ENGLISH VERSION: The Synod of ROCiE-V Defrocks Three Bishops
On February 26, 2016, the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church in Exile under the presidency of Archbishop Vladimir (Tselishchev) of San Francisco and Western America (ROCiE-V) defrocked three bishops who had left the jurisdiction of this Synod: Philaret (Semovskih), Cassian (Mukhin), and Anastassy (Surzhik), Portal-Credo.Ru reports.
As such, ROCiE-V now has only one bishop in Russia: Bishop Victor of St. Petersburg and Northern Russia.
In October of 2015, Bishops Philaret (Semovskih) and Cassian (Mukhin) joined a new ecclesial administration (jurisdiction) that had been organized at a Council in the village of Amosovka (Kursk Region). This jurisdiction (ROCiE-Ph) elevated Philaret (Semovskih) to the rank of Metropolitan. In mid-February of 2016, Philaret retired and suspended Bishop Cassian, who had gone over to the Orthodox Catholic Church of France.
In October of 2015, Bishop Anastassy (Surzhik) joined ROCOR-A for a few days, but his flock did not support this action. Thereafter, he became fully independent of all existing jurisdictions.
The Synod of ROCiE-V found Bishop Philaret’s actions to violate Canon 18 of the Fourth Ecumenical Council and Canon 14 of the First-and-Second Council of Constantinople.
While considering the matter of Bishop Anatassy, the Synod recalled the anathema that this bishop had issued to the Synod in 2014, which resulted in him not being admitted to the meeting of the ROCiE-V Synod of Bishops in 2015. The Synod, making note of Bishop Anastassy’s allegiance to heretical (Cyprianite) views, defrocked him on the basis of the same canons that applied to Bishop Philaret.