Politicians and church leaders in Greece have condemned a retired Orthodox bishop's comments on rape.
Speaking in a local television interview, Metropolitan of the Orthodox Church, Chrysostomos of Dodoni said :
"A woman does not sit and get raped without wanting it." He then questioned the notion of rape itself, insisting that a woman cannot conceive without participation and consent : "There can be no conception as a result of rape."
The 83 year old who retired from active duty in 2011, added that he supported the Church's official position against abortion, but added that there should be no abortion even in the case of rape.
The Church of Greece's ruling body, the Holy Synod, condemned Chrysostomos' remarks as "unacceptable for an Orthodox cleric and offensive for human beings and especially for women and victims of rape.
"The treatment of women, without exception, as equal to men and their protection from any abuse are the Church of Greece's official position."
Greece's Education and Religious Affairs Minister Niki Kerameus tweeted :
"The Metropolitan of Dodoni's statement about rape is inconceivable and is to be condemned. It brutally insults society and does not agree with the position of the Church, which supports women victims of abuse and rape."
Vassilis Kikilias, Greece's Minister of Tourism, said the Bishop's statement is "a shame for all of us and slanderous for the Orthodox Christian faith and our Church."