EDITOR’S NOTE (Nick Stamatakis). In this very interesting piece of news a clearly scandalous situation is presented: a prominent priest’s presbytera keeps participating for the past few years in “pride month”.   You can read a well stated argument why such an act is NOT part of the Orthodox Church’s teaching.  Meanwhile, would Met. Alexios take some position on the issue – if not some action? 


Mari Iakovou Mars Proudly and Publicly Celebrates LGBTQ Pride Month

Mari Iakovou Mars Proudly and Publicly Celebrates LGBTQ Pride Monthby Jennifer Davis –
As she has done in previous years, Presbytera Mari Iakovou Mars is enthusiastically, proudly and publicly celebrating and promoting homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer pride for LGBTQ Pride Month this year also.

On her Facebook page, on June 2, 2021 Mars wrote:
“Happy pride, y’all!!! To all my LGBTQ+ family, friends, and clients: I see you, I love you, and I will never stop fighting for you.”

Mars is the wife of an active Orthodox priest in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (GOAA).

Mars, Presbytera Mari Marilisse, is married to Fr. Christos P. Mars who currently serves at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Atlanta, Georgia. Fr. Mars is a prominent Presbyter of the GOAA: he’s Vice-President of the Metropolis of Atlanta Clergy Syndesmos and President of the Atlanta Orthodox Clergy Brotherhood.

On June 3, 2021, Presbytera Mars followed up her Happy Pride message, with another Facebook post celebrating Pride Month. The rainbow graphic she shared publicly contained this message:

“with june being pride month, i wanted to take the occasion to clearly say this:
i unhesitatingly & wholeheartedly support my lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, and queer friends, their rights, their marriages, their pursuit of happiness and their breath.
this is also true july thru may.”

Mari Iakovou Mars Celebrates LGBTQ Pride 2021

In 2020, Presbytera Mars similarly promoted and honored LGBTQ Pride Month with this “Happy Pride to everyone” post:
Mari Iakovou Mars Celebrates LGBTQ Pride 2020

In 2019, Presbytera Mars also celebrated and paid tribute to LGBT Pride Month:

“Breaking my hiatus just long enough to say HAPPY PRIDE!!!!!!!!
To my LGBT+ friends, it takes a remarkable amount of courage and strength to move through the world every day saddled with the struggle you endure – the fight for your rights, the objectifying “discourse” (especially in religious circles), the threats of physical violence, the shaming, the isolation, the shunning, the hiding, the forced silence, the forced celibacy, the lack of control over your bodies and your lives, the lack of choices…
I admire you. Deeply. I honor your courage and strength. I respect your autonomy. I hope with you. I fight with you. I listen with no judgment. And I love you – with no conditions or expectations, no gate-keeping, no requirements to pass. Just love.
I wish you a Happy Pride filled with peace, tranquility, joy, and love.”
Mari Iakovou Mars Celebrates LGBTQ Pride 2019

Coming from the wife of an Orthodox priest these posts are extremely inappropriate. They scandalize the Orthodox Church.

Mars is free to express herself in any manner she likes. But, she is also a Presbytera and holds a visible, privileged and influential leadership position within the Greek Orthodox church. When she repeatedly contradicts the Orthodox Church teachings and theology on human nature and biology, sexuality, sin, marriage and family, Mars makes a mockery of the Orthodox Church and the GOAA hierarchy.

Gail Sheppard, a frequent contributor to the Monomakhos blog, summarized the scandalous situation Presbytera Marilisse (Mari Iakovou Mars) has caused with her zealous support of LGBTQ ideas that defy the unchanging teaching of the Orthodox Church (see Comments area):

It was scandalous because a woman, married to a priest in our Church, either knows next to nothing about the Orthodox Faith or has chosen to speak against it. That she is “nice” is immaterial. A lot of people are “nice.” But a Presbytera, at the very minimum, should be able and willing to support the Church.
It is NOT Church teaching:
(1) To define people by their struggle. One person’s struggle does not take more or less courage and strength than another’s.
(2) To be concerned with a person’s rights. We are taught to respect our civil authorities in all things, regardless of whether or not our “rights” are impinged upon.
(3) To be concerned with objectifying “discourse.” We are taught that like Christ, we will be humiliated, spit upon and called all manner of things. There are people in other parts of the world who are dying for the Faith. The words of this matushka should be reserved for them. Not people who choose to live a non-Christian lifestyle and flaunt it in a parade.
(4) To argue against celibacy when it concerns sex outside of marriage.
(5) To say that people should have complete control of their bodies. The Church teaches us that God created us man and woman and we are to honor that.
(6) To indicate we should have choices over the way we live. To be a Christian, there is but one choice: to accept and struggle toward leading a Christian lifestyle.
(7) To suggest one should have autonomy. We are taught when we enter the Church, we lose our autonomy to become part of the Body of Christ. Because our sin negatively impacts our brothers and sisters in Christ, we are expected to live our lives in a way that honors and serves others, not ourselves.
(8) To say there are no conditions, expectations or requirements. To live a sacramental life in the Church, there are many of both.

While her husband serves at the altar and she benefits from the honor, authority and influence that her status as Presbytera conveys, Mars willingly propagandizes the LGBTQ agenda and fuels outright rebellion inside the Orthodox Church. Her words and actions can sway many innocent and confused souls, particularly impressionable children, teenagers and young adults who trust and can be easily manipulated by those in positions of authority, especially the wife of an Orthodox priest.

Shamefully, all the GOAA bishops and metropolitans have ignored Presbytera Mars’ many scandalous comments and have never challenged or denounced her outrageous public posts. The entire hierarchy of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America remains silent and complicit in this travesty, for the third year in a row.

Mari Iakovou Mars Proudly and Publicly Celebrates LGBTQ Pride Month


  1. This is shameful and disgusting!! I am positive that the higher up are afraid to touch that for fear of being sued. Shameful for an Orthodox Christian!

  2. What are we expecting from the others,
    when the head of our church in America
    had Services at st. Bartholomew Episcopal
    church and the gay flag was haling in front
    of the church.

  3. O.K. Rantings have been going on for 3 years out of Atlanta Metropolis- kai molis tora ta mathenomen? Tis dosanai tria hrona na halasi ti koinonia tis Atlantas? Giati?

  4. Gross. This poor choice for wife of a priest needs to be Divorced!

    This brainwashed, typical, liberal female is prototype of Why women are told to stay silent in the church.
    Now we get it

    • Translation for Larissa’s comment: “(These things are going on in Atlanta for three years). And we are learning them just now? They gave her three years to destroy Atlanta’s society?”

  5. Time for this priest to step down. His wife’s misguided words and actions are evidently driven by her vain desire for publicity and self-promotion (note her mention of “clients”), with no regard for the beliefs of practicing Orthodox Christians in his diocese. If one does not share and fully believe in the precepts of a particular religion, by all means change to another. No reason exists to blatantly denigrate the beliefs of our faith in order to be “relevant” or “modern”. Many heresies were modern in their day. Also sad to be witnessing the normalization and promotion of psychological confusion.

  6. Anna– Do we know if his beliefs are similar to hers? Anyone know why the “crickets” from Alexios? Can we e-mail him bigly? Today? Everyone?
    Helleniscope– thank you for the translation– I humbly admit you did a much better job than I

  7. Cough, cough, gasping for air!
    IDK…What does this also say about Mari’s husband Fr. Christos Mars? His choice of mate/wife, his actions, lifestyle, choice of friends, beliefs/tolerances toward same public issue as the wife displays…Apple probably doesn’t fall far…

    Our educational system has obviously failed in teaching everything across the board. I’m not sure Theology school is any better…We are all fallen to sinful nature…
    Yet, what I don’t understand is why the GOAA continues to stay mum on everything social topic of importance? The church has lost the backbone and moral compass and teachings of Christ.

    At this point, why bother even going to the GO church at all when the corrupt Archdiocese can’t even vet their own hiring and promoting Priests in general regardless of rank or position. And, when you become filled with ideas based in Theology instead of the Holy Spirit, you lose the ability to see what one can not see right in front.

    Some may call what we are witnessing as a “revolution” of sorts, I’m seeing all of this as a REVIVAL. A CHRISTIAN REVIVAL! Don’t let Satan convince you that we are losing the war. When in fact, it’s just the opposite! We are called to pray and pray fervently for Christ to move in all circumstances and all mountains and valleys.

    Lord Jesus, we submit to you with humility of what is beyond our control. Please forgive us for our sins and transgressions and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil trying to destroy life itself in this temporal fallen world in which we live.

    Lord with the authority you have given each of us as Christian believers and disciples, we command the demonic evil forces ruling the current secular events taking place to be banished in Your holy name Jesus Christ.

    Lord we continue to pray for the salvation of those unsaved and unknown to You that they may draw close to you no matter what circumstances. Lord we pray for all Christians who are being persecuted because of our faith and love in You. We are unworthy of the unmerited grace You have extended to us as the body of Christ yet, You will never forsake us. Lord with gratitude and love as Your humble servants we pray with praise to You, our Almighty King and Savior. Amen.

  8. How RUDE to use her role as presbytera to being down the church with her brainwashed leftism, her true religion.
    Her flaky priest husband needs to fire her & Fr. Mars should be defrocked.

  9. Mars and Marsette are a symptom of a larger problem and that is a celibate hierarchy. These seminarians are forced to marry in order to be ordained (or remain celibate and embrace sodomy) and, looking back through the years, scores of young priests have made bad decisions for themselves and their spouses.

    Reform thoughts: Married clergy (even after ordination), those divorced properly can remarry, and a married hierarchy allowable.

    You would have a much better echelon of clergy, period. And fewer Marsettes.

  10. Glorifying homosexuality & all other assorted sexual deviancy by hanging gay flags?

    even John Cats radio show is “celebrating” gay pride month?!
    John Cats is part of Orthodox Church yet doesn’t respect tenets of the Faith; this Rino is beyond painfully shallow.

    Please tell me: What’s to celebrate?

    Weren’t we taught Pridefulness is sinful?
    Why not also hang flags to glorify & excuse Adultery?
    why not a flag for child molesters?
    Or flag for murderers, thieves, evildoers?

    John Cats I promise you, would kiss up to them too if it meant more business $$$

  11. I am a devout follower of the Elder Paisios, whose basic tenet of deep humility is no way being followed by these “pride pushers.” Time for someone-somewhere to speak out–these flags violated our beliefs and the Elder’s teachings. We should read his books– and tune out those who are purging hundreds and thousands of people from church attendance. Let’s stay in church and speak out.

  12. A husband is responsible for his wife, as stated in the Orthodox wedding service. This encouragement of “pride” cannot be tolerated in Orthodoxy. Marriage is between one man and one woman. Pride is a sin, and so is sodomy – a pernicious sin advocated for through “pride.”

    This priest needs to get his presbytera under control or step down.


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