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Church launches inquiry over "inappropriate" images

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The Greek Orthodox Community of South Australia has launched an investigation into a “staff member” after an email was circulated purporting to depict inappropriate images of the church’s Bishop.

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InDaily has seen images contained in the email, which appears to depict activity posted on an adult dating app and is believed to have been sent to several members of the Community, a local splinter group from the Greek Orthodox Church.

Asked whether suggestions that Bishop Chrisostomos, whose secular name is Chrysostomos Chatzigeorgiou, had been stood down were accurate, GOCSA president Bill Gonis made a lengthy statement to InDaily.

“On the 13th of November, staff and members of the Community received an email from an unknown source [which] contained attachments in the form of images and communications,” he said.

“The images depicted highly inappropriate content and communications, and as such raised matters for the Community that are taken very seriously.”

Gonis said the Community “commenced our own investigation… immediately after receiving the email”.

“We’ve retained external legal and forensic experts to assist in the investigation,” he said.

Gonis said “the staff member has stood down until the investigation is complete” but declined to comment further when asked whether Bishop Chrisostomos, who presides over the Church of St Nicholas at Thebarton, was the staff member referred to.

“We hope the investigation will be conducted expediently,” he said.

“Having regard to the nature of the matter, no further comment can be made.”

InDaily is not aware of any allegation of illegal activity.

InDaily contacted Bishop Chrisostomos twice this morning, and was told both times: “I can’t speak right now, sorry.”

InDaily has asked the Bishop via SMS whether he was the person depicted in the emailed images and whether he has stood down from his role pending an investigation into those images.

The profile photo of Bishop Chrisostomos’s Facebook page.

The Greek Orthodox Community of SA, established in 1956, is a registered charity and local church community that embodies religion, education and culture for Greek immigrants in SA.

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