Voices from Russia

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

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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

Monday, 11 May 2015

Archimandrite Illya Barna Dies at Age 96 (Most Senior MP Cleric in the USA)

00 Archimandrite Illya Barna. 11.05.15

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Early Friday morning, 8 May, the most-senior cleric of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA and pastor emeritus of St Michael the Archangel parish in Redford MI, Archimandrite Illya Barna died at the age of 96. Fr Illya was born Michael Barna on 2 July 1918 to a family dedicated to service in the Church. In World War II, he served in the US Navy in the Pacific on the battleship USS Colorado. He received three battle stars for engagements in the battles of Saipan, Tinian, and Guam.

He became a candidate for Holy Orders beginning in 1946, when he returned from military service, being tonsured a reader and ordained Sub-deacon in St Nicholas parish, Reading PA by Archbishop Adam Phillipovsky.  He continued his ecclesiastical studies at St Nicholas Cathedral in New York NY for four years.  On 1 July 1950, Archbishop Adam ordained him to the Diaconate at St Nicholas Cathedral in New York; the next day, 2 July, Archbishop Adam ordained him to the Holy Priesthood, and assigned as assistant priest to his father, Archimandrite Ignatius Barna, at St Nicholas parish, Reading PA.

On 17 December 1966, Metropolitan John Wendland appointed Fr Michael as rector of St Nicholas parish in Reading upon his father’s retirement.  The following month, 6 January 1967, Metropolitan John assigned him as rector of St Michael the Archangel parish, Philadelphia PA.  On 29 January 1969, Fr Michael and his family took up permanent residence in Philadelphia and continued to serve St Michael parish for another 5½ years until his appointment to St Michael parish, Redford MI on 31 August1975, by then-Bishop Job Tyvoniuk. Fr Michael received almost every distinction bestowed to a clergyman.  On Bright Friday, 2012, after his wife’s death, Fr Michael took monastic vows and received tonsure with the name Illya in honour of Prophet St Elias by His Eminence Archbishop Yustinian Ovchinnikov. The next day, during Divine Liturgy, with the blessing of Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias, Archbishop Justinian elevated Hieromonk Illya to the rank of Archimandrite.

Divine Services for the Departed:

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Visitation: 16.00-21.00

Pannikhida: 19.30

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Visitation: 16.00-21.00

Burial Service: 19.00

Friday, 15 May 2015

Divine Liturgy: 09.00

Followed by memorial meal in St Michael Parish Hall

All times are Central Daylight Time

ALL SERVICES AT ST MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL parish

http://www.stmichaelredford.org/

26355 West Chicago Road

Redford MI 48239

Link to contact rector by e-mail here

Telephone: (313) 937 2120

8 May 2015

Patriarchal Parishes in the USA/Moscow Patriarchate

http://mospatusa.com/news_150508_1.html

Friday, 19 December 2014

19 December 2014. It’s Been FIVE YEARS Since Vladyki Job’s Passing…

00 Archbishop Job Osacky of Chicago. OCA. 26.06.13

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It’s been five years since the passing of Vladyki Job Osacky on 18 December 2014. Many called him, “The last honest bishop in the OCA”… there’s MUCH truth to that, sadly enough. I believe that he died of a broken heart… after seeing the shambles that Fathausen made of the Church. The OCA hasn’t yet recovered from Fatso… shall it? Only time will tell us…

Light a candle for Vladyki Job this Sunday… ask your priest to mention his name during the Proskomidi… have Pannikhida served for him. We’re Christians… that’s what we do…

Вечная ему память!

BMD

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