Priest Alleged to Have Breached the Seal of Confession Receives Clergy Award

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Date Published: 06/06/2008
Publication: Pokrov
Frs. Ray Velencia and Martin (Duane) Johnson are presented to receive clergy awards.
Frs. Ray Velencia and Martin (Duane) Johnson are presented to receive clergy awards.

According to the website of the Orthodox Church in America, Met. Herman Swaiko bestowed a clergy award on Archpriest Raymond Velencia on May 10, 2008, during the consecration of St. Matthew Church in Columbia, Maryland. The exact nature of the award, as well as why it was given to the priest, was not disclosed.

Fr. Raymond has been sued by Kristine Patico Koumentakos and her husband, Nicholas Koumentakos. The Koumentakoses allege in their complaint that the priest revealed information obtained from Mrs. Koumentakos in confession and during private counseling sessions. Specifically, the suit accuses Fr. Raymond of sending an email (along with an attached letter) to thirty-nine individuals, among them Mark Stokoe, the editor of Orthodox Christians for Accountability, on or about November 1, 2007. A complete copy of the complaint is linked above.