Archdiocese to Settle Misconduct Cases

Author: Theodore Kalmoukos
Date Published: 11/16/2007

BOSTON – The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese is about to agree to an out-of-court settlement concerning two old cases of sexual misconduct involving former priests – archimandrites from California – according to information obtained by the National Herald. The cost for the settlement is expected to exceed the sum of $2 million, plus legal fees of $300 thousand.

One case concerns the late Stanley Adamakis, who was murdered in 2003 by a person with whom he had a special relationship. Mr. Adamakis had pled guilty to charges in 1990 that he had sexually molested two teenagers.
The other case concerns Michael Rymer, who is said to be suffering from a serious illness, and who currently lives as monk in a monastery which belongs to the Orthodox Church in America (formerly the Russian Orthodox Metropolia). A Greek American alleged that Mr. Rymer, who has already been already defrocked, abused him when Mr. Rymer was an active priest.
The above cases have not been reported to the general congregation by the Archdiocese, neither the members of the Holy Synod know details about it.
It is emphasized here that both are old cases and they go back to Archbishop Iakovos era. Even the late Archbishop Iakovos had given video testimony on the Adamakis case because he had inspired the late former archimandrite’s priestly life from the Annunciation Cathedral in Boston, where Mr. Adamakis served as an altar boy, and where Iakovos served as head priest, later ordaining Mr. Adamakis to the priesthood.
The National Herald attempted to communicate with Bishop Savas of Troas, Chancellor of the Archdiocese, but Savas’ assistant, Athena Kotsinos, told the Herald the archdiocesan chancellor “was getting ready to depart overseas on a trip, accompanying a group of young adults on a pilgrimage.”
Archbishop Demetrios had not responded to the Herald’s telephone message, which was left with one of Demetrios’ secretaries, Mary Douvres.
The Herald is nonetheless is in a position to know that Archdiocese Administrative Director Jerry Dimitriou had travel to California a few weeks ago due to a legal deposition, and to try to reach an out-of-court settlement.
The Archdiocese has paid out $7-10 million to victims of sexual abuse cases by priests in the last five years, according to Michael Jaharis, vice chairman of the Archdiocesan Council, who disclosed the information in an interview with the Herald earlier this year see March 10, 2007 edition, page 1). Most of those payments came from the Archdiocese general accounts because there was not enough insurance coverage.
Recently two more lawsuits have been filed against the Archdiocese. One concerns the case of Nicholas Katinas, the now defrocked former pastor of Holy Trinity Church in Dallas, and the other concerns a suspended archimandrite, Very Rev. Nicholas Graf, from the parish of Saint John the Divine in Jacksonville, Florida. Both stories were initially broken by the mainstream American media.
There is also strong disappointment mounting in many Archdiocese parishes, especially among the laity, due to the huge increase of the annual contribution of the parishes to the Archdiocese. The Metropolitans are exercising pressure on priests in their jurisdictions, urging them to convince the laity to increase their contributions to the Archdiocese, and parish councils are also pressuring the faithful to give more and more money, a good part of which is already being used to help pay for clergy sexual abuse cases.