It was announced today that Abp Abundius of Lecco has voluntarily retired from the episcopate, leaving four active Bishops in the Milan Synod. The motives for his retirement are unclear. However, Abp Abundius was one of the primary defenders of rapproachment with the Moscow Patriarchate’s Moldovan exarchate. This retirement may be prompted by the negative position held some of the clergy of the Moscow Patriarchate’s exterior church branch, who held that Abp Abundius lived a scandalous life.
Abp Abundius, formerly known as Fr Dmitri (Bica) in the Romanian New Calendar Patriarchate, had become infamous for publicizing the claim that homosexuality was entrenched at the highest levels of the Patriarchate. While it had been previously claimed that the Romanians had disowned him completely, Avp Abundius claims a letter from 2007 he brought to Milan from the Diocese of Caransebes indicated that he was categorically not excommunicated by the Romanians.
Abp Abundius was received anew as a simple monk with the name Siluan and rapidly elevated over the past two years. In late 2010 he assumed the duties of secretary of the Synod.
The Milan Synod now has only two Bishops in Italy (one of whom is in charge of relations with other countries), one in Germany and one in Spain. The changes indicate that perhaps final absorption by the Moscow Patriarchate is imminent.