Bishop Neophytos of Morphou. (Accept – LGBTI Cyprus)
38 academics from across the world have signed an open letter in support of a Cypriot bishop who claimed gay people exist because their mothers enjoy anal sex while pregnant.
The Church of Cyprus’ bishop Neophytos Masouras of Morphou made the surreal claim in June while speaking at a primary school in Akaki, Cyprus.
At the same event he also said that gay men have “a specific stink”. Government officials in Cyprus have called the comments “insulting” and “injurious”.
On August 1 the attorney-general of Cyprus instructed police to launch an investigation into whether the remarks constitute a hate crime. The investigation is due to be completed this week.
Bishop gave ‘a possible scientific explanation of homosexuality’.
The academics rushing to Masouras’ defence are all of of Greek origin and believe this investigation to be an attack against orthodoxy and faith.
They are based at universities in Greece, France, Germany, Australia, the UK and the US, with specialties ranging from dentistry, engineering, medicine, economics and theology.
The letter, seen by Cyprus Mail, reads: “The Bishop of Morphou gave a possible scientific explanation of homosexuality without offending individuals.
“For the church, all individuals are pictures of Christ therefore holy and beloved. Sin however is not acceptable because it destroys a person.”
They said the bishop had simply stated the obvious, what the church believes in and what society (in Greece and Cyprus) had accepted until a few years ago.
A bishop speaks with love, they claim, and is seeking to protect his flock. “In no way does this suggest an incitement to hatred or violence towards others!”
The academics also questioned where some saw the ‘offence’, ‘incitement of hatred’ or ‘racism’.
“We believe the orchestrated attack against Morphou wants to drag Cyprus’ justice system into criminal prosecutions… so as to frighten Prelates and the faithful not to speak the Word of God.”
‘Unnatural sex acts’ during pregnancy makes babies gay.
The ‘possible scientific explanation’ that Bishop Masouras gave for the existence of gay people is that homosexuality is ‘transmitted’ by parents to a child during anal sex.
He explained: “It happens during the parent’s intercourse or pregnancy. It follows an unnatural sexual act between the parents.
“To be more clear, anal sex. [Saint Porfyrios] says that when the woman enjoys that, a desire is created, and then the desire is passed on to the child.”
The outrageous claim went viral online, with many pointing out that it does not explain where lesbians come from.
But others didn’t see the funny side, pointing out that the bishop is in a position of influence and many people do believe such claims.