Metropolitan Anthimos of Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city, called homosexuality a “perversion of the human existence” and the city’s annual gay pride festival is a “disgrace and a challenge.”
Asked to comment on the Thessaloniki Pride event, which takes place this weekend in the northern port city, the bishop added “Do not give dogs what is holy”, referring to a line from the gospel of Matthew.
The hierarch, well known for his homophobic and nationalist outbursts, continued: “Show respect that my position and life is wholly dedicated to the church and the people and respect the fact that I’m well behaved, so don’t associate me with this disgrace. Enough. This is a perversion of the human existence.”
This is Thessaloniki’s 3rd official Gay Pride event. At the city’s first pride festival, in 2012, about 50 people, comprised largely of church-goers with bibles, icons and crucifixes in hand, threw eggs and plastic bottles of water at the 400 people participating in the event.
Dr. Marie Bountrogianni, a long-time observer and supporter of minority rights issues in her native Canada, as well as in Greece and abroad and a former Ontario cabinet member from Canada, suggested that the Greek Orthodox Church shouldn’t get itself into the conversation of sexuality.
“Institutions living in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, Bountrogianni told The Pappas Post in an interview. “The Greek Orthodox Christian Church, of all places, should be a place without judgement and hatred— especially on issues of sexuality,” she added.