Canada--Clergy sex abuse victims again beg synod to defrock archbishop

For immediate release:  Thursday, February 12, 2015

For more information: Melanie Jula Sakoda (925-708-6175 cell, [email protected]), Cappy Larson (415-637-2006 cell, [email protected]), David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected])

Clergy sex abuse victims again beg synod to defrock archbishop

He was the Orthodox Church in America’s highest ranking cleric in Canada 

But, his appeal denied, he is now in jail for sexually assaulting a young boy 

SNAP to church officials: “No more excuses, follow your abuse policy”

Members of an abuse survivors' group are again urging Orthodox Church in America (OCA) officials to defrock a high ranking clergyman who was found guilty of molesting a child.   

Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, say that the denomination has publicly acknowledged that their sex abuse policy requires that clergy who have been convicted of child sexual abuse be laicized by the synod of bishops.

Storheim was convicted in January of 2014 for sexually violating an 11 year old altar boy in Winnipeg. The archbishop was sentenced to 8 months in jail the following July, but appealed both the conviction and the sentence. However, his conviction and his sentence were recently upheld by the appellate court.

The survivors’ group wrote to the OCA’s synod of bishops before their meeting last spring, begging them to follow their policy in Storheim’s case.

SNAP has again written to the synod, again asking them to act at their spring meeting to enforce their own guidelines. The text of the letter, sent today by fax (where available) and email to 12 hierarchs is pasted below. The names and contact information for the bishops follow the text.

“At the risk of repeating myself, this is a no-brainer and should have happened last year,” said Cappy Larson of SNAP. “Both Archbishop Seraphim's guilt and church policy are crystal clear. Now even the appeal is over and the archbishop is serving his sentence. No more excuses, the synod needs to follow its policy!”

“Please,” added Melanie Jula Sakoda, also of SNAP, “make sure that this convicted child molester can never again use his religious titles or roles to get access to and hurt another child.” 

From 1990 until his forced retirement in March of  2014, Storheim headed the OCA’s Archdiocese of Canada and was based in Ottawa, Ontario. Prior to that he worked in Edmonton and other cities in Alberta, Winnipeg in Manitoba, London, also in Ontario, Charlotte, North Carolina in the United States, and in Finland.


Dear Sirs: 

Archbishop Seraphim Storheim was convicted of the sexual abuse of an 11 year old boy on January 24, 2014. That conviction and sentence was recently upheld by the appellate court, and the archbishop is now serving his 8 month sentence. Section 10.05(B) of your Policies, Standards, and Procedures on Sexual Misconduct states clearly that, “Any Clergy who ... is found to have committed child sexual abuse … shall be deposed by the Holy Synod of Bishops, and shall be permanently prohibited from exercising any functions or responsibilities of parish ministry. ..."  

Please Gentlemen, Archbishop Seraphim has been found guilty in a court of law of child sexual abuse. Although the judge did not find that there was enough evidence to convict the archbishop of abusing the boy’s twin, his allegation is certainly credible and should also be taken into account.

We know that there is a very active group supporting the archbishop that still refuses to believe in his guilt. No doubt they are pressuring you to abandon your very sensible policy. As members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, the three of us know firsthand the devastating effects of child sexual abuse. We are pleading with you to send a strong message to your flocks. If the sexual abuse of children truly is not tolerated in the OCA, defrock Archbishop Seraphim NOW. 

Policies do not protect children. Actions protect children. The archbishop has been convicted. Do the right thing and follow your own guidelines. 


David Clohessy of St. Louis, MO, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected])

Cappy Larson of San Francisco, CA, SNAP Orthodox Director (415-637-2006 cell, [email protected])

Melanie Jula Sakoda of Moraga, CA, SNAP Orthodox Director (925-708-6175 cell, [email protected])

Metropolitan Tikhon Mollard, Tel: 516-922-0550

Orthodox Church in America

P.O. Box 675
Syosset, NY 11791

Fax: 516-922-0954

Email: [email protected] 


Archbishop Nathaniel Popp, Tel: 517-522-4800

PO Box 309
Grass Lake, MI 49240-0309

Fax: 517-522-5907
Email: [email protected]


Archbishop Nikon Liolin, Tel: 508-764-3222

PO Box 149
Southbridge, MA 01550

Email: [email protected]m 


Archbishop Benjamin Peterson, Tel: 415-567- 9378

1520 Green St
San Francisco, CA 94123

Email: [email protected]


Archbishop Alejo Pacheco-Vera, Tel: 5784-5198

Av Rio Consulado E Iruapato #53
Col Penon De Los Banos
Mexico, DF 15520

Fax: 5784-5198
Email: [email protected]


Archbishop Melchisedek Pleska, Tel: 724-776-5555

PO Box 1769
Cranberry Township, PA 16066-1769

Fax: 724-776-5555
Email: [email protected]


Bishop Mark Maymon, Tel: 570-937-9331

144 St Tikhon's Road

Waymart, PA 18472

Email: [email protected]


Bishop Irenee Rochon, Tel: 613-223-7780

15 LeBreton St. N.

Ottawa, ON K1R 7H1


Fax: 613-223-1931

Email: [email protected]


Bishop Michael Dahulich, Tel: 914-779-6580

33 Hewitt Ave
Bronxville, NY 10708

Fax: 914-779-6581
Email: [email protected]


Bishop Alexander Golitzin, Tel: 419-693-9540

519 Brynhaven Dr.
Oregon, OH 43616

Fax: 419-693-9541
Email: [email protected]


Bishop David Mahaffey, Tel: 907-538-9318

7031 Howard Ave
Anchorage, AK 99504-1899

Fax: 907-677-0646
Email: [email protected]


Bishop Paul Gassios, Tel: 312-202-0420, 202-0424

933 N. La Salle Dr.

Chicago, IL 60610-3204

Email: [email protected]


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