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Patriarch Kirill excommunicates defrocked Orthodox priest who seized convent outside of Yekaterinburg

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, has approved the decision to excommunicate former Schema-Hegumen Sergii Romanov.

The ecclesiastical court of the Yekaterinburg diocese ruled in favor of excommunicating Romanov on September 10. The ecclesiastical court held three hearings on the matter, but the defrocked priest didn’t show up to any of them.

Romanov was excommunicated for failing to comply with a ban ordering him not to conduct religious services and public sermons. The ecclesiastical court concluded that Romanov’s speeches contained “lies and slander” and qualified his refusal to commemorate Patriarch Kirill during his sermons “a violation of canonical norms.”

Sergii Romanov is a former Schema-Hegumen of the Russian Orthodox Church and one of the most well known priests in Russia’s Ural region. In May, he was banned from conducting religious services due to his radical views on the coronavirus epidemic. On June 16, he seized the Sredneuralsk Women’s Monastery with the help of Cossacks and overthrew the Mother Superior.

Since the beginning of October, Russia’s Investigative Committee has been investigating reports of child abuse at the Sredneuralsk Women’s Monastery. The suspects in the case have yet to be identified.