Vouliagmeni, Greece, July 11, 2022
No stranger to controversy, Archbishop Elpidophoros has caused another commotion in the international Orthodox community.
In the midst of the ongoing scandal involving the Archbishop’s plans to consecrate a defrocked former priest as a bishop for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, which other hierarchs have characterized as a serious threat to Orthodox unity in America, the GOARCH head has made headlines by baptizing the children of a gay celebrity couple.
The parents and relatives are praising the Archbishop for serving the “first openly gay baptism” in the Greek Church.
Just after the GOARCH Clergy-Laity Conference ended in New York, Abp. Elpidophoros made an unannounced trip to the Athens suburb of Vouliagmeni to baptize the children of actor Evangelo Bousis and fashion designer Peter Dundas, whom he has been connected to for a long time, reports inciao.gr.
The Baptism took place within the diocese of Metropolitan Antonios of Glyfada [OrthoChristian initlaly mistaken reported that it was in the diocese of Metropolitan Nikolaos of Mesogaia—OC].
The two children were born from a surrogate mother. Among the Godparents, the couple chose the Italian model Bianca Brandolini and the golden heiress Eugenia Niarchou. The Baptisms were then celebrated with a “meal and wild party,” where Greek-Cypriot singer Anna Vissi sang her biggest hits.
Bousis praised the Archbishop for his progressive stance of “love with no judgment” and for serving what he says is the “first openly gay baptism” in the Greek Church:
Bousis’ brother George hailed the event as something significant for the entire Greek Orthodox Church. He also applauded “our great spiritual leader,” Abp. Elpidophoros for displaying the “progress and leadership we need in our church, where no person should ever be denied our Lord because of what they are, how they choose to live their lives, and who they love.”
In an interview with Vogue last June, Bousis spoke about wanting to normalize the idea of gay families with children, saying: “Hopefully things will change, the way gay couples are looked at having a family. I think the more people talk about it, the better I think it is just to normalize it all because it should be something normal. We always wanted to have a family and now we can, and everyone should be able to.”
His “husband,” Dundas, added that he doesn’t understand why a church agency should be allowed to refuse to give foster children to homosexual couples:
What I don’t get about the Supreme Court ruling [that a Catholic social services agency in Philadelphia could refuse to work with same-sex couples who apply to take in foster children], what is the purpose? Do they really think in 10 years from now that’s gonna fly? I don’t think so for a minute. It becomes this holding off on the inevitable, and progress in our society. Why on earth hold off on that? Don’t you want all children to grow up feeling comfortable with who they are and that they can have a future, that they can have a family, that they can have everything that everyone thinks are their rights? Don’t you want that?