PHOTO: Fr. Nektarios in his “pseudo-authoritative”, haughty look, pretending to be ready to wear a bishop’s miter…

By Nick Stamatakis

In a move that proves once again how fitting the nickname Elpidoktonos (Hope Killer) is, the Archbishop removed a leader of the team which was making an effort to reform the ailing Astoria St.Demetrios community, Mr. Gerasimos Asprogerakas (treasurer of the parish), without even bothering to call him for a hearing!! The letter of removal was written by Chancellor Fr. Andreas Vithoulkas – under direct guidance by the Archbishop – and from what I heard is not only a monument of injustice but a real example of “Turkish” authoritarianism!!

The treasurer of the Astoria parish led a team of many parishioners for the past three years who made an effort to clean up the community from corruption – Helleniscope has described those repeatedly (here is an excellent summary)… The Archbishop two years ago had refused to approve his re-election to the Parish Council on the advice of similar “wrong-doers”, both clergy and laymen.  Later, he reversed course realizing his mistake… Now he seems to be making the same mistake again… A true sign of a lack of leadership qualities…

In recent weeks and months, a fight has been brewing in the community between the reformers and the presiding priest Fr. Nektarios Papazafiropoulos.  Fr. Nektarios, disregarding the current dismal financial situation of the parish, insisted on developing a rather small piece of land across the Church at a cost currently of $7.7 million!!  Fr. Nektarios wrongly believes that building this property will be an achievement to propel him to the position of Bishop – his BIG delusionary dream… Totally lacking charisma and unable to perform at a satisfactory level the priests’ tasks, Fr. Nektarios was singularly focused on the building, even as the Church pews were almost empty every Sunday… The Archbishop was fully aware of the Parish Council’s inability to work with Fr. Nektarios.  Yet, Elpidoktonos chose to side with the priest, as there are already plans to make him a Chancellor!! (It has been already decided that Fr. Andreas Vithoulkas will go to St.Nicholas at Ground Zero…) It is also known that Fr. Nektarios’ brother, Fr. Panagiotis, also a priest, who works at the headquarters as the Archbishop’s chief of staff, played a particularly negative role in the whole situation.  Isn’t there a “conflict” to have two brothers to hold leading positions? Regardless, it will be a disastrous combination…

The straw that broke the camel’s back was the recent demand by Fr. Nektarios for the parish to pay the travel expense for himself and two more (out of a total of four) Astoria priests to participate in the National Clergy Retreat which took place these days (Oct 12-15) in Naples Florida in the luxurious Naples Grande Beach Resort (HERE IS THE LINK).  The retreat in the luxurious resort was supposed to stay “private”… If anyone looked in TNH or other websites or even at goarch.org they would not find ANY information!!

Helleniscope made the “mistake” to publicize the event yesterday; We criticized Fr. Nektarios for demanding the parish to pay – when they had already refused!!  But we did not say how Fr. Nektarios found, in the end, the money to have the trip paid… No he did not dig into his own extra deep pockets, lined with substantial real estate holdings. What he did is unbelievable: He used a “Hagiography Fund” where the faithful gives money for purposes of Hagiography of the two parish Churches!! Yes, my friends in Astoria, next time you give your money to Fr. Nektarios “for hagiography” you should know that your money is ending up in lavish – unnecessary – vacations or God knows what else!

Even more unnecessary was the “retreat” as Fr. Nektarios refused to teach “religious classes” in the parish’s many schools – including the only Greek-American High School in the country! – and led the other priests to do the same… For the past 3 years as most of you know, the reform leaders have been fighting – and managed to cancel the takeover of the school by “businessmen” – including former TNH publisher Damataris… One of the main reasons for this huge fight was that the School is the lifeline of the parish which has diminishing income and also turning it into a charter would mean no religious classes would be taught.  Now, after the battle was won, Fr. Nektarios refuses to teach such religion classes!! Why? Most people agree that he doesn’t want to make the extra effort – to put it mildly…

This is nothing new for Fr. Nektarios… Before being hired in Astoria, he served at St.Nicholas of West Babylon in Long Island, a small community which he almost bankrupted with his lack of charisma, his lack of sociability, and everything else that make us all say: “So and so is a very good priest”…  Please do not doubt my claims of Fr. Nektarios’ past “performance” – I have personal knowledge of the situation… Why doesn’t Fr. Andreas Vithoulkas pick up the phone to find out the truth? He probably does not need to because he served for years in Long Island and he knows exactly what am I talking about!!

The Archbishop has for one more time decided to take the wrong side of issues, he chose the wrong side, the side the overwhelming majority of the faithful disapprove of.  Week after week, month after month, wrong choice after wrong choice, the pile of his mistakes coupled with the catastrophic leadership of Pat. Bartholomew (let’s not forget that he was the one who – instead of demoting – he promoted Emmanuel and Maximos after the Paris scandals), the Archbishop has created problems with so many groups of people that his position in America is untenable… As I have said many times recently, his days here are numbered…

October 15, 2021, n.stamatakis@aol.com   www.helleniscope.com

15 COMMENTS

  1. Embezzlement, misuse of funds, fraud, “entitlement” call it what you may a disgrace! When will he be held accountable for sinking the parish communities for the past 10 years and now putting the community in even further debt to construct a new building for which there has been almost no fundraising for? How can the community continue to trust him when he is misusing funds from parishioner donations intended for the iconography of the churches?

  2. Fr. Nektarios needs to resign or retire! Community is done with you are you listening!! You destroyed our children’s golden opportunity when you rejected the Niarchos funding and management of the school!! For all of those who forgot I haven’t! I had to take my 2 kids out of St D’s and put them into St Nick’s. It was a blessing in disguise but please read to refresh your memories for those who forgot or don’t know what happened
    https://www.thenationalherald.com/editorial/arthro/they_ruined_a_golden_opportunity-49119/

    • Tina, we did the same thing. When the former principal left we left as well. He was the only one that cared about the school and our kids. Finally the truth is coming out about the real crooks.

  3. Unbelievable! Such a poor witness for Orthodoxy here in the USA. Despite all his faults and possible crimes, Fr. Nektarios is dressed as an Orthodox priest should be dressed, in a raso (cassock), pectoral cross and a skoufo (priest or monastic hat). It is sad that many Greek priests in the USA run around in the Anglican black business suit and white dog collar; which are NOT Orthodox. Despite all he has done, Fr. Nektarios is dressed as an Orthodox priest should be dressed, not a “bishop wannabe”. I am so glad I left the Greek Archdiocese 30 years ago for ROCOR. ROCOR priests dress like Orthodox priests and ROCOR bishops live like the monks they are supposed to be.
    Stealing money from a hagiography fund to take a lavish vacation! Έλεος, Κύριε! If the priests were to have a conference, it should have been at a monastery or a large parish. In ROCOR, when they have clergy retreats or conferences, they are held at a large parish or monastery. It was SO beautiful a few years ago at my parish which held a clergy conference, to hear three bishops, 50 priests and various deacons all sing during the liturgy! So beautiful, uplifting and a blessing!

  4. Yikes this so called priest Fr Nektarios,
    “his lack of sociability” is painfully really true. Laity deserve an engaging personality in their priests, don’t they notice these things before being tonsured & hired??

  5. Yuk Yuk….From a blog I will not name:

    “Greek Orthodox mafia Greek Orthodox church is run by bishops who were accused of serious crimes, amounting to an organized crime ring that exerted control over Greek politicians and judges, and to have used the church’s almost unlimited powers to build a mafia-like hierarchy of wealth and corruption.”

    When will the faithful wake up?

    • The only way they wake up is when a federal prosecutorial task force goes after the GOA on RICO charges. Not likely to happen under Bidenopoulos and Senator Karloutsos.

  6. Καλημέρα σας είμαι πρώην σύμβουλος του Αγίου Δημητρίου λυπάμαι που διαβάζω και ακούω όλα αυτά. Αλλά πιστεύω πως είναι καιρός να βγουν τα πράγματα στη φόρα και ίσως από εδώ και στο έξεις υπάρχει άμεση διαφάνεια για ότι γίνεται μέσα στην κοινότητα. Να θυμόσαστε πάντα ότι θα υπάρχει και συνεργάτης στο έγκλημα δεν γίνεται ένα άτομο να είναι μόνο του υπεύθυνο για της κακοδιαχείρησης. Ας τα κοιτάξουν καλύτερα τα πράγματα γιατί τα χρήματα εξαφανίζονταν και με άλλους τρόπους. Έχουν φάει με χρυσά και πλατινένια κουτάλια εκεί μέσα. Ξυπνήστε κάνετε ανανέωση πριν είναι πολύ αργά. Καλή συνέχεια..

  7. I read with great interest what you wrote.
    But I feel it is also important that you and readers are aware of the following because it Is upsetting to me as a parent who sends my children to the school.

    Disgusted, dismayed, and absolutely angered by the fact that my wife and I have been solicited by members of the teaching staff to purchase products that they are selling for their own personal business.

    We are the owners of a small family business in Queens who have struggled to maintain an income in difficult times so that we may send our children to Saint Demetrios School. We have our own contacts and do not appreciate being told that the websites and electronic transfer (CREDIT, DEBIT) machines we use are not as good or fast as the ones they are selling.

    If the school cannot afford to pay their teachers enough, then they should look to go to another school to work. My wife is even questioning if they are true educators since they are spending time on their own personal ventures.

    This letter is being written anonymously because I do not want my business or my children to be maligned by the school. For many years we heard that the former principal would seek out students in negative ways if he did not like their parents and do not want this to happen to our sons because the individuals involved in this venture are very close to the parish council.

    With Respect from a hardworking parent.

  8. Ο πατήρ Νεκταριος ενδιαφέρεται μόνο για το χρήμα. Για την τσέπη του. Εκκλησιαστικά ανύπαρκτος έχει το αδελφάκι στην Αρχιεπισκοπή που τον προστατεύει από την ανυπαρξία του. Έχουν γεμίσει οι διπλανές εκκλησίες στην Αστορια. Άχρωμος , με ξύλινα κηρύγματα , θεολογικά αθεολογητος, από την πόλη έρχομαι και στην κορφή κανέλλα!!!Κατακαημενη πάλαι ποτέ ένδοξη κοινότητα!!

  9. Stephanos, I find it extremely questionable that you evaluate a priest based oN what he wears or doesn’t wear. Remember the characters at St Irene Chrysovalante, Vikentios and his side kick whose name I can’t remember. Both wore all the traditional trappings of an Orthodox clergyman but we’re far from the kingdom. I can think of manny clean shaven, suit wearing priests who are faithful Christian men. Our Lord Himself did not wear distinctive garments. He blended in the crowd but distinguished Himself by the quality of his life. ” The Lord looks upon the heart of man” , says the Psalmist. Don’t be fooled by empty externals.

    • October 26 is Saint Demetrios Day. If you live in Astoria we of course associate the patron saint with saint demetrios school and the church. I decided to visit your website and discovered your comments.

      AB Elpidoktonos Sides With The Wrong-Doers of Astoria…
      Who are the wrong doers on the parish council?

      Who governs the church and / or school?

      The Governor (Nektarios and his crew) of the community. Many Wrong Doer’s

      Who on the crew rejected the Niarchos funding and

      Who manages the school? Nektarios or his crew members

      Dean of the School –
      has no background in education -receives a handsome salary with full medical insurance (a rarity in the School while all other teachers have to pay for their family health insurance).

      With a few of the new parish council members and others made an attempt to reform the school, the church, and community; why do they still have relatives from the old administration continue working at the school.

      see link from blog

      http://www.helleniscope.com/2020/05/08/st-demetrios-school-gets-an-f-during-the-pandemic/

      “Dean of the School – Peter Stasinos (αγράμματος), is the Dean
      and although he has no background in education. -receives a handsome salary …… “

      I pulled out my child because he was bullied by others. The dean doesn’t know how to deal with situations or children. Obviously he has no experience. Why did the wrong doer’s keep him?

      Let’s not forget about the hair dresser.

      Who is managing or calling the shots for the school?

      The new crew or old crew.

      We are quick to place blame without knowing the real truth. I am happy that you are making this public.

      Construction of the New Building and other projects.

      I guess the money ( pot of gold was found).

  10. Τα έλεγε έξω από τα δόντια και τιμώρησε ο Πατήρ Νεκταρίος τον Γεράσιμο!!! Κατάφεραν να τον πετάξουν από την θέση του ταμία για να κάνουν ότι γουστάρουν δίχως έλεγχο εκεί μέσα.. νάνε καλά τα κορόιδα της κοινότητας που πληρώνουν δίδακτρα… ξυπνήστε!! Δεν τον αντικατέστησαν και ούτε πρόκριτε… ούτε ζήτησαν του αναπληρωματικού ταμία να αναλάβει τα καθήκοντα για την υπόλοιπη χρόνια!!!!! Γιατί;;

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