by Angela Blanchard
Monday, April 7, 2008
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Turmoil continues to brew in the Russian Orthodox Church in Alaska and another rural priest has decided to step down.
The Rev. Michael Trefon of Naknek resigned his role as rector of St. Ana church in late March, according to members of the priest's family.
They say Trefon stepped down due to controversy involving Bishop Nikolai, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church in Alaska.
National church leaders ordered the bishop to leave Alaska last month over allegations he verbally and emotionally abused clergy and laity.
The bishop was then reinstated after a meeting with national church leaders in late March.
Father Daniel Andrejuk of Anchorage says many priests encouraged Trefon to remain in Naknek but the church's turmoil had apparently taken its toll.
Trefon has declined to comment on his resignation.
National church leaders are holding an emergency meeting next week to address what they call a "crisis" in the Alaska diocese.
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