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13131Statement issued by Metropolitan Jonah

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    Mar 5, 2010
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      Statement issued by Metropolitan Jonah

      Posted 03/05

      SYOSSET, NY [OCA] ­ After discussions that took
      place at the joint session of the Lesser Synod of
      Bishops and Metropolitan Council of the Orthodox
      Church in America at the Chancery here during the
      first week of March 2010, His Beatitude,
      Metropolitan Jonah issued the following statement.

      “As the Archbishop of Washington, certain matters
      of the dispute between the Archpriest Raymond
      Velencia, Pastor of Saint Matthew Church in
      Columbia, MD, and Kristine Koumentakos fall under
      our hierarchical/diocesan oversight. This has
      also been a serious concern within the Chancery
      of the Orthodox Church in America. Complaints
      from Ms. Koumentakos were brought to the
      attention of the administration of the Orthodox
      Church in America in January 2007. An
      investigation by the Orthodox Church in America
      took place in the early part of 2007. Ms.
      Koumentakos protested that the investigation was
      incomplete and brought her concerns to the
      members of the Holy Synod and the Metropolitan
      Council during the summer of 2007. The response
      to Ms. Koumentakos by the Orthodox Church in
      America was inadequate. During that time a
      private letter containing sensitive information
      was improperly shared with members of the Metropolitan Council.

      “I apologize, on behalf of the Orthodox Church in
      America, to Kristine Koumentakos and to her
      family, for the lack of pastoral attentiveness
      and sensitivity to the matters at hand. The
      lawsuits that came about as a result of the
      disagreement between Ms. Koumentakos and Father
      Velencia were most unfortunate and should have
      been avoided. At this time the Orthodox Church in
      America is in the process of revising and
      updating its Policies, Standards and Procedures
      that address questions of alleged misconduct.
      Together with that there is an ongoing review of
      how to respond to complicated pastoral issues,
      conduct pastoral investigations, provide pastoral
      comfort and address allegations of misconduct. We
      will do all in our power to insure that the
      response and intervention in such matters of
      alleged misconduct will be ethical, professional
      and proper, as is befitting the Gospel of Our
      Lord Jesus Christ and the teachings and canons of the Orthodox Church.”