CHICAGO – Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos, chancellor of the Metropopolis of Chicagom was warned by a prosecutor against “potential efforts to intimidate witnesses” in Fr. James Dokos case regarding allegatio0ns that he stole more than $100,000 from the Church of the Annunciation of Milwaukee.
“The warning came after another priest in Milwaukee told authorities that Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos, the No. 2-ranking official in the Greek Orthodox faith in the Midwest, threatened in emails to remove him from his post if the church did not withdraw a theft complaint against the priest’s predecessor,” the Chicago Tribune reported.
“We have received some extremely distressing news regarding potential efforts to intimidate witnesses…I believe that Bishop Demetrios needs to retain independent representation as quickly as practical,” a prosecutor wrote to an attorney for Metropolis last April.
The emails were reportedly exchanged between Demetios and Fr. Angelo Artemas of Annunciation Church in Milwaukee.
“The emails indicated the bishop sought a meeting with Annunciation leaders to talk about the case against Dokos, who has since been charged with improperly spending money from a trust fund intended to benefit the church. Members of Annunciation had taken their concerns about the trust fund to Milwaukee authorities after officials with the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago determined in an internal investigation that Dokos did nothing wrong,” according to the Tribune.
Last March, when Fr. Artemas wrote to Demetrios to say Annunciation’s parish council had declined to meet with him. “Due to your letter last August indicating Fr Dokos did nothing wrong, they are unanimous not to meet,” Demetrios then replied: “If that is the case, then in (sic) will ask His Eminence to release you from there ASAP and offer your services to the Archdiocese for placement. I’m sorry.”
Milwaukee prosecutors said the emails led Artemas, the Tribune reported, “to believe that he was going to be involuntarily removed from his parish unless he compelled Annunciation to withdraw the complaint.”
“The Metropolis never intimidated, threatened or harassed anyone… The assignment of Parish Priests (is) an internal matter of the Church,” a statement from the Metropolis said said. ”
“Demetrios has not been accused of any criminal wrongdoing, and Artemas remains pastor at Annunciation. But the emails provided another indication of the tensions within the metropolis after Annunciation members took their concerns about Dokos to authorities,” the Tribune reported, and Iakovos wrote that he was “astonished” by the Glenview parish council’s “inappropriate suspicion and deceitful maneuverings rather than the support of its own pastor in time of need.”
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