“Abp. Elpidophoros acted uncanonically within my metropolis”—Greek hierarch about “gay baptism”

Glyfada, Greece, July 13, 2022

Photo: romfea.gr Photo: romfea.gr While Archbishop Elpidophoros sought the blessing of the local Greek hierarch to celebrate the recent Sacrament that is being hailed as the “first openly gay baptism” in Greece, he wasn’t completely forthcoming, the local Metropolitan says.

Abp. Elpidophoros, the head of Constantinople’s Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, created an international scandal over the weekend when he traveled to Greece especially to celebrate the Baptism of the two children from surrogate mothers of a gay celebrity couple whom the Archbishop is close to.

While many in the media and on social media have been arguing about whether the children of a gay couple can be baptized in the Church, one of the “fathers” Evangelous Bousis and his brother George were praising Abp. Elpidophoros for his progressive values and for serving what they hail as the “first openly gay baptism” in the Greek Church.

However, Metropolitan Antonios of Glyfada, in whose metropolis the Baptism took place, has a different take on the event.

In a letter he sent to the Holy Synod of the Greek Church after the international uproar against the event, Met. Antonios reveals that Abp. Elpidophoros sought and received his blessing to celebrate the Sacrament in his metropolis, but that he concealed the fact that the “parents” involved are two internationally known gay celebrities.

Both letters were published by Romfea (see below for the English translation).

Thus, Abp. Elpidophoros “acted of his own accord, arbitrarily, and uncanonically within my metropolis,” Met. Antonios writes.

Had he been made aware, the Glyfada hierarch would have referred the matter to the Holy Synod to decide.


Read Met. Antonios’ full letter to the Synod, dated July 11:

Because of the uproar that has arisen because of His Eminence the Archbishop of America Elpidophoros having performed the Sacrament of Baptism of two children who are being raised by two persons of the same sex, I respectfully proceed to report to you the following:

1. The Archbishop of America requested my authorization to celebrate “the Baptism of two children from the Greek Bousis family from Chicago,” as can be seen from his attached document, no. Prot. 140/21.6.2022.

As a matter of fact, from the request in question, there is nothing that could arouse even the slightest suspicion of the event that would take place in the end. Therefore, since I did not have any knowledge about what would take place in the end, out of fraternal love I granted His Eminence canonical authorization to celebrate the Sacrament.

Since then, we have not had any communication in any form with the Metropolitan of America, either before the Baptism or after.

2. I was not present in the church during the celebration of the aforementioned Baptism. The incidents were reported to me on the night of Saturday, 07/09/22, by the clergy of the church.

3. As can be seen from the attached report from the rector of the church, the Godparents of those being baptized are Mr. George Bousis and Ms. Eugenia Niarchos, both Orthodox Christians.

In sum, the Archbishop of America acted of his own accord, arbitrarily, and uncanonically within my metropolis, inasmuch as, while he was well aware that the children do not belong to a family according to the institutions of the Church, he did not mention anything to me. If he had informed me, I would have referred to the Holy Synod for it to decide about the matter.

Photo: romfea.gr Photo: romfea.gr     

Photo: romfea.gr Photo: romfea.gr     


Abp. Elpidophoros’ letter, dated June 21:

Joyfully and dutifully I communicate to Your most welcome Eminence in order to request your canonical permission to serve at the sacred Church of the Panagia Faneromeni in Vouliagmeni in your God-protected metropolis on July 9, so that I may perform the Baptism of two children from the Greek Bousis family from Chicago.

Dutifully submitting the above according to order, I continue with love in the Lord and all honor.

Photo: romfea.gr Photo: romfea.gr     

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Sir Gatanas 7/24/2022 2:05 am
Luke Ringger — what’s your Email? I’d like to hear story… It’s unbelievable what’s happening today with these aggressive gay activists trying to contaminate Orthodoxy, which is the last conservative bastion. We are a target !
Bonnie7/15/2022 2:06 am
Saying that this was a Gay Baptism is not true. Babies are innocent and can be Baptised and if they were my grandchildren under any circumstance I would want them Baptised! There are celibate gay people at my Parish. It’s a difficult road. Let the Hierarchs take care of concerning hierarchical issues and let us confess our own sins.
Michael7/14/2022 7:36 am
In response to Steve's question: It is standard practice in many countries to black out (or otherwise censor) the faces of anyone under 18 years old appearing in the media. Likewise their names are usually not supposed to be published. It's a privacy issue, so that in the future when they grow up and apply for a job or for something else, the story will not come back to haunt them.
anonymous7/14/2022 2:44 am
Everyone's so upset by the pederasts (notice the one grabbing the child by their crotch...) that nobody's mentioned the half-naked women. Seriously, bare abdomens and feet in a church?! Or why does this brothel have an iconostasis?
Alexander Leitner7/13/2022 5:10 pm
Our Panagia defends us with her own responsibility, because we so greatly call upon her, and have continuous supplications and prayers, especially of our Monasteries, and we seek her continuous protection, despite our sinfulness, which brings forth the wrath of God, such as atheism, cursing holy things, utter impiety, and especially adulteries, of the mouth, and every carnal passion, and the terrible homosexuality, which is the greatest sin of the world, and which destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, and brought about the Cataclysm of Noah...    A short time before the terrible dangers that are coming, of which we are unable to comprehend, but which may include poverty, destitution, hunger, civil war, invasions, earthquakes, epidemics, individually or all together, the evils which we see in Syria, Libya, Africa, let us take advantage of this movement of love and sacrifice of our Panagia! Let us return to our Christ! With a simple movement! Repenting, ceasing immediately, now, today, from this instant and forever, whatever evil things that we have done, whatever we do, say, think, or plan to do, sacrificing “pleasures and delights, egotism and evils”, in order to win over the love of the Queen of the Angels, and of God Himself! In order to save ourselves, and the most beautiful and once blessed Greece!    And then, let us run to a spiritual father or Elder to confess, seeking with tears and contrition, for forgiveness from Christ, Whom we have wounded and embittered so... It is very easy...    It is such a small beginning step, which however takes us immediately to the other shore of the All-Mighty Kingdom of Christ, and eternal joy and Grace.    That our Panagia might rejoice! That we might justify her deed and her choice! That we might not disappoint her! That we might return now to the honors and beginnings passed down from the Fathers! To our Orthodoxy!    And it is sure that thus we will be saved and glorify our Greece, with the help of Panagia, who so much will give their eyes a scrubbing! Like in 1940!    And let us send as our first sign into Heaven, the lighting of our candle, the prayer of our soul!    And finally, let us chant, as ones besieged and surrounded by hundreds of thousands of savages and barbarian enemies of the City [Constantinople]: O Champion General, I your city now inscribe to you triumphant anthems as the tokens of my gratitude, being rescued from the terrors, O Theotokos. But since you have the dominion unassailable, from all kinds of perils free me so that unto you, I may cry aloud: rejoice, O Bride unwedded. (source)    ***Elder Nikodemos, Abbot of the Holy Monastery of Philotheou, acknowledged that this vision was seen by Elder Ephraim of Arizona, of blessed memory.
Alexander Leitner7/13/2022 5:10 pm
About one year ago, one of our more enlightened, great Athonite Elders from the outside [i.e. outside of Greece]***, saw an astonishing vision, which we offer below in summary:    Our Panagia was kneeling before Christ, the Righteous Judge. She was entreating Him to save Greece from some great danger and catastrophe which would later come!    “No, my Mother,” the Lord said, “Look at what is happening in Greece. Look at the sin (bringing to mind the carnal and other sins)...”    “Forgive them, my Son, save Greece which believes in You and loves us...”    “No, Mother. They do not love me nor do they believe in me, with such carnal sins...”    “I entreat You my child,” as the Panagia now entreats the Lord with tears, “Do not let this happen...”    “It is not going to happen, Mother, and I ask you not to seek this,” said Christ, embittered by the Greeks, who had lost every piety and measure, every purity and spirituality, polluting themselves with sin and evil and impious deeds, both small and great...    “Listen, my child and my Lord,” the Panagia persisted, “Hearken to my prayers and to my children who call upon me, and who entreat me to entreat of You..”    “It's not going to happen, O Mother...Sin has overflowed...Do not persist...” says the all-radiant Christ, as He disappeared...    Therefore, our Panagia was saddened, and as the Champion General of Greece, she does something unexpected. She stands upright, takes off her mandya, and holds in a protecting manner above Greece! As the Holy Protection! As the Awesome Protection!    An astonishing vision, with which our Christ leaves us with one final opportunity for repentance and correction, only in thanks to His Mother! He holds the door half open for us still, astonishingly, on behalf of our Mother, the Mother of Greece, who has saved us through how many storms and wars and earthquakes, for centuries!
Steve7/13/2022 3:10 pm
Why are the newly illumined faces of the infants blacked out?
Alex7/13/2022 2:29 pm
Did anyone expect anything less from Elpidophoros?! No surprise here.
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