Bishop Ambrosios of Kalavryta and Aegialeia announced his resignation to parishioners during Sunday’s service in the church of the Dormition of Virgin Mary at the town of Kalavryta in the west Peloponnese.

The bishop has served the area for 41 years, standing as one of the longest-serving bishops of western Greece, however the 82-year-old told his parishioners that the time had come for him to step down, inferring age as a possible reason for his resignation.

He added that “our country is in danger and our faith is being besieged.”

His time as bishop has been marked with controversy as a result of ultra-conservative and homophobic statements he has made in the past.

READ MORE: Bishop Ambrosios found guilty of abusing office and hate speech

Earlier in 2019, the bishop was found guilty of abusing ecclesiastical office and inciting hatred due to rants made in 2015. He had advised people to spit on gay people. “Do not go near them! Do not listen to them! Do not trust them! They are damned members of our society,” Ambrosios had said.