The Greek judicial system dealt accordingly with the matter regarding the continuous slander campaign in which Mrs Vasso Morali engaged for a long time, obliging her to restore the offence she caused with her repeated false and slanderous publications through the posts she uploaded on the Facebook social media platform.
More specifically, the multi-member Kavala Court of First Instance, with Decision Number 32/2022, established the defamatory nature of her posts relating to His Eminence Archbishop Makarios and the production of a documentary on the life and works of blessed Archbishop Stylianos and the organisation of St Basil’s. Moreover, it obliged her: a) to pay (once the final decision becomes final) as monetary compensation for the moral damage she caused, the amount of 30,000 Euro, b) to remove the defamatory posts from the said platform, c) to publish, through the same means, a summary of the issued court decision (otherwise, she will be imposed with heavy legal sanctions) and d) to bear the costs of the trial.
It must be remembered that Mrs Morali made mention in her reprehensible posts about “The Committing and Covering up of a Financial and Moral Scandal” (7/8/2020), about “Embezzlement of tens of thousands of dollars” (7/8/2020), claiming that she possessed “Overwhelming and irrefutable evidence” (7/8/2020), which, however, she did not even present to the trial as evidence certainly because it does not exist. She used bombastic and misleading titles such as: “Lies, lies, and even more lies from St Basil’s and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia” (10/8/2020). She even reached the point of making threats with unwarranted audacity, such as: “Let them not think to… disprove with false announcements what is denounced here. The evidence that I possess is overwhelming against them. I will make it public and they will be ridiculed” (7/8/2020).
Faced with this improper and malicious propaganda, the Archbishop and his co-workers wanted to give Mrs Morali the opportunity to apologise and withdraw defamatory word (asking her with an out-of-court invitation to apologise and withdraw the defamatory…) in order to avoid having to resort in approaching the justice system. However, she not only denied this but further intensified her attack with further immoral publications and with an obsession on her part to act systematically against our Holy Archdiocese, its Institutions, our Archbishop, as well as other persons – from Bishops and clergy, even laity – including even persons, for whom once, when she herself enjoyed the hospitality and warmth of our local Church, she had not uttered the slightest reproach.
Following this, recourse to the justice system was the only alternative. But Mrs Morali had a hostile reaction, even to the Greek judicial system itself. That is why she did not hesitate to mention, in another post, “Let’s see if a court will be found to condemn an innocent and defenceless person in order to justify the hypocrites and liars” (10/9/2020).
To this day, Mrs Morali remains unrepentant and firm in her deviation. The fact that subsequently for two years, she dealt with whatever she conceived, invented and created in her mind about the Archdiocese of Australia and its workers, is clear proof that she was never really wronged by anyone, but that she acted maliciously and in violation of the new reality, in which she realised she had no place. She firmly gave this explanation herself with her mindless and unfortunate actions. Certainly, the new administration in the Archdiocese does not agree with nor comply with practices and methods similar to those employed by Mrs Morali.
In any case, our Holy Archdiocese, precisely respecting its history – as an ecclesiastical institution and as a spiritual pillar of the Greek community – as well as the reputation of persons (clergy and laity) who were brutally and slanderously targeted with slurs and obscenities, repeated untruths, insulting references and vulgar expressions by the lady in question, had a duty to repel the references and to seek – even partially – the restoration of the truth regarding the attacks which had been received. Moreover, it had a duty to continue its diverse ministry on the fifth continent, free from petty interests and parasitic phenomena as well as from any blackmail practices related to these. After all, our Greek community and the wider public opinion of Australia is entitled to and must be aware of the revealed intentions and the real motives of Mrs Morali, so as to discern her hatred and obstinacy and thus to avoid her attempts to deceive.
For the decisive contribution to this particular effort, thanks is owed from the members of the Consolidated Trust, the members of the Archdiocesan Council, our God-loving Bishops and, of course, our Archbishop, to the Lawyer and Legal Counsel of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia in Athens, Mr Stylianos Katselis, who legally supported the above case.