Author Topic: Antiochian bishop arrested  (Read 7209 times)

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Offline Anastasios

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Antiochian bishop arrested
« on: July 12, 2003, 12:14:00 PM »
Friends,

I post this with great sadness as I have met this bishop and I think he is just wonderful.  I would never have believed that he did this without the tape.  He is warm and caring; he is generous and friendly...my gosh...what has happened???

I pray that some extinuating (sp) circumstance will come to light--maybe he was on medication or something--anything that will clear him.  But if not, I only pray that God will forgive this bishop.  Let us all pray for Bp Demetri that God's will be done.

I am just in shock--just in shock!

anastasios
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http://www.wtol.com/Global/story.asp?S=1357288

Toledo Religious Leader Faces Charges

TOLEDO -- A well-known Toledo Orthodox bishop faces charges for a sex crime after he was arrested in a northern Michigan casino.

54-year-old Demetri Khoury is charged with fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct as well as a misdemeanor charge of disorderly drunk. He's accused of groping a woman who was gambling.

Police say the bishop got out of hand Wednesday night at Turtle Creek Casino in Traverse City, Michigan. According to prosecutors, casino security cut him off from drinking because he was being disorderly, and then he allegedly squeezed the breast of a woman who was playing a slot machine. Police say surveillance videotape from the casino shows the incident taking place. Bishop Khoury was arrested and arraigned in a Michigan court Thursday.

Since 1995, Khoury has been a bishop in the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese and he lives in west Toledo. The bishop oversees dozens of churches across the midwest including St. George Orthodox Cathederal. Today, church members found it hard to believe that their religious leader could do something like this.

"We just got here and this is the first I've heard about it and all I can think of is this man is a beautiful, wonderful man, very humble. It's just a total shock to me. I'm just so surprised and shocked," said Sharon Grzywinski.

"He has been wonderful to go to when we've had problems. He's just a very humble, religious man and we truly love him and I personally stand behind him no matter what," said Chuck Cassis.

Bishop Khoury posted bond and a Michigan judge is allowing him to travel back and forth from Ohio to Michigan for his court hearings.

 

Posted 7/11/03 @ 4:35 pm
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Re:Antiochian bishop arrested
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2003, 01:26:25 PM »
My wife and I are praying for him, and for those under his direction.
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Offline nilus

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Bishop charged over fondling woman
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2003, 02:46:59 PM »
Bishop charged over fondling woman in casino
http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20030712/NEWS03/107120096
By DAVID YONKE
BLADE RELIGION EDITOR


Bishop Demetri Khoury of Toledo, who oversees eight states and Ontario for the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church, was arrested at a Michigan casino for allegedly fondling a woman, officials said yesterday.

The 54-year-old bishop, one of five in the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, was highly intoxicated Wednesday night when he grabbed the breast of a woman who was seated at a nearby slot machine in the Turtle Creek Casino near Traverse City, said Trooper Paul Kushner, the arresting officer.

The bishop was not wearing clerical garb, but told Trooper Kushner that he was an Orthodox bishop.

"He used some nonbishop type language - a lot of profanity," Trooper Kushner said.

Bishop Demetri, who was released on $25,000 bond from the Grand Traverse County Correctional Facility, was charged with criminal sexual conduct, a fourth-degree felony. If convicted, he faces up to two years in jail, a $500 fine, and mandatory HIV/sexually transmitted disease testing, according to Grand Traverse County Prosecutor Dennis LaBelle.

The bishop also was charged with a misdemeanor offense of drunk and disorderly conduct. If convicted of that offense, he could face a 90-day sentence and/or fine of $500.

Trooper Kushner said the private security firm at Turtle Creek Casino, which is operated by the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, normally handles complaints involving drunk and disorderly patrons. But the trooper said law enforcement officials are called "when they become belligerent or the situation becomes more of a crime rather than just a problem."

The incident was recorded on the casino’s video surveillance system, Trooper Kushner said, adding that the picture quality was "crystal-clear."

Mr. LaBelle, who said he watched the videotape yesterday, said the victim, an unidentified woman from North Carolina, initially complained about Bishop Demetri’s behavior to casino security, who told him he was no longer allowed to drink.

The cleric remained seated at a slot machine and the woman returned to a seat near him, Mr. LaBelle said.

"When Bishop Demetri got up to leave, he patted the victim on the left shoulder, above the upper arm," Mr. LaBelle said. "She didn’t do anything. Then as he moved behind her, he reached over, around the front of her left arm, and touched her left breast. The woman got up and retaliated, and tried to slap Bishop Demetri a couple of times."

The woman reported the incident to casino security, who then called the Michigan State Police just before 10 p.m. Wednesday.

The bishop appeared to be so intoxicated that he could not remember his address, Trooper Kushner said, and produced a Florida driver’s license with a Miami street address.

No Breathalyzer test was administered, Mr. LaBelle said, largely because the suspect was not driving.

Bishop Demetri has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, which can cause bodily shakes and other medical problems. He could not be reached for comment by phone and there was no answer last night at his Old Orchard home. Church officials in Toledo, Detroit, and the denomination’s national headquarters in Englewood, N.J., either declined comment or could not be reached yesterday.

A native of Ramallah, in the West Bank, Bishop Demetri was ordained as a priest in 1975 and consecrated as a bishop on March 12, 1995. He oversees approximately 45 churches in the Midwest region, which includes Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Kentucky, West Virginia, and in Ontario.

There are two Antiochian Orthodox churches in the Toledo area, St. George Orthodox Cathedral on Woodley Road and St. Elias on Harroun Road in Sylvania.

Church members working the crowded annual St. George Summerfest last night were disheartened by the news of the bishop’s arrest.

"He’s been a great leader," said John Ellis, president of the parish council at St. George, declining further comment.

The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, which has 450,000 members, was established in the late 19th century. It is under the supervision of the Patriarch and Holy Synod of Antioch, headquartered in Damascus, which traces its roots to the start of Christianity.

Bishop Demetri, who like all Antiochian Orthodox bishops has taken a vow of celibacy, served as a pastor in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Florida before being appointed a bishop and assigned to the Toledo chancery in 1995.

His arraignment in Michigan’s 86th District Court in Traverse City is scheduled for Aug. 1.
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Nilus
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Re:Antiochian bishop arrested
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2003, 08:01:20 PM »
I learned of the sad affair :( involving Bishop +DEMETRI [Khoury] of Jableh and Toledo yesterday on another forum, where Ms. Melanie Julie Sakoda posted the incident (probably for inclusion on her Pokrov website).  I'm only wondering why ??? His Grace was out of clerical garb (in the Antiochian Archdiocese, that means only a business suit and clerical collar) and what Sayedna +DEMETRI was doing allegedly drinking to intoxication in a casino in the first place.  Let us hope that there is a plausible explanation and extenuating circumstances as this taints us all and not only members of the Antiochian Archdiocese whom, I imagine, must be scandalized by this incident.

Prayers for Bishop +DEMETRI, the woman whom he allegedly fondled in the casino, and for all members of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America.

Hypo-Ortho

Offline NDHoosier

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Re:Antiochian bishop arrested
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2003, 11:31:33 PM »
Gospodi, pomiluj!  Ya Rabb-urham!

 :'( LORD, HAVE MERCY!  :'(

I have found that many people think that this sort of behavior by clerics is "restricted" to Roman Catholicism.  I tell them, "Don't EVER say it 'can't happen here'!."  It can and it does (my time as a chemist taught me never to assume about safe conditions).

May God grant His Grace and healing to all involved and to all members of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese, for "He is gracious and the Lover of mankind".

(BTW, My first thought after I read this thread was, "I figure pokrov.org picked this up about 12.7 seconds after it happened...")

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Offline Anastasios

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Re:Antiochian bishop arrested
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2003, 12:09:08 AM »

(BTW, My first thought after I read this thread was, "I figure pokrov.org picked this up about 12.7 seconds after it happened...")

Just as Spiderman has "spider sense" they have "abuse alarm" and were probably there before Bp Demetri was even arrested lol (just kidding).  They probably implanted every Orthodox bishop and priest with a chip and have them on GPS sattellite. "By golly, he's going into a bar!" they say. "Get the cameras ready!".  ;)

anastasios
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Offline Mattheos

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Re:Antiochian bishop arrested
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2003, 08:48:14 PM »
Loving Brethren in Christ and Friends,

Let's not judge this hierarch of ours. (Do not judge, lest you be judged). We don't know what happend before hand or after. None of us were there, I assume! The best thing we can do is to pray for him as he goes through this hearing. And at the end of it all, if we condem him and he really isn't guilty or wasn't of a sound mind - we will give account.

Mattheos

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Offline Anastasios

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Re:Antiochian bishop arrested
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2003, 09:05:56 PM »
Which is why in the original post I said, "let's hope there was an extenuating circumstance."

anastasios
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Offline Anastasios

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Re:Antiochian bishop arrested
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2003, 04:10:11 PM »
Thank you for posting this.  I knew Metropolitan Philip would respond in a pastoral way.  That's why despite his sometimes controversial ideas, he remains one of the best Orthodox hierarchs.

anastasios
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re:Antiochian bishop arrested
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2003, 05:08:53 PM »
I agree, I think this response was very appropriate.
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Offline Keble

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Re:Antiochian bishop arrested
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2003, 05:13:41 PM »
And timely, which was certanly an issue in a lot of the RC cases.

Offline NDHoosier

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Re:Antiochian bishop arrested
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2003, 02:22:57 AM »
I would like to preface this by saying that parishioners who really know me know <understatement>I'm not exactly a Metropolitan Philip apologist</understatement>*cough*

So, I'm going to exercise a right granted to all Americans at birth...that of parsing the statements made by authority figures.

However, I'd like to point out what His Eminence did right - and he did a LOT right in this statement.

1.  He responded within a week openly and honestly, and put it up on the Archdiocesan website for the whole world to see.  (I do hope this is his style anyway and didn't need a lesson from the results RC prelates have had with coverups).

2.  "...most will never seek help until something tragic happens."

He recognizes that this was serious business.  

3.  "I have directed Bishop Demetri to seek professional help."

He ORDERED, not requested.  In other words, he used the authority of his office, and quite properly.

4.  "Once he receives the permission of the civil authorities..."

This one is really important to me.  He acknowledges that all people, including bishops, are to obey the just laws of man.  (The RC-bishop response, to ignore the just laws of man, REALLY puts me off.)

5.  "I have also directed Bishop Demetri not to preach or preside at any liturgical service during the time that he is under treatment, or while this matter is under investigation."

KUDOS!  This tells the common laity and general public that the exercise of a high office is inappropriate while the possessor of same is compromised.

6.  "Those rules apply to all clergy, deacons, priests and bishops..."

Translation:  "Wearing a cassock doesn't get you off the hook.  The rules apply to everyone."

Metropolitan Philip did about everything right in this communication, including not just throwing Bishop Demetri "off the train", which would have been, IMO, too harsh given the conduct involved.  The two other tests are how he handles any necessary cooperation with law enforcement and how he deals with the woman involved if she should show up with her attorney.  I suspect both with be dealt with appropriately.

Thank you, Your Eminence!
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