Jim Logothetis’ Exclusive Statement to TNH about Holy Trinity’s Chicago Events

Holy Trinity Church in Chicago. Photo: holytrinitygocchicago.com.

BOSTON – Immediately after the story broke that the 121 year-oldhistoric Holy Trinity parish of Chicago received a judgment of foreclosure fromthe MB Financial Bank for the nave itself, the school building and the rest of its property, and that the parish has filed a law suit against Jim Logothetis, former president of the parish council and chairman of the school committee, we attempted to communicate with him. We located him in Europe on business trip and requested that he provide his side of the story. He sent us a written statement with the request not to publish his photograph or his biographical data. His statement follows:

“Statement to The National Herald by Jim Logothetis

My family and I are saddened that the Holy Trinity parish that I served for over 35 years is facing the loss of the church property in Chicago. Many of us realized years ago that due to changing demographics and declines in church attendance and the size of the congregation, the current location in Chicago was not sustainable for the long term. That is why we proposed to move the parish to a new location in the suburbs and extend the life of this historic institution.

The actions that were taken by Holy Trinity, starting back in 2004 with the purchase of the Deerfield property, the transfer of the Socrates School to Deerfield in 2006, and the plans to move Holy Trinity to Deerfield as well, were all undertaken pursuant to a carefully thought-out plan to further the mission of Holy Trinity. Every step of the way, the relevant decisions were approved by the parish council and the general assembly under the leadership of Father George Kaloudis, and the Metropolis. But ultimately, Father Kaloudis decided that he did not want to move Holy Trinity to Deerfield, and an opportunity was lost.

I have not served on the Holy Trinity parish council over the last five years and I was not part of the decisions made, including the reversal of course regarding the transition, that have led to further declines in membership and revenue. It is sad that at the general assembly meeting this past Sunday, even given the most urgent agenda of the possible takeover by the bank, fewer than forty members showed up.

But the act of some, who are apparently now making decisions for Holy Trinity, to file a frivolous lawsuit against me, seeking a scapegoat and a perceived “deep pocket” insurance policy, is simply outrageous. The trumped up theory of the suit is that I had a “conflict of interest” because I was the head of the parish council and also the head of the Academy that acquired the Socrates School and moved it to Deerfield. But there was no conflict of interest. The goals of Holy Trinity and the Academy were the same, as reflected in the Joint Resolution that governed the transfer of the Socrates School to the Academy. Indeed, Father George Kaloudis agreed to have his son Gus Kaloudis, a lawyer, represent both Holy Trinity and the Academy in the various transactions (all fully approved at all levels) associated with the move – which Gus could have not have done had there been a conflict of interest between Holy Trinity and the Academy.

For more than 35 years, I freely gave of my time and money to serve Holy Trinity, contributing thousands of hours and donating or raising millions of dollars. I did so without complaint and without ever taking a dime. It is beyond sad for me personally to be the subject of an ill-considered and groundless lawsuit filed by the church I loved and served. I hope that under the leadership of our new Metropolitan Nathanael, the parish will withdraw this frivolous suit and focus on a constructive plan for moving forward to serve the congregation. But if the suit is not withdrawn, I will defend the suit vigorously in court and I expect to prevail and to obtain sanctions because the suit is without any legal merit. I will do what I need to do to defend my reputation and protect my family, for whom the church has been the center of our lives, from baseless attacks.”

10 Comments

  1. This post is in no way a defense or my acting as an apologist of Jim Logothetsis. Nor should it be construed by anyone as taking one side over the other in this Holy Trinity predicament.

    Here are the facts plain and simple:
    1. This entire mess was the result of Hierarchs that failed, i.e. Metropolitan Iakovos and his Assistant Bishop. They allowed the center of “Ephraimite Theology” to open a competing school near by, thus all but guaranteeing failure;
    2. What does it say about our Church when Jim Logothetsis has probably donated close to $1,000,000.00 of his own money to the Parish and the school, yet we had reports from this paper that the former finance chairman of the Archdiocesan Council was reimbursed approximately $900,000.00 and who is the one getting sued? Why Jim Logothetsis of course!!!!!!
    3. This Church destroyed the reputation of the former Executive Director of the GOA and has, through its surrogates (i.e. sycophants) intimated criminal conduct. Where is it? Just another example of killing those who have courage to speak truth to power.
    4. Where is the disclosure of the others who were “reimbursed” by the GOA? You might think that this is unrelated, but, it is an example of the hypocrisy of our “leadership”.
    5. They take us for fools because collectively we are fools and have been fooled by them.

    They all need to go, if they don’t we all fail.

    1. Good, you got to blame those nasty “Ephraimites” again!

      It takes incredible logic and intelligence to put the followers of Geronda Ephraim in the same boat as the Archons, Leadership 100 and the Metropolitans. Bravo, well done!

  2. Big Tim, what manager/caretaker/hierarch/shepherd in their right mind agrees to let a Parish incur great debit to expand its Greek Parochial School. Then, after they go as far “out on a limb” as possible, then, lets another school open nearby? The other school seems to have endless funding. Then it cuts tuition to a level that cause great economic hardship to Holy Trinity. They then go a step future and transfer the young popular Priest from Holy Trinity to the Parish with the competing school. This of course caused a further hemorrhage of families from Holy Trinity to the Ephraimite Mecca of the Metropolis of Chicago.

    1. To clarify, the investment was only $6M. The Church and Academy collectively was given a $12M credit limit to expedite the move of the Church since they had an offer of $5.2M being dangled in front of them. The bank was aware that once sold the purchaser’s money would be directed to the bank by the title company. So the expenditure for a school plus many acres of land for transition of church is more than fair value. Not sure why everyone is having a hissy fit over the amount.

      Big Tim, the answer to Basil 312’s question is no one other than Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos. Everyone in Chicago knows the majority of the decisions were made by the Bishop and not the Metropolitan as he aged. Not everyone knows however, that the Bishop was a close Kaloudis family friend and protector who wanted to see the school fail at all costs once it moved to Deerfield, along with several members of the Metropolitan Council who had their own agendas and conflicts of interests to ensure their own parishes and agenda were not threatened by this revived community and school.

      Keep in mind, this is the same Bishop who should be in prison for his crooked dealings across the Metropolis over the past several years (look no further than the Dokos scandal: https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-greek-orthodox-priest-court-dokos-met-20170222-story.html). The same Bishop who was likely not elevated to Metropolitan of Chicago for these reasons, and many other reasons the Chicago community knows about, but doesn’t discuss openly… Unfortunately, the hierarchy settled on an unqualified Metropolitan to try and clean up this mess, which leaves us left with the same corruption, dysfunction, and distrust as before. Makes you wonder how it is even possible that a church can file a lawsuit which seems designed to extort money against one of its own selfless servants, without the approval of the Metropolitan? One can only assume the Metropolis allowed this to happen.

      …the transfer of the young priest to the nearby parish was a direct result of the Father Kaloudis sabotaging the plan to relocate the parish to Deerfield (the same plan he and others approved prior to changing their minds for various selfish reasons). The likeliest driver being the jealousy and threat he felt to control over their territory/$, which derived from the excitement the community gained around the young priest who was going to ultimately replace him as presiding priest once he went into semi-retirement/Emeritus status. So threatened in fact, that he allegedly did everything in his power to make the young priest’s life miserable and force the young priest to ultimately ask the Bishop for re-assignment out of the parish; which it appears he was certainly happy to oblige to, as it fit his agenda and ulterior motives perfectly.

      Our Metropolis and church is a disaster. Pray.

      1. StgOfArms I agree with almost everything you said. I think that the late Metropolitan made representations to the Parish Council of Holy Trinity that were relied upon to make these enormous moves. These initial representations were made at a time when he was still mentally competent. Clearly, later on, the late Metropolitan allowed his already compromised legacy to be further sullied by his assistant. He believed that his burial at an Ephraimite Monastery would clean up his defiled reputation, and allow him to pass through the “aerial tollhouses” on the prayers of the nuns!

        As for the new Metropolitans knowledge of the lawsuit prior to its being filed, here I think that the evidence points to the utterly pathetic reality that he was not consult before hand. Nor did he approve it. The jury is still out on whether he has the backbone/skills/pain threshold to fix this mess.

  3. How on earth does the former chancellor, Bishop Demetrios, or members of the Metropolis Council have anything at all to do with Geronda Ephraim?!?!? I can 100% guarantee there has never been any collusion between that bishop and any “Ephraimites.”

    You realize the traditional Athonite practices are completely opposite to the mindset that’s led our Archdiocese to the gutter, yes?!?!? The traditionalists aren’t leeching members or building 8-figure community centers and gyms.

    There are many, many to blame for the collapse of GOA, but your continual blaming men and women who love Christ, their fellow me, and our sacred Greek Orthodoxy is beyond sickening.

    1. Maybe they don’t build gyms or community centers, but what about all the Athonite ties to illegal antiquities trafficking, homosexuality, dirty real estate transactions with the Greek government MPs and the Old Calendarists, well-reported drug traffic transiting between Turkey, Greece and Europe, Russian intelligence listening posts, and their biggest specialty—-money laundering? They make the American church pretenders look like choir boys. Who are YOU trying to kid, Timmy?

      1. JasonBourne there is a “cognitive bias” that has taken hold of people in the GOA on the issue of anything Monastic. I personally go to Monasteries when ever I am in Greece. I just know enough to avoid anything connected to Elder Ephraim’s movement here, monastery or otherwise. You are right, there are many things wrong with “Athonite ties”, but I still think Monasteries like Simonopetra generally represent proper Monastic practices. But this constant “everything is okay because they are Athonite” is just nonsense. Nothing is perfect with, or in our world. That logic reminds me of the Catholic Church’s defense of pedophilic clergy. What, just because they are ordained makes them infallible and free of sin?

  4. Big Tim I personally would never even accept the first premise of your argument that Elder Ephraim’s movement can accurately be characterized as “traditional Athonite” practices. There are many Theologians, websites, clergymen who would agree with me. There are also many that would agree with you. I have witnessed the destructive practices of the followers of this “theology”. I will not be convincing you, and I seriously doubt, after what I have seen you will be convincing me. If you want to see something that highlights the differences of the Ephraimite Monasteries then I suggest the following:
    1. http://gotruthreform.org/ephraimite-fallacies-part-one
    2. http://gotruthreform.org/a-true-test-for-true-monasteries
    3. http://gotruthreform.org/mainstream-orthodoxy-vs-ephraimite-fundamentalism

    By the way Big Tim where is the report from the “Monastery Task Force” later renamed the “Monastery Review Committee” of the GOA? If the committee exonerated this mess, I would think that it would of released that report. Instead, it is buried like everything else! I sincerely hope you and your family have a great holiday season. I am so sorry that my words were “sickening” to you.

  5. Bottom line: one church closed when there was a reasonable plan to move and try to survive.

    Lesson to rest of the churches everywhere: maintaining the status quo is a formula for the end of your parish. And that’s what we’re doing, maintaining status quo:

    * same Archbishop and Metros, status quo, even when new personnel, no change
    * keep paying extortion fees to archdiocese
    * don’t terminate huge albatross Shrine, don’t cut losses
    * keep idolizing all things Greek and Turkish Patriarchal and Athonite
    * don’t confront the issues, just keep paying, praying and obeying
    * keep listening to Archons, Karloutsos, Leadership and Manhattan billionaire mafia who presided over all this for 100 years and brought you to this point
    * don’t act like real Americans, act like Greek Slaves, listen to Yiayia telling you to be a good boy.
    * do nothing to build walls and seal off your parish for survival mode

    I can tell you how the movie ends. Same as the Chicago church times 50 other parishes.
    Good luck with that.

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