We want Charles Michael Abdelahad defrocked, returned to the laity, and barred from serving with the Antiochian Orthodox Church ever again.
The Very Revered Charles Michael Abdelahad, former priest and dean of St. George's Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral in Worcester, MA, has broken his vows as an Orthodox priest by physically abusing one of his parishioners. He should be deposed and returned to the laity so that he can never be in a position to hurt another parishioner ever again.
On May 25, 2012, the Very Rev. Michael Abdelahad was sentenced in a Worcester, MA, District Court to serve 90 days of a two-year prison sentence for a felony assault and battery with a deadly weapon: his shod foot. He was also found guilty of an assault and battery charge, given a three-year probation sentence for assault and battery: biting his victim. As of today, July 3, 2012, he is currently residing in the Worcester County House of Correction.
Rev. Edward Hughes, an Antiochian Priest of Lawrence, MA, has sent a letter making it clear that area clergy still hold Abdelahad in high esteem. (Rev. Hughes is Abdelahad's supervisor AND head of an Antiochian Women's group.) There has been no action taken by Metropolitian Saliba in disciplining Abdelahad, even though Abdelahad was arrested 1.5 years ago and was found guilty by a court of law.
Abdelahad should never be a priest again, because:
- He violently kicked his victim during counseling sessions causing injury and deformity to her body that will last a lifetime;
- He violently bit his victim all over her body, leaving deep wounds and scars that will last a lifetime;
- He is forbidden, by the terms of his probation, from ever entering into a mental health counseling relationship with anyone. He will be on probation until May 25, 2015. If he does any counseling outside of a spiritual nature, he will be forced by law to serve his entire two-year term.
- He abused this victim knowing that she suffered from several life-threatening disorders. He showed calous disregard for her health and welfare by counseling her in areas that he no experience or education, doing terrible harm to her mental and physical health.
- He repeatedly, over three years, used his position as her "spiritual father" to intimidate her and keep her under his control. He withheld sacrements like communion if she went against his will.
- He threatened her with ex-communication if she refused to destroy evidence in her possession that implicated him in crimes that he committed.
- He has a history at his parish of hate monger among the parishioners and other clergymen in his Cathedral.
Please sign this petition to support Abdelahad's victim and to tell Archbishop Saliba that priests who abuse their parishioners are not tolerated or accepted back into their churches.
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