Moderator's Note: This letter was circulated at the Parish Council Meeting of August 13, 2007. At the prompting of Philip Floor, due to his belief that the letter contains inaccurate information, the Parish Council has decided not to reproduce this letter in next month's Messenger. Instead, a synopsis of this letter and a summation of pertinent events and efforts regarding the approval process of the corporation will be authored by Mr. Floor, and published in the Messenger. We at TOCB feel that this letter is an important document and should be openly available to the community at large. It is in this spirit, we make it available to you for review. As always we have not edited the original document beyond converting it to html for Internet publication.
Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Denver
Via Fax 2 pages
Fr. Michael Kouremetis
Mr. Philip S. Floor
Mr. Christopher P. Gamvroulas
Mr. Nick Varanakis
c/o Greek Orthodox Church of Greater Salt Lake
From: Archdiocesan Council Legal Committee
Date: August 10, 2007
Re: Greek Orthodox Church of Greater Salt Lake (“Parish”)
Your Eminence, Mr. Floor & Mr. Gamvroulas:
The Archdiocesan Council Legal Committee has reviewed the correspondence and the documents transmitted to His Eminence in May, 2007.
The initial letter to His Eminence requested his ratification of the results of the Parish Special General Assembly held on February 11, 2007(“Assembly”). It appears that the request was made to obtain from him approval of the actions taken at the Assembly and, by implication, authorizing the proposed actions resulting therefrom, i.e. The incorporation of the Holy Trinity & Prophet Elias Heritage Corporation, A Utah Nonprofit Corporation (“Heritage”) as well as any transfers of title of Parish property to Heritage from the Parish which may be deemed necessary to fulfill the purposes of Heritage.
In addition, the stated purpose in the Articles of Incorporation of Heritage is: “The Corporation is organized an operated exclusively to support the Greek Orthodox Church of Greater Salt Lake and engage in other charitable and educational purposes within the meaning of §501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code…” Nowhere is it mentioned that the new corporation has any religious purpose or that it is Parish or a ministry of a Parish of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Denver and subject to the Regulations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
The only mention of religion occurs in Article IV which states: “The Corporation shall have voting members, the ‘members or Membership’ who must be natural persons that are, or have been within the past 365 days, a member in good standing of the Greek Orthodox Church of Greater Salt Lake.”
Article 6.6 of Heritage does not comply with the provisions of Article 22 of the Regulations.
Because the obvious intent of this action is to establish a separate corporation which would own, control & manage the properties which are presently owned, controlled & managed by the Parish, any ratification by His Eminence of the actions by the Special General Assembly may, arguably, grant approval for the entirety of the described actions.
The proposed actions of this Parish will constitute violations of the following sections of the Uniform Parish Regulations: Article 16, Sec. 1-3, Article 24,§1 and Article 29.
It is recommended by the Archdiocese Legal Committee that Your Eminence not ratify nor in any manner, approve the actions taken at the Special General Assembly of the Parish of February 11, 2007 as requested in the letter dated February 12, 2007.
In view of the fact that the Biennial Clergy-Laity Assembly of the Archdiocese will be held in July, 2008, changes to the applicable Regulations may be proposed via your Local Assembly.
Archdiocesan Council Legal Committee,
By: Catherine B. Walsh, Chairperson
Emmanuel Demos, Legal Counsel
Helen Hadjiyanakis Bender
Elenie K. Huszagh