Greek Orthodox priest in SA hands back $1 million in donated jewellery

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A Greek Orthodox priest at the centre of a police investigation in Adelaide, South Australia, has returned $1 million worth of jewellery donated by an elderly parishioner.

According to The Advertiser, the elderly parishioner donated the jewels to Father John Christodoulos – the former parish priest at St Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Church in Noarlunga – on the preface they would be displayed in a Greek Orthodox Church museum.

The jewellery collection included a custom-made solid gold necklace worth more than $500,000, a diamond necklace, as well as ornate gold bangles and pendants, among many other things.

jewellery father john christodoulos
Jewellery given to Father John Christodoulos by an elderly Greek Orthodox Church parishioner. Photo: The Advertiser.

Detectives from the Financial and Cybercrime Investigation Branch had launched an investigation into Father Christodoulos in June after police were asked to look into a $700,000 donation made by the parishioner to the priest.

Father Christodoulos has also been accused of living a sordid double life, frequenting gay app Grindr and sending pornographic photos to potential dates.

After a number of police enquiries, a full investigation was launched. Father Christodoulos has not been interviewed because he has left Australia for Athens, Greece.

Greek Orthodox Archbishop Makarios of Australia also launched an internal investigation into Father Christodoulos in late June. There has been no formal update on the status of this investigation.

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