(source: pokrov.org) NEW YORK – Bishop Vikentios of Apameia has made stunning allegations about Metropolitan Paisios of Tyana tenure at the Saint Irene Chrysovalantou Monastery and its Dependencies in Astoria, N.Y., including charges that the Metropolitan sexually abused the Bishop’s brother, Spyros Malamatenios, who was 17 at the time. In a long interview with The National Herald, Bishop Vikentios (Malamatenios), a close associate of Metropolitan Paisios (Loulourgas) for 40 years and co-founder of the Monastery, outlined a sordid tale of sex and other alleged wrongdoings. In the lengthy interview – which was taken on tape – live and unconditionally at the Headquarters of TNH in New York, Bishop Vikentios made revelations of alleged serious excesses by the Metropolitan, including that he was involved with people of both sexes, including the young nun, Christonymphi, who now has given up the Monastic vows and talked to the police. Bishop Vikentios also revealed that, according to his information, the former nun had been pregnant but did not know by whom. Simultaneously, Bishop Vikentios asked “forgiveness from the victims’ of Paisios,” at least one of whom, Andreas Georgiou, is already launching a lawsuit against the Monastery and the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Other alleged victims are expected to follow.
The Metropolitan left the Monastery after submitting two letters of resignation in October, citing health reasons, and returned to Athens, Greece. TNH called him at his residence there on Dec. 11 to give him the opportunity to comment on the allegations and the Bishop’s entire interview, but when the Metropolitan heard who the call was from he hung up the phone.
Bishop Vikentios confirmed reports that a gun was found by the Patriarchal Exarchy in the room of Metropolitan Paisios and that he also sold the golden offerings known as tamata of the faithful at the Monastery’s Greek festival, also taking much of the gold to Greece, which was melted and made hierarchical crosses and pictorials. Bishop Vikentios alleged that even his own life is at risk. He stated that based on the Charter granted by the Ecumenical Patriarchate to the Chrysovalantou Monastery, and also according to New York State’s regulations governing the Legal Corporation of the Chrysovalantou Monastery, both interim Abbots appointed by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey and Bishop Elias of Philomilion, are considered illegal. Vikentios said he believes that the Monastery will be driven into bankruptcy due to economic decline, and called Metropolitan Evangelos’ behavior toward him as “completely unbecoming” upon Evangelos’ coming to his residence at the church of St. Nectarios in Brooklyn, on Dec. 6, which he said could result in the arrest of Metropolitan Evangelos by the police.
Bishop Vikentios also said that the money delivered by the former nun Christonymphi to the Astoria Police Station he believes belongs to the Monastery and not Paisios.
He also talked about the role of a man identified as Konstantinos B., said to have uncovered the scandal, and who allegedly also participated in group sex events with Metropolitan Paisios. The man was said to have given that testimony to the police and the FBI. Here are some excerpts of the extensive revelatory interview of Bishop Vikentios, which will be published in its entirely in Greek in the weekly Magazine of The National Herald’s edition f Dec. 17-18.
TNH: Your Grace, I am tempted to ask, you Bishop Vikentios today and the then small teenage boy of 17 years old, Vasillios Malamatenios, going back to 1971, if you had any involvement in these pedophile, homosexual, sexual orgy activities with the Abbot or other participants including Mr. Konstantinos B.?
VIKENTIOS: No, never, never.
TNH: Did Paisios make any suggestions or erotic lure type your Grace to become his partner?
VIKENTIOS: I would define such a thing when I first came to America when I was a young boy in 1971.
TNH: What did Paisios tell you?
VIKENTIOS: I saw his attitude towards me and I sat down and explained to him “I see you as spiritual father and nothing more.”
TNH: Why, what did his attitude show?
VIKENTIOS: Look, you can tell when a man wants other relationships, you see it.
TNH: Did Paisios show that?
VIKENTIOS: Although I was underage, a 17-year-old child, I could sense this thing, so I sat down and explained to him that, “I came here to America with you whom I met in Jerusalem in 1969 as a spiritual man who listened to a sermon there in Jerusalem and lost my mind because we were not accustomed to such sermons. Initially I thought that Paisios’ approaches might were a trap; that he wanted to test me. We had read in Jerusalem that the spiritual fathers set these types of traps to supposedly try to test their subordinates.
TNH: Now, having all this knowledge and experience of these events, does the mind of Bishop Vikentios identifies with the mind of the then 17-years old Vasillios Malamatenios?
VIKENTIOS: Absolutely yes. Now, yes, but now I’m 57 years old, I’m not 17.
TNH: After all these that have transpired, the testimonies and the revelations about the pedophilia do you have any doubt any more about Paisios?
VIKENTIOS: Now there’s an issue that hurts me.
TNH: What do you mean, what is it?
VIKENTIOS: Now that I was in Greece, or rather I was in exile in Greece for a month, I found out that one of the victims is even my brother, Spyros Malamatenios.
TNH: What happened?
VIKENTIOS: He revealed to me everything since he came to America at age of 17, of what had happened to him. Unfortunately very bad experiences with sexual harassment by the Abbot and that’s why he had left after the death of my mother. He had disappeared, and I did not know where he had gone. Now that I was in Greece he told me that he was in Florida and did not want to see and hear anything about the Church and the clergy, nothing whatsoever.
TNH: Didn’t he tell you anything all these years?
VIKENTIOS: No, never. Now he told me that Paisios sexually abused him and harassed him until now.
TNH: Is it the first time that you disclose it?
VIKENTIOS: Yes, I have not told anyone. Admittedly I’ve mentioned it to my spiritual father.
TNH: Did you say it to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew?
VIKENTIOS: No, I have absolutely said nothing about my brother; it is the first time that I reveal it.
TNH: How did you feel when your brother revealed that to you?
VIKENTIOS: I better not say because I am a clergyman; if I was a civilian I might have thought very differently.
TNH: What do you mean?
VIKENTIOS: What everyone means when he comes to see that a person of his own has been abused also. Spyros is my only brother that I have.
TNH: How old is he?
VIKENTIOS: He is 50 years old and yet he has psychological problems. He did not get married. He lives in Greece alone, deserted. Every time he attempted to establish a family he felled because of his trauma he has experienced. He recommended me and I went and saw his psychologist to make me believe. I sat with his doctor and he told me that indeed, “Things are exactly as your brother has you recounted them.”
TNH: Didn’t you suspect anything?
VIKENTIOS: He never told me anything of what was happening between him and Paisios. It has happened in the years 1979 to 1980 since my brother came to America at the age of 17 years old.
TNH: Do you have any doubt now about Paisios?
VIKENTIOS: If I take into account the issue of my brother, I do not. He had no reason to lie to me, and when his psychologist told me that he has been taken these drugs and told me how the abused children feel after the abuse, I have no doubts. Paisios had said to my brother, that, “If you reveal of what is happening between us to Vikentios, the cooperation with Vikentios will be ended.
(Meanwhile, in July of 2009, Konstantinos. B., who lived for 13 years in the Monastery, revealed to Bishop Vikentios group sexual encounters in the room of Metropolitan Paisios on the Monastery’s third floor. Here is the story by Bishop Vikentios)
TNH: Are the persons named by the complainant, Mr. Konstantinos B. who had participated in group sex activity known to you?
TMH: Are they parishioners of yours?
VIKENTIOS: No one from St. Nectarios, they all are from St. Irene; people whom I know; who have grown up in the church, boys and girls.
TNH: Did the complainant, Mr. Konstantinos B., tell you about Nun Christonymphi?
VIKENTIOS: Of course, he told me.
TNH: What did you say?
VIKENTIOS: He told me about her relationships with the abbot and with him.
TNH: What kind of relationships?
VIKENTIOS: Sexual relations with the abbot and him (Konstantinos).
TNH: You mean all three together?
VIKENTIOS: In his words, of course.
TNH: Did you ever confront Christonymphi? Did you tell her what are these things?
VIKENTIOS: Sure. After the complaint it was the Feast of Saint Irene Chrysovalantou when I announced to the abbot about Konstantinos’ allegations, I confronted and I told her that Konstantinos who lived in the Monastery for 13 years told me many things that have transpired between you and the abbot; what do you have to say? I also told her how many times over the years didn’t I ask you to report to me if any visitor comes and wants something from you suspect it is wrong?
TNH: How did Christonymphi react when you told her all these?
VIKENTIOS: With tears in her eyes, without telling me yes or no.
TNH: What did you understand?
VIKENTIOS: I understood that definitely something is going on. I think she did not have the experience to pretend. I know her since she was 14 years old when she came to the Monastery.
TNH: How do you comment Christonymphi’s departure form the Monastic vows?
VIKENTIOS: It was unavoidable. I was expecting it after all that has been revealed that this girl is now liberated; she is no longer under the threat. She certainly came to her senses and said how is it possible to be a nun and get to this point?
TNH: Did she become pregnant?
VIKENTIOS: I heard that, but she has never told me.
TNH: Where did you hear?
VIKENTIOS: From the complainant himself, Mr. K.B. who told me that the nun was pregnant and had an abortion.
I asked him how do you know this thing, how can you certify that it is true and he replied, “I have evidence.”
TNH: At what age was she impregnated?
VIKENTIOS: I do not know, he did not tell that?
TNH: Who impregnated her?
Vikentios: I do not know that either.
TNH: What happened to Christonymphi’s brother, Nektarios, who had come to your Monastery to become a monk?
VIKENTIOS: He had come at some point when she had come to Monastery. He was wearing an anteri (esoraso.) Often he had left, sometimes left to go home and he came back on the weekend with his father.
TNH: How old was he?
VIKENTIOS: Minor, in other words he is one year older than Christonymphi. If Christonymphi was 14 years old when she came to the Monastery, her brother was 15. Of course I had seen him many times going up to the third floor.
TNH: In Paisios room?
VIKENTIOS: Yes, especially on Saturdays after Vespers. I was calling Paisios on the phone asking him that “Nektarios is coming up, for what reason is he coming?” Paisios replied that he comes “for confession.” I told Paisios couldn’t he go to confession down in the chapel? Is it necessary to hear his confession in your room? And he answered me, “Why are you a tyrant, why torture me, can’t hear confessions in my room? Do you doubt me?
TNH: Why you were saying to Paisios all these? Did you suspect him?
VIKENTIOS: Well, seeing a minor child to climb in the Abbot’s room at 10 o’clock at night to go to confession when there is a church inside the Monastery where the abbot could hear the confession.
TNH: Why Nectarios left and he did not become a monk?
VIKENTIOS: I do not know, I heard because of sexual harassment.
TNH: Where did you hear that?
VIKENTIOS: I think his father has said it to somewhere and they told me; I personally have not talked at all with the father of the child.
TNH: Is it true Paisios took Christonymphi with him on trips to Greece and that they lived together in your apartment in Athens?
VIKENTIOS: Of course it is true. Even during his last trip to Greece when I came back and he left on August 30 to Greece, he sent me a message to send Christonymphi to Greece. The message was sent to me by nun Christodouli of blessed memory who had returned from Greece. I immediately told her to, “Tell greetings to Paisios because we were in non-speaking terms due to my interview to TNH about the situation at the Florida Dependency, that if the Abbot wanted something let him call me, and since I am the Deputy Abbot I will not allow Christonymphi to go to Greece.
TNH: Why Paisios wanted Christonymphi there?
VIKENTIOS: I was told she wanted her to drive his car and go to Kyllini where he used to go every summer and have warm baths and inhalations.
TNH: Is it true that clergy of the Church of Greece had informed the Ecumenical Patriarchate that nun Christonymphi accompanied Paisios in Greece?
VIKENTIOS: It is true, because those clergy had spoken to me that the picture is anything but good for an abbot of a Patriarchal Monastery. Not only that, but there were visits at various restaurants with the abbot which were attended by the Nun. It was something that had created conflict among us several times, because it was not appropriate.
On Dec. 2, the Holy Synod in Constantinople, presided over by Patriarch Bartholomew heard the charges against Paisios from the Exarchy team sent to New York and decided not to punish him but only accept his resignation and remove him permanently from the Monastery post.