THE TIME FOR ORTHODOX UNITY IS NOW!

Discern! Who is genuinely a spiritual man, and who is not.

2

by Hagiographos Elias Damianakis
Archon Maestor
Great Church of Christ

June 9, 2019

When I choose to write an article, I expect to write in a professional and impersonal voice. But the regular expectations change a bit when I respond to an incompetent fraudster’s article. This is just one response.

The once cogent Orthodox Christian Laity (OCL) has lost its standing in the community. The constant duplicity of republishing of the fanciful “works” of less than reputable authors like Nick Stamatakis proves this. The OCL’s June 8th article “NEW MISSTEPS BY A CONFUSED ELPIDOPHOROS” goes too far. Literally every line in the editorial is either an outright lie, or hyperbole. Let’s examine his six-paragraph harangue prominently posted on OCL’s frontpage section “Governance and Unity.”

Trying to figure out who this “Nick Stamatakis” is, I reached out to some of my notable and respected friends in the Greek American Community. If rumors are true, Stamatakis doesn’t even attend the GOARCH or even profess to be an Orthodox Christian. Members of his clique have emailed me and accused me of not addressing his “very serious allegations.” You know when he calls our Patriarch a “Pimp” (νταβατζής). Somehow his works are published by disreputable periodicals and websites seeking the salacious profits of the tabloid community.

The author was not successful in making me feel confident in his trustworthiness. Especially moved by his unwarranted and unsubstantiated attacks. I didn’t understand the obsession for his connection between the Church in America and Greek State.

Stamatakis is trying to defame Fr. Alex Karloutsos and His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros via an online deleterious social media campaign. Let’s examine the mendacity of this fraud’s work. One article, word for word, paragraph by paragraph, point by point.

His perceptible contempt for the church is manifest in the first word: “Elpidoforos.” Perhaps the mumbling Stamatakis is unaware of protocol, deference, and etiquette. An Archbishop is addressed as, His Eminence (whether you like him or not). Note the innate Stamatakis continued lack of basic etiquette throughout his piece. Stamataki continues his indignant prose by asserting and alleging unsubstantiated accusations against His Eminence: “languishing in Athens, supposedly preparing his tenure in New York.” Supposedly?

I certainly agonized reading Stamatakis’ article. Let’s see what His Eminence has been doing since his election. Meeting with dozens of important politicians, international ambassadors, church leaders, and elders. Above all His Eminence has set a spiritual tone making pilgrimage to several vitally important holy sites. For example, the Monastery of Osios David on Evia, Greece, to venerate the relics of newly canonized St Iakovos Tsalikis. Praying for strength and stamina for his tenure and his flock. His Eminence’s priorities are exactly where they should be. Axios! Your Eminence.

Continuing with Stamataki’s lies:

“The harsh reality, however, is that he is lacking the legitimacy of a regular Archbishop, as his election violated the Archdiocese’s Charter by ignoring the governing bodies of our Church.”

Again, either Stamatakis is ignorant to the facts on the ground or he is intentionally misleading people with salacious tabloid exploits. To begin, there was no violation of the Archdiocese Charter. Read my response to the Archdiocese Council’s May mishaps to learn more. Then Stamatakis says:

“None of our Metropolitans showed any warmth – even the one or two of them who bothered to issue an official announcement about Elpidophoros’ election.”

Contrary to Stamatakis’ assertion His Eminence Metropolitan Nathaniel of Chicago was on the Holy Synod in Constantinople, which elected the then Metropolitan of Prousa, unanimously. Click here to read official statements of hierarchs in the USA. Stamatakis asserts that:

The clergy and laity are genuinely upset by the unbelievable arrogance displayed by both Bartholomew and Elpidophoros. To top it all off, a legal move threatens to upstage the carefully planned ceremony of enthronement.

Beyond his continued demeaning tone to church leadership, Stamatakis must live a very insulated existence. Tens of thousands of positive optimistic comments and congratulatory remarks circulate everywhere on the internet. One would have to be a charlatan to broadcast another explanation. Not to mention the top-secret “Legal Move.” It is contemptibly awe-inspiring, all the clandestine insights Stamatakis has.

Stamatakis says:

“Facing this adverse situation, Elpidophoros and his ill-equipped advisers sought to gain legitimacy through the notoriously corrupt Greek political class, who are regularly accused as “traitors” by the Greek American community and were banned from participating in this year’s Greek Independence Day parades in the U.S.! Elpidophoros invited even lower-ranked ministers to his enthronement ceremony in New York! How does this Greek Government involvement move sound for creating a “solid foundation” for our Church in America?

Stamatakis’ panders to the very fringes of the Greek community utilizing whatever tactics of division are available to him. His deceitfulness on OCL gives the impression of being an autobiographical account of his lack of faith and a presentation of his viewpoints about the meaning of life. Evident years of deprivation and suffering, he now spends his time writing against the church and other ethnic dealings. His cacophonic internal dialogue leads to the development of irrational conspiracies. Without a meaning in life, Stamatakis seemingly experiences emptiness and loneliness that lead to apathy, despair and anger which is evident in his writing.

As he was being accused left and right for lack of spirituality, he threw in there an impromptu “confession” about his relationship with the new saint, St. Iakovos Tsalikis (But even in this so-called “spiritual” turn, there was a “worldly interest” hiding, as St. Iakovos Tsalikis had foreseen the election of Bartholomew as Patriarch… And, some say, had sent a generous money gift to Bartholomew on his election as Patriarch!) This was probably Elpidophoros’ most “spiritual” move in a decade. Just “yesterday,” he was writing essays about “Primus Sine Paribus” (“First Without Equals”)

Mr. Stamatakis emphasizes “left and right” accusations but they are uncorroborated dog-whistles for those depraved individuals who are subject to easy arousal. Via an unconfirmed “some say” he supports his outrage lies. He charges just “yesterday,” …by yesterday Stamatakis means 2013! Yet he resumes:

and a book dealing with the geopolitical implications of the religious situation in Ukraine; but today, he suddenly turned to “spirituality”. Excuse me Your Eminence, but you are not convincing anybody when you suddenly decide to throw half a pound of spirituality in the mix.

Stamatakis is truly an ignorant man. To write “throw half a pound of spirituality” demonstrates his depravity and malice. His Eminence’s spirituality could never be understood by Stamatakis who only knows lies and deception. His Eminence has for decades, made regular pilgrimages to Orthodoxy’s holiest sites like Mt Athos. He has resurrected a forcibly closed metropolis of Proussa and revitalized it to a flourishing community. Served in the holy Monastery of Holy Trinity on Halki and renovated the sacred grounds to prior glory. In addition to caretaking the holy sacred treasures of Halki he spent his formative years caretaking the holy relics of Ss Euphemia, Salome, and Theophan, the sacred column of flagellation, Holiest of Holy icons in Constantinople and the sacred sites of Baloukli, Zoodochos Peghe, Blacherne, and on and on. Its rich that Stamataki Stamatakis can utter any hypocritical criticism about spirituality when he doesn’t even attend church!

Stamatakis’ one reliable analysi is: “The faithful can instantly discern who is a genuinely spiritual man and who is not.” One can only hope the laity do exactly that; discern.

Stamatakis’ sanctimoniously lies throughout this article here is a prime example: the entire fifth paragraph!

1. Stamatakis’ LIE: Furthermore, not wanting to appear arrogant and wasteful, he directed the “go-betweens” to make an effort so that his enthronement ceremony would be “modest.” But how modest can a ceremony be when the participation per person costs $250, and the sponsorship levels are in the thousands?

Fact: THE CREMONY IS FREE! Nothing more need be said.

2. Stamatakis’ LIE: How can you organize a “modest” ceremony at the Midtown Hilton, with the average net worth of those present hovering above $10 million? It would be a better move to take all those participating and establish an exclusive country club.

Fact: The ceremony will be at the Holy Trinity Cathedral. The Fundraising Luncheon cost $250.00 with various levels of sponsorship opportunities for everyone who can support, with all funds going to St Nicholas Shrine. As per “average net worth hover above $10 million…” what a sad pathetic mind. Perhaps Stamatakis would have preferred a ‘Makaronada’ luncheon in his mother’s basement to honor our new Archbishop?

3. Stamatakis’ LIE: After almost three decades of Father Alex ruling our Church, it really looks more like a private club for the wealthy. It does not look like Christ’s Church, at all.

Fact: Fr Alex has done more for the good of the church on a local, national, and international level than Nick Stamatakis could cerebrally hold. More about Fr Alex later.

I think that Stamatakis’ idea of meaning is the most important force in existence. This helps explain some of the disorder and discontent in his world view. Many people are unhappy because they are caught in jobs where they have no responsibility or creativity; his work lacks meaning so he lashes out at the most prominent figures seeking attention.

In the spirit of modesty, he also announced earlier that he would not need a separate house of his own, but he would reside in “a small room” within the Archdiocese. It is well known that this “small room” is a luxury apartment, reserved exclusively as our Archbishop’s residence. Needless to point out, East 79th Street is in one of the wealthiest Manhattan neighborhoods.

Truly we are blessed by our forefathers to have the Archdiocese headquarters on East 79th Street. However, the apartment is at a different location and other residents have called them small “dorm” rooms. Granted the Archbishop will reside in a small room, I pray until he gets situated and finds a suitable home to fulfil his responsibilities. Stamatakis’ opinions are once again untrue and irrelevant.

Nick Stamatakis’ self-victimization mentality helps me understand the poor behavior of people who seek notoriety. Nick Stamatakis is one such man. Closing his OCL attack on the church. Stamatakis says:

The biggest news out of Athens may well have to do with the several one-to-one meetings Elpidophoros had with Father Alex. The results of these meetings will be heard soon. I am receiving information from all corners that Father Alex will remove himself after the enthronement. As I have noted before, Father Alex is all about “power,” and it will be incredibly difficult for such a personality to decide voluntarily to “fade into the background”. I will believe it when I see it. If true, it may be the only “good news” coming out of Istanbul, or Athens.

Anybody who reads the jumbled words of Stamatakis immediately sees an unhealthy preoccupation with Fr Alexander Karloutsos. His obsessive and overtly angry attacks of Fr Alex’s person lobbing false-accusations, liable assaults, and envious criticisms against a man who has decades of accomplishments. So many achievements under three Archbishops, I do him an injustice attempting to encapsulate them. I remember Fr Alex in the early 1980s when he established the department of communications for the Archdiocese. Subsequently establishing a well-founded Department of Public Affairs at the request if Archbishop Iakovos of blessed memory. Appointed under Archbishop Spyridon spiritual advisor of the Order of St Andrew. He established FAITH, Organized Leadership 100, Facilitated the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC)… the list of major institutional efforts of Fr Alex, goes on and on and on. This doesn’t even begin to explore his one-on-one pastoral impact of anyone he meets. Let alone he’s been awarded many ecclesial offikia and many civil and church awards most recently being awarded the Athenagoras Humanitarian Award…

Now let’s see, what Mr. Nick Stamatakis has done for the Church? —–. OK, there you go.

In conclusion, I strongly recommend Stamatakis’ point to his readers:

The faithful can instantly discern who is a genuinely spiritual man and who is not.


Note from the Editor:

OCL welcomes your ideas, interactions and comments to articles it posts. Our website is set up to receive your comments to specific articles. Interacting with one another helps individuals grow in understanding. OCL does not knowingly post articles that are sent anonymously. We would hope that the faithful present ideas, comments, stories and reports in respectful ways. The ideas presented in articles are the ideas, comments and views of the writers. They do not necessarily represent the views of OCL.

The comments presented above by Mr. Elias Damianakis relate to an article written by Dr. Nicholas Stamatakis. It should be noted that Mr. Elias Damianakis is an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate with the title Archon Maestor. Dr. Nicholas Stamatakis is a business owner in Deer Park, New York. He holds a Bachelor of Law (LLB) from the University of Athens (1979-1984), a Master of Arts from SUNY Stony Brook (1985-1987), a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) from SUNY Stony Brook (1987-1994), was an editorial writer for The National Herald for six years (October, 1991-May, 1998) and currently publishes opinion columns in both Greek and English.

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2 Comments

  1. Dean G. Popps on

    Diamanakis’s remarks seem too well-crafted for a humble Greek iconographer and resemble a legal brief response to a plaintiff’s complaint. It causes me to wonder a bit if this isn’t a product of one of the several NYC white collar lawyers and crisis relations managers employed by the Manhattan cartel.

    I don’t know Stamatakis or remember much of his diatribe, but I will say this–the patriarchate , the archdiocese, and all of its players and personalities have properly earned the fierce anger, emnity, distrust and outright disgust of the majority of the faithful in America.

    Diamanakis ought to be demanding honesty, accountability, servant leadership and the seeking of forgiveness by the old and new hierarchy instead of trying to defend Imperial titles and pseudo-respectfulness of a crowd that has delivered nothing but misery,scandal, embarrassment, and non-salvific activities.

    The new leader arrives at his own peril. No one is impressed that he is possessed of any quality that will reverse what remains of this disaster of an archdiocese. He needs to come humbly, quietly, without sycophants paving the way, and he needs to work 24/ 7 with courage, foresight, inspiration, teamwork, and motivation for the American Church and its well-being, not relations with Greece, Cyprus and Turkey.

    Game on.

  2. Tired of the same garbage on

    The new Archbishop’s treatises touting the EP as “Primus Sine Paribus” (“First Without Equals”), that is, an “eastern Pope” — which, as any Orthodox Christian knows is a Roman Catholic heresy — are well documented and well known. Established fact.

    The new Archbishop’s support of the EP’s creating a “new Ukrainian Church” out of thin air in 2018 by magically restoring the previously-deposed-and-anathematized “Patriarch Filaret” is well documented and well known.

    None of the other 14 autocephalous Orthodox Churches have supported this disastrous move in Ukraine by the EP, because they know how ridiculous his actions have been. This new, illegitimate Ukrainian church creation of the EP and of Abp Elpidophoros is actively persecuting the saintly and long-suffering Metropolitan Onuphry and his flock of the already-existing Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The Church does not persecute the Church.

    The Holy Spirit does not divide — the actions of the Holy Spirit only work to unite Christ’s body. The behavior of the EP and of Abp Elpidophoros have only served to divide the Church — thus any faithful Orthodox Christian can clearly discern that their actions are not of Christ.

    The new Archbishop has far closer connections to the Roman Catholic Vatican than he does to our other Orthodox Christian brothers and sisters of all nationalities throughout the world.

    The honest truth is that Patriarch Bartholomew and Abp Elpidophoros behave as if their Greekness is far more important to them than their Orthodox Christian faith. This is in direct opposition to the bulk of the American Orthodox faithful, who far more identify with their Orthodox Christian faith than with their ethnic heritage.

    Patriarch Bartholomew and Abp Elpidophoros do not understand this fact — and probably don’t believe it, or cannot allow themselves to believe it — thus, they must import non-American Greeks here in order to bolster their delusional perception of what they think is their mandate of legitimacy in America.

    They are pseudo-imperialists of a non-existent empire, using America for what they can extract from her (money). They care little about the spiritual health of the Orthodox faithful in America.

    Abp Elpidophoros will oversee only one thing in America — the further decline and ghettoization of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. The GOA is crumbling as fast as the ECUSA was crumbling a decade or two ago. Yes, a few millionaires here and there may soften the GOA’s crash somewhat, but they cannot save it.

    Only faithfulness to Christ and to His Church can bring the GOA to what God intends it to be — a mission to all Americans (regardless of ethnic heritage) who desire to encounter Christ and to grow close to Him in the sacramental life of His Church. If the GOA does not live up to this mission — and hardly any data points suggest that it will or even wants to — then it will decline, ghettoize, and crumble. God will not be mocked.

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