What’s wrong with Karloutsos being succeeded by his nephew? Nothing would be wrong if we Greeks did not have a truly unhealthy idea about where the family ties end and where business begins, and if we actually prioritized meritocracy over family connections.
By Nick Stamatakis
For the past few months, we have been watching the stages of the promotion of Fr. Nicholas Karloutsos. First, we saw his transfer from Danbury, CT, to the Archdiocesan Cathedral of Manhattan, quite a bold move for Fr. Nicholas and his young family, with three small children. Why would any priest and his presbytera, by all accounts a very down to earth and a sociable – and likable – young couple, choose to come to NYC in the midst of these disastrous circumstances, when close to a million people – and especially families with kids – have already fled the city for the suburbs and other states? What is so attractive in a city where everything works remotely, where schools do not operate normally?
Then, recently, we saw his promotion to the rank of “Oikonomos”, just a step higher than a regular priest. What then are these steps showing? They would show nothing spectacular if the priest’s name was not “Karloutsos”… “It’s all in a name”, after all… Especially if this name is a Greek surname with some 40 years of “networking” on behalf of GOA…
It is obvious that these “promotions” of Fr. Nicholas represent an effort by the elder Karloutsos to “keep the business in the family”. In his view, the name “Karloutsos” has great value: it is instantly recognizable in the corrupt corridors of power in NYC and in Washington DC… The elder Karloutsos has tried the same idea with his son Mike, in vain… Mike would always make the wrong turn, from the failed restaurant in Philadephia where he narrowly escaped jail time, to the various casino schemes in Greece, to the Greek medical marijuana “project” that recently cost him a RICO (racketeering) statement, which he is desperately trying to put to rest… Oh, I forgot that he was kicked out from the cushioned State Dept. position of “Etiquette Director” that Daddy Karloutsos had gotten for him (a reward for his “services” to the “Deep State” in the infamous 2016 Ecumenical Synod at Crete)…
The truth is that Karloutsos does not feel that good as we can clearly see in the recent photo above from a video conference… In other words Fr. Nicholas Karloutsos is brought to New York in a last-ditch effort to inherit all the networking and the connections that come with the name “Karloutsos”. And what is so wrong with that, you may ask. Nothing is wrong with that, if you are passing down your own family business to the next generation, the business that you built by countless hours of work and endless sleepless nights, trying to figure how to make payroll and how to take it to the next step. But even in passing down the family business, as many of us know, one faces a number of questions – mostly regarding the future of any business in the “wrong” family hands…
But this is not the case here. Anyone who serves in government and also in non-profit organizations knows the cardinal rule that family affiliations create a conflict of interest; even in a private business setting, let’s say in a big corporation, close family members are not supposed to work in such “proximity” within the structure of the corporation – forget about succeeding each other…
In our case, there is something even more “sinister”, culturally sinister… Nothing would be wrong if we Greeks did not have a truly unhealthy idea about where the family ties end and where business begins, and if we actually prioritized meritocracy instead of family connections. The main reason for the catastrophe of contemporary Greece lies in the fact that during the last 62 years (7 of which were a military dictatorship) 7 prime ministers, who served for a combined 44 of those 62 years, shared the same three last names: Karamanlis, Papandreou, Mitsotakis... As we all know this is a phenomenon that permeates the government, central and local, at all levels and strangles any attempt for innovation and any effort for the establishment of transparency and accountability… It also suffocates any effort to put the brakes on the rampant corruption… (This phenomenon was named “amoral familism” in the famous sociological work by Edward Banfield, “The Moral Basis of a Backward Society”… In a future essay I will try to take this concept a step further to show that we Greeks are responsible for the rise of the phenomenon of the “Mafia” in Southern Italy and many parts of Greece, primarily in Crete, but not only there…)
Is this what we want to practice in the almost bankrupt GOA? Especially when we see the same destructive phenomenon in many parishes (E.g. In St.Demetrios of Astoria where the “godfather” Andriotis has been using his nephew Papamichael for the last forty years to assist him in exploiting the parish and he is currently also getting ready to “hand over the reins” to him?)
Fr. Nicholas Karloutsos is a talented young priest who by all indications will have a wonderful career in the Church. He is well educated and has so much to offer in many different directions/ministries. Above all, he has something that his uncle has lost after decades of “power peddling”: He has what our Church calls the “Εξωθεν Καλήν Μαρτυρίαν” (Best rendered as the “External good testimony(reputation)” – an idea/requirement first introduced by St. Paul himself ... Chances are that if he is introduced to the “power game” that his uncle used to play that he will either fail or he will be corrupted… Why would we want to corrupt one more priest in such a horrible way?
Our community is blessed to have plenty of well educated and talented people in the field of Public Relations and communications. Many have served in media and many more have reached the highest levels, being advisors and spokespeople for US Presidents. The talent in this field is so plentiful that GOA would have no problem at all to create a very successful expanded “Communications Dept”… Many of these talented young men and women would be willing to even volunteer some of their time for the benefit of the Church and the community – if they saw a ray of hope in GOA becoming something else than the corrupt “Karloutsian” enterprise… Would anyone start thinking “outside the box”?
For one more time, I am not holding my breath…
January 2, 2021, email@example.com www.helleniscope.com
You’re right to observe- what kind of a personnel management system and leadership would assign a young family with 3 small kids to the dumpster life at a fading Holy Trinity and Cathedral Towers in a disintegrated Manhattan?
Yes, of course, the Karloutsos Matrix is morphing all over. Their next target is Washington, DC and plans for a magnificent Biden presence for the Imperial Patriarch of Nothing and Nobody. This also puts Fredo back in the driver’s seat, flanked by The Aging Senator Archons of Tzatziki Sauce and Pizzas, featuring Paulette Poulos as hostess.
The more I think about it, it all reminds me of the old Amos n’ Andy TV Show of yesteryear, especially the Mystic Knights of the Sea with Kingfish. A clown show.
Let’s pray for innocent poor Father Nicholas