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DIOCESE OF PITTSBURGH

December 2, 1997

George Kappos and Andrew Kartalis
c/o Fr. Stephen Callos
Sts. Constantine and Helen Cathedral
3352 Mayfield Road
Cleveland Heights, OH 44118


Dear brothers and spiritual children in Christ.

I never had a chance to reply to your letter sent "Urbi et Orbi" by you, and published in the Greek newspapers at the end of this past September. I hereby express my paternal disappointment at your choosing to believe the false information of the newspapers against the responsible information which I and the Office of the Archbishop shared with you prior to your sending your letter.

If I can summarize your points in your letter, you basically have three complaints: that the administration of our Archdiocese covered up the "sexual scandal" at the Seminary; that the Archdiocesan Charter was secretly revised without lay participation; and that the unity of the Archdiocese has been broken by the Ecumenical Patriarchate; and this again, without lay input.

I had already responded to all these FALSE accusations; but you chose to believe the newspapers which consistently disinformed you regarding all three items listed above. Let me once more set the record straight for present and future reference since, according to information which comes to me, you are, or you will be participating in OCL meetings which, unfortunately, seem to thrive on disinformation.

1) Regarding the "sexual scandal cover-up," I had given a written statement telling you of my personal conviction that there was not such a thing, in spite of what some people thought because of the proximity of the dismissal of three faculty members and their action as members of the school disciplinary committee. As the investigation of the Legal Committee has proven, the disciplinary committee acted in good faith; but also the archdiocesan administration acted in good faith, without connection between the "firings" of the professors and the role they played in the disciplinary committee.

2) Regarding the "secretive" revision of the Archdiocesan charter without lay participation, you were told by me that this is untrue. The Archdiocese started a process of revising the charter, which process includes lay participation. One of the sub-committee members is a layman, namely Dr. Lewis Patsavos. The revision will happen through proper channels, that is at the Clergy-Laity Congress. Our laymen will not be left out; to the contrary, they will be full participants, as always. Please read the recent statement which was issued by the Archbishop's Office, under the signature of Fr. John Heropoulos.

3) Finally, regarding the unity of the Archdiocese, there never was a threat against this unity, as some people thought. The letter of the bishops to the Patriarchate was misrepresented by the Greek newspapers, which got hold of a draft of this letter, and published it as it were the final text, thus disinforming you. The scandalous sentence which irritated many of you, is not in the final text of the letter. This sentence was advocating the right of the Patriarchate to correct some of the mistakes of the present charter without going through the Clergy-Laity Congress. Out of concern for our lay people, this sentence was finally eliminated in the final text of the letter to the Patriarchate.

Also, the "metropolitanates" proposed in the letter were not those of the Canadian, Latin American, and Central American model. Only the name of the diocese was supposed to change, and not the actual administrative structure of the Archdiocese, thus preserving the unity of the Archdiocese.

The present ad personam elevation of the five Archdiocesan bishops to the status of active Metropolitans of the Ecumenical Throne does not break the Archdiocesan unity, either; for the Archdiocese remains structurally, administratively and financially only one. Please also read the recent statement of the Archdiocesan Office, mentioned above.

I am writing these things to you, because, as I am told, you will be speaking to an OCL meeting in San Francisco soon. Please, make certain that you correct the disinformation which is spread around, especially by OCL people. A copy of this letter will be given to Dr. Collis, as he is also a speaker at the San Francisco OCL meeting. Please remember: freedom of speech is a right; deliberate disinformation is not a right, but a grave disservice to all.

Thanking you for your attention, and wishing you a blessed Christmas, I remain, with paternal disappointment,

METROPOLITAN MAXIMOS
DIOCESE OF PITTSBURGH

cc: Dr. John Collis
Fr. John Heropoulos
His Eminence Metropolitan Anthony, Diocese of San Francisco

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