Voices from Russia

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

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

12 November 2014. 96 Years Since the “Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month”… Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth and France Unveils Memorial to the War Dead in Flanders

00 australian war memorial. remembrance day. 12.11.14

A man places a memorial poppy on the wall at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra ACT AUSTRALIA

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00 cenotaph. toronto. old city hall. 12.11.14

An honour guard at the Cenotaph near the Old City Hall in Toronto ON CANADA

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00 Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red. Rmembrance Day at the Tower of London. 12.11.14

“Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red” at the Tower of London London ENGLAND UK

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00 Notre Dame de Lorette. FRANCE. WWI memorial. 12.11.14

French troops at the dedication of the L’Anneau de la Mémoire/Memorial international Notre-Dame-de-Lorette (Ring of Remembrance) memorial wall with over 500,000 names of those of all nations who fell in Northern France, at the Nécropole nationale de Notre-Dame-de-Lorette in Ablain St-Nazaire FRANCE (the world’s largest French military cemetery). This event was also in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I (“The Great War”). 

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Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Toronto Police Lay Seven More Sex Assault Charges Against Romanian Orthodox Priest

00 Ioan Pop. Romanian Orthodox priest in Toronto facing sex charges. 02.10.13

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Toronto police said that a Romanian Orthodox priest faces seven more sexual assault charges in addition to one laid earlier this month. Police arrested Ioan Pop, 54, of Toronto in early September and charged him with one count of sexual assault after a woman was allegedly assaulted at All Saints Romanian Orthodox Church in the city’s east end. At the time, police released a photograph and said that they believed there might be more victims. Detective Teresa Curtis of the sex crimes unit said that several more women came forward with allegations against Pop, who’s now charged with eight counts of sexual assault and one count of forcible confinement. She said that the new charges relate to alleged incidents that happened between 2005 and 2011, and that the additional seven complainants were between 24 and 43-years-old at the time of the alleged offences. Curtis said that Pop is in custody. Police still believe that there may be more complainants and are asking anyone with any further information to come forward.

30 September 2013

CTV News

http://toronto.ctvnews.ca/toronto-police-lay-7-more-sex-assault-charges-against-orthodox-priest-1.1476948

 

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Romanian Orthodox Priest Arrested in Alleged Sexual Assault of Parishioner in Metro Toronto Church

01 handcuffs

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On Wednesday, cops arrested a Toronto priest for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman in his Scarborough ON (part of the Greater Toronto Area) parish. Ioan Pop, the 54-year-old parish priest at All Saints Romanian Orthodox Church, faces charges of one count of sexual assault. According to the Toronto Police Service, on Tuesday 3 September, reports say that Rev Pop allegedly sexually assaulted a woman who entered the church, only to be surprised by a couple who “interrupted the assault”. The statement added, “Police believe that there may be more victims”. All Saints, located near Birchmount and Danforth, was consecrated in 2008. A 2008 write-up on the website of the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in the Americas said that the parish itself came about “because of the desire of the Romanian faithful and the efforts of Fr Ioan Pop to create a solid Romanian and Orthodox community on Canadian soil”. Rev Pop has a 15 October hearing at the Eglinton Avenue East courthouse.

13 September 2013

Tristin Hopper

National Post

http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/09/13/orthodox-priest-arrested-in-alleged-sexual-assault-of-scarborough-parishioner/

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