“Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them,

and they that are great exercise authority upon them.

But it shall not be so among you:

but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto,

but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28, KJV)

The word the Athenians used for their Assembly was Ekklesia, the same word used in the New Testament for Church
(and it is the greatest philological irony in all of Western history that this word,
which connoted equal participation in all deliberation by all members,
came to designate a kind of self-perpetuating, self-protective Spartan gerousia -
which would have seemed patent nonsense to Greek-speaking Christians of New Testament times,
who believed themselves to be equal members of their Assembly.)

- Thomas Cahill, Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter


Sunday, November 2, 2008

“Confidentiality Is Part of the Settlement”

These are the words spoken by Ms. Tahira Merritt, attorney for the defendants in the most recent sexual abuse case against the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. In doing so Ms. Merritt declined to disclose the amount that the Archdiocese will be paying in what is the latest out-of-court settlement to five victims of sexual abuse at the hands of Fr. Nicholas Katinas.

According to an article by Theodore Kalmoukos in The National Herald, “[t]erms of the settlement were not immediately disclosed, but sources from within the Archdiocese told The National Herald that the amount will be in the millions of dollars.” Ms. Merritt, verified the Herald’s information, but declined to disclose the amount, stating that “confidentiality is part of the settlement.”

The defense team was determined, had the case continued, to summon Archbishop Demetrios to be present at the trial, and it is believed that this insistence was instrumental in producing a settlement. Further the defense sought, by extension, to implicate the Ecumenical Patriarchate and Patriarch Bartholomew, since the Archdiocese of America is legally “an extension of the Patriarchate.” The Archdiocese had filed a petition with the court, attempting to dismiss the case based on the statute of limitations, since the abuses had taken place many years ago, however, the Court declined the petition, and a trial date had been set.

Not including the Katinas case, the Archdiocese has to date paid more than $12 million dollars in just the last five years to victims of pederasty by priests. In this case, incidentally, the former Fr. Katinas, rather than face the consequences of his actions, has fled to his native island of Rhodes in Greece.

According to Kalmoukos, The National Herald has learned of yet another group of victims that is considering filing a yet another lawsuit against the Archdiocese. And, there is already a new case filed just last month in Chicago by another alleged victim who had been an altar boy in the 1970s when Katinas had served at the Assumption Greek Orthodox parish in Olympia Fields, Illinois.

The article further states that the “Archdiocese has requested that all court documents be shielded, including the depositions of the both parties.” Further, according to Mr. Kalmoukos, the “Archdiocese has also requested the amount of the settlement not be disclosed, while its officials are looking for ways to compensate the victims without disclosing details to the membership of the Archdiocese or in its budgetary reports, out of fear that the parishes might somehow react negatively. The parishes have been under constant pressure to increase their monthly allocations to the Archdiocese.”

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