2020-09-10 16:25:00

Yekaterinburg diocese court excommunicates schema-monk Sergy (updated)

Yekaterinburg, September 10, Interfax - The court of the Yekaterinburg Diocese on Thursday made the decision to issue a plea to excommunicate defrocked Schema-monk Sergy (Romanov), Archpriest Nikolay Maleta, chairman of the diocesan church court, said.

"A decision has been made today to send to the ruling archbishop for approval a plea for his excommunication," he said.

The priest also said Schema-monk Sergy had been given the chance to influence the situation.

"We met for a third time today. There was no such need before the trial. There was hope, and there was a wish for Schema-monk Sergy to come, to explain or change his attitude, repent for his actions. But what he said earlier, through his actions and words, he aggravated his sad situation as a church person," he said.

In the meantime, Archpriest Maxim Minyailo, chairman of the department on liaisons between the church, society, and the mass media of the Yekaterinburg Diocese, told reporters on Thursday that schema-monk Sergy (Romanov) has the right to appeal the decision on his excommunication with a higher court.

He said Sergy needs to attend the hearing in person.

On September 7, Schema-monk Sergy was summoned to the court for violating Canon 28 of the Apostolic Canons, which is punishable with excommunication. The schema-monk failed to appear in court on that day. The court postponed the hearing to September 9, but the schema-monk missed the hearing again. The hearing was postponed to September 10. On the day of the court hearing, Sergy said that "ongoing weakness and heart sickness caused by the news that a Eucharistic miracle was desecrated by sanitary instructions" did not allow him to personally attend the court hearing.

A video released by Schema-monk Sergy, in which he dismissed the Covid-19 pandemic as a myth and called for disobedience to senior clergy and the authorities, sparked public outcry. He also cursed those who closed churches during the pandemic and warned of the creation of "Satan's electronic camp."

On July 3, a diocesan court found Sergy guilty of breaching his monastic vows and his priest's oath and defrocked him. He did not attend two of the three court hearings to this end. On July 24, Patriarch Kirill approved the court's decision to defrock Sergy.