The former bishop of Kalavryta Amvrosios said he wants to excommunicate Education Minister Niki Kerameus from the Greek Orthodox Church for saying that taking Holy Communion puts churchgoers at risk of getting the COVID-19 Coronavirus.
In another of his many infamous rants, Amvrosios accused Kerameus of “blasphemy” for telling SKAI TV in an interview that science has proven that coronavirus can be transmitted via saliva, making communion – where the faithful drink from the same cup – risky.
In his letter, the Greek Orthodox cleric gave her until May 16 publicly recant and apologize for her “indescribable crime” or face excommunication, although it wasn't explained if he had the power to do so or was just sounding off again.
In 2016, the Bishop also attacked then then-Education Minister Nikos Filis of the Radical Left SYRIZA, calling him a “denier of the Orthodox faith,” in response to the minister saying morning prayers and religious services at secondary schools should be decided by teachers, describing religious courses as “playtime” at school.
In 2018, he was acquitted of the charge of inciting hatred against gay people for a 2015 post while Parliament debated the legal status of same-sex unions he opposed.
“Do not go near them! Do not listen to them! Do not trust them! They are the damned members of society!” he said in a rant which also described homosexuals as “monstrosities of nature.”
“They are psychologically and spiritually unwell! They are people with a mental disturbance,” he said.
The Greek Church this year also initially resisted a call to stop Holy Communion as part of measures to contain the virus, saying that it wasn't dangerous but relented under pressure from Prime Minister and New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis.