The biggest danger is the Karloutsos’ “end game”: they will turn West Palm Beach into a “Hamptons South”, where glitzy events will be organized for “the rich and famous Orthodox and not”, where they will serve materialism galore and where the spirit of Christian faith will be conspicuously absent. In other words, they will apply their concept of turning Churches into “Country Clubs”…
By Nick Stamatakis
Something seems to have gone terribly wrong in the otherwise very peaceful, Greek Orthodox community of Saint Catherine in West Palm Beach. Parishioners are calling and emailing us in desperation for weeks! What is going on? The Metropolis of Atlanta has decided to replace the priest, Fr. Andrew Maginas, age 70, after twenty-eight years of service – productive and fruitful service as the Metropolis admits! For such a drastic action you would think they would put forward some serious “mistakes” or “dysfunction” by the priest. Yet, as you will see from the documents included in this report, there are no such accusations. Instead, their arguments are borderline ridiculous; they are concerned “whether the children participate in the full liturgy until the end, the delivery of Holy Communion…” And when the non-existent allegations did not work, they accused Fr. Andrew, wrongly, of violating a “gag order.” But, when 240 (out of a total 280) parishioners sign a letter to Metropolitan Alexios objecting to Fr. Andrew’s removal, then we all should pay attention. What is really happening in West Palm Beach?
I have spoken to several parishioners recently (full disclosure: my son, Andreas, is one of them for the past two years) and have been listening to their concerns. The truth is that when I first heard that, over a year ago, Mike Karloutsos (and family) has moved in with his mother-in-law who lives in this wealthy area of South Florida, I instantly knew that trouble would soon follow. (I reported on this event when “Papa” Karloutsos, announced his retirement – please link here).
Why did I think that? Because of Mike’s involvement in the Greek medical marijuana legal case, where he is being sued for about $10 million. This is what I said in my report (above): “It is very true that his son Mike’s involvement in yet one more legal case (the Greek medical marijuana case) had exhausted him (“Papa” Karloutsos) at least emotionally. He was seen a few weeks ago in West Palm Beach, where he visited to make arrangements for Mike’s family to move there…. (he) visited the local church to introduce the family to the priest and the parish.” (You can see the legal docs for this case at the bottom of this post).
Recently, “Papa” Karloutsos visited West Palm Beach again, in the company of Michael Psaros. They flew in on Psaros’ private jet and arrived like “Kings” in the Parish’s Greek Festival. While everybody else was participating in the Festival in the usual informal manner, they were treated like celebrities, sat at a “wedding-like” table, and were served “with white gloves” so to speak…
The lawsuit against Mike Karloutsos is still going on and a few months ago it was learned that the Court prohibited Mike from getting the proceeds from the sale of his house in McLean, Virginia (which were put in an escrow account): Obviously, the Court considered the “likelihood of success” of the plaintiffs in this case and wanted to keep some assets for the (at least partial) satisfaction of judgments. Mike had bought the house a few years ago, for about $1 million, when he was appointed as an “Etiquette Director” at the State Dept. and he sold it last year for $1.8 million when his career at the State Dept. proved to be very short-lived. His financial situation is described as desperate: the legal fees are accumulating, at the same time as his income is limited. The fact that he lives with his in-laws (in West Palm Beach) says it all…
But it seems that a part of the Karloutsos “Clan” that has been living in West Palm Beach for many years had already started “antagonizing” (to put it mildly) Fr. Andrew Maginas. It looks that they have a small group around them and were pushing for a long time to remove Fr. Andrew. What does the Karloutsos “Gang” want to do? Allegedly, they want to bring to Florida Fr. Nicholas, now in the Manhattan Cathedral… And it seems that they plan to re-organize the Church. When I heard that, recently, a wealthy parishioner bequeathed to the parish a $1.5 million donation, I knew that this would attract some attention from the Karloutsos “Gang”. They would grab the opportunity thinking: “This is too much money to handle for a parish with just a $500,000 annual budget” …
Above: Fr. Nicholas Karloutsos
In essence, they want to practice the “family business” in West Palm Beach”: Attract donations (not only to the parish but to the Foundations they control – “Patriarch Bartholomew Foundation” is one of them) and get a 15% “commission” (no one is sure exactly how much is the “commission” – in itself unacceptable in our Church: if they want commission they should enter politics), as “Papa” Karloutsos is doing for decades, create an income for themselves through the local parish, get in touch with local politicians and provide their “services” to them, etc… Mike’s wife, Anastasia, is already the secretary of the parish council. The hostile takeover is well underway… (Below Anastasia’s poster as a candidate for Fairfax County, VA, School Board, where her “gig” also failed)…
The biggest danger is the Karloutsos “end game”: they will turn West Palm Beach into a “Hamptons South”, where glitzy events will be organized for “the rich and famous Orthodox and not”, where they will serve materialism galore and where the spirit of Christian faith will be conspicuously absent. In other words, they will apply their concept of turning Churches into “Country Clubs”…
Why the Metropolis thinks that Karloutsos’ “business plan” would fit any parish is inconceivable to me. Yes, Fr. Nicholas Karloutsos (who now serves in the Manhattan Cathedral and allegedly would be moving to West Palm Beach) enjoys a good reputation and so does Fr. Constantine in the Hamptons. Beyond the two of them, the whole family is corrupt beyond description: Members of the family have been sentenced, are under investigation, or are being sued for millions!.. Papa Karloutsos himself seems to be the main target of the federal investigation about GOARCH finances still going for 5 years (we are still waiting to see if Jerry Dimitriou, (who has made a plea-bargain deal with the Feds) will talk. Mike Karloutsos, and his brother-in-law were involved in the Philadelphia restaurant scandal and his brother-in-law (Anastasia’s brother) served jail time for embezzlement and tax evasion – (he took all the blame so that the “name” Karloutsos escape intact. Then more recently, Mike himself was sued for $10 million in the infamous Greek medical marijuana case…. When and where this “mafia-like” family will stop? The whole family made millions on GOARCH payroll which they did not deserve – it’s time for ALL of them to MOVE ON!!
Returning to the removal of the priest, it seems to be a “standard practice” for the Metropolis of Atlanta: St. Catherine’s at Naples, Florida had priests removed on the advice of wealthy donors, one of them recently. It left the local parish devastated and many never stepped back into the Church. The same is about to happen now in West Palm Beach…
This is not the way to deal with anyone’s life and profession, especially a Priest and even more particularly an Orthodox priest. Our Orthodox Church is known to be organized based on synodical principles. Parish Councils should be consulted when a new priest comes in and they should be consulted about the removal of a priest. Our Hierarchs are not Byzantine Emperors, and they are not Sultans, despite the best efforts of the Constantinople Patriarchate recently.
Especially in the case of Fr. Andrew Maginas who for three decades has served this community, has baptized, married, and laid to rest most parish members and their families and has touched the lives of several who devoted themselves to life in the Church. When 240 out of 280 members of this parish put their signatures on a letter that is ignored by the Metropolis, the next step is to seek the Archbishop’s intervention. The fact of the matter is we are dealing more with a fatherly figure for this community than a priest.
We know this is too much to ask from a church that lacks a Charter currently (in addition to the complete absence of rules of transparency and accountability) but there should be a system for the re-assignment of priests, including re-training programs and retirement planning. But at the center of this system should be the expressed will of the parish he serves: If a priest has the overwhelming “external good testimony” (“έξωθεν καλήν μαρτυρίαν»), and the overwhelming support of the parishioners then his removal is not the right thing to do.
We are truly hoping that this unfair decision will be reversed for the benefit of this beautiful community and the Church in general. The Greek-American community is done with the Karloutsos family: We need to take our Church back and make it a Christ-centered Church again.
March 7, 2022, email@example.com www.helleniscope.com
DISCLAIMER: The views and statements expressed in this article constitute constitutionally protected opinions of this author.
DOCUMENTS RELATED TO THE EVENTS DESCRIBED ABOVE:
- LETTER OF THE METROPOLIS TO THE PARISH – FEB 17, 2022 WEST PALM BEACH – METROPOLIS OF ATLANTA LETTER_20220307_0001
- LETTER OF THE PARISH COUNCIL PRESIDENT TO THE PARISHIONERS FEB 22, 2022 WEST PALM BEACH – PARISH COUNCIL LETTER_20220307_0001
- LETTER TO METROPOLIS AND THE ARCHBISHOP WEST PALM BEACH – LETTER TO THE METROPOLITS AND THE ARCHBISHOP_20220307_0001
LEGAL DOCUMENTS REGARDING MIKE KARLOUTSOS
- CHALEPLIS VS. KARLOUTSOS ET ALS COMPLAINT – GREEK MEDICAL MARIJUANA CASE CHALEPLIS VS. KARLOUTSOS COMPLAINT
- MIKE KARLOUTSOS ET ALS RICO STATEMENT MIKE KARLOUTSOS ET ALS RICO STATEMENT
- ONE WORLD LLC ET ALS. VS ONUFRIADIS ET ALS.One World LLC et al v. Onoufriadis et al
Well the Prince of Darkness Alex Karloutsos contaminates everything & everyone around him especially his messed up son. And now Palm Beach is the next victim & that innocent good priest!
There’s zero, nothing spiritual about this degenerate Karloutsos in a priest collar & someday when he’s dispatched to that dark satanic place reserved for him in afterlife
to reflect on his debauched lifestyle & then
people will come out of woodworks with dirty, dark horror stories of how he used & abused them.
The churches are rotting from the head. The Greek Orthodox leaders are no longer informed informed by the Gospel but by Marxist ideology.
They have the backing of the global cabal which has no moral conscience. Ex. Karloutsos and some guy people refer to as His Eminence Elpi.
Ah…such wickedness has been accepted. No charter yet? Lol.
Long ago, heard story of a rich art dealer had conversation with Rasputin Alex at
his gallery and confided he didn’t believe in Jesus
and Rev. Karloutsos replied back, he too
“lost his belief in Orthodox Faith and
being a priest is just a job he must do.”
Kyrie Eleison how selfish –
bringing down the church he disdains!
AK kissing hand of Cuomo, worshipping Joe Biden & turning ecclesia into country club is anathema deserving of military discharge!
“Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.” (Luke 17:1&2)
These words of Jesus came to mind while an uneasy feeling hit the pit of my stomach. I have seen this play before, i.e. a thriving parish with stable leadership decimated by the removal of a priest and a hostile takeover by unsavory parishioners. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the faithful of St. Catherine, West Palm Beach were already contemplating an exit plan.
If the metropolitan or the archbishop don’t intervene to work out a mutual agreement and assuage hurt feelings soon, the parish will experience consternation and the faith of the weaker members will be sorely challenged. The stability that countless years of Fr. Andrew’s ministry have nurtured may be lost in a matter of months. This disturbance is one way that the devil coaxes the Church into dropping a stone on its foot. Lord, have mercy.
Excellent article! The picture of the priest kissing Cuomo’s hand (who happens to be a sex offender and pro infanticide) says it all! How shameful and sad.
seriously Rev. Alex Karloutsos is Orthodox version = of
toxic Rev. Al Sharpton.
Never heard a good word on
Rasputin Alex. 💯% toxic to GOA
I consider it a Coup by the Carloutsos family and the rest of those who cooperate with this conspiracy I object of the removal of Father Andrew Maginas and hope that the Archbishop Elpidoforos alond with Bishop Alexios reverse his unjustified action
If there will be NO reverse I will not support the Church or Father Nicholas and I will not attend the Church as many will do and leave asa protest The Majority of the St,Catherines Parissines DO NOT WANT ANY CHANGE AUTOI POY EXOUN AYTIA AS AKOUSOUN they creating a scandal for the Orhodox Church
P.S I have email His Eminence regarding this COUP and did not receive an answer STOP THE REMOVAL WE DON’T WANT ANOTHER PRIEST WITH SUCH A PREVIOUS RECORD THE PEOPLE DEMAND THIS
I HOPE THE PATRIARCH,THE ARCHBISHOP. BISHOPS AND THE ONES AT THE PARISHBRASSL WHO KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING REVERSE THIS HORRIBLE SCANDAL AND DON’T SHAME OUR ORTHODOX FAITH
IF THE NEW PRIEST MOVE TO FLORIDA LET HIM BE AN ASSISTANT PRIEST AND WHEN FATHER ANDREW RETIRES THEN HE CAN TAKE OVER LEGALLY PERIOD
Well, if the Archdiocese moves forward with removing a beloved priest, than the parishioners should cut their stewardship completely. Then we’ll see what the Chancellor has to say..