A three-member Misdemeanor court in Aigio, Peloponnese, sentenced hard-core Metropolit Amvrosios to seven months imprisonment for “misuse of ecclesiastic office, hate speech and incitement to violence. The Bishop of Aegialeia and Kalavryta had called his followers to “spit on homosexuals and “stone gays.”
The sentence is suspended for three years due to Bishop’s former descent life.
The case referred to a blogpost by the Bishop during a Parliament debate the legal status of same-sex unions in 2015.
“Do not go near them! Do not listen to them! Do not trust them! They are the damned members of society!” Amvrosios wrote in rant, describing homosexuals as “monstrosities of nature.” He urged the faithful to “spit on them,” wherever they see them.
A first instance court had initially acquit of the charges filed by human rights groups. The prosecutor of the misdemeanors court in Aigio has appealed Amvrosios acquitance.
That decision had cleared Amvrosios of violating the anti-discrimination law regarding the incitement of hatred, opened the Pandora’s Box among rights groups and political parties, with some media to describe the decision as “shame” and many Greeks in social media to speak of “impunity” and a “parody” of a trial.
Apparently sure that the court in his area of influence would acquit him, Amvrosios not only did not regret his homophobic rant he also dared saying “if I had I gun and the law would allow me I would use it against them.”
In his apology at the court last week, Amvrosios reportedly claimed that his blog-post did not refer to homosexuals but to politicians.
Today, Amvrosios said that he was innocent arguing he did not write the post with the aim to “deceit but to protect the society.” He claimed further that when he wrote the post “homosexuality was a criminal offense.”