An Ohio priest was suspended by the Orthodox Church after he attended the rally that led to the insurrection at the US Capitol

An Ohio priest was suspended by the Orthodox Church after he attended the rally that led to the insurrection at the US Capitol
Supporters of US President Donald Trump hold a rally outside the US Capitol as they protest the upcoming electoral college certification of Joe Biden as President in Washington, DC on January 6, 2021.OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images
  • An Orthodox priest in Ohio was suspended after he attended the Trump rally the preceded the Capitol Hill riot.
  • Rev. Mark Hodges was suspended from his priestly duties for three months by the Orthodox Church.
  • Ex-President Trump spoke to his supporters near the White House before a group went on to storm the Capitol.

A priest of the Orthodox Church in the Midwest was suspended from "all priestly duties" for three months after he attended the January 6 pro-Trump rally in Washington, DC, that preceded the deadly riot at the US Capitol.

Rev. Mark Hodges, of Lima, Ohio, an archpriest associated with the to St. Paul the Apostle Orthodox Church in the township in Ohio was suspended for a three-month period by the Orthodox Church in America's Diocese of the Midwest, according to a report from the Dayton Daily News.

A January 14 statement on the website of the Orthodox Church in America's Diocese of the Midwest confirmed that Hodges was suspended beginning January 12.
"My beloved bishop had questioned the wisdom of a priest attending," Hodges said, telling the Dayton Daily News that he found his suspension "unjust." "I think part of the problem is I viewed that Stop the Steal rally as expressing extreme concern over voter fraud allegations in the 2020 election."

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Despite claims from former President Donald Trump and his allies, there is no evidence of widespread fraud in last year's presidential election. Still, his monthslong refusal to concede the race to President Joe Biden continued during his speech near the White House that preceded the riot on January 6.

Following Trump's speech, a large group of people walked to the US Capitol building where lawmakers were meeting to discuss the December Electoral College vote that affirmed Biden's win. The mob stormed in, overpowering Capitol Police officers, sending lawmakers into a recess as they sought shelter in other locations in the building,

Five people died as a result of the riots led by a pro-Trump mob. Hodges, who told the Dayton Daily News he did not go inside the building during the mob, was recently a "supply" priest, according to the report, meaning he worked at a variety of churches in Byesville, Cleveland, Olmsted Falls, and Toledo in Ohio, and had also worked at churches in Michigan.

In a December post to Facebook, Hodges had called for others to travel to DC for the event, encouraging others to serve on what he called "the front lines in the Second American Revolution, where you fought to save the Republic," according to the report.

A growing number of people have been arrested and charged in connection with the violent insurrection. Others have similarly faced disciplinary action from their jobs for being associated with the rally.