School of Theology and Maliotis Center Embroiled in “Civil War”

The “civil war” that has been going on for years now between the Holy Cross School of Theology and the Maliotis Cultural Center unfortunately endures. Several millions of dollars have been spent by both sides in legal fees.
The dispute is between the School and the Archdiocese and the Friends of the Center, which is the governing body of the only cultural institution in New England of this kind.
The animosity started almost from the beginning when the Center was built by the late businessman and philanthropist Kostas Maliotis in the 1970s during the Archbishopric tenure of the late Iakovos.
The Center was erected on School property, on foundations intended for a library that was never built. The building physically belongs to the school, but its operations and the organization of cultural programs promoting Hellenism was given to an independent administrative body called The Friends of the Maliotis Center, which has nothing to do with the School’s administration. Archbishop Iakovos though, was a member of the Friends, at least on paper.
Kostas Maliotis instituted the Friends because he didn’t trust those in charge of the Theological School to fulfill the Center’s mission, which was to promote and advance Hellenism with cultural programs, exhibits, conferences, Greek School activities, etc.
Even at that time, an evident anti-Hellenic spirit and mentality was present at the School and unfortunately it continues today, despite attempts to deny it.
Even today there are School officials who have not learned a Greek phrase beyond “Christos Anesti.” Just take a look at the graduation ceremonies: only Archbishop Demetrios uses some Greek in his homily, and only Consul General of Greece in Boston Iphigenia Kanaras speaks fully in both Greek and English. No one else does, not even symbolically.
It is evident that the knowledge of Greek of the current president of the School is limited as it was his predecessor’s. The anti-Hellenic mentality and trend is reflected on many of the School’s graduates, who are not able to even recite the Lord’s prayer in its original language.
When the Maliotis Center was built, the School/Archdiocese agreed to give $50,000 dollars per year to the Center for maintenance since the School uses its classrooms and other parts of its facilities. Three years later and after Maliotis’ death, they stopped the annual payment.
The Center has run out of funds and the matter ended up in court, rather than the parties involved sitting down to reach a reasonable compromise.
The prevalent opinion among Boston’s Greek community, which includes that of academicians from Harvard, MIT, and other of the area’s first-rate institutions of higher learning, is that there are individuals who hold key positions at the School who want to eliminate the last bastion of Hellenism in Boston, which is the Center.
Others at the school are pushing to dissolve the Center and assume complete control of it.
Demetrios has dual capacity and responsibility. He is the Ecclesial and Spiritual Leader of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, to which the Theological School belongs and is also the Chairman of the School’s Board of Trustees, which carries among other things legal and fiduciary responsibilities and thus he has the last word on all the issues related to the School.
The vice-chairman and the members of the trustees serve at the pleasure of the Archbishop, period. Many professors and academicians who spoke off the record (for the time being) to TNH have tremendous respect for the archbishop, not only for his position but because of his renowned academic background. They have difficulties reconciling why he allows the School to be in the hands of various mediocre individuals.