Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Predator Bishop is Back On the Job; Victims Object

policeman

______________________________

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

******

Metropolitan Tikhon Mollard

Orthodox Church in America

PO Box 675

Syosset NY 11791

Email: metropolitan@oca.org

******

Archbishop Nathaniel Popp

PO Box 309

Grass Lake MI 49240-0309

Email: nathaniel@roea.org

******

Archbishop Nikon Liolin

PO Box 149

Southbridge MA 01550

Email: bpnikon@aol.com

******

Archbishop Benjamin Peterson

1520 Green St

San Francisco CA 94123

Email: vikenty@msn.com

******

Archbishop Alejo Pacheco-Vera

Av Rio Consulado E Iruapato #53

Col Penon De Los Banos

Mexico DF 15520

Email: obispoalejo@yahoo.com.mx

******

Archbishop Melchisedek Pleska

PO Box 1769

Cranberry Township PA 16066-1769

Email: melchisedek999@yahoo.com

******

Bishop Mark Maymon

144 St Tikhon’s Road

Waymart PA 18472

Email: vladyka.mark@gmail.com

******

Bishop Irénée Rochon

15 LeBreton St. N.

Ottawa ON K1R 7H1

CANADA

Email: bishopirenee@archdiocese.ca

******

Bishop Michael Dahulich

33 Hewitt Ave

Bronxville, NY 10708

Email: bishopmichael@nynjoca.org

******

Bishop Alexander Golitzin

519 Brynhaven Dr.

Oregon OH 43616

Email: alexander@bdoca.org

******

Bishop David Mahaffey

7031 Howard Ave

Anchorage AK 99504-1899

Email: otyetz@hotmail.com

******

Bishop Paul Gassios

933 N. La Salle Dr.

Chicago IL 60610-3204

Email: bishoppaul@domoca.org

******

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

______________________________

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

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Paul Gassios Named New Orthodox Leader in Chicago and the Midwest

00 Gassios OCA bishop Chicago Midwest 01. 30.12.14

______________________________

During a three-hour service rich in ceremony and symbolism, the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) consecrated a new bishop of Chicago and the Midwest to replace a predecessor who left in 2013 after accusations of sexual misconduct. The new bishop, Paul Gassios, 61, a Detroit native, will serve his first liturgy Sunday at Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral, 1121 N Leavitt St., said Fr John Adamcio, dean of the cathedral. On Saturday, OCA leaders from across the nation and Canada participated in the consecration at Holy Trinity, led by Metropolitan Tikhon Mollard, the OCA First Hierarch based in New York. During the service, at a confession of faith, Bishop Paul said, “I promise to preserve the peace of the church, and firmly to hold and to teach with zeal the people entrusted to me”.

Bishop Paul fills the void left by Bishop Matthias Moriak, who retired after less than two years in the position at the request of the national church. The OCA placed him on administrative leave in August 2012, at which time he said he was accused of “unwelcome written and spoken comments to a woman that she regarded as an inappropriate crossing of personal boundaries”. Later, he blamed clergy for plotting his ouster in reaction to edicts he issued shortly after his arrival, which included limiting the role of women in worship and barring evening liturgies on Feast Days.

In 1794, Russian missionaries founded the precursor of the OCA in Alaska, but today it’s autonomous from other branches, including the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago. Adamcio said that the OCA claims about 20,000 to 30,000 members in the USA, including up to 2,500 in northern Illinois {this is an undercount: editor}, noting , “We believe the Orthodox Church to be the oldest manifestation of Christianity”.

On Saturday, about 250 people witnessed the consecration during a service designed to entice the senses, with the smell of incense thick within a sanctuary filled with colourful images of Christ and the saints. Congregants stood beneath a dome and above in a balcony, as the priests conducted ornate rites in vestments and mitres that represent their position within church hierarchy. Wreaths and candles reflected the Christmas holiday, and a chime sounded after every stanza of the proclamation of faith, or Nicene Creed, which begins, “We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible”. Later, explaining that the services are intended to leave an impression, Adamcio said, “The Orthodox Church worships with all of the senses. We feel God is beauty. We try to give God the beauty to transport us to a place closer to God, and farther away from the world”.

Bishop Paul, who served as administrator for the Midwest diocese, was nominated as bishop in October. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1994, and formerly served at churches in Indiana, Ohio, and Missouri before relocating to Chicago.

27 December 2014

Lisa Black

Chicago Tribune

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-orthodox-bishop-consecrated-met-20141227-story.html

******

00 Gassios OCA bishop Chicago Midwest 02. 30.12.14

_______________________________

Today, Fr Paul Gassios, the former archpriest of St George Orthodox Cathedral in Rossford OH, will become bishop of the OCA Diocese of the Midwest in ceremonies that take place in Chicago. As bishop, he’ll oversee a diocese covering 11 states with 81 parishes. For Bishop-elect Paul, 61, the promotion in the church hierarchy follows other titles that have been bestowed on the man. He became an Igumen, or monk, in October, and he was promoted to Archimandrite, the step below bishop, when he became bishop-elect of the Diocese of the Midwest in August.

His demeanour suggests a man who will remain a humble priest. He said, “I think the paradox of the Christian life is that we come to be strong as Christians only through the paradox of acknowledging our weakness. It was hard for me to leave [Rossford], because I really grew to love the people of St George. I really love what the parish had become, [with] many cultural backgrounds united under one faith. We became an Orthodox Church in America, with Bulgarians, Macedonians, Russians, Romanians, and converts from other faiths. I came to love and appreciate the love and diversity of the people there”.

The bishop-elect’s schedule for the weekend includes a Vespers at 18.00 today at Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral in Chicago. On Saturday, the Consecration Divine Liturgy will start at 09.00 at the cathedral, with the Metropolitan Tikhon Mollard, Archbishop of Washington and Metropolitan of all America and Canada (sic), as the primary celebrant. A banquet will follow at Chicago’s Ukrainian Cultural Center. The first liturgy served by the the new Bishop Paul will take place at 09.30 on Sunday.

The Bishop Alexander Golitzin of Toledo was the acting bishop for the Midwest before Father Paul’s consecration. He said, “I was the chief ‘lobbyist’ for Fr Paul to be bishop. I knew he’d been a candidate both for my diocese and for before. I had the opportunity to watch him for two years… as it were, to take his measure… and I was impressed by his fundamental decency and humility and also by a genuine pastoral touch. I knew something of his background. He was a social worker in Detroit before he went to seminary, and he worked especially with broken children. I thought with all the horrors of the past 20 or 30 years regarding clerical abuse, this was a hopeful thing to have for someone in that position. I’m also doubly pleased in that now I’m free” (in being responsible for the diocese).

The men, who worked together at St George, will be colleagues, but their dioceses have different characters. Bishop Alexander is bishop of the ethnic Bulgarian Diocese of Toledo and became its bishop in 2012. Fr Paul said the Midwest Diocese is a geographic region, whilst Bishop Alexander’s Bulgarian Diocese is ethnic and covers all the USA and Canada. There is also an ethnic diocese for Romanians. Fr Paul said that serving at St George “helped to better prepare me for becoming a bishop. Because I was in an ethnic diocese and not a territorial diocese, it was good for me to learn that” difference in approach.

Bishop Alexander said he didn’t think Fr Paul would need his advice on leading the diocese, saying, “I think he knows well enough to keep his ears open and his mouth shut at least the first year or so”. Fr Paul noted, “Before I can plan anything, I first have to listen and learn. You need to talk two years from now to learn what my plan would be”. At St George, the new priest is Fr Nicholas Hubbard, “Fr Nick,” who has already begun his ministry there. Bishop Alexander said, “[Fr Nick] has energy, imagination. The parish is very good, but it’s small and it needs to grow in order simply to meet the bills. … I think we have an able young man, and I’m looking forward to seeing how he flowers”.

The OCA is one of 13 Eastern Orthodox churches and had about 85,000 adherents in 2011. The Midwest Diocese has parishes in 11 states, of which Ohio has the most, with 21. In addition to St George Cathedral, the diocese includes Holy Assumption Church in Marblehead OH and St Stephen the First Martyr Mission in Lima OH.

Fr Paul was born in Detroit, on 6 April 1953, and was baptised with the name Apostolos, in honour of the holy Apostle Paul, at Detroit’s Ss Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church. He graduated from Detroit’s Cooley High School and Wayne State University, where he majored in history and psychology. He received a master’s degree in social work from Wayne State in 1980. In the mid-1980s, Bishop-elect Paul became a member of Holy Transfiguration Church, Livonia MI, an OCA parish. He began theological studies in September 1991, at St Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, Yonkers NY, from which he received his master of divinity degree in 1994, and was ordained the same year. His assignments before St George Cathedral in Rossford included priest-in-charge of St Thomas the Apostle Church, Kokomo IN, residence at St Gregory Palamas Monastery, Hayesville OH, and rector of Archangel Michael Church, St Louis MO, and at the Nativity of the Holy Virgin Church, Desloge MO. On 20 October, he was tonsured to monastic rank with the name Paul, in honour of St Paul the Confessor, Patriarch of Constantinople.

26 December 2014

T K Barger

Toledo (OH) Blade

http://www.toledoblade.com/Religion/2014/12/26/Local-priest-becomes-bishop-this-weekend.html

Editor:

A local source sent me this:

Interesting comparisons to Moriak’s consecration in 2011… the banquet after Moriak’s consecration was held at a fancy restaurant taken over for the afternoon, tickets were 75 bucks. Today’s banquet today was at the Ukrainian Cultural Center, close to Holy Trinity Cathedral (run by the Ukie “Catholics”), cost 50 bucks/person, which is about standard for what a Chicago wedding reception costs, on the reasonable end.Moriak was consecrated at Christ the Saviour Church, right next to the Midwest Diocese’s office. Much larger altar area than Holy Trinity Cathedral (which was not built as a cathedral). Pics at the time showed the church was packed and held more people than the Cathedral ever could. Gassios was consecrated at Holy Trinity (which has a dinky altar area). From the looks of it, much fewer people were in attendance than at Moriak’s consecration. From what I’ve heard from Gassios himself (speaking at parishes) and seen of his writing, he’s a modest fellow (he calls himself a “dumpy little Greek”), although quite jolly. He’s not likely to cause many waves.

Let’s be blunt. All the konvertsy nutters showed up for Moriak’s investiture, whilst none of them showed up for Gassios’. It’s quite that simple. Gassios is reaching out to the REAL Orthodox… not to the konvertsy poseurs. I wish him well. The konvertsy love lionising questionable figures… Podmo, Royster, Paffso, Storheim, Moriak… and, for them, Seraphim Rose is close unto GOD. Yes, he’s being investigated by the MP for canonisation, but a Centre contact told me that it’s on the very rear burner, and “He won’t be glorified until the Platina monastery returns to the ROCOR”. Other grounded sources in the ROCOR and OCA repeated this to me, almost verbatim… IF he’s canonised, it won’t be until some considerable time passes, and the present brouhaha between the USA and Russia doesn’t help his chances one bit.

Ura! For Gassios… sanity DOES reign. The diocese needs peace and healing… it looks like its going to get that.

BMD

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

______________________________

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

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.