THE Archdiocese of America’s official publication was a purely religious periodical that ran without ads up until 1975. Following the decisions of the Clergy-Laity Congress of 1974 regarding the autonomy of our Church and the use of English in the Divine Liturgy, the two Greek-American daily newspapers of that era, The National Herald and Atlantis, launched a campaign against those resolutions until they were rejected by Patriarch Athenagoras.
To punish the press, Archbishop Iakovos converted the Archdiocese’s purely religious publication into a commercial enterprise.
I personally brought this to the attention of Archbishop Demetrios during a meet-and-greet with the Greek-American media just two days after his enthronement. I suggested that the Archbishop shut down this costly and utterly unnecessary periodical, which competes against the press and takes away advertising revenue.
Nineteen years later, as reported by The National Herald, Archbishop Demetrios requested and received $75,000 from Leadership 100 to print a special edition of The Orthodox Observer in response to the shocking revelations being published about the Archdiocese. The money was returned and the special edition never ran. According to the Archdiocese’s press office, the monies were not requested, but instead, offered by Leadership 100. The press officer, Mr. Papagermanos, told us he was not aware whether the monies had been returned. He promised to find out, but he never called back.
However, according to Leadership 100’s by-laws, the funds raised are not supposed to be allocated for special editions or backing Archdiocesan hoopla, but for supporting the foundations of the Archdiocese. The Orthodox Observer is not a foundation. It is a business.
Translated from the November issue