Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Priest sues woman over sex claims

  • Print

A veteran priest of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is suing a former parishioner, alleging a damaging letter of complaint she wrote to his superiors resulted in his forced retirement.

Rev. John A. Melnyk, 84, said the woman's letter alleged inappropriate sexual advances and contact, which Melnyk said never happened.

In a statement of claim filed recently, Melnyk said the woman's letter of complaint "injured his credit and reputation" and resulted in him being "brought into scandal, odium and contempt."

Melnyk is asking the court to award him unspecified special and general damages and his court costs.

The woman filed a statement of defence, insisting her letter of complaint was truthful, accurate and justified, and she denied her letter caused any damage to Melnyk's reputation.

The woman could not be reached for comment.

The allegations have not been proven in court. No court dates have been set.

Melnyk told the Free Press he had been the parish priest at St. Michael's Ukrainian Orthodox Church on Disraeli Street since 1997 when in the summer of 2011, he asked to be transferred to a rural Manitoba parish near the American border.

Melnyk said his superior rejected the request and told him to take retirement on the grounds of the letter of complaint from the parishioner.

"I asked to be replaced from St. Michael's but I wanted to continue serving... a country parish near the American border, where I had served for 23 years, on a monthly basis," Melnyk told the Free Press. "He (the superior) refused to give me an extension because he said I had a sexual charge against me."

Melnyk said he has known the woman who made the complaint against him for five or six years, adding he believes her to be in her 60s.

He said he's been married for 58 years and has never been the subject of any similar complaints in the past.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 26, 2012 B2

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

The Winnipeg Free Press is not accepting comments on this story.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Canadians For a New Partnership discuss their plans

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Gardening Column- Assiniboine Park English Garden. July 19, 2002.
  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos


Should tobogganing be banned on city land?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google