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Author Topic: An open letter to Archbishop Dmitri  (Read 16852 times) Average Rating: 0
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Orthodoc
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« Reply #90 on: June 09, 2004, 09:51:10 PM »

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

What's laughable is the fact that, once again, rather than provide the documentation being asked for, this woman sets up a newspaper interview.  

The interview which does nothing more than once again prints HER OPINIONS & HER ACCUSATIONS.  And, she somehow thinks that if we see it in newspaper print it will be more believable or a sufficient  reply to our requests.

All these three women have done in their quest to destroy the lives and/or reputation of two people, is bring discredit upon themselves & their organization.

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« Reply #91 on: June 09, 2004, 09:57:33 PM »

Quote
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".

<sputters> What would you have had him do, then? The whole purpose of being a monk is to withdraw from the world and repent of one's sins. I can scarcely think of a better place for a former child molester than a monastery. And monks don't wear vestments (unless they're clergy, of course), and carry no more spiritual authority by default than any other layman.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2004, 09:58:10 PM by Beayf » Logged
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« Reply #92 on: June 09, 2004, 10:00:25 PM »

Can't monks hear confessions? Even those Monks who are not yet priests? And aren't monks usually spiritual fathers and advisors for many? I think they have a little more spiritual authority than just any layman.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2004, 10:00:58 PM by Ben » Logged

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« Reply #93 on: June 09, 2004, 10:01:41 PM »

Can't monks hear confessions? Even those Monks who are not yet priests? And aren't monks usually spiritual fathers and advisors for many? I think they have a little more spiritual authority than just any layman.

Anyone can hear a confession, but only a priest can give absolution.
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« Reply #94 on: June 09, 2004, 10:03:27 PM »

hmm Monks can't give absolution in Orthodoxy? I remember reading that they can, and I also seem to remember reading that St. Symeon the New Theologian was very much a supporter of the ideas of Monks giving absolutions.
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« Reply #95 on: June 09, 2004, 10:03:33 PM »

Quote
Can't monks hear confessions? Even those Monks who are not yet priests? And aren't monks usually spiritual fathers and advisors for many? I think they have a little more spiritual authority than just any layman.

That's why I said "by default". Obviously if a monk is a priest or has attained a higher level of sanctity, they will have more spiritual authority, but being a monk, by itself, carries no particular authority.
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« Reply #96 on: June 09, 2004, 10:12:09 PM »

..after her sister was molested by a Russian Orthodox parishioner in San Francisco.

I certainly don't mean to minimize the pain that was inflicted -- but it was a PARISHONER - not a member of the Orthodox clergy.

and from THAT example you draw this blanket conclusion:

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."

Ummm. That is simply not a logical progression.

You are hurting your cause GREATLY by making such blanket accusations!
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« Reply #97 on: June 10, 2004, 12:30:59 AM »

According to Pokrov...

- A priest -  his name is listed on their website-  in GOA is currently being investigated by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese for allegedly molesting teenage boys in Toledo, OH  when he was a priest in the Antiochian Archdiocese.

- On April 17, 2004, Bishop Demetri Khoury was sentenced to 28 days in jail for attempted criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree.

Is either one true? If so...comments?
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« Reply #98 on: June 10, 2004, 01:43:24 AM »

I don't know about the first allegation, but we had a discussion on the second.  You can find that here
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« Reply #99 on: June 10, 2004, 07:43:45 AM »

Yo Pokrov,

Let the priest, Fr. Andrew, rest.  You don't know the whole story, and it seems that you just seem to be pushing your own personal vendetta here. The rantings on your website resemble that of the liberal "feminazi" type, and they seem to push your personal agendas rather than address the matter in Christian charity.

Why don't you start a prayer group for these guys who have these problems instead of making a public nuisance?


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« Reply #100 on: June 10, 2004, 10:57:16 AM »

hmm Monks can't give absolution in Orthodoxy? I remember reading that they can, and I also seem to remember reading that St. Symeon the New Theologian was very much a supporter of the ideas of Monks giving absolutions.

Not sure about St. Symeon's opinion, but I've been taught as per the following (from http://www.stgeorgecathedral.net/article_0101.html):

Quote
There is a tradition in the Orthodox Church, however, of lay monks hearing confessions. Where a special gift from God enables a monk to do so, the correct practice is for the monk to hear the confession, but always to refer the penitent to a priest for absolution. Why? A lay monk has does not have the ability to grant absolution, since this grace is only given to those who are ordained by the laying on of hands in the apostolic succession.
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« Reply #101 on: June 10, 2004, 11:03:43 AM »



Why don't you start a prayer group for these guys who have these problems instead of making a public nuisance?




Perhaps working with victims would be better suited.....
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« Reply #102 on: June 19, 2004, 06:19:17 PM »

The regulations for this board, and an extreme effort to preserve Christian politeness prevent me from explicitly stating my opinion of the "Pokrov" website and of the people affiliated with it.  The germ of intent of "Pokrov" IS good and IS important IF it is to prevent abuse and exploitation of Orthodox people (of any age).  Sadly, based on what I have read over the years at their website, on what I have heard from people who have been interrogated by "Pokrov" staff, and absolutely based on what I have read in this thread today, I emphatically cannot like or applaud anything else beyond an "intent" as I defined it in this paragraph.  

Yes, Vladika Dmitri is my archbishop.  Yes, he is loved and respected by many, many (perhaps by most) people.  No, he is not perfect.  And NO, he does NOT deserve the insults and innuendos hurled against him in this thread.  

This is Land of the Internet, where every individual is irredeemably guilty and condemned to Hell until proven innocent.

Sincerely,  

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« Reply #103 on: June 24, 2004, 08:33:36 PM »

Archbishop Dmitri's letter responding to Pokrov has been posted today:

http://www.pokrov.org/Abusers/prayburndmitriresponse.htm

Pokrov will be issuing a response to the Archbishop's letter later on this summer when we are all back from our travels.
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« Reply #104 on: June 24, 2004, 09:20:26 PM »

[Pokrov will be issuing a response to the Archbishop's letter later on this summer when we are all back from our travels.]

So in spite of this response, the so called witch hunt and mud slinging will continue.  How sad you people are!  Any credibility you once had has already been lost and yet you continue.

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« Reply #105 on: June 24, 2004, 10:19:59 PM »

What a great letter by +Dmitri in response to the Pokrov letter.  Pokrov states, "The Archbishop failed to address our serious concerns regarding the safety of children in his diocese."  Well, I fail to see the need to even address the situation any further.   I think Pokrov can "talk to the hand" if it wants to respond anymore.
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« Reply #106 on: June 24, 2004, 10:32:51 PM »

In that the founders of the "Pokrov" website suffered their family tragedies at a parish within the O.C.A. -- and in NO way do I discount the gravity of their horrible pain and suffering -- their particularized hatred of O.C.A. clergy can, at least, be explained.  

My family have been members of Archbishop Dmitri's cathedral parish for a number of years now.  We know and see the consistent and sufficient safeguards in place for both children and adults.  Would that we could implement sufficient safeguards for our beloved clergy, as well, to protect THEM from slander!!  

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« Reply #107 on: June 25, 2004, 10:54:23 AM »

The gracious Archbihop Dmitri answers the contentious "pokrov" protesters:

Diocese of the South
Orthodox Church in America
P.O. Box 191109   Dallas, Texas 75219
(214) 522-4149

June 2004

To whom it may concern,

The following is a response to the letter of June 1, 2004 regarding Fr. Andrew of St. Michael's Skete in Ca+¦ones, NM. In that letter there are assumptions made which need some clarification and/or correction.

First, it should be noted that Fr. Andrew was never employed by the Diocese of the South. While in Miami, he may have volunteered his time at the Chancery office performing clerical duties, but he was never an employee.

Second, Fr. Andrew is not an ordained cleric, nor has he ever been a clergyman of the Orthodox Church in America. He is a layman who has heard the call and chosen the monastic way as best for him to 'work out (his) own salvation with fear and trembling' (Philippians 2:12). Professed lay monks in the Orthodox Church are traditionally referred to as "father." This simply is their title, consistent with their vocation, regardless of past sins. As an example, St. Mary of Egypt, once overcome by sexually related activities before her conversion, is known as our, "Holy Mother Mary." She is referred to as a mother of the Church because of her monastic way of life.

Third, I think it important that readers of the Pokrov website be informed of the conditions under which Fr. Andrew has addressed groups of people. To begin with, neither he nor the Skete has ever sponsored a youth retreat. Furthermore, during the past eleven years only four or five times have parishes initiated contact with the Skete asking if adults, or adults with children, could visit Ca+¦ones for retreats. I have been told that when these groups were welcomed it was never the case that Fr. Andrew was alone with children. They were always supervised by the clergy bringing the group and parents. I also understand that on only a couple of occasions was Fr. Andrew asked by clergymen to speak to gatherings at their parishes. These priests knew Fr. Andrew and of his past, and the talks always took place under the same supervised conditions as described above. These points need to be emphasized because some individuals may have the impression that Fr. Andrew makes a habit of regularly leading retreats, initiates opportunities to do so, and that he is left alone with children at such gatherings. These are simply not the facts. Also, since the opening of the Skete, at Fr. Andrew's instigation, it is a rule that no minors or women are allowed on the premises without parents and/or appropriate chaperones.

Fourth, I would like to stress two things that characterize life within the Church: repentance and forgiveness. I understand and believe strongly in the need to protect the innocent. The desire to safeguard our youth and others is in fact why the OCA adopted the Guidelines for Sexual Misconduct. But I am also concerned with Church members providing people who have gone astray with an opportunity to repent and be shown some measure of compassion. The Guidelines do not negate this Christian responsibility. Somehow we must always find and walk that narrow way that allows for both protection and reconciliation. We may not often see it within society at large, but it needs to be found within the Church amongst the faithful.

Finally, as a summary of what I have already stated: Fr. Andrew is a layman living for the most part, a secluded monastic life with the help of other men who have also heard the call to monasticism; he is not a member of a parish; he is rarely in the presence of children, and when he has been, there have always been adults and/or clergy present; he holds no office or position of authority within the Church; and again he is not an ordained cleric or employee of the Diocese. He lives a simple, repentant life in the desert of New Mexico looking for the consolation of Christ. In addition, it should be noted that all of the clergy in our diocese as well as Orthodox clergy in the surrounding area of Ca+¦ones, were notified of Fr. Andrew's past.

I observed on the Pokrov website a prayer which calls for God to "turn the hearts" of those who have sinned, and "pour forth (His) healing grace upon them, that they may be convicted in their hearts and turn from their evil ways." In Fr. Andrew's case that prayer has been answered. It was answered years ago. I would merely pray that Fr. Andrew be provided the chance, by his brothers and sisters in Christ, to live the new life bestowed upon him by our Lord.

I hope this response serves to clarify and assuage any doubts or fears that some may have with regard to Fr. Andrew. I would ask that although the Pokrov website states that the group's spiritual advisor must remain anonymous, it would be helpful if he could contact my office privately in the near future with any questions or concerns.

To end, I am reminded of a verse from Psalm 130 that we chant at every Vesper service, "If Thou, 0 Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, 0 Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with Thee..."

In Christ,

+Dmitri

Archbishop of Dallas and the South

==========================

God grant you many years, Vladyka.
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« Reply #108 on: July 01, 2004, 02:06:15 AM »

I'm sure Pokrov won't be satisfied with any response from Vladyka DMITRI other than him committing hara-kiri.

At one point I supported the mission of Pokrov, until I realized they use the Entropic Adhesion Method (throw stuff and hope it sticks).  I also see strong themes of anticlerical-ism (as opposed to anti-clericalism), anti-monasticism, and radical feminism.  My view on them also comes from reading their 25/8/366 spamming of Bishop TIKHON on the Indiana List.

Twice, by email, I have suggested to Pokrov that they contact Stephen Brady at Roman Catholic Faithful (www.rcf.org), who has had success in getting priests out who didn't belong.  He doesn't move on anything, however, without solid gold proof - and he posts it (really nasty ugly photos too, edited for propriety).  His approach I like - it's focused, specific, and has concrete, achievable goals in mind.  Pokrov's approach is to tar and feather every Orthodox hierarch in sight and demand they tremble before Pokrov's collective feet.

Hint to Pokrov:  if you're mission is so important, BUY A SCANNER and post the goods on your website.  Telling people to get the documents themselves after you've reported on it says to me one or more of the following (A) you don't have the documents (B) you don't think your mission is that important (C) you have ulterior motives.  My money is on (C).

Final Analysis:  laudable (ostensible) goal, laughable methods.
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« Reply #109 on: July 01, 2004, 02:25:34 AM »

I saw Demetri and thought that it was Demetrios!

You Greeks think the world revolves around you!  Grin  Tongue
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« Reply #110 on: July 01, 2004, 08:51:43 AM »

Nah! A GREEK would have known the difference betweeen Demetri and Demetrios. I'm an American!
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« Reply #111 on: July 01, 2004, 10:44:00 AM »

I applaud Bishop DMITRI's letter.

In the internet world, I believe such a letter would illicit the response of:

PWNED!!!
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« Reply #112 on: July 02, 2004, 12:02:11 PM »

I applaud Bishop DMITRI's letter.  In the internet world, I believe such a letter would illicit the response of:

PWNED!!!

Um...what?

Ms. Larson -- what about the Abp.'s letter did you not find satisfactory?
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« Reply #113 on: July 02, 2004, 02:33:06 PM »

I'm glad the Archbishop replied with such a letter.  In my mind, he would make an excellent Metropolitan after Herman.

It seems to me that Pokrov has forgotten about the importance of forgiveness....  they are addressing an important subject, but are too ideological.
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« Reply #114 on: July 02, 2004, 02:45:18 PM »

Um...what?



I used to spend WAY too much time on the internet.  In 'net-speak, when someone perhaps gets their argument thrown back in their face or proven wrong, especially in chatrooms and messageboards, another person can type "PWNED!", a mis-spelling of "OWNED!".  Many times in excitement people type a P instead of an O but don't realize it until after the enter key has been pressed.  Hence, "OWNED!" becomes "PWNED!" and it's a common enough mistake that it's taken on a life of its own. Smiley

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« Reply #115 on: July 02, 2004, 03:08:42 PM »

I'm glad the Archbishop replied with such a letter.  In my mind, he would make an excellent Metropolitan after Herman.

It seems to me that Pokrov has forgotten about the importance of forgiveness....  they are addressing an important subject, but are too ideological.

Yes he would - and he was the second choice (for lack of a better way to put it, analagous for Bp Seraphim of Ottawa to Met Herman) at the time when +Met Theodosius was  elected.  But he's 80 yrs old!
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« Reply #116 on: July 02, 2004, 04:49:07 PM »

The job candidate is not available.  Before the most recent election, we forbade Vladika to be elected.  We would have gone en masse and yelled "anaxios", in order to keep him with us!

He may be 80, but I sure hope that I will be granted his health and stamina when/if I reach that year-post!
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« Reply #117 on: July 02, 2004, 05:38:02 PM »

I used to spend WAY too much time on the internet.  In 'net-speak, when someone perhaps gets their argument thrown back in their face or proven wrong, especially in chatrooms and messageboards, another person can type "PWNED!", a mis-spelling of "OWNED!".  Many times in excitement people type a P instead of an O but don't realize it until after the enter key has been pressed.  Hence, "OWNED!" becomes "PWNED!" and it's a common enough mistake that it's taken on a life of its own. Smiley



It's part of 733+ ("Leet-speak") too and found in MMOG (Massive Multi-User On-line Games).  I don't write Leet very well but I've leart to read it.  There's an "English/Leet Translator" program online too.

Ebor
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« Reply #118 on: July 16, 2004, 04:36:50 PM »

As one who has worked with those who have suffered abuse; including being the first person they open up to, I can understand the pain and very real concern anyone might have and their need to protect or challenge anyone who they feel is not doing the same. This sin against children and vunerable adults is devastating in its effects and consequences.

Having read Vladyka Dmitri's thougthfully worded and clear response much becomes clear. As the priest who baptised me many years ago was fond of saying all sins may be forgiven. The Church's teaching on offences against children is also clear, it is the gravest sin. This is not the way of the world.

I hope that those who are disturbed by this monk's truly awful past may find peace, and particularly his victim. And that he will spend the rest of his days in repentance and prayer for those that have been harmed by his offence. For the sake of everyone I hope too that his monastic elders too make sure any contact he has with youngsters is always monitored and any chance of misunderstanding is avoided, to avoid - if nothing else - further sins against children and scandal.

There are possible two different problems contributing here. One the strong tendency for a number of denominations to sweep 'abuse' under the carpet or not deal with it at all. Two some people's strong anti-clerical and anti-faith agenda - as have already been mentioned - coming up against something they neither understand nor want to.
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