Mt. Athos, July 28, 2022
The Sacred Community of Mt. Athos issued a statement today in response to the international scandal surrounding Archbishop Elpidophoros’ celebration of a very public Baptism for the children of a celebrity gay couple.
The Sacred Community is the spiritual administration of the Holy Mountain, consisting of one representative of each of the 20 ruling monasteries.
On the occasion of the recent public appearances and positions of clerics of the Church, even hierarchs, which leave the impression that it’s possible for the Church to accept any other form of family apart from the one established by the Holy Gospel, the Sacred Community wishes to express itself publicly.
The Holy Mountain, as a place of prayer and asceticism, with inseparable liturgical and spiritual continuity, humbly prays for the whole world, for all people regardless of discrimination.
The Sacrament of Baptism, by which a person becomes a member of the Church and receives the grace of the Holy Spirit, is undoubtedly the visible expression of God’s infinite love.
The effort to live according to the Holy Gospel and the law of God ensures the conditions for participation in the Sacraments of the Church.
In light of the above, we could not but express our regret for the above public appearances and positions of persons of the Church, which give cause to scandalize the faithful.
It is clearly foreign to the teaching of the Gospel and the Orthodox ethos to allow the understanding that a “same-sex couple” can be considered a family with the right to adopt children, as any such form of adoption or foster care is contrary to the teaching of the Gospel, human nature, and also the ethos and traditions of our people, while at the same time it violates the elementary rights of innocent defenseless people, who don’t have the possibility to choose a normal family environment.
We express the above as a voice of sincere interest in the course of our country, and indeed in such a critical period.
May the patroness of our country and abbess of the Holy Mountain intercede before our Lord Jesus Christ to lead everyone to repentance and a life according to the light of the Gospel and His teaching.
Complaints have also been voiced by Metropolitan Antonios of Glyfada, in whose diocese Abp. Elpidophoros celebrated the given Baptism, Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus, the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, and others.
As OrthoChristian reported today, the recent controversies surrounding Abp. Elpidophoros also dominated the most recent session of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.