the patriarch approved the deprivation of Alexei Uminsky’s rank

the patriarch approved the deprivation of Alexei Uminsky’s rank

Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, approved the decision of the Moscow diocesan court dated January 13, 2024 to excommunicate Archpriest Alexei Uminsky. This is reported by “Novaya Gazeta” with reference to the source.

The decision is connected with Uminsky’s anti-war position. On January 5, two days before Christmas, the Moscow Patriarchate banned the priest, who is also known as a publicist, from ministry and removed him from the rectorship of the Church of the Holy Trinity in Khokhly, where he had been rector for about 30 years. According to the mass media, the repression against the archpriest followed his anti-military attitude, as stated in an interview with the former editor-in-chief of the radio station “Echo of Moscow” Alexey Venediktov. Archpriest Andriy Tkachyov, known for his support of the invasion of Ukraine, was appointed instead of Uminsky as the abbot of the Trinity Church.

On January 13, the ecclesiastical court stripped Uminsky of his dignity. The decision was sent to the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, for his signature. A total of three meetings were held, Uminsky was not present at any of them. The decision was based on the fact that, according to the court, the priest committed perjury by refusing “to perform the Patriarch’s blessing to read the prayer for Holy Russia according to the Divine Liturgy.”

We are talking about a special prayer of Patriarch Kirill, which speaks of the “victory of Holy Russia”. Russia in the Russian Orthodox Church refers to the entire territory that is considered canonical, including Ukraine. In the text, Kirill asks God to protect the Orthodox from the enemy who “wants to divide them” and calls “for peace and unity” “in all the countries of Russia”. The prayer was said for the first time shortly after the announcement of mobilization in Russia. Many parishioners and priests perceive the prayer as supporting the Russian invasion. Before Uminsky, there were even several priests who were banned from the service or deprived of their rank because of the refusal to read the prayer.

Uminsky refused to comment on the decision of the church court, Meduza reported. “My principled position is not to make any comments,” the priest said.

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