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Author Topic: An open letter to Archbishop Dmitri  (Read 16432 times) Average Rating: 0
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larsong
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« on: June 02, 2004, 01:45:02 AM »

Protection of the Theotokos

www.pokrov.org

1621 Haight Street #3
San Francisco, CA 94117
Voice mail: 415-820-9645
Date: June 1, 2004

An open letter to Archbishop Dmitri, Diocese of the South, OCA
via fax

Re. Fr. Andrew (AKA Sterling Rayburn, Isaac Melton, Brother Isaac,
Father Andrew Isaac Rayburn, Sterling Melton Peter Rayburn)


Your Eminence:

We have recently posted information on the Pokrov.org web site about the arrest and conviction of Sterling Rayburn AKA Fr. Andrew for multiple counts of child molestation in 1979 involving boys as young as 11 years old.

As you are well aware, Father Andrew was arrested at your chancery in Miami, where he was employed. He then served time in prison and on parole. Father Andrew is now serving at St. Michael's Skete (Canones, NM) in your diocese, the same diocese that he was employed at when he was arrested.

We have been unable to verify whether or not Father Andrew is a priest as well as a monk. Regardless, this man has been leading spiritual retreats for parishes and Orthodox youth for the last several years. In our investigation, we found that other Orthodox priests were aware of Fr. Andrew's background, and were unconcerned because they knew you were aware of the situation. That meant that parents unknowingly sent their children into possible danger.* Not only is this in violation of the Sexual Misconduct Guidelines published by the Orthodox Church in America, it is grossly negligent on your part.

We are including a copy of the letter that you sent to the Dallas Morning News, stating the very simple canonical solution that the Church has for dealing with those who abuse children. You imply that there is no problem in the Orthodox Church, because we know how to deal with abusers.

Your Grace, considering your letter to the Dallas Morning News and your participation in the process of developing and approving the OCA Sexual Misconduct Guidelines, you should be aware that allowing Fr. Andrew to lead youth retreats is not only a violation of these guidelines, but terribly irresponsible. Father Andrew's young victims were under his pastoral care when he was an Anglican Priest. It is common knowledge that pedophiles that act on their impulses are at high risk to re-offend.

On behalf of all those children you should have protected, Pokrov respectfully requests your answers to the following questions:

    1) Why did you knowingly allow Fr. Andrew to be in a position
    of authority over innocent Orthodox youth?

    2) How do you plan on informing parishioners in your diocese,
    and all dioceses and jurisdictions who participated in retreats
    with Fr. Andrew, that their children were subjected to possible
    harm?

    3) How do you plan on warning visitors and/or neighbors of St.
    MichaelGäós Skete of the possible danger to their children?

    4) When people see a man in clerical garb who is called
    "Father" and lives in a monastery, they naturally assume he is
    trustworthy. Do you plan on providing Fr. Andrew with this
    continued position of trust?

We are disturbed because your actions demonstrate that you had no problem with Fr. Andrew's criminal past and no concern for the safety and well being of youth in your diocese.

We await a response from you. We plan to post this letter on the Pokrov web site. We look forward to posting your response as well.

Cappy Larson, Greta Larson and Melanie Sakoda

www.pokrov.org


-----------------------------------------------------
* These retreats were advertised on several web sites including the
OCA web site and on the web site of your Pharr, TX parish where
several children appear in a photograph with Fr. Andrew.

« Last Edit: June 02, 2004, 01:52:23 AM by larsong » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2004, 01:46:27 AM »

Certainly a disturbing issue. Archbishop Demetri is such a wonderful bishop; I wonder what his side of the story is. I hope he responds.

anastasios
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« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2004, 09:38:54 AM »

If this issue is not dealt with as it should be, I would propose a day of picketing at the Archdiocese headquarters in New York.


While I think the GOAA does have concerns that definitely need outright answers in this regard, TomΣ, why picket in NY? This letter and the incident cited is to the OCA.

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« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2004, 09:46:27 AM »

While I think the GOAA does have concerns that definitely need outright answers in this regard, TomΣ, why picket in NY? This letter and the incident cited is to the OCA.

Yes  Embarrassed

I just realized that! It's all those similar foreign names.... And you know how in Greek when I speak of myself I include the "s" but when you speak of me you do not...it's all those crazy foreign langauge rules!!

I saw Demetri and thought that it was Demetrios!

« Last Edit: June 02, 2004, 09:48:16 AM by Tom+ú » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2004, 10:18:30 AM »

I'm the last person to make excuses for this kind of clerical wrongdoing in any church, but I'll second what anastasios said - Archbishop Dmitri (Royster) of Dallas is one of the most respected Eastern Orthodox bishops in the country. If pokrov.org, which has been accused of being anti-monk, is going to publicly accuse him, you'd better back yourselves up with sources available to the rest of us.
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« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2004, 10:25:56 AM »

Indeed, Serge, I agree 100%.
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« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2004, 10:49:20 AM »

I agree with you, Serge and David.
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« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2004, 11:21:27 AM »

I'm the last person to make excuses for this kind of clerical wrongdoing in any church, but I'll second what anastasios said - Archbishop Dmitri (Royster) of Dallas is one of the most respected Eastern Orthodox bishops in the country. If pokrov.org, which has been accused of being anti-monk, is going to publicly accuse him, you'd better back yourselves up with sources available to the rest of us.

Please read our report more thoroughly. If you go to the page on Fr. Andrew, we have assemble a very detailed report about the time-line and the charges, etc.
Everything in the letter to +Dmitri is backed by documents.
Before publishing any information, we always order all of the court documents.   We thoroughly researched this case. Not only that, we interviewed priests in the NM area, and people who were in the Miami area in 1979 when Fr. Andrew was arrested.


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« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2004, 11:31:41 AM »

Greta,

I am reading over your page on Fr. Andrew now, and I think I have noticed two contradictory statements in the opening paragraph.

Quote
In Ju ly of 1979 Sterling Melton Peter Rayburn, an Orthodox layman
and
Quote
coerced the [14-year old] boy into the act using his authority as the child's priest....

Which is the correct statement?
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« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2004, 11:36:12 AM »

Also, as far as going by the name "Fr. Andrew" it is the custom for a tonsured monk to be addressed as Father.  You do not have to be a hieromonk(ie priestmonk) for that title.  I am not sure about the pectoral cross though...in my experience that is reserved for hieromonks.  As a struggling person, it is good that he is a monk, but from your sources I agree that he should not be allowed around children.
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« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2004, 11:42:54 AM »

[Before publishing any information, we always order all of the court documents.  We thoroughly researched this case. Not only that, we interviewed priests in the NM area, and people who were in the Miami area in 1979 when Fr. Andrew was arrested. ]

And just what is your purpose for publically publishing this letter  on the internet before the Archbishop even has a chance to respond?

How many more Orthodox jurisdictions do you have to go thru before you have covered them all?

The Archbishop is one of the most beloved of all the Orthodox Bishops In America.  leave him alone!

Orthodoc




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« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2004, 11:46:37 AM »

The Archbishop is one of the most beloved of all the Orthodox Bishops In America.  leave him alone!

I disagree. This is too important of an issue. The documentation supports a public inquiry.
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« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2004, 12:02:51 PM »

Quote
And just what is your purpose for publically publishing this letter on the internet before the Archbishop even has a chance to respond?

Good point. Doesn't make pokrov.org look too good.

Quote
How many more Orthodox jurisdictions do you have to go thru before you have covered them all?

The Archbishop is one of the most beloved of all the Orthodox Bishops In America.

Also good points.

I'm with Tom on 'leave him alone'. Not necessarily. That's what's got RCs such bad press lately. If there's hanky-panky going on, contact him and let him answer before blabbing all over the Internet.
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« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2004, 12:10:13 PM »

Quote
We thoroughly researched this case.

You're credibility is rather lacking though considering how POOR your "research" is regarding the information about Elder Ephraim on the pokrov site.  You would do well go and read the readings at Liturgy for this past Monday of the Holy Spirit....
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« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2004, 12:46:11 PM »

I don't think that Greta Larson's post should be greeted with hostility.  That eerily reminds me of the attitude that many of the "true believers" within the RCC took when their own clerical abuse scandal started to break, and its not appropriate.

These are important matters, they concern the well-being of our children and the Bishop should answer.  I have my doubts that without publicity our hierarchs are much better than the Latin ones at dealing with problems like this in a responsible manner because it is so easy *not* to do so when you are off the radar screen.

So we should let pokrov do their work.  As I have noted before, when Orthodox go off on the RCC about the clerical scandals, they should be more informed about similar issues within our own church.  And if you don't want to take pokrov at its own word, then at least you are pointed in the direction where you can do your own research, make your own inquiries and draw your own conclusions.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2004, 12:47:00 PM by Brendan03 » Logged

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« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2004, 01:36:57 PM »

Quote
So we should let pokrov do their work.  

No one is objecting to finding abuse and reporting it.  The point is that this should first just be sent to the bishop it concerns, IF he ignores it, dismisses it or whatever THEN go public with it.  

And Pokrov has some trouble with getting facts straight and understanding some basics of Orthodoxy as it is.
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« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2004, 02:25:39 PM »

[We have recently posted information on the Pokrov.org web site about the arrest and conviction of Sterling Rayburn AKA Fr. Andrew for multiple counts of child molestation in 1979 involving boys as young as 11 years old. ]

You make reference to an alleged incident that happened in 1979.  You further claim that you have reseached this matter thoroughly but give no other accusations or incidents since the incident you reference in 1979.

Let's see, 1979 was was 25 years ago.  Ever Hear of words like 'repentence' or 'rehabilitiation'?  You have no idea what went on in the Confessional between this priest and his Bishop.  Yet you have no qualms about releasing your PRIVATE letter to Archbishop Dimitri  on the internet before he even has a chance to reply and/or defend his actions.

You should at least have the decency to give him the opportunity to respond before making this public on the internet.  The fact that you haven't just undermines your credibility.

Your methods are underhanded and do not warrant an attempt to malign such a wonderful and faithful man of God.  And take that from someone who has met and socialized with Archbishop Dimitri on more than one occassion.

Orthodoc


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« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2004, 02:53:56 PM »

Another thing.  The information on 'controversial groups' is rather out of date and out of touch with reality with a few of these groups (former EOC and CSB come to mind).  My point being that the info was maybe valid several years ago, but not now.  In any case, an update with qualifications should be made at the very least.  Otherwise, as many others have already said, the sites credibility is further questioned.
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« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2004, 04:50:00 PM »

"Let's see, 1979 was was 25 years ago.  Ever Hear of words like 'repentence' or 'rehabilitiation'?"

These are the excuses many Catholic bishops offered for letting abusers continue in ministry.  Repentence is laudable, rehabilitation is at best uncertain.  Convicted child abusers can simply not be allowed to minister to children in any capacity and a repentant sinner should be able to accept this.  I am suspicious of any who claim to be cured and insist on contact with children.

The Archbishop's actions do seem to be a violation of the OCA Policy.  The OCA's policy provides a convicted cleric is to be deposed permanently and prohibted form parish ministry. It also provides a convicted layperson can not work with youth in any capacity.  The policy seems unclear as it provides the seeming possibilty for a convicted cleric to serve in some other ministry as the individual in this case is doing.  However, if he is deposed as the policy requires it seems he would then be a layman and should not be involved in any ministry or activity with children involved.  I think Pokrov has a valid complaint although I do believe the Archbishop should have been given the opportunity to respond a a courtesy, he does seem in violation of the policy and should be called to account for it.

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POLICIES, STANDARDS, AND PROCEDURES
OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCH IN AMERICA
ON SEXUAL MISCONDUCT  
Adopted by The Holy Synod of Bishops - April 2, 2003  


10.06. Discipline of Clergy: (a) If clergy are found to have engaged in act of sexual misconduct, the Bishop shall impose appropriate disciplinary action in accordance with the canons of the Holy Orthodox Church.

(b) Any member of the clergy who admits or is found to have committed child sexual abuse shall be suspended by the applicable Bishop, shall be deposed by the Holy Synod of Bishops, and shall be permanently prohibited from exercising any functions or responsibilities of parish ministry. Any report to any law enforcement or social service agency required to be made by reason of the admission or finding shall be made. Such conduct shall be conclusive grounds for him to be deposed as set forth herein.

11.05. Restrictions and Prohibitions on Church Service: (a) Unless approved by the Bishop in writing at the request of the Rector, laypersons who are volunteers should not be considered for work with youth or children until they have been members of the parish for a minimum of six months.

(b) No person who has been convicted or has plead guilty to any violation of law involving child sexual or physical abuse, and no person known to have a paraphilic diagnosis such as, but not limited to, pedophilia, exhibitionism, or voyeurism as defined by the American Psychiatric Association, shall be allowed to work with children or youth in any capacity.

(c) Adult survivors of child abuse must meet with the Rector before being approved to work with children or youth, and a criminal records check must be performed as to such individuals.


http://www.oca.org/pages/ocaadmin/documents/holysynod/040203sexualmisconduct.html#1006

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« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2004, 04:55:38 PM »

Another thing.  The information on 'controversial groups' is rather out of date and out of touch with reality with a few of these groups (former EOC and CSB come to mind).  My point being that the info was maybe valid several years ago, but not now.  In any case, an update with qualifications should be made at the very least.  Otherwise, as many others have already said, the sites credibility is further questioned.

The EOC is included, I would guess, as background to the current ongoing problem with the Felton schismatics.

As far as the CSB is concerned, the parishes that were brought into canonical Orthodoxy still exist-they weren't broken up upon being recieved into the Church, so I don't see what the problem is including them. And, of course, there's evidence that the CSB did exist after their entrance into canonical Orthodoxy.

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« Reply #20 on: June 02, 2004, 05:17:25 PM »

The EOC is included, I would guess, as background to the current ongoing problem with the Felton schismatics.

As far as the CSB is concerned, the parishes that were brought into canonical Orthodoxy still exist-they weren't broken up upon being recieved into the Church, so I don't see what the problem is including them. And, of course, there's evidence that the CSB did exist after their entrance into canonical Orthodoxy.


CSB still exists. However, "brotherhoods" are not unknown in Orthodoxy.




CSB still exists. However, "brotherhoods" are not unknown in Orthodoxy. I wonder though why anyone would suggest that these parishes should be broken up? These are people who lived and grew together in the same area for many years. Should they all start attending new parishes in the area(if they exist) in an attempt to be less insular?
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« Reply #21 on: June 02, 2004, 05:27:26 PM »

Greta,

I am reading over your page on Fr. Andrew now, and I think I have noticed two contradictory statements in the opening paragraph. andWhich is the correct statement?

Rayburn molested the children while he was an Anglican priest. He discontinued his Anglican ministry and converted to Orthodoxy. He began working at the OCA office in Miami, and was an Orthodox layman -- it was at this time that he was arrested .

In response to those who thought we should have contacted +Dmitri privately: Over the past 12 years I know of at least twenty letters sent to +Dmitri about alleged abusers in his diocese and related issues. Two of them were letters I wrote personally. Never has there been a response to me or to others. That is why we wrote an "open letter."

In response to those who don't like our inclusion on Pokrov of certain groups as "controversial:" Whether you agree or not, it is exactly this kind of debate and discussion that we wish to inspire. I just wish people would focus more on the issues we highlight, rather than our alleged "issues" or "agendas." Whether you agree or not, it's important to have information.

Should anyone have updated information for any of those groups, we are always accepting submissions. While I wish I could keep Pokrov completely current, understand that there is a lot going on behind the scenes and some parts of our site don't get constant attention.

« Last Edit: June 02, 2004, 05:44:49 PM by larsong » Logged

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« Reply #22 on: June 02, 2004, 05:49:39 PM »

When one turns on the light in a dirty house, the cockroaches scatter.

Rather than scolding the person who turned on the light, we should clean the house and spray for roaches.
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« Reply #23 on: June 02, 2004, 05:57:33 PM »

When one turns on the light in a dirty house, the cockroaches scatter.

Rather than scolding the person who turned on the light, we should clean the house and spray for roaches.

+ú++-å+»+¦!
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« Reply #24 on: June 02, 2004, 06:05:01 PM »

I must be intoxicated, I agree with Linus & Tom.

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« Reply #25 on: June 02, 2004, 06:12:57 PM »

I must be intoxicated, I agree with Linus & Tom.

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« Reply #26 on: June 02, 2004, 07:41:29 PM »

[In response to those who thought we should have contacted +Dmitri privately: Over the past 12 years I know of at least twenty letters sent to +Dmitri about alleged abusers in his diocese and related issues. Two of them were letters I wrote personally. Never has there been a response to me or to others. That is why we wrote an "open letter."]

At least twenty letters regarding ALLEGED abusers in his diocese!  No wonder he ignores you!  Who or what makes you think you have the right to harass a Bishop regarding ALLEGED abuses?  What gives you the right to think you are the police sexual patrol of any bishops diocese?  Or have the right to tell him how to run his diocese.  I understand you do the same thing with other bishops within various Orthodox jurisdictions.

Seems to me you should be looking for more productive things to do with your life than harass a Bishop for something that happened 25 years ago before that person was even Orthodox.

If you can come up with some more recent infractions by this Monk state them, if not get a life!

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« Reply #27 on: June 02, 2004, 07:50:16 PM »

Let's face it, folks, Greta, Cappy, and Melanie are doing a thankless job.
When I saw the "Open letter" I immediately thought, "Well, I guess private letters are just too easy to ignore".
I do recall being on the receiving end of some rather sharp replies from one of these ladies over on the Indiana list early last year, but their abrasive style (in my opinion) is probably a reflection of their frustration.
Without the internet and 'open letters', how are we to even know of potential or alleged abuse?

Demetri, a supporter of Fr Ephraim.
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« Reply #28 on: June 02, 2004, 11:10:20 PM »

Unfortunately, people often forget that people are to be considered innocent until *proven* guilty.  This needs to be decided in the courts, not on the internet.  There's a big difference between *potential*, *alleged*, and *proven* incidents of abuse.
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« Reply #29 on: June 02, 2004, 11:51:06 PM »

Unfortunately, people often forget that people are to be considered innocent until *proven* guilty.  This needs to be decided in the courts, not on the internet.  There's a big difference between *potential*, *alleged*, and *proven* incidents of abuse.

I can't disagree with your post above, katherine2001. But how does that relate to the "Open" letter above and situations where abuse has led to convictions?

Demetri
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« Reply #30 on: June 03, 2004, 12:44:31 AM »

Also it is not known if this priest in question works alone with children or what his exact situation is.  

But we do know that pokrov is uncrediable, spreads lies and slanders etc.   Considering Pokrov lacked the discernment to get their take on Elder Ephraim correct, you have to wonder about their discernment in general.  

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« Reply #31 on: June 03, 2004, 12:56:36 AM »

The simple fact, folks, is that Orthodox kids attended retreats with Fr. Andrew. Fr. Andrew pled guilty to multiple counts of having oral sex with children (not teens --children).
Archbishop Dmitri knew about Fr. Andrew's past. Parents of children were not informed. I personally find this very disturbing.

You can argue about my web site or about how we present information about monastacism, etc. but that doesn't mean that we print things that are untrue or lies. I hold my site to a very high level of accuracy. If something is not true, then let me know.

I'm in the business of protecting vulnerable people. That is my goal and if you don't like how I do it, I guess that's too bad.

While I have made an effort to present alternate views of the Ephraim debate, there are a lot of web sites about traditional monastacism out there.  If you disagree with the way that we structure the site, we are always willing to hear your point of view, but if you want to go to a web site with your exact views, then don't visit ours.
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« Reply #32 on: June 03, 2004, 03:21:37 AM »

[There's a big difference between *potential*, *alleged*, and *proven* incidents of abuse.]

That's true and my point exactly.  *potential* and *alleged*  are nothing more than gossip until proven otherwise.

[The simple fact, folks, is that Orthodox kids attended retreats with Fr. Andrew. Fr. Andrew pled guilty to multiple counts of having oral sex with children (not teens --children). ]

But you have yet to connect one with the other.  Father Andrew wasn't even Orthodox when he pled quility (if he pled guilty).  Yet you have no qualms about maligning an Orthodox bishop on the world wide internet based on the filmsy evidence you give by unsuccessfully  trying to tie two separate incidents YEARS APART with each other.

It's nice to know that you are finally giving Bishop Tikhon (whom you have been harassing for years) a little rest.  Get a life already!   And be able to *prove* your accusations before maligning anyone.

[Also it is not known if this priest in question works alone with children or what his exact situation is. ]

Very good point!  But of course, in their haste to malign and gossip these people couldn't care less!

Orthodoc


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« Reply #33 on: June 03, 2004, 08:28:52 AM »

Orthodoc,

It is utterly disappointing that your love of your Church prevent you from having any objectivity about it or any ability for criticism of it.  The individual in question was convicted.  He has no business being around children in any capacity period. The Archbishop is wrong.  Rather than maligning the people at Pokrov you should be thanking them.  Have you learned nothing from my own Church's scandal?

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« Reply #34 on: June 03, 2004, 10:29:00 AM »

Fr Deacon Lance:

You state -

Orthodoc,

It is utterly disappointing that your love of your Church prevent you from having any objectivity about it or any ability for criticism of it.  The individual in question was convicted.  He has no business being around children in any capacity period. The Archbishop is wrong.  Rather than maligning the people at Pokrov you should be thanking them.  Have you learned nothing from my own Church's scandal?

Fr. Deacon Lance

My Response:

You are right in the fact that I do love my church with all my heart and soul.  Because of that great love I will continue to defend it and one of it's most beloved Archbishops against slander based on unproven inuendo.  Accusations are to be proven before they are considered credible.

And the fact still remains that-

1)  There is NO PROOF given that this Monk molested any child since his 1979 conviction.

2  Other than a picture he may be shown on (though not identified), ALONG WITH SEVERAL OTHER PRIESTS, there is no proof that he was the leader of any youth retreat or any series of youth retreats sponsored by either the OCA or the Diocese of the South.  If that is indeed him on the picture, then all it indicates that he was present at a parish function.  Not that he led it.

You state the Archbishop is wrong without giving any substantiated proof that he allowed this person to be a youth coordinatorer in any capacity within that diocese.  Access the Southern Diocese within the OCA and show me where there is any indication this Monk is involved in any way with the youth of the diocese as is being claimed!

Let's be honest Fr Deacon Lance.  If these accusations were brought against you, would you be so willing to accept the flimsy evidence given up to this point?  I doubt it.

Orthodoc
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Cliams made in the open letter to Archbishop Dimitri:

[Regardless, this man has been leading spiritual retreats for parishes and Orthodox youth for the last several years.]

[Your Grace, considering your letter to the Dallas Morning News and your participation in the process of developing and approving the OCA Sexual Misconduct Guidelines, you should be aware that allowing Fr. Andrew to lead youth retreats is not only a violation of these guidelines, but terribly irresponsible. ]

Where is the proof?  Where are the facts and list of so called retreats he led?  If this group has researched this incident so thoroughly as they calim, WHERE ARE THE PROVEN FACTS THEY SHOULD HAVE GATHERED BY NOW?  Where are the dates and locations of the youth retreats this Monk led?

[ These retreats were advertised on several web sites including the OCA web site and on the web site of your Pharr, TX parish where several children appear in a photograph with Fr. Andrew.]

Let's be specific here.  Which retreats advertized on the OCA web site are tied into this priest or where does it indicate he is leading them?  Point to the picture where Fr Andrew appears alone with several children or what picture indicates that he is the leader of such a retreat?  In every picture with children there are more than one priest.  

The has been absolutely no proof given that this priest has LED youth retreats now or in the past WHILE BEING WITHIN THE OCA.

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« Reply #35 on: June 03, 2004, 11:12:41 AM »

Orthodoc,

He was convicted once and that is enough.  I don't care if it was 100 years ago.

Let me again state:
HE HAS NO BUSINESS BEING AROUND CHILDREN.

Let me clarify: I don't care if he led, assisted, participated in, or watched from his cell window.  If the monastery is one that sponsors retreats that involves youths he has no business being at the monastery period.  I am sure the OCA has monasteries that don't have youth retreats he should be in one of those.

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« Reply #36 on: June 03, 2004, 11:25:33 AM »

I have to side with Orthodoc on this one, Father Deacon (the Devil must be putting his ice skates on now).  Properly supervised (ie never alone with youths), the monk can be in the same room as children, especially if there are other monks and adults around watching him like a hawk.  Again, properly supervised.
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« Reply #37 on: June 03, 2004, 11:41:28 AM »

Shultz,

You are correct, but a retreat situation at a monastery affords to many opportunities for the monk to not be properly supervised.  Not to mention parents should not be put in the situation of having to worry about their children.

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« Reply #38 on: June 03, 2004, 11:45:05 AM »

I think Orthodoc's point is that there is no proof that he led the retreat other than a picture that shows him with a number of other monks.  He could very well be allowed to be near children during "common" times, but once more one-on-one activity ensues, he's shut away in his cell.

I think we should give this monk the benefit of the doubt that he is being supervised, especially in light of what is going on in our own Catholic church.  I highly doubt Archbishp Dmitri wants that monster on his doorstep.
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« Reply #39 on: June 03, 2004, 12:23:24 PM »

I think Orthodoc's point is that there is no proof that he led the retreat other than a picture that shows him with a number of other monks.  

But to me, and 99.9% of other parents, that is irrelevent.

It is just plain STUPID that the Church would put itself in such a precarious position.

AND unconscionable that it would put its children in the position where there is even a remote possibility that anything untoward should happen to them!

This is totally unnaceptable.

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« Reply #40 on: June 03, 2004, 12:29:40 PM »

Again, Tom, we don't know what the circumstances that this "proof" was taken.

What if this monk is completely and totally shut away from everyone and everything except for this one photo-op?  Locked in his cell, away from children and adults, all the time except for this chance encounter with a camera?

I haven't seen any proof otherwise and until I do, I'm not judging the man anymore nor will I judge Bishop Dmitri.

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AND unconscionable that it would put its children in the position where there is even a remote possibility that anything untoward should happen to them!

Most of secular society would say the same about allowing children in a monastery full of saints who wouldn't dream of touching a child.  There is, after all, a remote possibility that one of those crazy celibate men locked up in that building may get frisky with a little boy!
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« Reply #41 on: June 03, 2004, 12:53:27 PM »

except for this chance encounter...

BINGO! THAT's the problem! What other "chance" encounters could possibly occur.

Why risk it?
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« Reply #42 on: June 03, 2004, 01:03:06 PM »

[Shultz,

You are correct, but a retreat situation at a monastery affords to many opportunities for the monk to not be properly supervised.  Not to mention parents should not be put in the situation of having to worry about their children.

Fr. Deacon Lance ]

Fr Deacon Lance.  Before pontificating, access the website for this so called Monastery.  You will find that it is in fact not a Monastery but a Skete WITH ONLY ONE DEACON (who is not Monk Andrew) ATTACHED TO IT.  Hardly the prerequisites for holding youth retreats as it is accused of doing now isn't it?



http://www.oca.org/pages/ocaadmin/listings/monastics.html#south

(Click on St Micheal Skete)


The Pokrov site states -

Pokrov has learned that Sterling Rayburn is currently residing  at St. Michael's Skete (OCA) in Canones, NM. Although he is apparently not a priest, he is going by the name of Father Andrew and wears a pectoral cross (see picture above). He publishes DOXA magazine under the name of Isaac Melton and Brother Isaac.

The monastery has led several youth retreats in the past few years. Sterling Rayburn is listed as the president of the St. Michael's Skete Corporation, Father George Sondergaard (OCA) is listed as the vice-president and secretary. Fr. John Bethancourt (Antiochian Archdiocese) is also a director of the monastery. Pokrov has been told that Father Andrew was allegedly watched closely by those clerics that knew about his prior conviction, but that parents of children who participated in the retreats were not informed.

Since when is a Monastery or Skete a separate corporation from the diocese it is supposedly under?


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« Reply #43 on: June 03, 2004, 01:08:45 PM »

I guess to me it all comes down to this:

Do you believe that Pokrov attempted to address this issue via private letters or not?

If you DO believe that they did so, and the Bishop ignored those letters, than pokrov has every right, and I would say a DUTY,  to publish an open letter to get this issue addressed.
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« Reply #44 on: June 03, 2004, 01:30:23 PM »

[If you DO believe that they did so, and the Bishop ignored those letters, than pokrov has every right, and I would say a DUTY,  to publish an open letter to get this issue addressed.]

Seems to me the Archbishop has better things to do than cater to the fantasies of three sexually obsessed women.  By their own admission they had sent more than TWENTY letters to him over a period of twelve years regarding what they perceived as abuses within his diocese which they are not even part of.

Without  the Archbishop is not answerable to them.  He is only answerable to the Metropolitan and God.

If you read the whole issue its full of holes from the beginning.

If this so called Fr Andrew is not a priest (as they themselves specify) and only resides at this Skete rather than being assigned to it (as they themselves specify) then -

1)  How does he fall under the authority and responsibility of Archbishop Dimitri to begin with?

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