Church's Insurer Settles Blanco Monastery Abuse Claim

Associated Press, carried in Houston Chronicle
December 14, 2006

Blanco, Texas — The insurance company for the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia has settled a claim by a man who says he was abused as a teenager by monks at a monastery here.

The settlement agreement, which included a monetary payment, was finalized on Wednesday, church attorney Lin Hughes said today. She declined to disclose how much James Wright Jr. received.

Wright sued the church, which is no longer associated with the Christ of the Hills monastery, along with San Antonio-businessman-turned-monk Samuel Greene Jr. for abuse. Two other monks and a nonprofit founded by Greene also were named in the lawsuit.

Wright said he was sexually abused about a decade ago at the Christ of the Hills monastery after being sent there as a teenager for "acting out."

Calls by the Associated Press to attorneys for Wright and Greene this evening were not immediately returned.

The monastery was allied with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia from 1991 to 1999, but the church broke ties with the monastery when allegations of indecency by Greene with an 11-year-old novice monk studying at the monastery surfaced. Greene pleaded guilty in 2000 to indecency and was sentenced to 10 years probation.

Greene was arrested again in July on charges of sexual assault of a child. He has maintained his innocence, but authorities raided the monastery looking for evidence in the case over the summer. They seized a Mary and Jesus icon said to cry tears of myrrh — a draw for thousands of visitors.

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