ME- Priest admits abuse; What about his church?
For immediate release: Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
A Maine priest admits that he committed child sex crimes. The question now is what will his congregants do now? Will they actively help police and prosecutors? Or will they sit passively back and force the brave victim to carry the burden of pursuing a predator alone?
We beg current and former staff and members of the Saint George Greek Orthodox Church in Bangor to aggressively seek out others who may have seen, suspected or suffered child sex crimes by Father Adam Metropoulos.
That's the best way to protect kids. That's the responsible course of action. That's what Jesus would do, we believe.
But in most cases, colleagues and congregants of credibly accused child molesting clerics do little or nothing. They leave it up to a wounded victim and overworked police and overwhelmed prosecutor to keep a predator away from kids. Then they express shock and horror when the predator's shrewd lawyer gets him or her off on a technicality or gets a short sentence and later re-offends.
So we beg every person associated with Saint George to show courage and try hard to find and console others with information about or suspicions about Fr. Metropoulos' crimes. That's the right thing to do.
And we beg high ranking officials with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the jurisdiction to which Saint George belongs, to do likewise and to immediately open an investigation into how someone with a prior sex offense was allowed to both enroll in seminary and obtain a position of authority in the Church.
Here's a SNAP statement about this situation, issued earlier this week.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, email@example.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com), Melanie Jula Sakoda, SNAP's Orthodox Christian Director (925-708-6175, firstname.lastname@example.org)
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.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
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.