MI--Orthodox bishop defrocked following investigation into sexual misconduct; victims group urges Church to do more

MI--Orthodox bishop defrocked following investigation into sexual misconduct; victims group urges Church to do more

For immediate release, Thursday, June 29, 2017

Statement by Melanie Jula Sakoda of Moraga, California, Orthodox Christian Leader for SNAP, the Survivors Network (925-708-6175melanie.sakoda@gmail.com)

Yesterday, an Orthodox bishop was defrocked by his synod following a two year investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct.

https://oca.org/news/headline-news/the-holy-synod-renders-decision-concerning-bishop-irineu-romanian-orthodox

The ecclesiastical proceedings into complaints against Bishop Irineu Duvlea, a cleric in the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), Romanian Episcopate (ROEA), were launched in September of 2015.

http://www.roea.org/news_150901_2.html

 

SNAP, the Survivors Network, is glad to know that the charges were thoroughly investigated. Since Bishop Irineu has been removed from the priesthood, we assume that the allegations have been found to be credible.

http://www.roea.org/news_160408_1.html

However, the nature of the sexual misconduct has never been publicly disclosed. Other than the fact that there appear to have been multiple allegations, we do not know if the charges involved a member of the Faithful, children or adults, men or women. We appealed to the OCA to make this information public in 2015.

http://www.snapnetwork.org/mi_orthodox_bishop_ousted_for_alleged_sexual_misconduct

Victims of sexual abuse by a respected clergyman can suffer for years in shame and silence. We again urge the OCA to disclose more about the nature of the complaints, so that those who were too confused and embarrassed to come forward during the investigation can at least take comfort in knowing that they were not the only victims. 

Contacts: Melanie Jula (925-708-6175melanie.sakoda@gmail.com), Cappy Larson (415-637-2006,cappy@rlarson.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org

Comments

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  • commented 2017-06-30 16:46:47 -0500
    Bishop IRINEU is innocent.

    The sealed records are key. It’s very telling.

    Bishop Irineu was deposed because he openly threatened to take the OCA Romanian diocese out of the OCA and return it under the Romanian Patriarchate. It was political. The alleged sexual assault allegations were a smoke screen put up by Archbishop Nathaniel. Bishop Irineu also openly spoke out against the immoral nature of the OCA’s inner circle. Their quiet allowance of the gay lifestyle is incompatible with Orthdoox ecclesiology.

    Consider this, why is the accused, i.e. bishop Irineu, demanding they open the records and release all information? A guilty person would never agree to such things. The forthcoming lawsuit against the OCA will clear up everything. The victim here, is Bishop Irineu.

    Another thing to mention is this. The OCA does not state why he was deposed, their insinuation through rumor and “word of mouth” is that he was deposed due to sexual assault. Their official statement makes no mention, why? It’s to allow them some protection from libelous slander allegations in the impending lawsuit. So they “get the word out” using surrogates loyal to them. In the mean time, others are infected with this misinformation. Their hope is when everything comes out, the Romanian parishes won’t bolt to the Patriarchate.

    Another point, any sexual assault is to be reported and investigated by local authorities. This is the law in every city and county in the country. Why is there no investigation? Why weren’t the police or sheriffs called in to investigate?

    It’s all political. They got rid of him because he was a major threat to the OCA. If they lose the Romanian diocese, their numbers would be decimated. The Romanians want to be under their own Patriarch, Nathaniel stood in their way. And the heir to the Throne public ally stated his intention to enter negotiations with the Romanian Patriarchate to leave with the diocese.