Canada--Archbishop is “deceiving flock” group says
For immediate release: Thursday, March 19, 2015
For more information: Melanie Jula Sakoda (925-708-6175 cell, firstname.lastname@example.org), Cappy Larson (415-637-2006 cell, email@example.com), David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Archbishop is “deceiving flock” group says
He’s been ousted and convicted of child sex crimes
Yet he’s started deceptive new website hiding those facts
SNAP: “Church officials should denounce him and warn congregants”
A support group for clergy sex abuse victims is urging Canadian Orthodox Church officials to order an archbishop who was convicted of child sex crimes to take down a deceptive new website. They are also begging them to publicly denounce the predator and warn their flocks about him.
Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, are writing to the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) ruling body, the OCA’s synod of bishops, prodding them to inform church-goers that Archbishop Seraphim Storheim is “basically pretending he’s still head of the Canadian church.”
Last year, Storheim was convicted of sexually assaulting a boy who had come to visit him in Winnipeg in 1985. In October, his lawyer Jeff Gindin, said he’d appeal that verdict.
“According to Archbishop Seraphim’s new website, he is the ‘retired Archbishop of Ottawa,’” fumed Melanie Jula Sakoda of SNAP. “There is no mention of the fact that his retirement was the decision of the OCA’s synod and followed on the heels of his child sexual abuse conviction.”
“The site also omits telling its readers that in 2010 he was banned from administering the sacraments by that same synod,” added Cappy Larson, also of SNAP. “The archbishop even ignores the fact that the OCA has selected a new bishop for Ottawa!”
“When child predators are exposed, they do and say almost anything to maintain their power, prestige and access to kids,” said David Clohessy, the executive director of SNAP. “And when this happens, it’s crucial that other responsible adults share the truth and do everything possible to warn parents and the public about these dangerous and deceptive predators.”
SNAP wants the OCA to force Storheim to take down his website. They also want the bishops to publicly denounce the deception, and warn their members about the archbishop.
“Quite simply, Archbishop Seraphim’s site tries to legitimize him by listing him among the Orthodox bishops of Canada. He even positions himself at top of the list! The synod needs to put a quick end to this farce,” concluded Sakoda.
The URL for Storheim’s new website is http://archbishop-of-ottawa.org/
His list of Orthodox bishops in Canada can be found here: http://archbishop-of-ottawa.org/node/89
The text of SNAP’s letter, previously sent to the synod by email, is below, as is the list of hierarchs to whom it was sent.
Storheim was suspended from the priesthood in November of 2010. He was forced into retirement in March of 2014, following his January, 2014 conviction for child sexual abuse. Bishop Irenee Rochon was elected as the new bishop of Ottawa in October of 2014, and he was enthroned in November.
The website is extremely deceptive. In it there is no mention of the following facts:
1. The archbishop was suspended from the priesthood on November 30, 2010 and remains suspended;
2. The archbishop was convicted of child sexual abuse on January 24, 2014;
3. The archbishop was forcibly retired in March of 2014;
4. Bishop Irenee Rochon was elected as the new bishop of Ottawa on October 21, 2014, and enthroned on November 29, 2014.
Please, gentlemen, you need to put a quick end to this farce and order Archbishop Seraphim to take down this misleading site. You also need to publicly denounce the archbishop’s deception and use every resource at your disposal to dispel the misinformation and to warn the Faithful about him.
When child predators are exposed, they do and say almost anything to maintain their power, prestige and access to kids. As leaders, it is up to you to do the responsible thing and proclaim the truth.
David Clohessy of St. Louis, MO, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
Cappy Larson of San Francisco, CA, SNAP Orthodox Director (415-637-2006 cell, email@example.com)
Melanie Jula Sakoda of Moraga, CA, SNAP Orthodox Director (925-708-6175 cell, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Metropolitan Tikhon Mollard, Tel: 516-922-0550
Orthodox Church in America
P.O. Box 675
Syosset, NY 11791
Archbishop Nathaniel Popp, Tel: 517-522-4800
PO Box 309
Grass Lake, MI 49240-0309
Archbishop Nikon Liolin, Tel: 508-764-3222
PO Box 149
Southbridge, MA 01550
Archbishop Benjamin Peterson, Tel: 415-567- 9378
1520 Green St
San Francisco, CA 94123
Archbishop Alejo Pacheco-Vera, Tel: 5784-5198
Av Rio Consulado E Iruapato #53
Col Penon De Los Banos
Mexico, DF 15520
Archbishop Melchisedek Pleska, Tel: 724-776-5555
PO Box 1769
Cranberry Township, PA 16066-1769
Bishop Mark Maymon, Tel: 570-937-9331
144 St Tikhon's Road
Waymart, PA 18472
Bishop Paul Gassios, Tel: 312-202-0420, 202-0424
933 N. La Salle Dr.
Chicago, IL 60610-3204
Bishop Irenee Rochon, Tel: 613-223-7780
15 LeBreton St. N.
Ottawa, ON K1R 7H1
Bishop Michael Dahulich, Tel: 914-779-6580
33 Hewitt Ave
Bronxville, NY 10708
Bishop Alexander Golitzin, Tel: 419-693-9540
519 Brynhaven Dr.
Oregon, OH 43616
Bishop David Mahaffey, Tel: 907-538-9318
7031 Howard Ave
Anchorage, AK 99504-1899
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.