Archbishop Seraphim Found Guilty
The Canadian press is reporting that the former OCA Archbishop of Canada, Seraphim Storheim, was found guilty by a judge of the sexual misconduct charges against him. You can read the story in the Winnipeg Free Press and on CBCNews.
He was put on trial as a result of allegations of two men, brothers, who claimed the sexual abuse occurred in 1985. The judge found him guilty of one of the charges but ruled that the second man’s testimony did not meet the burden of proof required by the court. The court will set sentencing in a couple of months.
The OCA will now continue its own investigation into the allegations to determine what canonical and ecclesiastical discipline should be brought to bear on Archbishop Seraphim. He has been on suspension and a paid leave of absence for several years while the trial slowly wound its way through the Canadian judicial system.
Though he never publicly acknowledge it, knowledge of the allegations is thought to have caused him to remove his name from consideration for the office of Metropolitan of the Orthodox Church in America back in 2008.
While justice has been done, the tragic effects of such events will continue to reverberate through the lives of all of those involved in this case, including the membership of the Diocese. We all can pray that now the Diocese will have the Christian strength, love and courage to deal with the aftermath of the events themselves, the trial and the judgment.
You can also read the statement of the OCA Synod of Bishops on this case.