Greek officials, Church, condemn ex-bishop’s remarks on rape

Sep 2, 2022, 1:54 AM | Updated: 2:04 pm

FILE - Chrysostomos, Metropolitan Bishop of Dodoni ordains a priest at Athens Cathedral, Greece, on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019. Chrysostomos' statement in a TV interview Friday, Sept, 2, 2022 that a woman is not raped without her consent and that there can be no conception from a rape have been widely condemned by politicians and by the Greek Orthodox Church itself. (Xristos Bonis/Eurokinissi via AP, File)

(Xristos Bonis/Eurokinissi via AP, File)

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek politicians and the country’s powerful Orthodox Church joined in condemning a retired bishop who claimed Friday that women aren’t raped “without wanting it.”

In an interview with private Skai TV, Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Dodoni supported the Church’s official position against abortion, but added that there should be no abortion even in the case of rape.

He then proceeded to question the notion of rape itself, saying: “A woman does not sit and get raped without wanting it.” He added that there can be no conception as a result of rape.

Chrysostomos called abortion a “crime.”

Politicians of all stripes condemned his remarks on rape.

“The Metropolitan of Dodoni’s statement about rape is inconceivable and is to be condemned,” Education and Religious Affairs Minister Niki Kerameus tweeted. “It brutally insults society and does not agree with the position of the Church, which supports women victims of abuse and rape.”

“We support victims of rape unconditionally,” added government spokesman Yannis Oikonomou.

The Church of Greece’s ruling body, the Holy Synod, also condemned Chrysostomos’ remarks as “unacceptable for an Orthodox cleric and offensive for human beings and especially for women and victims of rape.”

“The treatment of women, without exception, as equal to men and their protection from any abuse are the Church of Greece’s official position,” a Holy Synod statement said.

Chrysostomos, 83, retired from active duty in 2011, and his title is honorific. While an active bishop he was known for his strong views. He once told a fellow bishop disagreeing with him during a Holy Synod meeting to “Go play with your dolls.”

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Greek officials, Church, condemn ex-bishop’s remarks on rape