Voices from Russia

Friday, 9 October 2015

9 October 2015. Moriak Suing OCA… Does Fatso Have a Finger in This Imbroglio? It Has His Fingerprints All Over It…

01 the judge


Bishop Matthias Moriak, the former Chicago bishop of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), who had to retire amid allegations of sexual misconduct two years ago, sued church leaders for breaching his retirement contract. He filed the lawsuit against Metropolitan Tikhon Mollard, First Hierarch of the OCA, and Detroit Archbishop Nathaniel Popp, leader of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate, in Cook County Circuit Court last month. Both defendants received papers served during the national Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in Chicago. Bishop Matthias alleges that church leaders violated the terms of his retirement and a recent employment agreement when they terminated a parish assignment in response to complaints from the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests. The suit alleges, “This is a case about broken promises and the repeated failure to honour one’s legal obligations. The legal questions involved aren’t complex. Indeed, they require only a straightforward application of civil law”. OCA officials didn’t return requests for comment. Bishop Matthias’ assignment to a parish in Pennsylvania angered victims’ advocates, who said allowing the ousted bishop to return to any form of active ministry violated the church’s zero-tolerance policy.

Bishop Matthias, born David Lawrence Moriak, stepped down from his post as head of the Midwest diocese in April 2013 after the church determined that remarks to a female parishioner in Ohio qualified as sexual misconduct. Matthias said at the time of his ouster, “I do repent of using poor judgment, 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”. Terms of the retirement package included permission to serve in any parish, as long as he has the blessing of the local bishop. That agreement included the parish in Columbus OH, where his son serves as a priest. Although the Orthodox Church allows its priests to marry and have children, married priests cannot become part of the hierarchy. As a widower who didn’t remarry, Bishop Matthias could become a bishop. After his retirement, Bishop Matthias moved to West Virginia where he purchased a home and secured a retail job to make ends meet. According to the suit, Archbishop Nathaniel, the most senior OCA bishop and leader of the Romanian Episcopate, contacted him in November 2014 to fill temporarily a parish post in Hermitage PA. Because of the temporary nature of the job and the move required, Bishop Matthias initially declined the request. Archbishop Nathaniel returned six months later to offer a guaranteed one-year appointment approved by Metropolitan Tikhon and other bishops. Bishop Matthias quit his retail job, leased his house, and moved to Hermitage.

According to the suit, after victims’ advocates aired their concerns in the media in July, Metropolitan Tikhon told Bishop Matthias he could continue to serve with his blessing, but the parish had to remove any references to his position from its website. Bishop Matthias declined. In August, according to the suit, Metropolitan Tikhon proposed removing Bishop Matthias from the Pennsylvania parish and moving him to a monastery for three months with a 7,000 USD (430,000 Roubles. 44,500 Renminbi. 454,000 INR. 9,080 CAD. 9,620 AUD. 6,200 Euros. 4,560 UK Pounds) stipend. He also acknowledged in that email that Bishop Matthias had “acted in good faith in all of this”, and admitted that he and the bishops “failed in fulfilling” their “responsibility”. In the suit, Bishop Matthias seeks damages, including lost wages and expenses incurred from the move to Pennsylvania. The suit also claims Bishop Matthias suffered emotional distress. The suit said, “After losing his beloved wife, the church was his entire life. Now that, too, was being taken away from him”. The OCA, one of several branches of Orthodox Christianity in the USA claims about 100,000 adult members nationwide, with about 5,000 in the Midwest.

8 October 2015

Manya Brachear Pashman

Chicago Tribune


Thursday, 8 October 2015

Construction of a New Church will Begin in Debaltsevo in Spring 2016

00 russia bible 081015


Today, Aleksandr Afendikov, head of the Debaltsevo GMA*, told us that the St Gregory the Theologian Russian Charity Foundation will fund the construction in Debaltsevo of a church dedicated to the Icon of the Most Holy Birthgiver and Mother of God “of Tikhvin”, with work to begin in Spring 2016, saying:

We want to build another church, with a dual dedication to St George the all-Victorious and the Icon of the Most Holy Birthgiver and Mother of God “of Tikhvin”. The proposal originated in the first half of September; our Russian friends are giving us the material to help us build the church, and they promised to help us with the work involved. The building site is in the Eastern micro-raion of the city, we plan construction to begin next spring. The funds came from an appeal by Vladyki Mitrofan Nikitin of Gorlovka and Slavyansk; then, he asked me to help him with acquiring a site for the church. The Donetskproektor State Design Institute is doing the design work on the project.

Patriot forces liberated Debaltsevo from fascist occupation on 18 February 2015. During their retreat, junta militants deliberately sabotaged transport networks, including the largest railway junction in the Donbass. In total, the city lost 80 percent of its buildings. The DNR government made rehabilitating Debaltsevo one of its main goals; work began on repairing infrastructure and housing on 18 April.

  • GMA: State Municipal Administration, administrative apparat of a city

7 October 2015

DAN Donetsk News Agency


Wednesday, 7 October 2015

7 October 2015. Here’s a “Good Work” That’s Well-Worth Supporting… Mark Your Calendars for 6 – 8 November!

00 mayfield pa christmas bazaar 071015


If you live within a two-hour drive or so of Mayfield PA in NEPA, here’s something well-worth considering marking your calendar for:

St John the Baptist Russian Orthodox Cathedral Christmas Bazaar 

St John’s Center

703 Hill Street

Mayfield PA 18433

6 – 8 November 2015

Starting 11.00 EST 6 November

Closing 15.00 EST 8 November

All intel and info is at the link above. I need add nothing more… except, bring plenty of green to spend and plenty of love to share (there might be some pierogies n’ pivo around, too, if you ask nice)… ’nuff said…



Tuesday, 6 October 2015

6 October 2015. A Thought from Fr Thomas Hopko

00 little girl at easter hopko 051015


Next Page »

The Rubric Theme. Blog at WordPress.com.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,302 other followers