Anthimos, the senior Greek Orthodox cleric in Thessaloniki, on Wednesday once again publicly criticized a planned gay pride parade, saying he has collected 20,000 signatures against the “sinful” event.
“I have in my possession a big file with verified signatures of 20,000 Greek citizens, men and women, who want this event to be cancelled by all means,” the Thessaloniki Bishop said of the festival which is scheduled to take place on June 14 and 15.
“If it is not cancelled, they cannot guarantee that nothing will happen,” he added.
Anthimos, who is known for his outspoken speeches on social and political issues, said the city must not “advertize a sinful event.”
“We do not want people like that,” he said adding that “nudity is a crime.”
In comments made last week, Anthimos attacked Thessaloniki Mayor Yiannis Boutaris for giving permission for the rally. He also urged the city’s Orthodox Christian residents to avoid any manifestation of violence and to merely state their strong objection to the event which he described as “shame, a provocation, and a sign of corruption.”