OCA Chancellor completes course on responding to clergy misconduct

Author: Staff
Date Published: 03/22/2012


Archpriest John Jillions, Chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America, participated in a three-day course, “Leadership Training: Responding to Clergy Misconduct,” in San Diego, CA March 18-20, 2012.

The course was conducted by the Faith Trust Institute, which has been addressing sexual and domestic violence and clergy abuse since the late 1970s. Based at Seattle’s University of Washington, the Institute provides religious communities with training, consultation and educational materials.

“All churches are having to face the challenge of dealing with clergy sexual misconduct, and the OCA is no exception” said Father John, who as Chancellor is responsible for the OCA’s Office of Review of Sexual Misconduct Allegations. “We are committed to addressing this at every level of Church life through training, prevention and making it possible for victims to come forward and know that their complaint will be taken seriously and be thoroughly investigated. Our policies and procedures are being revised to make them more comprehensive and easier to access.

“At the February 2012 Lesser Synod and Metropolitan Council meetings, much of the time was spent on addressing misconduct issues,” Father John added. “And in a time of cutting back on budgets, the Metropolitan Council took the bold step of setting aside additional money for hiring professionals to investigate allegations and to coordinate the OCA’s response and training efforts.”

The course was facilitated by the Rev. Dr. Marie M. Fortune, the Institute’s founder, who has served as advisor to the US Department of Justice and the US Department of Defense. She edited “The Journal on Religion and Abuse” from 2000 until 2008. Joining her was M. L. Daniel, who holds degrees in law and theology and who, as a practicing lawyer of 20 years, has vast experience working with faith communities and as a prosecuting attorney.