His gentle obstinacy led to his being “expelled from the priesthood”. Alexei Uminsky, 63, rector of the Church of the Holy Life-Giving Trinity in the center of Moscow, had for weeks refused to read the prayer for the victory of Holy Russia demanded by Patriarch Kyrill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church.
On Saturday January 13, the priest, well respected in the Orthodox world, did not appear at the third summons of the ecclesiastical tribunal, opening the door to a judgment in his absence. Son of an engineer member of the Communist Party and a mother who taught French, Alexeï Uminskï described himself as “a perfect Soviet man” before crossing paths, at university, with comrades who had read samizdat (clandestine) literature. Among them, Solzhenitsyn, but also hippies attracted by Hinduism.
One night, he was lent a gospel, a reading forbidden at the time. At the age of 20, he received baptism. “It was the experience of believers’ relationship with God that represented the decisive step for me,” he testifies. Without ever making a political speech, Father Uminskï takes care of the homeless, and visits detainees, anonymous or famous, like the opponent Vladimir Kara-Mourza