Allegations against Archimandrite Gerasimos Makris

FILE - Fr. Gerasimos Makris was honored on his tenth year pastoral anniversary at Holy Cross parish in Brooklyn, New York. Photo by TNH/ Kostas Bej

BROOKLYN – A written and signed allegation for “improper behavior” was sent by a woman to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America against Very Rev. Archimandrite Gerasimos Makris, Presiding Priest of Holy Cross parish in Brooklyn, who had suddenly disappeared from the parish last month, as The National Herald reported on January 18, 2018.

TNH has learned that Archdiocesan Chancellor Bishop Andonios of Phasiane conveyed the information during a clergy retreat in the presence of some 42 priests. Bishop Andonios didn’t …

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  1. “Pastoral embracing?!” Unwanted touching by a priest is inappropriate. Unwanted reported touching that is ignored by the church is appalling. Case closed!

    No means No even for the clergy!!

    A woman reports this type of “Pastoral Embracing” and she is ignored, berated and ignored. Where is the help for the victims of “pastoral embracing” and other sexual misconduct acts?

    The bond of clergy brotherhood protects their own and chastises the victim.

    Are there other “pastoral embracing” and sexual misconduct accusations being slept under the rug by the Chancellor? Will the victims be helped or should they seek guidance from another clergyman who may also believe “pastoral embracing” is acceptable?

    NO means NO! Times Up!!

    1. I know Fr. Makris would NEVER take advantage of a “pastoral embrace” in any sort of sexual manner because he is truly as pure a person as you can get!!! I know that for a fact. I’ve known him for years as my spiritual father and know firsthand the kind of man he is; one that we should all emulate in purity and innocence, childlike purity and innocence! And without someone having this knowledge of his true person and character, obviously some person made a false accusation of him. Perhaps they misinterpreted his actions. It is simply a complete understatement to say that he is a humble, pure, Holy, and innocent man. He IS that and truly posseses all of the virtues as a true Christian, and I am hurt and object personally to any accusations made against him – for I know that they are false! He is a wonderful Christian and an exemplary priest of the Orthodox Church who loves God and all and would never hurt or abuse anyone!

    2. Despina, If you read the other TNH articles regarding Fr. Makris, you will see that these are not false accusations. A letter from the Archdiocese confirmed that Fr. Makris admitted to sexual misconduct and abuse to at least two women. I am sure this information is difficult and hurtful to you as a former spiritual child of his. May God give you strength.

    3. Despina:
      I am sure that it is difficult to hear these types of allegations against a beloved spiritual father. However, unless you were there, you do not know “for a fact” that nothing happened. It is a fact that he was suspended by the Archdiocese after a meeting during which he “confirmed inappropriate relations” with two women. I am sorry that you (and these women) are going through this.

  2. So much for the transparency the Archdiocese tells us they are committed to moving forward…. still hiding the truth from the laity as usual…. just keep praying. obeying and most importantly PAYING.

    1. Can we have that printed on a t-shirt! The new GOA is far from transparent.

      What about the $1 million that was taken from secured fund accounts for St. Michael’s Home for the Aged, the Camp St. Paul real estate purchase fund and the Taylor Scholarship Fund.

      All three funds are administered by the Chancellor of the Archdiocese and it seems both the Chancellor, Bishop Andonios and the CFO, Fr. Soterios Baroody approved the borrowing from those funds to cover operations. How is that transparent?

    2. Money was taken from the Taylor Scholarship? That’s a serious allegation that the New York AG needs to explore if true. Where did you learn this?

  3. More likely that the humble monk Father Gerasimos would rather accept false accusations to receive greater crowns in heaven! Many examples of this in Orthodox history……go ahead, exile Him, God will not abandon His faithful servant!!!

    The Lord remained silent before Pilate and Herod; He made no attempt to justify Himself. You must imitate His holy and wise silence when you see that your enemies accuse you, with every intention of certain conviction; they accuse only with the purpose of hiding their own evil intention under the guise of judgement.

    + St. Ignatius Brianchaninov, The Cup of Christ

    1. I believe this statement represents the vast majority of the church parishioners’ beliefs about Father Gerasimos, regardless of the surfacing of these allegations. Father Gerasimos has been steadfast and firm with our congregation regarding salvation in this modern time of great temptation. When I pray to God for guidance, an image of Father Gerasimos has appeared many times. God guides me to him, and He would not send me to receive false guidance. Whether these allegations hold in this temporary life, they will not hold in Father Gerasimos’ Judgment to Eternal Life with God. He is greatly missed at Holy Cross every day.

  4. Anyone who knows Fr. Makris knows him to be a very respectable, kind, decent person. Very humble and honorable. I very much doubt he would do anything inappropriately. He really is a good, humble, spiritual priest.

  5. Comments like the above are part of why victims are reluctant to speak up in cases of misconduct or abuse, because they will not be believed. Abusers are adept at deflecting suspicion and building clever facades to hide their behavior. Yes, it is difficult to believe the allegations about him, but the victims deserve to be heard.

    1. You are absolutely correct! Victims that find the strength to come forward and address this with the officials at the Archdiocese have not been believed and even advised to remain silent. Shameful!
      Wearing a collar does not give one the approval to be an abuser, on any level. Wearing a collar should not solidify misconduct. Bully tactics are no longer tolerated. A victim of an abuser, especially by a priest should be heard and not have the door closed and the issue.

    2. Well said … perhaps priest monks should be carefully screened if this lifestyle is truly acceptable to them; it appears it’s Not after awhile & so react in defiant behavior?
      OR maybe priest monks should be allowed to marry?
      It’s possible in Fr. Gerasimos’ case, & those of us who knew him, he needed to get escape his mother?

  6. With all due respect–
    It is not “holy silence” when one admits (behind closed doors) to “inappropriate relations with two women” and then runs away and hides, leaving the souls of wounded women behind to face the fallout. Please don’t compare this behavior to that of our Lord and Savior.

    Better to pray for Fr. Gerasimos, and for these women.

    May God have mercy on us all!

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