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Author Topic: Archbishop Seraphim (Storheim) trial beginning  (Read 3535 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: June 11, 2013, 02:27:17 PM »

The sex-abuse trial of Canada's senior Orthodox Church cleric began Monday with a former altar boy accusing Archbishop Kenneth William (Seraphim) Storheim of inviting him to touch his private parts.

Archbishop Kenneth (Seraphim) Storheim was suspended by the Orthodox Church of America after two sexual assault charges were laid against him in November 2010. (Archdiocese of Canada) Storheim has pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual assault involving two pre-teen brothers who were members of the church more than 25 years ago, when he worked at a parish in Winnipeg's North End. Storheim is the highest-ranking cleric in the Canadian diocese of the Orthodox Church in America...
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« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2013, 03:53:36 PM »

 Undecided
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« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2014, 04:08:53 PM »

Verdict:  Guilty.  May God have mercy on his soul and the victims.

http://byztex.blogspot.com/2014/01/bishop-seraphim-storheim-of-ottawa.html
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« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2014, 04:09:57 PM »

 Angry Huh Angry
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« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2014, 04:10:12 PM »

Verdict:  Guilty.  May God have mercy on his soul and the victims.

http://byztex.blogspot.com/2014/01/bishop-seraphim-storheim-of-ottawa.html

Lord have mercy.
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« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2014, 04:19:34 PM »

The kids did not say he touched them, fortunately.
I tend to believe what the kids said, and I don't like it.

 Undecided
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« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2014, 08:09:56 PM »

For the good of the Church, I pray that he requests laicization and agrees to live out the remainder of his life in a monastery, praying for his victims and those of the Church whom he betrayed.

Very sad.
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« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2014, 08:12:12 PM »

For the good of the Church, I pray that he requests laicization and agrees to live out the remainder of his life in a monastery, praying for his victims and those of the Church whom he betrayed.

Very sad.


Seconded. Wise words, as always, from Fr Giryus.
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« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2014, 09:39:05 PM »

I am not a law expert at all, and I especially have no idea of Anglo-Saxon case law. But could someone please explain me the whole thing? Was he really condemned on the base of one brother's testimony alone ? No other evidence?
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« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2014, 09:49:55 PM »

I am not a law expert at all, and I especially have no idea of Anglo-Saxon case law. But could someone please explain me the whole thing? Was he really condemned on the base of one brother's testimony alone ? No other evidence?

His Eminence was accused of sexually assaulting two children, brothers, on separate occasions, and charged with two counts of sexual assault.  It was decided to try the two cases at the same time.  He was convicted on one charge and acquitted on the other.

I do not know of any direct evidence in this case apart from the testimony of the accusers themselves.

The internal church investigation has yet to be completed, and Archbishop Seraphim has an option to appeal his conviction.
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« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2014, 09:52:39 PM »

I am not a law expert at all, and I especially have no idea of Anglo-Saxon case law. But could someone please explain me the whole thing? Was he really condemned on the base of one brother's testimony alone ? No other evidence?
It doesn't really say. I am open minded either way. I think it is a bit odd they were staying with him and wouldn't be so surprised if it was true.
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« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2014, 10:00:32 PM »

I am not a law expert at all, and I especially have no idea of Anglo-Saxon case law. But could someone please explain me the whole thing? Was he really condemned on the base of one brother's testimony alone ? No other evidence?

I think we need input from a Canadian versed in their legal system, preferably from the Province of Manitoba to answer that. I guessing it has to do with their Penal Code. In Canada I recall a criminal defendant does not have the right to refuse to testify as in the US, thereby giving the Court the ability to compare the  complainant's testimony with that of the defendant. In the American system, one can not be compelled to testify against oneself and in a criminal court proceeding, the finder of fact (jury or judge) can not draw an inference against the defendant from their failure to testify.
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« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2014, 10:11:23 PM »

Conviction aside, I have had several problems with Archbishop Seraphim's behavior from the beginning:

1) When charged, he chose not to resign from his diocese and allow another bishop to minister to the people there.  He knew he would be unable to serve them for years, yet he held onto his throne.  I see in that a profound level of selfishness.

2) When he went on leave of absence, he wrote a transparently false letter explaining why he was going on leave.  What made it all the more ludicrous was that he had to know that the charges would be made public.  But, rather than leveling with his flock, he treated them like ignorant fools.

Call me old fashioned or even heartless, but I think we who serve are called to be selfless and honest in our ministry.  It would not be fair for me to hold onto my parish assignment if I could not serve for years, even if I believe I am innocent.  The Canadian community has suffered for lack of real pastoral leadership due to his refusal to resign.  But, when I read his letter, I knew that, win or lose, he has no business being a clergyman of any degree.
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« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2014, 10:23:03 PM »

For the good of the Church, I pray that he requests laicization and agrees to live out the remainder of his life in a monastery,

I do not think there are monasteries in jails.
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« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2014, 11:25:30 PM »

Conviction aside, I have had several problems with Archbishop Seraphim's behavior from the beginning:

1) When charged, he chose not to resign from his diocese and allow another bishop to minister to the people there.  He knew he would be unable to serve them for years, yet he held onto his throne.  I see in that a profound level of selfishness.

2) When he went on leave of absence, he wrote a transparently false letter explaining why he was going on leave.  What made it all the more ludicrous was that he had to know that the charges would be made public.  But, rather than leveling with his flock, he treated them like ignorant fools.

Call me old fashioned or even heartless, but I think we who serve are called to be selfless and honest in our ministry.  It would not be fair for me to hold onto my parish assignment if I could not serve for years, even if I believe I am innocent.  The Canadian community has suffered for lack of real pastoral leadership due to his refusal to resign.  But, when I read his letter, I knew that, win or lose, he has no business being a clergyman of any degree.


Wisely stated.

It would be better if he were sent to live as a hermit with limited and supervised contact with other monks so that he could not associate with young monks or youth.
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« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2014, 12:13:04 AM »

Since he's not a violent offender, he's likely to not see much jail time.

For the good of the Church, I pray that he requests laicization and agrees to live out the remainder of his life in a monastery,

I do not think there are monasteries in jails.
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« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2014, 12:46:17 AM »

Conviction aside, I have had several problems with Archbishop Seraphim's behavior from the beginning:

1) When charged, he chose not to resign from his diocese and allow another bishop to minister to the people there.  He knew he would be unable to serve them for years, yet he held onto his throne.  I see in that a profound level of selfishness.

Sorry, Father, but, as a Canadian, I would have to say that you don't know what you are talking about.  Bishop Irinee has been the administrator of the archdiocese for years.  Everybody knows that he is the de facto ruling bishop.  And  Archbishop Seraphim is suspended from all clerical functions, not simply on leave.  

Quote
2) When he went on leave of absence, he wrote a transparently false letter explaining why he was going on leave.  What made it all the more ludicrous was that he had to know that the charges would be made public.  But, rather than leveling with his flock, he treated them like ignorant fools.

Yes, this is true.

Quote
The Canadian community has suffered for lack of real pastoral leadership due to his refusal to resign.

Again, sorry, but you know not of what you speak.  

 
Quote
But, when I read his letter, I knew that, win or lose, he has no business being a clergyman of any degree.

That's a pretty confident statement to  make about this situation, a situation that you are quite far removed from, Father.  Really?  At the final judgment, are you going to be one who stands there and condemns +Seraphim?  How do some of your Antiochian bishops stack up as far as having "business" being clergy, in your opinion?  Because of the opinion of one non-Orthodox Canadian judge (and no jury, by the way) and your convictions regarding the ill-conceived aforementioned letter, you are willing to make this judgment?  I would have thought, that, instead of resorting to public condemnation, you would have decided instead to resort to prayer for Archbishop Seraphim and his flock.

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« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2014, 01:09:42 AM »

Yes, I am very confident in what I have said.  I know a number of Canadians who, while respecting Bishop Irenei, have run into problems because a locum tenens is simply not the diocesan bishop.  There are some situations that a locum tenens can't handle.  And, no, I will not get into details because I don't want to see anyone hurt.

I do not condemn him, and nothing of what I said means that I am not praying for him.  But, all of us have the right to question and judge and discern his actions and his competence.  You imply this is really OK by your own measure by including my hierarchy.  Go ahead, unleash your wrath.  I won't tell you to shut up (like you are telling me to) because I understand that people who don't want to read criticism about someone would definitely not be on the OCNet.

If we cannot judge the actions of Archbishop Seraphim and his problematic decisions, then we might as well throw in the towel on making any type of discernment about anyone at all.  Which then, by extension, means you can't even question my own judgment for writing what I wrote.

I am also of the opinion that non-Orthodox can judge us.  I don't ask the policeman about his religion when he writes me a ticket, and I would be laughed out of court if I insisted on an Orthodox judge.  When I call 911, I don't ask about the beliefs of the responders.  The law is the law.

He may very well be a better Christian than I am, and he certainly is more deserving of God's mercy than I do.  But, that does not suddenly give him a pass to do whatever he wants and have people remain silent.

So, I stand by my statement.



That's a pretty confident statement to  make about this situation, a situation that you are quite far removed from, Father.  Really?  At the final judgment, are you going to be one who stands there and condemns +Seraphim?  How do some of your Antiochian bishops stack up as far as having "business" being clergy, in your opinion?  Because of the opinion of one non-Orthodox Canadian judge (and no jury, by the way) and your convictions regarding the ill-conceived aforementioned letter, you are willing to make this judgment?  I would have thought, that, instead of resorting to public condemnation, you would have decided instead to resort to prayer for Archbishop Seraphim and his flock.


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« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2014, 01:27:53 AM »

Yes, I am very confident in what I have said.  I know a number of Canadians who, while respecting Bishop Irenei, have run into problems because a locum tenens is simply not the diocesan bishop.  There are some situations that a locum tenens can't handle.  And, no, I will not get into details because I don't want to see anyone hurt.

I do not condemn him, and nothing of what I said means that I am not praying for him.  But, all of us have the right to question and judge and discern his actions and his competence.  You imply this is really OK by your own measure by including my hierarchy.  Go ahead, unleash your wrath.  I won't tell you to shut up (like you are telling me to) because I understand that people who don't want to read criticism about someone would definitely not be on the OCNet.

If we cannot judge the actions of Archbishop Seraphim and his problematic decisions, then we might as well throw in the towel on making any type of discernment about anyone at all.  Which then, by extension, means you can't even question my own judgment for writing what I wrote.

I am also of the opinion that non-Orthodox can judge us.  I don't ask the policeman about his religion when he writes me a ticket, and I would be laughed out of court if I insisted on an Orthodox judge.  When I call 911, I don't ask about the beliefs of the responders.  The law is the law.

He may very well be a better Christian than I am, and he certainly is more deserving of God's mercy than I do.  But, that does not suddenly give him a pass to do whatever he wants and have people remain silent.

So, I stand by my statement.



If you don't want anyone to get hurt, I am perplexed as to why you posted anything here at all.  I don't believe that +Seraphim is perfect, far from it.  But I am very disappointed by what I have seen you post here.
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« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2014, 01:29:13 AM »

Conviction aside, I have had several problems with Archbishop Seraphim's behavior from the beginning:

1) When charged, he chose not to resign from his diocese and allow another bishop to minister to the people there.  He knew he would be unable to serve them for years, yet he held onto his throne.  I see in that a profound level of selfishness.

2) When he went on leave of absence, he wrote a transparently false letter explaining why he was going on leave.  What made it all the more ludicrous was that he had to know that the charges would be made public.  But, rather than leveling with his flock, he treated them like ignorant fools.

Call me old fashioned or even heartless, but I think we who serve are called to be selfless and honest in our ministry.  It would not be fair for me to hold onto my parish assignment if I could not serve for years, even if I believe I am innocent.  The Canadian community has suffered for lack of real pastoral leadership due to his refusal to resign.  But, when I read his letter, I knew that, win or lose, he has no business being a clergyman of any degree.


Wisely stated.

It would be better if he were sent to live as a hermit with limited and supervised contact with other monks so that he could not associate with young monks or youth.


If you truly knew Archbishop Seraphim, you would know that he is no threat to anyone's children.  He may or may not have made a mistake with one of these boys in that he may have done something inappropriate.  But as someone who has known him for 28 years, I can say with confidence that he is no child molester.  If you truly knew him, you would know that he is a very loving and dedicated pastor.  I know that he is not perfect by any means (in fact I think he has made some foolish mistakes), but I would not hesitate to say that in some ways he is like a saint.

You don't have to take my word for it.  Many have lined up in our archdiocese to voice their support for the Archbishop.

http://archbishopseraphim.org/

If someone is a real child predator, when a case like this comes to light many more victims almost invariably come forward.   Archbishop Seraphim has been clergy of one kind or another for something like 43 years, but not one other complainant has come forward apart from these brothers, not one.
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« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2014, 01:43:17 AM »

It's not about whether he did or did not molest.  It is about how he has continued to hold onto an office that he could not carry out the duties for, and how he refused to own up to the fact that he was charged with a crime.

I have no doubts that there are plenty of people who feel strongly about how wonderful he is.  I'm not telling them to not feel that.  What I am saying is to those who are emotionally not tied up, his behavior is highly questionable.

Sometimes, it is not about whether we are guilty or innocent, but how we behave regardless of the truth of the charges. He does not need to be guilty for me to question his judgment in how he has treated his diocese.  Some people don't mind being treated the way he has treated them.  Others do.  Others outside the situation may see nothing wrong with his behavior, but others do see something wrong.

In the end, God issues the final verdict.  All we can hope for is mercy, because we all fall short.

I see nothing inherently wrong with pointing that out.


Conviction aside, I have had several problems with Archbishop Seraphim's behavior from the beginning:

1) When charged, he chose not to resign from his diocese and allow another bishop to minister to the people there.  He knew he would be unable to serve them for years, yet he held onto his throne.  I see in that a profound level of selfishness.

2) When he went on leave of absence, he wrote a transparently false letter explaining why he was going on leave.  What made it all the more ludicrous was that he had to know that the charges would be made public.  But, rather than leveling with his flock, he treated them like ignorant fools.

Call me old fashioned or even heartless, but I think we who serve are called to be selfless and honest in our ministry.  It would not be fair for me to hold onto my parish assignment if I could not serve for years, even if I believe I am innocent.  The Canadian community has suffered for lack of real pastoral leadership due to his refusal to resign.  But, when I read his letter, I knew that, win or lose, he has no business being a clergyman of any degree.


Wisely stated.

It would be better if he were sent to live as a hermit with limited and supervised contact with other monks so that he could not associate with young monks or youth.


If you truly knew Archbishop Seraphim, you would know that he is no threat to anyone's children.  He may or may not have made a mistake with one of these boys in that he may have done something inappropriate.  But as someone who has known him for 28 years, I can say with confidence that he is no child molester.  If you truly knew him, you would know that he is a very loving and dedicated pastor.  I know that he is not perfect by any means (in fact I think he has made some foolish mistakes), but I would not hesitate to say that in some ways he is like a saint.

You don't have to take my word for it.  Many have lined up in our archdiocese to voice their support for the Archbishop.

http://archbishopseraphim.org/

If someone is a real child predator, when a case like this comes to light, many more victims almost invariably come forward.   Archbishop Seraphim has been clergy of one kind or another for something like 43 years, but not one other complainant has come forward apart from these brothers, not one.

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« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2014, 01:58:00 AM »

It's not about whether he did or did not molest. 

To Maria, this issue seems to be important.  It was her post I was responding to, not yours.

Quote
I have no doubts that there are plenty of people who feel strongly about how wonderful he is.  I'm not telling them to not feel that.  What I am saying is to those who are emotionally not tied up, his behavior is highly questionable.

You could have put it that way then, instead of condemning him. 

Quote
In the end, God issues the final verdict.  All we can hope for is mercy, because we all fall short.

Agreed.  I still fail to see, however, how this statement of yours would not be read by most people as a kind of condemnation:

Quote
....he has no business being a clergyman of any degree.
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« Reply #22 on: January 25, 2014, 02:38:22 AM »

So, As of Friday 24, 2014, our beloved Archbishop was found guilty on one count of sexual assault and not guilty of the other. He remains free on bail.
There is a maxim in the principles of British law on which we in Canada have based our system of justice, to wit; "Justice delayed is justice denied."
It has taken just under four years from the time the (then adult) men went to the police until the time of this verdict.
Four years! This in itself is grounds for appeal, at least here in Canada.
But what is truly shocking is the fact the alleged incident was not even reported until 2010, or about 30 years after it is supposed to have taken place.
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« Reply #23 on: January 25, 2014, 03:16:30 AM »

It's not about whether he did or did not molest.  

To Maria, this issue seems to be important.  It was her post I was responding to, not yours.

Quote
I have no doubts that there are plenty of people who feel strongly about how wonderful he is.  I'm not telling them to not feel that.  What I am saying is to those who are emotionally not tied up, his behavior is highly questionable.

You could have put it that way then, instead of condemning him.  

Quote
In the end, God issues the final verdict.  All we can hope for is mercy, because we all fall short.

Agreed.  I still fail to see, however, how this statement of yours would not be read by most people as a kind of condemnation:

Quote
....he has no business being a clergyman of any degree.


I am praying that if the Canadian Archbishop were truly innocent (and I hope there is some non-profit innocence program like they have in the USA), that he would be vindicated. However, while people are vigilant in trying to reverse death-penalty cases, not too many people really seem to care about those charged with sexual abuse. Perhaps it is the stigma and fear, or perhaps it is the fact that there are many predators among us.

If he were innocent all along, then it is important that he be protected from additional false charges by having supervision to prevent unscrupulous people from pressing additional charges. If he were guilty as charged, then supervision would prevent him from hurting others. Win-Win.

Look at the heroism exhibited by St. Nectarios of Aegina who was falsely accused of an unfounded vague sexual impropriety.
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« Reply #24 on: January 25, 2014, 03:17:41 AM »

Quote
But what is truly shocking is the fact the alleged incident was not even reported until 2010, or about 30 years after it is supposed to have taken place.

It's not "shocking" at all. Child abuse, like rape and domestic violence, has only very recently come out of the taboo status which it "enjoyed" since the year dot. Even a generation ago, it was almost impossible for a great many abuse victims to bring themselves to report the crimes committed against them, whether from a sense of shame and fear, or through being, erm, actively discouraged from doing so by the perpetrators, or the groups the perpetrators belonged to.

Thank God that society is now beginning to force authorities and organizations to face up to this grave, vile and most cowardly of crimes, against those least able to protect or defend themselves. Rank and privilege is no longer an impenetrable shield of immunity to hide behind.

The Irish Republic's Laffoy/Ryan Commission into child abuse ran for ten years, and examined cases going back as far as the 1930s. The Federal Government of Australia last year set up a national Royal Commission looking into child sexual abuse at the hands of individuals belonging to organizations and institutions, religious and secular. This inquiry is in addition to similar investigations carried out by individual Australian states, such as Victoria and South Australia.
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« Reply #25 on: January 25, 2014, 09:31:31 AM »

Quote
But what is truly shocking is the fact the alleged incident was not even reported until 2010, or about 30 years after it is supposed to have taken place.

It's not "shocking" at all. Child abuse, like rape and domestic violence, has only very recently come out of the taboo status which it "enjoyed" since the year dot. Even a generation ago, it was almost impossible for a great many abuse victims to bring themselves to report the crimes committed against them, whether from a sense of shame and fear, or through being, erm, actively discouraged from doing so by the perpetrators, or the groups the perpetrators belonged to.

Thank God that society is now beginning to force authorities and organizations to face up to this grave, vile and most cowardly of crimes, against those least able to protect or defend themselves. Rank and privilege is no longer an impenetrable shield of immunity to hide behind.

The Irish Republic's Laffoy/Ryan Commission into child abuse ran for ten years, and examined cases going back as far as the 1930s. The Federal Government of Australia last year set up a national Royal Commission looking into child sexual abuse at the hands of individuals belonging to organizations and institutions, religious and secular. This inquiry is in addition to similar investigations carried out by individual Australian states, such as Victoria and South Australia.

Sadly, it is indeed not "shocking"as LBK notes,  but we do need to be aware in any rush by some to judgment (media, advocacy groups) that sometimes, so called repressed memories are not credible and before a prosecutor files charges based on such suppressed or recovered recollections (as in this case) a fair amount of time to allow for forensic psychological evaluations of the evidence and to investigate to the best extent possible, the circumstances of the alleged crime. So I'm not sure the four year delay in filing charges is as significant as some hope.

As to this being the decision of one judge, I recall that a jury trial was waived by the Bishop's lawyers.

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« Reply #26 on: January 25, 2014, 10:03:56 AM »

So I'm not sure the four year delay in filing charges is as significant as some hope.

No, because the long delay had nothing to do with Archbishop Seraphim's case in and of itself.  A separate case in Winnipeg had emerged and took a great deal of the prosecutors' resources.  Archbishop Seraphim voluntarily waived his right to a swift trial to allow that to proceed before his own trial.
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« Reply #27 on: January 25, 2014, 10:36:43 AM »

I do not know Abp. Seraphim and I cannot comment on the accusations.

However, someone being condemned, merely because the testimony against him sounds more credible than his own is something that goes against my understanding of justice.

What happened to "Innocent until proven guilty"? I hope that there either is clear evidence against him, which has not been mentioned yet, or that he will be qcquitted on appeal.

However credible the testimony of the plaintiffs may be to the court and to forensic psychologists, I do think there needs to be evidence for a condemnation.
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« Reply #28 on: January 25, 2014, 11:39:10 AM »

Conviction aside, I have had several problems with Archbishop Seraphim's behavior from the beginning:

1) When charged, he chose not to resign from his diocese and allow another bishop to minister to the people there.  He knew he would be unable to serve them for years, yet he held onto his throne.  I see in that a profound level of selfishness.

2) When he went on leave of absence, he wrote a transparently false letter explaining why he was going on leave.  What made it all the more ludicrous was that he had to know that the charges would be made public.  But, rather than leveling with his flock, he treated them like ignorant fools.

Call me old fashioned or even heartless, but I think we who serve are called to be selfless and honest in our ministry.  It would not be fair for me to hold onto my parish assignment if I could not serve for years, even if I believe I am innocent.  The Canadian community has suffered for lack of real pastoral leadership due to his refusal to resign.  But, when I read his letter, I knew that, win or lose, he has no business being a clergyman of any degree.

Lord have mercy!
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« Reply #29 on: January 25, 2014, 11:43:09 AM »

It's not "shocking" at all. Child abuse, like rape and domestic violence, has only very recently come out of the taboo status which it "enjoyed" since the year dot. Even a generation ago, it was almost impossible for a great many abuse victims to bring themselves to report the crimes committed against them, whether from a sense of shame and fear, or through being, erm, actively discouraged from doing so by the perpetrators, or the groups the perpetrators belonged to.

Though they do not involve children, I'm personally familiar with a couple of "abuse" cases which fit this basic description.  They occurred between 2004-present.  I wish it wasn't so, but this stuff still happens.  It doesn't shock me if it takes thirty years for a victim to come forward if people are still afraid to come out today.  I pray for them and their families.  

I also pray for Abp Seraphim.  I met him a few times and had some good conversations with him.  I don't know enough to say whether he was a good bishop or anything like that, but I was always impressed by the genuine love, gentleness, and even holiness that seemed to emanate from within him.  He's not someone I could imagine being able to kill a spider, let alone anything like what he is accused of.  Only God knows these things.    

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« Reply #30 on: January 25, 2014, 11:44:26 AM »

I do not know Abp. Seraphim and I cannot comment on the accusations.

However, someone being condemned, merely because the testimony against him sounds more credible than his own is something that goes against my understanding of justice.

What happened to "Innocent until proven guilty"? I hope that there either is clear evidence against him, which has not been mentioned yet, or that he will be qcquitted on appeal.

However credible the testimony of the plaintiffs may be to the court and to forensic psychologists, I do think there needs to be evidence for a condemnation.
I don't know about the Canadian version of Common Law, but in the US it is "beyond reasonable doubt."  The jury weighs the testimony (except in bench trials) IIRC, you don't have juries in most of Europe.  The letter, as Fr. Girguis described it, for instance, can be used to impeach credibility. I don't know if the accused here even testified (or if Canada has a similar right of the accused not to testify, as in the US 5th Amendment).
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« Reply #31 on: January 25, 2014, 12:05:44 PM »

I looked it up and criminal defendants have the right to remain silent but not the right to have a lawyer present during interrogation as in the States.http://ca.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20091206121612AAjqMpf

Historically, sex offense prosecutions required some collaborative evidence to secure a conviction, but recent trends in Anglo American law have somewhat loosened this up leading some to fear the pendulum has swung too far.

In Canadian law, the finder of fact may not draw an inference from a defendant's failure to testify.

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« Reply #32 on: January 25, 2014, 12:06:06 PM »

Yes, I know I sound perhaps a bit aggressive, but I think many people would be offended if their bishop, who was facing real legal problems that would take years to resolve, wrote this:

“Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I am informing all at this time that on 19 September 2010, I wrote to Metropolitan Jonah and asked the blessing to resign from all the duties I held with the Holy Synod, in particular those of the Lesser Synod, and Chairing External Affairs, and Chairing the Board of Theological Education. Metropolitan Jonah then responded by blessing this resignation from these responsibilities.

Shortly afterwards, the Metropolitan with the Lesser Synod, gave me a Leave-of Absence for three months from my responsibilities within the Archdiocese. This Leave then began in part, but with the exception of several particular matters that had to be completed first. The last of these is the opening of this Archdiocesan Council Meeting on 1 October
at about 1300 hrs in Ottawa. Having also seen my physician, I was informed that this Leave is rather over-due.

During the course of the Leave, Bishop Irenee (Rochon), our Vicar Bishop, together with the Chancellor, Igumen Alexander (Pihach), and the Secretary, Protodeacon Nazari Polataiko will care for all of the pastoral service, and the administrative service of the Archdiocese.

As all ought by now to be aware, the Office of the Archdiocese is in the process of its move to the Cathedral premises in Ottawa, a process which takes time, and which should be completed before the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord. The telephone number of the Office has been forwarded to Protodeacon Nizari’s mobile telephone number since 10 September. The general e-mail address of the Archdiocesan Bishop (vladyka@archdiocese.ca) will remain as it is, and be administered by Protodeacon Nazari.

It is my intention, and hope, to maintain as much solitude and silence as possible.

Giving thanks to God for everything, and in particular giving thanks to God for all the Christ-loving labour and service being offered to Him by the clergy and the faithful of the Archdiocese of Canada, I remain,

With love in Christ,

The Archbishop of Ottawa and Canada
+Seraphim”


Source: http://www.ocanews.org/news/SeraphimLOA10.2.10.html

Three months has turned into over three years.  He may be guilty and he may be innocent, but I don't think that his refusal to retire is a sign of good character.

Yes, the Holy Synod could have fought him... in the middle of problems with Metropolitan Jonah and Bishop Matthias, and along with continued belligerence of Bishop Tikhon (formerly of San Francisco) and Bishop Nikolai (formerly of Alaska).  The right thing to do would have been to step down from the throne and allow Bishop Irenee to assume eparchial authority, or allow another bishop to be elected.  Now, the OCA is once again shamed by a sitting bishop being convicted of a crime, regardless of his real guilt or innocence.

We cannot place personalities before principles when it comes to the well-being of the Church.  Too often we allow our personal opinions and emotions blind us to what is best for the entire community.  Everyone is entitled to hold the Archbishop in whatever esteem they so choose, but that does not mean that the good name of the Church and the well-being of many souls should be jeopardized by our feelings.

This isn't condemnation of his immortal soul, but calling into question his decisions and therefore his fitness.  We have a monastic episcopacy for a reason, and it is not about celibacy but the ability to NOT always put one's self first.  married bishops folded during persecutions because they have families.  Monks do not have families, and so when they fold, they fold for an entirely different reason.

I love the OCA, and the pain caused by Archbishop Seraphim's situation has been my pain as well.  This situation cannot look good to the already highly-secularized Canadian community, and the sad thing is that he knew he was taking a risk with a trial.  The least he could have done is separated himself somewhat from the OCA hierarchy by resigning his see.  Like when a ship catches fire, it moves away from the fleet so as to not jeopardize the other ships.  He refused.  I think that is bad.


Conviction aside, I have had several problems with Archbishop Seraphim's behavior from the beginning:

1) When charged, he chose not to resign from his diocese and allow another bishop to minister to the people there.  He knew he would be unable to serve them for years, yet he held onto his throne.  I see in that a profound level of selfishness.

2) When he went on leave of absence, he wrote a transparently false letter explaining why he was going on leave.  What made it all the more ludicrous was that he had to know that the charges would be made public.  But, rather than leveling with his flock, he treated them like ignorant fools.

Call me old fashioned or even heartless, but I think we who serve are called to be selfless and honest in our ministry.  It would not be fair for me to hold onto my parish assignment if I could not serve for years, even if I believe I am innocent.  The Canadian community has suffered for lack of real pastoral leadership due to his refusal to resign.  But, when I read his letter, I knew that, win or lose, he has no business being a clergyman of any degree.

Lord have mercy!
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« Reply #33 on: January 25, 2014, 01:16:28 PM »

I erred in approving this post. Even though Archbishop Seraphim stands convicted of one charge of molesting a boy in his flock, he is still a bishop of the Church, the Body of Christ. Therefore, according to the rules of the OC.net forum, we are still to give him the respect due his hierarchical office. That means that we are not permitted to call him derogatory names or attack him personally, as was done in this post. Any more posts that contain such personal attacks on His Eminence as I saw in this post will be rejected or draw harsh public censure.

The mistake in approving this post was mine. Please forgive me for any offense my mistake may have caused you.

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Regarding Clergy Titles

1. Any clergy of the mainline (i.e. non vagante) OO, EO New- and Old-Calendarist Churches shall be called by their proper title or salutation, a respectable abbreviation of such, or an acceptable academic-style reference.  Extreme abbreviations are only appropriate for institutions or large groups (i.e. MP for "Moscow Patriarchate" not "Patriarch of Moscow").  All such references should be made with respect following proper decorum (i.e. no inclusion of pejoratives or other personal attacks).

E.g. When referring to the current Archbishop of Athens and all Greece, "Archbishop Ieronymos II of Athens," "Archbishop Ieronymos," "His Beatitude Ieronymos of Athens," "His Beatitude Ieronymos," and "the Archbishop of Athens," etc., would all be appropriate; "Ieronymos (Liapis) of Athens," or “Ieronymos of Athens” are acceptable academic-style references; just "Ieronymos," or some sort of nickname ("Jeronimo") would not be appropriate.

2. Any man formerly a clergyman of one of the groups named in #1 who has been removed from clerical status without the dispute of or transfer to the other 2 groups shall not be referred to as an active clergyman, but either by their lay name, or as a former clergyman.  Again, such references should be made without pejoratives or personal attacks.

E.g. If a man named Paul Smith was defrocked from the priesthood (for abusing children, preaching heresy, etc.), you can call him "Mr. Paul Smith," "former priest Paul Smith," or even "disgraced former priest Paul Smith," but not, "Paul Smith the rapist" or "the heretic Paul Smith," etc.

3. Any person who is a clergyman of a group not listed in #1 can either be referred to by their official clerical title, a corresponding title appropriate with their position, or an appropriate academic-style reference; however, this must be done without pejorative, maintaining a minimal state of decorum.

E.g. The current Roman (Latin) Catholic Pope of Rome can be referred to as “Pope Francis I of Rome,” “Pope Francis,” “the Pope of Rome,” etc.; “Francis (Bergoglio) of Rome” or “Francis of Rome” are acceptable academic-style references.  It would not be appropriate to call him Cardinal Bergoglio (since that is no longer his title in the RCC), the Heretic, Francis, or any other pejorative, diminutive, or other form of insult.

4.  Defrocked clergy who go to other jurisdictions/groups should be treated with usual courtesies; those who do not go to other groups shall be treated as laymen/monks.

As for vagantes, we can use the most basic definition: groups with only 2-3 bishops.
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« Reply #34 on: January 25, 2014, 02:26:28 PM »

I do not know Abp. Seraphim and I cannot comment on the accusations.

However, someone being condemned, merely because the testimony against him sounds more credible than his own is something that goes against my understanding of justice.

What happened to "Innocent until proven guilty"? I hope that there either is clear evidence against him, which has not been mentioned yet, or that he will be qcquitted on appeal.

However credible the testimony of the plaintiffs may be to the court and to forensic psychologists, I do think there needs to be evidence for a condemnation.
I don't know about the Canadian version of Common Law, but in the US it is "beyond reasonable doubt."  The jury weighs the testimony (except in bench trials) IIRC, you don't have juries in most of Europe.  The letter, as Fr. Girguis described it, for instance, can be used to impeach credibility. I don't know if the accused here even testified (or if Canada has a similar right of the accused not to testify, as in the US 5th Amendment).

Unfortunately, the US legal system does make mistakes or even covers up/tampers with evidence to condemn innocent people to death as has happened in Texas.
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« Reply #35 on: January 25, 2014, 03:58:43 PM »

@ reply # 33 As I replied to in your private note, the OCA is not a 'cult' and my open, public response in this forum was in no way 'creepy'.
He is, well, was our Archbishop and during his episcopacy we could not have
asked for a kinder, gentler more fatherly man. Of course he was beloved by us. As I warned you in our exchange of private notes you have crossed the line of propriety and I am going to call this exchange to the moderator.
Your post name is well chosen.
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« Reply #36 on: January 25, 2014, 04:28:56 PM »

@ reply # 33 As I replied to in your private note, the OCA is not a 'cult' and my open, public response in this forum was in no way 'creepy'.
He is, well, was our Archbishop and during his episcopacy we could not have
asked for a kinder, gentler more fatherly man. Of course he was beloved by us. As I warned you in our exchange of private notes you have crossed the line of propriety and I am going to call this exchange to the moderator.
Your post name is well chosen.
His post was approved by a moderator (because he is currently on post moderation and needs moderatorial approval for every post he submits to this forum). If you have a problem with my decision to approve his post, please take that up with me via private message.
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« Reply #37 on: January 25, 2014, 05:44:27 PM »

 The jury weighs the testimony (except in bench trials)

1) Does that mean one can be condemned if the other's testimony sounds more credible, without any proof?
2) Was there a jury trial in this particular case?
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« Reply #38 on: January 25, 2014, 05:49:34 PM »

 The jury weighs the testimony (except in bench trials)

1) Does that mean one can be condemned if the other's testimony sounds more credible, without any proof?
2) Was there a jury trial in this particular case?

The Archbishop and his lawyers waived the right to a jury trial, apparently feeling that they would have a better chance with a Judge determining the weight of the evidence given all of the publicity around clergy sex abuse in North America the past few years.

While an attorney, I am not familiar with Canadian law so I can not answer the first question. It goes to what is called the burden of proof and the competency and weight of the evidence as applied to the statutory framework which establishes the bases for the charged criminal conduct.

Perhaps a Canadian attorney or police officer would be so kind as to weigh in on this issue?
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« Reply #39 on: January 25, 2014, 05:54:43 PM »

The article cited in Elisha's announcement of the verdict indicates that the judge was convinced beyond any reasonable doubt of His Eminence's guilt on the one charge. This sounds very similar to the language I've heard in the USA as foundation for conviction of a crime, that the evidence must be convincing beyond any shadow of a reasonable doubt.
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« Reply #40 on: January 25, 2014, 07:27:25 PM »

The article cited in Elisha's announcement of the verdict indicates that the judge was convinced beyond any reasonable doubt of His Eminence's guilt on the one charge. This sounds very similar to the language I've heard in the USA as foundation for conviction of a crime, that the evidence must be convincing beyond any shadow of a reasonable doubt.

What evidence? As I heard there was only a testimony.
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« Reply #41 on: January 25, 2014, 08:02:20 PM »

The article cited in Elisha's announcement of the verdict indicates that the judge was convinced beyond any reasonable doubt of His Eminence's guilt on the one charge. This sounds very similar to the language I've heard in the USA as foundation for conviction of a crime, that the evidence must be convincing beyond any shadow of a reasonable doubt.

What evidence? As I heard there was only a testimony.
The evidence is the eye-witness account. The judge (or jury) must consider the credibility of the witness. It appears that the Archbishop did not dispute some of the facts. His version of the details appeared less credible.

I have sat in on three court cases (all here in Canada) not terribly different from this one: two were for sexual assault, one for another sex-related crime. In one assault case, the perpetrator wisely pled guilty, so I heard only the sentencing arguments. In both other cases, there was only eye-witness testimony and in both cases, the defendant was acquitted. I remember the judge saying in one case that he made his judgement believing that a jury would not find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
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« Reply #42 on: January 25, 2014, 08:09:07 PM »

would some please explain to me why Fr. giryus' posting are completely blank?
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« Reply #43 on: January 25, 2014, 08:32:03 PM »

In both other cases, there was only eye-witness testimony and in both cases, the defendant was acquitted. I remember the judge saying in one case that he made his judgement believing that a jury would not find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

So how come the ruling was otherwise in this case? What is the big difference?
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« Reply #44 on: January 25, 2014, 09:08:46 PM »

would some please explain to me why Fr. giryus' posting are completely blank?
They work on mine and I quoted one of his above.
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