ENGLISH VERSION: Holy relics of the Saints Euphymios and Euphrosynia of Suzdal taken away by court bailiffs from ROAC Synodal Church of the Iveron Icon of the Mother of God in Suzdal
On March 25 a group of court bailiffs and police officers carried out the enforcement procedures aimed at the confiscation of the reliquaries of the holy relics of the Saints Euphymios and Euphrosynia of Suzdal from the religious organizations of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church (ROAC) and Metropolitan Theodore of Suzdal and Vladimir, First Hierarch of ROAC.
As reported by Portal-Credo.Ru corresponent, at about 2 p.m. a group of officers of the Central Office of the Federal Court Bailiff Service of the Russian Federation headed by bailiffs A.A. Panchenko and A.A. Smirniov and accompanied by armed and equipped officers of the law enforcement agencies came to the Church of the Iveron Icon of the Mother of God in the northern wing of the ROAC Synodal Building which is located in the central part of Suzdal.
With the participation of Sergei Mochenov, official representative of ROAC, the act on the enforcement of the court decision to confiscate the "items of religious nature having the cultural value named as the relics (bones) of Saint Euphymios of Suzdal and the relics (bones) of Saint Euphrosynia of Suzdal" was drawn up. The foregoing court decision had become effective in February 2014 but the enforcement order was received by the court bailiffs in January 2015. In mid-February the Court Bailiff General of the Russian Federation ordered the court bailiffs of Vladimir and Vladimir Region to transfer their authority to perform the enforcement proceedings to the employees of the Central Office of the Federal Court Bailiff Service. In accordance with the court decision, the "items" were to be confiscated in favor of the Territorial Administration of the Agency for Management of Russian State Property (Rosimushchestvo) of Vladimir Region.
As more than once stated by the First Hierarch of ROAC, the faithful of this Church regard the confiscation of the sacred objects of Orthodoxy in favor of Rosimushchestvo, i.e. a non-religious institution, as a canonically inadmissible act of sacrilege. Moreover, Metropolitan Theodore informed the police and the public prosecutor’s office that he had been urged by the court bailiffs to commit a criminal offense, i.e. desecration of burial place, which, in his opinion, would be inevitable in case of such confiscation.
Clergymen, cloisterers and parishioners of ROAC attempted to prevent the confiscation of the sacred things of their Church: Metropolitan Theodore threw himself down on the ground in order to hinder the removal of the reliquaries from the temple. However, the court bailiffs who were holding the reliquaries stepped over him. The reliquaries owned, according to the relevant documents, by ROAC as a legal entity were taken to the Convent of the Deposition of the Robe of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) of the Moscow Patriarchate in Suzdal. A representative of ROC invited Metropolitan Theodore to attend the opening of the reliquaries but the latter declined the invitation referring to the fact that the state, but not a religious organization, acted as the plaintiff in this particular court case.
In an interview to the correspondent of Portal-Credo.Ru Metropolitan Theodore noted that this was not the end of the "holy relics case" and stated his intent to comply with the will of Metropolitan Valentin, the late First Hierarch of ROAC, stipulating the refusal to transfer the holy relics on voluntary basis (so far only the reliquaries were confiscated as the "subject of recovery" within the framework of this case). Besides, the faithful of ROAC are currently raising funds for the payment of the fines imposed on them by the court bailiffs, and Metropolitan Theodore has been warned of the liability for a failure to obey the court decision.
01 апреля 2015, 15:55 ENGLISH VERSION: Suzdal: ROAC Synodal Church re-consecrated; no relics in the reliquaries, reports State TV Company
31 марта 2015, 22:59 ENGLISH VERSION: Holy relics of the Saints Euphymios and Euphrosynia of Suzdal taken away by court bailiffs from ROAC Synodal Church of the Iveron Icon of the Mother of God in Suzdal