- James A. Gibault
Igumen Damian Gibault is a priest in the Orthodox Church in America (OCA). He is the igumen of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos Monastery in Weaverville, North Carolina, which is listed on the OCA website in the unique category of “Under the Metropolitan’s Omophorion.”
Prior to his reception into the OCA in 2003, Gibault was the second in command of a Byzantine Catholic monastery and of a private academy in Miami, Florida. Both were called Holy Cross.
In March of 2001 a novice monk and student at the academy, Mykhaylo Kofel, brutally murdered a woman monastic. The young man, who had been brought from the Ukraine to Miami at the age of 14, accused Gibault and the abbot of the monastery and the principal of the academy, Archimandrite Gregory Wendt, of abusing Kofel sexually. Kofel’s statement to law enforcement, which is a matter of public record, is linked above. Gibault and Wendt have steadfastly denied the allegations, and no charges were ever filed against them. Moreover, the other novices testified that they were not abused, and that they did not observe Kofel being abused.