Archbishop Ieronymos: Children of same-sex couples will decide whether to be baptised when they grow up

2 92

What he said about the children of same-sex couples after the meeting he had with the Archbishop of America, Elpidophoros

The position of the Church on the marriage of same-sex couples became known after the meeting of the Holy Synod and is categorically negative, without raising the tone between the State and the Church.

The Primate of the Church, Archbishop of Athens Ieronymos II, distinguished same-sex and heterosexual couples during his meeting with the Archbishop of America, Elpidophoros. The meeting of the two church leaders lasted forty minutes and discussed issues of current church affairs.

Mr Ieronymos spoke about the issue of baptising the children of same-sex couples, saying that the Church will wait for them to grow up for them to decide for themselves whether or not they wish to be baptised.

Answering a question on baptism, His Beatitude, Mr Ieronymos emphasised that "we must return to tradition again. If baptism occurs at a young age, it is because, within the Church, the feeling was created that the child grows up in an environment of Christian principles. Therefore, teachings was unnecessary because it took place within the environment. Now that things are changing, we are not against children. We love and care about children more than anyone else. The Church will wait for these children to reach an age, and when they grow up and wish to be baptised, they will be baptised."

In response to the same question, the Archbishop of America, Mr. Elpidophoros, emphasised: "I absolutely agree with His Beatitude what he said. Because we read the same Gospel, we teach the same Gospel, and there could not be any different opinion on this matter".

Mr. Elpidophoros, responding to the same issue, said, "I have nothing to add; his Beatitude said everything."

After the meeting, Mr. Elpidophoros made the following statement:

"The political leaderships of the two countries are showing the right path, that the USA and Greece are working together for the benefit of both sides. Indeed, the Church preceded this communion because we always come together. The Church of Greece is the Church of our homeland, of all expatriates.

"As we love the country, we also love its Church. Expatriates are always at the disposal of His Beatitude and the Church of Greece, in good times as well as in difficult times. As in natural disasters, fires and floods, but also in the joys of our homeland, we are always on the side of the Church and Greece."

For his part, His Holiness said: "I would like to agree with the Most Reverend Archbishop and emphasise that this kind of meeting, the exchange of views, this cooperation benefits both our side and the Orthodox Church of America.

"There is a common point that we must especially emphasise: the Patriarchate is the place that connects us to the two Churches. This is the heart of Orthodoxy, and we should strive to work so that this cooperation and unity will benefit the Church and our country."

Answering journalists' questions about the current situation, His Holiness emphasised that "freedom in man is a very important thing, and we must all take this into account. And the Church, but also the State."

Archbishop Ieronymos concluded that neither the Church should have the bayonet ready nor should the State want to put shackles on any place in our country".

The Most Reverend Archbishop of America was accompanied by the High President of AHEPA, Mr Savvas Tsivikos, the Vice President of the National Benevolent Brotherhood of the Archdiocese of America, Mrs Annita Kartalopoulou, the businessman Mr Steve Zervoudis and Rev. Protopresbyter Fr. Alexandros Karloutsos.

Greece faces Orthodox Church opposition over same-sex marriage plans

Greece’s centre-right government is speeding up its timetable to legalise same-sex marriage - despite growing opposition from the powerful Orthodox Church.

Government officials said the draft legislation would be put to a vote by mid-February. Greece would become the first Orthodox-majority country to legalise same-sex marriage if the law passes.

The Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul, which heads Orthodox churches around the world, has expressed its opposition to the same-sex marriage proposal.

“Marriage is the union of man and woman under Christ… and the church does not accept the cohabitation of its members in any form other than marriage,” the Ecumenical Patriarchate said.

It echoed a decision by the church’s senior bishops in Greece earlier this week.

Metropolitan Bishop Panteleimon, a spokesman for the Greek Church’s governing Holy Synod, said that its written objections would be sent to all members of Greece’s parliament and read out at Sunday services around the country on 4 February.

“What the church says is that marriage is the union of a man and a woman and that is the source of life,” he told private Skai television. “The elders of our church are concerned with defending and supporting the family.”

Panteleimon also said it was too soon to comment on the approach that the church would take towards the children of same-sex parents.

Conservative Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who won a landslide re-election victory last summer, will likely need to rely on opposition party votes for the measure to be approved. He faces dissent from within the governing New Democracy party as well as from members of his own Cabinet.

“We are talking about something that is already in effect in 36 countries and on five continents. And nowhere does it appear to have damaged social cohesion,” Mitsotakis told his ministers in a televised statement Wednesday.

“I want to be clear: We are referring to choices made by the state and not religious convictions… Our democracy requires that there cannot be two classes of citizens and there certainly cannot be children of a lesser god.”

Recent opinion polls suggest that Greeks narrowly oppose same-sex marriage, with conservative voters more clearly opposed.

READ MORE: Mitsotakis: Same-sex marriage bill “seeks the equal treatment of all citizens.”

Copyright Greekcitytimes 2024