Orthodox sex scandal to reopen?

Author: Virginia Culver
Date Published: 09/29/1987

Greek Orthodox bishops will decide today in New York whether to reopen the case of a Denver bishop accused of having an affair with a young church woman.

Ten bishops, including eight from the United States and one each from Canada and South America, will make a recommendation to the Greek Orthodox bishop of North and South America concerning Bishop Anthimos Draconakis.

The bishops began meeting Monday at church headquarters in Manhattan. They also will confer with the executive committee of the Archdiocesan Council, composed of lay members of the church, before making a recommendation to Archbishop Iakovos. Iakovos is expected to make a statement Wednesday.

Takis Gazouleas, press officer for the archdiocese, said he “assumes” Draconakis, 53, was invited to the New York meeting.

The bishop, a native of Crete, was the subject of a lengthy story in last week’s People magazine, in which Despina Gallas said the bishop seduced her and forced her into a sexual affair that lasted three years.

Gallas, then 17, is the daughter of the Rev. George Gallas, who was dean of the Pittsburgh cathedral in 1977 when the affair started.

The woman claimed she broke off the affair when the bishop threatened to kill her. She contends that the affair was so stressful that she became anorexic.