French Orthodox Church opens inquiry into child abuse

Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) [Hong Kong]

September 17, 2022

By Agence France Presse

The announcement came after a reported claim by three brothers of repeated rape as children in a monastery over 30 years ago

The head of France’s Orthodox Church on Friday announced an internal investigation into alleged child abuse at a monastery in the southern Herault region more than 30 years ago.

The announcement came after Liberation newspaper reported the account of three brothers who said they had been repeatedly raped there as children.

They said two members of the of the Orthodox monastery of Saint-Nicolas-de-la-Dalmerie in the late 1970s had abused them, starting when they were 8, 10 and 12 years old respectively.

“Reading this article and the information it contains, their statement is well-founded,” said Metropolitan Dimitrios, head of the Orthodox Church in France.

In a statement he promised to “seek and establish the truth.

“The authors of these acts are now dead and the unspeakable acts they committed” happened too long ago to be prosecuted in the French courts, he added.

“That is why we are committed to conducting an open and transparent investigation into this monastery, its past and its present.”

He would be “attentive to any new case that might emerge in this or any other context”, he added, would cooperate with the authorities and, it they wanted it, meet with the victims.

AFP could not reach the monastery for comment on Friday.