Archdiocese Pays $1M in Out-of-Court Settlement For Old Sex Abuse Case

Author: Theodore Kalmoukos
Date Published: 05/13/2007

Special to The National Herald

BOSTON, Mass. – The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America entered into an out-of-court settlement for $1 million this past January with an alleged victim of one of two former priests from California, according to a report released by the Archdiocese Finance Committee during the Archdiocesan Council meeting in Houston, Texas on April 27.

The report does not mention the name of the priest or the alleged victim, who will collect the sum directly from the Archdiocese’s general account (the Archdiocese does not have insurance for sexual misconduct cases).

According to information obtained by the National Herald, there were two cases of Orthodox clergy sexual misconduct in California which generated lawsuits. One involved the late Archimandrite Stanley Adamakis, who pled guilty to charges in 1990 that he sexually molested two teenagers, and who was murdered by a lover in 2003. The other involves another Archimandrite who is said to be suffering from AIDS and currently lives in a monastery as a defrocked priest.

The Finance Committee report states that Archdiocese Administrative Director Jerry Dimitriou “reported on the $1 million settlement on the California misconduct case that was to be paid off over time in 14 months.”

The report also states that Mr. Dimitriou “further reported that there were 2 active litigation matters, one involving clergy misconduct and a second one involving alleged copyright infringement on software for the San Francisco Metropolis Folk Dance festival. The latter case will be covered by the insurance.”

Mr. Dimitriou, Archdiocese General Counsel Emmanuel Demos and Cathleen Boufides-Walsh, a member of the Archdiocesan Council’s Legal and Executive Committees, did not return the National Herald’s telephone calls.

Mr. Dimitriou, Archdiocese General Counsel Emmanuel Demos and Cathleen Boufides-Walsh, a member of the Archdiocesan Council’s Legal and Executive Committees, did not return the National Herald’s telephone calls.

During the last five years, the Archdiocese has paid out approximately $10 million in sexual misconduct cases and legal fees, according to Michael Jaharis, Vice Chairman of the Archdiocesan Council’s Executive Committee, whom the Herald interviewed recently (see March 10, 2007 edition, page 1).

As the Herald reported last week, another lawsuit was filed in the sexual misconduct case of Rev. Nicholas Katinas, former pastor of Holy Trinity Church in Dallas, Texas.

According the Finance Committee report, the Executive Committee “agreed to retain a lawyer as a consultant specializing in priest misconduct cases to assist in the assessment of any cases against the Archdiocese at a cost not to exceed $150,000.”

According to the report, “Jerry Dimitriou also reported that the Archdiocese received two $1 million anonymous contributions which allowed the Archdiocese to pay $1.2 million toward Hellenic College (leaving $900,000 owed); used $150,000 to repay a portion of the Patriarchate debt; and used $200,000 toward the California settlement.”

The Archdiocese had failed to fulfill its financial obligation to Hellenic College/Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology for almost two years and is supposed to allocate $1.2 million to HC/HC annually. The School’s annual operating budget is $10 million. The total number of students enrolled in both institutions is 198, out of which 116 are registered in Holy Cross and 82 in Hellenic College.

Peter Kikis, chairman of the Archdiocese Faith Endowment for Orthodoxy & Hellenism “reported that Faith gave $266,000 in 2005 and set aside $500,000, waiting for direction from the Archbishop in 2006. He reported they had approximately 20 members with $13 million on hand and pledges of $40 million.” Mr. Kikis also reported that “the Archdiocese sold the Archbishop Iakovos home in Rye, New York for $3 million, and closing should take place sometime within the next few months.”

In a telephone interview with the Herald, Mr. Kikis explained that, out of the $266,000, $175,000 went to the Theological School for the creation of a new computer room, and the rest was given to the Archdiocese to purchase new computers.”

To the question of where the $500 thousand that has been set aside for the year 2006 will be distributed, Mr. Kikis said, “we have a meeting on the May 23, and it will be decided.” He also said, “Faith is going very well. We have $41-42 million, out of which $13 million is in cash and the rest in pledges. We have 20 members. Faith was established two years ago. It’s quite difficult to convince a Greek to donate a million dollars. We do everything voluntarily. We travel everywhere at our own expense. We haven’t spent even five cents of Faith’s money.”

Asked what Rev. Alexander Karloutsos’ position is in the Faith Endowment, Mr. Kikis said, “He is the executive advisor, because he knows the Greek American community. He helps us set up meetings.”

When he was asked if Faith pays Father Karloutsos’ salary and expenses, Mr. Kikis said “No.” The Faith Endowment was officially established two years ago to financially assist the Archdiocese and its programs. Each Faith Endowment member is expected to donate at least $1 million dollars.

According to the Archdiocese 2007 Yearbook (page 155), Faith’s offices are is located on the 6th floor of 499 Park Avenue in New York City. It is an altogether separate organization from Leadership 100, of which Father Karloutosos was also executive director for a number of years.

The financial reports given at the recent Archdiocesan Council meeting in Houston show an “increase in expenses of $504,416 in the first quarter of 2007 over the prior year.”

The reports also show that “communications expenses increased by $92,984 compared to 2006. Operational expenses increased by $285,394 in 2007, and were over budget by $250,105. The first quarter of 2007 results show a net surplus of $1,317,691 compared to a net deficit in 2006 of $566,148 during the same period. The significant variance is due to higher than expected unrestricted contributions received in the first quarter. The Archdiocese debt and accounts payable rose to $7,891,011 in the year-end 2006. During the first quarter of 2007, utilizing the unrestricting contributions given to the Archdiocese, the debt and accounts payable were reduced by $1,989,685 and are now $5,901,326. Significant payments were made to Hellenic College/Holy Cross and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, reducing our payable in these areas.”

The 2006 year-end report states that “World Orthodoxy increased $173,194 compared to 2005 and was $182,056 over the budget amount. The Ecumenical Office was a major factor contributing to this over budget amount. In 2005, at the request of His Eminence (Archbishop Demetrios), Rev. John Chryssavgis was hired to assist Bishop Dimitrios with the work of the Ecumenical Office. In 2005, part of this salary was covered by a Leadership 100 grant. In 2006, however, the full (unbudgeted) salary and benefits caused the department to be over budget. An additional amount of $74,890 was attributed to two Patriarchal visits in 2006. The amount of $19,807 was related to the Patriarch’s visit to Tarpon Springs in January 2006, and the second amount of $55,083 was related to the Archdiocese providing assistance and support to the Patriarchate during the recent visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the Patriarchate in November 2006.”

According to the Financial Report “Operational Expenditures increased by $345,546 in 2006 compared to 2005, and were over budget by $1,147,391. The major items affecting this increase in expense were legal fess and settlements which increased by a combined total of $273,946 as a total expense for legal fess and settlements of $1,409,194 in 2006. Legal fees and settlements also represent $809,194 of the over budget amount in this category. The other significant over budget item in this category was Liability Insurance, which is attributable to a new molestation policy put into effect in 2005. This policy added approximately $260,000 to our annual insurance premiums and was unbudgeted in 2006.”