Romanian Orthodox Church confronts bishop's sex tape scandal

Romanian Orthodox ChurchPixabay

Romania's Orthodox Church leaders are meeting in an extraordinary session to deal with a sex scandal involving one of its bishops.

AP reports that the Bishop of Husi, Corneliu Barladeanu, is currently suspended after a video emerged which appeared to show him engaging in intimate acts with a male student.

The bishop says that the tape has been tampered with.

More than eight in 10 Romanians are members of the Orthodox Church and it has significant political influence.

This is the first time a sex scandal has been discussed at such a high level in the Church and comes at a time when homosexuality is being more openly talked about in Romanian society.

The Church, like other Eastern Orthodox Churches, remains conservative on the issue. It says it would still be investigating even if the tape involved a woman.

Church spokesman Vasile Banescu told the Associated Press: 'The message is that you should not be ordained if your moral behaviour does not meet church standards.' He said the Church would be stricter in the future over monks who broke the vow of chastity. Bishops are required to be monks in the Orthodox faith.

There are 53 bishops in the Romanian Orthodox Church, which is the second largest Eastern Orthodox Church in the world after the Russian Church.