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Archdiocese Faces Financial Difficulties

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  • Melanie Jula Sakoda
    Article: Archdiocese Faces Financial Difficulties Author: Theodore Kalmoukos Date Published: 1/3/2009 Publication: The National Herald Links:
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 3, 2009
      Article: Archdiocese Faces Financial Difficulties

      Author: Theodore Kalmoukos

      Date Published: 1/3/2009

      Publication: The National Herald

      Links: http://www.thenationalherald.com/


      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.
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