Mt. Athos, December 19, 2023
Amidst the controversy surrounding the Greek government’s proposal to legalize gay marriage and adoption by same-sex couples, the Holy Mountain has raised its voice.
The bill put forth by Greece’s New Democracy government is likely to come up early next year, follows on the legalization of gay civil unions in 2015.
Several hierarchs of the Greek Church have spoken out against the bill and the Holy Synod recently announced that it is closely following the situation.
And like many hierarchs, the Sacred Community of Mt. Athos—the representative body of the Holy Mountain—has denounced the proposed legislation.
The Community’s statement, issued yesterday, reads:
Following recent statements regarding the intention of the Greek Government to legislate the marriage of “same-sex couples,” as well as their adoption of children, our Sacred Community expresses the profound concern and anxiety of all the Holy Fathers of Mount Athos.
The Holy Mountain, as a place of prayer and asceticism, humbly prays for all people, as the image of God.
Nevertheless, we express our concern and deep sorrow for the proposed legislation.
We must, through this announcement, clearly state that we are absolutely opposed to any form of marriage or adoption that contradicts the Gospel teaching, as well as the long-standing tradition of our pious nation and heritage concerning the sacred institution of the family.
We fervently implore that the Greek government not proceed with the proposed anti-evangelical legislation, praying that the Patroness of our homeland and Guardian of the Holy Mountain, the Most Holy Theotokos, intercede with our Lord Jesus Christ to guide us all to repentance and life in accordance with the light of the Gospel and His teaching.
The Holy Mountain issued a similar statement in the summer of 2022 amidst the scandal that erupted after Archbishop Elpidophoros of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America baptized the adopted child of a celebrity gay couple in Greece.