Church chancellor collects testimony from clergy in Kodiak

Author: Ralph Gibbs
Date Published: 03/24/2008

Orthodox Church in America officials may expand the investigation of Bishop Nikolai Soraich to include possible malfeasance, church chancellor Archpriest Alexander Garklavs said in an interview in Kodiak, Friday.

Fr. Alexander made the statement in response to recent allegations by supporters of Bishop Nikolai during a public relations blitz earlier this month that cash-strapped OCA leaders want the Alaska diocese leader gone to get the money Alaska lands produce.

It’s an accusation Fr. Alexander flatly denied.

“First of all, there is absolutely no truth whatsoever that any of the actions taken by the Holy Synod, my assignment or my being here has anything to do with trying to establish control over or get revenue from lands that the church owns here,” he said. “In fact, there have been some allegations of the possibilities of some irregularities in management of church-owned lands by the present administration.”

Land mismanagement by Bishop Nikolai isn’t a new charge. The rumor dogged his administration for several years and resulted in a Dec. 5, 2006, open letter by the bishop on his Web site denying the allegations.

“In addition to being accused of