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Paisios’ Lawsuit Against the Chrysovalantou Monastery and Nikitas, and Revelations from the Synod

BOSTON – Former Metropolitan of Tyana, Paisios (Loulourgas), founder and long-time abbot of the Patriarchal Monastery of Saint Irene Chrysovalantou in Astoria, has filed a lawsuit in American courts against the Monastery, Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain as president of the Monastery’s Trust, and the late Bishop Ierotheos of Eukarpia, the last abbot of the Monastery, seeking $25 million in damages. The lawsuit was filed in February 2024 when Bishop Ierotheos was still alive, which is why his name is included.

In a communication with The National Herald, former Metropolitan of Tyana Paisios refused to comment.

 

Archbishop Nikitas of Thyeateira and Great Britain speaking at the Archon’s Conference in Athens
Photo GOA/Dimitrios Panagos

Paisios’ main allegation is that for many years he did not receive a salary or compensation during his tenure at the Monastery, as required by American law. The lawsuit is expected to create additional complications regarding the issue of transferring the Monastery’s Dependencies to the Archdiocese of America according to a decision by the Synod of the Phanar, despite the opposing opinion of the relevant Synodal Committee, which Patriarch Bartholomew nevertheless disregarded.

This revelation came to light during the recent session of the Holy Synod of the Phanar on Sunday, June 9, and Monday, June 10, 2024, from a related report on the Chrysovalantou Monastery by Archbishop Elpidophoros of America. It is noted that Patriarch Bartholomew asked both Elpidophoros and Nikitas to submit reports to him about the Chrysovalantou Monastery.

Archbishop Nikitas of Thyeateira and Great Britain speaking at the Archon’s Conference in Athens
Photo GOA/Dimitrios Panagos

According to information from The National Herald from the Phanar, Elpidophoros is said to have written in his report that action is needed regarding Chrysovalantou. The Dependencies are already in the Archdiocese by decision of the Patriarchal Synod, and an abbot needs to be appointed to resolve the Monastery’s issues. He recommended Archimandrite Christoforos Economidis to the Patriarch for the abbacy. Economidis was the former chancellor of the Metropolis of New Jersey during Elpidophoros’ attempt to annex it to the Direct Archdiocesan District under his jurisdiction, following the dethronement of Metropolitan Evangelos. Economidis was removed from the chancellorship by the new Metropolitan Apostolos of New Jersey and is currently serving at the Holy Trinity parish in Delaware. There was also mention of an Archimandrite from Thessaloniki and another from Mount Athos, but the matter remained unresolved without any decision.

Metropolitan Theodoritos of Laodicea, director of the Patriarchate’s Office in Athens, launched a fierce attack against The National Herald and this writer. He reportedly said, “What will be done with ‘The National Herald’ and Kalmoukos from America, who writes in detail everything we say here in the Synod? These are the secrets of the Synod and should not be revealed outside.”

Metropolitan Theodoritos of Laodicea at the Archon’s Conference in Athens
Photo GOA/Dimitrios Panagos

At the same time, Metropolitan Theodoritos praised Archbishop Elpidophoros in the Synod, presenting him as a charismatic hierarch, learned and educated. Regarding the Trisagion that Elpidophoros performed at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens for the repose of the soul of Saint Gregory V, Patriarch of Constantinople, who was hanged by the Turks at the Patriarchate’s Gate, Theodoritos said that he asked Elpidophoros why he performed the Trisagion and Elpidophoros replied that the recognition of his sainthood is not recognized.
The Patriarch said, “But I also perform a Service here, light a candle, and lay flowers.” Meanwhile, hierarchs from the Church of Greece who had traveled to Constantinople for the Patriarch’s name day mocked the Trisagion performed by Elpidophoros.

During the Synod, there was also discussion about certain points of the Uniform Regulations of the Communities of the Archdiocese of America regarding issues of nepotism, as well as references to conducting financial audits in the Archdiocese and the Metropolises.

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