Bishop Demetri Matta Khoury

DOB: Sep 20, 1948
Description: Race: White; Sex: Male; Hair: Brown; Eyes: Hazel; Height: 5'6"; Weight: 240 lbs.

Bishop Demetri Matta Khoury is a bishop in the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America (AA).

In July of 2003 Khoury was arrested for grabbing a woman’s breast in a Traverse City, Michigan, casino. The bishop was charged with fourth degree criminal sexual misconduct (a felony) and being drunk and disorderly (a misdemeanor). The police report said that Khoury was also groping the woman who accompanied him. The entire incident was captured on the casino’s video surveillance system.

In response to these charges, Metropolitan Philip Saliba wrote to the hierarchs, the clergy, the trustees and the faithful of the Archdiocese, saying that the incident was caused by Khoury’s use of alcoholic beverages. Saliba further wrote, “I have directed Bishop Demetri to seek professional help. He is willing to do that and has already made arrangements for inpatient treatment at a well-recognized facility. Once he receives the permission of the civil authorities, he will be entering a ninety-day treatment program. I have also directed Bishop Demetri not to preach or preside at any liturgical service during the time that he is under treatment, or while this matter is under investigation.”

On February 25, 2004, Khoury pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted fourth degree criminal sexual misconduct. According to newspaper accounts, the bishop said that he had no memory of the incident, but made his plea based on his viewing of the casino security tapes.

Khoury was sentenced to 28 days in jail on April 17, 2004. He was also required to register as a sex offender.

In May of 2004 the bishop was granted an early retirement by the AA and he moved to Florida.

The Antiochian Archdiocese of Mexico announced on its website in December of 2008, that Khoury would assume duties as the auxiliary bishop of the diocese in January of 2009. Khoury’s salary as the auxiliary was to be paid by the AA. However, after this arrangement came under public scrutiny, the agreement was rescinded, and Khoury was re-retired.

Khoury petitioned the Michigan court to be removed from the sex offender registry in 2014. He also applied to have his conviction set aside. The district attorney objected to both motions, but the petition and application were granted.

In October of 2016, Metropolitan Joseph G. Al-Zehlaoui, who was still the “locum tenens” for the Diocese of Los Angeles and the West, appointed the retired bishop, who had relocated to Southern California, to run the diocese until a new hierarch could be elected.

Background

Khoury was born in 1948. His father was a priest.

Education

Our Lady of Balamand Monastery, Al-Kurah, North Lebanon

Saint John of Damascus Theological Academy, Balamand, Lebanon

Hellenic College, Brookline, Massachusetts (1972-1974)

Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (1975-1978)

Ordinations

(All ordinations were for the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America)

Diaconate – September 6, 1975

Priesthood – September 7, 1975

Archimandrite – 1981, by Metropolitan Philip Saliba

Bishop – March 12, 1995, by Patriarch Ignatius IV in Damascus, Syria

Ministry

(All assignments are in the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America, unless otherwise noted)

Pastor, Saint George Church, Boston, Massachusetts (1975-1977)

Pastor, Saint Mary Church, Cambridge, Massachusetts (March 1, 1977-?)

Saint George Church, Allentown, Pennsylvania (?-1983)

Dean and Pastor, Saint Nicholas Cathedral, Brooklyn, New York (1983-June, 1987)

Dean and Pastor, Saint George Cathedral, Coral Gables, Florida (June, 1987-?)

Bishop, assigned by Metropolitan Philip Saliba to Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest, Toledo, Ohio (1995-2004)

Retired, 2004

Auxiliary Bishop, Antiochian Archdiocese of Mexico (2009)

Auxiliary Bishop, Diocese of Los Angeles and the West (2016)