BOSTON – Archbishop Demetrios of America in an interview with TNH said that he doesn’t see anything wrong that the newly-appointed president of Hellenic College and Holy Cross (HCHC) Rev. Christopher Metropoulos is a koumbaro of Tomas Lelon, who was Chairman of the Presidential Search Committee. Lelon has baptized Fr. Metropoulos’ daughter, and is also is the Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees.
Metropoulos was chosen among 41 candidates, which included other priests, businessmen and experts in administration.
Archbishop Demetrios defended the process which was followed and called it “exceptional,” and emphasized that there is nothing to be concerned about. Demetrios is Chairman of HCHC’s Board of Trustees.
The interview with Archbishop Demetrios follows:
TNH: Your Eminence, how do you feel about the selection of the new president of Hellenic College and Holy Cross, Rev. Christopher Metropoulos?
AD: An exceptional process was followed. The fact that we had 41 candidates is not accidental. Consequently, I say clearly that we are very grateful and proud about the process.
TNH: Tomas Lelon is the koumbaro of the newly-selected president. Do you see anything wrong here?
AD: Nothing whatsoever. Mr. Lelon had nothing to do with Fr. Metropoulos’ selection.
TNH: Your Eminence, I remind you that Mr. Lelon was Chairman of the Search Committee tasked to find the School a new president.
AD: Mr. Lelon was President of the Search Committee, but he was not the kind of president who would direct the process towards a certain direction, and I am saying this responsibly. Do not write this mistakenly…
TNH: I will write exactly what you are telling me.
AD: When they mentioned it to Mr. Lelon, he said “If you think that I shouldn’t be [on the Committee]…” I told him “Are you kidding?
TNH: Therefore there is no problem as far as you are concerned?
AD: Yes, there is no problem.
TNH: What are your impressions regarding HCHC’s graduation ceremony?
AD: It was a very nice graduation ceremony. The participation was bigger this year due to the departure of Fr. Nicholas Triantafilou from the School’s presidency. We had a very good graduating class, about 30 students from the Theological School,. We had fewer from Hellenic College.
TNH: Do you have a strategy in place to increase the number of students in Hellenic College and the Theological School?
AD: Yes. And not only there is a strategy, because many times strategies are abstract things, but at this moment the strategy has advanced and with what we know thus far, we anticipate to have a significant increase in the number of students coming in September.
TNH: Do you have such an assurance?
Archbishop Demetrios: Certainly.
TNH: How are HCHC’s finances?
AD: The finances are something that we try to improve and I will tell you, very bluntly, that if you write good things, it will help.
TNH: I will also ask you very bluntly, are all these employees needed? Isn’t $12 million per year to operate the school a lot of money?
AD: Look, now with the coming of the new president there is a capability…The trustees the recent years have functioned much better. In other words, there is a significant [improvement] and I am saying this to you as an academician, not as the archbishop.
(Translated from the original Greek)
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