05 February 2021, 15:16
Yekaterinburg Diocese denies rumors about intention to 'storm' Sredneuralsky Convent
Yekaterinburg, February 5, Interfax - The Yekaterinburg Diocese has no intentions of taking over the Sredneuralsky Convent and does not understand the cause of the panic among the followers of former schema-hegumen Sergy Romanov, the diocese press service told Interfax on Thursday.
"The Yekaterinburg Diocese cannot have full knowledge of the causes of the panic among the followers of the former schema-hegumen as it did not give any reasons for them. The diocese has no intention of taking over anyone or the capabilities to do so," the press service said.
Hegumen Veniamin (Rainikov), a secretary of the Diocesan Council, said the diocese has not sought help from law enforcement structures regarding this matter.
"The Yekaterinburg Diocese has not asked the law enforcement structures to storm the convent. The source of the panic has no relation to the Yekaterinburg Diocese," the priest said.
The rumors about the plans of the diocese to "steal the antimensions" (quadrangular cloths used in liturgies), the press service said.
The diocese believes the antimensions really belong to the Yekaterinburg Diocese, although they "are now being held illegally by excommunicated" Romanov and other defrocked priests.
"We cannot steal the antimensions as they are ours. You'd better ask [those who are holding them] to photograph an antimension or even just say whose signature these antimensions bear. Then it will become clear that the antimensions have already been stolen," the priest said.
The antimension bears the signature of the bishop who sanctified it, which indicates that the ritual object belongs to the diocese, the press service said.
According to the press service, the Yekaterinburg Diocese registered the Sredneuralsky Convent as a separate legal entity in January 2021. Before that moment, the convent operated through a legal entity of the Yekaterinburg Diocese.
"The Sredneuralsky Convent was not registered with the justice bodies once as its residents feared the adoption of tax documents and preferred to minimize documentation," the diocese said.
Now, the status of the convent is being brought in compliance with the canonical and legal procedures, which "normally happens immediately after the Holy Synod issues a decree to open a new monastery," the press service said.
The press service also said the convent has been led "canonically, and now formally and legally" by Hegumeness Varvara Krygina since 2005.
On December 29, 2020, Moscow's Basmanny District Court issued an arrest warrant for former schema-hegumen Sergy, who had been detained in the Sredneuralsky Convent.
He has been charged with several criminal offenses, such as inducement to suicide, violation of the right to freedom of conscience and religion, and arbitrariness.
Sergy, who was earlier stripped of his religious orders for violating his priestly oath, monastic vows, and several apostolic rules and church canons, was excommunicated by the Church on September 10, 2020. He had repeatedly said that he would not leave Sredneuralsky Convent.