Athens, November 30, Interfax - Vikenty Chekalin who stood at the origins of the current Church schism in Ukraine was sentenced for four years and three months in prison in Australia.
Southport District Court in Queensland sentenced 67-year-old Vincent Berg (alias Vikenty Chekalin) for repeated fraud and forgery, according to the Romfea Greek church news agency.
Chekalin, who moved from Russia in the early 1990s, presented to the Australian authorities a fake doctor's diploma, which allowed him to get a job as a psychiatrist.
In 1990, Chekalin ordained "bishops" of the self-proclaimed Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, being deprived of dignity in the canonical Ukrainian Church for immoral acts. Before that, in 1987, he was sentenced to three years in prison for molesting minors, but in 1988 he was released early.
In 1991, the Greek Catholic Metropolitan of Lvov Vladimir Sternyuk took Chekalin to the jurisdiction of the UGCC and appointed him to the post of head of the so-called "Russian Orthodox Catholic Church". Soon after that, Chekalin emigrated to Australia where he changed his name and became a pastor of one of the Protestant churches.