Athanasios Regalos


Prodigal Son

Dear readers this Sunday our Orthodox Church celebrates the “Sunday of Orthodoxy”.  Here the triumph of the Orthodox faith is witnessed through upholding the veneration of icons within its life and worship. Those rejecting this teaching for falsehood (heresy) were anathematised (excommunicated, i.e. to wilfully cut oneself off from the communion of the Church). Historically on this Sunday the names of the heresiarchs (i.e. leaders of false teachings) were also recited so as to protect the faithful from their influence but also as an act of mercy towards the heresiarchs who upon being reminded of their status in the life of the Church were being encouraged and prayed for to repent and return to Her fold. With the same spirit of mercy and prayer for their reconciliation to the communion of the Orthodox Church please find below three of the most recent expressions of heresy within the life of the local Greek Orthodox Church in Adelaide. Their names are Athanasios Rigalos, Evangelos Despotithis and George Zisiathis. In accordance to the Liturgy of St. Basil which we celebrate during the Sundays of Lent we pray for “an end to the divisions of the Churches”. This is our heartfelt prayer, our comfort, our hope and the communion of love that we are all called to embrace. “Lord our God, give us Your peace, Your love.” Kali Sarakosti! Have a blessed Lent!

1.    Mr Athanasios Rigalos

Mr Athanasios Rigalos (whom we discussed in our previous blog entry and in greater detail here) was defrocked from the priesthood by the Greek Orthodox Church in Greece (“Church of Greece”) because by his own admission he conceded to acknowledge that he was a practicing homosexual. Subsequently he was dismissed as a public servant from the Hellenic Republic whereby his accreditation as a priest was revoked from the then “Ministry for Education, Lifelong Learning and Religious Affairs” (since June 2012 called “Ministry of Education, Religious Affairs, Culture and Sports”).  This meant that he was no longer receiving a wage from the Hellenic Republic as one of its public servants (priest) and the immediate cessation of all other entitlements that he previously had as a public servant. Of course Mr Rigalos on the grounds of innocence could have appropriated the judicial system of Greece and appealed this decision as others have successfully done so and overturned their verdicts. Instead he chose to align himself with one of the numerous and increasing Greek Old Calendarist factions of Greece, who dismissed him instantly when they were made aware of the reasons for his defrockment. It so happens that after the passing of 22 years from the time of Mr Rigalos’ defrockment he now works for the Greek Orthodox Community of South Australia.

Mr Rigalos

2.    Mr Evangelos Despotithis   

Mr Evangelos Despotithis was a former parish priest on the Greek tourist island of Santorini. On the 12th of October 2010 he was defrocked from the Church of Greece and restored to the laity. Just like Mr Rigalos, Mr Despotithis also refrained from appropriating the judicial system of Greece to maintain his innocence.

Please read here Mr Despotithis’ defrockment notice which among other things includes the following as the reasons that led to his defrockment:

  • Attempted suicide
  • Abandoning his post as a priest
  • Abandoning his clerical garb
  • Abandoning his wife and young child

These four reasons are summarised below and are extrapolated in the defrockment notice which comes from the Greek Orthodox Church of Greece and is ratified by the State of Greece.

On the 8th of August, 2009 he took a kitchen knife and brandished it in self-harming ways with a view of taking out his life. After his first to our knowledge failed attempt at suicide he then went on to consume three boxes of Ponstan (mefanamic acid) capsules. Here too Mr Despotithis fortunately fell short of taking out his life. Upon reprimand, Mr Despotithis admitted to the Police authorities of Santorini that he did engage in the above self-harming actions. He further confessed before the Police authorities that he acted in such self-destructive ways as a result of being abandoned by a female companion that he was having an affair with. The appropriate medical and judicial departments of Greece have documented accounts of Mr Despotithis’ mental health condition and volatile disposition and subsequently have placed him on record.

After such traumatic episodes Mr Despotithis abandoned his wife and their adopted young child and went to Athens to find work outside of the priesthood. In this way he also abandoned his post as a parish priest in Santorini as also his clerical garb.

How is it that a gentlemen of the likes of Mr Despotithis whose chequered history is officially documented was invited to Adelaide to work for the Greek Orthodox Community of South Australia? Certainly one finds the above alarming to say the least. The defrockment notice that is included in this post is accredited with police and medical testimonies and thus can be verified upon request. We leave it for one’s own discernment to examine how someone who acts in self-harming and life threatening ways and furthermore abandons his wife and young child can teach let alone proclaim the word of God. While we of course pray for his mental & spiritual healing that he may recover from the depths to which he has fallen, surely it would constitute an act of negligence of the most severe kind to expose Mr Despotithis to the pious faithful who make up our church congregations, both for the sake of the faithful and for the sake of the man himself?

Mr-Despotithis-Defrockment-Notice-p1

Cover note for Mr Despotithis’ defrockment notice from the Church of Greece. Click to read the full document in PDF format.

3.    Mr George Zisiathis

It is imperative that one vigilantly looks into the character of Mr George Zisaithis. Six months ago Mr Zisiathis appeared in Adelaide and specifically among others to priests of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia. Often he showed them photos of his former successful business (making grills and barbeques) which has since seen better days if not fallen into liquidation. All of a sudden Mr Zisiathis ceased all contact with these acquaintances and began wearing the priestly attire and associating with the Greek Orthodox Community of South Australia. It is evident that he is grooming himself to work as a “priest” of GOCSA.

imagesCAX0Q57NIn the tiny newspaper “Greek Tribune” (February 2013, p 3) and tabloid trash of all newspapers, some anonymous writer tries to deny GOCSA’s fake priest, Athanasios Rigalos’, unfortunate fall into the sin of homosexuality. The faceless writer cowardly does this without any official documents and without any attempt (or ability) to respond to any of Sydney or Melbourne’s Greek newspapers. Both the popular and nationally read Neos Kosmos of Melbourne and the Greek Herald of Sydney, have taken all the necessary legal avenues to access official civil and ecclesiastical documentation that testify with conclusive evidence to Mr Rigalos’ expulsion from the priesthood (see previous post).

The new recruit:
Mr Rigalos

The anonymous article from Renmark’s “Greek Tribune” in a vain attempt to compensate for lack of readership is now being hand-delivered into the innocent homes of Adelaide’s Greek elderly. And all this because once again the GOCSA administration want to save face for the disastrous mistake they made in hiring Mr Rigalos.

Adelaide’s Schismatic Priests. All fake all defrocked.

An example of the tabloid trash poisoning our community which purposely goes out to sabotage any attempts at healing the schism in Adelaide.

neos-kosmos

Dear Readers,

It is with a spirit of grace and compassion that we respond to all those who struggle with any cross in their lives. Homosexuality is no different, if anything our heart goes out all the more to those who are experiencing this strong sense of warfare, of which most of us are unfamiliar with. Those in this warfare are not of lesser dignity or worth to anybody else. Like all people they do not cease to be children of God. And like all people they too will face the final judgement seat of Christ, of which our prayer is for the Lord’s all-abiding and boundless mercy to prevail.

Within the teachings of the Orthodox Church, Homosexuality is considered a sin. There are official teachings of the Church called canons that prohibit those who fall into the sin of homosexuality from entering the priesthood. Sadly it is possible also for a priest to fall while they are well and truly into their priesthood. Naturally this type of sin instantly removes the priest from office and returns him back to the status of the laity.

Currently GOCSA are in discussions about employing the services of Mr Athanasios Rigalos, a former priest-monk who was deposed from office based on his own admission that he was a practising homosexual. Of course he only made this confession as he was caught red-handed with material that would lead to this conclusion.

Below or if you click here you will see a recent article from the Neos Kosmos Newspaper that contains official documentation supporting Mr Rigalos’ removal from the priesthood.

It is extremely disappointing to see the GOCSA administration yet again show complete disregard for the teachings and practices of the Greek Orthodox faith. The mere contemplation of bringing such a figure from abroad is frightening enough, but to have him here at our doorstep and sitting at the negotiation table is to open Pandora’s Box.

SA priest confesses to homosexuality

Cleric of Adelaide Community, earlier discharged from the Church of Greece, confesses his homosexuality.

SA priest confesses to homosexuality

The documents received by Neos Kosmos detailing the defrocking of the SA clergyman.

15 Jan 2013
Kostas Nikolopoulos

A clergyman who has recently been recruited by the Greek Orthodox Community of South Australia, was discharged from the Church of Greece for his homosexuality, shocking the Adelaide community, according to sources.
Documents given to Neos Kosmos reveal that the priest, a former hieromonk, Athanasios Rigalos, confessed to his homosexuality, and was subsequently defrocked by Holy Synod of the Church of Greece.
The sexual preferences of the former clergyman of the Church of Greece were discovered in 1989, after he forgot a bag full of pornographic material in an Athens shop.
An incident report by the General Police Directorate of Attica (Protocol No. 3005/4/12-13 December 1989) entitled “Search of the briefcase of Hieromonk Rigalos Athanasios” – that Neos Kosmos has obtained – states:
“In one compartment of the bag there were a stole, a cross and some religious books, and in another one a copy of the magazine GAY for people with homosexual tendencies, two pages from unknown pornographic magazine with colour pictures of men in lewd acts and attitudes among other various objects.”
Neos Kosmos is also in possession of a copy of a determination of the Synod Court of First Instance of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece (Determination 142/1990) addressed to Bishop Nikandros (in South Australia) whereby the monk Athanasios Rigalos is removed “from the high service of priesthood and eliminate him from the Holy Monastery Antinitsis … finally stripped him of all priestly rank and title, as well as of the monasticism, and return him to the laity.”
According to the Synod document, in his apology the defendant – then the monk Athanasios Rigalos – in the presence of members of the Synod Court, “… confessed, fully and clearly that he drifted into homosexuality,” since his young age.
According to sources, Mr Rigalos’ past has caused tension in the GOCSA board, with some members insisting that “Mr Rigalos’ past should not be of concern.”
Neos Kosmos understands that the religious status of the Community and the Federation of Greek Orthodox Communities of Australia will be discussed at the gathering of the members of the Federation, today in Melbourne.