MA–Sexual Abuse Support Group Calls for Immediate Removal of Greek Orthodox Chancellor Theodore Barbas
Evidence Suggests Chancellor was Complicit or Negligent in Child Sexual Assault Case, Group Says
“It is clear to us that Fr. Theodore J. Barbas was either complicit in covering for this priest’s predilection for children, or at least intensely negligent in placing him in a position with almost unlimited access to kids.”
October 12, 2016—An international organization committed to exposing cases of sexual abuse by religious and church officials today called for the immediate removal of Fr. Theodore J. Barbas, the Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston, who was responsible for the oversight of a Maine-based priest convicted last year of four felony counts of sexual abuse of a minor. The organization, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), alleges Barbas was almost certainly complicit or at least grossly negligent in this and potentially other sexual abuse cases. This conclusion also was echoed today by the Maine-based attorney who represents the victim in a civil case against Barbas and others filed this past May in Maine’s Superior Court.
“As we have investigated this case, which resulted in the multiple felony convictions of Adam Metropolous, a Greek Orthodox priest, we’ve encountered repeated and disturbing evidence that the public record of credible allegations of sexual misconduct with children, including a 1983 pedophilia charge, against Metropolous almost certainly was available to the Chancellor,” Verne E. Paradie, the plaintiff’s attorney said today. “As the Chancellor directly responsible for Metropolous, Barbas had the ethical duty to ensure that this priest, who also was appointed to the Boston Diocese Camp, where he was granted unmitigated and unsupervised access to children, was not a predator,” Paradie said. “Barbas failed categorically in this capacity, resulting in lifelong physical, psychological and spiritual damage to my client,” he said.
As part of the pending civil suit against Barbas and other church officials, Paradie has launched extensive legal discovery, including interrogatories and a request for the production of documents, that he believes point to the Chancellor’s complicity or extraordinary negligence in the case.
Barbas’ role in the oversight of Metropolous also has drawn the criticism of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), the world’s leading non-profit organization dedicated to exposing predators and those who shield them. SNAP director David Clohessy today called for Barbas’ immediate removal. “It is clear to us that Fr. Theodore J. Barbas was either complicit in covering for this priest’s predilection for children, or at least intensely negligent in placing him in a position with almost unlimited access to kids,” Clohessy said.
The case also has drawn concern from The Lantern Foundation, an Orthodox Christian-aligned organization committed to religious freedom. The organization’s founder Fr. Emmanuel Lemelson, a Boston-based Greek Orthodox priest, today said he was joining SNAP in calling for Barbas’ removal. “What happened to this child was both inexcusable and preventable, leading to two conclusions: First, this Chancellor must be promptly removed to maintain the integrity of the church. Second, this horrific incident points to serious deficiencies in the procedures and protocols used for the oversight of clergy, and those deficiencies require our urgent attention,” Lemelson said.
The civil suit against Barbas and others alleges that the victim continues to live with deep physical and emotional trauma. “This man stole my life,” the victim said in the pending civil complaint filed in Maine’s Superior Court this past May 23. To read the complaint in full, click here.