Fr. Paisius DeLucia placed on leave of absence
On Saturday, February 21, the following announcement was published on the home page of the Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Diocese of the USA, Canada, and Australia:
From: The Diocesan Chancery
In response to the allegations and complaints against Archpriest Paisius DeLucia, Rector of St. Innocent’s Academy, Kodiak, Alaska, filed at the Diocesan Chancery by a number of individuals, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph has called the Diocesan Spiritual Court to convene on March 19-21, 2015.
An investigation by the Diocese is presently in progress and is being led by His Grace Bishop Daniil of Dragovitsa, the Metropolitan Vicar. Last week His Grace visited St. Innocent’s Academy in Kodiak and interviewed witnesses. On Feb 27-28, His Grace will meet with other witnesses in Syracuse, NY and on March 6-8 he will be visiting Indianapolis. All parties who are interested in giving their testimony may contact the Rectors of Holy Transfiguration Church, Syracuse and Joy of All Who Sorrow Church in Indianapolis for the schedule of meetings.
During the period of the investigation and until a decision of the Spiritual Court has been made, Archpriest Paisius DeLucia will be on leave of absence from St. Innocent’s Academy.
The Diocese has deep concern for all those people affected in any way. The prayers of all the faithful are requested for all involved in this weighty and sensitive matter.
While we at Academy Abuse are gratified to see that this action has been taken, there are a number of questions left unanswered (besides the obvious one: What took so long?)
- Why a leave of absence rather than a suspension? There is precedent for suspension. The lack of a suspension allows him to perform the functions of the Sacred Priesthood, and, perhaps more importantly in this case, pastoral care. Given the nature of Fr. Paisius’ pastoral “care” in the past, Academy Abuse believes it is inappropriate to continue to allow him at this time to engage in pastoral activity.
- Is Father Paisius required to leave the vicinity of Kodiak? If not, why? If so, where is he residing now?
- Is Father Paisius forbidden to have communication with anyone at the Academy, whether staff or student? If not, why?
- If Father Paisius has left Kodiak, who is responsible for the operation of St. Innocent’s Academy?
- Regarding the convening of the Spiritual Court, the Mixed Council serves as the Spiritual Court of the Diocese.
- Fr. Stevan Bauman is a member of the Mixed Council.
- Fr. Stevan is the longtime president of Christ the Saviour Brotherhood (CSB), which has supported St. Innocent’s Academy.
- Both Fr. Stevan and Fr. Paisius are longtime members of CSB.
- Therefore, has Metropolitan Joseph given any thought to the obvious conflicts of interest?
Academy Abuse strongly recommends extreme caution to those who choose to meet with Bishop Daniil in person. The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests has a similar recommendation.
- Bishop Daniil has already shamed and attempted to intimidate and discredit one witness.
- If you decide to go, do NOT go alone.
- If you can, take an attorney with you.
- Record the meeting, and if Bishop Daniil objects, tell him that the meeting will be recorded, or you will leave. Please let Academy Abuse know if this happens.
Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning. – Winston S. Churchill