Friday, October 08, 2010

Re: The Allegations against Abp. Seraphim

By now most of you have heard that our Archbishop is under investigation by the Winnipeg police. He is on a leave of absence, which was announced on That announcement is also quoted by Bishop Irenee in a newly posted letter,which can be read via this link:

Some of you were present at vespers on Wednesday when we prayed about this matter, along with various other requests for particular needs, as we do every vespers. At that time, Fr. Lawrence gave a brief message prepared by him with help from Dn. Kurt and Dn. Greg. Several people have since asked for a copy, so it is now being posted here. You will find that Fr. Justin has also posted a helpful message on the St. John's blog.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
No doubt most of you will have heard about the allegations made about our Archbishop in the media. Regarding this situation, I would like to say the following:
1. The first thing to remember is that Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever. He is the true head of our Church, not Archbishop Seraphim or Fr. Lawrence or anyone else. As such, we continually look to Him for support. As the Scripture says, the joy of the Lord is our strength.
2. The archdiocese is currently in the capable and loving hands of Vladika Irenee, who has been given the task of being the Administrator of the Archdiocese for the present time. He has been at our church, and we have already experienced his pastoral care. 
3. The clergy of the Archdiocese, to the best of my knowledge, do not know anything beyond what they have read in the media and on the official OCA website. We found out about this situation when everyone else did.
4. The Archbishop has not been charged yet with anything. Certain allegations have been made, but to date, no charges have been laid.
5. The Church is cooperating with the police, and is also conducting its own investigation, as mandated in its Policies, Standards and Procedures on Sexual Misconduct. 
6. The early date of the alleged offence has no moral significance for the question one way or the other--the passage of time in itself does not lessen any offence.
7. The sacramental acts done by any cleric are not dependent upon his moral state--any baptisms or ordinations done by the Archbishop will remain valid regardless.
8. The proper response to the situation is prayer for all concerned, not speculation.
It is tempting to cope with the situation by talking endlessly about anticipated or feared outcomes.
The hardest thing is to simply wait and pray. But we must not let either any love for our Archbishop on the one hand, or any sense of moral indignation regarding the alleged offence on the other, dislodge us from our posture of prayer. We do not know the events of the past, or the outcomes of the future. All we know is that we are all in the hands of God.

All my love in the Lord,
Fr. Lawrence

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