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Essays

Essays on Faith and Accountability

Should Christians Speak Against Clergy Sexual Misconduct?

By |September 24th, 2009|

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. […]

Harry Potter Icon Offends Many Orthodox

By |September 7th, 2009|

[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 letter:
The front page of the Points section displayed […]

St. Basil On Protecting The Abused

By |September 6th, 2009|

While we are called to forgive those who sin against us, we are also as a church called to champion justice, protect the innocent, and discipline the unlawful.

Dallas Parishioner Challenges Church Statements

By |January 30th, 2009|

Our church officials are not telling the truth about the Nicholas Katinas lawsuit.

The Abomination of Child Molestation

By |August 28th, 2007|

"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)

Resources for Orthodox Safe Environment Programs

By |June 6th, 2007|

I am pleased to offer for download an excellent resource "Orthodox Parishes in implementing a Safe Environment program"

Clergy Abuse: Topics Which Need Articles

By |April 26th, 2007|

Here are some clergy abuse topics I would like to write on at some point:

The Crisis
Abuse of power, sexual misconduct, and its devastating effect on the church.
Understanding Abuse
Power imbalances, the tactics of a predator, and how survivors cope with abuse.
Coming Forward
Victims, their families, and the role of clergy in reporting abuse.
Recovering From Abuse
Finding healing and […]

Q&A With Fr. Vladimir On Authority In The Church

By |August 28th, 2006|

The following reflection by Fr. Vladimir Borichevsky on authority in the church is apropos given the many scandals of our day.

T. S. Eliot on Accountability Systems

By |August 28th, 2006|

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.

What Can We Do?

By |August 28th, 2006|

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.