July 23, 2020, Statement of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Ottawa, Montreal, And Eastern Canada on Sexual Misconduct
Eastern Canada Coptic Diocese Denounce Evil Acts
We strongly condemn all such evil acts and we stand with those who have suffered them and will not tolerate such behavior in our Church communities. Bishop Boulos
Our Lord Jesus Christ has taught us that in this world we will face troublesome times that are filled with evil. The Lord also emphasized that far be it from us that we should be the cause of such evil: “Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!” (Matt 18:7) As all are aware, recently there have been allegations of pedophilia, sexual abuse, and other forms of sexual and ethical misconduct at the hands of clergy and laity alike. As the church, we are called to be the incarnational manifestation of the Lord Jesus Christ in the world. Thus, we must speak the truth and denounce such evil and horrendous acts. We strongly condemn all such acts and we stand with those who have suffered them and will not tolerate such behavior in our Church communities. As the Church, we commit ourselves to speak up on such atrocities and to have a zero-tolerance approach for the safety of all our people. And while we cannot guarantee perfection, we stand before God Almighty and desire to do our very best to eradicate such evils. We reject and will not tolerate any form of sexual misconduct and/or abuse – of all forms – towards any of our children regardless of age or gender. We advise all parishioners to report any instances to the legal authorities if and when a crime has been committed, as well as report these cases to the Church for ecclesial investigation and pastoral intervention.
For those who have suffered such evil acts, we stand with you and will fight for you. Speak up, please. Bishop Boulos
For those who have suffered such evils, we stand with you and will fight for you. Speak up, please. For those who have committed such atrocities, come forward, repent, and accept the consequences of your actions. End the cycle and end the suffering. May the Lord have mercy on you and all of us. For all parents, sit with your children and teach them their value and the importance of boundaries. Empower them. Teach them to come to you with their fears and concerns. We must allow them to have a voice.
While news of such evil acts may disturb us, our trust is in the Lord. Bishop Boulos
For all our children, you are our pride and our hope. We vow to protect you and to raise you in the best and safest environment we can possibly provide. For all our brothers and sisters in Christ, do not despair. While news of such evils may disturb us, our trust is in the Lord. We say with the Psalmist “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1) If we all commit ourselves to prayer and to repentance, our church will grow stronger and the Lord will work with us to expel all evil from our hearts, our homes, and our communities. Come now Lord Jesus, save us and have mercy on us. In Christ, Bishop Boulos
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