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Bless Fathers, Brothers and Sisters!
As many of you are aware the verdict regarding Vladyka Seraphim was guilty (on one of two counts against him). Vladyka's response was "I am appealing the judgment and to Glorify God." I imagine that you feel as I do, this is an attack on an innocent (and holy) man who has been a father, confessor, inspiration and rock to all those seeking Christ's love.
We may not understand God's will in the challenges Vladyka has and must face but, we can know that nothing is beyond God's divine providence.
As I was watching Vladyka during the prosecution’s case in that Winnipeg court room back in June (where terrible things were said about the man I love), I could see Vladyka praying in the accused box. Alone he sat there and I knew without asking he was praying for God's mercy for these accusers. I cannot tell you how truly humbling it was to watch. How full of grace the man accused was and how NOT alone he was in that box;
Witnessing this was awesome in the truest sense of the word. From the early days of this torment Vladyka is going through, I strongly felt that he is protected and strengthened by the Holy Spirit. For this reason I see the need for our collective action to focus on the support of the Archdiocese (for our brothers and sisters worshiping in temples across the country). I believe that an attack on the Archbishop is an attack on the Archdiocese.
An example of the evil one creating uncertainty and doubt in the hearts of the faithful.
According to section 10.05 (B) of the Policies, Standards, and Procedures of the OCA on Sexual Misconduct, Clergy found to have committed child sexual abuse are to be suspended and deposed. This is what I feel we must prevent.
I am asking that you all write a letter to Metropolitan Tikhon. Within this letter let His Beatitude know about your relationship with Vladyka and that you feel no action should be taken against Archbishop Seraphim until an appeal to the courts has been heard. (The appeal can only be applied for at the sentencing hearing - as far as I understand - scheduled for later this year.).
Please pass this message on to those you know who can help.
Your letters can be sent to the email address noted on the OCA website: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would like you all to know that I have not been asked to contact you for the above purpose by Archbishop Seraphim, any Archdiocesan Clergy, lay representatives or others working within the administration of the Archdiocese.
Please pray for me,
Yours in Christ.
Subdeacon Jeremy Scratch