The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America approved and issued a revised Policy, Standards, and Procedures on Sexual Misconduct at their Fall 2013 Holy Synod meeting. This policy is now in force in the Church. It is the goal of the entire Church to provide a safe and healthy environment for all of the faithful of the Orthodox Church in America. The Church laments the sin of sexual misconduct, and will not tolerate sexual misconduct by its clergy or any layperson.
To further the prevention of sexual abuse of children, the Holy Synod has approved a training program by the non-profit organization Darkness to Light. The training program, Stewards of Children [SOC], is available for free to all those who are required to take the training. See the attached letter for more information on how to access the training.
To confidentially report a case of misconduct please use the toll-free number 855-398-2600. All calls will be confidential.
- Policies, Standards, and Procedures of the Orthodox Church in America on Sexual Misconduct
- Overview of Major Amendments to the PSPs
- Guidelines on Background Checks
- Youth Volunteer Application Packet
Office of Review of Sexual Misconduct Allegations (ORSMA)
The Office of Review of Sexual Misconduct Allegations is responsible for assisting the Holy Synod of Bishops and the Church with matters concerning allegations of sexual misconduct. The Office shall be under the authority of the Office of the Metropolitan, who shall report to the Holy Synod of Bishops. ORSMA shall be supervised on a day-to-day basis by the Chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America.
Archpriest Alexander Rentel
Phone: (516) 922-0550 ext. 130
Mrs. Cindy Heise, LMSW
Phone: (516) 922-0931
For reviews, material and to schedule training, please contact Mrs. Cindy Heise.
Sexual Misconduct Policy Advisory Committee (SMPAC)
SMPAC is under the authority of the Holy Synod and is chaired by the Chancellor of the Church, who is the day-to-day supervisor of the Office. The Committee operates in an advisory capacity only and does not assume any responsibility for the handling of sexual misconduct allegations, because that responsibility properly belongs to the Diocesan Hierarchs and the Office, according to the revised Policies, Standards, and Procedures on Sexual Misconduct. Committee members are appointed by the Holy Synod of Bishops.
Current Membership of SMPAC: Archpriest Alexander Rentel (ex officio, Chancellor, Chair), Archpriest Alexander Garklavs, Protodeacon Peter Danilchick, Ms. Cindy Heise (ex officio, Coordinator, ORSMA), Mr. Robert Koory, Esq., Dr. Albert Rossi, Mr. Bernard Wilson
Clergy of the Orthodox Church in America are responsible to their Diocesan Bishop to implement the PSPs and to follow the procedures. They will by the end of each calendar year complete the compliance form and submit it to their Diocesan Bishop in time for reporting at the Spring Holy Synod meeting.