Theological School, St. Nicholas Shrine, Autocephaly Discussed in the Synod

Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey. (Photo by TNH/Costas Bej)

CONSTANTINOPLE – At the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s recent Holy Synod, Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey said there is a serious problem at the Hellenic College Holy Cross School of Theology (HCHC), referring to: reduction of the student body, a dire financial situation, the resignations of Deans Demetrios Katos from the College and Demetrios Skedros from the Theological School, as well as the resignation of numerous members of the Board of Trustees.

Evangelos also raised the issue of a director’s criticism of School President Fr. Christopher Metropulos. In the presence of the Synod, which included Archbishop Demetrios, Evangelos said the situation at the School is unbearable. He said Metropulos needs to be replaced.

Though Archbishop Demetrios attempted to beatify things, Evangelos countered that the School’s condition is well-known.

Extensive discussion also took place regarding the St. Nicholas National Shrine, with comments that its delay is an embarrassment to the Greek-American community and the entire Orthodox world. Demetrios attempted to alleviate the tension, saying he would find the money to proceed, as it is a matter of dignity and prestige.

When challenged about his ability to obtain the money considering that those with money do not trust him, Demetrios reportedly said that he called them (wealthy benefactors) and told them they don’t have the right to ask what happened to the money, just as he doesn’t ask them how they made their money.

Referring to the report of the Patriarchal Delegation to the 44th Clergy Laity Congress in Boston, MA in July, comprised of Metropolitans Geron Apostolos of Derkoi and Maximos of Sylibria, that there is an issue of Autocephaly in the Archdiocese of America, Metropolitan Kirill of Rhodes said the Patriarchate ought to address it. He also said no hierarchs should be ordained in the Archdiocese if they do not know the Greek language.

Rev. Christopher Metropulos with His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios Geron of America at Fr. Metropulos’ installment as HCHC President.
Photo by (TNH Archives/Theodore Kalmoukos)

Notably, and as The National Herald had reported at the time, Bartholomew, who was then Metropolitan Ioakim of Chalcedon, and other hierarchs of the Ecumenical Throne acted fast and dissuaded the Ecclesiastical coup that was organized by the late Archbishop Iakovos and the Antiochian Metropolitan Philip and the then-OCA (formerly Russian Metropolia) Metropolitan Theodosius in the Antiochian Village in Ligonier, PA.

The late Metropolitan Vsevolot (Germanos) of the Ukraine Orthodox Diocese left from the Synaxis of Ligonier and traveled to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and revealed the whole matter to Bartholomew, and granted TNH an interview.

All the hierarchs had signed the declaration of the establishment of “one unified Ecclesiastical Entity,” as they had named it. The Ecumenical Patriarchate imposed on Iakovos and the bishops of the Archdiocese to recall their signatures and the issue ended there. It was at that time that the Patriarchate reprimanded then-Bishop Methodios of Boston because he had written a rude letter to Vsevolot.

22 Comments

  1. The Robes don’t want an American Seminary, they want it to fail so that they can create a steady stream of Greek priests coming here from abroad with visas “for need” and making tha GOA (or what’s left of it) more Greek than Greece. Greece is failed and broke. They all need jobs. It’s as simple as that. They could care less about doing the right thing.

  2. What all these idiots do and say anymore is as irrelevant as them. The US Attorneys office has already subpoenaed all the Archos Print, Email, Text and Cell Records. You think that they did that just for fun? They have a 90% Conviction rate. Anybody else notice that five ARCHONS of Nothing in the last ten months have been convicted of major federal crimes Just in New York?
    All the “SOCIAL CLUBS WITHOUT CROSSES” Leaderless 100, Faithless, The Hellenic Asylum will also be exposed.

    PS.
    Lower Manhattan Cynic: We have always been a great fan of yours and your prose. The Resistance members all salute you!

    Ephesians 5:11 “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.”

  3. Of course there’s a serious problem at HCHC but should one punish the child due to the behavior of the parents. No real leadership, no money – only lip service.

    It would be great to see how many board meetings Evangelos ( a lifetime member of the board) has attended to offer his guidance and support.

  4. Ha! What has Evangelos ever done for HCHC? He just wants good press and the only one to give it to him is TNH. I recall hearing many years ago that this same metropolitan almost didn’t get to stay at the school after being on academic probation. Oh well.

  5. All hard working benefactors of the Greek Orthodox Church have the right to know how their well-earned money is spent!!! Shame on Archbishop Demetrios!!!

  6. Metropolitan Kirill of Rhodes said “no hierarchs should be ordained in the Archdiocese if they do not know the Greek language”
    This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. They have no clue what happens in North America,…..none

    1. Yes, they do know what happens in North America. They know that the suckers and the money is here and that their henchmen (special advisors and fixers) open the doors, so that they can help themselves.

  7. The statement below should be headlined:
    HOW WE GOT INTO THIS MESS…….
    “Notably, and as The National Herald had reported at the time, Bartholomew, who was then Metropolitan Ioakim of Chalcedon, and other hierarchs of the Ecumenical Throne acted fast and dissuaded the Ecclesiastical coup that was organized by the late Archbishop Iakovos and the Antiochian Metropolitan Philip and the then-OCA (formerly Russian Metropolia) Metropolitan Theodosius in the Antiochian Village in Ligonier, PA.”

    1. When the Ligonier Conference happened in the mid-70s, Antiochan Phillip and others threw their keys on the table and told Iakovos to his face, “Lead and we will follow, be our Western Patriarch”.

      Sadly, “Jake” choked. He was too Greek and was from the same island as Bartholomew, and reputedly his Godfather. Iakovos wanted to be the most famous Greek, not the most famous American. That moment was 50 years ago and its never been the same since. The situation has now devolved into insolvency, shame, and the desertion of the faithful who remain disgusted and unable to worship alongside the corruption and lies of their church.

  8. In Greece the kids with the lowest entrance scores go into seminary or teaching, figuring it’s at least a college degree. Same here, no smart kids want to be priests or teachers. That’s how we get dummy bunches of goats. Holy Cross mostly excels at basketball, nothing more. Maybe a few wise guys go for the Comedy Club where they hatch all their priestie boy schemes. It’s just a yop, a gig, an act, no real religion, just kiss up to yiayias. Do you hear the really dumb things our young priests say? No wonder our kids laugh at them.

    1. Holy Cross doesn’t have a basketball team. Hasn’t had one for years. And when it did compete with other colleges it was Hellenic College that fielded a team, not Holy Cross.

  9. As the Greek saying states “The fish smells from the Head”. Archbishop Demetrios knew and knows what is going on within the Archdiocese!. I don’t believe that any monies were physically stolen, but too much “spatala” or spending foolishly on fancy trips, events, even paying an employee his air flight to visit his immediate family on a weekly basis! (and probably going first class!)
    Any home who does not run a home economically is going to go bankrupt, That is what has happened to our Greek Orthodox Archdiocese!! A week ago I paid a visit to the Ionian Village in Glyfa, Greece who Archbishop Iakovos created with his strong commitment and work. I went to see the improvements that were made after the typhoon 2 years ago. I spoke to a woman there who has been overlooking the property for over 45 years, and she told me that this Archbishop has no interest in this beautiful iconic village because he did not “sweat blood and tears” to have it built. The contractors who had the village repaired still have not been paid, and now an attorney has beeb hired to take over the case. This I also read about it in an article in TNH. It’s such a shame that all our churches in North and South America pay their annual dues of thousands of dollars, and these monies are spent senselessly and preposterously! New blood needs to take over our Archdiocese; our Archbishop can retire, and then go to assist parishes who need assistance during big holidays like Easter and Christmas, like many older retired priests do!! My daughter who attends the St John in Tenafly says it’s so crowded at Easter and Christmas, that the priest who is fairly new requires help. There is always a solution to everything!!!!!

  10. Because of all these exorbitant secret expenses ( WITH ZERO TRANSPARENCY ), we decided to amend and cut our yearly pledge to a third. The other two thirds of our pledge will go to local charities! If these behaviors by our “esteemed” hierarchs continue, we intend to cut next year’s pledge severely to practically ZERO!

    Money talks!

    Sincerely,

    Ted Karnezis

    1. Ted, you are the smartest, most direct guy in the room. That’s exactly the answer. Shut the money faucet and stop the abuse of power and the lies. And do not give to the St. Nicholas scam, either.

      1. Dear Lower Manhattan Clinic,
        What kind of an example are the hierarchs giving to our young people who are the future of our church? You have the chief hierarch refusing to
        tell us as reported above in the article where the peoples money went.
        Yet, committees and sub-committees are being appointed to find the answer. Nothing has emerged and nothing will.

        We are loosing our youth and our faithful like me, a parish council member of my church, are beginning to be combative. Our savings are being wasted. Therefore, our contributions are being trimmed. Our churche’s average yearly pledge has DROPPED!

        We have become a McDonald’s franchise. Seventy percent (70%) of our
        receipts go to pay priests and the Archdiocese. There is not much left for other church expenses. We do not have the money to do the other church needs. Consequently, we must work the festivals and other events to keep the church open. Would any of the clergy come and work the gyro or souvlaki booth for twelve hours to payoff their salaries? I have yet to see one!

        Things have to change for survival.

  11. Dismantle the archdiocese except for a three bishop panel based in Indianapolis ( good airport, non-stop either coast, affordable). Outsource all else. Savings=25 million a year.

    Make most priests “ priests with lay professions”. Daytime real job, 1099 independent contractor and tips. 3 per large parish, 2 and 1 for smaller and smaller.One “supervising” full time senior priest per 10 parishes, married or unmarried. Savings=$50m a year.

    Make seminary 3 years on-line, 18 months in person, one year probation as reader with final tests and approvals, then deacons. Savings: 10m a year.

    All English. Devise shorter Liturgy. Drop chanters. Let congregation sing or recite hymns. Huge savings of time and money.

    My point here: there is a new way to do business, if you want to survive. You have to be a change agent.

    1. @ LMC…I Love It!!! – Your analysis/proposal is spot on! I agree with all of It! Especially dropping the chanters and letting the congregation ( laos – the people) sing. One of the “many” reasons attendance in our churches is declining is because people do not feel part of the service. The responses should be from the people. There is nothing spiritual or uplifting listening to two or three whiny old men who never should have been chanters in the first place.
      The numbers do not lie. We have an estimated 700,000 Greek Orthodox Christians attending church in a United States with 320,000,000 – That speaks volumes.

      1. Thanks Michael. The Church is in the ICU. I would dispute your 750,000 Greek Orthodox number.

        500 parishes, the overwhelming number of which are small and or modest, not mega 500+ members. I peg the average parish at 250 members. 250 x 500= 125,000, which is about the subscriber number of the Orthodox Observer.

        90% of those who are baptized Greek Orthodox DO NOT remain Greek Orthodox. About 2.5 million people have been baptized since the inception of the Archdiocese.

        Pretty pathetic isn’t it?

        Definition of stupid: keep making the same mistakes over and over.

  12. I am quite sure that there are a lot of clergy reading these pages. Why the diffening silence by them on the discussions above?

    As Trump would say, ” Very Sad.”

  13. The GOA is 160,000, the OCA is 73,000, AOCA is 20,000.
    Do a mass balance: baptistms minus funerals, divide by growth.
    We told that to Demetrius two decades ago and he said all the aborted babies
    would come back like the loaves and the fishes with Scopas papers.
    Most come for coffee, not religion.

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