Moscow, July 23, Interfax - Nuns are continuing to leave the Sredneuralsky Convent taken over by former Schema-Hegumen Sergy (Romanov), theologian Roman Silantyev said, citing his sources in the convent.
"There is information on several groups of nuns that have left the convent. There are a total of 14 of them now. Hundreds of laborers and pilgrims who lived in the convent permanently have followed their example. Unfortunately, some of the nuns who had to leave are in a serious psychological state," Silantyev told Interfax, and he believes that "father Sergy's escalating megalomania will cost him the best followers."
On June 3, the court of the Yekaterinburg Diocese found Father Sergy guilty of breaching his monastic vows and his priest's oath and defrocked him. Despite this, Romanov refused to leave the convent. He called on Patriarch Kirill to step down.
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 Sergiy's actions might have involved signs of an administrative offence.
Romanov was recently fined 18,000 rubles for inciting hatred. The former schema-hegumen was earlier filed 90,000 rubles for disseminating fake information on coronavirus.