Thursday, July 28, 2022

A univocal response to Abp. Elpidophoros from Mount Athos

 Communication of the Holy Community of Mt Athos

On the occasion of recent public appearances and positions taken by members of the clergy of the Church, including hierarchs, who have created the impression that it is possible for the Church to accept any other form of family, apart from the one established by the Holy Gospel, the Holy Community of Mt Athos wishes to respond publicly.

The Holy Mountain, as a place of prayer and asceticism, in an unbroken liturgical and spiritual continuity, humbly prays for the entire world, and for all people without distinction.

The sacrament of baptism, by which a person becomes a member of the Church and receives the grace of the Holy Spirit, is undoubtedly the visible expression of God’s infinite love.

The effort to live according to the Holy Gospel and the law of God ensures the conditions for participation in the sacraments of the Church.

In light of the above, we cannot but express our regret for the above public appearances and positions of persons of the Church, which have given reason for the faithful to be scandalized.

It is clearly foreign to the teaching of the Gospel and the Orthodox ethos to allow it to be understood that a “same-sex couple” can be considered as a family and to recognize the right of such a couple to adopt children, since any such form of adoption or adoptive child- guardianship is contrary to the teaching of the Gospel, human nature, and also to the ethos and traditions of our people. At the same time, it violates the elementary rights of innocent defenseless children, who do not have the possibility to choose a normal family environment.

We express the above as a voice of sincere interest in the course of our country, and indeed at such a critical period for it.

May the Patroness of our country and of the Holy Mountain, the All-Holy Theotokos, intercede with our Lord Jesus Christ to lead everyone to repentance and to life according to the light of the Gospel and its teaching.

All the Representatives and Abbots

of the Twenty Holy Monasteries of the Holy Mountain of Athos.


  1. Interesting that Athos doesn't criticize the controversial baptism in their statement. Instead, it is entirely geared towards saying that same-sex couples should not be allowed to adopt children in Greece.

    1. The first paragraph makes the link (though it's unfortunate the statement is not more explicit). The family, including the godparents, of the recent "gay baptism" make the link - they realize the symbolic (real, not nominal) and theological significance of their accomplishment and AB Elpidophoros actions. So much of western Christendom (certainly all the mainline protestants) has lived the link.

      Ontology trumps abstract distinction Joseph.

    2. So are these children ontologically orphans, a child of a single parent, or the spawn of Satan? I get the impression that there's a lot of votes for the later unfortunately.

    3. Joseph, a serious answer to your question would take seriously what their formative environment really is. These children are in the same ontological position as all other children raised in a non-Christian secular environment, which is unfortunately is the vast majority of children today in western civilization. Children born into Islamic, or Chinese, or fil_in_the_blank are in more or less the same position.

      These two children not only suffer from this usual situation, but also from two parents as well as grandparents and other extended family, Godparents/sponsors, and even an Archbishop that are actively trying to *reform* the Church into their own image - the theological anthropology of transhumanism and "love".

      Perhaps your correct (I pray you are) and that if they are brought to a parish, even if only once a year, the seed of Light in their darkened formation will be implanted. However the Church can't be the Church by performing "gay baptisms" or any other comprise with the world/darkness.

      The sacrament as it is normally performed recognizes all this, which is why we can recognize this reformational effort for what it was. Your generosity and concern for these children strikes me as impassioned (you really think anyone is saying they are "spawn of Satan"), to the point that you want to almost deny what really happed here, or at least justify it (e.g. as some extreme form of economia).

  2. The statement from the Assembly of Bishops from 2015 was also unequivocally against same-sex couples adopting children, but just like the Athos statement, it did not say that those children couldn't be baptized in the Orthodox Church.