Greek Orthodox Stewards of America - April 6, 1999
Parish Council of St. Nicholas,
the largest Greek Orthodox Church in the Western Hemisphere,
supports the Archdiocese, Archbishop Spyridon and Father Passias
Greek Orthodox Shrine Church of St. Nicholas
196-10 Northern Road, Flushing, New York 11358
March 16, 1999
In light of the recent accusations being leveled against the Archdiocese, His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon, and Protopresbyter George Passias, Archdiocesan Chancellor, and the attempt to denigrate our beloved parish, the largest in the Western Hemisphere, we the St. Nicholas Parish Council of Flushing, N.Y., unanimously resolve to support the canonical order of our Holy Archdiocese of America, His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon, and Chancellor Protopresbyter George Passias. Contrary to recent pejorative remarks that St. Nicholas is primarily an "immigrant" parish, the parish in reality consists of a healthy cross-section of Greek Orthodox Americans. The parish consists of many who are highly educated and accomplished in all fields, as well as many converts. We are indeed proud to hail the achievements and sacrifices of our immigrant parents from whom we descended, but Flushing is not limited to strictly immigrants.
Our parish, furthermore, is deeply saddened and angered to behold the distorted and vicious attacks against the person of our beloved former pastor, Fr. George Passias. We consider these actions an attack on our entire parish community. Under the brilliant pastorate of Father George, the parish of St. Nicholas flourished to the unparalleled quality of ministry and numbers that we enjoy today. Father George's sterling nineteen-year ministry is respected for its unquestionable honesty. He sacrificed to build the spiritual lives of young and old. Our youth, which numbers in the thousands, are scandalized to hear of the unjustified distortion of their spiritual father's ethics and morals, which has been falsely devised to further the personal agenda of a few individuals. Thousands of parishioners who received wise counsel and support during personal times of need, know first-hand the solid Christian character of their spiritual father. Indeed, those who have worked closely with Father George in up-building the parish, are not going to allow these malintentioned persons to disparage and destroy the integrity and sacredness of such a meaningful ministry, nor to distort the image of our St. Nicholas Parish. This cowardly act is symptomatic of a larger effort to discredit the reputations of many individuals and to upset the proper operations of parishes within the Archdiocese.
We, the Parish Council of St. Nicholas, Flushing, N.Y., express our fervent desire for peace and unity in our Holy Archdiocese. We invite all Greek Orthodox parishes of the Archdiocese to join with us and to call for the end of all destructive and divisive actions and to express their desire for the return of harmony and cooperation for the glory of God and for the sake of our Holy Faith.
Protopresb. Paul C. Palesty, Pastor
Alex Pritsos, First Vice Pres.
Haeda Mihaltses, Secretary
Andrew Tsiolas, Asst. Treasurer
Christos Tsiatis, Parish Council Pres.
Emmanuel Kratsios, Second Vice-Pres.
Mike Metaxas, Treasurer
Note from Stewards' Website Editor: Other parishes should follow the lead of the St. Nicholas parish council. It is to be commended for its courage and leadership.
[ Greek Orthodox Stewards of America
April 6, 1999 ]