ATHENS, Aug 19 — A controversial Greek Orthodox bishop who was convicted of inciting violence against homosexuals has announced his resignation after four decades at the post.

“Today is my last service as your bishop,” 81-year-old Bishop Amvrosios told his congregation yesterday.

“Tomorrow I will submit my resignation, I’ve been with you for 41 years. I need to look after myself”.

Bishop Amvrosios, whose name is Athanassios Lenis, in 2015 labelled gay people the “dregs of society” and called on his followers to “spit on” them in a written address.


He was charged with public incitement to violence and abuse of ecclesiastical duties, but was originally found not guilty and released by a court in the western town of Aigio in March last year.

The case was the first of its kind in Greece involving a representative of the influential Orthodox church.

Prosecutors appealed the original verdict to the criminal court in Aigio which in January handed down a seven-month suspended sentence.


The bishop has been known to publicly appear alongside leaders of Greek neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn and his original acquital sparked criticism from human rights groups. — AFP