EKATERINBURG, January 25. / TASS /. The supporters of the excommunicated former Schema-monk Sergius (Nikolai Romanov), who are holding the Sredneuralsky nunnery, did not choose a new confessor to replace Romanov after his arrest. Tatyana Merzlyakova, Ombudsman for Human Rights in the Sverdlovsk Region, told TASS about this.
Romanov was one of the founders and confessor of the Sredneuralsky nunnery, continuing to perform the sacraments, despite the successive prohibitions in the ministry, defrocking and excommunication, and his supporters, sent by the diocese, were not allowed inside the monastery. After the abbess Abbess Varvara (Krygina) left the monastery, the supporters of the former schema-monk announced that the Mother of God played her role in the monastery.
"They did not choose a special confessor [after the arrest of Sergius]. They have their people whom they trust. They have three influential mothers, they have divided spheres of influence. These are Vasilisa, Varvara and Tatiana. There are those responsible for security. They have their own leaders., [working with] parishioners. There is no single confessor. They believe that either Sergiy will appoint him or Sergiy will return to them, "Merzlyakova said.
Romanov was banned from ministry at the end of May 2020 after violating the ban on preaching. Later, the ecclesiastical court of the Yekaterinburg diocese defrocked him for violating the priestly oath. The diocese obliged Romanov to leave the convent, but he continued to perform divine services there, the metropolitanate calls the situation in the monastery a seizure. On September 10, the church court excommunicated Schema-monk Sergius from the church; on October 19, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church approved this decision.
The Basmanny Court of Moscow detained Romanov until February 28, 2021. He is charged with crimes under Art. 148 ("Violation of the right to freedom of conscience and religion"), 330 ("Arbitrariness") and 110.1 ("Inclination to suicide") of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. The defense side appealed against the court decision. The accused does not admit guilt.