Adelaide priest, the Reverend Prokopios Kanavas, has been asked by the Greek Orthodox Community of South Australia to give evidence over claims he posted on his Facebook wall.
Reverend Prokopios, from St Nicholas Parish in Thebarton, South Australia, claimed that he has completed a degree in Theology and International Law at Israel’s Hebrew University of Jerusalem, represented the Patriarchate of Jerusalem at conferences, and restored a monastery at his own expense.
However, the university has stated that they have no record of him studying there, and the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem has denied these claims in a letter sent to Bishop Nikandros, the head of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in SA.
The chairman of the Federation of Greek Communities in Australia, property developer Theo Maras, told Adelaide Now he was “concerned” about the allegations. He called on the council to “deal with this quickly and ensure that the communities’ concerns are allayed”.
The letter sent by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem made serious allegations about the priest – which can’t be stated due to legal reasons – that subsequently led to his defrocking in 2008. It said Reverend Prokopios, who represents himself in Adelaide as an Archimandrite, was ordained and served within the Jerusalem patriarchate as a deacon and that the Synod of the patriarchate deliberated on July 24, 2008, and defrocked him, at which time he reverted back to a lay person.
He then joined the Greek Army, later joining another faction of the church, was again ordained and made his way to Adelaide in 2010.