Greek Orthodox Stewards of America - July 22, 1999


An Open Letter to Mr. Theodore Kalmoukas of The National Herald

Dear Mr. Kalmoukas:

Your reporting of Church matters for the National Herald leaves much to be desired. To cut to the chase, the stories you write are biased and one-sided. You consistently take positions which are anti-Archdiocese and you kiss the feet of GOAL. We ask you why? Is it because GOAL places advertisements in the National Herald? Is it because GOAL advertises your newspaper on its website? Are you a member of GOAL?

I have been told that you have been the cantor at St. Anargyroi Church in Marlboro, Massachusetts for many years. I understand that this is the same church at which Father Emanuel Clapsis, one of the so-called "fired" priests from Hellenic College, ministers. Presumably, you personally know Father Clapsis and consider him to be a friend. In light of that fact, one must question whether you have the objectivity necessary to report accurately on Hellenic College and Archdiocese matters for the National Herald.

I also ask you why you unfairly pick on the Greek Orthodox Stewards. Is it because we support the Archdiocese and the Patriarchate? Is it because we refused to place advertisements in your newspaper?

I will give you one example of your propensity to pick. In a July 10-11 article you write:

A number of anonymous letters attacking Patriarch Bartholomaious in both Greek and English were distributed to parishes across the country in support of Archbishop Spyridon and the recently resigned chancellor Rev. George Passias.

The letter indirectly accused the Patriarch of accepting large amounts of money in order to remove Fr. Passias and Archbishop Spyridon. In the letters were included the fax numbers of several Athenian newspapers urging recipients to send letters to the editor in support of the Archbishop. The letters were also placed on advertisements in publications thought to be supportive of Spyridon as well as on the web page of the "Greek Orthodox Stewards" organization which was established a few months ago by an appointee of Archbishop Spyridon to the Board of Trustees of the Theological School.

The campaign was discontinued after the Patriarchate apparently expressed its displeasure in no uncertain terms, sources told the National Herald.

You make it sound like the Stewards was behind the letter and advertising campaign. It was not, and you know it. You conveniently failed to mention that GOAL posted the documents in question on its website well before the Stewards posted them. You also fail to state that the following editorial note appeared on the Stewards' website with the advertisement and letter in question:

Note from the Editor of the Stewards' Website: According to GOAL, the two documents reproduced below were anonymously faxed to parishes around the country. The Stewards obtained these documents from the VOITHIA website. GOAL apparently has interpreted these documents as alleging that it attempted to bribe the Patriarch (see June 23, 1999 GOAL press release). GOAL has denied this allegation. The faithful will have to decide where the truth lies.

Mr. Kolmoukas, you seem to think that because you have a pen you can control the fate of the Greek Orthodox Church. You cannot. What is motivating your criticism of the Archbishop? Is it because he wears a collar? Or is it just blind hatred? Even though you now praise former Archbishop Iakovos, it is well known that in the past you wrote articles that portrayed him in a negative light. Are you anti-clerical? I do not know about the rest of the Greek Orthodox faithful, but I am sick and tired of you, your reporting and your newspaper.

George Rockas
Editor of the Stewards' Website

cc: Hellenic Times

[ Greek Orthodox Stewards of America
  July 22, 1999 ]