News Local Attorney general: No grounds for criminal case against Morphou Bishop

Attorney general: No grounds for criminal case against Morphou Bishop

Attorney general Costas Clerides said on Monday he has found no grounds to bring charges for hate speech against Morphou Bishop Neophytos who caused a storm in June with remarks widely seen as anti-gay and misogynist.

Clerides had ordered a police investigation into the Bishop’s statements after a written complaint by Costas Gavrielides — former head of  the NGO Accept LGBTI and currently adviser to President Nicos Anastasiades on diversity.

Police found no grounds for a criminal case and forwarded their report to the attorney general who said that he agreed with police findings that the evidence does not  indicate a criminal offence.

The bishop came under fire for hate speech after he told an audience in Akaki that men are born homosexual if their mothers have — and enjoy — anal sex when pregnant with them.

He also said that homosexual men “emit an odour” and queried concern over the child victims of serial killer Nicos Metaxas by a society which condones abortion.

“Even though isolated references by the Bishop when answering questions are worthy of criticism and possibly of disagreement, his statements as whole, which did not have homosexuality as the central theme, and the explanations he gave in his statement as to the real meaning of the words and phrases he used with reference to the positions of the church and its elders do not constitute an attempt to incite violence or hatred because of gender orientation or sexual identity nor can they be described as hate speech within the meaning of the law,” the attorney general said.

The controversial statements were made during an open exchange on spiritual issues that was open to the public who posed questions on all issues and answers were given on the spot, Clerides noted.

“Spiritual leaders should avoid improvised, unprepared expression of opinions which can have other semantic interpretations beyond those espoused by the church on particularly sensitive issues such as homosexuality or which can be interpreted or misinterpreted or may not be immediately accepted by an audience which does not have the required knowledge or the actual positions of the church on the issue,” the attorney general concluded.

Read more


Top Stories

Limassol: Dead body found in warehouse

  A body has been found in the light shaft of a warehouse on Nicos Georgiou street in Limassol, philenews reports. It said the body was...

Holy Synod to allow weddings during pre-Christmas fasting period

As a result of Covid-prompted wedding postponements, the Holy Synod has decided to allow wedding ceremonies during the pre-Christmas fasting period this year until...

President to discuss phase 3 with scientific advisors on Tuesday

  The team of scientists advising the government on the coronavirus outbreak are due to hold a new meeting with President Nicos Anastasiades on Tuesday...

Cyprus deposits down, loans rise in April

  Deposits were down while loans were up in April 2020 according to data the Central Bank of Cyprus published on Friday. In particular, according to...

Rialto Theatre kick-starts the summer season on June 17 with drive-in cinema

The Rialto Theatre in Limassol has announced its upcoming rescheduled summer programme of events having incorporated Coronavirus safety measures. Events will take place at the...


Local cuisine: An introduction

Rich in fresh ingredients and tasty herbs, offers the very best of Mediterranean culinary delights. Head out to a tavern and feast on a...

Spiced lamb with beetroot salad and scented yoghurt

Lay the lamb on a tray, skin side down. Rub with crushed garlic, sprinkle with spices and ground pistachios, wrap in plastic wrap and...

Easy seafood pasta with white wine sauce

Ingredients: 2-3 tbsp olive oil 1 garlic clove, chopped 2-3 tablespoons of whipped cream 1/3 cup white wine 300g spaghetti, roughly broken 300-400g of...

Traditional salads that will blow your mind away

This traditional salads will make you actually love salads! Cyprus may be famous for souvla and kleftiko but if you try the traditional salads with...