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General News

Sotiris Tzoumas Issues Extrajudicial Response to Archbishop Elpidophoros

BOSTON – Sotiris Tzoumas, owner of the Exapsalmos.gr ecclesiastical news website in Greece, sent an extrajudicial response to the

Pre-judicial Declaration (Εξόδικο) of Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, which was recently published by The National Herald.

Tzoumas, in his extrajudicial response, among other things, repeats what he had said in his statement to The National Herald for our Greek publication of Thursday, March 7, that is to say, that it was Elpidophoros himself who, as a member of the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate as the Metropolitan of Prousa, leaked confidential discussions and exchanges of the Synod.

The National Herald has learned that Patriarch Bartholomew appears to be particularly troubled by the events of the Pre-judicial and extrajudicial documents and other revelations. He does not seem to have been informed beforehand but learned of them through the articles of TNH while many members of the Patriarchal Court, including hierarchs, expressed their surprise at the statements made by Tzoumas to TNH.

The entire Extrajudicial Response-Statement Sotiris Tzoumas to Archbishop Elpidophoros follows:

“Before every competent court and authority

Extrajudicial Response – Declaration

By Sotirios Tzoumas, residing in Athens, Kyniska str. 22-24

AGAINST

His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros, commonly known as Ioannis Lambriniadis, residing at the headquarters of the Holy Archdiocese of America, 8 East 79th Street NY 10075

Athens, 06.03.2024

With great surprise and evident bewilderment, I received the extrajudicial declaration, protest, invitation from you dated 04.03.2024, signed by the Authorized and appointed Lawyer Panagiotis Vlassis (36 Voukourestiou, Athens), which was communicated to me on 06.03.2024 by the judicial supervisor of the Court of Appeal of Athens, Konstantinos Proutzos. In this extrajudicial of yours, you isolate, for your own reasons, specific publications from the certainly many more that are posted daily on the website ‘www.exapsalmos.gr’ and relate to issues of broader ecclesiastical interest. What is noteworthy is that while your recorded posts date back to a previous period, you express your dissatisfaction with a significant delay, and completely belatedly, making a selective reference to publications.

With this declaration, I express my confusion about the content of your extrajudicial protest, pointing out directly that apart from general vagueness and indirect evasions about resorting to justice, you make no mention at all of recording the substance of the allegations and the actual incidents that are clearly described in my texts. And I am not the only one describing them. But apparently, I am [the one] disturbing [you].

Equally questionable is the question you pose about the capacity in which I write my articles when from the outset of your extrajudicial declaration-protest, you accept me as the responsible person of the website exapsalmos.gr. Therefore, this alone gives me the right to write articles. However, personally, I did not ascend any academic ladder driven in a scandalous manner by wise professors whom I used and then deleted from the folds of my heart. Nor did I present doctoral dissertations written by others for me! I remain in my corner fighting for the crosses given to me by God and praying for the Church to which I belong and which unfortunately is governed by people without the fear of God.

However, beyond your insinuation, you know very well, Your Eminence, that I have been a journalist for many decades and have always been distinguished for the courage of my opinion and my persistence in condemning with evidence the wrongs in our Church. Indeed, in the past, when you considered me and I considered you my friend, you often used this courage when you conveyed information to me as a Synodal Member of the Holy Synod of our Ecumenical Patriarchate as the Metropolitan of Prousa, when the issue with the finances of the Holy Archdiocese under Archbishop Demetrios had artfully been created. At that time, I was useful in achieving at all costs the purpose of the removal of Archbishop Demetrios. But the end justifies the means.

In this case, everything that is documented in my texts has been multiply confirmed, even by conversations with individuals you cannot imagine, and your long-standing loud silence beyond any doubt proves the correctness and truth of what lamentable events are taking place in the Archdiocese of America, as repeatedly highlighted by Greek-American newspapers and other Greek-American organizations.

I expected you to provide me with specific evidence and proof that would respond to and refute the allegations, and I would gladly publish them as journalistic ethics dictate. But in vain. On the contrary, the statement you call on me to post constitutes a text – hagiography of your personality and a unilateral acceptance of my guilt because I comment on events taking place in our Church in which you play a leading role.

Moreover, the choice to use general terms, unilateral interpretations, and theoretical approaches, Your Eminence, is a clear proof of guilt and lack of arguments, from which it is obvious that you are already seeking an escape route.

However, the conscience of God’s people is infallible, and it does not attribute misinformation and biased behavior to me. On the contrary, mouths have started to open, and complaints about your actions and deeds are pouring in like an avalanche.

For this reason, Your Eminence, it would be good for you to recognize your mistakes and omissions and try to honor the trust of our Patriarch who chose you as the head of the most enviable Metropolis of the Ecumenical Throne.

In any case, I DECLARE to you that I remain at your disposal, either through your authorized lawyer, if you wish to speak honestly about what is happening and to point out the flaws in your actions. I will promptly publish any clarifying response you send me. As you will have noticed, our website does not accept interventions or survive with the [the support of the] backs of third parties (and you know what I mean). And it is always open to dialogue. Assign one of the many collaborators you have in the field of Communications to respond to me, even in the few texts you chose to criticize me, and I also declare that I will publish it.

The pluralism of opinions constitutes health, and my duty is to inform the world.

The competent judicial supervisor is ordered to lawfully deliver this to Panagiotis Vlassis, Attorney in Athens, resident of Athens, Voukourestiou str. 36, as the authorized lawyer of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros (commonly known as Ioannis Lambriniadis) for his information and for the legal consequences, and to copy it in its entirety in the submission report.

The extrajudicial respondent:

Sotirios Michael Tzoumas”

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