The True Orthodox News - November 1999


"Money is the root of all evil." - 1 Timothy, 6:10

In some recent articles written by the new web site Orthodox News and the National Herald, Archbishop Spyridon is accused of leaving a financial mess. Allow me to enlighten you with the real facts and not these false ones that are circulating. At the Clergy-Laity Conference held in New York on June 26, 1999 the Chief Financial Officer of the Archdiocese George Chelpon gave his report. In that report the delegates and observers were informed that the deficit of the Archdiocese was now reduced to $200,000.00. Furthermore for at least four years prior to His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon's appointment the deficit was S 4 million dollars each year. The fact of the matter is that Archbishop Spyridon with his staff was able to reduce the deficit and would have had a positive cash flow of $500,000 if the so called attorney Simos Dimas didn't constantly cause the Archdiocese the expense of litigation fees. Nevertheless, my question to you is how can we have a deficit of over $2.5 million in one and a half months? Could this deficit be a figment of their imagination? Aren't they just spreading these lies in order to justify their actions in their minds?

Let's look a little deeper at the financial mess (the deficit) that Archbishop Spyridon found. The facts are more interesting than many of you can imagine. Do you all remember the retired Metropolitan Silas who lives in a home in Scarsdale? Well that home was owned by the Archdiocese prior to his retirement. During Iakovos' (former Archbishop) tenure and prior to the enthronement of Archbishop Spyridon the deed of this home was transferred. Metropolitan Silas' brother Demetrios and sister-in-law Claire Koskinas (one should never get on the wrong side of Claire because with her mouth you are dead meat.) accomplished this transfer of the home with the help of their personal friend Iakovos. Claire and her daughter Melina are now named as owners on the deed. Homes in Scarsdale are high in value and this home must have a least a value of $500,000 if not more. So now tell me besides the scandal of the Rye properties, how many of you knew of this underhanded transaction?

Actually this happened over three years ago, let's look at what is happening now, Little Bishop George went to Milos Restaurant on Friday, September 17th for a Pre-Enthronement Celebration with his daughters. Since his elevation to Bishop, he is enjoying the finer restaurants, which have increased the deficit in the Archdiocese. One should know that a meal at Milos for two people with a bottle of wine is approximately $300.00. What I want to know is who paid for the tab, the Archdiocese or George? From the day that Archbishop Spyridon resigned till now Little George and Alexander Leondis stay at an expensive hotel near the Archdiocese costing us $1000 each day per person. So if you multiply the $2000 a day for 39days it is a grand total of $78,000. Our illustrious Little Vicar also fired the director. Oops! I'm sorry this man doesn't fire employees of the Archdiocese; he makes their lives miserable and forces them to resign. Be that as it may the director of the Computers Department was replaced by orders given by Metropolitan Meliton with an individual who is incapable of doing Lakis' job. Moreover six (6) new people were hired to do the work of one person, that in itself has cost the Archdiocese more money for salaries. Little George also decided that he wants to reside in Bernardville, New Jersey which is a very prominent town (Jackie Kennedy owned a home in the area with horses). Yet, when Archbishop Spyridon wanted a home in Rye he was crucified. I didn't know that little Bishops are higher in rank and should live in prominent areas above an Archbishop.

But now let us not forget our Machiavellian priest Karloutsos who is collecting two salaries. He informed his parish in the South Hamptons that he will he staying on as their priest collecting his $85,000 annual salary while also collecting a salary from the Archdiocese for his new position there. This is justice for him because he couldn't fatten his pockets for the last two years because of Archbishop Spyridon.

My fellow Christians, think of all the garbage that was written by these individuals (GOAL is still in existence even though their web site is closed). How can a deficit increase by $2 million dollars in approximately two months? What wool are they trying to pull over our eyes? Do you all realize that when something costs the Archdiocese, it really means it will be our expense in the end. If the new Archbishop is facing a financial mess it is not due to Archbishop Spyridon but to many others who are now working at the Archdiocese.

[ signed ]
Leonidas Peponofilos

[ The True Orthodox News - November 1999 ]