Category: Christ of the Hills Monastery

Sad or sinister? Trouble not new for monastery

Self-styled monks face new charges after child-sex cases in ’99 BLANCO, Texas – Christ of the Hills Monastery is empty now. The hum of insects and an insistent wind are the only sound. The black-robed monks with their long beards and heavy Byzantine crosses vanished almost overnight, leaving unwashed dishes on the table and their sandals lined up neatly inside the onion-domed chapel. Gone too are the busloads of tourists and spiritual seekers who trekked to this isolated hilltop for a glimpse of the “miraculous” weeping icon of the Virgin Mary. “It’s just really sad what’s happened here,” said Tom

State trying to seize Christ of the Hills Monastery property

BLANCO — The state is trying to seize Christ of the Hills Monastery, claiming in court filings that the religious enclave is “contraband” because it was used in the commission of money laundering, theft, fraud and child molestation offenses. A notice of seizure was filed Wednesday on the 105-acre parcel outside Blanco that’s owned by Ecumenical Monks Inc. The founder and spiritual leader of the monastery, Samuel A. Greene Jr., took issue Thursday with it being called contraband, saying, “I don’t believe it is.” A nonprofit formed in 1972, Ecumenical Monks Inc. lists its president as William E. Hughes, also

Groundskeeper At Monastery Tells Story Of Betrayal

(CBS 42) BLANCO COUNTY — There are new allegations swirling around an already troubled Hill Country monastery. The man who’s looking after the grounds at Christ of the Hills Monastery in Blanco County spoke exclusively with CBS 42. The focus of the conversation was how his faith and trust in the monks he once defended is now broken. The incident has to do with the weeping icon–something the monastery has been known for since it first reportedly wept tears back in the mid 80’s. For more than a decade the monks have claimed the weeping icon was a miracle of

Monks Plead Not Guilty to Sex Charges

JOHNSON CITY, Texas Jul 31, 2006 (AP)— Four monks pleaded not guilty to charges alleging a boy was sexually assaulted at a Texas monastery that draws thousands of visitors every year, officials said Monday. Authorities raided the Christ of the Hills Monastery last week in search of “instruments of child abuse,” Blanco County District Attorney Sam Oatman said. The four monks, plus another serving a 10-year prison sentence for indecency with a minor, were charged after a young man claimed he had been assaulted at the monastery beginning in 1993, when he was a teenager. Oatman said another accuser has

New sex allegations against Christ of the Hills Monastery

Christ of the Hills has been the focus of numerous sexual assault claims. The founder of Christ of the Hills Monastery in Blanco County and three other monks were arrested Tuesday on charges of sexual assault of a child and organized crime, according to the Blanco County sheriff’s office. A fifth monk, imprisoned in Beaumont on a previous sexual assault conviction, also was charged in the case Tuesday. William Edward Hughes, 55, known as Father Vasilli; Walter Paul Christley, 44, known as Father Pangratios; and Hugh Brian Fallon, 40, known as Father Tihkon; were arrested at the church in the

Police raid Central Texas monastery

Law enforcement officials raided a hilltop monastery near Blanco in Central Texas on Tuesday morning after getting indictments accusing five monks of sexually assaulting a boy there about 13 years ago, officials said. The Blanco County Sheriff’s Office and federal investigators continued to search Tuesday evening, KXAN television station in Austin reported. Samuel A. Greene Jr., the 61-year-old founder of the Christ of the Hills Monastery, was among those charged with sexual assault of a child and engaging in organized crime relating to the assault, Blanco County Sheriff Bill Elsbury said. Greene, who also faces one count of sexual performance