Rev. ALEKSANDER DĄBROWSKI, Russian Orthodox Church (Bryansk oblast, Russia)

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Rev. Aleksander Dąbrowski

Earlier: rector of St Nicholas Church in the village of Muzhinovo (Kletnyansky district, Bryansk oblast), cleric of the diocese of Klintsy and Trubchevsk of the Bryansk Metropolis of the Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate); at the moment: belongs to clergy of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

The priest comes from Odessa, and his whole family lives in Ukraine. He took the beginning of the Russian invasion of the country of his origin very painfully. Many of his relatives suffered as a result of the war. He delivered anti-war sermons and spoke out on social media and in private conversations against the war and its justifications. Many of these conversations were recorded by the parish head, Lyudmila Pustovit.

Initially, the secretary of the diocesan administration, Archpriest Vasily Volikov, called the priest to influence him. On 28 October 2022, Rev. Dombrovsky was summoned to the diocesan administration office, where Bishop Vladimir (Novikov) spoke to him, forced the priest to write an explanatory note and threatened to defrock him.

A few days later, Rev. Dąbrowski’s wooden church burned down in a power surge accident. This triggered his ban from the ministry and dismissal. In addition to accusations of ‘negligence’, the decree mentioned his anti-war position and statements against the Russian army and President Putin.

On 9 January 2023, Rev. Dąbrowski was summoned to the criminal department of the police of the village Kletnya. He was informed about the opening of an investigation n the Bryansk branch of the FSB following a report made by the parish head, Lyudmila Pustovit. On this occasion, the investigator took a written explanation and released the priest. Fearing further persecution, he left Russia.

Interview (In Russian): Priest Aleksander Dąbrowski: «The war was a knife for each of us!»

On 22 February 2023, Aleksander Dąbrowski wrote in his Facebook, that he had become aware that the Klintsy diocese of the Bryansk Metropolis of the Russian Orthodox Church (MP) had launched the process of defrocking him. As follows from the information posted by the priest on his personal Facebook page, he was accepted into the clergy of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.