Alaska diocese official visits Kodiak as worshippers continue to commemorate bishop put on leave

Author: Ralph Gibbs
Date Published: 03/20/2008

Orthodox Church in America officials confirmed Wednesday that Archpriest Alexander Garklavs is now in Alaska and one of his first stops was Kodiak.

Church leader Metropolitan Herman appointed Fr. Garklavs administrator of the Alaska diocese on March 8, after Bishop Nikolai Soraich was put on mandatory leave for refusing to depart Alaska during an investigation into alleged charges of abuse.

The bishop, who still refuses to leave, said on Wednesday that he would be happy to meet with Fr. Garklavs, but hasn’t as of Wednesday.

Garklavs likely stopped in Kodiak first because the island is one of the few Orthodox parishes in Alaska that defied Metropolitan Herman’s order to stop commemorating Bishop Nikolai in services.

In a recent letter addressed to his congregation, Rev. Innocent Dresdow said he would continue to commemorate Bishop Nikolai because he has been offered no canonical reason or official notification to do otherwise.

“Although it is true that various communiqu