“Earth to Bishop Nikolai, Earth to Fr. Isidore, Do You Read Us?”

Author: Paul Cromidas
Date Published: 01/23/2008
Publication: Pokrov

Pokrov Note: While the crimes for which Dushkin was arrested occurred both before and after his semester at St. Herman’s, the official statement from Bishop Nikolai (Soraich) is that Dushkin was expelled from the seminary in December, 2003. While Dushkin had applied for readmission, the bishop indicated that it had not yet been granted at the time of Dushkin’s arrest in July, 2004. Dushkin, according to Bishop Nikolai, was expelled from the seminary for breaking an unspecified rule. ___________________________________________________

A January 10th story in the Anchorage Daily News tells of the installation by Bishop Nikolai of a convicted sex offender as a lay reader in the Orthodox Church in Alaska. Judging from the comments attributed to the Chancellor of the Alaska diocese, Fr. Isidore, this action appears to be in flagrant disregard of any standard of decency, or of protection of parishioners and the public.

The Chancellor is quoted as saying that “This is not a scandal in any way.” Really? The man in question, Terenty Dushkin, now 26, was charged with 11 sex crimes in 2004 when he was a student at St. Herman’s Theological Seminary in Kodiak. Court records indicate he was convicted on three counts, one for having sex with a minor, another for fondling a minor and a third for making a pornographic movie using a 17 year old. Sounds like a serious matter. But, Fr. Isidore said it “may have been a youthful indiscretion on Mr. Dushkin’s part