Yekaterinburg, July 24, Interfax - Schema monk Sergy (Romanov), who was deprived of the schema-hegumen rank by the Yekaterinburg Diocese, has no intention of leaving the territory of the Sredneuralsky Convent, his associate Vsevolod Moguchev told Interfax.
"Father Sergy is the confessor of the Sredneuralsky Convent. He was one, and he will remain one. Nothing is changing here, and no changes are planned," Moguchev told Interfax.
The convent is living its own life, despite the situation with Father Sergy and the convent, he said.
In the meantime, the press service for the Yekaterinburg Diocese told Interfax that "schema monk Sergy is holding the convent without authorization," whereas the lawful head of the convent is Hegumeness Varvara (Krygina). The diocese said it has no doubts that the Sredneuralsky Convent will return "to the church." "The restoration of peaceful life in the convent is only possible with the return of Hegumeness Varvara, for which schema monk Sergy has to leave the convent [...] The Lord will definitely put everything in its place," the press service said.
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia earlier approved the decision adopted by the Yekaterinburg Diocese’s court to defrock schema hegumen Sergy (Romanov).
Father Sergy’s associate said father Sergy currently has no intention of commenting on the patriarch's decision. "Father Sergy and the convent now have more important things to do than commenting on some people's statements. He [Father Sergy] currently doesn't even find it necessary to be distracted," Moguchev 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, calling 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 contained lies and slander. Additionally, the court ruled that the fact that Romanov stopped mentioning Patriarch Kirill and the ruling archbishop in his prayers is a violation of canonical norms.
In a video released earlier, Father Sergy called the coronavirus pandemic a myth and called on people to disobey church and secular authorities. 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.