Update: Archimandrite Michael Rymer

Author: Staff
Date Published: 08/25/2012
Publication: Pokrov.org

As has been previously reported by Pokrov.org, the former Archimandrite Michael Rymer has been living at the Monastery of Saint John of San Francisco in Manton, California. The monastery belongs to the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), Diocese of the West.

Pokrov.org has long suspected that Rymer acquired a new name while at Saint John. Recent postings, here and here, on the blog Monomakhos confirm that Rymer is now known as “Father Nektarios.”

A Father Nektarios is the monastery’s guestmaster. Moreover, one man who spent a summer at the monastery as a novice has alleged that Rymer is not only the second in command of the abbot, Archimandrite Meletios Webber, but also his confessor.

On Saturday, August 18, 2012, the monks at Saint John were evacuated in the wake of the “Ponderosa Fire.” According to an article on the OCA’s website, after a brief stay at a Red Cross shelter, the monks went their separate ways to stay with friends and family. Pokrov.org has no information on where Rymer is spending this time, or if the people who are sheltering him know about his background.

Rymer was defrocked by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (GOA) for being sexually active with a young Orthodox man who had a mental handicap and who viewed Rymer as his spiritual father. According to court documents, Rymer had unprotected sex with the young man while HIV positive, and continued to do so even after he developed AIDS.

Rymer began his sojourn at Saint John while Metropolitan Jonah Paffhausen was the abbot. During this time the GOA received a letter from the monastery asking that the former archimandrite be reinstated to the priesthood.