Piraeus cleric says 'homosexuality is the most disgusting and unclean sin'
An Orthodox bishop has issued a nine-page statement railing against the issue of same-sex civil partnerships, which he has lambasted as "an insult against God and man".
The cleric, Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus, lashed out at proposals to include provisions for same-sex civil partnerships in an antiracism bill and said that any Orthodox MP who voted for the measure would be "excommunicated".
Earlier this month, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Greece's exclusion of same-sex couples from civil law unions was a violation of the European Convention of Human Rights, adding that the reasons given by the authorities for not allowing same-sex couples to enter into civil unions were "not convincing".
But on Wednesday, it was announced that the justice ministry plans to introduce an amendment extending civil law partnerships to same-sex couples.
No stranger to controversy for his outlandish comments, Serpahim referred to attempts to make "this terrible sin of homosexuality, sodomy, unnatural sexual intercourse, pederasty and paedophilia, to appear as a normal state, as diversity".
He added that the "the universal consciousness over the centuries recognises as normal behaviour the relations between man and woman".
He said that any other kind of relationship was "a unnatural aberration not even observed in animals".
In his text, the cleric also maintained that "for the Church Fathers, homosexuality is the most disgusting and unclean sin" and that any support for homosexuality constituted "great disrespect for God".
He asked how the "representatives of modernity" in the government and parliament "dared place themselves above God, abolishing the Gospel and the teaching of the Church Fathers".
The bishop's comments on were widely criticised on Twitter, where a Syriza MP, Dimitris Papadimoulis, tweeted that the bishop's "Intolerance was not reminiscent of Piraeus, but of Tehran".