Breaking: DA Asked to Review Possible Theft from Church by Former Priest

annunciation-milwaukerrOne of our pet complaints here at Monomakhos is that we Orthodox are rather niggardly in our giving.  Tithing is virtually unknown and held in derision by people from many different quarters.  In an earlier essay last year on the financial meltdown in Greece, I made mention that one reason the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese could only come up with half a million dollars was because the finances of that jurisdiction are rather “opaque.”  Although I had no hard evidence, it was mostly a gut feeling that all too many of us have.  (Not that things are any more stellar in the other jurisdictions.”

I still stand by that criticism.  The general concensus is that throughout the Archdiocese, from the national headquarters to the local church, creative accounting all-too-often takes place.  Basically what we are talking about are things like slush funds.

It appears that this may be the case in this instance. 

We at Monomakhos don’t presume to know everything that has transpired here.  And we firmly believe in the presumption of innocence, but the fact that the District Attorney in Milwaukee County may file charges in response to a request filed by the Parish Council of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, causes us to feel an “Obi Wan Moment” (as in “I don’t have a good feeling about this Master”).  At any rate, as far as giving is concerned, it certainly doesn’t bode well.  The people who tipped yours truly off to this case have speculated that the monies which may have gone missing wound up at the Phanar. 

Time will tell.

 

DA asked to review possible theft from church by former priest

Leaders at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church cite financial discrepancies

Source: Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Online | John Diedrich

The Milwaukee County district attorney’s office has been asked to investigate possible theft from the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church by a former priest.

Assistant District Attorney David Feiss confirmed Monday that he was reviewing documents sent to the office by Annunciation’s Parish Council. Feiss declined to comment further.

After discovering financial “discrepancies,” the council voted to request the district attorney investigate the matter, according to a news release from the church.

“The concerns that have been raised have nothing to do with current church operations or leadership, and regular church programs, services and normal operations are unaffected and will continue as usual,” Emmanuel Mamalakis, a lawyer representing the church, said in a news release.

Mamalakis said Monday the vote by the 14-member Parish Council was unanimous.

“They are unified. There is no division on this,” he said.

In a letter sent to parishioners Monday, Parish Council President Kosta Zervas wrote: “In order to protect our church community, we reluctantly decided to take this action.

“During this review, we worked hard to resolve and answer questions we had, but we were unable to do so. Regrettably, asking the District Attorney to review the matter was the most appropriate step to take.”

In a letter from the church to the district attorney obtained by the Journal Sentinel, Mamalaskis wrote that the council believes it has found “ample evidence” that former Pastor Father James Dokos had committed felony theft.

The letter says Dokos, who is now a priest at Saints Peter & Paul Orthodox Church in Glenview, Ill., spent more than $100,000 from a trust created by Ervin and Margaret Franszak for personal expenses.

Reached at his office Monday, Dokos said that was the first he was hearing of such an allegation.

“I know nothing about it,” Dokos said. “I will look into it real soon, believe me.”

Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos, the church’s chancellor of Chicago, asked a church attorney to review the matter. The attorney found funds were not used improperly, according to an Aug. 7 letter sent to the Parish Council.

The bishop wrote he was calling a meeting for this week, “in the spirit of reconciliation” to be attended by Dokos, all Annunciation Parish Council members and Annunciation’s current priest, Father Angelo Artemas.

“To promote a more candid and open discussion… ,” he wrote, “all who are present agree that any statements made during the meeting are inadmissible for any purpose in any legal proceeding.”

Dokos said Monday he knew of the meeting. The bishop did not return a reporter’s call for comment.

Annunciation’s main building on W. Congress St. in Wauwatosa was designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The church organizes the annual Greek Fest, now held at State Fair Park.

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Comments

  1. I once took a special trip with the spouse to see the church designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. I thought at the time of Svetlana Stalina, who had moved to Taliesin ranch with her Frank Lloyd Wright obsessed architect husband and imagined, without knowing really, that she had also made a pilgrimage with her husband to this church designed by an American icon for the glory of God. To think of that particular church building surrounded by unholy scandal is very sad.

    • Trudge at SmartVote says

      I noticed that the retirement facilities of the Cathedral compound were supplemented by we American taxpayers:

      Greek Orthodox Manor

      “In the 1970′s and early 1980′s our parish leaders recognized the need to provide safe, convenient and affordable housing oprtions for our senior citizens. Our Church was granted a federal subsidy for the Greek Orthodox Manor in 1982 and construction was completed in the summer of 1984. Since then we have had a wonderful home for our senior citizens to live that is safe, close to friends and family and Church activities.”

      http://www.annunciationwi.org/?page_id=40

  2. Finding Wright in Tosa says

    When Fr. Dokos lead the Annunciation parish, it flourished due to his amazing fund raising abilities and his Hollywood-like charisma. The parish benefited, and they were all very happy with his progress. For example, after 40 years, they finally built a beautiful community center, something all past priests could not do.

    But, these benefits had a price. Fr. Dokos flaunted very expensive material items, and was adorned with community “awards”. He was known to be selective with winning over the “right” parishioners, while “humiliating” others. All this appeared to be acceptable “then”, simply because the benefits outweigh the costs. But now, “Houston we have a problem”. It’s hard to believe, and “oh so” political.

    Be thankful for your progress, forgive, and move forward.

    • @Finding Wright in Tosa,
      Easy for you to say when he is no longer the leader of YOUR parish. How about for the families of the parish that is currently dealing with this personality and the lack of attendance due to the hypocritical nature of this spiritual leader? Not fun seeing empty pews when there was once an overflow into the Narthex for lack of seating space every Sunday. Sure…forgive and move on as long as it isn’t your problem….

      • Anna I totally agree with you. It is not the same. He hates children and the children are what makes up the church. He only associates himself with wealthy people. They need to get rid of him. They had a great priest there before and the church was overflowing with people. Look at it now. He must be punished for what he has done. That is a discrace to all churches. I will never go back there again and I am sure that many peolple with leave the Northbrook parrish. Shame on the Archedioces!!

  3. And it begins:

    “Daniel Kostakis (né Storrs and referred to by that name throughout this article, just to keep things clear) writes on HuffPo about a ceremony in June, conducted by an ELCA cleric Phil Trzynka (himself in a same-sex union and strangely referred to as the “priest” throughout the HuffPo article, although Trzynka’s own site doesn’t use the term) which joined him and Andrew Kostakis legally in a same-sex union conducted in Manhattan. Both men live in Indiana, where what they did in New York has no legal force. Both Storrs and Kostakis have a history as members of the Orthodox Church. This morning, Storrs called the ceremony “historic” on his Facebook page.

    “Storrs, formerly an Orthodox subdeacon and convert to Orthodoxy, had been headed into the priesthood of the Episcopal Church USA but decided instead to pursue ordination in the Open Episcopal Church, because ECUSA didn’t crack down hard enough on their conservative clergy. (The OEC mainly exists on the Internet and does not require the usual theological education for ordination that most denominations do. Storrs himself serves a weekly Eucharist via Skype.) Andrew Kostakis was raised in the Orthodox Church, and his brother is currently a seminarian at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.”

    Granted, this ceremony is done by apostates to the Orthodox Church, but this ceremony, which is public via the HuffPost, will possibly be used for future propaganda purposes.

    Sigh.

    Source URL

  4. Sean Richardson says

    I’ve been to this church and was at first taken aback by its design, but then saw a certain beauty in its attempt to bring Orthodoxy to the people. I would prayerfully hope that we always remember, however, that bringing the Faith to the people is not a function of money, forms or architecture, but rather of the teachings of Christ and the Tradition of the Holy Church. I never wish for evil for anyone, nor do I wish that anyone cause evil to others. I pray this can all be worked out for the benefit of Christ and His Holy Kingdom.

  5. @Finding Wright in Tosa,
    Easy for you to say when he is no longer the leader of YOUR parish. How about for the families of the parish that is currently dealing with this personality and the lack of attendance due to the hypocritical nature of this spiritual leader? Not fun seeing empty pews when there was once an overflow into the Narthex for lack of seating space every Sunday. Sure…forgive and move on as long as it isn’t your problem….

  6. All businesses have a “petty cash” fund to pay for emergency office supplies and airline tickets to Turkey

  7. ocha Anthony says

    Fr. Scoulas, of quadruple blessed memory, a very holy priest is turning over in his grave!!

  8. Texan Orthodox says

    Sorry, but I’ve always thought that this FLW-designed church building is hideously awful. It looks like a UFO. Give me classic Byzantine or Slavic-style architecture over this stuff any day. FLW can design cool homes like “Falling Water,” but this modernist UFO-style church design is horrible.

    I’m sorry about the church problems — prayers for resolution and healing! But do we really want pastors with “Hollywood-like charisma,” as one wrote above? Really? Did St John Maximovitch or Fr Georges Florovsky have such Hollywood style? Perhaps Hollywood-style charisma goes along with a UFO-style church building?

    Blessed Dormition to those on the new calendar.

    • I waited for someone else to say this first. It truly IS an unpleasant church environment on the inside, and unattractive from the outside. I visited there once, many years ago, and could not stand the turquoise pew cushions and the feeling of being inside a theatre. I hope the congregation has thawed out since then, too. Although I quietly sang the hymns in Greek, and obviously was Orthodox (received Holy Communion, for I had contacted the priest ahead of time), nobody greeted me at all. Not even when I stood outside the building for over an hour-and-a-half, waiting for my ride to come.

  9. One would think that charges of this nature could be validated by finding articles in other periodicals or upon hearing from others. Why is it that I cannot validate these charges? No articles found in local papers nor validation from metropolitan members whom I approached. Maybe we should take a wait and see attitude before we rush to judgment? How a man runs his parish is far different from charging one with larceny.

  10. Bruce W. Trakas says

    I have some knowledge of some financial activity involving this parish and its (former) Presiding Priest, Fr. Jim Dokos’ arrangements with the community which may explain this situation—-I’m only guessing based on information I’d been told several years ago.

    The priest drove a very expensive SUV, one of the Cadillac or high end GM models. The parish budget provided a somewhat reasonable lease allowance, consistent with Archdiocesan Clergy Remuneration Scale requirements, but this allocation didn’t cover the total cost of the lease. I was told the total cost of the lease, even if the Parish Council and Parish Assembly approved of it, was so high that it could be a red flag, big time, to the common parishioner. So, Fr. Jim was able to put this arrangement together. A wealthy, favorably disposed toward Fr. Jim parishioner(s), supplemented the church’s allocation toward the automobile lease. Possibly, the fund in question, is where the supplemental financial contributions toward the automobile lease transactions were conducted.

  11. A concerned Orthodox Christian says
  12. Robert Badger says

    I’m a Catholic, but was raised a Mormon. I had a former pastor who believed very strongly that the faithful had a right to know where the money was going. So, each month in the bulletin, there was a detailed financial report. He was a banker before becoming a priest. Since becoming a Catholic, I’ve been happy to see financial transparency become more of a reality, though in some places, much more needs to be done. The Vatican has famously murky finances. They will usually indicate if they have a surplus or a deficit, but that’s usually about it. However, the dioceses are becoming more and more open. More bishops are having diocesan financial reports published on their web pages. It’s a good thing.

    In the Mormon religion, there is absolutely no transparency. Any money the local congregation collects is to be forwarded immediately to Salt Lake City. Salt Lake City decides each local congregation’s budget and sends the funds out accordingly. However, church headquarters never make a report of what they spend their money on nor on how much they have or how much they collect. It’s a big thing, given that to be a member in good standing, you have to give 10% of your income. If you don’t, you can be barred from entering the temple. If you are barred from entering the temple, you would not be allowed to see your own children get married. (I have never seen any of my siblings get married. I had to wait outside with everyone else who either was a) unworthy or b) who couldn’t fit into the very small sealing rooms in the temple where weddings take place.) It was a lesson drummed into me as a kid, as we were expected to pay tithing on gifts of money given to us by our grandparents and so forth.

    Some Mormons are unhappy with this state of affairs. Given that the Mormon cult recently spent billions of dollars on building a new mall (yes, a mall) in downtown Salt Lake City, the faithful are beginning to murmur a little bit. But you don’t want to murmur too much. That could be construed as “speaking evil of the Lord’s anointed”, which if you’ve been through the temple, you’ve promised not to do. One could incur church discipline for that.

  13. Thomas Jones says

    This is what happens when you have foreign bishops calling the shots. The Phanar views the U.S. GOA as it’s own ATM/ Piggy Bank. The Phanar’s response would be, “All the Greeks of the world need to support their mother church.” Well, all you AMERICANS who are still under foreign bishops, wave your hard-earned $$$ good-bye to foreign bishops; many living like kings on YOUR $$$.

    • Disgusted With It says

      Foreign bishops? You mean like the ones running the OCA (and knew very well what was going on) amid all of their financial scandals? Oops, that might not be a convenient bit of fact for Mr. Jones. Nevermind.

      • Pere LaChaise says

        The OCA has no foreign-born bishops, much less any that sit on the Synod of a Turkish, Islamic-in-all-but-name city. Get your facts straight. The OCA’s moves toward transparency far outstrip any other Orthodox church’s efforts.

        • Sorry Peter you are wrong. The OCA has foreign bishops. Irenee of Canada, Alejo of Mexico, Irienu born in Romania.

          As far as transparency, why is the OCA covering up financial mismanagement of Protopresbyter Daniel Hubiak? Why is the OCA not ridding itself of homosexual clergy who are friends of Fr. John Jillions?

          Transparency? How do you define it when those now in power continue to cover up OCA misdeeds?

          If you think just because the so-called OCA has some bishops born here and therefore they can speak with authority to America, you are missing the point.

          The vast majority of Orthodox bishops here in America were born here, regardless of jurisdiction with even more clergy born here (except maybe for the OCA Romanian diocese which may have more foreign born clergy than born here in the USA.)

          Get your facts straight before you write here again.

  14. Bruce W. Trakas says

    In Re. the Thomas Jones Post

    The prosecutor’s inquiry into the finances of the Annunciation Church in Milwaukie, and the priest’s salary problems and related organization issue of the Salt Lake City parishes, have nothing what-so-ever to do with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America’s relationship with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople; nothing! On what basis could there be a connection?

    ____________________
    On another matter, I wish to modify my earlier post. I have since read on Orthodox-Forum @Yahoo Groups, that the funds in question of the Annunciation Church were of an endowment fund dedicated to the church’s social center for maintenance, a fund Fr. Jim is alleged to have controlled, thus, the inquiries probably do not involve the automobile lease I had described above.

  15. Will you be interested in swapping links?

  16. Frankly it is a shame when we here about the aforementioned. Money corrupts or is it sinful greedy and selfish behaviors

    I know of a Priest that is really struggling. The only income is Social Security.(less then 9m a year) He is not on any government assistance and does not receive pension from his jurisdiction. He is in a jurisdiction that does not support their priests in emergencies only if you are close to the Bishop or have a Parish that has the finances.

    The sad thing is that he has been told that “You have taken the Vow of Poverty.” What happened to helping our clergy in need? He is in crisis in about losing his home. He receives some support from good friends with some food and little funds, but overall he is still below the poverty line.

    It is a shame that we hear the wasteful handling of monies by jurisdictions, no unity across the Orthodox world to help clergy in need, plus spending millions of dollars to build Orthodox Churches/Temples, sending monies over to the “Old Country” because they are in need and yet we have people here to tell clergy. You took the Vow of Poverty.

    Yes others need help but can we allow our clergy here in the USA live below the poverty level?

    Let us start to help Clergy here first who are in need and reflect on how the monies are spent.

    God be with you all

  17. A concerned Orthodox Christian says

    @Bruce Trakas-
    I was a member of the parish when Mrs. Franszac passed away and the estate was left. Fr. Jim did not drive an SUV. He drove a Lexus. I was in a position to know more than your average parishioner (which is why, forgive me, I am leaving my identity shielded- out of concern for the ramifications that identifying myself would have for myself and my family). My husband and I are not in the least bit surprised about this situation, I am sad to say. While we did not have direct knowledge of any wrongdoing at the time, we both remember the bragging Fr. Jim would do privately about it.

    @Anna S.-
    I can certainly identify with this. He drove people away from Milwaukee in droves. He would humiliate people publicly from the parish council president to kids to his assistant priests (which he could never hang on to, they all fled the first chance they got!). He was all about the money all the time, and controlled the people like an abusive husband. It was tragic to watch. We had to leave the parish because we couldn’t stand watching him behave in such a hateful way all the time. We eventually moved anyway. I hope your parish insists on a full forensic audit and insists the bishops hold him accountable as is appropriate!

  18. Bruce W. Trakas says

    @John Papas

    Are you sure about the salaries of the GOAA Metropolitans? In 1996, they were paid a $50,000.00 annual salary—I’m surprised their salaries would have tripled in less than 20 years. I think they participate in the Orthodox Health Plan, which has a high deductible–can’t recall the amount yet; and of course, all their residential expenses have typically been paid; and they typically receive a $250.00 stipend for parish visits, at least from the parishes that are financially comfortable.

  19. Thanks for finally talking about >Breaking: DA Asked to Review Possible Theft from Church by Former Priest
    — Monomakhos <Liked it!

  20. Peter Thomas says

    Whatever the truth of the matter is will be learned in due time. That said, there’s a myriad of political maneuvering at work here – using the present circumstances as an opportunity to further several agendas. Sts. Peter & Paul are looking for an end to the “creeping Greek” back into the Divine Liturgy, reintroduced by Father Dokos. Their spokesperson has publicly alluded to this issue when interviewed about the allegations of Dokos’ illegal activity, something comploetely irrelevant to the matter at hand. They would love nothing better than to see the current Parish priest banished, only to be replaced by a more “English-only” pastor. Meanwhile, the Chicago Metropolis is attempting to diffuse the situation with a “wait and see” attitude; one that I personally believe is more prudent than the pile-on rush to judgment we’ve seen – regardless of various spokespersons’ transparent protests of the opposite. Meanwhile, the Monomakhos crew appear to be on a vendetta mission for the envy-motivated politics that ensued during Father James’ tenure there.

    All in all, everyone’s a loser in this sad and possibly overblown situation that will only be resolved with hard and unChristian feelings on all sides. Is it any wonder many parishioners continue to drop out, both spiritually and financially?

  21. Jonathan Johnston says

    Give Heavily to the Foreign Patriarch of Your Choice!

    Former church treasurer, wanted for 7 years, caught at Athens Airport

    The ex-treasurer of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, who has had an international arrest warrant pending against him for the past seven years in connection with a land swap scandal in Greece, was arrested on Friday at Athens International Airport.

    Nikos Papadimas, who was stopped at passport control, is alleged to have swindled the Church out of some 800,000 US dollars (or 600,000 euros), according to church authorities, and is also suspected of money laundering.

    • About time... says

      I wonder if he was exiting Greece or entering…there is also an outstanding arrest warrant out for his wife Ekaterini.

      Links concerning Nikos Papadimas

      http://www.zoominfo.com/p/Nikos-Papadimas/723589894

      His activities helped to kill several birds with one really large stone:

      – by participating in the embezzlement he enabled the US secret service under the guise of the current Patriarch Theophilos (and his nephew – the former director of the Central Intelligence George Tenet) and others to push forward the zionist agenda, and systematically further disenfranchise the Christian and Muslim Palestinians in the area.
      -this is further evidence of the systematic war against Christianity and it started WAY before President Obama took office.
      – BTW, the great majority of land in Jerusalem is owned by the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, including the building where the Knesset is built – just saying.

  22. ROBERT KONDRATICK trial set for October 21st in Sarasota , Florida

    http://courtweb.co.sarasota.fl.us/crimapp/crimdetail.asp?case_id=76542785

    • Venice Watcher says

      We in Venice who are disgusted by these charges and want nothing to do with those who advocated for them look forward to the light of truth being shined on this case. I am glad this is finally going to trial so that these ridiculous charges can be shot down in open court. Then the poor folks in Venice and the South and the OCA will have to pay up big time. Can’t wait to see the accusers crumble under cross-examination.

      This could be the financial Waterloo for the OCA.

      • Jonathan Johnston says

        Look, RSK played “hide the money” when he was in Syosset and should have been prosecuted then. He goes to the church in Venice, FL, gains the confidence of the people and again plays “hide the money” with these people. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck & quacks like a duck I’d bet it’s a duck. RSK has an addiction to play fast & improper with other people’s money. Let the chips fall where they may. Oh, and how about George, + BT here and others who supported RSK even after the facts of his thievery were proven.

        • Jonathan,

          You make it sound so easy but if RSK was trying to hide things in Syosset why was there a paper trail for all the monies in question except for about $127K which was undocumented not because of RSK but because of the OCA Comptroller who lost those receipts?

          If someone is trying to steal money he covers his tracks. The DA in Nassau Country understood this and never brought charges. The judge in the Kondratick countersuit understood this and told the OCA they better settle the case because they were in no position to put on a case, which the OCA evenutally paid $250K because the OCA lied about there ever being a contract between the Kondraticks and the OCA.

          No is was just the OCA SIC which was a Kangaroo Court from the very beginning led by an ignoble bishop and his hand-picked cohorts, including a priest who recently got an OCA award but whose file is thick with sexual misconduct accusations, and another who protected homosexual clergy attached to his parish.

          It is laughable how these same people now try and con folks into thinking they are righteous. It is also sickening to those who know the whole truth.

        • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

          Jonathan Johnstone. You asked this: “Oh, and how about George, + BT here and others who supported RSK even after the facts of his thievery were proven.”
          Thievery, Mr. Johnstone, is a crime and those accused of crimes are referred to the law enforcement entities of the concerned community, where, if there is a basis for filing criminal accusations against a purported thief, such accusations are by law referred to the court of the area where the alleged crimes were committed. Protopresbyter Rodion S. Kondratick has never been tried by any criminal court in the United States of America for the crimes which YOU slanderously and libellosly allege he committed. In fact ever shred of possible evidence was referred to and reviewed by competent legal authority, and NOTHING, Jonathan, NOTHING was proved as you maliciously and irrationally bear (false) witness to! The OCA School of Allegations, Accusations, and Incriminations composed of Mark Stokoe, Protodeacon Eric wheeler and many of their classmates and other SVS friends, once inveighed, like you, against the Protopresbyters “crimes’ which, they averred, were about to bring down the wrath of not only the D.A., but also the FBI and the IRS upon the OCA! They ended up sounding like sissfied versions of Chicken Little. They STILL don’t believe the Sky has not fallen!!!! Do you not know that either? Monk James characterized the S.I.C. quite accurately, leaving out their most egregious characteristics.
          I believe that Proopresbyter Rodion is wrongly accused once again, but I’m patiently waiting to see what the Florida courts will make of the case . They are certainly far-famed for their probity, no? Let’s pray that the truth is not once again raped as it was at the mock and non-canonical trial of the Protopresbyter by an uncanonically, irregularly constituted “court” which refused to allow its proceedings even to be recorded!!!!!! There is no trial of the OCA that someone else asked about. It just ACTS guilty and no one has followed its example of recriminations and investigations, preferring to follow the Holy Gospel’s injunctions. May God forgive all those who initiated and those who unconscionably have continued the persecution of Protopresbyter Rodion S. Kondratick. As for the OCA’s alleged “criminality,” it is the Gospel truth that Bishop Nikolai (Soraich) has never sued the OCA for anything at any time; yet. recently when His Beatitude and his suite visited Russia, he conveyed to the Patriarch that the recent they absolutely refuse to release him to the Russian Church is that he sued the OCA!!!!!
          I ask you, do Muslims act worse than this?

      • Carl Kraeff says

        Dear “Venice Watcher”–This is a criminal case. I have no idea how the “poor folks in Venice, the South and the OCA will have to pay up big time.” In case you have not noticed, the charges are by the State of Florida.

        • Venice Watcher says

          Carl,

          It is called CIVIL ACTION in CIVIL COURT when RSK is found not guilty.

          Yes, brought by the State of Florida but first conspired by the people in Venice, the DOS and help from members of the OCA Metropolitan Council.

          Got it?

          • Carl Kraeff says

            Nope. You are not making any sense whatsoever unless you are alleging an illegal conspiracy to manufacture evidence that the police and prosecutors fell for. This assumes not mere animosity toward the defendant but great technical prowess on the part of the Parish Council. You also assume that the police and prosecutors would fall for the set-up. So, you got to have evil conspirators who manufacture evidence AND at least two sets of agencies (police and prosecution) who are incompetent and gullible. Pure fantasy on your part. It is very reckless and malicious to make these accusations. Why don’t we wait until the criminal proceedings are completed?

      • Monk James says

        Venice Watcher says (August 26, 2013 at 7:53 am):
        ‘We in Venice who are disgusted by these charges and want nothing to do with those who advocated for them look forward to the light of truth being shined on this case. I am glad this is finally going to trial so that these ridiculous charges can be shot down in open court. Then the poor folks in Venice and the South and the OCA will have to pay up big time. Can’t wait to see the accusers crumble under cross-examination.’

        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        We have to wonder: If ‘these charges’ — disgusting as they are — were resisted from the start by parishioners who ‘want nothing to do with those who advocated for them’, why has this sorry situation dragged on for over nine months and now might come to trial?

        Or maybe it WASN’T resisted from the start. Maybe the very few people who started this ruckus had free rein to influence and poison their fellow Christians because nobody stood up to them in public and properly rebuked them.

        Oh, it’s a fine thing for us to throw up our hands in mock futility as we sit back and let everyone else, including the courts, do the heavy lifting now that we’ve shirked our responsibilities, allowing The Thing to grow and grow. Think 1930s Germany.

        ‘The only thing necessary for evil to triumph in the world is for good men to do nothing.’
        — Edmund Burke (more or less)

      • Pere LaChaise says

        As if the OCA and not RSK was on trial. A duck if I ever saw one.

  23. cynthia curran says

    Well, I agree somewhat about some modern looking churches but Hagia Sophia number 3, the current Hagia Sophia was different in style from most churches of its time. The dome and the classical basilica style had been attempted before but not on this scale. Hagia Sophia has the second largest dome in Antiquity next to the Pantheon in Rome.

    • nit picker says

      Actually this church resembles (at least on the exterior) a church in Thessalonica which is just a giant dome. Dedicated to St. George if I recall correctly. Maybe late 5th c.? The mosaics that are left are outstanding.

  24. chris suiter says

    father James dokos is a disgrace.he is a arrogant. man who has a daughter who moved to Massachusetts to get away from him and where his mother lives whom he has never had visit the parish for he is ashamed that she lives in public housing.

  25. Church Going Christian says

    Can the OCA string of comments be moved to a separate listing? This string was started as a Greek string about serious honesty issues within the Greek Archdiocese. There are a lot of people who check this site wondering if priest Dokos is going to face serious allegations of theft or not.

    The OCA is also another major embarrassment over the past 15 or so years of “leadership” of the OCA and St. Vladimir’s Seminary. If only there were more dedicated and honest and God-loving leaders like the late Fathers Schmemann, Meyendorf, Professor Kesich etc.

    Thank you.