EDITOR’S NOTE (Nick Stamatakis): If anyone wanted to define the extreme height of arrogance in one photo, this would be it!! In Greek (ancient and modern) we have a beautiful expression – “άκρον άωτον” – one of these untranslatable Greek expressions that make the language so unique and beautiful… In our case it means “unparalleled” arrogance… If a priest or a hierarch in any Church sees it proper to put a sign like that on his desk, then we can surely agree that this person has no place in any Church… Because he defies the meaning of Christianity in one single photo… But as you will see below nothing in Karloutsos’s appearance says “I am a priest” and nothing certainly says I am the Vicar of GOA…
But those among us with any sense of true faith do not truly pay attention to appearances – but to deeds… And this is where the problems are beyond description… You have no place in any Church hierarchy if you are there to play your Machiavellian games… Yes, the Vatican has a long history of such political games, but these games were the reason for its demise… And Karloutsos will be the main reason for the demise of GOA… If anyone asks the faithful “why you are not coming to our Church?” – and I urge you to ask them – the number one answer would be the arrogance, cynicism, and secularism personified best by Karloutsos… He managed in his five decades of tenure to strip the Greek Orthodox Church in America of any spirituality and make it synonymous with a “lobbying” organization… He managed to turn the whole Church of Christ into a country club of “fat cats” who care more about how much will be the tax benefit of their donation to the Church than the act of giving…
Karloutsos knows he is on the way out… He knows that he cannot issue directives about the forceful retirement for all priests at 75 that do not apply to himself… But he insists on viewing the Church in the same way as any mafioso “godfather” would see his organization: He sees the Church as his own business… First, he has to find someone from his family to hand “the reins” over to him, and second, he does not truly know what to do with himself when he finally leaves, so he will stick around until he can to make the lives of all even more difficult than they already are… No matter how many arguments he has with the Archbishop and others in the headquarters and elsewhere, he doesn’t want to accept that his time is up…
Let me close with a famous line from George Seferis, the Nobel laureate poet of Greece: “Μας βαραίνουν οι φίλοι που δεν ξέρουν πια πως να πεθανουν”… “They are a burden for us, the friends who no longer know how to die…”
December 11, 2020, firstname.lastname@example.org www.helleniscope.com
It’s a Greek Tragedy, what‘s happened with Rev. Alex Karloutsos, curious what was the tipping point that drove this Priest to the dark side? His own father was a Priest, bet he’s real proud
Pretty simple really. The Devil made him do it.
PS. Very well written post. Very well said. What’s sad is that despite our Church’s hellenistic origin, it will die because it’s not democratic, despite its claims. Apparently, no one in the ranks has a problem with decades of this business as usual, and there is no mechanism for the laity to affect reform. The sheep will all go over the cliff together (so long as they choose to follow). Karloutsos, and his mentor, can be very proud of their accomplishment. His fellow clerics can pray for his soul and thank him for his service.
Alex’s ambition is boundless, even today, and he has passed it on to son Fredo, but, alas, Fredo is just Fredo, a mere caricature. Ambition can be good, but in a clergyman, it can be deadly.
Alex exhibited boundless arrogance even when at the seminary and, for at least two decades after, he was largely a “priest without an altar” (no parish) because Iakovos used him as a deputy, fixer, and money man, a role that had been earlier invented by the late NYC West Side priest Basil Gregoriadis (Basil Gregory) who carried a business card stating he was also “President of John Latsis USA”. Latsis was the late Greek oil billionaire who operated out of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and London.
That figures like Gregory and Alex exist is predictable. The business of the Byzantine Emperor and his court (that means the patriarch and his Boys in the Band) requires the existence of such figures to attend to all the dirty jobs and keep the cash moving in the right directions.
If along the way, The Fixers pick up a big home, nice cars, Manhattan pied-a-terres, daily limo service, tailored double-breasted Hugo Boss suits, unlimited and unchecked Platinum Card spending, and put themselves in various deals here, Turkey, Greece, and Russia , hey, that’s okay as long as the cash and donation keep flowing upstream to the Imperial Court.
When Alex’s era is over, another Alex will arise. Count on it.
For those of you without sin, cast the first stone. we super orthodox tend to stick our noses where it doesn’t belong. Then when difficulty comes we are the first to put on masks, accept closing the churches, and scream at people for kissing icons .social distancing at churches, etc.
if we spoke about the stupidity of peoples lack of faith because of the discussion of the spoons(lavida) then i would say people are speaking out. Having viewed our lack of faith the past 8 months I will say we are lucky to have father Alex . We deserve worse!!!