A three-judge court in the northern Peloponnese town of Aigio on Wednesday started hearing an appeal against the acquittal of Bishop Amvrosios of Kalavryta for inciting hatred, amid tight security.
The trial started after two prosecutors filed an appeal in March against an earlier decision to acquit the controversial cleric of inciting hatred of gay people and abusing his position in an online rant in 2015, commenting on a parliamentary debate on same-sex marriage.
“Do not go near them! Do not listen to them! Do not trust them! They are the damned members of society!” Amvrosios had written in reference to gay people, describing homosexuals as “monstrosities of nature.”
“They are psychologically and spiritually unwell! They are people with a mental disturbance,” he said.
Riot police were stationed outside the Aigio courthouse to prevent tension between supporters of the controversial cleric and gay rights activists.