A year later, after unsuccessful attempts to find an acceptable means of self-government for the Russian parishes, on [[February 11]]/24, 1995, the Synod of ROCOR suspended five bishops of the FROC at one time. The result was a [[schism]] between the Synod of ROCOR and a large portion of the FROC.
In 1995, Abp. Lazarus, with Bishops Benjamin and Agafangel, came back to ROCOR, while three bishops, with Abp. Valentine at the head, remained in schism. In May 1995 the long-term secretary of the Synod of Bishops of ROCOR, the famous [[Church History|church historian]] and [[Canon law|canonist]], Bishop Gregory (Grabbe), visited Suzdal. He approved the decisions of the Russian bishops to withdraw from administrative subordination to the ROCOR synod just before he passed away. Some attributed this to his age, while others claimed this was due to his belief that they were following the "true" historical course of ROCOR.
In October 1998 the "Free Russian Orthodox Church" (FROC) headed by Valentine was re-registered under the name of the ''Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church'' (ROAC). Presently the [[episcopate]] of ROAC consists of twelve bishops with over 300 parishes worldwide. The head of the church was elevated to the rank of [[Metropolitan]] in March 2001.