Two Lawmakers Who Backed Same-Sex Marriage Banned From Rites By Greek Church Higher-Ups

The Orthodox Church of Greece reacted strongly to this February’s passage of a historic bill allowing same-sex civil marriage, banning two lawmakers who voted in favor of the measure. The bishopric of Greece’s northwestern island of Corfu condemned the two for committing “the deepest spiritual and moral error,” saying in a statement, “For us, these two (local) lawmakers cannot consider themselves active members of the Church.”

The reform, proposed by Prime Minister Mitsotakis’ government and vehemently opposed by the Church, made Greece the first Orthodox Christian country to legalize same-sex marriage. The bill grants full parental rights to married same-sex partners with children while forbidding gay couples to achieve parenthood through surrogate mothers in Greece.

The bishopric’s statement also indicated that the two lawmakers should be excluded from communion, not attend Church events and not be granted formal honors by clergy at official events or parish gatherings, adding, “We exhort them to repent for their impropriety.”

The Corfu bishopric cited another lawmaker who voted against the law as “the kind of politician, irrespective of other convictions, that we need in our country.”

With its condemnatory statement, the Corfu bishopric followed the lead of the Piraeus bishopric. Earlier this year, Bishop Seraphim of Piraeus called an extraordinary meeting at which local church officials passed a resolution to expel all lawmakers who voted in favor of same-sex marriage, calling them “partners of the archetypal evil” and “accomplices of the chief serpent in the deterioration of the work of salvation and the gospel message.”

The statement continued, “[W]e break our communion with those who voted against the divine Law.”

Bishop Seraphim is a bitter enemy of homosexuality, saying, without basis, that it causes cancer. He has also blamed the “international Zionist monster” for the same-sex bill.

The first same-sex wedding under the new law was celebrated in early March in southern Athens.

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