Essays on Faith and Accountability
In July 2009 at the Antiochian 49th Annual Archdiocesan Convention, Metropolitan Philip spoke in defense of Bishop Demetri Matta Khoury. +Demetri is a convicted felon and registered sex offender whom the Antiochian Archdiocese continues to fund, thereby enabling him to remain in a position of trust.
In the heated discussions which have erupted on this topic, we find several fundamental questions at play:
Should Christians unconditionally obey our church leaders?
Should Christians remain silent when church leaders lead us astray?
Should Christians judge others?
Should a sex offender remain a bishop?
I will make the case that the Faithful have a moral responsibility to hold +Philip and other church leaders accountable to protect children and vulnerable adults from abuse. I will also show that this issue is not an isolated incident. Beyond the issue of Bishop Demetri, there is a troubling culture in the Antiochian Church which shuffles around abusive priests and remains silent while sexual predators remain in positions of trust. Lastly, I will show that enabling a sexually abusive priest makes one just as guilty as the abuser.
First, a summary of the +Demetri controversy and +Philip’s recent response. […]
[Editors note: The follow letter to the editor appeared in the eactions poured in the Sept. 6th Dallas News regarding the recent Harry Potter Icon used in an article illustration (see the full reactions here?—? tinyurl.com/nw3382 —? regarding the Harry Potter Icon story first reported here?—? tinyurl.com/lqv3tp.)]
The front page of the Points section displayed […]
"But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depths of the sea" (Matthew 18:6)
Here are some clergy abuse topics I would like to write on at some point:
Abuse of power, sexual misconduct, and its devastating effect on the church.
Power imbalances, the tactics of a predator, and how survivors cope with abuse.
Victims, their families, and the role of clergy in reporting abuse.
Recovering From Abuse
Finding healing and […]
Are policies enough to constraining sinful man? T. S. Eliot gave his opinion seventy years ago in his poem, “The Rock”:
They constantly try to escape
From the darkness outside and within
By dreaming of systems so perfect
that no one will need to be good.
I thought this article by Fr. Thomas Hopko to be perhaps the best summary I've seen anywhere of how to deal with the various issues of our day...the crux of it comes in his seven points in the second half.