The Church of Greece’s highest governing body is formally protesting the recent baptism of the children of a same-sex couple in Athens, an occasion that marked the first time a gay couple held a Greek Orthodox baptism for their children in Greece.
The Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church on Monday voted unanimously to send a letter objecting to Archbishop of America Elpidophoros’ decision to conduct the July 11th baptism, which took place in Panagia Faneromeni Church in the suburb of Vouliagmeni.
The parents of the children are Evanggelos Bousis and Peter Dundas, both of Greek descent, who are well-known figures in the fashion world.
Church of Greece’s Ruling Body Protests Baptism
The Holy Synod decided to send the letter after the Metropolitan of Glyfada, Antonios, sent a written complaint last week. The bishop said he was not made aware the ceremony involved the children of a same-sex couple.
In that letter, he said, “I didn’t know what the archbishop of America would do.” He claims he sent the letter to the Holy Synod in response to the “uproar” caused by the baptism. Antonios has said he was not present at the ceremony.
The Holy Synod also said a letter of protest would go out to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in Istanbul, whose parishes amount to more than five hundred in the United States.
On his Facebook page after the ceremony, George Bousis, brother of Evangelos Bousis, called the ceremony a “truly…special moment not only for my family and me but for our entire Greek Orthodox Church…Thank you to our great spiritual leader, his Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, for christening the babies and not turning away any child or member of our faith.” He added that the ceremony showed “the progress and leadership we need in our church.”
But the Human Rights Campaign on its website noted that “the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese lists homosexuality beside fornication, adultery, abortion and abusive sexual behavior as ‘immoral and inappropriate forms of behavior in and of themselves…because they [also] attack the institution of marriage and the family.'”