British court confirms Russian Orthodox Church’s right to London Cathedral

Moscow, June 15, Interfax – The UK High Court has confirmed the belonging of the London Cathedral to the Sourozh Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The “judgment confirms that the Church should continue to have the benefit and use of such assets, including the London Cathedral,” the Moscow Patriarchate website said on Monday.

“The judgment also recognizes that the Church is a thriving community, that it has in recent years enjoyed a substantial increase in membership,” the website said. “The cathedral will hold its usual daily services at which all the faithful are very welcome to attend.”

The Crown Prosecution Service issued a similar judgment in February.

The dispute began with the switch of acting head of the Sourozh diocese Bishop Vasily (Osborne) from the Moscow to Constantinople Patriarchate. The Holy Synod of the Constantinople Church accepted Bishop Vasily and appointed him a vicar.

In 2007 some clerics and flock members of the London Cathedral decided to leave the Sourozh diocese together with Bishop Vasily. They said that the Cathedral in the center of London belonged to them. The court dispute lasted for almost two years.

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