ENGLISH VERSION: Suzdal District Court dismissed ROAC’s petitions and ruled to confiscate “the items named as the relics of Saints Euphymios and Euphrosynia”
On October 23 Suzdal District Court completed the examination of the claim of the Territorial Administration of the Agency for Management of Russian State Property (Rosimushchestvo) of Vladimir Region for the confiscation of the relics of Saints Euphymios and Euphrosynia of Suzdal in favor of the state against the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church (ROAC), Suzdal Diocese of ROAC, parish of St. Tsar Constantine Cathedral and Joy of All Who Sorrow Church in Suzdal, and Metropolitan Theodore of Suzdal and Vladimir, First Hierarch of ROAC, "Portal-Credo.Ru" reported. First hearing of the case took place on October 1.
Аfter the session which lasted for more than 9 hours Judge Dmitry Fitkevich announced the resolutive part of the judgment. He compelled the respondents to transfer the "items named as relics" to the Territorial Administration of Rosimushchestvo and promised to draw up the complete text of the judgment by October 28.
The court did not consider the arguments of the defense according to which no external features of the disputed property items had been specified during the litigation with the exception of the fact of these items being named as relics by an unidentified group of individuals, ROAC and Metropolitan Theodore had never taken any possession of these items, and Rosimushchestvo as a secular institution could not have the "faith" in the holy relics to which it had referred when substantiating its claims.
The court did not grant the petitions of ROAC to summon Mr. Constantine Kharchev, former Chairman of the Council for Religions Affairs of the USSR Council of Ministers, who had taken the decision on the transfer of the relics of Saints Euphymios and Euphrosynia in 1988, to interrogate Mr. T. A. Mischuk (now Metropolitan Valentin of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Patriarchate of Moscow (ROC MP)), the only surviving individual from among those three to whom the "disputed property" had been transferred in 1988 for permanent keeping. Hegumen Arsenius (Smirnov), former ROAC clergyman and now a clergyman of the Vladimir Diocese of ROC MP, was one of the witnesses interrogated by the court. In general, he corroborated the arguments of the respondents.
More detailed information about the session on the "holy relics case" held by Suzdal District Court on October 23 will be published later.