Article: Archdiocese Faces Financial Difficulties
Author: Theodore Kalmoukos
Date Published: 1/3/2009
Publication: The National Herald
Archbishop Demetrios may have to layoff staff at the Archdiocese.
Cutbacks and Staff Layoffs at Archdiocese May be on the Horizon
BOSTON The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America appears to be
going through a difficult financial period, according to sources from
within, to the extent that reductions in spending or even personnel
layoffs are being considered.
Specifically, parishes either do not send their monthly financial
support at all to the Archdiocese or they sent much less than the
amounts that have been set as their obligation. As a result, the
Archdiocese has pressed the local Metropolises, and then the
Metropolises press their parishes. As a matter of fact, in some
instances the Metropolises even use blackmail and threat tactics. For
example, they threaten not to validate the parish council elections
or even worst to withdraw the priest from the parish or not to assign
a priest unless the full amount is paid to the Archdiocese.
At the same time, the new financial system that was put in place that
states each parish is obligated to give to the Archdiocese 15% of its
total expenses, as well as the arbitrary setting of the amount that
the parish is obligated to pay have brought many parishes to their
knees and voted upon at the Clergy-Laity Congress in Nashville,
Tennessee in 2006. More specifically, there are parishes whose annual
assessment to the Archdiocese was doubled without any regard or
consideration of the existence of special conditions and
circumstances that the parishes face. A parish which was paying
$20,000 annually, now is obligated to pay $40,000 or from $95,000 to
According to sources inside the Archdiocese, there are three
essential reasons that parishes reduce their financial giving to the
Archdiocese: a) The general state of the economy in the U.S. which
has caused many people to lose their jobs, has also caused drastic
reductions of the values of their real estate properties used as
sources of income. b) The sexual scandals of the clergy. The out-of-
court settlement of many millions of dollars in the pederasty case of
former priest Nicholas Katinas to compensate the five victims from
Texas, as well as other payments paid to victims of the former
Archimandrites Stanley Adamakis and Michael Rymer for homosexual
abuse and c) the lavish and neo-wealthy lifestyle of some officials
of the Archdiocese especially clergy including hierarchs. All of the
above have caused the faithful to reduce or even to completely stop
their donations and financial support to their parishes and
consequently the parishes to the Archdiocese.
The Metropolises receive in return 25% of the total amount sent by
their parishes to the Archdiocese. At the same time, some
Metropolises have established their own fundraising methods and
programs and are getting donations and contributions directly from
the parishes and from individual members of their congregations to
their coffers in order to support their programs.
The National Herald is in a position to know that Archbishop
Demetrios has been receiving recommendations for drastic reductions
of the expenses and even to layoff some personnel. The Archdiocese
today has some 83 personnel, but those who know say that no more than
25 are needed for the Archdiocese to operate smoothly. The Archbishop
does not seem to be willing to reduce the expenses, neither to let
people go because he does not want to give the impression that the
Archdiocese faces a financial problem, but he rather prefers to
continue to present a rosy picture and a feel-good mentality.
It is reminded here that during his visit to Greece last October the
Archbishop had asked for financial help from the Greek government.
Specifically, he asked from George Alogoskoufis the Minister of
Finance for 6 million euro, in order to renovate the Camp Center of
the Ionian Village in Vartholomio of Peloponnesus Greece. Up to this
day it has not been known if the requested monies were given to the
Archdiocese and how they are spent.