The National Herald: The moral fiber of our times

Author: Staff
Date Published: 03/14/2007
Publication: Orthodox Reform

The National Herald commented on March 2 about their investigation into the Father Nicholas Katinas charges:

We got wind of rumors concerning Father Nicholas Katinas and his alleged sexual activities with minors several months ago. When Theodore Kalmoukos first investigated it last fall, he encountered resistance. Why was Father Nick suspended from priestly duties just a few days after he retired, he asked the Archdiocese? But for months, no answer was forthcoming – neither from the Archdiocese nor from the Metropolis of Denver, which released the Dallas community’s former longtime pastor to the Archdiocese (also without explanation).

And when we learned that the Archdiocese was sending a representative to speak to the Dallas parish on the first Wednesday of Lent last week, the Archbishop still declined to confirm the reasons why.

The article points out the issue of transparency:

Many in the Dallas community are understandably shocked. Some are reportedly in disbelief: “I’m going to go to my grave not believing it,” Chris Canellos, 42, who grew up attending the Dallas church, told the Dallas Morning News. “This is the Greek community. We don’t keep secrets. We would have known about it.”

Not necessarily. As is often the case with sexual abuse of children, it can take many years for information to surface. Transparency is a huge problem. Not only did the Archdiocese try to keep the matter concealed for several months (and perhaps much longer), Metropolitan Isaiah also concedes in his letter to the Dallas community that he “had been informed last summer of rumors.”

And understandably wonders if this is just the tip of the iceberg:

That being the case, we must ask why it took so long for the information to come out. If the Archdiocese and Metropolitan Isaiah have known about this for a long period of time – in the Chicago area, it allegedly goes back to the 1970’s, when the late Archbishop Iakovos was at the helm – then the Church can expect more heady lawsuits, in addition to the ones already being filed by a Dallas lawyer.

The fact that at least two people are coming out and accusing Father Katinas, heretofore considered a pillar in our community, could be just the tip of the iceberg. Other victims may come forward, and other Greek Orthodox priests could also be implicated.

These revelations should give the GOA a much-needed wake-up call:

In the end, those of us who wanted to believe, because Orthodox priests (unlike Roman Catholic priests) can marry, that this problem is mitigated in the Orthodox Church could be in for a very big surprise.

All large organizations are susceptible to such issues, the questions is, what is the Orthodox Church doing to combat this problem?