Nicosia, Cyprus, July 21, 2022
Abp. Elpidophoros and Abp. Chrysostomos during the latter's visit to the U.S. in 2020. Photo: goarch.org
The head of the Patriarchate of Constantinople’s Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America did wrong and acted outside of Christian Tradition by baptizing the children of a gay celebrity couple under much public fanfare, says the head of the Church of Cyprus.
Recall that 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.
In an interview with the National Herald on Tuesday, Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus said:
I think he went wrong when he did it; he shouldn’t have gone. He may have been his friend, and so on, but he could have done it somewhat quietly, so as not to cause a scene. How are the children to blame? The fact that he baptized them, he did well, but what kind of children will two homosexuals raise and give to society? Tomorrow when they go to school, won’t they be asked who their father is, who their mother is? What will these children answer—that is, they’ll be the ones paying the price. No matter how friendly he was, he could have had a priest go to a chapel and do the Baptism quietly, and no one would have noticed and told them that what they’re doing isn’t right. We love people, we don’t hate them, but this thing is outside the Tradition of Christianity.
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.
Earlier this week, the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece decided to send a letter of protest to Abp. Elpidophoros and Pat. Bartholomew of Constantinople. The Synod of Constantinople is meeting today, with Abp. Elpidophoros’ participation.
The GOARCH head has also been sternly criticized by Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus and the retired Metropolitan Ambrose of Kalavryta.
Speaking with the National Herald, the Cypriot Archbishop also said he thinks the Russian war in Ukraine is a mistake, “because there will be no winners in this war; everyone will be losers.” He also repeated his criticism of the fact that Patriarch Kirill doesn’t commemorate him in the Divine services owing to his recognition of the Ukrainian schismatics.
Asked what he would like to say to Greeks in America, Abp. Chrysostomos opined:
They’re successful, they’re well established. What I would advise them is to never forget that they’re Greeks and not to consider themselves Americans, because if they think they’ve become Americans they won’t achieve anything. They’re Greeks and they must remain Greeks, and they must support Greece and Cyprus and our race in general, and they have the ability to support it.
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