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SNAP
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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release:
Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sex abuse suits settled vs. priest accused of molesting in Chicago

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell)

We are grateful for these brave Texas boys who have helped expose a dangerous predator who also worked in Chicago. Unfortunately, Katinas still walks free, so we beg law enforcement officials to work harder to find anyone he has hurt so he can be prosecuted, convicted and jailed.

We hope others who've been hurt by Katinas will find the strength and courage to come forward, get help, and take legal action so that others are protected.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the nation's oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We've been around for 17 years and have more than 8,000 members across the country. 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, 314-645-5915 home), Peter Isely (414-429-7259) Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688),

 

Greek Orthodox church settles Dallas lawsuit alleging sex abuse by longtime priest

12:24 PM CDT on Wednesday, October 29, 2008

By SAM HODGES / The Dallas Morning News - samhodges@dallasnews.com

A lawsuit alleging child sex abuse by Nicholas Katinas, former pastor of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in North Dallas, is headed for an out-of-court settlement.

"An agreement in principle has been reached," said Tahira Khan Merritt, lawyer for five plaintiffs, including former altar boys, who claimed they were abused by Mr. Katinas in the early years of his long tenure at Holy Trinity. "It's subject to court approval."

Ms. Merritt said she and lawyers for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America agreed to keep confidential the amount of the settlement. The settlement must be approved by State District Judge Karen Johnson.

Mr. Katinas was pastor of Holy Trinity, a key institution of the Dallas Greek community, for 28 years. Soon after his retirement in 2006, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America officials suspended him from working as a priest, even on a fill-in basis.

Later, a GOAA official came to Holy Trinity and acknowledged serious misconduct by Mr. Katinas.

He has since been defrocked and is reportedly living in Greece.

"The victims feel like they've done as much as they can to bring public exposure to Katinas' abuses," Ms. Merritt said. "Without the lawsuit being filed and public exposure to these issues, in my opinion, Katinas would not have been defrocked."

Mr. Katinas and the GOAA still face a more recently filed lawsuit filed in Chicago, alleging abuse by him while he worked for a church in the suburbs there.


http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-priest-accused-web-sep10,0,7167880.story

Suburban church faces abuse suit
Ex-Greek Orthodox priest accused of molesting boy in '70s

By Azam Ahmed |Chicago Tribune reporter
9:40 PM CDT, September 9, 2008

A 46-year-old Streamwood man has accused his former priest of sexually abusing him more than 30 years ago and Greek Orthodox church officials of attempting to cover it up, according to a lawsuit that marks the fifth allegation against the defrocked priest.

Nicholas Katinas, who is married, was pastor at Assumption Church in Olympia Fields from 1969 to 1978. The plaintiff, a former altar boy known as John Doe 124, said Katinas sexually abused him as a 15-year-old at the Olympia Fields church during 1977 and 1978. The suit also said three other boys in Katinas' congregation were abused by the priest.

Lawyers said church officials had reason to suspect Katinas, 73, of improper behavior with boys years before the plaintiff was abused, an important element of the lawsuit. By accusing the church of concealing the abuse, the plaintiff's lawyers are hoping to avoid the statute of limitations on the abuse allegations.

"They have done what we have so long complained about in the Catholic Church," said Jeff Anderson, an attorney representing the plaintiff. "They hide, shuffle and cover for [the abusers]. They kept that knowledge secret among themselves and they concealed it from police and parishioners."

Specifically, the lawsuit said the church knew of Katinas' behavior before he began to abuse the plaintiff, a piece of information that might have saved him from abuse. The lawsuit also said Katinas abused another altar boy younger than 18 on 10 to 12 occasions in the early 1970s. Another allegation is that Katinas attempted to assault a boy as young as 13 in spring 1974.

The lawsuit names Katinas, Assumption Church, the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, which presides over the Greek Orthodox Church in the U.S. and consists of 540 parishes, 800 priests and 1.5 million members.

"It was well known to the defendants . . . that a number of Greek Orthodox priests in and outside of the Chicago metropolis region [have] sexually abused minors before and during the time that Katinas abused the plaintiff," the lawsuit said. "Despite this knowledge, defendants . . . failed to adopt and implement pertinent preventative policies and procedures."

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America did not return calls seeking comment.

Katinas—who has not faced criminal charges—could not be reached for comment.

Many details gathered in the lawsuit are the result of interviews conducted for lawsuits against Katinas in Texas, where he was transferred in 1978.

Katinas spent almost three decades as a priest at Holy Trinity Church in Dallas before he was defrocked in 2006.

Lawyers said that during his tenure at Holy Trinity, Katinas abused at least four other boys. All have filed suit in Texas against the priest, lawyers said.

Katinas is believed to be living in Greece, where he went just before the lawsuits in Texas were announced, Anderson said.

The suit seeks more than $50,000 for the physical and psychological damages suffered by the plaintiff.


Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
www.snapnetwork.org
 


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