MI--Orthodox bishop defrocked following investigation into sexual misconduct; victims group urges Church to do more
For immediate release, Thursday, June 29, 2017
Yesterday, an Orthodox bishop was defrocked by his synod following a two year investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
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.