Bishop quits after video of him having sex with 17-year-old went viral
A bishop has resigned after a video was released of him having sex with a 17-year-old student from his seminary.
The video showing Corneliu Barladeanu, bishop of Romanian Orthodox Church in the eastern city of Husi, which has been circulating online since mid-July, has created a scandal in Romania, where 85 percent of the population are Orthodox Christians.
The Holy Synod, the Church’s ruling body, met on Thursday and Friday to discuss the matter.
After the two day discussion, the bishop — who claims he is innocent — decided to resign “for the peace and the good of the Church,” the Romanian church leadership said in a statement.
A disciplinary process within the Church would have lasted several months, protracting “for a long time the uncertainty within his diocese,” the statement added.
The bishop will no longer have an official position within the Church but will remain a monk, but without the power to celebrate mass.
The affair comes a few weeks after a previous scandal rocked Romania’s Orthodox Church.
A priest from the northwest of the country, suspected of attempted sexual “corruption” involving a 17-year-old youth, was thrown out of the Church at the end of July.
He is facing legal action for soliciting minors for sexual purposes.
Homosexuality in Romania was illegal until 2000, when the country decriminalised it after harsh criticism from the European Union and the Council of Europe.