Local Orthodox bishop apologizes for misconduct

Author: Manya Brachear
Date Published: 11/04/2012
Orthodox Church in America logo (From Orthodox Church in America website / November 4, 2012)
Orthodox Church in America logo (From Orthodox Church in America website / November 4, 2012)

The local bishop of the Orthodox Church in America accused in August of “inappropriate” behavior with a woman has been found guilty of sexual misconduct by church investigators, but will remain at the helm of the Midwest Diocese.

Bishop Matthias (born David Lawrence Moriak) will stay on administrative leave until he meets the “rehabilitative measures” required by the church’s Holy Synod. Those measures include directly asking forgiveness from the woman who submitted a complaint, participating in a residential therapeutic program designed for clergy, and undergoing a mentorship with a peer bishop who will then recommend whether Bishop Matthias can return to his post.

“I am deeply sorry that I have offended, confused, and caused hurt to this young woman,” Bishop Matthias said in a letter read to parishioners during worship services on Sunday. “I will communicate my apology directly and personally to her.”

According to a statement issued by the Holy Synod, Bishop Matthias allegedly sent inappropriate text and e-mail messages to a female parishioner in the diocese. She filed a formal complaint in August, the statement said.

“I wish that I could convince all of you what I am certain of in my heart – that the conscious motives behind my interaction with this woman were not impure,” Bishop Matthias said in his letter on Sunday. “But, I know that only active, demonstrated repentance – confession of my sins, pursuit of the means of changing, and a resulting change in conduct – will be convincing.”


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