Top Orthodox archbishop faces sexual abuse charges

December 8, 2010

A Canadian Orthodox archbishop has been charged with sexually assaulting two ten-year-old boys about 25 years ago. Kenneth William Storheim, known as Archbishop Seraphim, flew from his home in Edmonton, Alberta, and surrendered to police in Winnipeg, Manitoba, after a warrant for his arrest was issued November 16.

Storheim, 64, has jurisdiction over all of Canada for the New York–based Orthodox Church in America, which has roots in Russian Orthodox churches.

He was charged with molesting the two boys while serving as rector at Holy Trinity Sobor Cathedral in Winnipeg between 1984 and 1987. Police released no further details.

His lawyer, Jeff Ginden, told CBC News that Storheim has no plans to quit his job. "He has faith in the system that justice will be done," Ginden said, adding that Storheim is "adamant" about his innocence.

The Chicago-based Survivors Net­work of those Abused by Priests said it has been seeking an investigation into complaints against Storheim for two years.  -RNS

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