Kalavryta, Greek, August 20, 2019
His Eminence Metropolitan Ambrose of Kalavryta of the Greek Orthodox Church, known for his outspoken criticism of lawlessness in the Church and in society, announced his resignation following the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, reports Romfea.
His resignation was formally submitted to the Holy Synod yesterday, to begin the process of nominating his successor. He explained in an interview the next day that he is retiring due to his advancing age and failing strength. His Eminence is 81 years old.
Met. Amrbose in 1978. Photo: kalavrytapress.gr Met. Ambrose was consecrated as a bishop on August 17, 1976; he was elected as Metropolitan of Kalavryta and Aigialeia on October 12, 1978 and enthroned in Aigio on November 19 and in Kalavryta on November 25, serving in that capacity for 41 years.
He previously announced his resignation in November of 2017. According to the protocols of the Greek Church, he was to remain in his position until the end of 2018, though he later decided to extend his episcopacy.
Met. Ambrose was never afraid to boldly speak the truth. He has often publicly spoken and written of the damage the atheistic authorities in Greece have brought to their Church and nation. He has written to His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew about the ecumenistic problems with the 2016 Council of Crete, and has not been afraid to publicly chastise even the prime minister.
He also spoke out against the anti-canonical invasion of the territory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church by the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
In October 2017, Met. Ambrose ordered that the bells of the churches in his diocese ring out every day for a week, mournfully protesting the law “On the Legal Recognition of Gender Identity” which simplifies the process for legally changing one’s gender, allowing anyone 15 and older to make the change by written notification to the relevant authorities.
His Eminence has suffered scorn and persecution at times for his strict Orthodox stances. He was taken to court and sentenced to 7 months in prison, with a 3-year suspension, for “hate speech and incitement to violence” against homosexuals, stemming from a 2015 blog post in which he condemned unnatural lifestyles as Greek parliament was voting 193-56 in favor of homosexual civil partnerships.
In his resignation letter, Met. Ambrose thanked God for the opportunity to be persecuted for His sake.