Drastic Reduction of the 2018 Archdiocesan Budget

Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. (Photo by TNH/Costas Bej)

BOSTON – The 2018 budget of the Archdiocese has been dramatically reduced by $8 million. Specifically, it was reduced to $22 million from $30,240,112 for the year 2018 and $27,816,483 for the year 2017. The budget has more than double in the 19 years since Archbishop Demetrios took office with an increase from $13 to $30,240,112.

The new budget was approved by the Executive Committee of the Archdiocesan Council and it will be presented to the 44th Clergy Laity Congress of the Archdiocese which will be convened in Boston from July 1-5.

This is the first time the Archdiocese has constructed a “real world” budget, from the ground up, that reflects the true and accurate revenue and expenditure profile of the Archdiocese.

The 2018 “balanced budget” projects a surplus of $1.9 million that will be used to repay the Archdiocese legacy obligations. There is also a budgeted $1.3 million “contingency” for unbudgeted and/or unexpected expenses.

Mr. Michael Psaros
Photo by TNH/Costas Bej

If this “contingency” is not used, then the $1.3 million will be additional funds available to repay the Archdiocese legacy obligations.

Please reflect on where the Archdiocese was in August 2017, prior to the $8 million of effected/completed cost reductions and the implementation of protocols and governors on overall spending, and what it has achieved now from a financial stand-point.

It is also significant the fact that the Archdiocese “froze” revenues/assessments to Parishes at 2017 levels, therefore this surplus was not achieved by increasing the burden on Parishes.

Prominent businessman Michael Psaros who is leading the efforts for the purge and reconstruction of the finances of the Archdiocese played a pivotal role in drafting the new budget along with the efforts of Lazaros Kircos Chair of the Finance Committee, Elaine Allen Chair of the Audit Committee, Fr. Soterios- Chief Financial Officer, and Bishop Andonios of Phasiane- Chancellor of the Archdiocese.

This is the first time that the Archdiocese released the budget so early before the Clergy Laity Congress. Usually it was released a few days prior to the Clergy Laity Congress when the parishes and the delegates of the Clergy Laity Congress had very little chance to study it but were called shortly before the end of the Congress to vote on it by acclamation.

Read the PDF of the 2018 Adopted Budget:

2018 Adopted Budget

12 Comments

  1. Why is Hellenic College Holy Cross only getting $1 million in 2018 versus $1.5 million in past years? The mother is starving her babies.

  2. Where is the detail that we have always been presented? Really, this is what the team of “professionals” created!!

    Should we take out the approved, professional budget we as delegates past and make comparisons?

  3. This budget as presented presents numerous deficiencies in its lack of detail and questions in the budgeted amounts attributed to various line items, to wit:

    • An example of the lack of detail and thus transparency would be to look at for instance the “Administration and General Services – $438,400” line item; this among numerous other line items should not be presented as one lump sum – there is no transparency that way.

    There should be a breakdown of “Administrative / General” with regard to the personnel / positions that comprise this department / category and what their respective salaries are and a breakdown of the other expenses attributed to this department / category (i.e., office supplies, travel expenses, etc…) that bring us to the $438,400 figure.

    The above also applies to virtually every line item as presented in this budget not the least of which are:

    • “Office of the Archbishop – $754,600”
    • “Office of the Chancellor – $433,400”
    • “Metropolis Payroll, Payroll Tax and Benefits – $5,790,000”
    • “Information Technology – $880,000”
    • “Religious Education – $723,400”
    • “Finance – $645,000”, “Ecumenical – $447,400”
    • “Youth – $529,800”
    • “Maintenance, Leases and Other General Expenses – $635,000”

    There are also questions about the budgeted amounts for some of the line items:

    • $1,100,000 for “Property and Liability Insurance” – again because of the lack of detail here I have to only assume that this is to cover the Archdiocese Headquarters and the eight Metropolis Headquarters and that this is for property and casualty coverage.

    Assuming all that it still averages out to over $122,000 for each building; if this is the case this is a staggering amount of money, there may be a valid explanation here but this budget as presented doesn’t provide it.

    • $575,000 for “Legal, Audit and other Services” – I’ve served on the board of far bigger and more complex entities (1,000+ employees, multiple labor unions, budgets multiples of this size, a far larger portfolio of buildings / physical plant) than the Archdiocese and spent less than this annually – this is a very inflated number especially in light of the also budgeted $1,300,000 for “General and Legal Contingencies” which I’m assuming is to cover the coming legal bills related to the various investigations currently underway.

    • $880,000 for “Information Technology”?

    • $437,900 for “Internet Ministries”?

    And these aren’t the only questions that I have; the budget as presented is inadequate, does not serve the stakeholders (us, the laity) as it should nor as we deserve to be served.

    Once upon a time back when our immigrant parents and grandparents came here indigent, not able to speak, read or write English and with little to no formal education they couldn’t read or understand a budget or know what a proper budget document should look like. And if they did have the temerity to even politely ask a question they were told to shut their mouths and how dare they question the church.

    Those days are long gone.

    There are now many of us in the laity who serve in corporations, businesses and in government who know what we are looking at when a budget is presented to us and know what an acceptable budget with proper detail looks like – and this ain’t it.

    And make no mistake about this, the Church is reliant on the stewardship of our community, we deserve and demand accountability of what is done with our money no different than with a unit of government that we pay taxes to or a publicly held company that we are stockholders in.

    1. Thank You Steve, for still, being involved and Caring! For every one of You, highly skilled, capable and wanting to help the Church reach optimum results, from the beloved Archdiocese’s own admission, at least, 5 if not Far more have left. Sadly, this referred to published “article” – see 2nd word in http://www.pappaspost.com/90-of-americans-with-greek-roots-no-longer-in-communion-with-greek-orthodox-church/ – is not seen any more on goarch. Thank God for this open forum, which the Herald allows for people who – with our parents and grandparents pou sklavane stis kouzines na ehoume naous & kinotites/who slaved in the kitchens for us to to have temples and communities – at least, here we can be Real and pose questions that are being read by some with authority who may want to know What it will take to Possibly, gain the people’s trust again. Responsibility to debts owed might be at the top of the list. O Hristos mas anesti & may God have mercy on us all esp., those who must not have known what they were doing, crucifying Countless including some innocent priest wives and children along the way (Lk 23:34). only by grace, anaxios p Evangelos/Angelo

  4. And let me add, MANY of the people involved in the creation of this budget are involved in running substantially sized companies and NONE of them would have accepted a budget written and presented as this one was – they’d FIRE the person who had the audacity or incompetence to put such a document in front of them.

    The more I reflect on what’s been presented to us the more irate I’m getting – its insulting to think of what their opinion is of our comprehension and competence regarding matters like this.

  5. And please spare me the “we slashed $8,000,000 off of the previous budget” this only serves to highlight the obscene amount of waste and patronage there had to have been in the Archdiocese and how the laity’s money wasn’t valued, respected or cared for.

    It’s easy to slash budgets when they have the obscene amounts of waste that we had here and for that matter even at this current proposed budget of $22,750,000 there still appears to be significant reductions to be had.

    So far I’m not impressed or reassured and I’m guessing neither are many others.

    1. This budget is a total farce.

      When will the precious budget be posted to all the true comparison.

      People will then see there is not much difference at all, just a play on numbers.

      No one should believe this!

  6. This balance sheet does not tell the story of how much is needed and WHY? Loose terms no different than pork barrel legislation where costs are rolled up or hidden behind different banners. Explain line by line what you do with the money, where it goes, provide documentation, and then justify the projected amount…
    Presenting this at a clergy-laiety meeting is as effective as stopping people on the subway and saying “excuse me , what do you think…” Gloss but no substance

  7. Perhaps the Greek hierarchs could survive on the same pay scale as OCA and ROCOR bishops? I doubt it!

  8. Note that the only revenue positive ministry is Ionian Village.

    Note “ecumenical “ expense at $440k. That’s membership in leftist World Council of Churches (pro same sex marriage, pro abortion, “end white privilege” ). A real Orthodox contradiction.

    Note nearly $1M in salaries for office of archbishop and chancellor.

    Note that there is no footnote concerning the pension plan or any other anomaly

    Psaros needs to get out of that bespoke tux, stop accepting more kudos, roll up his sleeves, put on bookkeeper green eyeshades and present a real document, not just more notional nonsense.

    1. Should it be a good idea to consider sending out the Orthodox Observer electronically via email to all stewards? Thus saving a considerable amount of needed money.

      Philanthropy & Clergy Assistance $ 55,000 only?

      Public Relations $ 282,800. We need details.
      Archdiocesan Council, Committee, & Synodal Meetings $ 300,000?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *