PA--Predator bishop is back on the job; Victims object

For immediate release: Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Statement from Cappy Larson, Orthodox Christian Director of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

For more information: Cappy Larson ([email protected]415-637-2006); David Clohessy, SNAP Director ([email protected]314-566-9790)

“Predator” bishop still on the job

Deemed guilty by colleagues, he’s now in a parish

His superiors claims “we haven’t put him to work there”

But controversial cleric is listed on PA church’s website

SNAP sends harsh message to hierarchs now meeting in Atlanta

“Block this dangerous, deceptive and callous move,” group pleads

A Chicago bishop found guilty of sexual misconduct and forced him to retire by his colleagues is now in charge of a western Pennsylvania parish and a support group for victims wants him ousted

Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, are writing to bishops of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) about Bishop Matthias Moriak who once headed the Chicago diocese. Moriak was retired by the synod of bishops in April 2013, after he was found to have engaged in sexual misconduct.

SNAP wants church officials to oust the bishop from active ministry.

Moriak recently began working in a parish in Hermitage, Pennsylvania. The OCA’s chancellor says that another bishop asked Moriak to take the position, but that this assignment had not been approved. He went on to say that the OCA synod would be meeting to consider the terms of Moriak’s retirement.

Members of SNAP have written to the synod pleading with them to put the kibosh on this assignment. All of the bishops are in Atlanta from July 20-24, at the Hilton Atlanta Hotel, for their national council. The complete text of the letter, sent earlier today by email, can be found below.

The parish in western Pennsylvania belongs to the Romanian Episcopate of the OCA. That diocese is led by Archbishop Nathaniel Popp of Michigan ([email protected]). Popp is the longest serving hierarch on the OCA’s synod.

“Even when a clergyman engages in sexual misconduct with an adult, the resulting damage can be serious,” said Cappy Larson, the Orthodox Christian Director of SNAP. “In the 16 years I have been working with victims, two who were abused as adults were in such pain that they chose to end their own lives.”

David Clohessy, the Executive Director of SNAP, added, “While it’s true that the young woman who complained about Bishop Matthias rebuffed him and then reported him, another victim might not be so clearheaded.”

“The OCA synod should have zero tolerance for sexual misconduct,” concluded Larson. “Bishop Matthias does not belong in active ministry.”

The OCA had at one time considered returning Moriak to his former position, and SNAP had objected at the time. The victims’ group had assumed the synod had seriously considered the ramifications of such a move when several months later they instead asked for the Chicago bishop’s retirement.

July 21, 2015

Metropolitan Tikhon Mollard

Orthodox Church in America

P.O. Box 675

Syosset, NY 11791

Email: [email protected]


Archbishop Nathaniel Popp

PO Box 309

Grass Lake, MI 49240-0309

Email: [email protected]


Archbishop Nikon Liolin

PO Box 149

Southbridge, MA 01550

Email: [email protected]


Archbishop Benjamin Peterson

1520 Green St

San Francisco, CA 94123

Email: [email protected]


Archbishop Alejo Pacheco-Vera

Av Rio Consulado E Iruapato #53

Col Penon De Los Banos

Mexico, DF 15520

Email: [email protected]


Archbishop Melchisedek Pleska

PO Box 1769

Cranberry Township, PA 16066-1769

Email: [email protected]


Bishop Mark Maymon

144 St Tikhon's Road

Waymart, PA 18472

Email: [email protected]


Bishop Irenee Rochon

15 LeBreton St. N.

Ottawa, ON K1R 7H1


Email: [email protected]


Bishop Michael Dahulich

33 Hewitt Ave

Bronxville, NY 10708

Email: [email protected]


Bishop Alexander Golitzin

519 Brynhaven Dr.

Oregon, OH 43616

Email: [email protected]


Bishop David Mahaffey

7031 Howard Ave

Anchorage, AK 99504-1899

Email: [email protected]


Bishop Paul Gassios

933 N. La Salle Dr.

Chicago, IL 60610-3204

Email: [email protected]


Re: Reassigning Bishop Matthias Moriak to Active Ministry

Dear Sirs:

We are members of a victims’ group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. We are writing to you today because we are concerned over the assignment of Bishop Matthias Moriak to the Romanian parish in Hermitage, Pennsylvania.

According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, Bishop Nathaniel Popp made this assignment unilaterally, and it has not been approved by the synod as a whole.  The piece goes on to say that you are meeting to consider the terms of Bishop Matthias’ retirement

The OCA has made great strides in addressing the issue of clergy sexual misconduct, and we beg you, don’t approve this dangerous, deceptive and callous move. While it’s true that the young woman who complained about Bishop Matthias rebuffed him and then reported him, another victim might not be so clearheaded. The consequences of the sexual abuse of an adult by a trusted clergyman can be absolutely devastating, even deadly .

Please, continue your denomination’s progress. Let the OCA have zero tolerance for clergy sexual misconduct. Bishop Matthias does not belong in active ministry.


Cappy Larson, Orthodox Christian Director of SNAP ([email protected]415-637-2006)

David Clohessy, Executive Director of SNAP ([email protected]314-566-9790)  

Showing 1 comment

SNAP Network is a GuideStar Gold Participant