Bishop Iakovos: Zero Tolerance For Child Sexual Abuse

Author: Margarita Papantoniou
Date Published: 04/15/2013

The Greek Orthodox Church in Australia shows zero tolerance for the sexual abuse of minors and has no intention of covering such atrocities. This is what Bishop Iakovos of Militoupolis pointed out on behalf of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, making a statement to the committee that is conducting an official inquiry on child sexual abuse in various institutions.

Bishop Iakovos told the parliamentary committee of Victoria that the Archdiocese’s fixed position is to refer any complaint of such nature to the police. “There has never been any complaint of child sexual abuse”, he added, although he admitted that some may be embarrassed or scared and do not want to report it.

The Bishop of Militoupolis said that the Archdiocese holds a record with accusations against its own clergymen. “There have been two cases that we unfrocked priests, but that was not about sexual abuse of minors”, Bishop Iakovos noted and added that in one of these cases, a priest withheld money from the marriage ceremonies he solemnized.

The inquiry aims at religious groups and institutions, non-governmental organizations, welfare institutions and governmental services against which accusations have been made that they have been encouraging or hiding incidents of child sexual abuse.