July 22, 2020
With allegations of sexual misconduct recently coming to light, we recall the words of St. Paul saying, “If one member suffers, all suffer together with it.” (1 Corinthians 12:26). We condemn the cruelty of any and all sexual misconduct. The betrayal of trust and abuse of authority by any member of the clergy or servant within our churches is, without exception, unacceptable and abhorrent to the teachings of our Christian faith. We bitterly regret any harm inflicted on our daughters, sons, or their families.
The Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese in New Jersey and the Diocese of New York and New England (“Archdiocese and Diocese”) will not tolerate sexual misconduct of any kind, including sexual abuse of minors by any of our clergy, employees or servants. If anyone is aware of any suspected incident of sexual abuse of a minor by any such person, we urge you to immediately report to law enforcement and also to your Regional Vicar, whose contact information may be accessed through your parish priest.
We pledge our best efforts to prevent any such conduct, to immediately report allegations of such conduct to law enforcement, to promptly investigate such allegations, and to take appropriate action.
To honor this pledge, the Archdiocese and Diocese will continue to act in accordance with our Sexual Misconduct Policies. We urge all our clergy, employees and servants to review and comply with those Policies. We also urge them to thoughtfully apply our Guidelines on Interactions with Children and Young People. These Guidelines offer direction on how best to interact with children. We are bound by the words of Christ Himself who said, “Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 18:10).
Our Policies and Guidelines have been distributed to our clergy and will be made available online to our employees and our servants who interact regularly with minors.
To those who have suffered, we hear you. We stand by you. We pray for you in the words of Psalms 147:3, for the Lord “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” May the Helper, the Holy Spirit through the Church, the Bride of Christ, provide comfort to those afflicted and provide healing and restoration to us all.
Special Joint Statement on Celebration of the Holy Week of Pascha and the Glorious Feast of the Resurrection for the Year 2020
"But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed" Isaiah 53:5
Dear beloved congregations of the churches of the Archdiocese of North America in New Jersey and the Diocese of New York & New England,
Grace and peace from our Lord Jesus Christ to each and every one of you. We continue to pray for your safety and well-being and for the steadfastness of your faith during this difficult time.
In our continuing efforts to assess the unfolding circumstances of these unprecedented times, and after more than 30 collective hours, including joint clergy deliberations and consultations with medical and legal professionals, His Grace Bishop David, in unison with all the Fathers of the Archdiocese and Diocese of New York and New England, hereby states the following.
Being mindful that:
− The number of those infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19) is increasing day by day according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other official sources;
− The next few weeks are the most critical, as the number of those contracting infections is expected to reach peak levels according to medical experts;
− The virus is mostly transmitted by person to person contact, especially when in crowded areas and in close proximity to each other. As your spiritual fathers, our spiritual and moral responsibilities dictate that we must exercise caution for your well-being, and to avoid the further transmission of this virus;
− Federal guidelines, as well as many state and local laws, mandate the cancelation of any and all.....