OCA to revise Policies, Standards and Procedures on Sexual Misconduct

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Date Published: 02/06/2009

OCA to revise “Policies, Standards and Procedures on Sexual Misconduct”

SYOSSET, NY [OCA Communications] — The Chancery of the Orthodox Church in America is in the process of revising and updating the Church’s “Policies, Standards and Procedures on Sexual Misconduct.”

This revision was initiated by the Holy Synod of Bishops and blessed by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah.

“The existing document was prepared and adopted by the Holy Synod of Bishops in 2003,” said OCA Chancellor, Archpriest Alexander Garklavs. “The needed revisions reflect the need to address ethical issues and aspects not covered in the original document. The process is being done with the help of canonical, legal and professional experts.”

Related to this process, the Holy Synod has begun work with the Central Church Administration in developing programs of harassment training for clergy and Church employees. Both pastoral and practical aspects of such training will be considered. At the same time, a joint effort between Church administration and seminary officials will begin to implement the Holy Synod’s decision to study and institute a formal process of screening candidates for Holy Orders.

Fr. Alexander stressed that, “The Orthodox Church in America places a high priority in providing pastors, parishes, and religious institutions with all possible resources in dealing with these sensitive issues.”