Allegations against Archimandrite Gerasimos Makris

Author: Theodore Kalmoukos
Date Published: 02/18/2018
Publication: The National Herald
FILE - Fr. Gerasimos Makris was honored on his tenth year pastoral anniversary at Holy Cross parish in Brooklyn New York
FILE - Fr. Gerasimos Makris was honored on his tenth year pastoral anniversary at Holy Cross parish in Brooklyn New York

BROOKLYN – A written and signed allegation for “improper behavior” was sent by a woman to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America against Very Rev. Archimandrite Gerasimos Makris, Presiding Priest of Holy Cross parish in Brooklyn, who had suddenly disappeared from the parish last month, as The National Herald reported on January 18, 2018.

TNH has learned that Archdiocesan Chancellor Bishop Andonios of Phasiane conveyed the information during a clergy retreat in the presence of some 42 priests. Bishop Andonios didn’t mention any details, but he clarified that nothing unethical had taken place. Also, a similar allegation arose from the Nunnery of All Saints in Calverton, NY.

According to the same sources, Andonios reportedly told the New York priests at the Retreat of Prayer and Recollection that he has placed Fr. Makris on liturgical suspension, has sent him for psychological evaluation to the Institute of Saint Luke in Maryland, and that Makris will not return to Holy Cross, and that the Archdiocese is investigating the matter. Makris knew Nun Theonymphy from Holy Cross Theological School, where he was the Dean of Students and she was a student.

TNH made every effort to cover the story, but Bishop Andonios, Rev. Makris and Holy Cross Parish Council President Demetrios Kalamaros did not respond to TNH’s numerous requests for comment. The latter also did not allow TNH photojournalist Costas Bej to enter the Holy Cross building or to speak to any parishioners there.

Priest present at the Retreat spoke warmly to TNH about Makris, considering the entire issue a misunderstanding. They said it is a matter of “pastoral embracing,” such as at a funeral or wedding. They consider Makris to be of impeccable character and ethos, and that he lives an ascetic life to the extent that he doesn’t’ sleep on a bed but on the floor, and he is always accompanied by his mother everywhere he goes.

There are also several parishioners, male and female, who spoke with TNH with request for anonymity, who explained a strange climate of mutual suspicion and mistrust at the parish about the whole issue. Many spoke negatively about the way the Archdiocese and especially Andonios treated the issue without informing the parish and the broaden Greek-American community. Many believed that the whole issue was fabricated in order for Makris to be excluded from the List of Candidates to the episcopacy.

In 2017, Rev. Makris completed ten years of pastorship at Holy Cross and is well-liked by the vast majority of parishioners.