Orthodox Church launches investigation into allegations against Canadian archbishop

Author: Staff
Date Published: 10/29/2010
Archbishop Seraphim Storheim, the Canadian head of the OCA, has taken a leave of absence beginning 10/1/2010 in the wake of a police investigation over accusations of sexual abuse dating back nearly 30 years. Photograph by: Pat McGrath, The Ottawa Citizen
Archbishop Seraphim Storheim, the Canadian head of the OCA, has taken a leave of absence beginning 10/1/2010 in the wake of a police investigation over accusations of sexual abuse dating back nearly 30 years. Photograph by: Pat McGrath, The Ottawa Citizen

OTTAWA — The Orthodox Church in America has launched an internal investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against Canadian Archbishop Seraphim Storheim.

The archbishop, based in Spencerville, has been on a leave of absence since the beginning of the month when it was revealed he was the focus of a police investigation into accusations of sexual abuse going back 30 years.

The church’s Holy Synod of Bishops announced the formation of a Synodal Commission that will conduct the internal investigation. Any information will be handed over to the relevant authorities, said a press release announcing the commission.

The abuse is alleged to have happened in the 1980s, when two then-10 year-old boys were visiting Winnipeg. Storheim, who was born in Edmonton, began his religious career as an Anglican priest, but later converted to the Orthodox Church and became a monk. He was ordained as a priest in New York in 1979, and became a bishop in Edmonton in 1989. He became the archbishop of Ottawa and Canada in March 2007. He’s also served in Winnipeg, Moose Jaw, Sask., London, Ont., and locations in Europe and the U.S.