Analysis: Forensic Audits Should be Done at Holy Cross and the Metropolises

Finance Committee Chairman Lazaros Kyrkos is showing the budgets of past Clergy Laity Congress while Archdiocesan Council vice chairman George Tsandikos listens. TNH/Theodore Kalmoukos

The dire financial phthisis and crisis that led the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America to virtual bankruptcy, as it reached the point where it was forced to mortgage its Manhattan office buildings in order to obtain a bank loan just to survive, doesn’t seem to have changed anything in the way those in charge at the Archdiocese and the metropolises operate.

Life goes on for the professional clerics as before, with all their leisure and lavish life styles. The hierarchs continue …

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  1. Mr Kalmoukos brings up a point often overlooked that is a source of many of our problems, that is the business authority balance between Clergy and Laity. Replacement of Parish councils should NEVER be the sole discretion of the Clergy, and should an issue that requires approval by the respective laity council.
    We still operate in the days of the Byzantine emperors, who could override the actions of the clergy. Many hierarchs do not regard the laity as their equal partner.

    1. Totally agree with 2nd Generation. Our church is run by a Byzantine set of rules, that are not applicable in the 21st Century. Needs to change, or there will be no Church to change.

  2. Yeah like I keep saying, very simple solution here – cut off giving money to the church. But hey what do I know maybe there are folks out there who like giving money so that these guys can live lavish lifestyles and not work – this is truly the greatest hustle in the history of hustles.

    PT Barnum said it best – There’s a sucker born every minute and lots of them donate to the church.

  3. I don’t think there’s anything left to audit, it’s all been blown on trips to Greece and dining out every night until all the Metros and their capos look like Sumo wrestlers.

    Audits should have occurred back as far back as Iakovos “the Great”, but he resisted that reform, too.

    When the EP audits his own shop, they’ll all follow suit. And that will be NEVER.

    Agree with withholding all money, but I suspect donations are way way down in any case.
    And with rapidly declining membership all around, things have a way of resolving themselves on their own.

    1. You’re right about donations being way down across the board and they are trending even further downward.

      Aside from the fact that the Greek Orthodox Church in the US will be a fraction of the size of what it is now in a generation, a majority of these churches will simply not survive financially, I’m also waiting for a group of people to say we want to have a church, but aren’t going to be a part of this scam and they go out and raise the money to build or buy an existing church structure and hire their own orthodox priest and run their church as an independent entity.

      And yes you can call yourself a Greek Orthodox Church and not be a part of the Archdiocese – while they run it as if it were a franchise, it isn’t and the Archdiocese has no exclusive rights to the name or use of “Greek Orthodox Church”.

  4. Mr. Kalmoukos, respectfully, it would be most appropriate if you had your facts straight.. For your edification, the Metropolis of Pittsburgh has for MANY years not only made public it’s financial position via generally accepted accounting financial statements, it has also followed the practice of complete transparency and accountability further complimented by certified audits posting those results on it’s website in respect to full disclosure. While our Metropolis Finance committee has had a presence for over 15 years on the A/D Finance sub committee, those concerns and recommendations it voiced unfortunately fell on deaf ears. That same volunteer A/D sub committee was the most innovative and successful committee the A/D ever had. Fortunately, some of its talented professional members still offer their time, talents and treasures to reverse the tide. Their integrity and expertise is without reproach. Furthermore,as you should know, Metropolis councils, and committees, are unfortunately “advisory” and not “policy” in nature. Those of us experienced in non-profit involvement find this frustrating yet the reality. We, contrary to what you profess, are NOT “YES MEN/PEOPLE”. As dedicated volunteers to the faith, those of us in the Pittsburgh Metropolis take our fiduciary responsibilities seriously earning the support and respect of both our Metropolis hierarchs, past and present. I believe you owe some of an apology. Not all the apples in the barrel are, or were…

    1. Sorry, H Steven P, that’s not a good enough excuse. You smelled, felt and wallowed in the stink of corruption, you kissed the hands and the butts of the hierarchy, you didn’t resist and draw knives and fight. You were too passive, polite and professional. You accepted awards and continued to support the corrupters. You don’t get a “get out of jail” card. It’s you and the other “professionals” who need to apologize to us for failing to aggressively confront The Devil. After that, you’re done.

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