Police will interview Morphou Bishop Neophytos after the August 15 holiday because he is currently fasting, Phileleftheros reports.
The Morphou bishop caused a storm when he told an audience in Akaki that men are born homosexual if their mothers have — and enjoy — anal sex when pregnant with them. He also said that homosexual men ’emit an odour’.
Attorney general Costas Clerides ordered an investigation into whether the Morphou Bishop’s comments constitute an offence which is being conducted by police.
According to Phileleftheros, police have completed most of their investigation but need to take a statement from the bishop.
But he has reportedly asked that this be done after the holiday of August 15 (Dormition of the Virgin Mary) because he is currently fasting.
According to Phileleftheros, police investigators already have a tape of the controversial speech made by the bishop in Akaki.
Once the police inquiry is over, the file will be forwarded to the attorney general for instructions.
Political parties have slammed the Bishop’s statements while government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou issued a written statement saying the remarks violated the legally protected principle of equality of all citizens and should be retracted.
And in a written statement, Maria Stylianou Lottidou, Commissioner for Administration and Protection of Human Rights said the remarks were racist as they contained the elements of denigration and rejection.
Bishop Chrysostomos of Kyrenia also stepped into the controversy saying that members of the clergy have no place in couples’ bedrooms while in the US, Metropolitan Nathanael, the spiritual leader of the Greek Orthodox Church of Chicago, said in a letter to his congregation that Neophytos’ comments are “factually and morally wrong” and totally inconsistent with the church’s teachings.
He also apologised to the faithful on behalf of his brother Metropolitan.
On Friday, the NGO Accept-LGBTI urged the legal system, the state and society to condemn positions such as those voiced by the bishop.
The NGO welcomed the decision of the attorney general to order a criminal investigation and said it hoped that this time, unlike on previous occasions, the law will be implemented and the church representative will be called to account.
Accept-LGBTI said the bishop’s remarks were sexist, misogynist and homophobic and inctite hatred against the LGBTI community.