NICOSIA – Bishop Neophytos of Morphou on Cyprus has been assailed for saying that women who have anal sex during pregnancy create children who become gay and that it’s hypocritical to mourn child victims of a serial killer as long as abortion is allowed.
Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said the government was “greatly troubled and dismayed” by the comments linking homosexuality to anal sex, which have brought condemnation of the Bishop on social media.
Prodromou said the remarks clash with Cyprus’ laws protecting the rights of all its citizens and that they “insult the dignity and injures the reputation” of many people and should be retracted, and that the country’s human rights commissioner also considers the remarks discriminatory.
The bishop was speaking at a June 25 lecture, citing what he said were an Orthodox Saint’s views about homosexuality, only now being reported.
He drew more fire saying that as long as abortions continue, crimes such as Nicolas Metaxas’ murder of five foreign women and two children will show the country’s hypocrisy, according to the Cypriot English language news website, In-Cyprus.
“You had three abortions, your own babies, and now hypocrite, you criticize Nicolas,” Neophytos said at that same event, according to the website.
Cyprus decriminalized abortion in 2018, passing a bill that allows women to terminate a pregnancy at up to 12 weeks, or 19 weeks in the case of rape. Officials said that more than 9,000 illegal abortions were taking place each year, Malta Today reported at the time.
Metaxas, whose name Neophytos reportedly invoked in his abortion comments, pleaded guilty in June to killing seven five foreign women and two girls, 6 and 8, the BBC said, over the course of nearly three years. He was sentenced to seven life terms in prison.
Accept LGBTI Cyprus, an organization that says it fights against sexual discrimination in the country, shared the video online, calling his remarks “hate speech.” Social media users joined in denouncing the Bishop with no indication he backed off his stand at all.
(Material from the Associated Press was used in this report)