New Orthodox bishop elected; SNAP is appalled at his selection
Yesterday the Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) elected Archimandrite Gerasim Eliel as the new bishop of Fort Worth, Texas. Bishop-elect Eliel will work as an auxiliary to Archbishop Alexander Golitzen in the OCA's Diocese of the South (DOS). We believe that the OCA has made an extremely poor choice in elevating the Archimandrite to this position.
Archimandrite Eliel had been the overwhelming favorite to fill the then-vacant see of the DOS in 2015. SNAP registered its disapproval at the time. We felt that the Synod of Bishops was not paying sufficient attention to the Archimandrite's long and close connection to two notorious Orthodox perpetrators, Abbot Herman Podmoshensky and Metropolitan Pangratios Vrionis. The OCA Bishops decided not to elect Archimandrite Eliel to lead the DOS that year, although it did appoint him as administrator of the Diocese, much to our disappointment.
Six years later we still believe that the OCA Synod is wrong to further raise a man who has yet to speak out against the two men who he worked closely with and who caused so much damage to the lives of Orthodox boys and young men.
As we said in 2015, if the OCA is truly serious about changing the way abuse is handled in their Church, Archimandrite Eliel seems like precisely the wrong person for the job.
CONTACT: Melanie Jula Sakoda, SNAP Survivor Support Coordinator (925-708-6175, [email protected]), Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager (267-261-0578, [email protected]), Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)