On April 19, the Easter day, between 12:18 p.m. and 12:30 p.m., Skripkin, in breach of the coronavirus-related ban on public gatherings, exhorted citizens "for participation in a mass simultaneous gathering and movement at a public place," the joint press service for the city courts said. The priest and other at least 15 participants moved down from number 2 in Dumskaya Street towards number 35 in Nevsky Avenue, thereby violating public order, the court said.
Skripkin was charged with "organizing a mass simultaneous gathering and/or movement of citizens at a public place, resulting in a public order violation," an administrative offense.
The priest denied organizing a public gathering but admitted urging citizens to hold the holy procession to celebrate the Russian Easter and taking part in the procession at the time and place stated in the court papers, all the while complying with the sanitary rules, the press service said.
The court fined him 10,000 rubles.
According to the media, Archpriest Skripkin was temporarily banned from religious service by the Tikhvin Diocese in 2017. He thinks his excommunication was related to a request for senior clergy of the diocese to explain remarks made by Patriarch Kirill.