NEW YORK – His Grace Bishop Andonios of Phasiane, Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America in an interview with The National Herald about Rev. Luke Melackrinos from St. Paul parish in Hempstead, NY did not rule out the latter’s appointment in a parish. Bishop Andonios said that “if the psychologist tells me that Fr. Melackrinos can minister as a priest and there is no danger to repeat the same things again, I will appoint him, why not?”
Melackrinos – who is married and a father of three – was placed on suspension from all his liturgical and administrative duties as presiding priest at St. Paul’s for sending inappropriate photographs of himself to a female parishioner electronically. Melackrinos was serving at the parish since 2006.
The congregants, especially the youth were distressed, because they held him in high respect and esteem.
Melackrinos continues to dwell in the parish home, he works as a salesperson and sees two psychologists. The interview follows:
TNH: Your Grace what is going on with Fr. Luke Melackrinos from St. Paul’s parish? Can you provide an update?
BA: Fr. Melackrinos continues to see a psychologist and I am waiting to see his report. He goes to the psychologist to whom I sent himand he also sees another psychologist.
TNH: Does he see two psychologists?
BA: Yes, yes, for a period of time his presbytera was going as well, if I remember correctly. But Fr. Melackrinos goes once a week to the psychologist, and I am waiting to see his report.
TNH: When is the psychologist going to give you his report?
BA: The psychologist told me it would take at least six months.
TNH: Does Fr. Melackrinos continue to live in the parish home?
BA: Yes he lives in the parish house, but he has found another job to support his family.
TNH: What kind of a job does he do?
BA: I think he is a salesperson, I don’t know exactly. We talk, but I didn’t have a chance to ask him. You know he pains and he is ashamed of what has happened.
TNH: Is there any possibility to appoint him again as a priest to a parish to Liturgize, to preach, to advise children?
BA: If the psychologist tells me that he can be appointed and that there is no danger to repeat the same things again, I will appoint him, why not? He will continue seeing a psychologist often, because we want to be sure that he is not going to repeat the same things again.