Stop Hiding Pedophile Priests

Author: SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)
Date Published: 05/13/2009

Clergy Sex Abuse Victims and Advocates Reach Out To Victims At Priest’s Conference

They Offer Help To Anyone Who Was Hurt by Prominent Serial Predator Priest

Group calls for Greek Orthodox to Stop Hiding Pedophile Priests

Those Who “Saw, Suspected or Suffered” Clergy Abuse Should Call Police, Group Says

SNAP calls for Greek Orthodox to Identify Clergy Credibly Accused of Abuse

WHAT
As clergy and laity enter a Greek Orthodox Clergy conference in Dallas, clergy sex abuse victims and advocates will hand out flyers calling for Greek Orthodox leaders to stop hiding pedophile priests. The leaflets urge conference-attendees to
— prod the church hierarchy to stop hiding pedophile priests and post a list of clergy credibly accused of abuse on the archdiocese website, and
— urge anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy abuse crimes to ‘come forward, get help, and call the law.’

The group is also urging
— conference-attendees to ask their friends and family if this child-molesting clergyman hurt anyone they know, and
— congregants to prod the church hierarchy into working harder to find victims and prevent others.

WHEN
TODAY, Wednesday, May 13, 1 pm

WHERE
Outside the Metropolis Clergy-Laity Assembly at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 13555 Hillcrest (at Alpha) in Dallas, TX

WHO
Victims of predatory priests and advocates for them who are also members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)

WHY
For 28 years, Fr. Nicholas E. Katinas worked at Holy Trinity, the most prominent Greek Orthodox church in Dallas. He faces at least five allegations of sexually abusing children in Dallas during his time there in addition to allegations of abuse of several children at Katinas’ former parish in the Chicago area. The recent civil lawsuit filed in Texas against the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese has reached a settlement agreement in principle with the plaintiffs, but the case remains open. A second suit was filed on behalf of Chicago victims.

A GOA press release (Oct. 30, “Archdiocese Settles Dallas Lawsuit”) claims “The Archdiocese and Holy Trinity Church had no knowledge of Mr. Katinas’ wrongdoing prior to a complaint made to the Archdiocesan Chancellor’s Office in late 2005.” A letter from Metropolitan Isaiah (Dec. 3, Protocol 08–27, sent to all parishes in his metropolis) says the accusations of a cover-up were false, the media lied, and to this day Metropolitan Isaiah has “no knowledge whatsoever of what the Archdiocese knows regarding Nicholas Katinas.”

Neither statement is credible. According to sworn statements from parishioners and even some church officials, for years, Metropolitan Isaiah and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese allowed now-defrocked priest Nicholas Katinas to serve in the Orthodox Church, ignoring abuse claims. Despite reports given in the 1970s, again in 1987 (with an official investigation by Fr. Nicholas Triantafilou, Vicar General for the Archdiocese) and again in a report in 2005, Nicholas Katinas was allowed continued access to children, and was in the altar at Holy Trinity as late as December 2006 with Metropolitan Isaiah’s permission. Rather than act swiftly to protect children or to suspend Katinas pending investigation, church officials remained silent.

SNAP suspects that others at the parish and in the community have information about Nicholas Katinas and his crimes. The group wants to find and help anyone who was molested by him.

Katinas, now in his early 70s, is believed to have left the country and was last known to be living in Rhodes, Greece. In July 2007, he was defrocked by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.

Some of his victims are represented by attorneys Tahira Khan Merritt of Dallas (214-503-7300), Marc Pearlman of Chicago (312-261-4554), and Jeff Anderson of St. Paul (651-227-9990)