Bishops Behaving Badly

Metropolitan Paisios of Tyana is seen on the bishop's throne, while his longtime associate Bishop Vikentios of Apameia is seen next to him. TNH has learned that charges against Metropolitan Paisios have been made to the FBI and local police. Metropolitan Paisios and Bishop Vikentios, who had a public falling out over the past month, have traveled to the Ecumenical Patriarchate to discuss the matter.

Source: National Herald

BOSTON – Federal and local authorities in New York have received public complaints against Metropolitan Paisios of Tyana. The National Herald has learned that these allegations, made to the FBI’s central New York office in Manhattan and the local 114th Police precinct in Astoria, involve serious charges, which if proven true may even be subject to criminal prosecution. At least one of the accusers who testified to the authorities has lived for years at the St. Irene Chrysovalantou Patriarchal and Stravropegial Monastery, where Metropolitan Paisios was the Abbot, claims to hold great knowledge of the events in question. TNH contact one of the persons who filed claims, with the FBI and the Police in Astoria stated that “I gave an account of everything,” after claiming to be an eyewitnesses to several events and situations. This individual did not want to go into details to ensure that “the investigation would not be compromised,” and spoke to TNH under the condition of anonymity, for the time being.

This latest turn of events came to the attention of Metropolitan Paisios, and according to observations made by people who are aware of the events this appears to be one of the primary reasons that led him to submit his resignation.

The complaints with the FBI were filed over the summer, while the complaint to the 114th precinct in Astoria was made ten days ago, when news broke of Metropolitan Paisios’ resignation and ensuing decision to leave permanently for Greece. Metropolitan Paisios had cited “health reasons” and his “protest” over the fact that his associate Bishop Vikentios of Apameia criticized him in an interview with TNH and distanced himself from the Metropolitan’s handling of administrative matters in the Monastery’s Dependency in Florida, where a split occurred.

The same source report that the cases being investigated by the FBI and the Police involve young adult males and females who have been parishioners at St. Irene’s since childhood, had Metropolitan Paisios as their confessor, and enjoyed close relations and nearness with the Monastery. Members of the St. Irene’s Monastic Community who joined the Paisios Order ever since they were children are also said to be involved.

TNH contact the Office of St. Irene Chrysovalantou in Astoria, where we spoke with the Monastery’s chief secretary Dr. John Kotsaridis, who stated that “Metropolitan Paisios is in Greece,” and agreed to pass along TNH’s message to him. Metropolitan Paisios did not return TNH’s phone call.

In a statement to TNH, Deputy Abbot Bishop Vikentios said that “the matter is personal and it concerns the Abbot. I have no comment.”

TNH has also learned that the individuals who filed claims with the authorities have also informed the Ecumenical Patriarchate in great detail, and Patriarchal Officials. In the Phanar are already talking about a major scandal that is about to break.

There are also reports that Sister Christonymphi, one of the younger nuns in the Monastery, is planning to resign as director of the Kindergarten, and will proceed to leave the Monastery altogether in the coming days.

Meanwhile, Metropolitan Paisios and his Deputy Abbot Bishop Vikentios have left to Constantinople to attend a meeting at the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Metropolitan Paisios left for Constantinople via Athens on Wednesday evening, while Bishop Vikentios left directly from New York for Constantinople on Thursday. On Monday Nov. 1 they are set to appear before the Committee for the Patriarchal Institutions, which is chaired by Metropolitan Athanasios of Chalcedon and included Metropolitan Iakovos of the Pringiponisos, Metropolitan Demetrios of Sevasteia, and Metropolitan Meliton of Philadelphia as members.

On Tues. November 2nd the matter will be discussed at the Holy Synod, which will reach a final decision. Neither Metropolitan Paisios nor Bishop Vikentios will participate in the Synod, but they may be summoned to appear and give their accounts of the events that transpired and put the Monastery in such a serious crisis. The Holy Synod, which is chaired by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, includes the following hierarchs as members: Athanasios of Chalcedon, Germanos of Theodoroupoulis, Germanos of Tranoupolis, Kyrillos of Imvros and Tenedos, Theoleptos of Iconium, Apostolos of Moschonision, Panteleimon of Tyroloi and Serention, Nicholas of Detroit, Tarasios of Buenos Aires, Andreas of Arkalochorion, Kastellion, and Viannon, Polycarpos of Spain and Portugal, and Nathanael of Kos and Nisyros.


  1. So, what are the actual charges? Has he been convicted of a crime? Journalists thrive on exaggerating the truth. If he was actually being considered guilty of a crime, he would not be allowed to live the city, much less the country. Of course, because I look at both sides of the coin, my Journalism degree isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Peggy, I see your point, and it’s a great one. I don’t know what the charges are, and I don’t like the way it’s being handled. But what can the people in the GOA do? There’s no accountability within our shores and so this man (who may be innocent) has to go to Istanbul for adjudication. That’s not fair, not to him nor to the people in the GOA.

      This goes to the larger problem to my mind, that is that until Greek-Americans belong to a local church in which they elect their own Holy Synod, then we are going to see this replaid time and time again. We see this happening for instance among our Antiochene brothers, who just saw the defenestration of Bishop +Mark Maymon and the demotion of their entire episcopate to auxiliary status. Leaving aside the particulars, the salient question is “how could this happen in America?” The only answer I can give is that the AOCANA and GOA are nothing but colonial eparchies which are controlled by foreign patriarchs.

      Of course, this raises more questions, like: why won’t these foreign patriarchates let go of their eparchies? I think we all know the an$wer to that que$tion.

      • The only answer I can give is that the AOCANA and GOA are nothing but colonial eparchies which are controlled by foreign patriarchs.

        That’s the bottom line right there, George. It was obvious to me when Met. Philip (the Antiochian Pope) called his “diocese” self-ruled instead of anything traditional. He wants to be both tied to the Syrian patriarchate and be the ruler of his own domain in the U.S. It’s time for all the charades to end. Let the ugly house-cleaning begin.

        p.s. I haven’t been watching these bishop issues closely for a while. I just saw that Bp. Mark Maymon was released to the OCA.

  2. George Michalopulos says

    John, you raise several interesting points. On another blog, The American Orthodox Institute, one of its great contributors (a guy named Harry Coin) has incessantly raised this question. We can’t keep sweeping it under the rug. Until it’s addressed then Orthodoxy will never grow in the US. But when it’s addressed, I fear all hell will break loose. Maybe that will be the house-cleaning we need.

  3. John Christopher says

    Neither of these bishops, nor their related institutions, are part of the GOA. St. Irene Chrysovalantou is Stavropegial, directly under the omophorion of the Ecumenical Patriarch.

    • George Michalopulos says

      John, you are correct, however if there is a financial liability here, then the GOA will be on the hook, in fact if not in principle. Let’s face it, when it comes to money, the GOA > the Phanar.