We have recently experienced an intense trial, which has fortunately had a pleasant ending.
As the Board of Directors of the Parish of Saint Gerasimos, we assure our people that for twenty whole years we have continued to strive to do our best for our Parish. We acknowledge the significant contribution of Fr Leslie in the previous years, and we thank him publicly for all the good that he offered us; yet we thank our Archbishop who, with much understanding, and upon our request, appointed a new clergyman in our Parish; namely, Fr Panteleimon, whim we welcome and embrace with much love. In this way, an opportunity is given to our Parish for a new beginning, with many expectations for progress into the future.
For my part, as a clergyman of the Holy Archdiocese, and as a priest here for twenty-one years, I have endeavoured to serve the people and community of Saint Gerasimos as faithfully as I could. I worked exceptionally well with the Board of Directors, and I am grateful for our collaboration. The committee has always been courteous and respectful, However, beyond what is said and written by people who do not belong to the canonical Orthodox Church, nor are members of the Parish of Saint Gerasimos, the truth is ultimately what sets us free. For this reason, I feel the need today, with courage and with language of truth, to take responsibility and apologise to the President, the members of the Board of Directors, and all the faithful parishioners of the parish of Saint Gerasimos, for my behaviour which culminated in the scandal that I caused to our Church. At the same time, I acknowledge, with a heartfelt pain, the financial discrepancies and damage for which I am responsible, as a demonstrated by two independent audits.
Both sides (the parish and Fr Leslie) agree on the restoration of the established damage. We ask for the blessing and forgiveness of His Eminence our Archbishop and following that, we ask all of you to pray for us. Furthermore, the collection of signatures, judgements, and comments by people who have never been involved in these processes dud not help, and do not help in anything. We ask that no room be left for division and discord. As we all look to move on, we ask that we focus on healing and restoring rather than condemning and accusing. We place our trust in the church and our Archbishop that we can move forward and we wished we had followed his paternal advice when this issue started, four years ago.