Say it Loudly: OXI - February 3, 2020

The Continued Saga of Misdirection…

Dennis Mehiel and Michael Psaros, Chairman and Vice Chairman of Friends of St. Nicholas, have lost a lot of credibility with the omogenia, despite what Mr. Theodore Kalmoukos wants his readers to believe.

If the faithful need an example of how the devil works in the Church, simply take a moment and read the latest GOA lip-service publications and op-eds released through The National Herald.

In a recent exclusive interview with Theodore Kalmoukos, Archons Dennis Mehiel and Michael Psaros (the same person who resigned as Treasurer of the Archdiocesan Council because he couldn’t handle the job) went on the record saying, “The answer is there were no financial irregularities, no fraud, theft or malfeasance in respect to St. Nicholas. Period. The subject matter is closed.”

Sigh! The subject matter will never be closed. The same people who got us into this mess are once again trying to say don’t pay attention to our past mistakes.

In May 2018, it was reported that the G.O. Archdiocese “borrowed” $3.5 million in RESTRICTED FUNDS designated for the construction of the Saint Nicholas Shrine and that the Archdiocese was paying the Shrine back “with interest.” Another announcement was later made by the GOA that they completed paying back all the funds owed to the Saint Nicholas Shrine with interest.

The Archdiocese was quick to point out in their special investigation that there “is no evidence that St. Nicholas funds were improperly paid to any individuals employed by or associated with the Archdiocese.” That does not negate the fact that funds were misused. And how many of these Archons currently overseeing the Shrine Project were on the Archdiocesan Council while these funds were being misused? Most of them?

The Archons have lost a lot of credibility. They have taken the soul from the Church in order to make themselves look important.

What we really learn from the latest interview is that the Archons have lost respect for the Ecumenical Patriarch. We have Archons publicly stating that the Ecumenical Patriarchate messed up by waiting too long to remove Archbishop Demetrios, the former of America. In the interview, Mehiel and Psaros were quoted saying, “The enthronement of His Eminence, Archbishop Elpidophoros was the catalyst required to complete the National Shrine.”

This means that if the Ecumenical Patriarchate did not wait so long then this mess may not have been so destructive to the Archdiocese.

However, they continued saying, “[Archbishop Elpidophoros] has restored the omogenia’s confidence in the Archdiocese, made very substantial changes in its leadership, and is driving a very clear vision for the Orthodox Church in America in the 21st Century. He is a man of action, not talk.”

Mehiel and Psaros are generalizing. The omogenia outside of New York are losing significant confidence in the Archbishop and the Archdiocese. We notice all these expensive and unnecessary flights across the country for the Archbishop, his deacons, and Father Alex Karloutsos (i.e. to California, Hawaii, Bahamas, Arizona Florida, Chicago), and are wondering where this was listed in the budget. Instead of taking action to cut back on expenditures the Archbishop is wasting more money that we do not have.

Instead of taking action to restore our Archdiocese’s focus on ministry to Christ’s people, we have focused on the superficial items that are meaningless in God’s Kingdom.

The omogenia have noticed how we are moving backwards. Take for example how the GOA parishes participated in a survey last year and overwhelming told the Archdiocese that no more investment should be made towards Greek Education. And what does Archbishop Elpidophoros do? He chooses to ignore the omogenia and use our limited resources to increase support towards a ministry the parishes do not want.

If there is so much confidence in the direction of the Archdiocese, why are the Metropolitans of the Eparchial Synod unwilling to support any of the endeavors of Elpidophoros? We have not seen one Metropolitan instruct their parishes to support the Saint Nicholas Shrine.

The reality that Mehiel and Psaros do not understand is that Archbishop Elpidophoros has no friends outside of New York, and the Saint Nicholas Shrine project is not going to get any support outside of New York.

The other Metropolitans have no way to justify this project to their parishes. They have parishes that are struggling to keep their doors open. Of course, rich New Yorkers fail to acknowledge this perspective.

Archbishop Elpidophoros has alienated many of the Metropolitans and is even refusing to work together with them. The Archbishop is making unilateral decisions without the consultation of the other Metropolitans.

And what will be the consequences to this dictator-like behavior? The next Clergy-Laity Congress in Cleveland will be worst than Boston. The laity will see how the budget is being increased but no resources are being made available to them to complete ministry projects. The laity will see that no efforts were made to cut back on departments that offer little value to our parish ministries. And why? | Because the Archbishop is trying to boost his reputation and ego instead of listening to his brother hierarchs. Archbishop Elpidophoros is another outsider who does not understand America and His Eminence needs to stop taking instructions from Father Alex Karloutsos, otherwise he may have a tenure shorter than Archbishop Spyridon.

[ Say it Loudly: OXI
   February 3, 2020 ]