26 February 2021, 17:41
Search underway on premises of Sredneuralsky Convent
Yekaterinburg, February 26, Interfax - Police and security services are working on the premises of the Sredneuralsky Convent, where former schema monk Sergy (Nikolay Romanov) used to live prior to his arrest, the ex-priest's lawyer Pavel Babikov told Interfax.
"In fact, a search is underway. Special services, the police, people in unmarked special protective clothes are working at the site. As monks say, they are looking for Father Siluan, a lay brother of Father Sergy. He was with him all the time," the lawyer said.
The ongoing developments at the convent are related to a criminal case opened against former schema monk Sergy, he said.
"A search is in progress in the monks' rooms. The priests' houses are being searched once again," another lawyer for the former priest, Svetlana Gerasimova, told Interfax. Gerasimova said that she "received updates on the developments at the convent all through the night," but was not present there herself.
The Yekaterinburg Diocese, in turn, declined to comment on the situation in an interview with Interfax. "We have just learned all details. That's why it is too early to say anything. We will look into this situation. As soon as we are ready to comment, we'll do so," Archpriest Maxim Minyailo, spokesman for the Yekaterinburg Diocese, told Interfax.
Sergy was defrocked in the summer of 2020 for violating his priestly oath, monastic vows, and several apostolic rules and church canons and excommunicated by the Church on September 10, 2020. He had repeatedly said that he would not leave the Sredneuralsky Convent, but was detained in late December 2020.
On December 29, 2020, Moscow's Basmanny District Court issued an arrest warrant for former schema hegumen Sergy. He was charged with several criminal offenses, such as inducement to suicide, violation of the right to freedom of conscience and religion, and arbitrariness. On February 25, Moscow's Basmanny District Court extended arrest of Sergy until May 28.