11:5025/ 07/ 2008
ANADYR, July 25 (RIA Novosti) - The acting head of a Russian Orthodox Church diocese in Russia's Far East requested Friday that local police and prosecutors bring embezzlement charges against his predecessor.
Archbishop Mark of Khabarovsk and the Amur Region temporarily replaced Bishop Diomid in late June. Diomid, the former head of the diocese of the sparsely populated Chukotka Peninsula in Russia's extreme northeast, was defrocked for attempting to provoke a schism. He has filed a complaint with the church court.
"I have filed an appeal to the local police department and prosecutors to bring charges against Bishop Diomid," Archbishop Mark said.
He said undocumented revenues at just one church in Anadyr amounted to at least 8-10 million rubles ($342,000-$427,700) a year.
Diomid is currently staying on Cape Schmidt in north Chukotka, according to Archbishop Mark.
The top clergyman said he had told Oleg Safonov, Russian presidential envoy to the Far Eastern federal district, about his request. Safonov urged police "to check the information thoroughly."
Diomid last week claimed to have excommunicated Patriarch Alexy II and other top clergy for cooperation with the Bolshevik regime that shot dead the last Russian tsar and his family, and also for contact with other faiths. Russian Orthodox Church officials dismissed his statement as nonsense.
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