Proini (NY) - October 4, 2000

The Abominations of The Holy Archdiocese of America

   By Justine Frangouli

Six months after his appointment to the Archdiocesan seat of America, Archbishop Demetrios seems to be dealing with a slew of practical problems, which delay his active involvement in ethnic matters and matters of Greek speaking education resulting in harsh criticism from members of the Hellenic American community that he is not moving forward on essential decisions.

The operating deficit of the organization, reaching 3.1 million dollars which presented itself in last fiscal years budget during the recent Archdiocesan Council, resulted in friction between the Executive Committee and the Archbishop, as members of the committee are of the opinion this is a direct result of bad management of the new Archdiocesan circle.

The television station tycoon in America Mr. Harry Pappas in a recent letter to Archbishop Demetrios and the members of the Archdiocesan Council notes that the organization is suffering from decisions made outside its body which overturn those made by its legitimate agents. Harry Pappas stated characteristically that the Archdiocese lost 500,000.00 dollars due to the contract cancellations with large publishing houses responsible for the distribution of the Archdiocesan publications, an amount that was registered in its operational expenses. The rise in the deficit is also due to the declining income from the church communities, which came as a result of the stand against former Archbishop Spyridon.

Thusly, with the excuse of budget cutting, ten employees of the Archdiocese of America who have been hired during the time of Spyridon were fired in the past two weeks. Though the Archdiocese states that the criteria were objective, some in the Hellenic American community believe that it has to do with political revenge against the former Archdiocesan office, a thing that may augment the crisis in the heart of the church.

The same people suggest that Archbishop Demetrios who preaches peace and harmony is being undermined from the directorate of the Patriarchal cronies, namely Fr. Alex Karloutsos and successful entrepreneur Michael Jaharis. Fr. Karloutsos, who states that he is in daily contact with Phanar has been made head of the Leadership 100 of the Archdiocese while Michael Jaharis is present in all the meetings of the Executive Committee (of which he is not a member) taking initiatives having to do with fiduciary matters.

According to well informed sources, the conflict peak between the friends of the Archbishop and the Executive committee is the matter of the loan application from Atlantic Bank. The Director of the Archdiocese Jerry Demetriou in a letter to the members of the committee dated February 17th,is requesting their personal promissory note, so that the organization can qualify for a five million dollar loan, while there was an agreement for a $3 million dollar credit line from the bank.

As a member of the Archdiocese stated to the Greek Newspaper Kiriakatiki Eleftherotipia, the members of the Executive Committee intent to financially relieve the organization with promissory notes for the contracting of a smaller loan, but simultaneously believe that the "chairs( positions on the council" of the Archdiocese should not come at such a high price.

With these problems and the resounding of the mass firings, Archbishop Demetrios has also to deal with the revision of the Archdiocesan constitution, which essentially reduces his power. While the new Administration of the Church of America proceeds to enforce decisions already taken, ignoring the political cost, Archbishop Demetrios remains hung up with regards to pressing matters of the Hellenic American community which cannot wait any longer.

[ Orthodox Truth |  -  October 4, 2000 ]