A LETTER TO THE "CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION"
July 14, 1997
To the editor of the Chronicle of Higher Education:
As a student at the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of
Theology, I am very concerned with the way a story about the school was presented in your
July 11 issue. The lead paragraph, which sets the tone for the rest of the story, is
misleading because it asserts erroneous information. It states that the president and two
professors were dismissed for refusing to conceal an alleged case of sexual misconduct.
This contradicts the official position of the school, however.
"The school has recently made some changes in response to
well-documented and long-standing administrative instability which in no way relate to purported 'cover up' of a disciplinary case. These actions, taken by His
Eminence Archbishop Spyridon, were initiated as a result of a series of repeated requests
..." from faculty and students (see Holy Cross Press Release dated 7-10-97).
Furthermore, no one was fired. The people who claim they were
dismissed are priests. They were reassigned by the Archbishop who, as head of the
institution and the Church, has full authority to do so. The priests still work for the
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, which has unequivocal canonical jurisdiction over the
school. The now-former president, incidentally, has been slated to continue serving the
Church, at the school, as a professor of liturgics.
As to the incident alleging sexual harassment, there was no
"cover up". Everyone at the school knows that the reassigned priests were in
dispute with the accused students over other issues. And the facts, which were unfairly
not provided to the Chronicle, made the allegations worthless. Moreover, the
reassigned priests have no evidence to support their claim that the Archbishop's decision
to reassign them was based on a "cover up". They have no evidence supporting any
of their claims, in fact, and they have been reassigned for other reasons.
To well-informed members of the Holy Cross community, what was
actually a very minor incident has been blown way out of proportion, and the reassigned
priests are clearly distorting the facts in a deliberate effort to argue against the
Archbishop's decision to restructure the school. I have enclosed a copy of the school's
official press release pertaining to the above for your future reference. Thank you.
Evan C. Lambrou
156 Honness Lane - Ithaca, NY 14860
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