By Nick Stamatakis

Every time this writer revealed a story about corruption or any scandal in our Church and community – and there were countless the last few years – the first reaction from the culprits’ side was not the admission or rejection of the story, as it is expected. The reaction was uniformly the same: “Who gave them the (supposedly “privileged”) information?…” And then, without exception, an internal interrogation ensued, leading in some cases to a vengeful reaction against the suspected “informants”, typically the isolation or firing or expulsion of the “suspect”/whistleblower/”snitch”…

At the same time the corrupt “leadership” made an effort to protect “their people” using the mafia “code of silence” (known as “omerta”) with great …pride: «Τα εν οικω μη εν δήμω», translated as “Whatever happens inside our house/family should not be seen/heard outside”… What does this ridiculous statement really mean? The short answer is that “when you are part of the particular abusive/predatory group, the “family”, which is exploiting a certain setting (Archdiocese, Patriarchate, Church, Parish, School etc.) you are treating the communal space – which belongs to all the people – as yours and you are supposed to keep your lips tight regarding the “embezzlements” and other crimes.

This writer is probably a lonely voice when, years ago, I suggested that “mafia” is a social phenomenon to be largely credited to us, Greeks.  I will leave the detailed history of this phenomenon for another time (but let me note one example: in Crete the Mitsotakis and Kefalogiannis mafia families count tens of thousands of godchildren and “relatives” each).  For now, we can all see that it is useful in explaining why the various “godfathers”, disregard American laws and Christian morality and treat our institutions as their own “family business”. When they do it, nobody is surprised and the whole operation is considered “normal”: All involved are expected to keep the mafia “code of silence”…

Before we go any further let me give some examples from the last two years:

  • Who gave us the information that Met. Emmanuel of France (then hoping to be the new AB of America) and his assistant Maximos had turned the building of the Metropolis in Paris into a brothel by inviting gay male escorts for nightly adventures? Does it matter who provided the info? What matters is that the info was reflected on a French Police report which Pat. Bartholomew chose to ignore. And instead of punishing them, he promoted them!! The ecclesiastical mafia in all its glory!! They run a house of immorality but they pretend to be “holier than thou”!…
  • Who was the whistleblower who demolished the whole GOA edifice and turned thousands of documents to the Feds, who now have indicted Papadatos and Dimitriou, while others await their turn? Who is the informant who reported that the Priest’s Pension Fund is $50 million underfunded? Who reported the HCHC scandals?  Who revealed the corruption around St.Nicholas Shrine at Ground Zero? Who reported the various schemes around the operation of the Archons? The faithful know the truth: they know exactly what the authorities know, that this is an “organized crime” situation. The difference this time is that the “Mafiosi” of our Church are not getting away with it anymore…
  • The despicable “mafia” code of silence was evident in Catsimatidis’ threats against the whistleblower and the press last February… Who are we to reveal decades of fraud and corruption and turn against the “Family” ignoring the “code of silence”? Who are we to reveal four decades of corruption by the “Prince of Darkness”, Karloutsos, and his “Family”? The salaries (plus benefits plus use of credit cards) of Mike Karloutsos and Presvytera Xanthi cost the Archdiocese a “cool mil” annually for decades – and this is a very conservative estimate! When is he going to pay back the money? Yes, he has enough resources to do so… Who told us about the sick relationship between John Horozoglou and Karloutsos in peddling invitations to the annual White House Greek Independence celebration? Karloutsos’ mouth drips …honey every time he pronounces the word “family”; and so the “family” had to be protected…  Not the GOA finances, which were stolen – no, we did not care about these… But “the family”, the Karloutsos family, was above all…
  • Who provided the info for the 47 years of financial and other abuses of power by Andriotis in Astoria? The list is long but let me just mention the overthrow of honest and able priests (Father Poulos, Father Pavlos), parish council members, school directors and everybody else who would “overshadow” the glorious leader, the “godfather” Andriotis? Who dared tell us about Andriotis’ and Koularmanis’ open threats against “opponents” to “throw out of the school their innocent children”? Who told us about Andriotis’ and his gang causing the parish damage multiple times the $940K  tax deductible supposed “donation” he gave to the School?
  • Who provided the info for Koularmanis financial and psychological abuses in St.Demetrios School for decades? Was he investigated? Was he fired? Not only he was not fired, but AB Elpidophoros hired him as the new Education director…
  • Who provided us the info for the financial and moral abuses of Bishop Apostolos of Medeias, who is now rumored to become the new Archbishop, after Elpidophoros departs for Istanbul?
  • Who told us about the multiple transgressions of the now disgraced TNH publisher A.Diamataris (who was fired by PM Mitsotakis in flight to Australia!…)? Who told us about his gaining 25-30,000/yr “advertisement fees” from the Astoria parish alone? Who told us about his involvement in the effort to steal the school from the community and turn it into a private business?
  • Who gave us the many videos that rocked the community the last few months? The video of Met. Nicholas of Detroit who spilled the beans about the financial “mishandling” in 79th Street? Who provided the video of Catsimatidis threatening the press and the whistleblower? Who provided the video of M.Psarros peddling coverups in the L100 conference?
  • Who emailed us the “secret” letter of AB Elpidophoros directing the priests to use multiple spoons in delivering the Holy communion?

I know I am forgetting many similar instances, but let me answer these questions in the best way I can.  Yes, we have said before that our informants are part of a “network of resistance”.  But there is no other power motivating them, except their Love of the Church of Christ, their strong ties with their Hellenic culture and their concern about their communities, where their children and grandchildren are growing up.  They are all disgusted by the violation of every legal and moral principle in running our non-profit organizations.  They are ashamed to call themselves Orthodox Christians and Greeks…

Our informants are ALL OF YOU, people in high and not so high places.  Some are clergy and most are lay faithful who know that the only way to bring much-needed change to this suffering community is to shed light to the myriad of abuses.  Who know that a good Christian is not the one who enforces the “code of silence” but the one who reports the criminals to the authorities. Yes, my friends, we have heard this absurd argument from those fake “protectors” of Christian morality: “Don’t judge him, only Christ will eventually judge him!!” Unbelievable!! “Don’t judge the thieves! Don’t’s judge the abusers!”  As if Christ would ever bless theft and abuse of any kind! If they want forgiveness let them come forward, admit their crimes in public and they will be eventually forgiven.  But we do not “judge” anyone… The authorities have judged and INDICTED some already.  And they will “judge” many more, we are hoping…

Above all, our informants are united by this common denominator, this galvanizing knowledge about our Church. They know it is not a Christ-centered church and has not been one for decades. It’s an “Archon Social Club” of destruction.  They turned our Church into a class-based organization. And this is the one thing Jesus Christ detested the most.

Last year, at the critical moment of the transition to a new archbishop, the faithful realized that they were lied upon once again, that the Charter of our Church was violated by the election of Elpidophoros; ALL were alarmed and came together to defend their Church.  Because they know that the only way for this Church to survive is to gain its autonomy from any foreign interventions. To be able to elect its own leadership by its own representatives, lay and clergy. To be able to install “checks and balances” so our non-profit organizations flourish once again… In order to, one day, be rightfully called “The (Pan)Orthodox Church of America”.

The time to resist is NOW! The time to achieve autonomy is NOW!

June 11, 2020, n.stamatakis@aol.com   www.helleniscope.com

 

 

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