Archdiocese Statement on Case of Orphaned Children
Jan 12, 2010
NEW YORK – In recent days, misleading statements distributed in the press on the case of two orphaned children in the Democratic Republic of Congo, whose relatives in the United States approached the Saint Basil Academy for assistance, require that the Archdiocese of America set forth the following factual information.
In June of 2009 Saint Basil Academy in Garrison New York, received an inquiry as to whether the institution could be of assistance in bringing these two children to the United States and accept them into the Academy family. The relatives of the two children were advised that under present US immigration law, the Academy, as a residential facility and no longer a school, could not legally sponsor the children to come to the United States. The family was also advised to consider options only available to them that would allow the children to enter the U.S. Under those circumstances, the Academy would be able to provide interim accommodations with a view to a more permanent placement once permanent guardianship status by the U.S. relatives had been established.
Saint Basil Academy never refused to accept the children and has been in communication with the family over the past seven months. There was never any question of financial resources in accepting the children. The Academy has been informed by the family that they are currently working toward securing guardianship of the children in order for them to be placed at Saint Basil. Both the Archdiocese and the Academy look forward to receiving Kostakis and Demetris as soon as possible.
To portray the Archdiocese of America, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, or Saint Basil Academy as being anything but willing and eager to assist this family is irresponsible and reprehensible. It is a shame and shameful that anyone would exploit the tragedy of any child, especially ones orphaned of a parent, through exaggeration, misstatement and accusation.
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Tel.: (212) 570-3530