Wednesday, June 28, 2017

In line with annual tradition, OCA deposes another bishop

If anyone has any more details, please email me or place in the comments.

(OCA) - During their annual retreat held in Michigan on June 19-23, 2017, the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America held a special session convening the Synodal Court which canonically deposed the Bishop Irineu [Duvlea], Auxiliary Bishop of the ROEA, from the status and all sacred functions of the episcopacy, removed him from the ranks of the clergy, and returned him to the status of a lay monk.

The letter of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon to the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America reads as follows.


June 27, 2017 (06/017)

To the Clergy, Monastics and Faithful of the Romanian Episcopate,

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America has concluded its retreat, held during the past week at Holy Dormition Monastery, Rives Junction, Michigan. One of the most difficult tasks of that meeting was the convening of the Synodal Court at St. Demetrius Orthodox Church in Jackson, Michigan, to hear certain charges relating to canonical infractions brought against the Auxiliary Bishop of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America, His Grace, Bishop Irineu. After much prayerful and intense deliberation, the Synodal Court determined that Bishop Irineu be deposed from the episcopacy, removed from the ranks of the clergy and returned to the status of a simple monk. (His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel, Archbishop of Detroit and the Romanian Episcopate, was excused from participating in the decision of the Synodal Court due to illness and did not vote in the deliberations, placing his trust that the Holy Spirit would guide his fellow bishops. He was notified of the Synodal decision after it was rendered.)

The details of matters which led to the convening of the Synodal Court are confidential and will not be released publicly.

The Holy Synod made this decision with much sorrow, but with the conviction that it was a necessary action both for the salvation of the now Monk Irineu and for the preservation of the good order and stability of the flock of Christ. At the same time, we offer our prayers for the faithful, especially the members of the Romanian Episcopate of the Orthodox Church in America.

The bishops have a God-given responsibility to address the good order of the Church and the continuing leadership and oversight by brother bishops. We are bound to this primarily by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and by the canonical tradition of the Church. Therefore, we must always take matters concerning bishops seriously and respond in the proper pastoral way for all concerned.

We offer our love and concern for the faithful of the Romanian Episcopate. We exhort you to pray, so as to not be overcome by divisive emotions, but rather seek to attain the peace of Christ.

May our merciful and loving God strengthen all of us to do His will in all things and preserve in our hearts the grace of the Holy Spirit, who is everywhere present and fills all things.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

+ Tikhon
Archbishop of Washington
Metropolitan of All America and Canada


  1. "Annual Tradition" is a bit unnecessarily snarky. It's sad that this had to be done, but cleaning up things that had previously been ignored is on the whole a sign of improving health.

    1. It was rather snarky, but the rate of OCA episcopal deposition and forced retirement is rather singular in all of Orthodoxy.

    2. Should be a source of pride. Bishops are held accountable.

    3. "Unknown", your point is well taken. Holding bishops accountable is important, but I am not aware of any verifiable data that proves other Orthodox churches commonly sweep episcopal behavior that warrants deposition under the rug.

      This post is intended to underscore the sad reality that an alarming number of OCA bishops actually require deposition or forced early retirement, which is something that makes the OCA unique in Orthodoxy.

      No one has commented on why this is the case or passed any judgments. This is merely an observation that incites feelings of consternation.

    4. The OCA is the only one local Church out of 15 that has a 1:1 of active vs. retired/deposed bishops ratio. And IMO the problem lies in the fact they are the only ones that care so much about accountability. In other Churches cases like the ones that made OCA bishops deposed are usually swept under the carpet and bishops don't get deposed until they go into open schism, participate in LGBT marches or steal millions and do not share with others.

      OCA wanted good but as the other Churches did not follow them, they are considered a black sheep.

    5. Very, very true. And that is because other jurisdictions follow the practices of their mother churches. Corruption and sexual scandals are very present in Romania, in Greece, in "all Rus" and bishops are rarely taken to task, either by the Church or by the judicial authorities of the state.

  2. (September 1, 2015 – Grass Lake, MI) The Episcopate Office has been notified by the Office for Review of Sexual Misconduct Allegations (ORSMA) of the Orthodox Church in America, that His Grace, Bishop Irineu (Duvlea), Bishop of Dearborn Heights and Auxiliary Bishop of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America, is being investigated for allegations of sexual misconduct.

    His Grace Irineu is presumed innocent pending the outcome of the investigation. According to the Policies, Standards and Procedures (PSP) of ORSMA, His Grace Irineu has been placed on Leave of Absence and does not have a blessing to serve liturgically in our Episcopate or at any other location.

    The process is highly confidential, and no one should discuss the investigation with anyone. However, since this investigation is being made known to others by His Grace Irineu, the Episcopate decided to make a general public announcement about this matter. We pray for His Grace, Bishop Irineu and all those participating in this process.

    +NATHANIEL, Archbishop

  3. If he really is guilty, may he work out his salvation as a monk. If he is innocent, he is in good company, with the Saints and Our Lord Himself.