In 1986 the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) suspended Archimandrite Panteleimon Metropoulos of Holy Transfiguration Monastery (HTM) in Brookline, Massachusetts, from the priesthood in the wake of serious moral charges. Six individuals, all of whom were former members of that monastic community as well as tonsured great schema monks, alleged sexual abuse and exploitation at the hands of the archimandrite. Some of the men averred that the abuse occurred over a period of many years. A few of the former monks also perceived a ”cult mentality” at the monastery, which they believed Archimandrite Panteleimon created and sustained in order to perpetuate his power over the bodies and the minds of those under spiritual obedience to him.
However, before the investigation into the moral charges could be completed, HTM accused ROCOR of having heretically departed from the teaching of the Orthodox Church by professing ecumenism, and aligned themselves with Bishops Gabriel and Akakios, an old calendar group from Greece. Simultaneously, Archimandrite Panteleimon and his supporters alleged that the ROCOR bishops should have ignored the claims of the six appellants because they were not reputable witnesses according to HTM’s interpretation of the canon regarding witnesses in an ecclesiastical court.
In response, the Synod of Bishops of ROCOR declared that Archimandrite Panteleimon and the clergymen aligned with him had deposed themselves.
The monastery and its followers formed a new jurisdiction which they called the Holy Orthodox Church of North America (HOCNA). HOCNA left the jurisdiction of Bishops Gabriel and Akakios after only a year, and joined the Synod of Archbishop Auxentios.
Since the original complaints of the six monks in 1987, as many as 20 former monks have now come forward with corroborating stories describing spiritual and sexual abuse inflicted by Fr. Panteleimon (and others) at Holy Transfiguration Monastery.
In addition to the information found on this page, there is also a ”44 Page Report” By John Chaplain, et. al. This report is the result of an extensive investigation of the molestation charges at HTM (including interviews) done by John Chaplain and others. Requests for copies of this report will be forwarded to the authors.