Athens, July 18, 2022
The Permanent Holy Synod of the Church of Greece decided today to send a letter of protest to Archbishop Elpidophoros of Constantinople’s Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America regarding the Baptism that he recently celebrated for the children of a gay celebrity couple, reports Romfea.
Abp. Elpidophoros traveled to Greece earlier this month to baptize the adopted children, born from a surrogate mother, of fashion designer Peter Dundas and his “husband” Evangelo Bousis, who comes from a wealthy and influential family in the Greek Archdiocese of America.
Bousis and his relatives hailed the service as the “first openly gay baptism in Greece” and praised the Archbishop for his open and progressive values, while the ceremony proved to be an international scandal.
Metropolitan Antonios of Glyfada, in whose metropolis the Baptism was held, wrote a letter to the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, explaining that Abp. Elpidophoros had misled him, asking only for a blessing to baptize the children of the Bousis family in his diocese. As Met. Antonios explains, the GOARCH head said nothing about the fact that the “parents” are an internationally known gay couple.
“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,” the Metropolitan wrote.
In his own statement criticizing Abp. Elpidophoros’ actions, His Eminence Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus explained that the issue is not baptizing children, who are not guilty of the sins of their parents, “but the substantial rewarding of unrepentant sodomites” and “the consequent amnesty of the deadly crime of sodomy and the subversion of human ontology and physiology.”
Having discussed Met. Antonios’ letter, the Greek Synod resolved today to send a letter of protest to Abp. Elpidophoros and a related letter to Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople.
The Synodal report also states that “the Holy Synod discussed at length the issues related to the pastoral treatment of such issues, remaining firm in what was laid down by the Lord, the Holy Apostles, and the Holy Fathers.”
Abp. Elpidophoros was also forced last week to indefinitely postpone the episcopal consecration of a man who was canonically defrocked from the priesthood following the persistent protest of the other hierarchs of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the United States of America.