Policy On Inappropriate Misconduct By The
The Evangelical Orthodox Catholic Church
Recent events in our country
and society here in the United States and other parts of the world have made
it necessary to publish and provide a clear understanding within the ranks
of all of the clergy and the faithful, (and prayerfully we pray, eventually
within each and every jurisdiction of the Church), that ZERO tolerance will
and must be the standard operating guideline for issues of inappropriate
misconduct by the clergy. This will also be the standard operating understanding
and procedure for the clergy of The Evangelical Orthodox Catholic Church
We have adopted, herewith, a working and official policy of, and for,
The Evangelical Orthodox Catholic Church
regarding the sexual misconduct
of clergy, employees, regular volunteers, seminarians, and candidates for
ordination and/or incardination.
While a more permanent Canon will be added to our own local Church canons
and is being studied and worked on, the following articles and points of
concern will be our working policy
- The Evangelical Orthodox Catholic Church has zero tolerance for
any physical misconduct by its clergy and or any one employed by, or working
for, or even volunteering to work for, or with this Church.
- This includes unwanted, inappropriate physical contact with parishioners,
those being counseled, those going to confession or receiving any of the
Holy Mysteries / Sacraments, and, of course, minors/disabled/geriatric
or anyone that is considered as vulnerable.
- Inappropriate and unwanted physical activity with minors/disabled
or geriatrically vulnerable people will be immediately reported to law
enforcement entities and investigated by them.
- Further, inappropriate and unwanted physical activity with anyone
else with whom a clergy person has a pastoral care relationship of any
kind, will result in immediate suspension of ecclesiastical faculties.
This means that faculties and the authority to celebrate the Holy Mysteries
will be removed immediately with a referral to treatment if found guilty.
If cleared of all charges by both church and law enforcement entities, all
faculties and authorities to celebrate the Holy Mysteries / Sacraments of
the Church will, of course, be restored and all records marked as "cleared."
If the clergy person is found and proven guilty their suspension will
become permanent and they will be deposed from the ministry of the Church.
- Finally, (and very sadly there are cases both in the United States
and other countries) - anyone found, after investigation by Church authorities
and law enforcement, to have deliberately and inaccurately accused one of
the clergy for the purposes of obtaining financial reward. To punish, humiliate,
address or redress issues unrelated to inappropriate and unwanted physical
contact via these kinds of inappropriate physical accusations and humiliation
whether publically and/or privately, will also be held responsible for
such allegations and accusations. In that unfortunate circumstance,
the clergy are herewith advised to seek personal and public redress for
the injury to their reputations and good standing within the Church. Most
of all, forgiveness and healing MUST BE the guiding light through forgiveness
in these cases and all parties are encouraged to seek counseling and help
in rebuilding their lives.
This statement is approved and confirmed for immediate use and distribution
within: The Evangelical Orthodox Catholic Church in America
Given under our hand and seal, this 30th day of June, in the year of
our Lord Jesus Christ 2003, from our See City in San Jose, California -
this being the 29th year of our episcopate.
+Most Reverend Perry R. (Joseph Benedict) Sills, OC., S.T.D.,
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