Archbishop Seraphim Found Guilty; OCA Synod To Address Situation

By way of information, Archbishop Seraphim, the suspended bishop of Winnipeg, was found guilty of sexual assault.  The OCA synod has offered a statement.

I won’t say much by way of commentary.  I primarily wished to inform readers of this blog.  I will say, though, that many of us saw this coming.  I also think the OCA synod should have written and vetted its statement better.

[Note, previously I had written:

“In light of the guilty conviction the statement probably should have referred not to ‘accusers’ but to ‘victims.’  This line will be understood by some, perhaps many, to mean the synod does not really agree with the ruling and does not really believe the victims are victims, even if the Synod does agree with ruling.  I realize that only the charges brought by one of the two men (who had been boys at the time) were upheld, but in light of Archbishop Seraphim’s past apology for overstepping pastoral boundaries, using ‘victims’ in the plural could be warranted and would have come across more compassionately than ‘accusers.’  So, we’ll see how this all plays out and what actions the synod will ultimately take.”

The Synod has now changed it’s statement so that it speaks of victims.  This is a good step forward.]

5 Responses

    1. Oh, I could only speculate and in times like these, it’s often best not to do that. At this point, what’s done is done. Now, we move forward in grace and humility.

  1. chanan leslie

    The judge’s reasoning process is impaired. Guilty without any evidence abrogates the essential common law necessity of innocent until PROVEN guilty. Secondly how can he argue that he was a child molester with one boy but not interested in the other – that is faulty reasoning and shows a misunderstanding of child predators. Third, the judge says the accused puts up certain “concepts” in his responses and he doesn’t like that; what in the sam heck does Seraphim’s grammar and scholarship have to do with his guilt or innocence?

    And then other witnesses said he pastored with an open door to other parishioners who might enter at any time. and the judge heard of a whole body of parishioners of many parishes of his being a saintly man. always meek and gentile in all respects and always has been. this makes me highly suspicious of this judge and who appointed him – the ndp? happy life and times in ndp and liberal manitoba. i doubt a jury would have convicted him. also, the accusers were egged on by a wayfaring anti-priest organization from another country, all the while we know that putin wants to see the end of the OCA Orthodox. this smells like bad justice to me, and i’m the descendent of the chief justice of england, sir matthew hale. yes, something is rotten on the manitoba bench. post thought: sounds also like an absolutely incompetent defence lawyer: the first rule of defence trials is You NEVER put the accused on the witness stand. By doing so, the prosecutor can then by subtle legalize and cross-examination, trip up the accused and make him look more guilty (ie to the judge) than he actually was.

    1. I am sure you are not alone. I do not see the situation as you do, as even the news article makes it clear how and why the ruling was as it was, but lacking the actual court transcript, etc., it is not my intention to get into all of this in a back-and-forth manner here. My main point is simply to inform people of the guilty finding, which we must all take seriously. I have linked to an article and the synodal statement. If you want to fly in the face of the ruling and what evidence there was, please do so on another site.

  2. philippa

    I cried when I read this news; for the alleged victim(s) and for Abp. Seraphim. What puzzles me is that no further alleged victim(s) have come forward with similar testimony which is generally the case in these situations. Where one child was molested, there are many others. That hasn’t happened here.

    Nonetheless, the news is tragic for many people on many levels. May God have mercy on us all.

    I hope the Holy Synod addresses Fr. Kostoff’s culpability in this issue as well since he knew about the abuse for so many years but did nothing with the information (according to him) until called to testify.

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