Archdiocese Suspends Fr. Passias

Author: Staff
Date Published: 10/07/2015
Publication: The National Herald
Ethel Bouzalas and Fr. George Passias.
Ethel Bouzalas and Fr. George Passias.
The Church of St. Spyridon in Washington Heights, northern Manhattan.
The Church of St. Spyridon in Washington Heights, northern Manhattan.

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America issued a statement on October 6 regarding the suspension from “any and all priestly activities” of Fr. George Passias, until recently the pastor of the Church of St. Spyridon in the Upper Manhattan neighborhood of Washington Heights.

The full text of the statement follows:

NEW YORK – In recent days, with heavy heart we have been confronted with a most regrettable matter involving a member of our Clergy, Rev. Fr. George Passias, and an adult female parishioner. We acknowledge the expected reaction of the faithful to feel deeply hurt and utterly disappointed, and the serious danger of scandalization. At the same time we know that the only one who walked on the face of this earth and was sinless was our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

We assure the faithful that we are painfully aware of what has occurred and has so grievously impacted the life of our Archdiocese and community. As a result, the Archdiocese has already initiated the ecclesiastically appropriate procedures, starting with the suspension of the involved clergyman from any and all priestly activities.

As with any difficulty, these moments allow us the opportunity to truly demonstrate our Faith in the response we offer. We ought to feel sorry for those who allowed themselves to fall into such a grievous state and pray for them and their families who have been deeply hurt by their actions.  We also pray for the faithful, especially the young people of our community, whose faith has been shaken by what they have seen and read in the media. On the other hand we know that our Church in America has been abundantly blessed with devoted and pious clergy who truly labor in a Christ-like manner to proclaim the message of the gospel and to minister to the people of God.

We pray that the almighty God, a God of mercy, justice and truth, will send down His Holy Spirit and grant sincere repentance to those directly involved and healing to those who have been impacted by their actions.