Author: Paul Cromidas
Date Published: 04/16/2010
Publication: Note: This letter is in response to an editorial published on April 3, 2010 in ”The National Herald” entitled
”See of St. Peter rocked by scandal.”

To The Editor:

Your April 4 editorial was right in relating the Roman Catholic Church’s way of handling the clergy sexual abuse issue to the way the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese handles it.

Yes, the magnitude of the problem may not be comparable, but, as I have written in several articles, the culture of the organizations is similar. They both seek to deny, cover-up, protect the church first and demonize victims and anyone who dares to question. After all the stone-walling, they have also come upon the solution that enables them finally to avoid transparency and accountability: they both settle cases rather than go to court trial. This way, they don’t have to reveal what happened and the faithful remain in the dark.

They both seem to have concluded that it is better to make monetary settlements, while admitting no wrong-doing, than have their bishops cross-examined on the witness stand.

Your editorial equates the Catholic situation only to the late priest, Nicholas Katinas of Dallas. While that case has received the most publicity in the Greek Orthodox realm, I would suggest that this matter goes beyond that to other former priests as well, for example, Nicholas Graff of Jacksonville, Michael Rymer of California and Anthony Moschonas of Tucson. All of these cases were settled, too.

You ask why the faithful have not been told about the terms of the Katinas settlement. Your own pages revealed some clues about this in the Kalmoukos interview of Archbishop Demetrios last October. The settlement terms were understood to be confidential, but the archbishop revealed some figures. In addition to the $15 million which has been paid overall by the archdiocese since 2000, he said that $150,000 a month was being paid from the November (2008) settlement