Yekaterinburg, June 29, Interfax - The court of the Yekaterinburg Diocese on Friday scheduled the next hearing of the issue concerning the behavior of Schema-Hegumen Sergy (Romanov) for July 3, the diocese press service said.
"The next hearing in the diocesan church court of the case involving Schema-Hegumen Sergy (Romanov) is scheduled to be held in seven days, on July 3, 2020. Schema-Hegumen Sergy (Romanov) will be issued a summons," the report said.
The court also said it regrets "the manifestations of disobedience and absence of humility in the schema-hegumen" and called on him again to fulfil his monastic vows and his priest oath.
According to earlier reports, the schema-hegumen did not show up for the hearing. Vsevolod Moguchev, a supporter of Father Sergy, said the schema-hegumen would pray instead.
As reported, a public sermon in which priest Sergy (Romanov) dismisses the Covid-19 pandemic as a myth and calls for disobedience to the senior clergy and authorities earlier drew outcry on social networks and in the media. Father Sergy also cursed those who have temporarily closed churches during the pandemic and warned of the creation of "Satan's electronic camp."
Another video message from Father Sergy was published later, in which he calls for reopening churches and warns of the danger of microchipping people, which would allegedly prove to be fatal to most people.
The Yekaterinburg Diocese suspended the schema-hegumen from service and deprived him of the right to wear a pectoral cross. It also decided that the issue of the priest's conduct would be addressed by a diocesan court.
The first hearing was held on June 15. The schema-hegumen attended it, but, according to te diocese, he hastily left it after reading a text he had brought with him, which had no relation to the essence of the accusations. The next hearing was then scheduled for June 26. The schema-hegumen did not show up for it.
The counter-extremism center of the Russian Interior Ministry's branch for the Sverdlovsk Region accused the priest of an administrative offence in the form of "distributing knowingly false socially important information in the media and on information and telecommunications networks under the guise of authentic information." The priest may face a fine of 30,000 rubles to 100,000 rubles if found guilty.
A court in Verkhnyaya Pyshma will hear this case on July 7.