Letter to Editor of The National Herald

Author: Dr. Athanasios Atoynatan
Date Published: 08/17/2007

To the Editor:

I read with dismay and sadness in my heart Theodore Kalmoukos’ article, “Greek Orthodox Clergy Voice Concerns about Fr. Katinas, Some Call For Defrocking him,” published in your May 26 edition.

According to that article, some of the priests, although they lacked sufficient knowledge about the service Father Katinas provided to his community in Dallas, were in favor of punishing him further for this alleged pederasty.

I wonder if problems of that sort can be satisfactorily dealt with just having the priest punished further. Some priests may be too old, or dead, by the time this is brought to the public’s attention. Furthermore, there may be other issues which should be taken into consideration.

The victims may not only be children. There have been some other Christian churches which have been depleted of funds to the point of facing bankruptcy in an effort to deal responsibly with this problem.

Father Katinas has been suspended from clerical duties and privileges. He is seeing a psychiatrist. It will be very helpful if clergy, psychiatrists, psychologists, anthropologists and sociologists get together and exert a greater effort to identify the source of this difficult problem.

Greater understanding of the problem increases our chances to provide adequate treatment and, especially, more adequate prevention.

Dr. Athanasios Atoynatan
Naples, Florida