Canadian archbishop in pedophile case

Canadian police have charged the head of the Archdiocese of Canada of the Orthodox Church in America with two counts of sexual assault on young boys.

Archbishop Kenneth William Storheim, who has held many Church positions in Canadian communities, turned himself in to Winnipeg police on Wednesday after being charged. He has since been released on bail and is waiting to appear in court on January 10.

Authorities launched an investigation into the allegations after Storheim resigned from his post in October.

Canadian media report that the archbishop sexually assaulted the boys while he was the rector of a Winnipeg parish from 1984 to 1987.

His defense lawyer, Jeff Ginden, said Storheim will remain on a leave of absence as head of the church and plans to resume after the case is over.

“He has faith in the system that justice will be done,” Ginden said.

“He hasn’t been given the police report, he doesn’t know what the disclosure is. All he knows is one thing — those things he’s not responsible for,” Ginden further stated.

Melanie Sakoda of Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests told CBC News that they had been pushing for an investigation for two years.

“It makes me frustrated and angry but not surprised. They (the Church) have a habit of protecting the clergy rather than doing everything possible to make sure children are safe,” she said.

Storheim also held positions in London, Ontario, Saskatoon, North Carolina and Alberta.

The Orthodox Church in America has hundreds of parishes in Canada, the US, Australia and Mexico.

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