Archbishop of Crete Evgenios addressed the controversial issue of same-sex marriage and child adoption in an interview he gave to local media outlet Crete TV, amid ongoing discussions in Greece regarding legislation surrounding these matters.

In contrast to other voices in the Church, the Primate of the Archdiocese of Crete, which is under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, took a gentler approach on the matter, stating “They are our brothers, they are people who have an orientation that I am not worthy to judge. Because my Christ told me not to judge so that I may not be judged.”

His Eminence Evgenios urged those who were unequivocally condemning same-sex attraction individuals to step back and consider their life circumstances, whether they had been abused at a younger age or had faced traumatic experiences as children. “They are more in need of love than anyone,” he added.

Specifically addressing same-sex marriage, he said, “I don’t like the use of the Church’s sacramental terms to describe similar matters outside of it. Marriage involves the union of heterosexual individuals. That is the family we know.” He added, “The state has the right to legislate for these people, but the church states its opinion; we will not change the Gospel.”

The archbishop, however, clarified that the institution of marriage within the context of the Church was only accepted as a union between a male and female, adding that “We [Church] love the sinner, but we do not accept the sin.”

“Diversity is not a sin,” he emphatically asserted at another point in the interview, saying “I have many LGBTQ individuals who come to me and confess, and I understand their sensitivity and why they have their uniqueness, and we love their uniqueness.”

Regarding the government’s plan concerning same-sex couples, he stated, “As a Church, we will see what will be submitted, when it will be submitted. From what I understand, there is a broad discussion, and the Church has the right to express its opinion.”

On the issue of surrogacy for same-sex couples, the Archbishop of Crete said that specialists should be involved in assessing their upbringing, as well as their spiritual and psychological well-being.