26 August 2022

Timothy [Metropolitan Kallistos] WARE

 May the Lord remember his Episcopate.

His and my paths did quite often cross, although I would never claim him as a friend. 

Firstly, I knew him when he was a newly minted Orthodox layman, formed by his relationship with the Zernovs at Number One Canterbury Road in Oxford. This was on the occasion of my first visit there; Timothy had been a brilliant Greatsman and was now a resident student. Dr Z unloaded me onto him to be 'looked after'. Within those hospitable walls one found a culture firmly rooted in Orthodoxy but warmly open to 'ecumenical' dialogue ... the days of the dear old Eastern Churches Quarterly (the youthful Ware put together a complete run of the ECQ by rummaging in the Back Room of the Newman Bookshop) and of Sobornost; Sunday mornings spent with elderly emigrees ladies dressed in black and laden with jewels and prostrating themselves at the Greater Entrance.

These were days when, in the streets of Oxford, one could earn great kudos by mentioning the Cappadocian Fathers and Derwas Chitty (I was later to discover that Orthodoxy could be rather more fun when it had a Cypriot or even peasant dialect in South London along the Camberwell New Road).

Ware's subsequent journey into fashionable Liberalism was securely signposted by the changes he made, in successive editions of his popular Penguin manual on Orthodoxy, with regard to Contraception. He, personally, favoured the admission of Anglicans to the Sacraments of the Orthodox Communion.

When the Church of England was on its way towards the admission of Women to what it termed Episcopacy, the Orthodox and Catholic Churches in England were each invited to nominate a representative to the 'Traditionalist' Committee which eventually, in the cellars of Gordon Square, produced Consecrated Women. The English Catholic bishops gave us (God bless them: this was in the happy days before the oppressive miseries of Bergoglianity) Fr Aidan Nichols. Aidan was always present; always friendly; always the contributer of brilliant insights. I supported (unsuccessfully) his proposal that our volume be titled The Voice of the Bridegroom.

Fr Aidan put endless hours into our project, which eventually resulted in the Ordinariate. Bishop Kallistos, however, was clearly never completely comfortable with us. It was his view that the admission of women to major Orders was a matter upon which "The Church" had never passed judgement. It seemed to me very obvious that he was determined, for whatever personal reasons,  that the question continue to be regarded as 'open'.

He was on one occasion very voluble when I had been ... not quite accurately ... minuted as having speculated at the previous meeting (which he had not attended) that perhaps Orthodox Christianity did not need a strong Magisterium because it had such a strong notion of Tradition.

And he also once publicly attacked me because, when I had fulfilled the role of Celebrant at the Anglican Eucharist during an Ecumenical conference in Walsingham, I had included the Filioque. My naive assumption had been that if qua Anglican priest one had been asked to celebrate an Anglican Eucharist, that is what an Anglican should do.

But I simply adored his gentle, dignified English accent. It was skilfully crafted to identify him as a very good speaker of English in whose accent, nonetheless, one detected traces of an original foreignness. And I once heard him explaining a matter of Orthodox teaching, and concluding: "Well, that's our Orthodox teaching. Now perhaps you will tell me what you Anglicans believe." 

As if ...

He was just about as English ... I nearly wrote 'as Anglican' ... as they come.


Zephyrinus said...

Dear Reverend Fr. Hunwicke.

Thank You for this wonderful account of Timothy [Metropolitan Kallistos] Ware (R.I.P.).

It is most important to be able to understand (to a degree) what went on during the “revolutionary” times that you mention.

Also, sometimes amusing (in the nicest way).

May he rest in peace.

Archimandrite Gregory said...

Excellent assesment of him and his theology. Memory eternal.

Gregory said...

May his memory be eternal. Years ago I happened on a video of Met. Ware discoursing on the Transfiguration. At the time I was a Protestant and ignorant of anything mystical. He kept me spellbound. Years later, by then a tonsured Orthodox Reader (in part because of his books), I had the great privilege of hearing him speak at a Lutheran university. Now, as a Catholic layman, I find myself unsurprised at his thinking on ordination and other matters. Woe to those who sever their connection to Rome in the vain hope that “the East” is an unbreachable bulwark against Modernism. May his memory be eternal, but may his Liberalism be anathema.

Arthur H said...

Dear Father,
I will pray for the repose of the soul of Met. Kallistos.

You have put your finger on it. As Gregory observes, without the Magisterium, along with the other two legs of the stool, our seating is always uncertain.

And is it precisely ordination that all the "sexual revolution" is aimed at toppling?

Every 7 year old child in preparation for his First Holy Communion learns the theological truth that Grace builds on nature. Nature, in the case of ordination, has to do with the fact that God created Man male and female. Human beings are either one or the other sex, they do not have gender. And of course, anyone nowadays who would breathe such a scandalous statement is condemned as ... fill in the blank.

The evil one knows he can't do away with males and females, even though he is trying, because God won't let him, so he is trying to cast confusion, telling us through the "governments" that it is possible to change your "gender", and that males can give birth, etc. etc. The evil alchemy of "chimerae" in humans is an attempt to scuttle priestly ordination, by making the Sacrament of Holy Orders something that by right should be conferred on whoever or whatever gender of critter feels called to ordination.
And of course, there are such beings right now attempting to be ordained.

The old fact is that even a traditional female-type woman who, in her confusion, feels called to priestly ordination, isn't. At least not by God and the Mystical Body of Christ.

Even if the Pope and the Bishops and all the King's horses and all the King's men try to ordain other than a natural male from sunup until the cows come home, nothing happens, she is NOT ordained because she doesn't possess the nature of a human male. It's like water off a duck's back. Thank you, Father, and a happy St. Monica Day.

Neil Addison said...

I am a great admirer of Timothy Ware/Bishop Kallistos. I have 3 copies of his great work on 'The Orthodox Church' published in 1981, 1997 and 2015. In them I found the best explanations I have ever come across of the Theological disputes of the first 7 Ecumenical Councils. His book actually made me understand my own Catholic faith much more deeply than any Catholic work I had read. When I have visited Orthodox Churches in Cyprus or taken part in services with the Ukrainian Catholic Church his explanations about Orthodox worship helped me to participate and understand in a meaningful way.

No doubt he had his faults but across Christianity we could do with more writers like him who can explain complex and important issues in a meaningful way. May he rest in peace

Banshee said...

Feeling a longing for priesthood, as a way of starting to understand the difference between priests and a priestly people, or how best to pray for priests and encourage them, used to be pretty common for women religious. And they were okay with it, just like a lot of nuns felt a call to the mission fields that was fulfilled only in prayer, in this life. The impossibility or refusal was a clue about what to do about it instead.