The plot thickens into a sludge that threatens to drown more than just the alleged perpetrators of some very serious crimes. Lawyers have already been hired. The same firm that sued the Catholic Church and won millions for harboring pedophiles now has the Ecumenical Patriarchate in their sights. Kalmoukos also reports that Abp. Demetrios is “very uneasy” because Vikentios implicated a GOA clergyman. Word on the street is that this involves more people than just Paisios. Vikentios’ order to leave may be an attempt to silence him before more dirt gets out. This is ugly, real ugly.
Source: The National Herald. By Theodore Kalmoukos
BOSTON — Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew sent a telegram to Bishop Vikentios of Apameia on Christmas eve instructing him to leave the United States immediately. The content of the telegram is as follows: “Bishop Vikentios of Apameia, in Brooklyn.
Reminding you of the Church’s previous instruction, we urge you to leave the United States at once.
Bishop Vikentios refused to comment on the telegram when The National Herald contacted him.
The former deputy abbot of the St. Irene Chrysovalantou Monastery in Astoria returned to the U.S. from Greece on December 6, 2010 and has been residing at his quarters located inside the St. Nektarios Church – a dependency of the monastery – in Brooklyn ever since.
According to TNH’s sources, Bishop Vikentios remains listed in the monastery’s registry of monks, and accordingly, he is still considered to be a member of the St. Irene Chrysovalantou Monastery from an ecclesiastical viewpoint. Legally, he remains listed as the monastery’s secretary general on all legal documents on file with the state of New York.
From a legal standpoint, no change or alteration may take place to the monastery’s status without Bishop Vikentios’ consent and participation.
As a result, bank checks bearing the signature of the acting abbot Bishop Ilia of Philomelion were returned, as the bank could not match the signature with the one on file in its records.
Following a letter sent by the First Central Saving Bank in Astoria, where the monastery does business, to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the legal procedure required for the changing of signatories is explained. While the bank’s manager Andreas Petrou explains that the monastery’s accounts were not frozen by the former abbot and deputy abbot, he clarifies that upon being informed that there was a change in leadership by Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey and receiving a check signed by acting abbot Bishop Ilia of Philomelion, it was legally bound to freeze the accounts until it receives a new corporate resolution regarding the names and positions of the new signatories. This corporate resolution will require the consent of Metropolitan Paisios, Bishop Vikentios, and the monastery’s president, Metropolitan Theoliptos of Iconium.
In his telegram, Patriarch Bartholomew makes reference to a decision of the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on December 2, 2010, according to which it unanimously agreed to accept the resignations of the monastery’s abbot Metropolitan Paisios of Tyana and deputy abbot Bishop Vikentios, who were instructed to give up residence in the United States from hereon in.
Both Metropolitan Paisios and Bishop Vikentios were then suspended indefinitely as of Dec. 17, 2010. This canonical punishment means that they may not celebrate the divine liturgy, the sacraments, or participate in any other church service.
TNH has learned that Patriarch Bartholomew plans on revisiting the issue of the St. Irene Chrysovalantou Monastery and its former leadership at the next meeting of the Holy Synod on Jan. 11, 2011. This time, he appears determined to impose even the strictest of punishments, possibly even defrockment for both clergymen.
Sources have told TNH that following the reading of the report compiled by the patriarchal delegation visiting New York to investigate the matter, which was read in the synod meeting of Dec. 2, 2010 by Chief Secretary of the Synod V. Rev. Elpidoforos Lambriniadis, the patriarch did not allow it to be added to the minutes of the meeting. Instead, he took it to his office, where he studied it together with the contents of a large file containing a great deal of evidence, including signed testimonies by alleged victims and recordings regarding Metropolitan Paisios that were submitted by the delegation led by Metropolitan Nikitas of the Dardanelles.
In regards to Bishop Vikentios, Patriarch Bartholomew appears to be leaning towards charging him with disobedience and insubordination regarding his failure to comply with the synod’s instruction to reside outside the United States from now on.
Regarding the allegations of sexual abuse, TNH has learned that lawsuits have already been filed against Metropolitan Paisios, the St. Irene Chrysovalantou Monastery, and the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The attorneys taking on the case specialize in this area of law and have represented victims of Roman Catholic priests and bishops who were awarded tens of millions of dollars in damages.
Archbishop Demetrios of America is also reportedly very uneasy about the scandal that arose at the St. Irene Chrysovalantou Monastery, especially after Bishop Vikentios alleged in his interview with TNH that a clergyman from the Archdiocese participated in sexual activities there.
Meanwhile, Archimandrite Elpidoforos Lambriniadis, the Chief Secretary of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, has opened lines of communication with a former nun of the monastery, Christonymphi Fitzpatrick, through Facebook.
Commenting on the telegram he received from the ecumenical patriarch, Bishop Vikentios told TNH that he is the victim of a plot. Specifically, when asked to name individuals in the patriarchal entourage that he feels have wronged him, he said “the Chief Secretary of the Holy and Sacred Synod Archimandrite Elpidoforos Lambrianidis is the leading figure, followed by Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey, and I am waiting to see who else will join in.”
TNH’s sources in the Ecumenical Patriarchate say that Metropolitan Evangelos had inaccurately conveyed to Archimandrite Elpidoforos that the monastery’s accounts were frozen by Bishop Vikentios. Archimandrite Elpidoforos then passed on Metropolitan Evangelos’ written correspondence to Patriarch Bartholomew, who immediately telegraphed Bishop Vikentios to leave the U.S. at once.
When asked when he is planning on leaving the United States, Bishop Vikentios replied “no comment.”