Moscow, July 24, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia on Friday approved the decision adopted by the Yekaterinburg Diocese's court to defrock Schema Hegumen Sergy (Romanov), a former priest at the Sredneuralsky Covent, the patriarch's press service said.
On July 3, the court of the Yekaterinburg Diocese found Schema Hegumen Sergy (Romanov) guilty of breaking his monastic vows and defrocked him. Romanov, however, refused to leave the convent. He also called on Patriarch Kirill to resign.
According to the ruling of the diocese's court, Romanov blatantly breached the senior priest's order barring him from conducting religious services, delivering public sermons, wearing a pectoral cross, and leaving the premises of the John the Theologian Monastery without permission from the senior priest.
The court also concluded that Romanov's speeches contain lies and slander.
In addition, the court ruled the fact that Romanov stopped mentioning Patriarch Kirill and senior priest in his prayers is a violation of canonical norms.
As reported earlier, a public sermon in which Father Sergy dismissed the Covid-19 pandemic as a myth and called for disobedience to senior clergy and the authorities drew outcry on social networks and in the media. Father Sergy also cursed those who temporarily closed churches during the pandemic and warned of the creation of "Satan's electronic camp."
The anti-extremism center of the Interior Ministry department for the Sverdlovsk Region later concluded that Father Sergy's actions might have involved signs of an administrative offence. On July 20, Romanov was fined 18,000 rubles for inciting hatred. He was also fined 90,000 rubles on July 7 for disseminating fake information on coronavirus.