TOC-R Bishop Stripped of Title For Practicing “Witchcraft”

Updated (4/23 12 PM) to reflect commentary from Metr Daniel.

The Synod of the Russian TOC of Metropolitan Raphael (Motovilov) of Moscow has deposed Metropolitan Sergei (Moisenko), a retired Bishop of the TOC-R, after disturbing proof that he was in fact practicing “counseling” sessions in a neo-pagan healing center in Moscow.

The “Magic Power” center apparently inspired a reality show called “Battle of the Psychics” (Битва экстрасенсов) and the center’s practitioners claim to be “psychics of the highest caliber”. The front page discusses the high quality of their practitioners, while services include psychic readings, Tarot cards, healing sessions and massage.

He will be your psychic friend!
He will be your psychic friend!

And there on the front page in what can best be called the “class picture” section, in the midst of a hodgepodge of witches, warlocks, psychic friends and people who just like crystals… is “Father Sergei“.

According to Metropolitan Daniel, chair of external relations for the TOC-R, Metr Sergei has already been removed and stripped of the title, and withdrew from membership in the True Orthodox Church.

“Such activities are not compatible with the episcopal dignity,”  said Metropolitan Daniel in an earlier statement to NFTU, the tone indicating some disgust– adding that it was decided to remove the former Metropolitan at today’s meeting of the Holy Synod of the CPI in Moscow on April 22. The Bishop had more to say later in the day to us: “The truth in the assertion of Christ, “I am the truth” is to be treated as eternal, a Socratic principle. But “They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” (Holy Apostle Paul). Therefore, using such treatment– (instead of going to doctors)– as magic, witch doctors, occultists, quacks, astrologers, mediums, spiritualists, witches, wizards, sorcerers, “healers”, fortune-tellers, soothsayers, palm reading, theosophy, heterodox mysticism, Interfaith Theology and esotericism–  is considered to be a betrayal of God.

Orthodoxy condemns superstition – beliefs that are not based on knowledge, including knowledge of theology. The whole of Orthodox theology does not limit the love of wisdom and the desire for eternal truth, but rather encourages it.

I didn’t know what Sergei Moyseenko may be engaged: an art show. Art, but in a witchcraft center: it is “dead end” for the Orthodox … Well, it appears to be for the love of chasing after money, because it is no secret that these “centers” pay a lot of money. This activity is not compatible with the episcopal dignity. On the feast of the Triumph of Orthodoxy, we anathematize non-ecclesial and anti-Christian practices!”