The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, under the leadership of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, has instituted a revised policy on sexual misconduct by clergy. This revised policy updates the current one in place since 2000.
In a statement regarding the updated policy Archbishop Elpidophoros stated: “The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America is committed to safety and accountability. As the Body of Christ, we cannot and will not tolerate any conduct that compromises this safety, including sexual abuse. With this revised policy, we affirm our commitment to both the safety of, and the accountability to, each and every member of the Church.”
One of the most important features of the revised policy is the establishment of a third party confidential telephone hotline operated to process complaints. This third party, which operates independently of the Archdiocese, will generate simultaneous reports to the clergy and lay leadership to ensure accountability. The new policy implements a centralized, transparent process with a series of checks and balances to guarantee that the process is run fairly and independently, while protecting the anonymity of whistle-blowers. Finally, the policy mandates a zero-tolerance policy for sexual misconduct or abuse by clergy within the Archdiocese and applies broadly to all related Archdiocesan entities, missions and institutions.
In revising the policy, the Archdiocese continues to be a leader among religious organizations with similar missions. General Counsel of the Archdiocese, George A. Tsougarakis, who oversaw the development of the revised policy states, “It’s important to note that our prior policy, which was state of the art when issued, was over twenty years old, so the revision was necessary to bring it up to date. In addition, in revising its policy the Archdiocese took the important step to consult with advocates, experts, and victims of clergy misconduct. The result is a revised policy that protects against sexual misconduct in a centralized, objective and transparent manner.”
To read the entire policy please click here: https://www.goarch.org/-/clergy-misconduct-policy