Statements on rape and abortion by a high-ranking bishop in Greece have caused angry reactions by politicians and citizens on social media.
The Bishop of Dodoni Chrysostomos said that “no woman is raped without consent” and “abortion should not be performed even in the case of rape” in an interview on Skai TV.
“In times of low birth rates such as the ones we are going through, abortions cannot be tolerated,” he said, adding that “abortion is a crime.”
“A woman does not get pregnant from rape,” he said claiming that pregnancy and conception is not possible without consent.
He refused to acknowledge the true meaning of rape as an act of violence that does not have the consent of the woman, saying “a rape does not take place without consent” and “a woman does not get pregnant from a rape.”
He insisted that a woman cannot conceive without participation and consent.
Only if the fetus has serious health problems may there be an abortion. However, the Church has to give its permission first, he claimed.
Bishop’s views on abortion and rape strongly condemned
Chrysostomos’ controversial views were condemned by politicians and the general public in comments on social media.
Vassilis Kikilias, the minister of tourism, said the statement of the Bishop of Dodoni about women who are raped is “a shame for all of us and slanderous for the Orthodox Christian faith and our Church.”
“The statement of the Bishop of Dodoni regarding…rape is unthinkable and reprehensible,” wrote Education Minister Niki Kerameos on Twitter. “It brutally offends society and is inconsistent with the attitude of the Church which actually supports women victims of abuse and rape.”
According to state broadcaster ERT, Archbishop Ieronymos has been briefed about the statements of the Bishop and a reaction is expected within the day.