Bishop of Orthodox Church placed on leave pending investigation
The local bishop of the Orthodox Church in America has been placed on administrative leave amid allegations of “inappropriate” behavior with a woman.
The action comes more than a month after the church’s national leader, from Chicago, was forced to resign.
In a letter to parishioners, Bishop Matthias, 63, denied the accusations, which he said came to light in a formal complaint submitted to the church last week.
“The allegations are that I made unwelcome written and spoken comments to a woman that she regarded as an inappropriate crossing of personal boundaries and an abuse of my pastoral authority,” he wrote.
Born David Lawrence Moriak, Bishop Matthias was consecrated bishop of the Chicago and Midwest diocese last year. In accord with the denomination’s policies, Bishop Matthias will remain on paid administrative leave until a church investigation is completed.
The complaint comes a little more than a month after Chicago native Metropolitan Jonah resigned from the head of the church at the unanimous request of leaders, including Bishop Matthias.
A week after his resignation, the bishops disclosed that he failed to remove a priest accused of rape in 2010 and urged the accuser and her family to stay quiet. They blamed Metropolitan Jonah for exposing the church to legal liability.