Canadian Orthodox Church Demotes Bishop Convicted Of Sexual Assault On Altar Boy

Author: Vittorio Hernandez
Date Published: 10/30/2015
Publication: Yibada
Seraphim Storheim (Photo : YouTube)
Seraphim Storheim (Photo : YouTube)

The Canadian Orthodox Church announced on Wednesday the demotion to monk of a 69-year-old Seraphim Storheim, a former archbishop who used to be the highest-ranking official in Canada of the Orthodox Church in America.

Winnipeg Free Press reports that the Holy Synod of Bishops in Detroit last week agreed to defrock Storheim as a priest after he was convicted in early 2014 of sexual assault of an altar boy in the 1980s. Storheim was the parish priest of the Holy Trinity Sobor Orthodox Church then.

He sought the reversal of his conviction before the Manitoba Court of Appeal but lost, so he began to serve his eight-month sentence in early 2015. He got an early release in June.

A spokesman of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a support group for victims of sexual assault by clergymen, said it is happy with the archbishop’s defrocking. However, it sought disclosure of the condition of his release to ensure he could no longer contact children.

He adds to the growing list of pastors or priests abusing their position of authority to sexually abuse members of their church.

News of his defrocking came after a two-year-old story of another sexual abuse by an evangelical pastor in Brazil resurfaced on Friday in Facebook. Sobrino Valdeci Picanto, pastor of the Apore Assembly in Goias, Brazil, was arrested in 2013 for fooling his female members to perform oral sex or fellatio on him. Picanto made them believe that his semen is sacred milk.

He was caught while rubbing his genital in the face of a local businesswoman whom he promised would make more sales in her shop because of the holy milk from his penis. In getting away with the sexual abuse, even among elderly women followers, Picanto even used the name of Jesus, saying he met Christ in a brothel and allegedly gave him permit to spread his semen in the Brazilian state.

In early October, Gerald Dean Campbell, general manager and pastor of the Victory Christian Children’s Home in Malawi, was accused of abusing 11 minors who are all orphans, reports OA Online. When he was questioned on Sept. 25 by U.S. federal agents, Campbell, an American, admitted to have fondled the genitals of two boys and had oral sex with them.