“There are spiritual churches that are Christian but we don’t consider ourselves Christian,” she said. “We do draw on Christian teachings but that is not our main belief.”
Church members were shaken to discover their minister, the Rev. Simeon P. Stefanidakis, 59, had been arrested Tuesday and charged with possession of child porn. He is in custody awaiting his first appearance in the U.S. District Court in Boston.
Although not Christian, the church members adhere to the Nine Principals of the Spiritualist movement, the first one which is a belief in an Infinite Intelligence or God.
Another principal is that “communication with the so-called dead is a fact, scientifically proven by the phenomena of Spiritualism.”
Followers use mediums, such as Stefanidakis, to communicate with spirits.
“We believe that you may lose your physical body but your spirit continues,” Calderalo said.
She said the church has deep roots in the country dating back to the 1850’s.
“It is a religion that is more than 100 years old and is rooted in many faiths,” she said.
But Spiritualism is known more to outsiders for its beliefs in communicating with spirits.
In an online article he had written about a 2003 visit to Norfolk, Great Britain, Stefanidakis about the powerful experience for small group as he acted as medium for a child spirit named Christal.
“During the past 25 years, I have had the opportunity to witness and experience some mighty powerful Spirit contact, Spirit communication, and Spirit communion; but, this evening was like nothing else I have experienced. Everyone could feel the intense energy-consciousness jumping out from the past and touching us, in the present,” he wrote.
“Why this happened I cannot say. What I can say is that nothing in life is ever lost. Every person, place, and thing has an energy, deeply imbedded within. A true psychic and psychometrist can tap into these energies and reveal history,” Stefanidakis said.
Staff Writer Frank MacEachern can be reached at [email protected] or 203-625-4434.