25 November 2013, 10:09
Priest Grozovsky's trip to Israel officially stopped - diocese
St. Petersburg, November 25, Interfax - The business trip of priest Gleb Grozovsky, who is accused of child molestation, has been officially stopped, Alexander Asonov, press officer for the Gatchina Diocese, told Interfax.
"Father Gleb's business trip to Israel automatically stopped when he was suspended from service," Asonov said.
Asonov reiterated that the Gatchina Diocese encourages Grozovsky to return to Russia and cooperate with the investigators. "We don't support his delay in Israel," he said.
According to earlier reports, Grozovsky, the former senior priest of a church in the Leningrad Region, is accused of molesting two schoolgirls. A criminal case has been opened against him based on Part 4 of Article 132 of the Russian Criminal Code (molesting a child younger than 14).
According to information possessed by the investigators, Grozovsky, who is accused of molesting two schoolgirls, was suspended from service for the period of the investigation into his case on November 18.
"He cannot administer service during this period," the St. Petersburg Metropolia told Interfax-Religion on Tuesday.
An international search warrant has been issued for Grozovsky, who has been arrested in absentia by a Russian court.
In mid September, Grozovsky was sent on a business trip to Israel to help alcohol and drug abusers. His trip was later extended by six months (until mid March). He has recently said on a social networking site that he plans to return to Russia in the nearest future. He denies his guilt.
According to information possessed by the investigators, Grozovsky, 34, molested two girls, aged nine and 12, in a hotel located on the territory of a children's camp belonging to the Orthodox travelers club Philadelphia on Kos Island in Greece in June 2013.