Suspended Archbishop Visiting Parish Complains SNAP
In a September 23rd article published on both the Pokrov and SNAP websites, Pokrov co-founder Cappy Larson of the Orthodox wing of Suvivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) complained that "suspended Archbishop Seraphim Storheim, a credibly accused child molester, is visiting a Canadian church this weekend."
"Less than a year ago, the Winnipeg police issued an arrest warrant for Storheim. He turned himself into the police in Edmonton last November. Storheim was questioned by the authorities and released after posting a $500 bond and surrendering his passport. The terms of his release also forbade Storheim from having contact with minors. The case involves the abuse of two ten year old boys.
At a special meeting on November 30, 2010, the Orthodox Church in America’s synod of bishops suspended Storheim.
Yet now, he is allowed to travel across the country to visit an All Saints of Alaska Orthodox Church in Victoria BC this weekend. (http://www.allsaintsofalaska.ca/) A copy of the announcement is below.
This further hurts those who are already suffering – wounded clergy sex abuse victims and concerned laity who were led to believe that clergy sex crimes and cover ups were being taken seriously by the Orthodox Church in America officials. We also question whether this violates the conditions of his release on bond that forbids having contact with minors."
Larson cites as evidence an email from a parishioner of the Victoria, BC parish arranging the event which would indicate that the visit is more than a just a personal visit:
"Dear Brothers and Sisters of All Saints,
Vladyka Seraphim will be visiting our parish on September 23rd. He will be with us for Vespers at 6:00pm to celebrate the Synaxis of All Saints of Alaska. We will then have a dinner at the parish with Vladkyka. This will be a potluck dinner. Fr. Michael will also be present and serving the vespers. Fr. Larry will be arriving from Alberta on the 23rd and is planning to be at vespers....
The following day, the 24th will be the official installation of Fr. Larry as our Priest. Following the divine liturgy, we will have a celebratory lunch to officially welcome Fr. Larry and Mat. Myra..."
The OCA has offered no comment. Archbishop Seraphim's preliminary hearing to determine if the Crown has sufficient evidence to proceed to trial is currently scheduled for mid-November in Winnipeg.