Monk’s indecency trial postponed

Date Published: 02/15/2000

JOHNSON CITY — The trial of Samuel Alexander Greene Jr., the priest-monk founder of the Christ of the Hills Monastery near Blanco who is accused of indecency with a child, has been postponed because of his failing health. The trial had been set for Feb. 28 in state district court.

A pretrial hearing is scheduled for May, said Joe Turner, Greene’s Austin lawyer.

Greene, 55, called Father Benedict at the Orthodox Christian monastery, has congestive heart failure aggravated by obesity, according to letters from doctors that Turner presented to District Judge Gilford Jones of Burnet.

Jones accepted the letters but told Turner to bring the doctors to testify in person at the May hearing.

Greene is one of two priest-monks at the monastery charged with exposing themselves to and molesting a 13-year-old male novice who was attending religious training in the summer of 1997.

A Blanco County jury found Jonathan Irving Hitt of Austin, the monastery’s financial officer and school headmaster known as Father Jeremiah, guilty of the charges in October. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.