ENGLISH VERSION: "The reliquaries of the Saints Euphymios and Euphrosynia of Suzdal are kept in integrity in the Synodal Church of the Iveron Icon of the Mother of God". Statement of the Office of the Suzdal Diocese of ROAC
In view of the rumors presently circulating in the Internet according to which the hierarchy of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church (ROAC) has allegedly transferred the wooden reliquaries with the images of Saints Euphymios and Euphrosynia of Suzdal, the Office of the Suzdal Diocese of ROAC hereby states that the foregoing reliquaries are now being kept in integrity and good condition in the Synodal Church of the Iveron Icon of the Mother of God in Suzdal, this fact being verifiable by anyone who would come to this church. On August 30, 2013 the reliquaries were placed under arrest by Court Bailiff Anna Filippova who performed this act in gross violation of the law. In spite of this, ROAC ensures the observance of the respective court order and does not infringe on the seals placed on the reliquaries.
In the course of the court session held in the Suzdal District Court on October 23, 2013 (you can see the recording made at this court session on "Portal-Credo.Ru") the representative of the Territorial Administration of the Agency for Management of Russian State Property (Rosimushchestvo) stated that the court bailiff had correctly identified the subject of reclamation when placing the seals not on the relics of the Saints, the external features of which are not known, but on the reliquaries that have the images of the Saints on their exteriors. The subject of reclamation in the claim lodged by Rosimushchestvo against our Church, its Suzdal Diocese and its First Hierarch are the "cultural valuables of religious nature named as relics". In its statement of claim the claimant insists that these "valuables" are not bones or fragments of a human body that have any physical features and cannot thus be identified. Therefore, the court dismissed our petition for the theological expertise which could have established the nature of the "valuables", i.e. whether they are incorporeal items or relics of specific saints.
The deadline for an appeal against the judgment of the Suzdal Distrcit Court which is presently being drafted by the respondents is November 28. Prior to the examination of the case by the court of appeals, the date of which is unknown so far, and prior to the ruling of the court of appeals no confiscation of the foregoing "valuables" may take place under the law. However, we assume that in future the settlement of the dispute would be hindered by the approach of Rosimushchestvo which refuses to describe the "subject" of this dispute. It should also be noted that, regardless of the requests on the part of ROAC, not even one out of the five sessions held in respect of holy relics case in different courts, defined the procedure of the "voluntary" transfer of the holy relics which are greatly revered by us to the employees of a secular institution. This is especially important in view of the fact that such ruling of a civil court has no precedent in history: no congregation has ever transferred its holy relics to members of any non-clerical organization. The Soviet authorities had been confiscating the relics of various saints by way of employing brute force.
We keep on zealously praying to God and His Saints - Euphymios and Euphrosynia – for a peaceful resolution of this iniquitous and sacrilegious case to glory of the Lord so that the blasphemy and the vandalism of the 1920s would never repeat itself in the XXI century.
Office of the Suzdal Diocese of ROAC,
November 14, 2013