleta, chairman of the court, told journalists.


"Today the decision was adopted to send a recommendation regarding expulsion from the church to the ruling bishop for confirmation" he said.


The priest noted that schema monk Sergius was given a chance to influence the situation.


"Today we assembled for now the third time for a trial for which there was no need, and there was the hope and the desire that schma monk Sergius would come and explain or change his attitude and repent of his actions. But what he said earlier and by his actions and words he aggravated his sad and dismal situation as a church man," the chairman of the court said.


In his turn, the head of the diocesan Department for Relations of the Church with Society and News Media, Archpriest Maksim Miniailo, noted that Romanov has the right to file an appeal. However, to do this he must appear personally at the session, the priest added.


The schema monk was summoned to the court on 7 September as a defendant for violation of the 28th rule of the holy apostles, since he continued to perform services while being stripped of his clerical status. Nevertheless Sergius did not appear in court and therefore a second session was scheduled on his case for 9 September. He again did not come to the court and the session was postponed to 10 September. On the day of the trial, Sergius reported that "the continuing incapacity and heartache provoked by the news of the desecration of the sacrament of the Eucharist by the sanitary instructions" did not permit him to be personally present at the session.


Earlier, a video recording of a speech by Father Sergius was circulated, where he called the pandemic of coronavirus a myth and urged insubordination to church leadership and to the authorities. Among other things, he cursed those who close churches during the pandemic and he warned about the creation of an "electronic camp of satan."


On 3 July the diocesan court found Father Sergius guilty of violating his monastic vows and clerical oath and stripped him of his clerical rank. He did not appear at two of the three sessions on this matter. On 24 July the patriarch confirmed the decision of the diocesan court regarding stripping Romanov of his clerical rank. (tr. by PDS, posted 10 September 2020)

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