Abp. Elpidophoros on “gay Baptism” scandal: “I don’t care about the parents’ personal lives”

Greece, September 23, 2022

Photo: greeknewsonline.com Photo: greeknewsonline.com     

For the first time since the scandal erupted more than two months ago, Archbishop Elpiodphoros of the Patriarchate of Constantinople’s Greek Orthodox Archdiocese has personally responded to the issue of the “openly gay Baptism” he celebrated in Greece.

“Anyone who asks me to baptize their child I will do it, regardless of who it is. I baptize children and I don’t care about the personal life of their parents. I don't judge people’s lives,” he told Espresso on a recent plane ride in Greece.

Abp. Elpidophoros celebrated the Baptism of the two children of an internationally known gay couple whose family is influential in the Greek Archdiocese. The parents themselves hailed the event as the “first openly gay baptism” in the Greek Church.

The event caused a storm of reactions from other Greek hierarchs, including Metropolitan Antonios of Glyfada, in whose diocese the Baptism was held, who says that Abp. Elpidophoros concealed the full truth from him. Mt. Athos also issued a statement on the matter, and the Greek Holy Synod sent a letter of protest to Patriarch Bartholomew.

The Archbishop was reportedly severely reprimanded during a session of the Holy Synod of Constantinople.

And during his interview with Espresso, he also explained that the number one problem facing the Greek diaspora in America today is the gradual loss of the Greek language:

Unfortunately, schools in the diaspora are being closed every year. The problem is that the Greek language is being lost, slowly but surely. That is why I undertook many related actions. I found money from our expatriates and built a first center to save the language. But what is primarily needed is for the children to come to Greece. We need to get expatriates to visit the country with their families. Because it’s different when you learn something in theory and when you experience it. When you have an image of Greece and have experienced it, you never forget that, and then you will want to learn to speak its language.

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Harold Migias6/21/2023 5:08 pm
It’s quite misguided that Elpidophoros sees the number one problem in the U. S. Diaspora as maintaining the Greek language. A far bigger problem is the lack of spiritual instruction. A couple actively engaged in a homosexual relationship (while feeling no remorse or attempt to seek freedom from that bondage) is not in good standing and not Orthodox. Hence, they are prohibited from participating in the Church’s sacramental life. In Matthew Jesus says not to judge others. In First Corinthians St. Paul states that the Church is required to judge those within it. There is no contradiction in these two passages. The Orthodox Study Bible contains excellent commentary on these two passages. Those who claim to be Orthodox, yet flaunt their sin, per St. Paul, are to be removed from the Church after attempts are made to bring them to repentance and they refuse. Removing them is necessary. Hopefully, by separating them from the Church they will come to their senses (remember the Prodigal son) and repent. If they are not removed those weak in the faith become confused about what the Church teaches on moral issues and those strong in the Faith become cynical. Those in sin are to always be loved. Refusing the sacraments is a mercy offered to them in the hope of repentance and seeking a renewed life walking with Christ.
anonymous 9/27/2022 5:31 pm
Steve, please go study to understand what the verses you completely misquoted out of context mean. A child's baptism means that because they are invaoable of professing faith and repenting, the godparents and the parents take a PLEDGE, a vow in front of the Holy Altar of God to raise this child in THE ORTHODOX FAITH. This is the presupposition of baptism. Baptism isn't a magic ceremony, it involves the wilful obedience of the parents and godparents. Not only are the parents clearly not orthodox but the godparents were 2 women who were not even orthodox and scantily clad. This is making a mockery of the church and the mystery. And Christ will not be mocked.
Anne9/25/2022 10:53 pm
The Archbishop is expressing a perversion of the idea of what love is. He imagines that non-judgement is love. No. Love is calling out sin and asking people to repent. This is what Christ did. The asceticism of the Orthodox Church is all about helping people to leave behind the passions through repentance, fasting, Confession, prayer and the receiving of the Holy Gifts. If these homosexuals were actively seeking to turn from their lifestyle, then they should be wholeheartedly received by the Church. But they are not; and all the Archbishop is doing is dropping to their level and dragging the Church down with him. We see what has happened in the Church of England - a wholesale capitulation to the homosexual 'rainbow' despotism. The Orthodox Church must not succumb to this. We must stand up for the truth; in love.
Anonymous29/25/2022 5:40 pm
Yes, lack of Greek speaking individuals in GOA is the principal problem we face. Not that you’re a heretic who is in the pocket of the state department. This is what deceivers do. They dismiss their sins and turn our attention to some other issue. “I didn’t do anything wrong, but it’s a crying shame that the Greek language is getting lost!” A farce! And we all see it.
Alex9/25/2022 6:46 am
Chris Banescu9/24/2022 7:05 pm
“St.” Lewis offers us great wisdom regarding the heretical and scandalous comments and behavior of Elpi: “When a man is getting better he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still left in him. When a man is getting worse, he understands his own badness less and less. A moderately bad man knows he is not very good: a thoroughly bad man thinks he is all right. This is common sense, really. You understand sleep when you are awake, not while you are sleeping. You can see mistakes in arithmetic when your mind is working properly: while you are making them you cannot see them. You can understand the nature of drunkenness when you are sober, not when you are drunk. Good people know about both good and evil: bad people do not know about either.” ~ C.S. Lewis
Chris Banescu9/24/2022 7:04 pm
“Alas, it is a demonstrable fact that the people of God, when they fall, often enough do not fall to the level of good paganism, but much lower. They sink down so far that even the law-abiding pagan is bewildered.” – Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon https://www.orthodoxytoday.org/blog/2020/02/when-people-of-god-fall-they-behave-worse-than-pagans/
Gary9/24/2022 2:51 pm
The man who gives the body and blood of Christ to non Orthodox spouses and also approves of open "flaming homosexuals" raising and influencing children to accept the homosexual sin as something good and normal is also the man being groomed to take Bartholomew's place when he finally dies. The Greek Church is in deep trouble. Pray for our Bishops to straighten this mess out!!!
Wadih Jreidini9/24/2022 10:35 am
He should be excommunicated. Anything less than that is unacceptable. He risked opening the floodgates, so an example must be made and a clear message delivered to the world. Orthodoxy rejects debauchery and unholiness before the altar of Christ!!!
Bernardo9/24/2022 12:36 am
"Anyone who asks me to baptize their child I will do it, regardless of who it is. I baptize children and I don’t care about the personal life of their parents. I don't judge people’s lives,” This are not the words of someone that regret his actions. If he doesnt repent for his transgressions why he have not being punished yet? Or lying to superiors in order to perform a ceremony that would never been approved if he told the truth is not only allowed but also a example that the Orthodox clergy want to set to be followed?
Dillon D.9/24/2022 12:29 am
Tragic. The Roman Catholics are in crisis because of this silly, ineffectual ideology. That child’s parents will most certainly have a profoundly negative impact on their life. They’re already calling it the first openly gay baptism. The simple fact that they’re referring to it as such should tell you all you need to know. They are corrupting the faith, and the Archbishop is most certainly enabling their sinfulness. Shame on them all for their corruption and pride.
rebekah9/23/2022 11:07 pm
Theodoros9/23/2022 9:46 pm
As a Greek I do not need this Turkish citizen lecturing me on the Greek language. The Archbishop must be deposed. His indifference to moral issues and proper Orthodox ecclesiology demonstrate he must be removed. His proper task is to serve as a spiritual teacher to teach the gospel. Greece does not need him to promote the Greek language. This man is a menace.
Antiochene Son9/23/2022 9:44 pm
He says "who am I to judge" while giving an interview on a plane. Is he being mentored by Pope Francis? Is offering incense to Pachamama next?
Alexander Leitner9/23/2022 9:30 pm
Schismatic, heretic and crazy!
Anonymous II9/23/2022 9:05 pm
Normally, I'd suggest the faithful stop paying money - don't tithe. These aren't 'normal' circumstances. His cabal receives a lot from the State Department and other sources, so it's up to faithful clergy in and out of monasteries, and the faithful, to organize another public statement, and perhaps petition ROCOR or the Antiochians.
Matthew9/23/2022 8:20 pm
How will they get to heaven if they don't speak Greek?!
Alexei9/23/2022 7:57 pm
Archbishop Elpiodphoros does not care about the personal lives of the parents? These "Parents" will have a very strong influence on the lives of these innocent infants as they grow up. The children will see their "Parents" living a life of sin and they will likely find their "lifestyle" to be acceptable. Which will lead them away from the Orthodox Church and the teachings of Christ. Archbishop Elpiodphoros wants visibility as a Progressive Archbishop. It appears that he wants the world to see him as "This is what a Archbishop should be". When an Archbishop accepts a Gay Couple as normal, that is what it looks like to me, I found this on a Greek Church Website. "A Baptism is a privilege that requires a commitment on behalf of the parents to raise the child in the Orthodox Church. If parents are not active members of the Church, you must demonstrate a desire to become active for the sacrament to be approved. Parents are the primary role models for their children in living a committed life to Christ. Commitment to Christ is expressed in regularly attending Sunday liturgy, participating in the sacramental life of the Church and being a current Steward of the Church." They are living a life of sin, and they will be role models? I pray that these children will live a life in the Orthodox Church, for they will see the life that their "Parents" are living and they will be in danger. I see the evil one's hand in this. Archbishop Elpiodphoros, in my opinion, needs to step back and reassess what it means to be a Bishop. From OrthodoxWiki-"A bishop is the successor to the Apostles in the service and government of the Church. The bishop thus serves εις τόπον και τύπον Χριστού (in place and as a type of Christ) in the Church." As Archbishop, he serves in place and as a type of Christ. He is not doing anything to correct the "Couple". As Christ said to the adulteress woman. "Go and sin no more". Archbishop Elpiodphoros did not do this, because he does not care about the parents personal lives. I would ask the question, Is he worthy to continue as Archbishop?
Steve9/23/2022 7:23 pm
This is exactly the kind of bishops we need. Ones who will not cave to silly excuses for not baptizing children, such as "oh, they can't be baptized because their parents or guardians are homosexual". Christ told a man, "follow Me", and the response was "Lord, first let me go bury my father". Christ responded with 'let the dead bury the dead". Indeed, those who are dead in homosexual sins do not need to be buried first in order for their children to follow Christ and be baptized. If there are Orthodox sponsors available, then let the children be baptized. Christ also said, "suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven."
Alex9/23/2022 7:18 pm
Tragic clown. ANAXIOS!
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