A Greek Orthodox leader who blamed wildfires on atheists is calling it quits. It couldn’t have happened to a nastier person.
It was nearly a year ago when Athens was hit with wildfires that took more than 100 lives and many more injuries. Bishop Ambrosios of Kalavryta blamed that natural disaster on Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, because he’s an atheist. In a bizarre blog rant, Ambrosios explained that God must be furious with Tsipras because there were no longer forced prayers in public schools, same-sex marriage was legal, nudism had been spreading, the Prime Minister hadn’t baptized his own kids, and more. Why any of that would lead God to murder dozens and dozens of people is anyone’s guess.
The Greek Orthodox Church didn’t defend the comments either, saying Ambrosios was merely “expressing his personal opinion.”
In 2017, the same bishop blamed Tsipras for deadly floods.
Well, Ambrosios, who has also said nasty things about gay people, non-Greeks, and refugees, has announced his resignation.
Amvrosios, 81, announced his resignation Sunday at Mass. He has served in the diocese of Kalavryta, in southern Greece, since 1978.
The Metropolitan achieved notoriety for his support of the far-right, anti-immigrant Golden Dawn party. A blog post he wrote about gays in 2015 — calling them “the scum of society” and urging people to spit on them — led to his being convicted by a local court of hate speech in January 2019. He was given a seven-month suspended sentence.
He won’t be missed.
Maybe the bigger shock was that he wasn’t forced to resign sooner given how bad he made the Church look. But when you belong to a religious tradition that includes people who say Earth is the only planet in the universe and that gay people are caused by pregnant women having anal sex, you don’t really have the luxury of kicking out the dumbest people. If you did, you’d have no leaders left.
(Thanks to Brian for the link)