Bishop for area Orthodox Church resigns after misconduct probe
Bishop Matthias, the Chicago-based head of the Midwest diocese for the Orthodox Church in America, will step down Monday, eight months after email and text messages sent by the bishop to a female parishioner came to light.
The church decided the emails and texts amounted to sexual misconduct. A statement posted to the church’s website Sunday read: “The healing of the Diocese and of the complainant, as well as Bishop Matthias’ own healing, would not be possible should he be returned to the Diocese as a ruling hierarch.”
Bishop Matthias, 64, born David Lawrence Moriak, was placed on administrative leave of absence after the church received the complaint on Aug. 24 regarding his behavior.
The announcement comes as the church prepares to celebrate Easter on May 5.
“He’s still a fully functioning bishop, he’s just retiring as head of the midwest diocese,” said John Adamcio, dean of Holy Trinity Cathedral, located in the Ukrainian Village neighborhood.
“It’s a very sad commentary on the state of affairs of the church and people’s reactions to certain circumstances that we don’t have the full story on, quite frankly,” he Adamcio.
Matthias served as the head of the midwest diocese, which is comprised of more than 80 churches in several states, for two years. There are about 5,500 church members of the midwest diocese, and 25,000 members nationally, said Adamcio.