“In an orders list released Monday morning, the Supreme Court denied without comment an appeal in the case of Faith Bible Chapel International v. Tucker, and the linked case of Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia v. Belya.”
“Religious freedom is not a license to harm others or prevent people from seeking justice in courts of law,” said President and CEO Rachel Laser in the emailed press release. “These cases are far from over, but Gregg Tucker and Father Alexander Belya now have a chance to vindicate their rights.”
This case, three years old, must be costing the ROCOR Synod a lot of money. The US Supreme Court is very expensive. Worse still, it is only the first of the many cases that accumulated during the dark period of the late Metropolitan Hilarion’s illness, when all kinds of strange documents were signed with his electronic signature.
Fr Alexander Belya must now file his defamation claim in the lower court. The process will involve both sides submitting their evidence / witness statements. This could be very embarrassing for ROCOR. It will take several months (maybe a year?) to get a judgment.