The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America has established a toll-free hotline to receive complaints about sexual abuse by its clergy.
The Rev. Michael Kontogiorgis, assistant chancellor, said the number, 1-877-554-3382, was set up as part of ongoing revisions to the archdiocese's policy on the investigation and resolution of complaints of sexual misconduct by clergy, which was adopted in 2000 by the Synod of Bishops.
“It's something we established to make it a little more convenient for someone to contact us.” Father Michael said. “The point was if somebody had something to complain about or bring to someone's attention, who do they go to? They might not be comfortable with the parish priest and the bishop might be hundreds of miles away.”
Those with complaints, he said, are still free to call their priest or diocesan officials, or contact the chancellor directly.
The line, which went into effect June 17, offers callers the opportunity to speak with a male or female volunteer who speaks Greek or English. Anyone with information concerning child sexual abuse or who feels in personal danger is advised to contact local police.
The line has five volunteers, all lay professionals in social work and other related areas. Calls are to be returned within 48 hours.
- JUDY TARJANYI