Bishop on leave, under investigation for sexual misconduct
DEARBORN HEIGHTS — An Orthodox bishop has been placed on leave after allegations of sexual misconduct.
Dearborn Heights Archbishop Nathaniel Popp announced on Tuesday that his auxiliary bishop the Right Rev Irineu Duvlea, is under investigation.
In a statement, Popp said Duvlea, 53, is presumed innocent but will remain on leave and be prohibited from working during the investigation. Duvlea served as the bishop of Dearborn Heights and auxiliary bishop of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America.
Popp did not disclose any information about potential victims and called the investigation highly confidential.
“No one should discuss the investigation with anyone,” Popp said in the announcement.
In a statement, members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, commended Popp for making the investigation public.
However, Cappy Larson of SNAP Orthodox said the church should supply more information.
“Did the misconduct involve a parishioner?” Larson asked in the statement. “If so, was the victim a child, an adult, a male a female? How many victims have come forward? More complete disclosure can help to jog memories and reassure other survivors, producing additional testimony and evidence
Duvlea came to the United States in 2001 after serving as a monk in Romania. In Clinton, MI., Duvlea founded The Ascension of The Lord Monastery. He lead the Western States Vicariate of the OCA’s Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America and worked with parishes in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, Texas, Oregon and Washington.