17098Chicago Tribune: Local Orthodox bishop apologizes for misconduct
- Nov 4, 2012
Local Orthodox bishop apologizes for misconduct
By Manya Brachear
2:39 PM CST, November 4, 2012
The local bishop of the Orthodox Church in America accused in August of
"inappropriate" behavior with a woman has been found guilty of sexual misconduct
by church investigators, but will remain at the helm of the Midwest Diocese.
Bishop Matthias (born David Lawrence Moriak) will stay on administrative
leave until he meets the "rehabilitative measures" required by the church's Holy
Synod. Those measures include directly asking forgiveness from the woman who
submitted a complaint, participating in a residential therapeutic program
designed for clergy, and undergoing a mentorship with a peer bishop who will
then recommend whether Bishop Matthias can return to his post.
"I am deeply sorry that I have offended, confused, and caused hurt to this
young woman," Bishop Matthias said in a letter read to parishioners during
worship services on Sunday. "I will communicate my apology directly and
personally to her."
According to a statement issued by the Holy Synod, Bishop Matthias allegedly
sent inappropriate text and e-mail messages to a female parishioner in the
diocese. She filed a formal complaint in August, the statement said.
"I wish that I could convince all of you what I am certain of in my heart –
that the conscious motives behind my interaction with this woman were not
impure," Bishop Matthias said in his letter on Sunday. "But, I know that only
active, demonstrated repentance – confession of my sins, pursuit of the means of
changing, and a resulting change in conduct – will be convincing."
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