“Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them,

and they that are great exercise authority upon them.

But it shall not be so among you:

but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto,

but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28, KJV)

The word the Athenians used for their Assembly was Ekklesia, the same word used in the New Testament for Church
(and it is the greatest philological irony in all of Western history that this word,
which connoted equal participation in all deliberation by all members,
came to designate a kind of self-perpetuating, self-protective Spartan gerousia -
which would have seemed patent nonsense to Greek-speaking Christians of New Testament times,
who believed themselves to be equal members of their Assembly.)

- Thomas Cahill, Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter


Monday, November 2, 2015


Stockholm Syndrome: a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with the captors.

We have been waiting, along with the majority of this community, all too patiently, for now, more than one, elected Parish Council to implement sensible policies and requests:

1) to unite this community completely;  (that means ONE Philoptochos chapter, since this is where Father Kouremetis' plan to dismantle this community BEGAN. We do NOT care who is president of the Philoptochos.) 
We DO care that there is ONLY ONE Philoptochos.
2) to insist that our Archdiocese provide this community with dynamic clerical leadership that focuses on that united community; 
3) to invigorate our youth programs, our cultural programs and our outreach programs
4) to instigate efforts toward much-needed repairs, and toward a vision of future campuses of the Greek Orthodox Church of Greater Salt Lake.
All of these are, after nearly three years, still lacking, to varying degrees.

It has become clear that our current Parish Council, along with those previous, is either unable, or unwilling, to confront our hierarchs and insist that their ongoing promises to THIS COMMUNITY (the clearly UNFAVORED one) be fulfilled.

Instead, we keep hearing our erstwhile parish council leaders advise, “patience”. We keep hearing them say, “We have been advised by ‘those in the know’ - who work for the hierarchy and, as such, are NOT advising objectively - that we must not insist or demand.

WE must ALWAYS take the ‘high road’.

This constantly slighted community HAS been patient. We have continually taken the high road. In fact, too patient. We keep “taking the high road”, and our prelates are perfectly content to let us do so - indefinitely. In fact, such patience suits their purposes quite well.

That high road has led to an ongoing moribund clerical leadership, a continuing lack of any dynamic effort on behalf of our youth, a “progressive group” forming a what is now a highly favored mission church, visited by the Metropolitan several times, while our community is continually snubbed by said hierarch. This a so-called “mission church” – operating under “special” conditions, has NOW been assigned a dynamic younger priest. Further, this new “KOINONIA”, unlike the REST OF US, has not been asked to pay ANY Archdiocesan assessment!

This travesty is occurring while our community is being ignored and, worse, maligned, by the hierarchs. (Incidentally, that young priest grew up in this community – an action that our Metropolitan had told us, and other communities in his Metropolis, MORE THAN ONCE, was a non-starter and a bad practice.)

The high road, in our community’s situation, has simply allowed a new bunch of “yes” men, and now, disappointingly, women, to continue to counsel us to be "patient" to the bitter end, while allowing our neglectful hierarchs to let our community – and most significantly, our youth – languish.

Taking the “high road” constantly is not what these Parish Council members were elected to do! The community has made it clear, over and over again, that it wants a dynamic parish council that reflects unity and progress.

This community expects THESE leaders to rectify the mistakes of the past. This Parish Council was NOT elected to sit back and let this community sink into further mediocrity.

We have all worked way too hard to let the Parish Council succumb to the Stockholm Syndrome and to keep taking “the high road”.

Saturday, October 17, 2015


Archdiocesan Chancellor tells TNH Passias’ 

Mistress 4 Months Pregnant

By Theodore Kalmoukos 3 comments
  • The Courtesy Inn of Fort Lee, NJ was allegedly one of the locations of the couple"s rendevous.


» News
Translated from the original Greek.
NEW YORK – Ethel Bouzalas, the mistress of Fr. George Passias, who was defrocked on October 13 by the Holy Eparchial Synod for carrying on an affair with her (they are both married), is four months pregnant, Archdiocesan Chancellor Bishop Andonios of Phasiane told TNH, although he is not sure who as to the child’s paternity.
Bishop Andonios first learned about the affair from Bouzalas’ husband, Tom. He said that according to Bouzalas, Passias was pressuring her to abort the child, but Passias denies that. She also said she believed Passias would marry her, but Passias denies that as well.
Furthermore, Andonios said, without mentioning specific names, of financial irregularities at the St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church in Washington Heights (Upper Manhattan), where Passias was priest and Bouzalas was school principal and parish treasurer.
“The whole issue is very sad,” Andonios said. “It was difficult to digest that something like this was going on. It was unbelievable it was going on for eight years, something they both denied many times.” Ultimately, both admitted to the affair.
“It was a very short email,” Andonios said, about the communication Tom Bouzalas sent him. “he wrote, ‘my wife is cheating on me with Fr. George.’ I was in Italy for my niece’s wedding. I think it was Monday, Sept. 7. I replied to him that I am returning tomorrow, please call me and come to the Archdiocese on Thursday to talk, and bring me whatever proof you have, because it is a very serious issue and I must take the proper actions. I didn’t know that the man was in the hospital. On Friday (September 11), I received an e-mail from Fr. George requesting permission to go with his presbytera to see their spiritual father for serious issues.”
Was it the Elder Ephraim? “He didn’t say whom, he simply said ‘our spiritual father.’ This is how I began to suspect something was wrong, having also received Mr. Bouzalas’ email.
“The following week (Monday, Sept. 21), he came with his presbytera in order to tell me the whole story. He said that he can’t believe what he did, that he was blinded, and he is very sorry for the scandal he has caused to the Church. He also said that he wanted to stop the relationship but Ethel Bouzalas didn’t let him.”
Bishop Andonios says that although he has no proof that Bouzalas is pregnant, “I have no reason not to believe her. She should be about four months pregnant” at this point, he said.
As for Passias, “he told me that he doesn’t know if the child is his, and we left it there,” Andonios said. Passias did not say anything about Bouzalas having relations with other men, though, Andonios added.
Although Bouzalas says Passias pressured her into having an abortion, Andonios says Passias told him “I preached against abortions for so many years; I couldn’t tell her to have an abortion.”
Bouzalas, Andonios says, told him that she was in love with Passias, and that her marriage was not very successful even from the beginning. She got to know Passias when he was at the Holy Cross parish in Brooklyn, and she found him easy to talk to. Both told Andonios, he said, that the actual affair began after they had gone to St. Spyridon.
Andonios says he told Passias that defrockment was a possibility, but it would be up to the Synod. Passias said he preferred not to be defrocked.
After seeing the evidence for himself, Andonios contacted Archbishop Demetrios immediately. “We had gone to Chicago for the Assembly of the canonical Orthodox Bishops and I notified His Eminence there. He was very alarmed. He couldn’t believe it. He felt extremely bad, because he realized that the issue would create a scandal in the Archdiocese and to the faithful.
Andonios says that Passias is back in New York with his wife, and that he didn’t come to see Andonios again upon his return from seeing his spiritual father.
Andonios also explained that the reason he offered to have the Archdiocese pay for Bouzalas’ professional help is because “this is according to our rules. We worried for her condition, and so that she wouldn’t do any harm to herself.”
But why should the Archdiocese have to pay, we asked? “If someone feels they no longer want to exist, should we offer some help? We are not talking about big sums of money. We should help, no matter who she is.”
Andonios says that two years ago, when the New York Post first reported about the affair, Andonios did call Passias in and questioned him, but Passias denied it.
As to St. Spyridon’s finances, “we hired an accountant, and no irregularities were found.
When we reminded him that in a 2012 letter from Timothy Sherman of Cohen Greve & Company, CPA PC indicated there were quite a few irregularities, Andonios said: “I don’t remember, I’ll have to check it. Many times, accountants find something wrong, but they weren’t serious irregularities.”
What about now? “We will bring in the accountant again to see if there is anything from the time of his last examination. They all know about the money (the $30,000 that Bouzalas took when she left the church) because she revealed it on her own. If she doesn’t return it, we are going to go to the police. She says she lent the money to the parish, but no one from the Parish Council has that same understanding.”
As for Bouzalas’ claim that the $30,000 was just a loan because her husband had given enough over the years in donations, specifically $300,000 to Holy Cross, could the Archdiocese verify that amount? “I will ask,” Andonios said. “If they paid by check, then we can verify. If it was cash, it will be harder.”
Andonios also explained why St. Spyridon borrowed $3.5 million from Alma Bank. It was to correct violations regarding residential apartment buildings the church owns on the same block: “Since Alma Bank assumed management, I know that many things have been corrected and the situation has bettered for the church – and now we have profits.
“We will do an audit of St. Spyridon again. Among the old group, there are people who didn’t do things correctly.”
Will the Archdiocese appoint a new parish council? “At this moment, I don’t see a reason to do so. They all behaved very well. They didn’t do anything wrong. Their only mistake was having complete trust in Fr. George.”
Did Andonios find it peculiar that Passias placed Bouzalas on the Parish Council and made her principal of the St. Spyridon School? “Yes, it was strange,” he acknowledged. “In some parishes, priests have created a mindset that they are in control. But that’s why we have parish councils, for checks and balances.”
So Fr. Passias was defrocked, but why aren’t other clergymen involved in inappropriate conduct defrocked as well?
“You should ask the Synod,” Andonios said. “I am not a member of the Synod. Only they know the answer.”

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The National Herald

TNH EXCLUSIVE: Passias’ Mistress Took 30K from St. Spyridon; Archdiocesan Chancellor Wants an Explanation or Parish Will Go to the Police
Friday, October 9, 2015 | By Theodore Kalmoukos 1 comment

"Unless this issue is resolved, the Parish Council will have no option other than to report it to the authorities," Bishop Andonios writes.

NEW YORK – Ethel Bouzalas, the woman identified as the mistress of Fr. George Passias according to various sources, including a videotape of their affair, and which resulted in the Archdiocese banning Passias, who was the priest at the St. Spyridon Church in the Upper Manhattan neighborhood of Washington Heights, from pastoral duties, took $30,000 from the parish before she left, according to documents obtained by The National Herald.

Bishop Andonios of Phasiane, the Archdiocesan Chancellor, emailed Bouzalas urging her to return the money or else the parish will report her to the police.

“On Thursday evening [Oct. 8],” Bishop Andonios wrote, “I had the opportunity to meet with the members of the Parish Council and was informed that you voluntarily told [Parish Council President] Steve [Papadatos] that you took $30,000 in cash, which you felt you were entitled to since it represented funds which you and your husband had given the School to cover expenses.

“Ethel, if indeed these funds were ‘lent’ to the School, then I will be the first to pressure the community to repay you, but before doing so, I need to ask that some backup documentation please be presented. Otherwise, there are those who will accuse you of stealing these funds, which will only compound what has already appeared in the press.

Clearly, this was not your intent since of your own volition you shared that you had taken the monies. Moreover, in my office you stated that of all the accusations (including misuse of funds) that had been made, only the one about your relationship with Father [Passias] was true.”

Andonios also wrote that “I am sure you appreciate that the Parish Council has a fiduciary responsibility and unless this issue is resolved, they will have no option other than to report it to the authorities. Let’s please try to resolve this amicably and before it goes any further.”

Andonios also recommended that Bouzalas seek help and offered the Archdiocese to assume the cost: “We would urge you to seek immediate professional help and, if you wish, we can assist you with locating a counselor and covering the cost. We also strongly encourage you to seek spiritual counseling and are here to help with that as soon as you are ready. In the meanwhile, I will keep you in my prayers.

May our loving Lord bless and lift you up during this most difficult time in your life.”

Papadatos told TNH last week that there are no financial improprieties at St. Spyridon. Bouzalas did not respond to TNH’s request for comment

1 comment

I am appalled to say the least by the statement of the Archdiocesan chancellor. “The parish will report her to the police”.
I would like to ask him,what did he do with the situation in Salt Lake City when he received a folder
with the proof that the priests were abusing the benevolent fund?? Did he call the police? Did he urge the parish council to do so?
Instead,he put it under the carpet.
He used the “αγραφο νομο”,never go against your own. 
 Salt Lake is waiting your Eminence,for justice!
Too many people talk the talk, but very few actually walk the walk…practice what you preach; Action speaks louder than words.