Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

6 February 2019. THIS is How Cold It Was on Lake Michigan

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THIS was Lake Michigan in Chicago IL during the recent Polar Vortex cold snap. It was -45 degrees (-48 Fahrenheit) still air, NOT wind chill. I’d be wearing my snuggies, to be sure. The guys would need a fur jockstrap and a full set of longjohns on top of that! I’ve been in Chicago in the winter, it’s brutal as all hell, but this year it was extra special, as the above photo indicates.

BRRR!!

BMD

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Predator Bishop is Back On the Job; Victims Object

policeman

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Statement from Cappy Larson, Orthodox Christian Director of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

For more information:

“Predator” bishop still on the job

  • Deemed guilty by colleagues, he’s now in a parish
  • His superiors claim “we haven’t put him to work there”
  • But controversial cleric is listed on PA church’s website
  • SNAP sends harsh message to hierarchs now meeting in Atlanta
  • “Block this dangerous, deceptive and callous move,” group pleads

A Chicago bishop found guilty of sexual misconduct and forced him to retire by his colleagues is now in charge of a western Pennsylvania parish and a support group for victims wants him ousted.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-ousted-orthodox-bishop-parish-priest-met-20150716-story.html

http://www.midwestdiocese.org/files/ARCHPASTORAL%20LETTERS/2013.04.14-Pastoral-Letter-to-Diocese-of-Midwest.pdf

http://www.midwestdiocese.org/files/ARCHPASTORAL%20LETTERS/2012.11.03-Letter-of-Holy-Synod-to-Diocese-of-the-Midwest.pdf

Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, are writing to bishops of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) about Bishop Matthias Moriak who once headed the Chicago diocese. Moriak was retired by the synod of bishops in April 2013, after he was found to have engaged in sexual misconduct. SNAP wants church officials to oust the bishop from active ministry. Moriak recently began working in a parish in Hermitage PA. The OCA’s chancellor says that another bishop asked Moriak to take the position, but that this assignment had not been approved. He went on to say that the OCA synod would be meeting to consider the terms of Moriak’s retirement.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-ousted-orthodox-bishop-parish-priest-met-20150716-story.html

Members of SNAP have written to the synod pleading with them to put the kibosh on this assignment. All of the bishops are in Atlanta from 20-24 July, at the Hilton Atlanta Hotel, for their national council. The complete text of the letter, sent earlier today by email, can be found below. The parish in western Pennsylvania belongs to the Romanian Episcopate of the OCA. That diocese is led by Archbishop Nathaniel Popp of Michigan (nathaniel@roea.org). Popp is the longest serving hierarch on the OCA synod.

Cappy Larson, the Orthodox Christian Director of SNAP, said, “Even when a clergyman engages in sexual misconduct with an adult, the resulting damage can be serious. In the 16 years I’ve been working with victims, two who were abused as adults were in such pain that they chose to end their own lives”. David Clohessy, the Executive Director of SNAP, added, “While it’s true that the young woman who complained about Bishop Matthias rebuffed him and then reported him, another victim might not be so clearheaded”. Larson concluded, “The OCA synod should have zero tolerance for sexual misconduct, Bishop Matthias doesn’t belong in active ministry”. The OCA had at one time considered returning Moriak to his former position, and SNAP had objected at the time. The victims’ group had assumed the synod had seriously considered the ramifications of such a move when several months later they instead asked for the Chicago bishop’s retirement.

http://www.midwestdiocese.org/files/ARCHPASTORAL%20LETTERS/2012.11.03-Letter-of-Holy-Synod-to-Diocese-of-the-Midwest.pdf

http://www.snapnetwork.org/il_offending_bishop_may_be_returned_to_ministry

http://www.midwestdiocese.org/files/ARCHPASTORAL%20LETTERS/2013.04.14-Pastoral-Letter-to-Diocese-of-Midwest.pdf

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Metropolitan Tikhon Mollard

Orthodox Church in America

PO Box 675

Syosset NY 11791

Email: metropolitan@oca.org

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Archbishop Nathaniel Popp

PO Box 309

Grass Lake MI 49240-0309

Email: nathaniel@roea.org

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Archbishop Nikon Liolin

PO Box 149

Southbridge MA 01550

Email: bpnikon@aol.com

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Archbishop Benjamin Peterson

1520 Green St

San Francisco CA 94123

Email: vikenty@msn.com

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Archbishop Alejo Pacheco-Vera

Av Rio Consulado E Iruapato #53

Col Penon De Los Banos

Mexico DF 15520

Email: obispoalejo@yahoo.com.mx

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Archbishop Melchisedek Pleska

PO Box 1769

Cranberry Township PA 16066-1769

Email: melchisedek999@yahoo.com

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Bishop Mark Maymon

144 St Tikhon’s Road

Waymart PA 18472

Email: vladyka.mark@gmail.com

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Bishop Irénée Rochon

15 LeBreton St. N.

Ottawa ON K1R 7H1

CANADA

Email: bishopirenee@archdiocese.ca

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Bishop Michael Dahulich

33 Hewitt Ave

Bronxville, NY 10708

Email: bishopmichael@nynjoca.org

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Bishop Alexander Golitzin

519 Brynhaven Dr.

Oregon OH 43616

Email: alexander@bdoca.org

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Bishop David Mahaffey

7031 Howard Ave

Anchorage AK 99504-1899

Email: otyetz@hotmail.com

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Bishop Paul Gassios

933 N. La Salle Dr.

Chicago IL 60610-3204

Email: bishoppaul@domoca.org

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Re: Reassigning Bishop Matthias Moriak to Active Ministry

Dear Sirs:

We are members of a victims’ group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. We are writing to you today because we are concerned over the assignment of Bishop Matthias Moriak to the Romanian parish in Hermitage PA. According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, Bishop Nathaniel Popp made this assignment unilaterally, and it has not been approved by the synod as a whole.  The piece goes on to say that you are meeting to consider the terms of Bishop Matthias’ retirement

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-ousted-orthodox-bishop-parish-priest-met-20150716-story.html

The OCA has made great strides in addressing the issue of clergy sexual misconduct, and we beg you, don’t approve this dangerous, deceptive, and callous move. While it’s true that the young woman who complained about Bishop Matthias rebuffed him and then reported him, another victim might not be so clearheaded. The consequences of the sexual abuse of an adult by a trusted clergyman can be absolutely devastating, even deadly. Please, continue your denomination’s progress. Let the OCA have zero tolerance for clergy sexual misconduct. Bishop Matthias does not belong in active ministry.

Sincerely,

Cappy Larson

Orthodox Christian Director of SNAP (cappy@rlarson.com, 415-637-2006)

David Clohessy

Executive Director of SNAP (davidgclohessy@gmail.com, 314-566-9790)

21 July 2015

http://www.snapnetwork.org/pa_predator_bishop_is_back_on_the_job_victims_object

Saturday, 18 July 2015

18 July 2015. Seems to be a Busy Day for OCA Retired Bishops!

01 woman on phone

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A friend wrote me, “Seems to be a busy day for OCA retired bishops!” and sent me this (another friend sent me the same thing… thanks to both of youse… this site wouldn’t be half of what it is without both of y’all):

Ousted Orthodox Bishop Serving in Pennsylvania Parish: Bishop Ousted Amidst Sexual Misconduct Allegations Returns to Ministry

The former Chicago bishop of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), asked to retire amidst allegations of sexual misconduct two years ago, is now serving as a parish priest in eastern Pennsylvania without permission from the national church. A church official said that Bishop Matthias, born David Lawrence Moriak, serves at the parish in Hermitage PA at the request of another bishop. He stepped down from his post as head of the Midwest diocese in April 2013 after the church deemed sexual misconduct what he described as “unwelcome written and spoken comments to a woman that she regarded as an inappropriate crossing of personal boundaries”. At the time of his ouster, Matthias said, “I do repent of using poor judgement, of using inappropriate words that I thought were being received as humorous. It was never my intention to cause a complaint of any harm or discomfort. In fact, I was quite concerned for her health and well-being. I’m sorry that my kindness and generosity to this person was viewed with suspicion and ulterior motives”.

At the time, Metropolitan Tikhon, leader of the OCA, said Matthias wouldn’t return to his leadership post in Chicago. Whether he’d allow Moriak in a ministry role during his retirement was unclear. In a statement at the time, Metropolitan Tikhon said, “The healing of the diocese and of the complainant as well as Bishop Matthias’ own healing wouldn’t be possible should he be returned to the diocese as a ruling hierarch. The Holy Synod offered him some time to reflect upon this action and to plan for his transition”. However, victims’ advocates say allowing the bishop to return to any form of active ministry violates the church’s zero-tolerance policy. Melanie Sakoda, a member of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said, “They’ve done a good job as an Orthodox Church in trying to get a handle on it. It’s not perfect, but they’ve done a good job of trying to change their ways”.

The Rev John Jillions, OCA Chancellor, said the national church’s leaders are reviewing the conditions of Bishop Matthias’ retirement, saying, “The fact is that no such assignment has been made. Bishop Matthias continues to hold the office of a retired bishop in the OCA. Another bishop did ask Bishop Matthias if he’d be interested in the pastoral position in Hermitage. However, the matter hasn’t been fully discussed or approved by the Holy Synod of Bishops, nor has Bishop Matthias been released to assume any church positions”. Bishop Matthias didn’t return calls for comments. The OCA, one of several branches of Orthodox Christianity in the USA, claims about 100,000 adult members nationwide and 5,000 in the Midwest.

17 July 2015

Chicago Tribune

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-ousted-orthodox-bishop-parish-priest-met-20150716-story.html

Friday, 3 July 2015

Defend Your Flock! Please.

00 40 Martyrs of Sebaste. 22.03.15

The Real Deal Church doesn’t make a spectacle of itself like Reardon did… it stands tall, but it stands in wisdom and prudence, not in folly and fancy, as Reardon did.

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It’s time for the Church to slap down disobedient shits like Reardon. If the Church as”Church” doesn’t mind signing marriage licences, then, this narcissistic bastard has to be disciplined and run out of the priesthood. He lacks a proper Orthodox clerical formation anyway, and jumped to the Antiochians when the OCA (rightly) refused to ordain him. We don’t need such hate and distortion (if not downright heresy) amongst us. I think it’s time to offer the konvertsy a choice… “Be part of the Real Church, or be gone”. That’s my POV, any road…

BMD

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The Orthodox Church in America (OCA) has issued a statement regarding the recent Supreme Court decision regarding same-sex marriage. I appreciate the following from His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon:

The ruling does not change the teaching of the Church, but it does remind us of the need to be Christ-like in our dealings with everyone. The state has the responsibility to enact laws that protect the rights of each individual. The Church, while it does not bless “same-sex marriages” or view them as sacramental, does see the image of Christ in every individual, and his or her worth in the eyes of the Lord Who died upon the Cross for our salvation.

It concerns me deeply that this has warranted a statement from the OCA, but that neither the OCA nor the GOA could call the violence in Charleston what it was: racism.  Orthodox seem to struggle to speak directly and clearly against the specific factors which create violence.  This statement is a case in point.

An email was recently sent to a number of LGBTQ Orthodox, threatening to “out” gay and lesbian Orthodox, regardless of whether they are in an intimate and sexually active relationship. These “Protectors of Holy Orthodoxy” also threatened to seek out groups that support Orthodox Christians who experience same-sex attraction. This email was apparently read by an Orthodox teenager, who responded, “the thought of being outed to every Orthodox Christian in the world makes me want to die.” Parents of Orthodox LGBTQ teens are afraid for the lives of their children.  I am the parent of an LGBTQ just-out-of-the-teens individual who struggled with thoughts of suicide.  One of these parents wants this to be heard:

The fact is, when an online mob gets going like this: vulnerable people commit suicide, and even when they don’t, it’s an unbelievably traumatic experience. Sadly, today, Orthodox Christians on social media need to be told this and I can’t do it alone. Everyone, for the sake of the woman taken in adultery and Our Lord who forgave her, please put a stop to any online mobs seeking out LGBTQ Orthodox groups.

In light of this, I would like to ask the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America to issue a statement. It is not enough to reiterate, as has been done on multiple Facebook threads, the 2013 Assembly Statement on Marriage and Sexuality. Orthodox clergy must speak out in defense of their flock, all their flock, condemning such harassment.I would like them to consider something along the following, which does not in any way question the Orthodox position on same-sex marriage, but may allow LGBTQ persons to feel safe(r) with Orthodoxy:

  1. It is the long-standing position of the Orthodox Church that the intimate relationships of her people are discussed only with a confessor or spiritual father/mother.
  2. The decision to commune a person is entirely between the confessor and confessee and their bishop.
  3. It is not appropriate to speak about or reveal a person’s intimate relationships in any public or private forum without the explicit permission of the person.
  4. All attempts to publicly or privately condemn, reveal, or shame persons who struggle with any sin are considered gossip and a sin against both the individual and the community.
  5. We condemn in no uncertain terms any and all forms of slander, hate communication, or attempts “purify” the church based on shaming or condemning others for their sins.
  6. As clergy, we view such communications as an attack on a beloved member of our flock and will ask privately, and publicly if necessary, that such communications immediately cease.
  7. As clergy, we will not participate in any attempts to seek out persons who sin in a particular way, we will not question the judgment of another clergy member and confessor, and we will not respond to gossip or threats.
  8. As clergy, we will love all those who join us, we will treat all with respect, and we will seek to protect all members of our flock.
  9. If controversial issues are to be discussed, it will be done with the same respect and love our Lord Jesus used when debating the rich young ruler or the pharisees with whom he shared meals.

If you make this statement, it is likely that you will be persecuted by members of the church. But you will be persecuted because you have chosen to love and care for your people.

29 June 2015

Maria Gwyn McDowell

Women in Theology

WIT

Rachel weeping for her children (Jeremiah 31:15) Rachel weeping for her children (Jeremiah 31:15)

The Orthodox Church in America (OCA) has issued a statement regarding the recent Supreme Court decision regarding same-sex marriage. I appreciate the following from His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon:

The ruling does not change the teaching of the Church, but it does remind us of the need to be Christ-like in our dealings with everyone. The state has the responsibility to enact laws that protect the rights of each individual. The Church, while it does not bless “same-sex marriages” or view them as sacramental, does see the image of Christ in every individual, and his or her worth in the eyes of the Lord Who died upon the Cross for our salvation.

It concerns me deeply that this has warranted a statement from the OCA, but that neither the OCA nor the GOA could call the violence in Charleston what it was: racism.  Orthodox seem…

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