Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

27 October 2015. Seraphim Storheim Out as Bishop… OCA Dithers and Does Nothing Further

00 seraphim storheim 15.12.2011

Have a care with Paffhausen… he supported (and probably still supports) this nasty jabronie…

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Firstly, here’s the official OCA statement and a reply to that statement. Commentary will follow.

BMD

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During their annual spring (sic) session in Detroit MI on 19-23 October 2015, the members of the OCA Holy Synod of Bishops canonically deposed retired Archbishop Seraphim from the status and all sacred functions of the episcopacy, removing him from the ranks of the clergy, and returning him to the status of a lay monk.

PASTORAL LETTER TO ARCHDIOCESE OF CANADA

23 October 2015

To the Clergy, Monastics, and Faithful of the Archdiocese of Canada:

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America concluded its Fall Session, held during the past week in Detroit MI. One of the most difficult tasks of that meeting was the convening of the Synodal Court in Windsor ON to hear the case of the former Archbishop of Ottawa and Canada, His Eminence Archbishop Seraphim. After much prayerful and intense deliberation, the Synodal Court determined that Archbishop Seraphim should be deposed from the episcopacy, removed from the ranks of the clergy, and returned to the status of a simple monk.

The Holy Synod made this decision with much sorrow, but with the conviction that it was a necessary action both for the salvation of the now Monk Seraphim and for the preservation of the good order and stability of the flock of Christ. At the same time, we offer our prayers for the victims, their families, and all those who have been affected by the events surrounding this case. We acknowledge the anguish that has been expressed by many who love and support their former pastor and understand that some may feel that our actions were unfair. Nevertheless, every bishop, as the shepherd of his flock, is called upon to place his own needs in the second place and to provide care to all, especially those who have been wounded or hurt in any way. Sexual abuse is a sad reality of our fallen world, one that destroys the lives of many victims and is a manifestation of the brokenness of our world that is in need of healing.

The bishops have a God-given responsibility to address the wounds of those suffering and to help bring them to healing. We are bound to this primarily by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and by the canonical tradition of the Church. Therefore, we must always take allegations seriously and respond in the proper pastoral way for all concerned. We express our love and concern for all the faithful of the Archdiocese of Canada, which has endured much turmoil over the past several years because of this difficult situation. We ask you to exercise discernment in processing these events and, above all, to have recourse to prayer, so as to not be weighed down with emotion, but rather seek to attain the peace of Christ.

May our merciful and loving God strengthen all of us to do His will in all things and to preserve in our hearts the grace of the Holy Spirit, who is everywhere present and fills all things.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Tikhon Mollard

Archbishop of Washington

Metropolitan of all America and Canada

24 October 2015

OCA.org

http://oca.org/news/headline-news/holy-synod-renders-decision-concerning-archbishop-seraphim

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Canada: Convicted Orthodox Archbishop Defrocked; Victims’ Group is Grateful

Finally, his synod defrocked a Canadian archbishop criminally convicted of child sexual abuse. As a support group for victims, we’re grateful for this decision, but we’d like to see the bishops do more. According to the OCA official website, this past week, the OCA Holy Synod removed Archbishop Seraphim Storheim, once the highest-ranking clergyman in Canada for the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), from the priesthood.

http://oca.org/news/headline-news/holy-synod-renders-decision-concerning-archbishop-seraphim

http://oca.org/PDF/NEWS/2015/2015-1024-canada-pastoral-letter.pdf

As leading figures in SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), we’re grateful that the OCA finally applied the mandates of its sexual misconduct policy to Storheim.

http://oca.org/PDF/sexual-misconduct/2014-04-PSP-Sexual-Misconduct.pdf

Section 10.05(B)

However, the victims’ group wants church officials to do more. Melanie Jula Sakoda, the Orthodox Christian Director for SNAP explained:

I’m grateful that the OCA has permanently removed Archbishop Seraphim from ministry. It was the only option according to their guidelines. However, I think the faithful and the public need more from the synod.

Sakoda pointed out that SNAP wrote to the bishops on 23 July 2015, following Storheim’s release from prison. In that letter, the group not only asked the synod to defrock Storheim, they also asked them to:

  • Inform the faithful and the public of the archbishop’s current whereabouts and any restrictions imposed by the Canadian government
  • Use their authority to restrict Storheim’s access to children and parishes
  • Caution and alert families at risk, particularly, those who believe the archbishop was wrongfully convicted and who may put children at risk to demonstrate their trust in Storheim.

http://www.snapnetwork.org/canada_convicted_orthodox_archbishop_released_from_prison

Cappy Larson is the other Orthodox Christian Director for SNAP. She added:

The synod still needs to make public what they know about the conditions of the former archbishop’s release from prison. If Fr Seraphim, as monks are addressed in the Orthodox Church, is residing in an OCA facility, the bishops need to make sure that he’s forbidden to be alone with minors and that he only attends services where authorised. Even if the Canadian government didn’t impose any restrictions on the former archbishop, the Church can go the extra mile to protect kids who may not understand the significance of his change in status… “Fr Seraphim” is still a potent title to a child.

Finally, the Executive Director of SNAP, David Clohessy, urged the bishops to have church officials reach out to every parishioner in Canada, reminding them that they mustn’t put children at risk:

There are people in the archdiocese who believe that the former archbishop was wrongfully convicted. These “true believers” may not see any danger in allowing their young ones to interact with Fr Seraphim, but the bishops have a responsibility to do what they can to prevent this from happening.

http://archbishopseraphim.org/

Sakoda concluded:

The OCA has a moral duty to continue to monitor Fr Seraphim and to alert and caution families who may be at risk.

26 October 2015

Melanie Jula Sakoda

SNAP Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

http://www.snapnetwork.org/convicted_orthodox_archbishop_defrocked_victims_group_is_grateful

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This is a colloquy between a respected Cabinet Member and me (I’m in plain type):

This smells like the Centre’s doing… he’s not a “retired bishop” or other such rot. Moscow said, “He’s out”, and Tikhon thumped his forehead and said, “Your wish is my command”. That’s why he got the white hat… he’d do as they told him, without trouble. A secular court convicted him of a felony, which are grounds for deposition. Gnarly world, ain’t it? The older I get, the less it surprises me, but, by God, there’s a lot of repeated bullshit, isn’t there? Now, the question is, where is Storheim going?

I don’t think Storheim is going anywhere. He’s been living somewhere now, and I’m sure he still has supporters who will continue their support. Don’t know if, as a Canadian, he contributed to the OCA Pension plan. If he did, he most likely will get those benefits. We don’t have numerous monasteries around, so that’s no choice. Moreover, since we do have “unaffiliated” monks running around, my guess is that he’d just continue as a private citizen in Canada.

Here’s a FB colloquy (I’m in plain type):

They didn’t answer any questions… where is he going to live? Shall he have access to kids?

Exactly.

There are too many “hyperclericalists” out there. The priests I know aren’t like that… but there are those who encourage it… they’re usually bad to the bone…

Yes, it’s usually a danger sign for a priest to encourage this behaviour.

(Serious proposal, not a joke) Perhaps, we should give him a one-way to the Mountain… that would solve it neatly. Ergo, it won’t happen. If I remember rightly, that’s how ROCOR handled a distasteful situation in the 80s.

I agree… send him to Mt Athos… but please keep him away from kids… I’m not saying any of this to be nasty or punitive, but we should keep him away from children for their sake and for his sake too. Since he’s a convicted sex offender, he may have restrictions put upon him by the Government of Canada.

In short, the OCA answered NO questions, save for announcing his deposition from the clergy. It’s the usual muddle and kerfuffle… I’ll say that the ROCOR hasn’t a better track record… Sam Greene and Podmo, anyone? The OCA should have announced:

The Canadian government put the following restrictions on Seraphim Storheim:

(list of restrictions)

To comply with the spirit of these restrictions, We order that Monk Seraphim live at X Monastery in X. We order that he have no contact with minors. We order that Monk Seraphim spent the rest of his life in prayer and repentance.

This didn’t happen. The OCA didn’t announce where he’d be, what restrictions he’s under, and it didn’t order him to avoid contact with minors EXPLICITLY. Jillions is an incompetent boob… but he has First Family connections and he’s sweet in Lyonyo’s circles. I just hope that no minor child gets hurt. That’s the real world consequence of such shit.

Pass me the jug… the world is gnarly, I know, but must it be such so often and so blatantly?

BMD

Saturday, 18 July 2015

18 July 2015. Storheim Appears to be Out of the Slam

handcuffs

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I got this in my mail:

There seems to be another chapter in the Archbishop Seraphim (Kenneth Storheim) saga; does anyone know what the now cancelled restrictions were? See this. “On 7 July 2015, Archbishop Seraphim was released from the provincial gaol, in compliance with the Statutory Earned (early) Release. Upon his release, the previous conditions and restrictions that had accompanied the release on bail were cancelled. There were, thus, no conditions or restrictions remaining”.

Posted by Patricia Collins

I googled “Storheim released” and several similar searches, all turned up no further evidence. It doesn’t mean that he’s not out of the slam; it does mean that it didn’t merit a news story. However, I do know that convicted sex offenders in Canada are on a registry:

Canada’s National Sex Offender Registry (NSOR) came into force on 15 December 2004, with the passing of the Sex Offender Information Registration Act (SOIR Act).[18]The public does not have access to the registry.

Since 2001, the Province of Ontario operates its own sex offender registry concurrently with the federal registry. Unlike the federal registry which has an opt-out provision if an offender can convince a judge they are not a threat, the Ontario registry has no such provision. As a result, individuals who have been convicted of a designated offence at any time after 2001, and relocate to Ontario, are obligated to register for a period of at least 10 years. The registration period begins on the day the ex-offender relocates to Ontario.[19]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_offender_registry#Canada

The source for the Storheim story appears to a badly done knockoff of the konvertsy rubbish OrthoWiki. Have a care with it. Until further notice, we’ll have to assume that Storheim’s out of the Big House, but I doubt that he walked scot-free, not after Mr Justice Mainella trashed (rightfully) his creds at the trial. We’ll have to see if a more reputable source posts on this.

BMD

Friday, 26 June 2015

Pastor Accused of Fondling Man in Boardman OH Restaurant

00 accused priest James Callozzo. 260615

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The pastor of a Youngstown OH church faces charges of fondling an 18-year-old man in the restroom of a Boardman restaurant. Court officials tell 21 News that 73-year-old James Callozzo of Nativity of Christ Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate in the USA) faces a 28 July pretrial hearing on a charge of sexual imposition. On Tuesday, cops booked Callozzo into jail following his appearance in county court in Boardman OH. The alleged victim told county sheriff’s investigators that a man followed him into the bathroom of the restaurant on 15 May and asked him if he could see his private area. The Boardman 18-year-old said that he forced the man away from him after he reached in front of him an fondled his genitals. The alleged victim took a picture of the suspect when he returned to his table and gave the picture to detectives. Authorities took the report in May, but they didn’t issue a warrant for Callozzo’s arrest until last week. 21 News attempted to contact Nativity of Christ Orthodox Church on Miller Street.  They didn’t answer our calls.

23 June 2015

NBC WFMJ 21 (Youngstown OH USA)

http://www.wfmj.com/story/29390060/pastor-accused-of-fondling-man-in-boardman-restaurant

Editor:

I checked the parish website, someone removed Callozo’s name and all references to him (but there were still images of him up in the “Photos” section, one wonders for how long, given what they did in re his name… smells like a “memory hole”)… there’s no mention of this, either. Here’s an interesting aside… there was all sorts of konvertsy rubbish pushed on the website, including a talk by Damascene Christiansen (apologist for Gleb Podmoshensky and well-known fawning hagiographer of Seraphim Rose). It looks like another case of sexual impropriety strikes a clergyman tied in with the Platina gang. It does make one wonder about that lot, doesn’t it?

BMD

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Toronto Priest Exploited Position to Sexually Assault Women

00 ioan pop. romanian orthodox priest. canada. 07.05.15

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A disgraced Romanian Orthodox priest admitted to sexually assaulting 10 women, exploiting his position to victimise them in church, during confessions, and in other places. Ioan Pop, 56, used his holy position to fondle, kiss, and make unwanted sexual advances at women from April 1999 through September 2013. The assaults occurred whilst victims sought religious services such as confessions, weddings, and funerals. Pop also tried to confine, seduce, and spark an affair with a despondent woman in 1999. The court heard that he vowed to curse her and her family for generations if she exposed him. Pop pleaded guilty to seven sexual assault charges, but he also admitted the facts on three other allegations. The judge can then weigh those facts as an aggravating factor on sentencing, which could result in a more severe sentence. Crown attorney Jackie Garrity read out the disturbing facts to Justice Peter Hryn.

The Romanian women, whose identifies are under a publication ban, ranged in age from early 20s to mid-30s. Pop kissed one woman on the mouth whilst he was performing a memorial service for her grandmother in All Saints Romanian Orthodox Church in February 2009. Pop groped the breast and kissed the knee of another married woman during a confession in November or December 2011. Garrity said that he also told her what he’d do to her sexually “if he were her husband”, and then told her she was “his angel and that he wanted to spend days with her”.

The court heard that one victim emigrated to Canada with her husband and young child. Her husband became gravely ill. The devoted wife attended his hospital bed every day and in July ’99, she reached out to Pop to bless her dying spouse. Testimony stated that the woman and Pop were going to the hospital when they stopped off at a friend’s home “to pick up some religious robes”. Once inside, Pop propositioned the woman, who vehemently rejected him. He restrained her by his forceful hugs as she threatened to scream to escape. Garrity said, “Pop said, ‘No one would know as he was a priest and he could not tell anyone’”. The terrified, crying woman finally left with Pop. He threatened to curse her and her family “for generations to come” if she revealed the incident. Garrity said that the victim took “this threat very seriously” and never reported it until after the police first charged Pop in September 2013 after another woman complained he molested and licked her in church when she sought his help in a child custody matter. The ’99 victim and 12 others came forward after the 2013 victim’s complaint became public.

In another incident, Pop, now 56, visited a 24-year-old East York woman’s apartment home to bless it in July 2006. Garrity told Hryn, “Pop suddenly stopped the ritual, and began crying and talking to the victim about women who suffer breast cancer, describing the fact that many women do not survive this illness. Ultimately, he offered to bless the woman’s breasts. She was concerned that the priest had some kind of premonition that she herself may have breast cancer”. The victim agreed to the blessing. Garrity said that he “put his hand inside her top, making the sign of the cross of her bare nipples with holy water to purportedly bless her breasts”. He then “hugged her tightly for about 30 seconds … in what the victim perceived to be a sexual manner”.

Pop, who emigrated to Canada in 1999 with his wife and two children, started a religious community in East York and then built All Saints Romanian Orthodox Church at 545 Danforth Road in Scarborough, where he served from 2004 until 2013. A court order now bars him from practising as a priest. His prominent lawyer Joseph Neuberger said, “He was a very caring priest who contributed so much to the Romanian community, from fundraising to accommodating the poor and distressed families”. Neuberger said that Pop “went beyond the boundaries of permissible behaviour after his daughter’s tragic death a few years after he came to Canada”. Pop’s sentencing will be on 23 June.

6 May 2015

Sam Pazzano

Toronto (ON) Sun

http://www.torontosun.com/2015/05/06/priest-exploited-position-to-sexually-assault-women

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