Insurer for Orthodox Church in Texas Settles Abuse Claim

December 18, 2006

The insurance company for the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia has settled a claim by a man who says he was abused as a teenager by monks at a monastery in Blanco, Texas.

The settlement agreement, which included a monetary payment, was finalized on Dec. 13, church attorney Lin Hughes said. She declined to disclose how much James Wright Jr. received.

Wright sued the church, which is no longer associated with the Christ of the Hills monastery, along with San Antonio-businessman-turned-monk Samuel Greene Jr. for abuse. Two other monks and a nonprofit founded by Greene were also named in
the lawsuit.

Wright said he was sexually abused about a decade ago at the Christ of the Hills monastery after being sent there as a teenager for “acting out.”

Calls by The Associated Press to attorneys for Wright and Greene on the evening of Dec. 14 were not immediately returned.

The monastery was allied with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia from 1991 to 1999, but the church broke ties with the monastery when allegations of indecency by Greene with an 11-year-old novice monk studying at the monastery surfaced. Greene pleaded guilty in 2000 to indecency and was sentenced to 10 years probation.

Greene was arrested again in July on charges of sexual assault of a child. He has maintained his innocence, but authorities raided the monastery looking for evidence in the case over the summer. They seized a Mary and Jesus icon said to cry tears of myrrh – a draw for thousands of visitors.

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