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New York Gov. Andrew CuomoDiana Robinson / Flickr

NEW YORK CITY, October 25, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew's representatives, known as “Archons,” bestowed the church's highest lay honor on one of the country's most notorious promoters of abortion, same-sex “marriage,” and transgender bathrooms in schools.

Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate led by Archbishop Demetrios presented the Athenagoras Human Rights Award to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on October 15 at the New York Hilton.

Once again, those who lead the Greek Orthodox Church have proved with a “humanitarian” award that in their overriding quest to be approved by Caesar they couldn't care less about the most vulnerable in humanity.

The award is in recognition of Cuomo helping the Greeks get through bureaucratic red tape to rebuild St. Nicholas Church, which had been destroyed in the terrorist attack of 9/11. The Archons' website explains that he was “the instrumental person in the process of securing an agreement with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey regarding the rebuilding and resurrection of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at the World Trade Center.”

The irony is Cuomo’s outspoken support for abortion and transgenderism.

Cuomo's record on life is aptly described by Bill Donohue of the Catholic League as a “lust for abortion rights.” He championed legislation legalizing a mother to abort her child via poison injected through her and into the baby’s heart. In Cuomo's state, a woman can abort her children up until birth, for any reason, because the New York legislature allows anything construed as “relevant to the well-being of the patient” as justification.

But Cuomo isn't satisfied with unrestricted abortion on demand. Cuomo went so far as to create a new third party in New York State, dubbed the “Women's Equality Party,” for the express purpose of promoting, expanding, and tax-funding Cuomo's late-term abortions program.

Cuomo’s “lust for abortion” is summed up in remarks he made in an interview on WCNY, where he characterized those who believe in the preborn's “right to life” and those who believe in natural marriage as “extreme,” and said such pro-life and pro-family citizens “have no place in the state of New York, because that's not who New Yorkers are.”

Think about that for a moment. A governor who says pro-lifers “have no place” in his state. As one Orthodox Christian website asked, “Can you believe what would happen if the governor of a Republican majority state said that pro-abortionists have no place in his state?”

Besides the mass slaughter of the innocent, Cuomo is one of the nation's leading champions of sodomy. Before the U.S. Supreme Court constitutionalized same-sex “marriage,” he was instrumental in the passage of a bill making his state one of the first to give full legal recognition to homosexual “marriage.” Cuomo proudly led off the gay pride parade after signing the anti-marriage, anti-family bill into law.

Describing anyone who disagrees with his promotion of homosexuality as healthy and normal, Cuomo told a New York Times forum, “There is no answer from the opposition. There really isn’t. Ultimately, it’s ‘I want to discriminate.’ And that’s anti-New York. It’s anti-American.”

The governor even criminalized counselors helping minors overcome unwanted same-sex attraction. Mischaracterizing Christians who want to help the same-sex attracted as “misguided” and “intolerant” and “hateful,” Cuomo made insurance coverage for reparative therapy for minors illegal in New York State. 

“We will not allow the misguided and the intolerant to punish LGBT young people for simply being who they are,” Cuomo stated, ignoring biologically created reality.  “Conversion therapy is a hateful and fundamentally flawed practice that is counter to everything this state stands for.”

Last year, Cuomo became the first politician to force upon the public transgender accommodation laws by executive fiat. Bypassing the state legislature, he forced what he called “sweeping” changes by issuing an executive decree adding gender self-identity to protected classes in the workplace, the housing industry, public services and facilities, public and private retail stores, hospitals, education and recreation facilities, rental establishments, and other businesses.

He even commanded private health insurance providers to offer coverage for “sex change” genital mutilation, calling transgender hormones and surgery “medically necessary” and making it illegal for insurers to deny it as a “treatment” for “gender dysphoria.”

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When North Carolina overruled a transgender Charlotte city ordinance and required bathrooms and intimate facilities be gender separate, Cuomo decreed a travel ban for state employees to North Carolina. (Meanwhile, Cuomo went on a trip to communist Cuba with state business leaders to promote trade with that country.)

So goes Cuomo's pro-death, anti-religious freedom, pro-sodomy, anti-marriage, pro-transgender, anti-family record. As Orthodox Christian leader Josephus Flavius stated, he is “not just a tacit accepter of abortion, but a man who pushed hard for late-term abortions (poison, mutilation, and dismemberment of our young in the womb).”

And yet “Archon National Commander” Dr. Anthony Limberakis proudly evaluated Cuomo “most worthy to receive the Athenagoras Human Rights Award.”  The award is supposed to be presented to someone who “has consistently exemplified by action, purpose and dedication concern for the basic rights and religious freedom of all people.”  Really?

The award is supposed to be only for those “of proven Orthodox Christian character, who conform faithfully to the teachings of Christ and the doctrines, canons, worship, discipline, and encyclicals of the Church.” Really?

In bestowing the award, Archbishop Demetrios praised Cuomo, proclaiming him “AXIOS!  AXIOS!  AXIOS!” “Worthy!  Worthy!  Worthy!”  If Demetrios was genuinely true to Christ’s Gospel, he would proclaim Cuomo “ANAXIOS!” “Unworthy!” and for the sake of his salvation would call him to repentance.

Many Orthodox clergy and laity have raised concerns over leaders honoring someone whose entire career stands for and defends the killing of babies in the womb.

“Giving a human rights award to Gov. Cuomo is like giving a responsible motherhood award to Madonna. It just doesn't work,” Father Johannes Jacobse of the American Orthodox Institute quipped. “Cuomo is one of the most aggressive abortion defenders in politics today. His defense of the abortion industry is relentless.”

“Moreover, the Greek Orthodox leadership exhibited a nearly complete absence of discernment in giving the award,” Fr. Jacobse told LifeSiteNews. “Are they groveling or just star-struck by powerful politicians? It's hard to tell, but many see it that way, including Orthodox Christians angered by this action.”

Jacobse concluded that bestowing Cuomo with the Orthodox humanitarian award only diminishes the influence of genuine Orthodoxy across the nation. “Earlier this summer, the Gallup organization issued poll results that showed confidence in religious leaders is in serious decline,” he said. “Giving a human rights award to Gov. Cuomo erodes that confidence even more.”

Commenting on the photo of Archbishop Demetrios giving Cuomo the award, George Michalopulos noted, “He is positively enraptured at being in this odious man’s presence,” and asked, “Is this what a Christian witness is? Did John the Baptist look that way in the presence of Herod Antipas? The Prophet Elijah when he dressed down King Ahab? Is it any wonder that Orthodoxy isn’t taken seriously in America?”

Peter Millman pointed out, “The canon lawyers of the Catholic Church have stated that … Gov. Cuomo must not receive Holy Communion, and here we see Archbishop Demetrios acting like a fawning sycophant.”

Maximus commented, “Why would authentic 'successors of the Apostles' endorse a man that supports the sacrifice of innocents made in the image of God?  This is utterly shameful.”

Peter A. Papoutsis called it a “betrayal of the Gospel.”

“It is a reprehensible disgrace and embarrassment that we have bishops who do this,” Father John Peck told LifeSiteNews, “and it tells you everything about those bishops as Christian leaders.”

“We need … men of true faith who were not scared to stand up to evil, even if it meant not only their throne, but their lives as well,” Dino wrote, adding that Archbishop Demetrios should “advise these politicians to a path of salvation, not damnation!”

“It must be understood that the primary agenda of the GOA is not the proclamation and living of the Gospel but rather the proclamation and living of the Greek-American success story,” John Kal explained. “Yes, lip service is given to the Gospel, but the real agenda is different.”

Kal commented that giving the humanitarian award to public figures “demonstrates that Greek-Americans have arrived and are a significant part of the American landscape.”  He noted that Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew makes “individuals who seldom or ever attend liturgy” into his honorific representative “Archons of the church because they are prominent/successful Greek Americans, not because they are faithful Orthodox Christians.”

“Money talks in the GOA. Upholding and demonstrating the Greek-American image is primary, not Jesus the Christ,” Kal concluded.

The Roman Catholic Church has been criticized for communing those who not only openly defy Church teaching and promote soul-destroying sin.  Unfortunately, the Catholics are not alone.

“Archons” vow to “defend and promote the Orthodox Christian faith and tradition,” and to promote “the human race's inalienable rights wherever and whenever they are violated.”  How this supposed solemn commitment is violated by publicly honoring a politician who supports abortion –the anti-thesis of Orthodox Christian morals– is ignored.

Not surprisingly, in accepting the Greek Orthodox humanitarian award, Cuomo made no mention of his part in the abortion genocide of the most vulnerable human beings on earth.