Greece, September 23, 2022
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.