The Greek government is stepping in to support the financially strapped theological school of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America in Brookline, MA with a €2 million annual grant.
Archbishop Elpidophoros confirmed the annual grant to Hellenic College and Holy Cross School of Theology— that is retroactive from 2019– in remarks of appreciation to Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, during a luncheon in his honor in Washington DC.
“Most especially I would like to acknowledge with gratitude the momentous investment of Hellas in our Theological School – an annual grant of two million euros per year commencing last year,” the Archbishop told a gathered crowd of several hundred people in Washington DC as he acknowledged Mitsotakis.
“This commitment of Mother Greece to her children in the Diaspora is particularly significant, because it demonstrates the spiritual as well as ethnic and linguistic ties between us,” Elpidophoros said.
The gift comes at a time of uncertainty for the struggling school.
In April of 2019 the school received a stern warning from the state about grave financial concerns, and on Tuesday it received a public notice from regional accreditors about the same problems.
According to a Boston Globe expose, the school has been running a budget deficit for almost a decade and has used almost $10 million from its endowment to offset budget shortfalls.
Mitsotakis didn’t say where in his country’s budget the €2 million ($2.2 million) would come from.
Commentaries on Twitter weren’t kind to the news.
Users mentioned the irony of the sad state of the Greek education system and the government’s lack of investment, yet its desire to fund a theological school across the Atlantic.
“The theological school in Boston has 22 professors and less than 100 students. Hardly any students speak Greek. The value of the real estate is €150 million. Unacceptable,” said one Twitter user.
Another Twitter user asked why the Greek government is supporting the “corrupt” institution of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in America.
Featured image / Dimitrios Panagos, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
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