Text of Flyer for Prayer Vigil on Pentecost 2002 (San Francisco, OCA)

Author: Pokrov
Date Published: 07/23/2002
Publication: Pokrov

A Prayer Vigil for Victims
Pentecost, 2002

Greetings of the Feast!

Dear Orthodox Brothers and Sisters:

It was three years ago that we started www.Pokrov.org, for victims of abuse in the Orthodox Church. Since then the issue of clergy abuse in the Roman Catholic Church has rocketed to the top headlines of every newspaper in the country.

Some religious denominations have agreed to turn over reports of abuse to law enforcement authorities, but the Orthodox Church is not one of those institutions.

Pokrov.org and its founders have been in correspondence with the OCA headquarters in Syosset, NY, for instance, as well as with the OCA’s regional bishops, asking them to report abusive clergy and church workers to the law enforcement authorities. They have been non-compliant. Despite many pleas to Metropolitan Theodosius from victims, he has historically been non-responsive. Robert Kondratick, the OCA chancellor, publicly insists that there have been no cases of abuse in the OCA, despite the multiple victims we have heard from who claim he was present during settlement negotiations. Bishop Tikhon has publicly posted on the internet about pedophiles operating in the church.

It may seem unthinkable, but the fact remains that many alleged perpetrators (rapists, molesters, etc.) in the OCA continue, and no proper investigation or reports have ever been made.

The children in the church need to be protected. That is why we are here today; to raise awareness, to remind Orthodox faithful to be attentive and ask questions and be aware of questionable behavior. But most of all we are here for the victims; those who have been grievously harmed by people claiming to be men of God. Most victims have been ostracized, alienated, ignored and silenced by their church