SYOSSET, NY [OCA] -- During a special session held on October 13, 2010, the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America, acting on a recommendation of the Office for Review of Sexual Misconduct ["The Office"] in consultation with the Sexual Misconduct Policy Advisory Committee [SMPAC], offered its blessing to the creation of a Synodal Commission that will be responsible for the internal investigation following allegations concerning His Eminence, Archbishop Seraphim of Ottawa and Canada, who is currently on leave of absence.
The Holy Synod of Bishops entrusted the Synodal Commission to the guiding authority of His Grace, Bishop Tikhon of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania and His Grace, Bishop Melchisedek of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania.
The selection and appointment of the Synodal Commission membership is in process with the help and support of His Grace, Bishop Irenee and the Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Canada, Igumen Alexander [Pihach]. At the time of this writing, Archpriest Richard Hawrish, Protopresbyter Mironne Klysh, Dr. Lila Amirali, Dr. Thomas Kolivakis, and Mr. David Grier had been appointed to serve on the Synodal Commission. Additional members are under consideration.
The Office and the SMPAC will be assisting the Synodal Commission in the investigation while providing pastoral and professional advice and support as needed.
The Synodal Commission is not a public commission and will proceed with the deepest respect for all involved. However, considering the nature of the allegations, the Synodal Commission is required by law to share certain information with the relevant authorities.
At the conclusion of its investigation and review, the Synodal Commission will report its findings and recommendations to the Holy Synod of Bishops and, through them, the Archdiocese of Canada and the Church at large.
The Synodal Commission can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.