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Metropolitan Jonah addresses faithful with regard to Investigation

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.oca.org/news/2313 Metropolitan Jonah addresses faithful with regard to Investigation 5/11/2010 Orthodox Church in America SYOSSET, NY [OCA] — In a
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 5, 2010
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      http://www.oca.org/news/2313

      Metropolitan Jonah addresses faithful with regard to Investigation

      5/11/2010

      Orthodox Church in America

      SYOSSET, NY [OCA] — In a letter dated Friday,
      November 5, 2010, His Beatitude, Metropolitan
      Jonah, addressed issues surrounding the
      investigation of allegations made against His
      Eminence, Archbishop Seraphim of Ottawa and Canada.

      The text of the letter reads as follows.


      “To the Clergy and Faithful of the Orthodox Church in America:

      “Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory Forever!
      “Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

      “We are taught by Our Lord that the truth will
      set us free. We welcome the truth as the only
      basis for compassion and the sole means by which
      the healing of all those affected may take place.
      Love, mercy, compassion and truth are the
      fundamental principles of our response to one
      another. May we be so graced to seek that truth,
      to accept it, and to see in it yet another
      opportunity to refocus our attention on ‘the life of the world to come.’

      “As you know, His Eminence, Archbishop Seraphim
      of the Archdiocese of Canada, is on a leave of
      absence. As has been reported by the Church, he
      is the subject of a recent investigation into
      allegations of events which date back many years.
      To date, no formal charges have been filed.

      “With regard to sexual misconduct, the Church is
      clear. It is an aberration, a tragedy that cannot
      be tolerated. Our goal as Church is to
      investigate all allegations within the
      limitations imposed on us by the circumstances of
      each case and to cooperate fully with the appropriate authorities.

      “It is critical for us to focus on pastoral
      responses that are free of speculation regarding
      the outcome of the allegations. We must show
      compassion to all parties — the victims and the
      accused, their families, and the entire Church
      community. We must neither speculate nor prejudge
      the results of any investigation. At the same
      time, it is essential for us as a Church to focus
      on the pastoral care of all parties involved and
      all those affected by this situation. Even when
      we deal with situations in which various people
      in the Church are in adversarial positions, we
      must show compassion and love to all parties.

      “On October 3, 2010, I blessed the Church’s
      Office for Review of Sexual Misconduct
      Allegations to work in conjunction with the
      Canadian authorities and to comply with the
      Orthodox Church in America’s policies and
      procedures in order to obtain the necessary
      information required to bring about a proper
      resolution. After review by the Office and in
      consultation with its members, the Holy Synod of
      Bishops appointed a Commission to devote
      particular attention to the specific allegations
      against Archbishop Seraphim. The membership of
      that Commission have been announced publicly.
      Anyone with relevant information will be given
      access to the Commission directly. We must be
      prepared to receive the results of the
      investigation, regardless of what they may be.
      And, as Church, we must resolve the matter in a
      manner that benefits the salvation of everyone
      involved, regardless of the outcome.

      “Despite the depth of the pain this matter has
      engendered throughout the Orthodox Church in
      America, we are coming together with faith and
      love. I especially want to assure the faithful of
      the Archdiocese of Canada that the depth of their
      pain is felt by the entire People of God. For a
      quarter of a century, the Archdiocese of Canada
      has grown spiritually under Archbishop Seraphim.
      The unswerving faith of the Archdiocese’s
      faithful, coupled with the Archpastoral guidance
      of Bishop Irenee, will only serve to hasten the healing process.
      “In conclusion, the investigations are in the
      competent hands of the appropriate civil
      authorities and the Church’s Synodal Commission.
      The Archdiocese of Canada is in the good hands of
      Bishop Irenee. We pray for the patience required
      to allow them to complete their work.

      “We need to pray for everyone involved – for the
      authorities, the Commission, the accusers, the
      Archdiocese of Canada, Bishop Irenee, Archbishop
      Seraphim, the families of all involved and for
      each other, that all will be blessed with God’s peace, love and healing.”
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