BOSTON – Prominent Greek-American businessman, philanthropist, and community leader, John Catsimatidis, Vice Chairman of the Archdiocesan Council, in an exclusive interview with The National Herald revealed that he is suing certain slanderous bloggers on the internet for spreading false information about him, the Archbishop, and the Archdiocese. He said he is going against “one in Florida and one in New York for ten million dollars each.”
He made clear that he is going to go all the way. He has hired the top lawyers and he is going to pay all the legal fees personally. He said that “the lawsuits will be filed within a week or two.”
Catsimatidis also spoke about the funds that have been raised for the completion of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine in New York. The entire interview follows:
The National Herald: How are things going for St. Nicholas?
John Catsimatidis: I am very happy because between Fr. Alex [Karloutsos] and other individuals we raised 39 million dollars for the completion of St. Nicholas in the last forty days.
TNH: How much more should be raised to complete the church?
JC: I think we are almost there and I think additional monies will be raise to go to an endowment for the Church and possibly reestablish the Foundation the Archdiocese always had under Archbishop Iakovos.
TNH: Faith – Am Endowment for Hellenism and Orthodoxy contributed 20 million dollars to St. Nicholas. What about Leadership 100?
JC: We have a meeting with them in a couple of weeks.
TNH: How much do you expect from them?
JC: I can’t predict; we are going to have a discussion and there are a lot of very great generous people and we hope they will make a contribution in Leadership’s name.
TNH: What about the millionaires and billionaires we have in our Community, are they going to contribute for St. Nicholas?
JC: We received ten million dollars from Spanos Foundation, twenty millions from Faith, Mary Jaharis is completing, I believe, the commitment Mike Jaharis made for five or six million, George Marcus gave three million.
TNH: Are you going to contribute yourself?
JC: I gave a million last month for St. Nicholas and another million fulfilling my contribution to Faith.
TNH: How are things going at the Archdiocese?
JC: Some low-life people are writing negative conversations on Web Sites about me, Fr. Alex, the Archbishop, and the Archdiocese, I have made a decision we are going after them.
TNH: In what way?
JC: Legally. They have a very-very bad reputation themselves.
TNH: When do you plan to file the lawsuits?
JC: Next week or two. There is one guy in Florida in the Tampa-Clearwater area and there is one guy in New York. We are going to sue them for ten million dollars each.
TNH: Are you going to sue them on behalf of the Archdiocese?
JC: I am suing them on behalf of myself, my friends. I will be paying the lawyers; the Archdiocese will not be spending any money.
TNH: Have you hired the lawyers?
JC: We have top lawyers.
TNH: What is making you do this Mr. Catsimatidis?
JC: Because I believe in our Church; I believe in the Archdiocese and people that put out false information on the Internet should be held accountable. The way to hold them accountable is that you force them into court and they have to repeat what they said under oath. All the stuff they are saying it is grossly wrong.
TNH: Are you also going against the internet companies?
JC: It is up to lawyers. We are definitely going against the individuals.