Greek Orthodox bishop convicted of hate speech resigns

August 18, 2019 - 6:16 am

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The Metropolitan Amvrosios of Kalavryta, a fiery conservative Greek Orthodox bishop known for criticizing, often in intemperate terms, those who he believed acted in a "non-Christian" or "non-Greek" way, including gays, migrants and politicians, has resigned.

Amvrosios, 81, announced his resignation Sunday at Mass. He has served in the diocese of Kalavryta, in southern Greece, since 1978.

The Metropolitan achieved notoriety for his support of the far-right, anti-immigrant Golden Dawn party. Earlier this year, his pronouncements against gays led to his being sued and convicted by a local court of hate speech. He was given a seven-month suspended sentence.

Last year, he declared that a deadly wildfire near Athens was God's punishment for the "atheist" left-wing Greek prime minister at the time, Alexis Tsipras.

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