By Nick Stamatakis
In an unbelievable turn of events it appears that John Catsimatides (VP of the Archdiocesan Council, who was honored by the Brooklyn community of the Three Hierarchs with the Greek Heritage Award on January 29) has misrepresented the truth repeatedly and has also proceeded to threaten the press; more importantly, he appears to have taken the mantle of the “exterminator” of everything bad within the GOA, while the truth is that the current investigation was the result of the whistleblower’s initiative, whom he also threatened!!
Just yesterday we were commenting on: 1) The several factual mistakes Catsimatides made during his 7-minute speech 2) His effort to “wrap up” the accounting of the huge scandal of St.Nicholas in Ground Zero by ignoring the current investigation and limiting the “guilty GOA employees” to just Papadakos and Demetriou. 3) His effort to control “disinformation” by employing George Venizelos, a retired FBI director, which is a truly appalling attack on “free speech”.
Today, after we were able to get our hands on the 7-minute video of his talk, we were left speechless by the countless legal violations he was able to fit in such a short time, which by the way was meant to honor him as a Greek American and as a “churchman”… Imagine what he would do if he was not a churchman! He would probably take a machine gun and kill everyone who disagreed with him!
- He spoke about “mistakes of the past” that have now been corrected”, knowing full well that the investigation is continuing and aiming at the “biggest wrongdoers”, and particularly at his “Koumbaro” Fr.Karloutsos. Dear Mr. Catsimatides, nothing has been corrected yet, and those who committed the biggest crimes have not been punished yet. Why are you trying to protect them? You are not leading the Church at a better place by protecting the wrongdoers – you are destroying it!
- He said that now the GOA is employing volunteers on the St.Nicholas project (after admitting that before they had wasted untold millions on paid “professionals”) – while the truth is that they do not have the money to pay anyone (they are all but bankrupt!) and that’s why they are trying to employ “pro bono” professionals. The even bigger truth is that they are bankrupt morally, more than they are financially… If they were not bankrupt morally, Karloutsos, the “prince of darkness”, would not be allowed, once again(!), in the same project he made a mess of last time…
- He presented himself as the “terminator”, who cleaned up the Church and put in jail the wrongdoers, saying specifically that “he does not fool around”. The truth is that the whistleblower took the initiative over two years ago to expose the immense corruption in GOA. The whistleblower was able to verify to us directly the following:
STATEMENT BY THE WHISTLEBLOWER (in italics): “I went to the federal authorities because the church leadership and “community leaders” did nothing for over 30 years. In fact, when I addressed my concern of multiple ongoing serious crimes to the “community leaders” they did nothing and wanted me to stay quiet. When I was begging for help they did nothing. I reported on Saint Nicholas and all involved in great detail, I reported on the 50+ million missing out of the pension fund, I reported on the HCHC investigation that got the school on probation and many other serious things. I reported on wrongdoing in multiple states.
This is not a Christ-centered church and it has not been for a very long time.
No, Mr Catsimatides, you and your fellow “community leaders” did not take care of anything… You were more concerned about the next awards where you were honoring yourselves, awards for your “achievement” in running the church into the ground. So, I got the Feds to come in and clean up the mess you all stuck us with. You and the other “leaders” are about parties, not people. You will find that threatening the whistle blower on open and ongoing investigations is a huge mistake and that also has been reported directly to the investigators. The truth is all coming out and the days of the “Archons” and the “community leaders” threatening, lying and bullying the faithful are over!”
- He failed royally to account for the huge losses of the past, in the tune of many millions of dollars. He said nothing of the 10% “kickbacks” to Fr.Karloutsos, his “commission” for fundraising; he said nothing for the $10 million that headed to the Patriarch as a payment for the Ukrainian autocephaly (alleged by James Jiatras, a very knowledgeable former State Dept. employee).
- He refers to $7 million raised from offers of $1 million each (probably from those participating in the “Friends of St.Nicholas” committee), without announcing the names of the donors. And he declared (twice!) that the Spanos Foundation donation of $10 million was in cash! What is this supposed to mean? How is it possible for a Foundation to make a cash donation? What is really going on there? This is very suspicious, especially when we know that Fr.Karloutsos himself went to California to “arrange” the donation with the Spanos Foundation leadership… Did he tell them about the current and ongoing investigations? We can’t find a single person who will give any money to Saint Nicholas while it’s currently under investigation.
- But the most egregiously unlawful part of his rumbling talk was when he attacked all those voices “on the internet” calling them “nonsense” and adding that “we will go after them too” (!!). And he announced shamelessly that “he is lending his own chief of staff, George Venizelos”, retired FBI director, to get those who do bad things for the Church!! “I promise you that”, he concluded, not realizing that he is committing serious violations of the criminal code along with the Constitution of the United States!! Unbelievable!!
January 31, 2020, firstname.lastname@example.org