There is no joy in reading news like this, but in as much as I serve on the OCA’s Metropolitan Council and also do work with a committee forming the sexual misconduct policies for the OCA, I think it important that we all see a certain maturity happening in the OCA in grappling with these issues, in forming policies to deal with such allegations, and in enforcing those policies. It has been a slow growth and learning process for the OCA in dealing with these issues. We can hope that this public admission of allegations and an investigation is a sign that there has been a real change in the corporate culture of the OCA.
SYOSSET, NY [OCA] — The Lesser Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America, meeting at the OCA Chancery in Oyster Bay Cove, NY, September 21 – 24, 2010, heard an official report that police in Canada have received a complaint alleging misconduct committed by His Eminence, Archbishop Seraphim of Ottawa and Canada some 30 years ago.
An investigation is now is progress.
In response to this, Archbishop Seraphim requested a leave of absence.
On behalf of the Holy Synod of Bishops, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah, made the following statement: “I have blessed the Church’s Office for Review of Sexual Misconduct Allegations to work in conjunction with the Canadian police authorities and to comply with the Orthodox Church in America’s policies and procedures in order to obtain the necessary information needed to bring about a proper resolution. We offer our heartfelt prayers to the Great Shepherd and Healer, Our Lord Jesus Christ, that all parties involved in this will be blessed with God’s peace, love and healing. During Archbishop Seraphim’s leave of absence, His Grace, Bishop Irénée of Quebec City will function as the Administrator of the Archdiocese of Canada.”