ME -- Victims urge Maine church officials to act in abuse case
For immediate release: Tuesday, March 17
We’re grateful that a judge has found an ex-Greek Orthodox priest guilty of sexual abuse. Now the focus shifts to his church former colleagues and supervisors.
These church officials have a moral and civic duty to aggressively reach out now to anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered child sex crimes by Adam Metropoulos or cover ups by his ex-colleagues or superiors.
All too often, church officials recruit, educate, ordain, hire, and train clergy, giving them vast authority over and access to vulnerable families and kids. When one of those clerics is caught abusing, church officials immediately distance themselves from him or her and do little or nothing to help law enforcement charge or convict them.
Metropoulos will soon be sentenced. That sentence should be based on as much information as possible. And getting more information about his crimes is possible if only his ex-colleagues and supervisors take immediate steps to find others he may have hurt. They should use church bulletins, parish websites, and pulpit announcements to beg anyone with suspicions or information about Metropoulos to step forward immediately.
We applaud the courage of every victim, witness or whistleblower who helped police and prosecutors convict Metropoulos. We hope Greek Orthodox church officials and members will show similar courage and do everything possible to find and help others who may have been assaulted by this ex-priest.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We were founded in 1988 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)
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.