The Monastic Community of Mount Athos in Greece has stated that the head of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, Archbishop Elpidophoros is not welcome to visit the Holy Mountain due to his views on same-sex marriage.
In a letter addressed to the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the representatives of the Greek Orthodox Monasteries expressed their reasoning behind their opposition to the visit.
“We regret to have found, through the published photographs of the Archbishop of America, a wrong impression was created regarding the Church’s acceptance of the marriage of individuals of the same sex. This message is contrary to the doctrines and teachings of the Orthodox Church,” the letter read.
In 2022, Archbishop Elpidophoros traveled to Vouliagmeni, south of Athens, to baptise the children of actor, Evangelo Bousis and fashion designer, Peter Dundas.
“Anyone who asks me to baptise their child I will do it, regardless of who it is. I baptise children and I don’t care about the personal life of their parents. I don’t judge people’s lives,” Archbishop Elpidophoros previously stated in relation to his views.
Elpidophoros had hoped to visit Mount Athos on the way to Thessaloniki later in January.
The announcement to oppose the visit has also come soon after Greece’s government indicated that it will carry out a commitment to allow same-sex marriage, defying the country’s powerful Orthodox Church.