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I agree with your surprise.

However, its such a terrible, embarrassing thing for the OCA that I think perhaps people did not post on this in the interest of decorum.

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I think until all the facts about the situation come to light it is the proper thing to withhold judgment or commit on Archbishop Seraphim or the situation.

I pray for the Archbishop, the alleged victims, and the whole OCA.

Also, did any one notice how they kept calling Archbishop Seraphim by his secular name; I would think that they could respect Orthodox tradition and refer to him by his monastic name.

Last edited by Nelson Chase; 11/30/10 10:40 PM.
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I read this story days ago and a question came to mind that someone here might answer. As I understand the Orthodox position, a bishop is the highest clerical office and all bishops are equal in authority and responsibility. Obviously, in the Latin Church there is a hierarchical structure in which the Pope can remove a bishop from his office if that should become necessary.

In an Orthodox jurisdiction can a bishop who is in need of removal for whatever reason, but who refuses to resign be removed from his diocese? Would it be necessary to call a local council of some sort to accomplish the replacement of a bishop?

Please don't construe this as a comment on this particular situation. I am curious of how the different systems function.

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Originally Posted by Nelson Chase
Also, did any one notice how they kept calling Archbishop Seraphim by his secular name; I would think that they could respect Orthodox tradition and refer to him by his monastic name.


Nelson,

In truth, the reference to the Archbishop by his secular name is probably for the best in these circumstances, as it avoids confusion between him and other bishops by the same name - such as His Grace Bishop Seraphim (Sigrist), among others.

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
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Originally Posted by JimG
I read this story days ago and a question came to mind that someone here might answer. As I understand the Orthodox position, a bishop is the highest clerical office and all bishops are equal in authority and responsibility. Obviously, in the Latin Church there is a hierarchical structure in which the Pope can remove a bishop from his office if that should become necessary.

In an Orthodox jurisdiction can a bishop who is in need of removal for whatever reason, but who refuses to resign be removed from his diocese? Would it be necessary to call a local council of some sort to accomplish the replacement of a bishop?

Please don't construe this as a comment on this particular situation. I am curious of how the different systems function.


National Church Synods can, and in recent years have done so in several countries, remove a Bishop in accordance with Orthodox practice.

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Christ is in our midst!!

This hunting of bishops and priests for alleged actions that were supposed to have taken place decades ago frightens me. I can't think of any other group or category of people who have ever been so targeted. It seems to me to be a campaign focused on marginalizing the Church and her message in the world. And that campaign has no other source than . . .

Regardless of what the outcome is, Vladyka will never be above suspicion, as other priests have discovered in similar circumstances. The press goes wild in reporting these accusations, but hardly ever reports with as much enthusiasm an outcome of innocence.

Prayers for Vladyka Seraphim.

Bob

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Here is an interesting bit by Alan M. Dershowitz

In Defense of the Pope

by Alan M. Dershowitz

Having criticized particular Catholic cardinals for blaming everything–including the Church’s sex scandal–on “the Jews”, let me now come to the defense of the Pope and of the Church itself on this issue. To begin with, this is an extraordinarily complex problem, because the Church has at least five important traditions that make it difficult to move quickly and aggressively in response to complaints of abuse.

The first tradition involves confidentiality, particularly not exclusively the confidentiality of the priest with regard to the penitent. But there is also a wider spread tradition of confidentiality within the Church hierarchy itself.

Second, there is the tradition of forgiveness. Those of us outside the Church often think, perhaps, that the Church goes too far in forgiving. I was shocked when the previous Pope immediately forgave the man who tried to assassinate him. But this episode and other demonstrate that the tradition of forgiveness is all too real.

Third, there is the tradition of the Church regarding itself as a state. The Vatican is, after all, a nation state. The Catholic Church is not big on the separation of church and state, as are various Protestant denominations. The Catholic Church, like Orthodox Judaism, believes that matters affecting the faithful should generally be dealt within the church, without recourse to secular authorities.

Fourth, the Vatican prides itself on moving slowly and in seeing the time frame of life quite differently than the quick pace at which secular societies respond to the crisis of the day.

Fifth, the Catholic Church has long had a tradition of internal due process. Cannon Law provides for scrupulous methods of proof. The concept of the “devil’s advocate” derives from the Church’s effort to be certain that every “t” is crossed and every “I” is dotted, even when it comes to selecting saints.

None of these explanations completely justify the long inaction of the Church in coming to grips with a serious problem. But they do help to explain how good people could have allowed bad things to happen for so long a period of time. Nor is the Catholic Church the only institution that has faced problems of sexual abuse. Every hierarchical body, especially but not exclusively religious ones, has faced similar problems, though perhaps on not so large a scale.

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Archbishop Seraphim has been suspended by the OCA:

To the Reverend Clergy and Faithful of our Archdiocese of Canada,
Orthodox Church in America:

On November 30, 2010, during a special meeting called by His
Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah, the Holy Synod of Bishops of the
Orthodox Church in America decided to suspend Archbishop
Seraphim. This decision was reached after careful deliberations and
in accordance with the policies and procedures of the Orthodox Church
in America which are mandated in cases of allegations of sexual misconduct.

At the same time, the Holy Synod has designated His Grace Bishop
Irenee of Quebec City to be the Administrator of the Archdiocese of
Canada, responsible for all aspects of the hierarchical supervision
of the Archdiocese.

Commemorations during the liturgical services should be for His
Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah and Bishop Irenee of Quebec City,
Administrator of the Archdiocese of Canada.

In Christ Jesus

Igumen Alexander (Pihach)
Chancellor Archdiocese of Canada


I was particularly impressed with the pdf attached to the posted link. http://www.oca.org/PDF/NEWS/2010/2010-1201-mandateversionforpublicationrevb.pdf The independent nature of the Synodal Commision coupled with the clarity of its stated purpose and goals seems to me to be an exemplar for the various Orthodox jurisdictions (and others) in North America to consider as they may have to deal with such matters in the future. May they be guided by the Holy Spirit in their difficult work.


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May I ask why the archbishop was suspended? Have the allegations already been proven?

I assume being "suspended" is the same thing as being "deposed?"

Blessings

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Originally Posted by mardukm
May I ask why the archbishop was suspended? Have the allegations already been proven?

I assume being "suspended" is the same thing as being "deposed?"


Marduk,

The charges are in the process of being investigated.

The Archbishop has been suspended pending investigation of the allegations by the Synodal Commission and the civil authorities. No, suspension is not the same as being deposed - the latter is permanent, the former is temporary.

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."

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