Accused priest now heads Springfield, IL church
A Greek Orthodox priest from Champaign who was suspended from the priesthood now works at a Springfield church.
Rev. George Pyle (formerly of Three Hierarchs Church in Champaign, IL) is now the priest at St. Anthony Hellenic (Greek) Orthodox Church in Springfield.
Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, recently learned that Metropolitan Iakovos Garmatis assigned Father George Pyle to Saint Anthony’s in February. The group wants church officials to seek out others he may have hurt and alert Pyle’s new flock about the accusations.
“We beg the metropolitan to give Springfield parishioners a complete and candid history of the allegations that were made against Rev. Pyle, including information about his treatment at Saint Luke Institute in Maryland,” said Melanie Sakoda of SNAP. Saint Luke is a Catholic facility which specializes in treating abusive clergy.
Pyle served for almost a decade at Three Hierarchs Greek Orthodox Church in Champaign, Illinois, when he was placed “on sabbatical” in August of 2007. The reasons for the priest’s sudden leave of absence were not shared with the church’s parishioners, or even its parish council, SNAP says.
Pyle was subsequently suspended from the priesthood on June 16, 2008, again without any public explanation. However, according to The National Herald, a Greek newspaper, the clergyman was removed from ministry pending an investigation into allegations of a “sexual nature” which had been made by former campers at the Athenagoras Camp and Retreat Center. Pyle was the program director of the camp, which is located in Wyoming, some 30 years ago when he was still a seminarian.
The priest’s suspension was lifted on October 13, 2010, again without explanation. Pyle was subsequently assigned to Saint Elias Greek Orthodox Church in Dubuque, Iowa, on February 13, 2011, where he worked until January of 2013.
To read more:
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.