This Just In: Dokos to Face Charges on May 16

Fr. James DokosMonomakhos recently heard that Fr James Dokos must turn himself in to the State Attorney David Feiss of Wisconsin on May 16 to answer a complaint about possible embezzlement.

As you may remember, Dokos was the only trustee on a bequest. From this bequest, he issued close to $10,000 each to Bishops Demetrius Kantzavellis, Nikita Lulias, and Tarasios Anton. In addition, it is alleged that he rewarded himself close to $50,000.

Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.

About GShep


  1. StephenD says

    I wonder if the Bishops will be reassigned to Dioceses in Europe or Australia/ New Zealand. Met.Nikitas cannot go back to Hong Kong.

  2. Robert Simpson says

    NIkita was forced to leave Hong Kong by the Chinese authorities.

    • I, too, would like to know why he cannot return. I was impressed with his fervor when I met him a few years ago while he was collecting relief funds for Tsunami victims and talking about his missionary activities.

  3. Fr. George Washburn says

    Good morning friends:

    Stephen D can wonder all he likes, but wouldn’t it be nicer if he wondered to himself for a while? The facts (there I go again) as I understand them are that a charitable trust was managed by a single trustee, Fr. Dokos, who may have intentionally or foolishly mishandled the money. So far it looks questionable at the least, especially as to the checks payable to himself. I’m betting the Wisconsin AG has some pretty experienced investigators who will find out … and make the findings public in due course after giving Fr. Dokos every opportunity to explain himself, unlike the world of bloggery.

    As to bishops, do we *really* need to indulge in speculation just yet? If Father treated people to meals that he shouldn’t have, will the AG try to close the restaurant or jail the waiter who got a tip? Come on. If the bishops – who are engaged in Church work, after all – got checks trust that seemed in order (i.e. not signed by Mickey Mouse or payable to Elvis or something) from a charitable trust from someone they know as a clergyman in good standing, I don’t see them as being legally or morally responsible to demand a copy of the trust documents or a permission letter from the Attorney General before cashing them, or liable to public opprobrium if they didn’t.

    Of course one could *imagine* some sort of guilty knowledge that would make the cashing wrongful. Those of us who have watched television, the movies, or read novels, have been habituated to the regular and virtually automatic and unquestioning indulgence of our imaginations. But let’s try not to indulge them just yet here in the absence of (gasp!) facts established by a full and fair investigation in which the accused trustee gets every chance to participate and show innocence.

    Time (another gasp, please) will tell. Facts will lead where they lead. In the meantime there are better ways to get typing and knot-tying practice or divert ourselves from prayer, our repentance or the praise of God, aren’t there? The internet vigilante lobby will of course feel there is not.


    Fr. George

    • Sean Richardson says

      Thank you Fr. George. I love it! Although I might have my own opinions, and I’d love to share them, I guess I’ll have to bit my Celtic tongue and just wait for “time” …

  4. Big Jim Crosby says

    Fascinating how the two bishops mentioned are well-known as very “colorful” characters. Met. Nikita…and Bp Demetrius Kantzavellis…might just lead to some more interesting outcomes in this case.

    Word has it also that Archbishop Nathaniel of the OCA is sweating bullets over the Subdeacon Mitchell revelations. Isn’t that akin to exactly what Bp. Nikolai got in trouble in Alaska? Tonsuring a sexual miscreant? I wonder if the OCA will have the same outrage now that they did then. But, they will have bigger problems when the entirely of the tentacles Fr. Isidore child porn affair is uncovered.

    Orthodox life in North America is seldom dull.

    PS. And for the Fr. Washburn’s out there, don’t feign outrage. The facts are the facts.

    • Lola J. Lee Beno says

      Umm . . . what revelations?

      • Lola: Mitchell was convicted of child abduction in 1998 in Illinois. He is registered in Michigan as a tier 3 sex offender and is under a lifetime requirement to register.
        Tier 3 is the most serious classification fyi (
        He’s also a member of the Brotherhood of St. Moses the black. This is all according to SNAP. I googled Subdeacon Mitchell and that’s what came up.

        • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

          Oh my. I met this Mitchell when he visited St. Nicholas years ago. Still have his business card.

          I wonder though: He was convicted of child abduction in Illinois in 1998, and very soon thereafter he’s living freely in Michigan. Doesn’t sound like the Illinois court took his offense too seriously. Might it have been a custody dispute? It appears that absconding with your own child without legal custody would be enough to qualify as a Tier 3 offense, without any allegation of sexual abuse.

          • Melanie Jula Sakoda says

            I don’t know how long Mitchell was incarcerated prior to his conviction, but this time would have been subtracted from his sentence. I do know that Mitchell’s conviction followed a jury trial and was not based on a custody dispute. Moreover, I have been told that the allegations brought to the Romanian Episcopate of the OCA involved behavior very similar to that which resulted in the Illinois conviction. According to Archbishop Nathaniel Popp, the parish decided that Mitchell was no longer welcome in the church after the internal investigation substantiated the allegations.


            • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

              Thank you for the additional information. Even if he was held before his trial, it’s a sad comment on our justice system that he spent so little time behind bars. The State of Illinois must be run by child molesters!

              • Melanie Jula Sakoda says

                We can’t single out Illinois. Penalties for offenses against the innocent nationwide are often lighter than would seem to be appropriate.


              • Michael Bauman says

                Good people don’t want to believe the evil of child molesting. Perps use that to the max. Our so called justice system is a sophisticated version of trial by combat. There is no good way to protect the child and give the defendant a fair trial.

                The only way to protect children is to be vigilant AND find away to keep real offenders away from children without keeping honest men away from children.

            • Disgusted With It says

              So the archbishop in charge of this parish was unaware of his previous record? It’s kind of scary to think that those in authority don’t even know about a criminal conviction. Not simply an allegation, but a conviction and registered offender status.

              • Michael Bauman says

                Disgusted, why is it scary? What is unsettling is that the priest(s) who recommended him for higher position did not know Mitchell’s heart well enough to make the recommendation.

                Child molesters greatest abuse is against trust, a child’s trust and the trust of everybody around them. They are highly manipulative, demonically oppressed people who have little or no social consciousness but are really, really good at faking it. They are often thought off as the upright caring people because they are really good liars and seek positions where they can exercise control over children. They are really good at getting other people to trust them. Combined with the inherent denial that good people have about the possibility of the evil of child sexual molestation (even in today’s world) and you get a situation that makes it easy for them.

                Look at the latest non-Church case:

                Parents be vigilant. Parishes should do the screening both formal and informal. People should educate themselves on the signs that victims display (although they can be confused with other things quite easily).

                If there is a pattern of enabling by authorities, that must stop and any priest or bishop who does such a thing is not worthy of the office.

                I must say that I know for a fact that when Fr. Moses first heard rumors of the situation and wanted to act appropriately in regard to the Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black, he was not told anything at first.

                Lust, gluttony and the free expression of all kinds of demonic desires is the way of the world. We do have to be more careful and watchful first over our own hearts.

                • Disgusted With It says

                  “…when Fr. Moses first heard rumors of the situation and wanted to act appropriately in regard to the Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black, he was not told anything at first.”

                  This is the part that especially worries me.

        • Michael Bauman says

          He is no longer a member of the Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black.

  5. Fr. George Washburn says

    Gotta say that your P. S. isn’t communicating … to me at least, Big Guy. I agree that fact is what we ought to deal IN ….and must deal WITH. But you don’t quite seem to be doing that, friend.

    “Word has it….” in your comment about Abp. Nathaniel seems to me to be indicating some variant on hearsay, but nothing that remotely could be called a fact in ordinary usage. Is your definition of “fact” so broad that any false gossip is “fact” …. in the sense it is a fact that someone uttered the falsehood?

    And you are clearly dealing in innuendo in your reference to the supposedly dire future effect on the whole OCA of the Brittain child porn charges. You cite NO fact to support your assertion.

    The facts are indeed the facts, but your comments – in this post at least – aren’t.

    Fr. George

    • We move and breathe and have our being in the modern world…

      I type, therefore I am.



      Fr. GW typed: “…your comment about Abp. Nathaniel seems to me to be indicating some variant on hearsay, but nothing that remotely could be called a fact in ordinary usage. Is your definition of “fact” so broad that any false gossip is “fact” ….”

    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

      Father George, I think you’ve noticed an ancient Byzantine syndrome here: the poisonous gossiping of imperial Byzantine eunuchs, no?

      • Matthew says

        It seems you enjoy the company of eunuchs.

      • Fr. George Washburn says

        Hello friends:

        Good morning from the daffodil-dotted shores of Lake Tahoe this time!

        A few weeks ago George asked me a pointed question: is bearing false witness a sin? I gave an unequivocal two word answer.

        I would like to ask George a question back and get just as clear an answer, perhaps using even one word less than I did: is gossip a sin?


        Fr. George

        • George Michalopulos says

          Of course, gossip is bad. That’s why it’s important that our leaders be men “of good report.”

    • M. Stankovich says

      Both the Illinois & Michigan interpretation of the Tier 3 criteria for “Non-parental kidnapping [or false imprisonment of minors]” in the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act of 2006 are nearly identical. They neither state, mention, imply, nor infer anything sexual; (e.g. Michigan Penal Code):

      750.350 Leading, taking, carrying away, decoying, or enticing away child under 14; intent; violation as felony; penalty; adoptive or natural parent.

      Sec. 350.

      (1) A person shall not maliciously, forcibly, or fraudulently lead, take, carry away, decoy, or entice away, any child under the age of 14 years, with the intent to detain or conceal the child from the child’s parent or legal guardian, or from the person or persons who have adopted the child, or from any other person having the lawful charge of the child. A person who violates this section is guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment for life or any term of years.

      (2) An adoptive or natural parent of the child shall not be charged with and convicted for a violation of this section.

      By referring to the second clause of this section, it is obvious that Mr. Mitchell’s case was not a custody matter. But without knowing the circumstances and the details of his conviction, there is a 50% chance it was a non-sexual offense – pursuant to the reading of the penal code – to begin with. I do not suggest that his crime was not despicable and offensive and that he does not deserve the consequences he has received. But the question we should be asking is if he actually poses a threat: is he dangerous?

      We release sex offenders from CA prisons and hospitals on a regular basis based on predictive, actuarial clinical data from nearly 20 years of research. Between 1997 and 2007, less than 4% (121 individuals) were returned to prison for committing a new sex offense, and in 2012, 1.9% were returned to custody. This would suggest that paroled sex offenders are statistically unlikely to pose a danger to children in church. If Archbishop Nathaniel relied solely on information and pressure exerted on him by Pokrov, he may well have acted on ignorance and disinformation rather than objective expertise as to the actual dangerousness posed by Mr. Mitchell. I would offer a comment from Charles Pierce’s Idiot America and his chapter on “The Loss of Expertise:”

      The Gut is the roiling repository of dark and ancient fears. It knows what it knows because it knows how it feels. Hofstadter saw the triumph of the Gut coming: “Intellect is pitted against feeling,” he writes, “on the ground that is somehow inconsistent with warm emotion. It is pitted against character, because it is widely believed that intellect stands for cleverness, which transmutes easily into the sly or the diabolical.” If something feels right, it must be treated with the same respect given something that is actually right. If something is felt deeply, it must carry the same weight as something that is true. If there are two sides to every story – or more to the point, if there are people willing to take up two sides to every argument – they both must be right or, at least, equally valid. Dress it up and the Gut is “common sense,” which rarely is common and even more rarely makes sense. Often it comes down to assessing what EverybodyKnows, even though Everybody may be as false as blue money to the truth of things. The Gut becomes the basis for the Great Premises of Idiot America: it is valid if it sells books, etc; anything can be true if said loudly enough; and respect for the effort required to develop and promulgate the nonsense bleeds into a respect that validates the nonsense. We hold these truths to be self-evident.

      I have openly and directly challenged Pokrov to support their claim with empirical data that since we cannot guarantee re-offense, paroled offenders must be segregated, or to refute me with the same, and they have not done so. And they have not done so because they cannot do so. Perhaps Mr. Mitchell should not be in leadership roles and so on, but there is no evidence to suggest that he poses any danger to children in church and should be sequestered at home. None whatsoever. And Ms. Sakoda’s “gut reaction” and opinion is not on the same level of expertise as the empirical research and the Tier 3 monitoring requirements imposed by the State of Michigan.

      • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

        Stankovich writes:

        Between 1997 and 2007, less than 4% (121 individuals) were returned to prison for committing a new sex offense, and in 2012, 1.9% were returned to custody. This would suggest that paroled sex offenders are statistically unlikely to pose a danger to children in church.

        But the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics writes:

        Within 3 years following their release, 5.3% of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime.

        On average the 9,691 sex offenders served 3 1/2 years of their 8-year sentence.

        Compared to non-sex offenders released from State prisons, released sex offenders were 4 times more likely to be rearrested for a sex crime.

        The 9,691 released sex offenders included 4,295 men who were in prison for child molesting.

        Note the differences in the reported statistics: Stankovich says only 4% were “returned to prison” over a ten-year period. That’s an annual return rate of 0.4%. But the BJS found that 5.3% were “re-arrested” for sex crimes in their first three years. That’s an annual re-arrest rate of 1.76%, which would be 17.6% over a ten-year period—more than four times Stankovich’s claimed rate of return to prison.

        How can we square these figures? Well, it could be that three out of four convicted sex offenders get re-arrested but not “returned to prison.” That’s hardly comforting. Or it could be that Stankovich’s figures don’t count re-incarceration in other states.

        Furthermore, lifetime re-arrest rates for child sex offenders can only be higher—and arrest rates still only count the times perps get caught!

        • M. Stankovich says

          My intention was to indicate a declining rate of re-offense beginning in 1997 with 4% and culminating in 2012 (the last year data is available) with 1.9%. I did not mean to imply 4% over a period of twelve years. My apologies. Nevertheless, I stand by my statement that prior sex offenders are not a significant source of lifetime sexual abuse perpetrated against children. If you downloaded and read the article from the link I provided to the University of New Hampshire, clearly more than half of all lifetime incidents of sexual abuse against children are perpetrated by juvenile peers who are known to them. Here is the link again.

          As an addendum to the issue of parolees in CA, I would note that while the rate of new sexual offenses dropped dramatically, the over-all recidivism rate for paroled sex offenders rose, returning parolees to prison rose of nearly 63% – which is the general recidivism rate for all parolees in CA – up from approximately 45% 1n 1997. It generally is related to co-existing conditions such as mental illness, chemical dependency, etc. These parolees are being arrested for drug possession, drug use (i.e. failing mandatory drug screening), failing to keep clinical appointments, failing to keep monitoring appointments, failing to be employed, failing to take prescribed medications, violating any GPS monitored exclusions (they are arrested within hours), etc. and placed in custody awaiting a revocation hearing. And at Tier 3, the monitoring is stifling. There simply is not enough data available since 1997 for you to support your statement, “lifetime re-arrest rates for child sex offenders can only be higher.” Is it possible for a Tier 3 offender to harm another innocent child? Certainly. Is it likely? No. And that is a fact.The most dangerous sex offenders in CA will never see the street, never. And while those with multiple offenses and those designated as sexually disordered offenders are ordered into “indefinite” hospitalization, exactly 10 individuals of the more than 800 currently held have been discharged in 14 years since the legal classification has become law. It is shameful to make “prisoners” of those who do not pose a danger.

          • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

            My intention was to indicate a declining rate of re-offense beginning in 1997 with 4% and culminating in 2012 (the last year data is available) with 1.9%. I did not mean to imply 4% over a period of twelve years. My apologies. Nevertheless, I stand by my statement that prior sex offenders are not a significant source of lifetime sexual abuse perpetrated against children.

            Michael, your own words make it plain that your main intention is to downplay the danger of convicted child molesters. Your muddled manipulation of statistics helps you do that.

            • M. Stankovich says

              From the CDCR:










              NOTEWORTHY FINDINGS: The total number and % of sexual recidivists is lower than some might have believed. Most re-offenses and parole violations occur in the initial period of reentry after release. Sex offenders are more likely to commit some other type of offense than to commit a new sex offense. Although supervised intensely, sex offenders are returned to custody for parole violations at a lower rate than the average for all CDCR parolees (60-70%).

              And so, Deacon Mitchell, there seems to be no limit to the depth of your cumulative Google-fueled ignorance. Why you charge forward when you cannot grasp epidemiology nor statistical methodology and design is beyond me. But it is unabashedly pitiful that you would charge me with downplaying the dangerousness of convicted sex offenders when I have, literally, held victims in my arms. You have no shame and I will not respond to you again. Ever.

              • M. Stankovich says

                A 2006 New York study analyzed the recidivism patterns for 19,827 sex offenders. The rate for new sex offenses after one year in the community was 2 percent. The cumulative rate increased to 3 percent after two years, 6 percent after five years, and 8 percent after 8 years.

                A 2007 study by the Missouri Department of Corrections tracked 3,166 sex offenders released between 1990 and 2002. Twelve percent had been re-arrested for a new sex crime in those 12 years, and 10 percent had been reconvicted. The report also looked at sex offenders released in 2002. In the first three years on parole their sex crime recidivism rate was 3 percent. The report concluded, “Due to the dramatic decrease in sexual recidivism since the early 1990s, recent sexual re-offense rates have been very low, thus significantly limiting the extent to which sexual reoffending can be further reduced.”

                An Alaska Judicial Council report in 2007 said 3 percent of sex offenders had committed a new sex crime in their first three years after release from prison.

                A 2007 report by the Tennessee Department of Safety found that 4.7 percent of 504 sex offenders released from prison in 2001 were arrested for a new sex offense after three years. The sex crime recidivism rate was zero for offenders whose original crime was incest.

                A 2007 Minnesota Department of Corrections study tracked 3,166 sex offenders released from Minnesota prisons between 1990 and 2002. After an average of 8.4 years in the community, 10 percent had been convicted of a new sex offense. Those released in the beginning of the study period were much more likely to reoffend within three years than those released later — 17 percent in 1990 as opposed to 3 percent in 2002.

                A 2007 report by Jared Bauer of the West Virginia Division of Corrections tracked 325 sex offenders for three years after release from prison in 2001, 2002 and 2003. The recidivism rate for any return to prison, not just for sex crimes, was 9.5 percent. Only six parolees returned for new sex related crimes, including three for failing to properly register as a sex offender. The sex crime recidivism rate was slightly less than 2 percent. Only 1 percent had an actual sex crime victim.

                Utah criminologist Larry Bench tracked 389 Utah sex offenders for up to 25 years after release. His 2008 report disclosed that 7.2 percent had been arrested for a new sex crime.

                An Indiana Corrections report in the spring of 2009 found that sex offenders released in 2005 had compiled a 1.05 percent sex crime re-conviction rate in three years. The study said this rate was “extremely low” and showed “a great deal of promise.”

                Stan Orchowsky and Janice Iwama authored a 2009 study for the U.S. Justice Research and Statistics Association which showed similar low sex crime re-arrest rates after three years for sex offenders released from prison in 2001. The rates by state were as follows: Alaska 3.4%, Arizona 2.3%, Delaware 3.8%, Illinois 2.4%, Iowa 3.9%, New Mexico 1.8%, South Carolina 4.0%, and Utah 9.0%. The comparison three-year national rate was 5.3 percent noted previously for inmates released in 1994.

                These studies would seem to support my contention that paroled offenders are not a significant source pf lifetime childhood sexual abuse, and I further refer to an earlier study by David Finkelhor of the University of New Hampshire and colleagues for the US Justice Department analyzed national sex crime data from 2004. That year the estimated population of underage sex offenders was projected to be 89,000, and they had committed 35.8% of all sex crimes reported to police. One in eight juvenile sex offenders was under age 12. The study projected that between 85-95 % of these young offenders would never face another sex charge. And finally, a 2006 report for the Ohio Sentencing Commission indicated that 93 % of molestation victims in Ohio were well known to their perpetrators; over half the offenders victimized close relatives; and more than 90% percent of molesters had never been arrested for a previous sex crime.

                I return then to my original question: was Robert A. Mitchell forbidden to attend services at the parish where he was received into Orthodoxy 13 years ago and “sequestered” to his home because he posed a probable or likely threat of re-offense contrary to nearly 20-years of research, or was Archbishop Nathaniel unduly influenced and pressured by disinformation, myth, and the unsupported contentions of Pokrov that, since we cannot “guarantee” they will not re-offend, better to keep him away from children? Archbishop Nathaniel deserved a second opinion.

                • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                  Michael Stankovich, , I’m pretty sure you’d agree that some who are desperate to be seen as AGAINST sexual deviation or criminality themselves might, if in authority, lean over backwards (rather than forwards) to be seen as almost merciless in prosecutions of same. WE’ve seen this in public figures often enough in the past couple decades…

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    To really heal the abuse requires attention to the healing of the abuser as well as the abused. Fr. George Morelli has written extensively on the issue as well as having done clinical practice. Both in public and in private correspondence with me some years ago he emphasized the need for the abuser to acknowledge his sin/crime and take responsibility for it. Here is a quote from an article he wrote in 2005:

                    Healing of the abuser requires psychological and spiritual acceptance of responsibility for the abuse and recognition of the consequences of the abuse. In most cases of severe abuse, healing will not mean reintegration into the usual pattern of life the abuser previously lived. Thus, part of the acceptance of the consequences will means a radical change in lifestyle must occur. In most cases, individuals who have physically or sexually abused others will have to be removed permanently from their social milieu.

                    M. Stankovich, how many child sexual abusers in your experience have done what Fr. Morelli says is necessary for them to begin healing? Statistics are meaningless in the presence of an actual event.

                    One over whelming character trait of child sexual abusers is that they LIE. We cannot expect institutional controls alone to be sufficient to detect and expose all of the lies.

                    At the same time we must guard our hearts against witch hunts and extreme reactions as the majority of people are not sexual predators. Yet, enabling must stop.
                    The direct victim is not the only victim. The whole family suffers and the whole family must learn to forgive the abuser and each other:

                    Often in such cases an additional psychological disorder develops: Post-Trauma Stress Disorder. Intervention will include cognitive restructuring to counter self blame and emotional disturbances such as depression, anxiety and anger (Morelli, 2004). Anger is a spiritual (and psychological) cancer particularly hard to address. Healing cannot take place until in the depth of the victim’s heart they can truly say “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).

                    I have several people with whom I am close who have suffered sexual abuse as children. The tool such abuse is horrific but one thing I can say with certainty–hatred and vengeance dose not heal, it only deepens the wounds as Fr. George points out.

                    You can read a number of his articles on the intersection of psychology and faith here:

                    The specific article on abuse is this:

                    For those who don’t know: Fr. George is an Antiochian priest in Los Angeles head of the Antiochian Counseling Department and a well respected, published clinical psychologist. He has done a great deal of work on integrating the insights of modern psychology and the teaching of the Fathers from the point of view of the Fathers and the teaching of the Church.

                  • M. Stankovich says

                    Michael Bauman,

                    Unless Fr. Morelli has changed his opinion since 2005 that “In most cases, individuals who have physically or sexually abused others will have to be removed permanently from their social milieu” based on emergent evidence to the contrary, than he is simply wrong. And in cases of “severe abuse,” these individuals will never see the street again to begin with. And the statistics are not meaningless when they assist us in re-focusing on the fact that 93% of child sexual abuse victims knew their abuser (34.3% were family members and 58.7% were acquaintances). You yourself have written twice, “parents be vigilant.”

                    All I will say to you in regard to the matter of lying & deceit is that, no, every instance of deceit cannot be detected – I have personally reported the number of times I have been duped – but at least in CA, they use well-researched actuarial risk assessment instruments to assign offenders to groups according to risk level, there is reliance on multiple screening instrument, polygraphs, GPS tracking, personal interviews, therapy groups, etc. The monitoring is extensive, intense, and always improving. You are in the business of well-researched actuarial risk assessment and I am surprised you press this point.

                    As to your question regarding my personal experience with child sexual abusers doing “what Fr. Morelli says is necessary for them to begin healing,” most importantly, I am a clinician and would not interact with them in such a relationship, but factually, I have never seen one outside of prison, and certainly not within the context of an Orthodox Church, so anomalistic is their presence. But then again, how would I know? My question from the outset of this discussion has been: are we needlessly and pointlessly driving away from the church those who need access to repentance and the path to healing? The OCA’s policy to deal with offenders in a parish is quite good as published, and is the most contemporaneous and direct examination of the issue I have seen to date.

                    This is an extraordinarily complex issue for which there are years and volumes of complex literature available. This is not the proper forum to place such an emphasis on paroled sex offenders in the church as we have no data I am aware of that it constitutes an acute issue of any significance beyond anomaly. Secondly, convicted offenders released to the community are not a significant source of the lifetime prevalence of child sexual abuse and this emphasis only serves to distract from the fact the overwhelming sources of child sexual abuse are first-time offenders know to the child.

                • Melanie Jula Sakoda says

         (or more specifically, SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) clearly had no influence on the decision of the St. Raphael of Brooklyn’s parish to bar the former Subdeacon Robert Aaron Mitchell from the church. According to Archbishop Nathaniel Popp, that decision was reached at some time prior to March 30th of this year.


                  SNAP issued their first press statement on Mitchell on April 3rd. On that day we wrote to the archbishop asking him whether a registered sex offender was serving as one of his subdeacons. The letter linked above was his response to our query.


                  Moreover, the parish was also clearly not banning Mitchell because of what Mr. Stankovich terms “disinformation, myth, and … unsupported contentions.” By that point in time, Mitchell had **already reoffended.** As the archbishop wrote, “The allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor were substantiated.”

                  • M. Stankovich says

                    Ms. Sakoda,

                    I was not not referring to any “message” in specific, but in your routine entry into Orthodox forums such as this to disseminate myth, disinformation, and unsupported contentions as a means of influence and intimidation. Two characteristics of objective science and advocacy is 1) the ability to self-correct upon criticism and 2) the ability to subject one’s claims to the risk of refutation. You blatantly lack both. Twice you have proposed to me, “we need to agree to disagree.” This, in my mind, is no resolution, but rather a cheap trick to indemnify yourself from falsification (i.e. you can never be wrong). I do not disagree with everything Pokrov proposes, and in fact, I have advocated and defended your actions on this very forum. But I indicated to you that I intend to challenge you whenever you propose disinformation and myth I know to be wrong, that I know you cannot empirically support, and that I believe to have consequences beyond the scope of your consideration and qualification. And this is one of those times.

                    You stated many unfortunate things regarding this matter on another forum, but most germane:

                    A glaring problem with recidivism studies is how the study determines whether a felon has re-offended. Statistics for arrests/convictions may yield some information, but, as I wrote earlier, child sex crimes are notoriously under reported. Moreover, incarceration for one offense can show a predator how to avoid a subsequent arrest: not only can the offender learn from his own mistakes, but he can also gather tips from other prisoners.

                    Self-reporting is another possibility of course, but is also problematic for obvious reasons.

                    If we can’t accurately estimate how many child predators will re-offend if released, and more importantly, we can’t predict which ones will and which ones won’t, the best solution, IMO, is not to allow any of these convicted felons access to innocent kids.

                    As I stated previously, you are neither trained nor competent in epidemiology nor in corrections to evaluate the design of the protracted study, nor the advanced statistics used to interpret the data. You could not be so naive as to image such a sophisticated monitoring program would rely solely on arrest reports and the self-reports of parolees? I believe that the research clearly indicates that we can accurately estimate how many offenders will re-offend, and we need to re-direct our attention to the message of the study from the University of New Hampshire and the Ohio Sentencing Commission: the majority of child sexual abuse is committed by someone known to the child and by someone who has never been arrested for a sex crime previously. With this in mind, you of all people should be re-enforcing what Michael Bauman has been saying above: Parents be vigilant. Paroled sex offenders are known quantities, but those persons most likely to harm your children are known to your child.

                    In the end, the presence of a paroled offender in any given parish itself is a statistical anomaly and who could have possibly predicted Robert A. Mitchell’s background and who, at a parish level, would have thought to run a background check? Now everyone will. And Ms. Sakoda, for the record, when you say, “By that point in time, Mitchell had **already reoffended.**” you do so not having the faintest idea when or what that means. I can tell he was never arrested or charged with anything. Leave the disturbing of the water of the pool to the angel. It is a sad day for our fallen humanity for everyone involved.

                • Disgusted With It says

                  M Stankovich,

                  Wouldn’t archbishop Nathaniel have done what the OCA Sexual Misconduct Office/Policies told him to do? I would think he was following their procedures.

                  • M. Stankovich says

                    The specific policy and procedures regarding registered sexual offenders in the OCA were written and implemented following this situation. The policy amendments are available on the OCA website.

                    I want to be clear that I am not defending Robert A. Mitchell the Tier 3 sexual offender, as I have never met nor examined the man. I am objecting to the unsupportable contention that all sexual offenders are equally dangerous; that we cannot reasonably and accurately predict re-offense; and promoting the fact that the longer they remain in the community without re-offending, the less likely they are to ever re-offend. I am most concerned that we set precedent by raising “gut feelings & intuition” to the level of validated research.

              • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

                Hundreds Contact FBI About Pedophile Teacher

                “Although Vahey, then 20, pleaded guilty in 1969 to a single charge of lewd and lascivious behavior, after admitting to pinching the penises of eight young boys at a California high school where he taught swimming, it didn’t keep him from embarking on a series of teaching jobs that put him in close contact with children.”

                “Doll confronted Vahey, who told her, according to an FBI affidavit, that he had given the boys sleeping pills, adding: ‘I was molested as a boy, that is why I do this. I have been doing this my whole life.'”

      • If it were Metropolitan Jonah instead of Archbishop Nathaniel having to deal with this, I am almost 100% sure your P.O.V about this would be the opposite of what it is now, Doctor Stankovich.

        • George Michalopulos says

          If it were Metropolitan Jonah, Stokoe and his ilk would resurrect OCANews and the screaming would be deafening.

        • M. Stankovich says


          I don’t know what you do for a living, but I deal with predators, victims, and the data necessary to keep the two entities separated. I’ve had victim patients as young as 4 and as old as 17. I once was conducting a family therapy session where two of the four children had been sexually abused by their natural father, when the police entered the room and arrested the step-father for currently molesting one of the same children. I’ve also sat face-to-face with nearly 450 convicted child predators, easily 50% psychopaths who loved recounting their “conquests” of child victims. Now, amidst all of this atmosphere of generated human suffering that arises whenever these issue are brought to my attention, you honestly imagine the variable “Jonah Paufhausen” would enter into my “clinical” POV? I am almost 100% sure you need to mind your own business.

          • No Scripture quotations or religious platitudes this time? Damn, how disappointing.

  6. Tom Kanelos says

    Your headline is inflammatory at the very least. You base this on what you have “heard”. Sounds like little more than gossip. And it inflames more gossip from folks who don’t know either but like to deal in innuendo and rumor. Why don’t you wait until the facts are in?

    • George Farsalas says

      That sounds too much like right.

    • Stacy Sennott says

      I am a member at the Milwaukee Parish. At the most recent Parish Assembly, the Council (which Bishop Demetrios did not ratify for 2014 although we were up-to-date on our assessment before the New Year, and STILL will not ratify), stated that the DA communicated the intention to move forward with criminal charges. There you have it. You can choose to believe this was communicated by the DA, or you can choose to be in denial. If you have further questions as to the validity of the DA’s intent, please contact the DA directly with your questions, as the Council suggested to parishioners. Why doesn’t the Metropolis ratify our Parish Council, when they are in good standing? Why have punitive actions been imposed on lay leaders because they have followed the law and refused to participate in covering-up potential criminal conduct? In my opinion, the same reason the attorney for the Metropolis was quoted in the Milwaukee Sentinel saying he “found funds were not used improperly, according to an Aug. 7 letter sent to the Parish Council.”

      This my friends is the truth, whether you want to see it as such or choose to be in denial. Question the ratification facts? Go the parish website to see for yourself that the 2014 Council has not been posted, since it still is not ratified.

      Common sense would dictate that the Council probably has reported the undeserved denial of ratification to the Archdiocese and EP by now. But as John Pappas suggested, they will protect their own at any cost…thus the Parish Council still has yet to be ratified almost halfway through 2014. God forbid the Church support upholding the law, even if their own clergy and heirarchs are implicated. smh

      • Stacy Sennott says

        PS – I encourage Philip Demos to please provide his insight as to why he has not ratified the 2014 Annunciation Parish Council in Milwaukee.

      • George Michalopulos says

        I stand corrected. Still, I read somewhere that English has more irregular verbs than any other language on earth.

        • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

          George, no respectable authority on language would ever say such a thing. Even the concept “irregular” verb, is only applicable within a portion of the world’s languages. Some languages have no ‘verbs” at all.

          One of the western Native American languages, by the way, speaks of the past as being before us and the future behind us, since we can PERCEIVE the past, it must be within our field of vision; since we cannot perceive the future, it must be hiding behind us and creeping up on us.

          English has no more strong and/or irregular verbs than any other Germanic language, especially standard German and the Upper (or ‘high) German dialects. English today, like Persian, is mostly a matter of word order, not inflection. In this it differs from modern standard German.

          • One respected commentator observed: “One of the western Native American languages speaks of the past as being before us and the future behind us, since we can PERCEIVE the past, it must be within our field of vision; since we cannot perceive the future, it must be hiding behind us and creeping up on us.”


            So that’s why western Native Americans are not more influential on the international political stage. If Babylon is to ever be rebuilt we must decide on a global language… and soon!

    • Savas announced his suspension but after that..not a peep. And actually John, I knew the former Fr. Nicholas personally. He did not have a reputation as being anything other than a good priest/monk. I mean yeah it was obvious he was gay but so what? This all came out of left field, believe me.

    • Sad Greek says

      And then after Dokos is found innocent, maybe he can help OJ find the “real killer” of his ex-wife.

    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

      Yes, Tom “This just in'”makes one think of “Breaking news…..” Remember that one?

  7. Michael Bauman says

    M. Stankovich, my private e-mail with Fr. Morelli concerning an offending father against his own children echoed what he said in the article. His conclusions are based on his own pastoral and clinical practice and the results of others he has studied.

    Risk assessment statistics concerning people’s motive, inclinations and behaviors are unreliable for appropriately pricing insurance. Companies rely heavily on the experienced observation of the agents who meet with a particular client to adequately assess the risk and the judgement of the underwriters assessing each case.

    Statistics can be helpful but are not really all that authoritative when it comes to a particular risk. Even less when it comes to behavior after a covered loss.

    It is not a statistical problem. It is a human problem which Fr. Morelli’s experience addresses in a more complete and real manner.

  8. M. Stankovich says

    Michael Bauman,

    As I previously noted, this is not the appropriate venue to continue this extraordinarily complex matter of the psychiatric, spiritual, corrections & legal, and church & community affected issues related to sex offenders and sexual abuse. I would be happy to publish the thoughts of any guest essayist on my site who are willing to agree with a single stipulation: Given that the abilities to self-correct upon criticism and subject one’s claims to the risk of refutation are essential, you must be open to both. Anyone presenting an essay may not remain anonymous, but anyone who wishes to reply may remain anonymous but must register with a verifiable email address. If you fake it, that’s your business.

    I would suggest to you that it is impossible for Fr. Moretti in his lifetime to ever gather even what is referred to as a “strategic endpoint” – if I may oversimplify, an “approximation” point in data that generalizes what you eventually expect to find – for him to draw the conclusions or claim the authority you are giving him. In 2014, there are nearly 76,000 registered sex offenders living in the community in CA, and the last data available showed they re-offend and are returned to prison for a new sex crime at a rate of 1.9% per year. And I would emphasize to you that comparing clinical and statistical evaluation with the work of an Orthodox priest (who also happens to a psychologist) is an unfair and even – judging by your tone, “a more complete and real manner” – insulting. You quote Fr. Moretti as saying, “Healing of the abuser requires psychological and spiritual acceptance of responsibility for the abuse and recognition of the consequences of the abuse,” and I would suggest to you that no offender will complete the in-patient prison treatment phase without some beginning in this process, however shallow & superficial the beginning might be. You would do well to investigate the content of forensic treatment programs.

    I have never met Fr. Moretti. I have only heard praise for Fr. Moretti from people I trust. But if holds to his opinion in this matter as you present it, Michael, he is wrong.

    • Michael Bauman says

      My only point, Michael, is that because it is extrodinarily complex and difficult , statistics provide only an outline of the problem and very little specific guidance as to how to proceed.

      Ancedotally, there was only one psychologist in my county who would even attempt reintegration therapy for child sexual abusers and she would only do so if the abuser admitted fully their abuse as a prerequisite.

      That verifies what Fr. Morelli says.

      The people I know who have been abused have enough trouble healing when the abuser is not around.

      In the case I know the most about, the abused family wanted to move thousands of mikes away simply because the abuser was in town and kept trying to insert himself in their lives.

      Technically Fr. Morelli may be wrong. Practically and humanly, it just makes sense if only to protect the abuser from assault.

  9. Tom KAnelos says

    The problem is, there is no “found innocent”. As I understand it, along those lines (being innocent) there are at least two possibilities. One is that the legal authorities will decide that there is nothing to prosecute. Another is that they could prosecute and find Father not guilty. Either way, many of you have decided that he is guilty and his name will have been dragged through the mud while many of you will make excuses for his exoneration and in doing so imply that he is really guilty but for some reason he was not convicted.

    This is the problem with these kind of sites which encourage gossip and use words like “…turn himself in”, you don’t want the truth, you want what you BELIEVE the truth is. What you have already decided in your minds to be true. Of course this does not apply to those who have counseled waiting to see what happens before condemning the man.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Personally, I hope that nothing happens to Fr Dokos. It’s even possible that what he did was not technically illegal. However ethically, the giving of funds to bishops reeks too much of simony. If nothing else comes from this but the end to this wretched practice, that would be a good thing.

      • Tom KAnelos says

        George, if your concern was just what is truth, you would not post inflammatory headlines. BTW, what “charges” has Fr. Dokos faced? I think you are doing this to stir up gossip. At least, you don’t hide behind fake name, and I will commend you for that.

        Let me also say, as Fr. Washburn says, why is a check to a hierarch “simony”. Do you know what was the ultimate use of the funds? When I got married many years ago, there was a bishop at my wedding. We sent him a thank you and an honorarium. The check came back, ultimately, endorsed to St. Basil’s Academy.

        The gossips on this site and elsewhere must look at themselves in the mirror and search for honesty. Neither you nor anyone else knows how the funds were used. Let the legal system do it’s work and stop convicting people based upon your own opinions.

  10. Fr. George Washburn says


    Please show us where in the Bible or Holy Tradition the weight of authority teaches what you just asserted, that it automatically “reeks too much of simony” when an Orthodox bishop is given money by a priest.


    Fr. George