A Greek Orthodox bishop is facing a re-trial over comments in which he allegedly incited violence against gay people, after government officials criticized his initial acquittal.
A Greek court acquitted Metropolitan Bishop Ambrosios of Kalavryta of a lawsuit levied against him by nine gay males over comments in a 2015 blog post in which he directed Greek faithful to “spit on them,” referring to gay people.
Opposition parties united with the Greek government in criticism of the acquittal, and a senior prosecutor filed an appeal against the ruling on Monday, according to The Associated Press.
Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis also requested transcripts of Kalavryta’s initial trial to check to see if their were any errors in the process which would justify a re-trial.
If convicted of incitement of violence against gay people, Ambrosios could face a fine of up to $25,000 and a maximum of three years in prison.
Ambrosios railed in the 2015 blog post against a Greek politician who he said openly supported homosexuality.
“Homosexuality is a diversion from the Laws of Nature! It is a social felony! It is a sin! Those who either experience it or support it are not normal people! It’s a scum of society,” a translation of Ambrosios’ blog post read (emphasis his).
Ambrosios directed his readers later in the post to remember the words of Lech Walesa of Poland, with regard to how they should treat those who support homosexuality and atheism.
“Hey, then, these scoundrels, spit on them! Discard them! Blacken them! They are not people! They are abodes of nature! Mental and spiritual suffering! They are people with mental disorders,” Ambrosios quoted Walesa as saying.
Ambrosios is known for taking strong public stances against homosexuality and transgenderism and leading churches in opposition against legislation favoring LGBT individuals.
Ambrosios directed churches in his diocese to protest the passing of a law in October of 2017 that allowed Greek citizens to identify as whichever gender they choose.
“It is an outrageous inspiration for someone to change his gender in a few minutes, with a simple declaration, so contrary to what God has gifted people with … whoever has ‘gender dysphoria’ is mentally ill,” a statement approved by the orthodox leaders of Kalavryta read concerning the law.
A version of this article appeared on The Daily Caller News Foundation website.
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