Makris’ Mysterious Departure from Brooklyn’s Holy Cross

Author: Theodore Kalmoukos
Date Published: 01/18/2018
Publication: The National Herald
Father Gerasimos Makris (L) with father Constantine Kobitsis. (Photo by TNH/Costas Bej)
Father Gerasimos Makris (L) with father Constantine Kobitsis. (Photo by TNH/Costas Bej)

BROOKLYN – Holy Cross’ Archimandrite Gerasimos Makris’ inexplicable departure after a 10-year pastorship casts a mysterious shadow as to the reasons. The National Herald has learned that Fr. Makris picked up his belongings from the church and left. No one – including Parish Council president Demetrios Kalamaras – seems to know why.

Kalamaras told TNH on January 14: “I can’t tell you anything, I am expecting a call from the Archdiocese to tell us what is going on.” He also said he didn’t know if Makris left on his own or was removed by Archdiocesan Chancellor Bishop Andonios of Phasiane, but said the latter would call him on January 16. Kalamaras said he didn’t know anything, and hoped to know on January 16, and added that he didn’t have Makris’ telephone number.

Bishop Andonios did not respond to TNH’s request for comment and TNH was unable to make contact with Makris.

There is much confusion in parish, as Makris was there for a decade and he had established among other things a unique philanthropic organization that supports the homeless and the needy. The parish also sustains a daily Greek school.

On January 14, many parishioners were crying and others expressed complaints about the Archdiocese and especially about Andonios.

Archimandrite Nathaniel Symeonidis liturgized but didn’t say anything about Markis.

This is the second time the Holy Cross parish is going enduring a crisis because of its clergy. The first one was with George Passias who was there until 2007, and then the Archdiocese transferred him to St. Spyridon in New York, where he created an infamously highly publicized scandal and was finally defrocked.

Dr. Steven Goulandris, a longtime Holy Cross parishioner, told TNH that “no one knows what has occurred. They all know me in the parish and I would have heard something. Everyone spoke well of Fr. Gerasimos. He is a good priest; he has done many good deeds in the parish. He also helps the homeless. I haven’t heard anything ever against him. I saw him a few days ago. We spoke. He didn’t tell me anything and I didn’t sense that anything was bothering him.”