October 09, 2015 (Source: http://www.chicagotribune.com)
[Originally reported on Oct. 8]
The former Chicago bishop of the Orthodox Church in America who was asked to retire amid allegations of sexual misconduct two years ago has sued church leaders, claiming they breached that retirement contract.
The lawsuit against Metropolitan Tikhon, primate of the Orthodox Church in America, and Detroit Archbishop Nathaniel, leader of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate, was filed in Cook County Circuit Court last month. Both defendants were served during the national Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in Chicago.
Bishop Matthias alleges that church leaders violated the terms of his retirement and a recent employment agreement when they terminated a parish assignment in response to complaints from the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP.
“This is a case about broken promises and the repeated failure to honor one’s legal obligations,” the suit says. “The legal questions involved are not complex. Indeed, they require only a straightforward application of civil law.”
Officials with the Orthodox Church in America declined to comment, citing a church policy “to not comment on any active or potential legal activities.”
Bishop Matthias’ assignment to a parish in Pennsylvania angered victims’ advocates who said allowing the ousted bishop to return to any form of active ministry violated the church’s zero-tolerance policy.