Greek Orthodox Stewards of America - June 15, 1999

     Opinion Forum

Alexandra Tsiatis Writes About National Herald's Inaccurate Reporting

To the Editor of the National Herald:

The article, "Discussion about the Church in Boston," written by Mr. Kalmoukos, that appeared in the National Herald May 29/30, 1999, contained several inaccuracies and omissions from the "Open Forum" that took place on May 27, 1999, in Dedham, MA.

He inaccurately stated that a group from Flushing was sent by the Archbishop. This is absolutely false. This Open Forum was advertised on the Internet website of Voithia that said "All Welcome." I came of my own free will in response to this invitation. No one sent me.

He inaccurately reported that "I was reading from a prepared text" implying that I had prepared this in advance. He did not interview me to make such a statement. Had he done so, I would have gladly shown him my notes taken during the two hour long lecture. As I spoke, I referred to those notes.

His article omitted the remarks that prefaced my comments, namely, that it was unfair to discuss Holy Cross without the presence of Fr. Ganas, the current President of Holy Cross. I was outraged at the flagrant, unproven remarks made about the Theological school that night that demanded his presence to refute the allegations.

He was correct in saying that the room shook with disapproval. But not at my comments; rather about the facts I stated regarding Mr. Lelon's 10 year tenure as President of Holy Cross/Hellenic College. Apparently people were not aware that at the end of his tenure, the college was downsized, students had to transfer to alternate colleges because the curriculum for which they were enrolled no longer existed as such, and 21 full-time personnel (15 administrators and staff and six faculty) were dismissed. Yet this individual stood before approximately 150 people and severely criticized the current administration.

Another omission was the fact that, the meeting began as any other Orthodox meeting should, with a prayer. However, despite the fact that there were 5 priests in the room, Mr. Lelon, a lay person, said the prayer. Is this Orthodox? This is not the Orthodox way of opening a meeting and I dare say it is more Protestant in nature.

At the end of the presentation the moderator told us we could ask questions. The invitation on the Voithia website stated, "express your views." But this time they told the audience not if you're from St. Nicholas, Flushing. It was obvious to all that this Open Forum group is not interested in the truth but only in attacking anyone who disagrees with them; more like a kangaroo court than an "Open Forum." You omitted this particular detail also.

You also omitted the answer to the Agape fund accusations; an answer that pointed out that the letter former Finance Director, Mr. Jerry Dimitrou wrote commended St. Nicholas on its record keeping and exonerated St. Nicholas with regards to the Agape Fund.

Your article did not accurately account the events of the day due to these specific omissions. Based on the type of omissions you made it is obvious that your reporting is biased. You do not properly reflect the unbiased reporting that a Greek newspaper should. I was disappointed that the whole truth was missing. I have worked on a newspaper and am aware of the difficulties associated with reporting. In the very least you should print this response in its entirety.

Thank You,
Alexandra Tsiatis

cc: Greek Orthodox Stewards

[ Greek Orthodox Stewards of America
  June 15, 1999 ]