An Orthodox bishop and Cyprus has become the target of ridicule after claiming that if a pregnant woman enjoys anal sex, that desire will transfer to the baby and it will become gay.
The Most Reverend Metropolitan Neophytos Masouras of Morphou, a bishop in the Church of Cyprus, made the claim at a public event at a primary school in June. His comments, which were captured by a video clip posted to YouTube, appear to attribute homosexuality to a lack of spirituality and weak relationship with Christ.
According to the bishop, the parents are to blame for “passing on” the “sickness” of homosexuality, reports Gay Star News.
He attributes male homosexuality to instances where the parents have engaged in anal sex or any “abnormal sexual contact,” saying that, according to Saint Porphyrios, the “desire” for anal sex gets transmitted to the child.
The Cyprus-based LGBTI rights group Accept mocked the bishop’s comments in a Facebook status post, labeled “feeling silly,” writing: “According to the Bishop of Morphou, gays are created if a straight couple, that happens to be pregnant, perform anal sex and only if the woman enjoys anal sex. Then if that occurs, such desires are transfer to the fetus. And of course, that is scientifically proven!! How are lesbians created?”
Subsequent video of that same event shows Bishop Neophytos making other outrageous comments, including that gay men have a unique “nasty smell,” reports PinkNews.
The bishop then told the audience at the primary school the story of “a very handsome young man” who visited a monk.
According to the story, the man walked by, prompting the monk to tell him to “stop what you’re doing.”
The young man questioned the bishop, who told him: “This sleeping around. You’ll catch something, a disease, and die young. You should repent. There is joy in repenting.”
“How do you know what I’ve been doing?” the man asked.
“God showed me,” replied the monk. “As you walked by me, you had a nasty smell. These acts you’re doing, laying with men have a specific stink which I recognize. This is how holy men receive information from God.”
According to the bishop, the young man was eventually “helped by his family’s prayers and stopped his acts.”
While it’s easy to find the bishop’s claims about homosexuality laughable, it underscores the lack of full LGBTQ equality on the island nation.
While Cyprus no longer criminalizes same-sex activity, has equalized the age of consent, and no longer bans gays and lesbians from serving in the military, the country’s current law does not recognize same-sex marriage.
Additionally, Cyprus lags significantly behind several other European countries when it comes to same-sex adoption and recognition of parental rights.