Plug pulled on event for sex offender archbishop Kenneth Storheim

By Kristin Annable

March 2, 2014

A small but fervent group remains committed to raising funds for convicted sex offender and disgraced archbishop Kenneth (Seraphim) Storheim.

But the group were stopped in their tracks this weekend when an Ottawa church pulled the plug on one of their fundraising events.

An attempt by the group to throw the party March 5 at Woodroffe United Church was thwarted when SNAP, a U.S.-based support group for clergy abuse victims, alerted the church of the group's true intentions.

It was touted as a chamber music concert on a website devoted to raising money for Storheim's legal defence.

"We don't support funding for people who have been convicted of sexual abuse," explained Rev. Jan Lougheed of her decision to cancel the event.

Lougheed said a woman who uses the church to teach Russian to children on Saturdays approached her a few weeks ago and asked her if the church was free on that date.

"This was not a church event," Lougheed was quick explain, adding it was more like a person booking a hall.

The church received a letter last week from SNAP, informing them of the nature of the event and who the proceeds would be going to.

"We were certainly misled by the people who spoke to us," Lougheed said, who previously believed it was going to be a concert put on by a piano quartet from Illinois.

"We have a large church that is a good venue for music."

Lougheed said the Saturday school teacher was also unaware of the who the event was in support of.

"She was quite shocked and in disbelief, because she wasn't aware either," she said

The woman showed Lougheed the poster she had received from the organizers and the poster did not disclose where the money was going.

"As far as all the people in Ottawa go, we had no idea. We were totally misled about this event, we had no idea what was happening."

The former archbishop was found guilty in January of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old boy while serving as a rector at Holy Trinity Sobor in Winnipeg between 1984 and 1987.

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