Serious moral dilemma

Author: Staff
Date Published: 03/10/2007
Publication: The National Herald

What’s going on? How can it be that our Archdiocese has spent some $10 million over the past five years for sex abuse cases involving our priests? Ten million dollars – on priests who don’t even have the excuse Roman Catholic priests supposedly have (required celibacy), since Orthodox priests have the option of getting married before ordination.

This eye-opening disclosure about the fiscal consequences of the atrocious behavior of some of our priests was not made by just anyone, but by Michael Jaharis, the Vice Chairman of the Archdiocesan Council’s Executive Committee, officially the leading lay person of our Church, and a man who is in a position to know, in an exclusive interview with this newspaper published in this week’s edition (see page 1).

Unfortunately, we still don’t how many priests and how many victims are involved, but from the little that we know, so far, it is abundantly clear that we are faced with a serious moral, as well as financial, dilemma – so serious, in fact, that it “could easily create a major problem,” according to Mr. Jaharis.

The issue of sexual abuse by our clergy burst into the limelight with the startling revelation that Father Nicholas Katinas, a priest of 43 years (28 of which were spent at Holy Trinity Church in Dallas), had allegedly molested at least two minors, a crime he essentially denied in an interview with Theodore Kalmoukos last November. When we asked him whether he had done anything wrong, his response was, “No, my son. I can’t tell you. I can’t talk at all on these issues.” Toward the end of the interview, he said, “God knows, and I know.”

The Archdiocese, for its part, told the Dallas community through its official representative, “There is no doubt that Father Nicholas engaged in serious moral transgressions.”