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January 11, 2010

Recent Greed Scandals in Orthodoxy

Two recent scandals have emerged regarding the greed of certain clergy and monastics.

It was recently reported that on 5 August 2009 Metropolitan Sotirios of Toronto issued a letter to all his clergy to stop "demanding tips" for their liturgical services such as any of the Holy Mysteries, funerals, etc. The Metropolitan issued his stern letter because it has reached such a point in Canada that some clergy have demanded tips from the faithful for just about anything they do. Noticing that this has bothered some of the faithful, he decided to take action and to forbid any clergyman from demanding tips for any service whatsoever. He explained that tips are a gift by the faithful for the priest's services on top of their slary, and should not be viewed as part of their salary. He has warned his clergy that if they are caught demanding tips in the future, he will take stern action against them. "Do you want to be liturgists and servants of the living God or idolaters?" he asks in his letter. "Do not lower your priesthood so much" he demanded. Metropolitan Sotirios also revealed that he never takes any tips and has refused even his salary since he turned 65.

It was also reported that on January 7th at 2:00AM a priestmonk from the Holy Monastery of Saint Panteleimon in Penteli was caught with pliers and a flashlight trying to get into the donation box of the church. Monks from the monastery saw what he was doing and called the police who took him in custody to the district attorney on charges of theft. has been doing an excellent job reporting these scandals in the hopes that shame would prevent such scandals from demoralizing the faithful.