NEW YORK – (GreekNewsOnlne)
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in a press statement on Tuesday said that portions of a story published on Monday in the “National Herald” on St. Nicholas “were inaccurate”.
The statement is as follows:
“During this most solemn week of our Church’s calendar, the Archdiocese feels compelled, out of pastoral consideration for our faithful and those entities working closely with us on critical undertakings, to respond to a report, portions of which were inaccurate, recently disseminated in the media. The Archdiocese reminds everyone of the following facts, most of which have been previously communicated:
- In late 2017, the Archdiocese, of its own initiative, contacted the Public Charities Division of the NY Attorney General’s office, and subsequently notified that office of certain concerns discovered while reviewing financial records (payroll and credit card statements) of the institution. The Archdiocese continues to work closely with the authorities as they review the matter.
- Last October, the Archdiocese engaged the law firm of BakerHostetler and, through them, the services of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), to thoroughly investigate the finances of St. Nicholas National Shrine. Since then, both BakerHostetler and PwC have been diligently examining the transactions, expenditures, donations and other documents relating to St. Nicholas, and we await their report, which should be released to us shortly. The PwC findings will of course, be shared with the community. Concurrently, we have kept the NY Attorney General’s office appraised of the status of the PwC review.
- Although, as of today, the Archdiocese has not been served with formal notice, we do understand that another governmental agency intends to request information regarding St. Nicholas National Shrine. As has been the case with the Attorney General’s office, we affirm that we will cooperate fully with their investigation. To that end, we believe the report of PwC will be of great assistance.
- The record will demonstrate that the Archdiocese has been and remains, pro-active and fully engaged in reviewing all of its governance policies, procedures and finances, including those of St. Nicholas. Through extreme cost-cutting and other measures, the Archdiocese has made significant strides in improving our financial position, as well as implementing proper internal controls.
- Lastly, our actions demonstrate that we remain committed to accountability and full transparency to our faithful and parishes. While much work still needs to be done, significant steps have been taken to address many of the issues which the Archdiocese has previously communicated to the community. Those intensive efforts will continue.
We take this opportunity to wish all a blessed Holy Week and a joyous Pascha. May the light of our Lord’s glorious Resurrection enlighten the hearts and minds of all the faithful and may His Peace ever abide with us!”