Metropolitan Amvrosios of Kalavryta, an ultra-conservative Greek Orthodox bishop with a reputation of criticizing those whom he claimed acted in “non-Christian” or “non-Greek” ways — e.g. gays, migrants and politicans — has resigned.
According to the Associated Press, Amvrosios, 81, resigned on Sunday during church services in his diocese of Kalavryta, where he had served since 1978.
During said services, the metropolitan had reportedly apologized for his more controversial statements. But in Greek-language interview (see video below) with the ANT1 television channel on Monday, the bishop said he did not have “any specific case” in mind for which he wanted to apologize.
“I am not apologizing for any specific cases but because none is infallible and it is possible that we upset people without intending to,” Amvrosios said. “I apologize to my flock, seeking forgiveness if I bothered anyone, so that I can be all right with my conscience.”
Amvrosios’ main source of notoriety has stemmed from his support of the neo-nazi Golden Dawn party.
He also gained media attention from an incendiary blog post he wrote (in Greek) about gays in 2015, calling them “the scum of society” and urging people to spit on them.
“Homosexuality is a diversion from the laws of nature! It’s a social crime! It’s a sin! So those who either experience it or support it are not normal people! They are the scum of society,” Amvrosios wrote.
His post continued: “Well, these unkind ones, spit on them! Disapprove of them! Darken them! They are not humans! They are abortion of nature! Mentally and spiritually suffer! They are people with intellectual disabilities! Unfortunately, they are three-fold and much more dangerous than some, who live in madness!”
The post led to a local court convicting him of hate speech in January 2019, after which he received a seven-month suspended sentence.
In October 2017, Amvrosios directed priests in his diocese to ring church bells every day for a week — for three minutes at noon — to protest what he called an “anti-Christian and anti-Greek” law which made it easier for citizens to officially change their gender.
Last year, he declared that the deadly wildfire in Mati which killed more than 100 people and decimated the coastal region was God’s punishment for the “atheist” left-wing Greek prime minister at the time, Alexis Tsipras.
Featured image / In the Feb. 4, 2018 file photo (see above), Amvrosios takes part in an Athens rally against an agreement with then Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia over its name. (Photo by Christos Bonis, Eurokinissi via AP, File)
See ANT1 Interview With Amvrosios
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