Archimandrite Michael Rymer

Aliases:
  • Nektarios Reimer
  • Nektarios Rymer
  • Michael Reimer

Archimandrite Michael Rymer was a priest with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (GOA). He is now a monk called Father Nektarios at the Monastery of Saint John of San Francisco in Manton, California, and serves as guestmaster for the monastery.

Saint John belongs to the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), Diocese of the West. At the time that Rymer began his tenure at the OCA monastery, the abbot was Jonah Paffhausen.

Rymer was suspended from the priesthood by the GOA in December of 2003. While there is no record that this suspension was ever lifted, Rymer continued to be listed in GOA yearbooks as a chaplain, and performed at least one wedding.

In 2006 the spiritual court of the first instance recommended that Rymer be defrocked after he admitted the act of fornication with a layman. The spiritual court of the second instance returned Rymer to the status of a layman on December 11, 2006.

A lawsuit was also filed against the Metropolis of San Francisco and Rymer in 2006 on behalf of a mentally incompetent person. The complaint alleged that Rymer initiated unprotected sexual contact with the mentally incompetent person knowing that Rymer was HIV positive, and that Rymer did not inform the mentally incompetent person of Rymer’s HIV status. In addition, the complaint alleged that Rymer continued to have unprotected sexual contact with the mentally incompetent person even after Rymer developed AIDS in 1990.

The lawsuit was settled on September 18, 2008, when a judge approved the compromise of the case. Since the suit was brought on behalf of a mentally incompetent person, the court was required to review any settlement. The particulars of the agreement are sealed.

Some of the pleadings in this case are available online at the electronic information center for the Superior Court of San Francisco. The complaint and Rymer’s answer to the complaint are linked above.

Many other documents are available to peruse and copy at the courthouse in San Francisco, including excerpts from the depositions of the parties and the witnesses in the case.

Among the notable information in these documents is a reference in the deposition of Metropolitan Gerasimos Michaleas to a letter from the Monastery of St. John of San Francisco to Archbishop Demetrios Trakatellis, requesting the assistance of the GOA so that Rymer “might retain priestly faculties.”

Rymer served in the following GOA parishes:

Saint Basil Greek Orthodox Church (San Jose CA)

Saint Basil Greek Orthodox Church (Stockton CA)
1984-1987

Rymer was also involved in a GOA AIDS ministry, along with Father Michael Pappas.

In addition, Rymer served as a GOA Chaplain at the VA Health Care in Palo Alto, California.

Lawsuit:

John Doe vs. The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco, et. al.
Superior Court of the State of California
County of San Francisco
Case No. CGC-06-452168 (2006)

This is a suit for damages for the sexual abuse of a mentally incompetent man by Archimandrite Michael Rymer, a priest in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Metropolis of San Francisco.