Orthodox Priest Who Served Numerous Greek Parishes Jailed for Fondling Man in Bathroom

By on June 24, 2015

The priest of the Nativity of Christ Orthodox Church in Youngstown, Ohio was jailed on June 23, accused of fondling an 18-year-old man in the bathroom of a restaurant in Boardman, Ohio.

Currently serving a parish in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia jurisdiction (ROCOR), James Callozzo (aka Demetrios Callozzo, Andonios Callozzo), 73, served numerous parishes in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese before being transferred to other Orthodox jurisdictions. He was listed on the parish website as Right Reverend Archimandrite Andoni, before the biography was removed by the parish.

The alleged victim told the county sheriff’s investigators that a man followed him into the bathroom of the restaurant on May 15th and asked him if he could see his private area. The Boardman 18-year-old said he forced the man away from him after he reached in front of him an fondled his genitals.

The alleged victim took a picture of the suspect when he returned to his table and gave the picture to detectives. The report was taken by authorities in May, but a warrant for Callozzo’s arrest was not issued until last week. No reason was given for the delay.

Callozzo, who was known amongst many Chicago-area Greek Orthodox parishes as Fr. Demetrios Callozzo, was a stalwart conservative priest, often applying strict monastic-like rules at parishes he served. He was a convert to Greek Orthodoxy and spoke fluent Greek. He often found himself moving from parish to parish, unpopular for his conservative approach to ministry.

A talented and noted iconographer, Callozzo often painted icons at the various parishes he served. According to a parishioner at an Iowa Greek Orthodox parish, who asked to remain anonymous, he once painted two icons of Archangels Michael and Gabriel in the Narthex of the church with open scrolls which read “I keep the names of those who talk in church” and the other “I keep the names of those who come late to church.”

He served Greek Orthodox parishes in Dubuque, Sioux City, Rockford and Kankakee, Illinois in the Chicago Metropolis, as well as numerous other parishes throughout the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.

When his wife passed away in 2001 he became a monk under the Serbian Orthodox Church and took the name Andonios. He also served churches in the Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Church.

Callozzo was released on a $2,500 recognizance bond Tuesday. Court records indicate that he resides in Pittsburgh.

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