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Author Topic: An open letter to Archbishop Dmitri  (Read 16534 times) Average Rating: 0
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TomS
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« Reply #45 on: June 03, 2004, 01:50:55 PM »

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

THAT'S TOTAL BULLSH*T!

And is the type of ignorant attitude that enables Satan to manipulate the weak in the Church to do EVIL THINGS!

YOU need to get your head out of you as* Orthodoc!
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« Reply #46 on: June 03, 2004, 02:04:15 PM »

Quote
He is only answerable to the Metropolitan and God.

I'm going to play the Devil's Advocate here.

Do you feel the same about Cardinal Law?
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« Reply #47 on: June 03, 2004, 02:08:16 PM »

THAT'S TOTAL BULLSH*T!

And is the type of ignorant attitude that enables Satan to manipulate the weak in the Church to do EVIL THINGS!

YOU need to get your head out of you as* Orthodoc!



And perhaps you should  read the whole thread before you go off half cocked.  In all those twenty letters this group has yet to issue PROOF to substiantiate any of their allegations.  

So I repeat -  'WITHOUT SUFFIECIENT PROOF OF ANY ALLEGATION THE ARCHBISHOP IS NOT ANSWERABLE TO THEM IN ANY WAY'.  If they can prove their allegations then he owes them a response.  Not  until or before.  

As has been stated before 'Alleged instances' are nothing more than gossip until otherwise proven.  

This group HAS YET TO PROVE ANY OF THE ACCUSATIONS AND/OR INSINUATIONS.


AGAIN, HOW ABOUT SOME DATES, TIMES, AND SPECIFIC LOCATIONS SO CALLED FR ANDREW (who is not a recognized priest by the OCA)  HELD THESE YOUTH RETREATS?

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« Reply #48 on: June 03, 2004, 02:24:43 PM »

I'm going to play the Devil's Advocate here.

Do you feel the same about Cardinal Law?

Perhaps I used a poor choice of words.  No I do not feel the same about Cardinal Law?  Unlike this incident, there was plenty of proof and  documentation to prove the allegations being made for Cardianl Law to respond.  That plus the fact they were priest under the Cardinals authority.

If the same type of proof and documentation was available in this incident the Archbishop would indeed be answerable to the laity if this man was either a priest or monk under the Archbishops authority.  He is not.  There isn't even any proof or documentation that, as a layman, he was authorized to run youth retreats by the Archbishop.  Other than an incident before he became Orthodoc.

Why these people are harassing the Archbishop when they already know this man is not an OCA priest or monk is beyond me.
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« Reply #49 on: June 03, 2004, 02:37:18 PM »

Good points, Orthodoc.  

I agree with you that there's no proof other than a photograph that really proves nothing.
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« Reply #50 on: June 03, 2004, 02:49:52 PM »

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Other than an incident before he became Orthodoc.

Now we know why you are defending him so strongly Cheesy
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« Reply #51 on: June 03, 2004, 02:55:15 PM »

All kidding aside, having had dinner with Apb. Dmitri and meeting him several times, being tonsured a Reader by him at the Consecration of our church, I have the confidence that he will address this 'allegation' properly, and that he has handled the issue properly in the past.
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« Reply #52 on: June 03, 2004, 02:55:41 PM »

Orthodoc,

"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?"

If you visit the monastery's own website you will see they advertise a retreat center.
http://omna.nettinker.com/michaelsk.htm

Also, the OCA site is not an exhaustive listing of every monk in each monastery but often only lists the superior of the community or sometimes the ordained monks.  

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

I don't know current Orthodox procedure but this is the rule in the Catholic Church.

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

The official OCA policy on sexual misconduct states:

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.

"Why these people are harassing the Archbishop when they already know this man is not an OCA priest or monk is beyond me."

They do not know he is not a monk.  He is in fact a monk.

"Isaac Melton (Brother Isaac) is a member of the Monastery of the Glorious Ascension, Resaca, Georgia, and lives at St. Michael’s Skete in New Mexico, a dependency of Ascension Monastery. Brother Isaac is the editor of DOXA, the quarterly publication of the skete."
http://www.thechristianactivist.com/Vol%207/V7translation.htm

I would not that the Monastery of the Glorious Ascension is under the omophor of the Patriarch of Jerusalem.  Perhaps Pokrov should send a letter to the Patriarch as well.

Fr. Deacon Lance






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« Reply #53 on: June 03, 2004, 03:06:50 PM »

A retreat center for both men and women has recently been completed just across Ca+¦ones Creek on the property, about 5 minutes walk from the chapel. Retreat guests are expected to worship with the monks, but otherwise to care for themselves in the retreat house.

It sounds to me like this is just a separate quarters for any visitors who want to come to the monastery for some quiet time away from the world, and not like any organized "retreat center".

Note it also says "men and women", not "children".  I still think this sounds very much like a little dormitory across the creek to separate guests from the monks.
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« Reply #54 on: June 03, 2004, 03:10:18 PM »

Now we know why you are defending him so strongly Cheesy

Ya caught that slip of the finger!

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« Reply #55 on: June 03, 2004, 03:41:17 PM »

Fr. Deacon Lance,

A few points...

If you visit the monastery's own website you will see they advertise a retreat center.
http://omna.nettinker.com/michaelsk.htm

This is not the site of the monastery this nettinker site is an unofficial site that lists all Orthodox monasteries in North America.  There are many typos on the site as well.  I agree with Schultz about the retreat center.

Quote

They do not know he is not a monk.  He is in fact a monk.

"Isaac Melton (Brother Isaac) is a member of the Monastery of the Glorious Ascension, Resaca, Georgia, and lives at St. Michael’s Skete in New Mexico, a dependency of Ascension Monastery. Brother Isaac is the editor of DOXA, the quarterly publication of the skete."
http://www.thechristianactivist.com/Vol%207/V7translation.htm

I would note that the Monastery of the Glorious Ascension is under the omophor of the Patriarch of Jerusalem.  Perhaps Pokrov should send a letter to the Patriarch as well.

Fr. Deacon Lance


The Monastery of the Glorious Ascension was formerly in the diocese of the South but left the OCA for ROCOR while the abbot and the other ordained monks were under suspension for liturgical violations.  After a few years in ROCOR, they left ROCOR for the JP.  I am not sure if they were under similar suspension from ROCOR when they switched this last time.
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« Reply #56 on: June 03, 2004, 04:23:22 PM »

It is my understanding the monastery received a canonical release to join the patriarchate of Jerusalem. Anyone with questions should email Fr Maximos. His email is listed at www.monastery.org
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« Reply #57 on: June 03, 2004, 04:29:19 PM »

Seems this so called Monk is not now part of the OCA or under Bishop Dimitri to begin with.  He's associated with that group of Episcopal priests that converted to Orthodoxy years ago (Monastery of the Glorious Ascension).  After acting as Orthodox priests for about 20 years they decided they weren't really Orthodox after all and got themselves rebaptised on Mount Athos.  Archbishop Dimitri excommunicated them they then went under ROCOR.  Now they are under the JP.

========

["Isaac Melton (Brother Isaac) is a member of the Monastery of the Glorious Ascension, Resaca, Georgia, and lives at St. Michael’s Skete in New Mexico, a dependency of Ascension Monastery. Brother Isaac is the editor of DOXA, the quarterly publication of the skete."
www.thechristianactivist.com/V...translation.htm

I would note that the Monastery of the Glorious Ascension is under the omophor of the Patriarch of Jerusalem.  Perhaps Pokrov should send a letter to the Patriarch as well.

Fr. Deacon Lance]

Perhaps we can now expect an apology from these Pokrov people for publishing an open letter and maligining a wondeful Bishop.  I would expect that they will also post an open letter of apology to His Grace Archbishop Dimitri of the OCA and post a copy of this letter on the OCNet so we can read it.

And perhaps this will warrant the OCA to update and erase St Michael's Skete from it's website which should have been done long ago.  To avoid confusion.

Maybe Pokrov will also learn to be able to prove all their accusations before maligning hierachs on the world wide web.

Orthodoc


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« Reply #58 on: June 03, 2004, 04:48:33 PM »

Orthodoc, here is the official letter that Abp Demetri sent to the two priests in that incident: http://www.oca.org/pages/ocaadmin/documents/Official/1997-AbpDimitri-on-suspensions-1111.html
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« Reply #59 on: June 03, 2004, 04:48:58 PM »



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.


This sounds eerily like it was written by a Roman Catholic Bishop in the US.

If the man was convicted and did time, then he should not have contact with children. Yes it is fine if he is living life as a monk today...but there shold be no contact with children -- period.

As far as keeping accustaions quiet. It is precisely this approach that lead to thousands of children falling victim to RC priests here in the Sates.

If the charge is false though, then I trust the organization will retract as loudly as it charges and it can also be held accountable for civil penalties regarding libel and slander.  

Coming from a RC parish who had a molster as a priest, I was sickened by the rush to doubt and besmirch his accusers. Now that that priest is in prison. No one there has yet to offer a puiblic apology to his victims for not only doubting them, but besmirching their credibility and motives.

The OCA has enough priests that it does not need to use one with a record for child molestation in any capacity where children are involved. In that regard I wait for the Bishop's response anxiously, and pray that this group has got its facts wrong and "Fr. Andrew" has had no contact with children.

It is a great comfort for my wife and I to be comfortable allowing our children to talk to our Orthodox priests in private. This is a facet long gone from the experience of parents in the RC Church in the US today, where all priests are not allowed to be alone with children.

And for the record -- no one can ever be cured of pedophilia, and it is dangerous to think one can be -- part of their "rehabilitation" is never being alone or in contact with children.
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« Reply #60 on: June 03, 2004, 04:51:00 PM »

I trust his Eminence Archbishop Dmitri will deal with this incident as it warrants.  I cannot fault lay groups for wanting more information about the matter.

But, I am very disturbed by the lack of protocol, respect, and basic knowledge of Orthodox practice that Pokrov has shown to our hierarch:  In their public accusations, they speak of his Eminence simply by his first name, without showing normal respect in using his proper title.

They falsely and ignorantly assume that a monk's allowing others to address him as "Father" (as is always done in the Slavic tradition and in the OCA; and isn't it the same with the Greeks?) and wearing of a pectoral cross (as is often worn by igumens, including those who are not priests) is somehow a sign that he is pretending to be a priest.  

They broadcast a "letter" sharply criticizing his Eminence, without, by their own admission, giving him an opportunity to respond personally to this particular accusation before broadcasting it over the Internet.  It is hard to understand how this could be seen as anything other than underhanded.

Adopting a tone of personal attack in addressing his Eminence, they make unwarranted and blatant assumptions such as, " . . . You had no problem with Fr. Andrew's criminal past and no concern for the safety and well being of youth in your diocese . . . ."

How would these people know whether his Eminence had "no problem" with this monk's past admission of guilt and conviction?  They have themselves stated that they are not privy to whether or not his Eminence ever took actions to investigate and respond to the matter.

And, how dare they assume that our archbishop, who meets with the teenagers in his Cathedral parish for a monthly lunch and conversation in his own residence, and who makes a special point of always meeting with children and youth in every parish and mission he visits, often spending more time in conversation with them than with "promiment" lay and ordained folk nearby, has "no concern for the safety and well being of youth in [his] diocese"?

Using such dismissive, unfounded, and ad hominen language, they seem to load the dice, virtually guaranting that the object of their attack will not dignify such calumnification with a response.  The three members of Pokrov can then complain of the hierarch's "unresponsiveness."  How convenient.

Taking those breaches together with the very speculative material Pokrov broadcasts about the monasteries of Fr. Ephraim (I and others from my parish have gone on several retreats at Holy Archangels Monastery here in Texas, and have never found anything remotely "cult-like" about it; unless, of course, one regards traditional monasticism itself as "cult-like," which hardly seems an Orthodox point of view), it is difficult not to take their accusations with anything other than a very large grain of salt.

Which, in cases where some concern might be warranted, is very unfortunate.

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« Reply #61 on: June 04, 2004, 01:09:27 PM »

Orthodoc,

"Perhaps we can now expect an apology from these Pokrov people for publishing an open letter and maligining a wondeful Bishop.  I would expect that they will also post an open letter of apology to His Grace Archbishop Dimitri of the OCA and post a copy of this letter on the OCNet so we can read it.

And perhaps this will warrant the OCA to update and erase St Michael's Skete from it's website which should have been done long ago.  To avoid confusion.

Maybe Pokrov will also learn to be able to prove all their accusations before maligning hierachs on the world wide web."

Neither the Jerusalem Patriarchate site http://jerusalempatriarchate.com/ nor that of the Ascension Monastery list St. Michael's Skete as a dependancy, but the OCA's does and its hegumen is an OCA deacon, so the Archbishop does have a share of the responsibility.

Fr. Deacon Lance

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« Reply #62 on: June 04, 2004, 02:37:25 PM »

[Neither the Jerusalem Patriarchate site http://jerusalempatriarchate.com/ nor that of the Ascension Monastery list St. Michael's Skete as a dependancy, but the OCA's does and its hegumen is an OCA deacon, so the Archbishop does have a share of the responsibility.]

Fr Deacon lance give it up already!  Check the Clergy listing of the OCA -

http://www.oca.org/pages/ocaadmin/listings/clergy.htm

You will not find either a Deacon Henne or this Monk listed.

Obviously it is now some type of corporation.

And what responsibility does Archbishop Dimitri share in?  For not having this so called Skete,  consisting of a Deacon and  bogus monk in residence that some including you have turned into a Monastery & 'youth retreat center', taken off the website after they were excommunicated years ago?  I'm not even sure the Archbishop knows how to access a website.

His grace has been accused of knowling putting the youth of his diocese in danger by approving youth retreats by these same people he excommunicated. Gimme a break!  What responsibility Fr Deacon?  Please explain how an eighty year old man who spends hours with the children of his diocese cooking for them, talking to them, and spiritually guiding them can be maligned publically based on a picture and a website that still lists the Skete as part of his diocese which it isn't.  You will not find the skete listed if you access the OCA portion for the 'Diocese of the South'.  Only when you access the OCA portion for Monastic centers.  Fault seems to lie within the OCA for not properly maintaining that portion of the website.

I spent this Bright Monday along with Bright Monday of last year as an invited guest in his residence  for an Agape meal.  Both times I was amazed at the energy this saintly man has as I watched him, an Archbishop of the Church, personally running around either cooking or serving people food!  I also watched in amazement that as soon as he sat down he was immediately swarmed by the children who so obviously love him by the way they hug him, follow him, and sit intently listen to every word he utters.  that's why this whole thing is disgusting for me.  There isn't a Sunday in Dallas that goes by that his residence isn't full of people parish or visitors.  The Russian Baba's absolutely adore this man!

To have some outsiders who, without doing much research, accuse him of not caring about the youth he cares so much about is down right rotten!

The only accusation I can think of for this man is that he has a sweet tooth for 'Snicker Bars'!  Hand him a Snicker Bar and his face lights up like a Christmas Tree!

You are right.  I do love my Church and will continue to defend both it and its people when necessary when FALSE ALLEGATIONS are made against it.  And, especially a person with the holiness of this beloved Archbishop.  

This year for his 80th birthday he was given a huge banquet by the local Greek Orthodox Church to celebrate.  A banquet that even people from the ROCOR Cathedral in San Francisco flew in to attend.  That is how beloved he is by ALL ORTHODOX OF ALL JURISDICTIONS.

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« Last Edit: June 04, 2004, 02:43:19 PM by Orthodoc » Logged

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« Reply #63 on: June 04, 2004, 03:35:58 PM »

Orthodoc is right.  The only fault that seems to lie here is the OCA webmaster's laziness in removing this listing from the website.
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« Reply #64 on: June 05, 2004, 11:00:14 PM »

I applaud Pokrov's work in this area.  Clergy sexual abuse is one of the most heinous acts there is and constitutes a huge abuse of trust and can really adversely affect one's relationship with God and the Church for their entire life.  If Pokrov has prevented further clergy abuse, then kudos to them.  We can't (nor should we) just sweep abuse claims under the rug.

Archbishop Dmitri is one of the most respected Orthodox leaders in America, and probably has a good chance of succeeding Metropolitan Herman.  If he bears no responsibility in this, then that will come out in time.  But we can't tell Pokrov to "shut up" because we don't like what they're saying.  

The stuff they report we might never otherwise hear about, and 21st century Americans don't have the blind trust that people ages ago may have had.  I'm glad of the reports Pokrov has made on Bishop Demetri of the AOAA, for example.  Orthodox Americans should know things like this, and how candid would the "official" statement from the Archdiocese be?  

I wouldn't say that Pokrov is anti-monastic.  I think they're just in favor of "good monasticism," and "good Orthodoxy" for that matter.  Child molesters simply cannot be put in supervision of or authority over children.  Case closed.
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« Reply #65 on: June 05, 2004, 11:56:40 PM »

Quote
I wouldn't say that Pokrov is anti-monastic.  I think they're just in favor of "good monasticism," and "good Orthodoxy" for that matter.

Right..... so the ancient monasticism of the Holy Mountain is no longer "good monasticism" nor "good Orthodoxy"?  

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« Reply #66 on: June 06, 2004, 12:25:24 AM »

I agree with Orthodoc that Pokrov owes Bishop Dmitri an apology for dragging him into this matter when the person in question is not under his authority.  Obviously, their fact-finders did a lousy job on this occasion.  Maybe if they had written Bishop Dmitri directly instead of posting an open letter on the internet, they would have discovered this.    Since they have dragged Bishop Dmitri's name and reputation in the mud, I do think they owe him an apology in another open letter on the internet admitting that they were mistaken in addressing the letter to him.
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« Reply #67 on: June 06, 2004, 07:55:21 AM »


[Case closed.]

No the case is not closed!  Far from it.

Prokov, just like anyone else who makes public accusations against another on the internet, has the responsibility to be able to prove those accusations or provide sufficient documentation to validate their claim.  Just because the 'cause' is good is not sifficient reason try and justify what they have done.

As someone else has already mentioned Pokrov did a poor job of both before maligning this wonderful man.

Until Pokrov makes a public apology to Archbishop Dimitri this case remains open.  Though I won't hold my breath  waiting for this to happen.

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« Reply #68 on: June 06, 2004, 08:13:21 AM »

I think Pokrov could do the church a service if they did things differently.  I've seen both their website and the messages that they post on the Indiana List, and, personally, I am not impressed by their methods.  I feel very sympathetic to anyone who was abused by clergy, but, it's important not to make new victims by maybe accusing people of things of which they may be innocent.

If every single word of the letter can't be proven to be true, then they could be found guilty of libel if they were taken to court.  I would think they would have people who would research very carefully that Bishop Dmitri has authority over them before publishing an open letter to him on the internet.

 

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« Reply #69 on: June 06, 2004, 09:41:30 AM »

Most of the postings on Pokrov's site list newspaper articles, court hearings, decisions, letters from affected family members, etc., to support the claims that they make.  The claims they make are hardly "random."  They could probably do a better job of it, but they do appear to go to some lengths to prove what they assert.  

Child sexual abuse is a lot like killing a developing baby -- we have an obligation to protect the powerless, to protect those who can't defend themselves.  Katherine is right -- if someone is falsely accused of something as serious as child sexual abuse on a public forum like the internet, they could sue for libel and probably win.  If this happened, I'm sure Pokrov would be "out of business."  But we need to have avenues to expose accused child molesters - even within our own Church - rather than sweep it under the carpet and pretend it did not happen.  I would like to think that this doesn't happen in Orthodoxy, but like Christ commands us, we have to deal with reality.
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« Reply #70 on: June 06, 2004, 03:33:21 PM »

[Most of the postings on Pokrov's site list newspaper articles, court hearings, decisions, letters from affected family members, etc., to support the claims that they make.  The claims they make are hardly "random."  They could probably do a better job of it, but they do appear to go to some lengths to prove what they assert. ]

And where are all those newspaper articles, court hearings, etc. concerning the SPECIFIC ACCUSATION they are making against Archbishop Dimitri?  You are mixing apples and oranges Gregory2. We are discusssing a specific accusation.  Not all the accusations made on the site.  Pokrov made it personal when they posted a letter addressed to Archbishp Dimitri.

The only evidence provided was in 1979  which was  25 years ago AND BEFORE THIS GUY START CALLING HIMSELF A MONK AND WAS EVEN ORTHODOX.  That, and a picture  TAKEN AT A PARISH FUNCTION WITH OTHER PRIESTS!  Just because there were children in the picture no way proves it was a youth retreat HEADED BY THIS SO CALLED MONK.

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« Reply #71 on: June 06, 2004, 04:42:06 PM »

Orthodoc,

I'm just defending what Pokrov does on the whole.  I think it's good for the health of the church.  I like Archbishop Dmitri and think him a great church leader -- he was even my bishop when I lived in San Antonio.  I'm sure he's innocent, but unfortunately sometimes hierarchs of his position get implicated in things they are not directly involved in.  He's a strong man, I'm sure he can handle it, and I highly doubt if it will tarnish his reputation one bit.  

Pokrov does a lot of good, and I can forgive them if they made a mistake here.  And especially if their work saves a child from sexual abuse, I think Archbishop Dmitri forgives them too!

Have a strong vodka before today before the Apostles Fast starts!  I hate to see you so riled up!  It's not good for you!
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« Reply #72 on: June 06, 2004, 08:01:25 PM »

We have had no indication, other than some comments on this forum, that Fr. Andrew is not in the OCA or under Archbishop Dmitri.  A person investigating this case spoke with Fr. Andrew directly and he said he was under Archbishop Dmitri. I personally spoke with Fr. Andrew's confessor who said Fr. Andrew was in the OCA.
Fr. Andrew and his monastery are clearly in the OCA's Diocese of the South. Until someone can provide us with proof contrary to this fact, I stand by our report whole-heartedly.

I agree with Orthodoc that Pokrov owes Bishop Dmitri an apology for dragging him into this matter when the person in question is not under his authority.  Obviously, their fact-finders did a lousy job on this occasion.  Maybe if they had written Bishop Dmitri directly instead of posting an open letter on the internet, they would have discovered this.    Since they have dragged Bishop Dmitri's name and reputation in the mud, I do think they owe him an apology in another open letter on the internet admitting that they were mistaken in addressing the letter to him.

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« Reply #73 on: June 06, 2004, 08:56:44 PM »

There is no question that matters of child sexual abuse need to be taken very seriously, and not swept under the carpet.

But, this does not justify Pokrov's irresponsible, injurious methods:  their use of an "open letter" without having first sent the letter personally to its addressee, giving no fair chance to respond (one thinks of the well-known dynamic whereby those who think of themselves as "victims" so easily slip over into becoming victimizers); their failures to substantiate many of their claims adequately; or, their published innuendo and gossip-mongering against monasteries over nothing more serious than issues such as women wearing head coverings during the visit of the Ecumenical Patriarch (this is cause for labeling them "cult-like"?), or the dismay of parents who did not want their adult-aged sons to become monks (a story as old as monasticism itself).

In the contemporary climate of our culture, accusations of child-abuse are the one accusation which the unethical can use with little substantiation, and with little fear of reprisal, when they wish to level false or poorly-based accusations against others.  

Pokrov can wrap themselves in the mantle of "defenders of victims of child abuse," which renders them, in the current climate, nearly untouchable, then lash out widely and with little or no responsibility for any unnecessary and unjust collateral damage.

 Thus, instead of always helping to alleviate the injuries caused by actual child sexual abuse (and I cannot say that they have never succeeded in doing so), they often add damage to an already tragic situation.  How disturbing, and how sad.

Yes, Pokrov's work is important.  But, Pokrov does not appear capable of carrying it out in an ethical and Christian manner.
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« Reply #74 on: June 06, 2004, 11:18:43 PM »

If I am wrong about anything I posted, I apologize.  However, if you didn't get an answer from Bishop Dmitri, did you try going up the chain of command until you did get an answer before posting this letter on the internet?
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« Reply #75 on: June 07, 2004, 09:58:27 AM »

[Yes, Pokrov's work is important.  But, Pokrov does not appear capable of carrying it out in an ethical and Christian manner. ]

EXACTLY!  Apparently they have no quams about destroying a Hierachs reputation based on the flimiest of evidence.  Namely, a few phone calls.


[ A person investigating this case spoke with Fr. Andrew directly and he said he was under Archbishop Dmitri. I personally spoke with Fr. Andrew's confessor who said Fr. Andrew was in the OCA. ]

So all your assertions are based on the words of the very man you are accusing of being a liar, and sexual predator?  Plus some one who claims to be his 'father confessor'?  If this monk was really a priest, wouldn't the Archbishop himself most likely be his 'father confessor'?  Regardless, your  quoted words from the so called 'father confessor' are that he is in the OCA.  Nothing about a priest within the OCA which is backed up by his name not being listed in the OCA clergy list.

Orthodoc

 

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« Reply #76 on: June 07, 2004, 05:27:27 PM »

Thanks Katherine.
Yes, we went up the chain of command.
Greta

If I am wrong about anything I posted, I apologize.  However, if you didn't get an answer from Bishop Dmitri, did you try going up the chain of command until you did get an answer before posting this letter on the internet?
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« Reply #77 on: June 08, 2004, 03:24:36 AM »


Here's is the latest post regarding this subject in another Orthodox site.  Seems Pokrov, if they had taken the time to investigate things more thoroghly, would have been aware of this before they decided to publish their 'open letter'.

---------

It might interest all to know that the latest newsletter from St. Michael's
Skete states that Fr. Andrew will no longer be publishing the news letter;
and that he is retiring to a more ascetic life in the advice of his
spiritual father and his bishop.  Perhaps Ms. Larsen and her compatriots
should have been subscribing to that newsletter.  That might have saved them
some pain.  Of course they could go to New Mexico, find a cave, and wall in
the subject monk (who incidently is not a priest) and feed him little pieces
of cactus until he expires.  Maybe that would make them happy.

----------

Prokov has yet to supply specific dates, locations, or other pertinent facts regarding where this self proclaimed priest/monk oversaw youth retreats with the knowledge of the Archbishop.

How about a retraction Pokrov?

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« Reply #78 on: June 08, 2004, 03:01:44 PM »

I still stand by everything we wrote. If you wish for us to add something, then please mail documents to our PO box.  

I'm guessing Archbishop Dmitri is your bishop, because we really hit a nerve with you. I'm not saying he's a bad man, but I do think he acted irresponsibly and that Archbishop Dmitri has a lot to answer for. Why can't he follow his own guidelines (The ones that he co-wrote, no less?!)

Fr. Andrew gave children alcohol and then orally copulated them -- mulitple children and multiple counts.  According to articles I have read on the subject, unlike people who commit other kinds of crimes like murder and theft and rape, pedophiles tend to become more and more compelled to molest children as they get older. As repentant as they may be, most can not resist their compulsion. That is why they should be kept away from children and that parents and children need to be warned.

Parents who send their children to youth events at the church trust that they are being sent somewhere safe. If they were not warned of the possible danger, then it was not a safe situation. It only takes a few moments to molest a child and scar them for life.




Here's is the latest post regarding this subject in another Orthodox site.  Seems Pokrov, if they had taken the time to investigate things more thoroghly, would have been aware of this before they decided to publish their 'open letter'.

---------

It might interest all to know that the latest newsletter from St. Michael's
Skete states that Fr. Andrew will no longer be publishing the news letter;
and that he is retiring to a more ascetic life in the advice of his
spiritual father and his bishop.  Perhaps Ms. Larsen and her compatriots
should have been subscribing to that newsletter.  That might have saved them
some pain.  Of course they could go to New Mexico, find a cave, and wall in
the subject monk (who incidently is not a priest) and feed him little pieces
of cactus until he expires.  Maybe that would make them happy.

----------

Prokov has yet to supply specific dates, locations, or other pertinent facts regarding where this self proclaimed priest/monk oversaw youth retreats with the knowledge of the Archbishop.

How about a retraction Pokrov?

Orthodoc
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« Reply #79 on: June 08, 2004, 03:11:53 PM »

Quote
I'm guessing Archbishop Dmitri is your bishop, because we really hit a nerve with you.

I'm not Orthodox, so you can't levy that charge against me.  What you did was at best shoddy investigations.  The entire crux of your position rests on the words of this monk and hearsay from his father confessor.  One does not need to have a JD to see that wouldn't hold up in court, especially in the current ecclesiastical environment where all kinds of people say they're in communion with so and so and the other party has no idea what the original group is talking about (I hope that made some sense).

The simple fact is that your "open letter" was irresponsible and you still have shown no proof that the good Archbishop a) knew anything about these retreats, b) that they even happened and c) that this monk is actually one of Archbishop Dmitri's current flock.

It seems you possess at least the ability to scan documents and photographs.  Please, shut Orthodoc and myself up by posting the incriminating evidence.
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« Reply #80 on: June 08, 2004, 03:49:35 PM »

Our investigation consisted of ordering court documents, interviewing people who worked in the Miami Chancery at the time of Rayburn's arrest, speaking with folks in New Mexico, checking the OCA clergy/monastic listings and researching Fr. Andrew's writings.

When I brought up the issue of phone calls, I was talking specifically about the jurisdictional issue that was brought up on this forum.

Maybe the Archbishop didn't know about the retreats, but he certainly did know about the arrest and the guilty plea.  I spoke at length with Fr. Andrew's spiritual father who confirmed Fr. Andrew's participation in the youth retreats. There were also photographs on the Pharr TX parish site.  There were announcements about the retreats on the OCA and Antiochian youth web sites.

I actually don't  have a scanner, but you can order the documents for yourself from the Miami County court house. If you want the documents we ordered from the Miami court house, you can send a self addressed stamped envelope to our PO box and I will send them to you.



I'm not Orthodox, so you can't levy that charge against me.  What you did was at best shoddy investigations.  The entire crux of your position rests on the words of this monk and hearsay from his father confessor.  One does not need to have a JD to see that wouldn't hold up in court, especially in the current ecclesiastical environment where all kinds of people say they're in communion with so and so and the other party has no idea what the original group is talking about (I hope that made some sense).

The simple fact is that your "open letter" was irresponsible and you still have shown no proof that the good Archbishop a) knew anything about these retreats, b) that they even happened and c) that this monk is actually one of Archbishop Dmitri's current flock.

It seems you possess at least the ability to scan documents and photographs.  Please, shut Orthodoc and myself up by posting the incriminating evidence.  
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« Reply #81 on: June 08, 2004, 05:15:37 PM »

[I'm guessing Archbishop Dmitri is your bishop, because we really hit a nerve with you.]

No he is not my bishop.  But I consider him as a friend as well as a wonderful human being and religious leader.  He doesn't deserve the kind of slander that you put forth based on one incident that happened 25 years ago before this man you accuse was even Orthodox and absolutely NO PROOF or DOCUMENTATION that any such things have currently happened with or without the Archbishops knowledge and approval.

 [but I do think he acted irresponsibly and that Archbishop Dmitri has a lot to answer for.]

You have yet to provide any valid evidence  to warrant such a slanderous statement.
'Judge ye not, lest ye be judged'.

[Fr. Andrew gave children alcohol and then orally copulated them -- mulitple children and multiple counts.]

Once again, unless you can prove or give us some evidence or documentation that these allegations happened RECENTLY with this self proclaimed priest while he was either Orthodox or under Archbishop Dimitri's authority, even as a layman (since it has been determined he is not a priest), you have no justification to attack this bishop based on what he did 25 years ago as a non-Orthodox.  

  [According to articles I have read on the subject, unlike people who commit other kinds of crimes like murder and theft and rape, pedophiles tend to become more and more compelled to molest children as they get older. As repentant as they may be, most can not resist their compulsion. That is why they should be kept away from children and that parents and children need to be warned.]

It's nice to see that you have become such expert on this based on a few articles you have read. And based on this you think you have the right to slander a bishop on the world wide internet?   Have any degrees on the subject?

What would you have had the Archbishop do if and when he found out about this man?  Post guards at all the church entrances to stop the man from attending a service because there might be youngsters inside?

Seems to me you should be spending more time studying the Orthodox faith (if you are indeed Orthodox)  and what it believes about Confession, Absolution, and Repentence and less time on pedophile witch hunts from 25 years ago!

[Parents who send their children to youth events at the church trust that they are being sent somewhere safe. ]

Knock it off already!  You have yet to give any documentated source of proof  that either this man ever presided over a church youth event with the knowledge and/or approval of the Archbishop.
Because he appears on a parish picture WITH TWO OTHER PRIESTS along with some children does not prove anything more than he was present at some parish gathering.  It certainly does not prove it was a youth retreat or they he presided over it.  Or that he was ever alone with any of the youths pictured.  


Once again, provide us with CURRENT evidence or documentation or retract your allegations!  That would be the DECENT THING FOR YOU TO DO (since you are so quick to judge what decency is or should be in others).

Ya know Christ forgave the repentant thief on the Cross.  But you are unable to forgive a man for something he did 25 years ago, paid for, and you cannot prove repeated since?  It's dissapointing to know you place yourself and your judgement above that of Christ!

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« Reply #82 on: June 09, 2004, 10:29:15 AM »

You call his Eminence Archbishop Dmitri to task for acting (according to you) irresponsibly, but you refuse to take responsibility for adequately checking your own assumptions.

We have reason to believe that Fr. Andrew and at least some of his fellow monks at St. Michael Skete may well be among the clergy whom his Eminence excommunicated last year (if I remember correctly) for accepting re-baptism without seeking the advice or permission of his Eminence and for refusing to repent.

For all we or you know, the alleged retreats with children and with Fr. Andrew in attendance at the skete may well have occurred only after he and several others associated with the Skete had been excommunicated; in which case, it is doubtful whether Archbishop Dmitri had any authority over such affairs.

All this is just speculation.  Which is the point:  You have not gathered enough hard facts to prove your allegations, but have still spread them all over the web.  This is shameful, unchristian behavior.

I admire your care for protecting children from any future acts of sexual abuse, but caution you of the temptation to become intoxicated with the perceived power of causing hierarchs to "quake in their boots" at your allegations.

When you can prove:

* that his Eminence Archbishop Dmitri was Fr. Andrew's bishop at the time these youth retreats occurred,

* that his Eminence knew, or reasonably should have known, about these retreats, and

* that his Eminence did not act responsably on such knowledge,

then I will understand and share your concern.  As yet, you have failed to do so, and have committed the sin of maligning your brother, and a devoted servant of the Church, in public.
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« Reply #83 on: June 09, 2004, 10:42:14 AM »

larsong,

(Greta)

Did you ever contact the National Director of Communications for the OCA like I suggested in an e-mail to you?

Why would you not contact this person as part of your "investigation" before posting your letter as he is the oficial spokesperson for the OCA?
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« Reply #84 on: June 09, 2004, 12:46:28 PM »

I never received an email from you. Are you sure you sent it to me?

larsong,

(Greta)

Did you ever contact the National Director of Communications for the OCA like I suggested in an e-mail to you?

Why would you not contact this person as part of your "investigation" before posting your letter as he is the oficial spokesperson for the OCA?  
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« Reply #85 on: June 09, 2004, 01:35:32 PM »

I sent it to your group's website....suggesting that you contact Fr. John Matusiak, National Communications Director for the OCA. Fr. John is the official OCA spokesman....a logical point of contact for your questions.

Fr. John can be contacted by e-mailing the OCA's website.
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« Reply #86 on: June 09, 2004, 08:06:53 PM »

SANTA FE REPORTER
JUNE 9-15, 2004

"SINS OF THE FATHER"
Orthodox monk says he would never molest a child again.
By Brendan L Smith
bsmith@sfreporter.com

Since 1993, Father Andrew has followed a path of penance at St. Michael's Skete, a small Orthodox monastery north of Abiquiu, where he prays, dips beeswax candles  and welcomes retreat visitors to worship.

Yet the 65-year old monk's past still haunts him. His conviction for child sex crimes from the 1970s recently resurfaced on a Web site that exposes sexual misconduct by Orthodox priests and monks.

Father Andrew admits he performed oral sex on four boys in Florida when he was a priest in another denomination, but he says he has been chaste since 1992 and would rather die than molest another child.

"I think everything I did was horrible and reprehensible, and I'm repentant," Father Andrew told SFR last week. "This whole thing has been so terrifying, like the past has just loomed up to get you."

Pokrov.org was created by three women in San Francisco. (Pokrov refers to the Virgin Mary and a Russian Orthodox feast day that honors her.) The group has not accused Father Andrew of any new sex crimes. However, the group believes his participation in past youth retreats at St. Michael's Skete violates the sexual misconduct policy of the Orthodox Church in America (an offshoot of the Russian Orthodox Church). The policy states no person convicted of child sexual abuse "shall be allowed to work with children or youth in any capacity."

"I think the church is giving him a free ticket," says Pokrov co-founder Greta Larson. "lt's the prestige that he has. He's still called 'father'. He's still around children and youth."

Pokrov protested a three-day Orthodox youth retreat scheduled last December at St. Michael's Skete. In response, the diocese relocated the retreat to the Holy Trinity Antiochian Orthodox Church in Santa Fe, and Father Andrew did not participate.

Father Andrew says he has spoken to youth during three or four retreats, but the monastery did not sponsor the retreats and there always were parents or guardians present. "I swear to God there is nothing weird going on here. There never has been," he says. "I, for my own safety, have made sure I'm never ever alone with any child or any young lady."
Father Andrew, who founded St. Michael's Skete, told SFR he will not allow any
more youth retreats at the monastery because of the lingering concerns about his past, It's a past in which he was both a victim as well as a perpetrator of child sexual abuse.

Father Andrew says a teenage neighbor began molesting him when he was 4 years old after his father went overseas during World War II. Later, in the 1960s and '70s, he became an alcoholic and claims some gay friends encouraged him to commit sex acts with boys. "Back then, I thought I was on the cutting edge of the new morality," he says.

In the late 1970s, Father Andrew still used his birth name of Sterling Rayburn. After being deposed as an Episcopal priest in a theological schism, he founded St. Mary's Church in Winter Haven, Florida, a parish affiliated with the Anglican Catholic Church of North America. As priest of St. Mary's Church, he performed oral sex on four boys, ages 11 to 16, after giving several of them alcohol or marijuana. Father Andrew says he was gay, extremely lonely and drinking heavily at the time.

After being convicted of 10 charges, Father Andrew says he spent four years incarcerated in a sex-offender treatment program at a prison hospital in Florida
before completing his probation in 1988. He says he has been sober for 25 years.

Father John Bethancourt, the priest at Holy Trinity Antiochian Orthodox Church, told his parishioners about Father Andrew's past in January after the protest by
Pokrov. Bethancourt, who hears Father Andrew's confessions, is convinced Father Andrew is not a danger to children. "He is sober and chaste, both in thought and action," Bethancourt says. "You can be sure that Father Andrew prays with tears for the people he has hurt, weeping prostrate on the ground."

That's not enough reassurance for Larson, who created Pokrov with her mother
and a friend after her sister was molested by a Russian Orthodox parishioner in San Francisco. Larson believes sexual abuse in the Orthodox church is as rampant as the more publicized cases in the Catholic church, but Orthodox church officials "absolutely are covering it up." "The Orthodox church is probably 20 or more years behind the Catholic church on this issue," she says. "The victims are still afraid to come forward."

Bethancourt disputes Larson's characterization and says the Orthodox church
quickly deposes priests who commit sexual misconduct.

Pokrov members believe Father Andrew never should have been allowed to
become a monk, a layman's position which carries some spiritual authority
since monks wear vestments and are called "father".

Archbishop Dmitri, Father Andrew's superior in the Orthodox Church in
America, stationed in Dallas, wouldn't comment to SFR.

Bethancourt says the Orthodox church has a long history of sinners who were
prostitutes, murderers or thieves before being transformed into saints by their
penance and faith, and that Father Andrew, as a monk, is following that same path to redemption.

"I think he is growing in holiness. I know a man who is well on that road,"
Bethancourt says. "Monasticism is the place for people to repent, to take the highest dose of spiritual medicine the church can give."
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« Reply #87 on: June 09, 2004, 08:44:23 PM »

SANTA FE REPORTER
JUNE 9-15, 2004

"SINS OF THE FATHER"
Orthodox monk says he would never molest a child again.
By Brendan L Smith
bsmith@sfreporter.com

Since 1993, Father Andrew has followed a path of penance at St. Michael's Skete, a small Orthodox monastery north of Abiquiu, where he prays, dips beeswax candles  and welcomes retreat visitors to worship.

Yet the 65-year old monk's past still haunts him. His conviction for child sex crimes from the 1970s recently resurfaced on a Web site that exposes sexual misconduct by Orthodox priests and monks.

Father Andrew admits he performed oral sex on four boys in Florida when he was a priest in another denomination, but he says he has been chaste since 1992 and would rather die than molest another child.

=========

And yet the persecution goes on by dragging an Archbishop thru the mud.  You aren't staisfied with 'open letters' on the world wide internet, now you go after both accused and the Archbishop in the newspaper.

And all with no documentation to back up your claims of recent indiscretions.  You release a newspaper interview dated June 9-15, 2004 which you most probably initiated as another response in leiu of the documentation we keep asking for.

How very sad you three are.  Guess you won't be staisfied until the man is stoned to death and the Archbishop steps down.  An Archbisop who, according to the article, has offered spiritual guidance and counselling for a troubled soul. And for what?  Your own paranoia.

Once again, I guess Confession, Absolution, Repentence,  and Penance mean nothing to you.


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Thank God you weren't around when St Mary of Egypt or St Theodoria were alive!

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« Reply #88 on: June 09, 2004, 08:58:06 PM »

That's not enough reassurance for Larson, who created Pokrov with her mother
and a friend after her sister was molested by a Russian Orthodox parishioner in San Francisco. Larson believes sexual abuse in the Orthodox church is as rampant as the more publicized cases in the Catholic church, but Orthodox church officials "absolutely are covering it up." "The Orthodox church is probably 20 or more years behind the Catholic church on this issue," she says. "The victims are still afraid to come forward."

This is the best part of the article, as it is most accusing BACK to Great and Co.

1) It makes Orthodoc's points valid - turning the situation back on Pokrov.  As if Pokrov has any authority (or should for that matter) or, the OCA or anyone for that matter has to answer to Pokrov.  Roll Eyes

2) Abuses cases being rampant in the Orthodox Church.  Doubtful at worst, laughable and to dismiss w/o notice at best.

3) That the Orthodox Church is 20 years behind the RCC.  Whatever.   Roll Eyes
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Ben
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« Reply #89 on: June 09, 2004, 09:50:12 PM »

However, the group believes his participation in past youth retreats at St. Michael's Skete violates the sexual misconduct policy of the Orthodox Church in America (an offshoot of the Russian Orthodox Church). The policy states no person convicted of child sexual abuse "shall be allowed to work with children or youth in any capacity."


I am sorry but there is something seriously wrong with a priest or a monk who has admitted to having oral sex with young boys participating in youth retreats, esp if the parents did not know about his past. I understand he has repented and that he is living a chaste life, and I praise God for this, but his participation in youth retreats does seem to violate the sexual misconduct policy of OCA. But maybe not, because he was not alone with any children, but thats according to him. Anyway, I think if the Bishop knew about his past, and still let him participate in youth retreats, without notifing the parents of his past, he should apologize and not allow this to continue. However I see that Fr. Andrew won't be participating in these events anymore, probably for the best.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2004, 09:58:31 PM by Ben » Logged

"I prefer to be accused unjustly, for then I have nothing to reproach myself with, and joyfully offer this to the good Lord. Then I humble myself at the thought that I am indeed capable of doing the thing of which I have been accused. " - Saint
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