A lawyer for a former archbishop convicted of sexually assaulting an altar boy in the 1980s said that he has fresh evidence that could have exonerated his client during his trial. Jeff Gindin, who represents Seraphim Storheim, filed a notice of motion asking that the new evidence be heard when the case appears before Manitoba’s Court of Appeal on Friday. In court documents, Gindin says that the evidence relates to the victim’s visit with Storheim and Storheim’s relationship with one of the defence witnesses, Connie Kucharczyk, who helped Storheim entertain the boy during his stay. Gindin wrote in a motion filed on 17 October, “The aforementioned evidence could reasonably, when taken with other evidence adduced at the trial, be expected to have affected the outcome of the trial. The evidence wasn’t available by all due diligence at the time of the trial”. Gindin declined to comment further about the new evidence. The Crown also declined an interview.
Earlier this year, Storheim was convicted of sexually assaulting a boy who’d come to visit him in Winnipeg in 1985. The man testified that during that visit Storheim would routinely walk around naked and would sometimes lie naked on the floor and touch himself. The man testified that another time Storheim touched him and inspected his groin as he sat naked on a bed. Storheim testified he talked to the boy about puberty and inspected his pyjama bottoms at the request of the boy, but denied anything inappropriate took place. The 68-year-old was sentenced to eight months in jail but has been free on bail pending his appeal hearing. Justice Christopher Mainella, who presided over Storheim’s trial, now sits on the Court of Appeal.
In his original appeal notice filed in July, Gindin said he was appealing on numerous grounds, writing the conviction “is contrary to law, evidence and the weight of the evidence”. Mainella should’ve given greater credibility to Storheim’s evidence and shouldn’t have dismissed Kucharczyk’s evidence “due to bias” that didn’t exist, the defence lawyer suggested. He also challenged the eight-month sentence handed to Storheim. Gindin had argued for no jail time, because Storheim’s reputation had been ruined and he didn’t have a criminal record. Gindin wrote, “The sentence imposed was harsh and excessive having regard to the age, background and circumstances of the offence”. Storheim was a priest in the Orthodox Church in America, but he later rose to archbishop… the church’s highest-ranking cleric in Canada. He was placed on leave when he was arrested in 2010 and retired following his conviction.
30 October 2014
The Canadian Press
We must start with organising the house from within. That’s our responsibility. The most important thing is that the Church, as an institution, serves the community.
Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa
Coptic Orthodox Church
Our Russian Orthodox Church should focus on the “one thing needful”… putting our house into order before we even say anything to anyone else. Our most crying need is to unite our fractious body. The OCA, ROCOR, and MP/USA and Canada are one sociological whole. Why do we tolerate such disunity? The Cold War is over. We should put all minor issues to the side. Better heads than mine have told me that the Calendar issue is something best left to the healing hand of time. However, there’s one thing that many Great Russians haven’t faced… their unconscious assumption that their ways are the only ones in the Church. I wrote a friend:
It’s time for Russian Orthodox people here in the diaspora to start seriously talking unity… it’s the only way that we’ll keep the feral in check. I’ll be blunt… I think that there’d be a “Rump OCA” after such a union… but the healthy parts would “come home”. It’s TIME… it’s time to overlook minor disagreements… we NEED to be together… that’s the lesson of the Ukrainian Civil War… the Ukie nutters have unity, ergo their voice is heard. We’re shunted to the side… it’s our own fault!
You’re aware that Great Russian chauvinism is behind our disunity? They disdain Carpatho-Russians, Byelorussians, and Russophile Ukrainians and THAT has been the cause of our disunity. “We’re ‘HIGH Russians’ and You People are ‘Low Russians’. You will do as WE say”. UGH. Can you fight THAT?
I shot back:
Veliki Rus is the core of Holy Rus, but it isn’t the only part… Great Russia is the largest partner at table, but not the only one. God willing, “High Russians” like me can help move things right…
My interlocutor wished me well, and admired my lack of chauvinism. However, we all need to look at our attitudes. Are we furthering “organising the house from within?” If not, the Church can’t serve the community; it lacks any real purpose. It then becomes a pseudo-temple… an abomination. We shouldn’t be talking about ecumenical contacts and missionary work when we can’t even set our own rooms to rights. We have work to do…
Can these dry bones live? It IS up to us!
Yes… I know all about Lazar’s chequered history… we’ve all got a skeleton or two in our closets, don’t we? So far, he’s kept his word to the OCA SOBs (Synod Of Bishops or Sons Of Bitches… you pays your money and takes your choice). He’s nailed this one, though… it puts the harpoon to the clueless jabronies trying to ally the Church with the GOP (What concord hath Christ with Belial). Take a swig from the jug, Lazar, you did good.
Secularism grows as more American Christians turn “‘churchless”
A large part of the reason is that too many Churches have a political agenda that so far outweighs any Gospel agenda, that the Christ can hardly be seen in them and Jesus is only a name that they use to underwrite hate, malice, and ultra-rigtwingism. The fact that so many of these “churchless believers” still consider themselves to be Christian is telling. They have a deep desire for a life of faith and spiritual meaning. If some of the Churches would return to the Gospel and place Jesus ahead of their political party, and salvation ahead of their political agenda, there’s little doubt that many of the younger generation would be more open to “organised religion”. So long as hate and malice and the Republican Party outweigh Jesus Christ and the Gospel, one can’t blame the younger generation for baling out of Churches. However, if we want to bury our heads in the sand of our vain ideologies, then we’ll never be able to speak to the younger generation… which is so war-weary of our bigotry and hypocrisy… and the lies told by so many Christian leaders. Meanwhile, if you dance with Caesar, Caesar always leads. We need to stop the dancing and return to preaching the Gospel.
no URL available… sent to me as cut n’ paste
Update 15.16 EDT 26 October 2014:
Got this from the Cabinet:
It was posted on his Facebook page “22 hours ago”
I got this from a Well-Placed Source:
Since his retirement and departure from Chicago, Matthias Moriak, the former bishop, has made number of appearances in the Midwest Diocese. In early summer, he presided at a Divine Liturgy in a Chicago Deanery parish, also being present for the wedding of a St Tikhon Seminary graduate. He spent time helping his good friend Fr Andrew Bartek to pack up from one deanery parish and move to another. Most recently, Fr John Adamcio, the Holy Trinity Cathedral dean, announced that Bishop Matthias would be present for the services commemorating the 20th anniversary of the canonisation of St Ioann Kochurov (who served in Chicago). Bartek, also announced in his parish bulletin that Bishop Matthias will preside at Vigil on 1 November at Christ the Saviour parish in Chicago. Matthias will serve Divine Liturgy at Holy Trinity Cathedral the next day and will bless “Sanctuary icons”. Very likely, he will be the guest of honour the banquet that‘ll follow.
On Tuesday, 7 October, a Special Nominating Assembly preceded the Midwest Diocese’s regular assembly. Gassios received 88 of 102 votes cast for nomination to bishop, but there were eight votes for Matthias. There’s little question that these votes were cast by Matthias’ hardcore supporters not yet willing to accept his retirement from the Diocese. Lest we forget, this retirement came about after revelations that Matthias had texted and entertained an impressionable young woman in the Diocese who afterwards made an official complaint about him. Even though retired under less than honourable conditions, Matthias seems to be pleased to respond to invitations to clergy who showed loyalty to him, to attend and preside at a variety of celebrations… to act, as it were, as a “shadow bishop”. Matthias may be pleased by this loyalty and attention, but it seems to others that his visits are imprudent… that he should spend more time adjusting to a prayerful and contemplative life. He should stay closer to home and give his newly elected successor an opportunity to take his place in the Diocese without having to wonder when and where his disgraced predecessor will next turn up.
Shouldn’t Paul Gassios impose order in his diocese? He doesn’t need backdoor attacks on his authority (for that is what it is)! He has to put the konvertsy brats in order, and right quickly. Moriak is acting like Fatso… both are swanning about, getting attaboys from their admirers. It’s time to make both of them act like the monks that they pretend to be. I’d send both of them to the Mountain… right smartly. That’d not only learn them… it’d learn their claques, too. The Church is NOT “Evangelicalism with a Liturgical Itch”… thank God!
It’s not boring covering Orthodoxy in the USA… no, siree…