Orthodox Church in Toronto Accused of Stealing Donations, Employing Sex Offenders

St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church on Thorncliffe Park Dr. in Toronto.

Stealing donations for a sick baby, the appointment of known sex abusers and skimming money earmarked for the poor are some of the explosive allegations in a Greek church civil war now raging in Toronto.

The Toronto Sun reports that according to a lawsuit, in 2012, when baby Alexander Karanikas needed more than $100,000 to airlift him home from Greece for lifesaving heart surgery at Sick Kids, the Greek Canadian community rallied and raised thousands of dollars after the fundraiser was announced by the Archbishop (“the Metropolitan”) of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto (Canada).

But most of the money never reached the child’s family, the lawsuit claims.

Baby Alexander

Instead, according to the suit filed by the Greek Community of Toronto (GCT), the Metropolis handed over a paltry $1,450 of the estimated $50,000 they raised, and never issued the promised charitable tax receipts.

That’s just one of many shocking allegations contained in the statement of claim filed recently against the Metropolis, its Archbishop, Sotirios Athanassoulas, four priests, members of the church’s women’s auxiliary, as well as the wife and children of Father Philip Philippou, for allegedly misappropriating funds earmarked for the sick, homeless and poor.

The lawsuit contends the Metropolis installed known sex abusers in GCT churches: Ioan Popp was placed at St. John’s Church in 2015; despite knowing he was a sex offender on bail.

The late Demetre Tsevlikos was appointed to St. Irene Chrisovalantou; when they knew or ought to have known, he was a sexual predator and pedophile.

And former Bishop Georgije Djokic was invited by the Metropolitan to conduct mass in 2016, yet was defrocked for “allegations of indecent sexual behaviour.”

The suit also alleges the Metropolis and its appointed priests are “unlawfully” dipping into hundreds of thousands of dollars raised by GCT congregation members — from collection plate donations to payments for “priestly offerings” — and “misdirecting, dissipating and misappropriating” money earmarked for outreach programs for the disabled, widowed and orphaned, Sunday schools, food banks and physical upkeep of the churches.

Source: Toronto Sun


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