Metropolitan Isaiah Supports Fr. Katinas Unequivocally
Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver took a stand in support of Rev. Nicholas Katinas, who has been accused of being a pedophile by former alter boys while serving as priest at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox parish in Dallas, Texas for 28 years.
Metropolitan Isaiah visited the Holy Trinity parish on its feast day of Pentecost, on Sunday, May 27, for the first time since rumors of this scandal began surfacing in June 2006.
Metropolitan Isaiah surprised Holy Trinity’s congregation when he said in his sermon that “I was very troubled because of what happened here in regard to my friend, and I will always call him my friend, the fallen priest. The fallen, that has fallen away. If he did, I don’t know, I have no information. And all of us fall in other ways.”
This contradicts Rev. Michael Kontogiorgis, Assistant Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese who paid an official visit to the Holy Trinity Parish in Dallas on Wednesday February 21, 2007, and said during his sermon to the congregation of about 400 that “there is no doubt that Fr. Nicholas (Katinas) engaged in serious moral transgressions.”
Two days later, on Friday February 23, 2007, the Archdiocese issued an official news release stating that “after a thorough investigation of allegations of serious misconduct involving minors, Fr. Katinas was suspended on accordance with the Archdiocese’s Statement of Policy Regarding Sexual Misconduct by Clergy. As a result of the suspension, Fr. Katinas can no longer perform any liturgical, sacramental or other priestly functions.” The release also stated that “parish administrators at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church were notified of the suspension in July 2006. On February 20 and 21, 2007 further information regarding the suspension was communicated to the Holy Trinity community during an official visit by the Rev. Fr. Michael Kontogiorgis, Assistant Chancellor of the Archdiocese.”
Furthermore, Archbishop Demetrios informed the Holy Eparchial Synod about the Katinas case, which Metropolitan Isaiah is a member of.
In his sermon to the community of Holy Trinity, Isaiah makes no mention of the previous decisions or comments of the Archdiocese. Instead, he spoke in favor of his friend Fr. Katinas.
“There are people among us who are guilty of fornication. There are people among who are guilty of adultery. There are people among us who lie constantly and the Lord says that Satan who is the first liar committed the first lie in our human existence.”
In another instance he said “granted it’s natural to be upset but we look around at this person (Katinas) who we love dearly who has done wonderful things. But what does it say in Holy Scripture? Satan comes to knock down the shepherd so that the sheep will flee. You are not sheep who will flee because you know the treasure that we have, either by conviction or by natural birth by natural Orthodox parents.”
Metropolitan Isaiah also said, “I wrote a letter to all of you. I hope you all have read it. Several of you have and many people thanked me for the letter. One person did not. The head of this organization called SNAP, who appears to love innocent children, and you know when you love innocent children no one can complain against us. But in analyzing – and I had the time to do it – when it said I wrote the worst letter ever because I didn’t mention the victims. If there are victims, they are 40 years old or older. You know who the victims are? Your children and your grandchildren who saw the news on television or read the newspapers. “
Metropolitan Isaiah then attacked the media saying “the media is not all Orthodox, keep that in mind. Most of the media is atheistic. They don’t care about Christianity, and especially, they don’t care for Orthodoxy. Would you call it making news when the doorbell rings at Presvytera Angela’s house and she thinks they’re real estate agents and they shove a TV camera in her face? That’s deceitful. And then they want to say we don’t care for victims. We certainly do. Orthodoxy has always cared for victims no matter what age.”
Metropolitan Isaiah also told the congregation, “This too shall pass. Greater problems have existed in the church than what you have experienced. But you know something – you can call me masochistic – I love problems, because problems force me to be creative and to make a comparison between what is good and what is not good and I become stronger because of those problems.”
Isaiah made reference to the fact that the contributions and finances of the Holy Trinity parish have dropped significantly. Fr. Christopher Constantinides continues to ignore the Herald’s calls to discuss this issue.
In his sermon, Metropolitan Isaiah said, “I’m disappointed in hearing that the income of this parish fell 20%. Who are we punishing? Are we punishing God? This church belongs to God, not to you and to me. He established it and he died for it, in the Lordship of our Jesus Christ. For me to hear that you come every day before church and talk about what happened. You know what I say – there are certain people who want to find a reason not to give. And that’s probably good enough for them. But if they live this on planet and go to the next dimension, the Lord will ask them,