TX- SNAP urges Orthodox bishops to act together to protect kids
For immediate release: Monday, September 15, 2014
The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States will hold its fifth annual meeting in Dallas, Texas, from September 15th through the 18th. The meeting will begin with a Pan-Orthodox Doxology at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral on Monday night.
Members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, believe that the meeting in Dallas presents the perfect opportunity for the hierarchs to commit to the protection of Orthodox youth. Melanie Jula Sakoda, SNAP Orthodox Director reminds the hierarchs, “Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral was for many years led by Father Nicholas Katinas, a notorious abuser of boys. What a fitting venue to address what you as a group can do to insure the safety of Orthodox kids!”
The victims’ group urges the assembly, and each of its members, to commit to 3 simple steps this week to protect children:
1. Pledge to report each and every allegation of criminal conduct immediately to the authorities, whether or not required by law;
2. Share information among yourselves, so that predators are unable to move easily from one Orthodox community to another;
3. Publish the names, locations, and case histories of each and every predator, so that the Faithful can be made aware of these dangerous people, and can help insure the safety of Orthodox youth.
The Assembly includes all active, canonical Orthodox bishops in the country, representing the following archdioceses and dioceses: Albanian, American Carpatho-Russian, Antiochian, Bulgarian, Georgian, Greek, Orthodox Church in America, Romanian, Russian, Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, Serbian, and Ukrainian. Among the reasons for the establishment of this group was to address the pastoral needs of Orthodox faithful.
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, as well as those abused in other institutions, such as the Boy Scouts and the military. 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.
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.