Archbishop Chrysostomos said on Tuesday the controversial statements on homosexuality made by Morphou Bishop Neophytos do not represent him, while five days after they were first reported political parties and a women’s group condemned them.
The head of the church of Cyprus told daily Politis the bishop’s opinions “do not represent him. They are clearly his personal opinions.”
During his speech in June to a group of people in Akaki, the bishop said Saint Porfyrios made mention of homosexuality in his writings. “It is a problem, which is usually transmitted by parents to the child,” the bishop said.
He said when a couple has anal sex when the woman is pregnant then the desire to do the same transfers to the foetus.
A further snippet released on Monday from the same speech by the bishop revealed he has also said gay men had a ‘nasty smell’. He then recounted a story from a monk, who said he encountered a gay man once, whom he told had a ‘nasty smell’.
In the same speech, the bishop also said: “A country that carries out so many abortions and murders its children, is it impossible that a murderer could be among us?”
The comments were made in light of the murders by serial killer Nicos Metaxas. The bishop said it was hypocritical to be saddened by the death of two children killed by Metaxas when Cyprus carries out so many abortions.
He said that the “murders” were finished and that Metaxas asked for forgiveness form a priest, and confessed to the priest. Metaxas was earlier this summer sentenced to seven life sentences for killing five foreign women and two children.
On Tuesday, Disy said the bishop’s statements violate human rights, and are incongruent with the Christian spirit and respect to all people.
Akel said: “We are disappointed to have heard the recent statements by the bishop of Morphou, which have gone global.”
The main opposition party condemned his statements calling them homophobic and misogynistic.
They called on the Holy Synod and the state to take a stand against him and his statements.
The women’s group, Women’s Alliance said that they were disappointed and condemned the bishop’s statements. “Unfortunately, the statements of the bishop are stupid and obscene,” the group said.
Despite his condemnation of the bishop’s statements, the Archbishop has also previously not shown support for gay people.
When the law on civil unions was passed, the primate said that homosexual couples should not be able to adopt as they may cause psychological problems to their children.
He also said that the church is not obliged to apologise to homosexual couples, in light of statements by Pope Francis who said that the church owes them an apology.