More Fr. Passias Problems

Author: Antonis H. Diamataris
Date Published: 06/05/2013
Publication: The National Herald

The New York Post’s article about Father George Passas, the head priest of the historic church of St. Spyridon in Washington Heights, contains serious allegations that might constitute new wounds for the parish and the Archdiocese.

The Post reports of the parish that “complaints about its finances have been made to the state attorney general and Manhattan D.A.”

The information contained in the Post’s report was not unknown to us and to many parishioners, but we lacked tangible evidence of the financial irregularities about which the priest is accused.

It seems, however, that such information is available to the Post, and that is why they proceeded to publish.

Fr. Passias has a freighted past: he has moved from the great community of St. Nicholas in Flushing, which he almost split apart, to Holy Cross in Brooklyn, where he was accused of similar financial wrongdoings, and now at St. Spyridon.

We take serious notice of the vigorous defense of Father Passias mounted by the president of the parish council of Saint Spyridon. In fact we expected nothing less than that.

After all, as president he does bear a heavy responsibility if the accusations printed in the Post story are true. In the spirit of fairness we print his response next to the article reprinted from the New York Post (see page 4).

Based on his past, his transfers from church to church, were at the very least, risky. Now the Archdiocese must to be proactive: investigate the case and take whatever steps are necessary accordingly.

The New York Post’s article about Father George Passias – the head priest of the historic church of St. Spyridon in Washington Heights, N.Y. – contains serious allegations that open new wounds for the parish and the Archdiocese.

The Post reports of the parish that “Complaints about its finances have been made to the state Attorney General and Manhattan DA.” This has the potential of being a serious matter.

Most of the information contained in the Post’s report was not unknown to us and to many parishioners of Saint Spyridon, but we lacked tangible evidence of the financial irregularities of which the priest is accused. It seems that such information was made available to the Post, and that is why they proceeded to publish.

Fr. Passias has a freighted past: he was moved from the great community of St. Nicholas in Flushing due to serious accusations from quite responsible parishioners, to Holy Cross in Brooklyn where again a similar situation arose and is now at St. Spyridon in Washington Heights, where more questions are being raised.

Based on the past situations, his transfers from church to church, without any serious investigations made of the allegations were, at the very least, risky.

Didn’t it cross the minds of Archdiocesan officials to closely examine the situation of which parishioners were accusing Fr. Passias, if not for anything else because sooner or later someone was going to contact the newspapers and generate headlines?

There is still no word from the Archdioceses on this. One can only wonder why.