Father Nicholas Katinas To Be Defrocked

Author: Theodore Kalmoukos
Date Published: 06/30/2007

Decision made after recommendation of Archbishop Demetrios

BOSTON – Rev. Nicholas Katinas who has been accused of pedophilia while pastoring in Greek Orthodox parishes in Olympia Fields, Illinois and Dallas, Texas will be defrocked according to a recent decision by the First Degree Spiritual Court of the Direct Archdiocesan District of New York after the recommendation of Archbishop Demetrios. The decision was announced by Archbishop Demetrios last Tuesday in a
special meeting of the Holy Eparchial Synod.

Bishop Savas of Troas, Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese chaired the spiritual Court on June 15 at the Archdiocesan headquarters in New York. Its members were Assistant Chancellor of the Archdiocese Rev. Michael Kontogeorgis, Executive Director of Communications of the Archdiocese Rev. Frank Marangos, Rev. George Stavropoulos from the Holy Trinity parish in Hicksville, New York and Rev. James Moskovitis from the Annunciation parish in Manhattan, New York. Fr. Katinas did not attend the Spiritual Court. He is said to be in Greece and specifically on the island of Rhodes where he has relatives.

The Archbishop changed his initial position on Fr. Katinas after the revealing articles by the National Herald in which statements by hierarchs, priests and lay members of the Church representatively from throughout America were published. The Archbishop had previously insisted: “The suspension of Katinas was enough, he is 72 years of age, he has repented and he wishes to be buried as a priest.” A lawsuit has already been filed against the Archdiocese, the Metropolis of Denver, the Holy Trinity Parish of Dallas, Texas and Fr. Katinas. Archbishop Demetrios was friends with Fr. Katinas, who is also close with Fr. Nicolas Trintafilou, president of Hellenic College and Holy Cross School of Theology, Fr. Theodore Stylainopoulos, Fr. Alkiviadis Calivas and Fr. Tom Papaslaris of the Oakland parish in California.

The next step for the Archbishop is to send the proposal of the Spiritual Court to the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople requesting that Fr. Katinas be defrocked to the ranks of the laity. Patriarch Bartholomew has the discretion to proceed with the defrockment or to deny it.

Metropolitans Isaiah of Denver and Gerasimos of San Francisco were absent from the Synod. Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver continues to support Fr. Katinas, as the Herald revealed recently by publishing the sermon he delivered on the day of the Pentecost while visiting the Holy Trinity parish in Dallas, Texas where Fr. Katinas served for 28 years.

The second issue that the Synod discussed was the allegations made by a prominent lay member of the Archdiocesan Council against a hierarch of the Archdiocese that he appears on a homosexual Internet Site soliciting sex. The photo of the hierarch was allegedly posted on the site as well as the solicitation. Archbishop Demetrios from the very beginning supported the accused hierarch and he called the allegations “unfounded and baseless.” The Archbishop had in his file copies of the solicitations and the hierarch’s photos ready to distribute them to the members of the Holy Synod but they refused to take them. They did not even look at the information.

The Archbishop told the Synod that Internet experts who examined the material could not determine if it was authentic or fabricated and they said it was inconclusive. Archbishop Demetrios, however, told the Synod that there were methods that anyone could use to post electronically similar material.

The Synod agreed with the Archbishop’s position that the allegations were “baseless” and it was decided a letter to be sent to the Archdiocesan council member who made the allegations against the hierarch. The Herald has learned that the layperson went to the Archbishop during the last Archdiocesan Council meeting in Houston, Texas at the end of April and presented him with the material including the photographs and asked him to take care the issue.

Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta recommended that the lay member of the Archdiocesan council be sent to the Spiritual Court for attempting to accuse a hierarch without documentation. Metropolitan Maximos of Pittsburgh made a plea to the Archbishop and the Synod that leaks be avoided to the National Herald of the workings of the Holy Synod.

Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta updated the Synod on the case of an archimandrite who resigned from his parish and from a prominent chairmanship of an institution of the Archdiocese under strange conditions. Metropolitan Alexios said that he was placed on suspension and he will be sent to the Spiritual Court for “sexual misconduct.” No further information was given on the case. The archimandrite was a candidate to become a bishop and he was even placed on the three person ballot at least twice thus far.

A question was asked about why an archimandrite from Connecticut left from his parish. Archbishop Demetrios said that he has taken a leave of absence. The specific archimandrite has taken long-term leave of absence twice in the past.