Met. Kallistos Ware Comes Out for Homosexual “Marriage”

Kallistos Ware Comes Out for Homosexual Marriage pro LGBT In the latest issue of The Wheel magazine (edited by notorious pro-homosexual activist Inga Leonova and other pro-LGBT activists) Bishop Kallistos Ware bemoans the unfair and “heavy burden” the Orthodox Church places on homosexuals and criticizes the “defensive and reactive” manner in which the Orthodox Faith deals with homosexual sin.

Writing the Foreword for the Spring/Summer 2018 edition of The Wheel, Ware questions the Orthodox Christian teaching regarding sodomy and homosexual relationships, places erotic desire between a man and a woman on the same moral level as homosexual eroticism, accuses the Church of being obsessed with “genital sex,” criticizes the call to celibacy for those who struggle with same-sex attraction, and appears to advocate for the acceptance of same-sex couples into the sacramental life of the Church.

Ware equates normal erotic desire between men and women with depraved homosexual erotic desire. He then proceeds to criticize the “heavy burden” the Orthodox Church places when counseling others to abstain from sodomy and other sinful homosexual behaviors:

Persons of heterosexual orientation have the option of getting married, and so in a positive way they can fulfil their erotic desire with the Church’s blessing through the God-given sacrament of holy matrimony.

But homosexuals have no such option. In the words of Vasileios Thermos, “A homosexual subject is called to lead a celibate life without feeling a vocation for it.” Are we right to impose this heavy burden on the homosexual?

Ware also writes that monogamous sodomy by homosexuals “committed to a permanent relationship” is preferable to promiscuity and hence the Church should make a distinction in how it treats such “married” couples:

A second anomaly is to be found in the way homosexuals are commonly treated in the sacrament of confession. All of us recognize that there is an important distinction to be made between those homosexuals who engage in casual encounters, seeking out in some “gay” bar a partner for a single night; and on the other hand, those homosexuals who are committed to a permanent relationship, faithful and monogamous, in which deep love is involved. Surely no Christian is in favour of sexual promiscuity.

What happens, by contrast, to the faithful and monogamous homosexual? Perhaps the priest says in confession, “Are you willing to give up your homosexual relationship?” The penitent may answer, “I cannot do that.” The priest may rejoin, “You can continue to share a common life, marked by mutual affection; but will you abstain from further sexual activity?” The other may well reply, “I am not yet ready to undertake that.” (Yet I have known homosexuals who have indeed transformed their relationship in this way.)

The priest, faced with this refusal, may well feel that he cannot bless the penitent to receive the sacrament. Now here certainly is a paradox. The homosexual committed to a stable and loving relationship is treated more harshly than the homosexual who is casual and promiscuous, and who is seeking not true love but passing pleasure. Something has gone wrong here.

Furthermore, Ware criticizes the Church for being obsessed with “genital sex” and accuses Orthodox priests of being Peeping Toms if they are concerned about homosexual activity between same-sex individuals:

Why do we put so great an emphasis upon genital sex? Why do we seek to enquire what adult persons of the same sex are doing in the privacy of their bedrooms? Trying to gaze through the keyhole is never a dignified posture. What harm are they doing to others? (“Ah!” it will be said, “they are doing harm to themselves.”) I am not suggesting here that we should bluntly set aside the traditional Orthodox teaching, but we do need to enquire more rigorously into the reasons that lie behind it.

Finally, Ware blames the Orthodox for being “defensive and reactive” and admonishes them to “experiment” in order to find “truth” and discover more “theological treasury” that apparently remains undiscovered regarding homosexuality:

In the words of Brandon Gallaher, “To ascertain the truth we must experiment.” And as Vasileios Thermos maintains, “Our theological treasury . . . is waiting to be discovered.” Let us not as Orthodox be merely defensive and reactive, “running after the facts,” as he puts it; but let us listen to one another with creative courage, with mutual respect and, more than that, with (in his own words again) “loving compassion.” Let us acknowledge, moreover, the variety of paths that God calls us human beings to follow.

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63 thoughts on “Met. Kallistos Ware Comes Out for Homosexual “Marriage”

  1. The roots of the beliefs and attitude of the OC actually go back to the OT which in so many ways is the foundation of the NT, and which beliefs have not been changed by Jesus Christ.

  2. The Orthodox Church does not burden Sodomites, God and Jesus Christ does that. Fr. Ware has entered into apostasy with his statement.

    More is the pity.

  3. Actually a brave and timely piece from Bp. Kallistos – at least for opening the debate of homosexuality (practised or not) within the Church; while many communities and commentators spend so much time attacking the LGBTXYZ movement for their celebration of assumed sin, it’s easy to forget that many are indeed moral and faithful members of our church, and those who aren’t are pushed away by toxic attacks that belong to the likes of the Westboro Prots.

    Same-sex marriage and promoting sexual relations, however, is of course absolutely out of the question.

    • How can one be a “moral and faithful member of the Church” if one is engaging in immoral sexual behavior in contrast to what God has designed? True love (agape) for another’s soul is to exhort and advise those in sin. (I Corinthians 5; Ezekiel 33: 7-9)

      • Can the same not be asked of all of us brother? If we look deep into our hearts at our own sins which one of us can say we are truly faithful and moral Servants of the church? Are we not each and everyone of us guilty of something? And yet we go to church and yet we go to confession and yet we go to God on bended knee tear-filled eyes begging for forgiveness. I will agree with the bishop on one thing we must address this topic with humility and love our culture has become so for lack of a better term hate-filled when it comes to this particular topic but we forget Sin is Sin weaknesses weakness all are equal in that they all must be dealt with from a point of love compassion and as best as possible understanding. Do I support all of what he says not necessarily but we must not give in the bitterness when discussing this topic. One more thing how often do we quote scriptures that reflect our personal sins ? it’s very easy to reference scripture when referring to homosexuality or the like but how often do we publicly put to scripture to say this is where I’m failing this is my sin this is my weakness in this age where porn is so abundant how many of us Afflicted with this addiction will the reference scripture to attack our own sicknesses? May all who read this go in peace and may God help us all.

  4. some clergy have advocated civil unions for homosexuals and he is not in disagreement with that attitude but he is conflicted with the teaching of St. Paul who wrote about this abomination of men going to bed with men for sexual pleasure.

  5. some clergy have advocated civil unions for homosexuals and he is not in disagreement with that attitude but he is conflicted with the teaching of St. Paul who wrote about this abomination of men going to bed with men for sexual pleasure.

    • But heterosexual’s restraint is different. They only need restrain until the sacrament of marriage. In that moment, their love and shared anatomical experiences becomes validated in the Lord’s eyes. In asking for this restraint from homosexuals, you’re asking for a complete suppression of love for the enteriety of a life.

      • Concerned: False. Those heterosexuals who take a vow of chastity do so until death. Also, not all Catholics find a spouse, and therefore will likewise be celibate for life. There is no difference in the restraint. You are 100% incorrect.

      • Every Christian is required to be celibate until marriage. Homosexuals are not special, they are not the only ones who will never get married. Handicapped people, mentally ill people, and even perfectly healthy people who do not measure up to society’s standards of attractiveness frequently have to live their lives unmarried. All must remain celibate.

        To riff off Saint Paul: Where temptation abounds, grace abounds more. Have some faith that our God is able to give strength to those who seek it, rather than coveting a relationship that they may not, or will not, ever have.

        In response to one of Met. Kallistos’ points about the Rite of Second Marriage not seeing much use: in the Antiochian Archdiocese it is required to use the Rite of Second Marriage in every subsequent ceremony, with the only exception being if it is the first marriage for one of the spouses and he/she is Orthodox.

  6. He is not opening debate. The debate has been raging for years and Kallistos Ware knows that. He adds nothing new but is simply an advocate for serial sodomy. Nothing Christian in that.

  7. What misleading commentary on this blog. I read the forward by Met. Kallistos (an excellent Orthodox hierarch whose books are great guidance to enquirers) I was not aware of the publication, it seems that their current issue discusses homosexuality, possibly in a not strictly Orthodox way.

    I think the Metropolitan makes it clear that he does not agree with everything written, but poses some questions and makes an opening to such people so they can have a discussion. It is not an endorsement at all. I see a wise opening so they can come and talk to him or their priests. It looks appropriate for the audience.

    And also, it’s courageous in the sense that he risks what exactly happened – that people will freak out – but has enough guts to do that so that he can try and communicate with people outside the sacramental order, and have a chance to bring them to repentance. Not at all an endorsement. Rather, your write up is slanderous and the motivation suspect

    • Thumbs up. I agree. The forward posses a lot of questions, and possible avenues of exploration without endorsing the lifestyle. Shameful response to Met. Ware’s attempt to reach a compassionate hand out to the lost in the dark.

    • thank you, yes! Conversation doesn’t mean a rejection of tradition, but we have to learn to pastorally deal with this new cultural reality, and we can’t do it if we shame everyone who speaks about it.

    • Perhaps you have not been exposed to the homosexuality debate as it has raged in other Christian denominations, but this is how it ALWAYS begins.

      I’m just asking questions… Be open to other perspectives… Let’s have a conversation…

      Nip it in the bud NOW. This is a Pandora’s Box that does not need to be opened.

  8. One error here is that of identifying people as “homosexuals”. I have read that this term was only coined by psychiatry in the mid-nineteenth century. Up until then it was homosexual behaviour that was condemned, not labelling the whole person as such.
    People with a homosexual proclivity should be treated on their merits (demerits), i.e. like other people – extra-marital sex. promiscuity and homosexual acts are sinful and this should not be made light of. Love between people of the same sex, even co-habitation, was not so much frowned upon in centuries gone by, though sexual activity may or may not have occurred, a matter for the individual and his confessor. It is a very modern idea that one is defined by ones sexual predilections and our forebears seem to have been less obsessed by sexual activity, certainly in public.
    I am disappointed by Met. Kallistos new(?) position. He seems to have become more “liberal” with age and one wonders whether he is in his dotage. Perhaps he should be retired before he undoes much of the good that he has done in the past.
    Let us maintain what the Church has proclaimed for millenia. Leave identity politics out of it.

    • This is a very astute and accurate statement, thank you Dr. Ward. As is the case with creeping modernism into the cultural marxist era, the trick is always with language, then … identity. Never forget that.

      Apart from this, and treating the rest of your post, I am inclined to be somewhat skeptical of the editing first (as mentioned in parentheses to start the post) and then of the analysis here, as a result. If it is closer to true than not, Metropolitan Timothy can and should be questioned to defend that position.

  9. Kallistos Ware been doing this kind of dialectical waffling for many years now, mainly with respect to the issue of women’s ordination. He may or may not have jumped the shark with this one, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that he does some day. Regardless, his waffling here only serves to give legitimacy to the LGBT cause, endangering the souls of many, and it’s a clear indication that the Orthodox Church is in real trouble. Here is a warning from a Continuing Anglican priest:

    http://northamanglican.com/the-continuing-anglican-communion/

    • The warnings in 2 Peter 2 are also applicable:

      2 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber. (2 Peter 2)

      18 For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. 19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage.

      20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning.

      21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.” (2 Peter 2)

  10. Dino,

    A couple of things. First that “journal’s” entire purpose is to undermine and change the church’s teaching on human sexuality. Publishing there is a statement all by itself. Second, There is nothing to discuss. There is nothing to dialog about anymore than there is about say committed incestuous relationships. The teaching of Scripture, the councils and the fathers is sufficiently clear on this issue. And homosexuality is just one of a thousand different fetishes. Why homosexuality should be privileged as to pastoral care in this way is incomprehensible. This is what betrays the article as a piece of subversion. Third, growing up in the Episcopal church it was fairly typical in the early days of that apostasy to see figures say they weren’t endorsing such things, but they were “exploring” and “questioning” and “dialoging” about it. When they got sufficient power, the “dialog” was over

  11. I cannot know what Bp Kallistos Ware really intended to say here, since we only have excerpts. It is however, in my understanding a pseudo-problem. For reasons such as these, early Christians delayed their baptism at the very end of their lives, rather than jumping into the font to find themselves unprepared to fight off temptations of the flesh and fall into sin. We would be pharisees in the fullest sense if we think that we are deserving of the Holy Sacrament of Communion when we are still in a state of sin. We were not given the choice in our infancy to wait for Holy Baptism until we were in an age to fully commit. The Church wanted to catch as many fish for Christ as possible. In the very least, no matter what our state of sin may be, we should give thanks to Christ that we were caught. In other words, we should at least understand that we are not always ready for the sacrament of Communion, because we do sin afterwards, and wait until the Lord comes to our rescue when He deems it is our time. We need to learn humility and patience and then perhaps pray.

  12. Why do homosexuals insist on joining the church, the Bible say we can’t accept it then go look for something else to belong to and no harm done to anyone . Like I hate chemistry I won’t go join pharmacy school and tell them you have to teach it in a different way. I can’t understand.

  13. The position on the Church on sodomy has two thousand plus years of tradition. Abstinence ie celibacy is the standard for all sex outside of marriage between a man and woman. The Church does not have the power to make licit that which God so clearly says is illicit. That doesn’t mean we lack compassion and we are all sinners. The fact is the law of God is just that.

    • Precisely Father Deacon! It is a sign of the times that men call evil good and good evil! May God have Mercy on us all, we sinners and especially all of us unworthy clergy!

    • It is amazing to see the outrage about the word “marriage” in the title (which correctly captures the gist of the totality of what Met. Kallistos wrote. He expresses his angst that homosexuals are “burdened” by the Church by not having the “sacrament of holy matrimony” and his praise of “faithful and monogamous homosexuals” and his comments regarding homosexuals who “share a common life, marked by mutual affection”, aka: MARRIAGE), but ZERO outrage about the fact that he distorts and contradicts the Church teaching and claims something is “wrong” with Her theology and practice!

      “Persons of heterosexual orientation have the option of getting married, and so in a positive way they can fulfil their erotic desire with the Church’s blessing through the God-given sacrament of holy matrimony.

      But homosexuals have no such option. In the words of Vasileios Thermos, “A homosexual subject is called to lead a celibate life without feeling a vocation for it.” Are we right to impose this heavy burden on the homosexual?” — Bp. Kallistos Ware

      • Sodomites are NOT monogamous, that’s impossible.

        Further, Sodomite marriage does not exist, it cannot exist.

        Yes, we are all sinners, however, that does not grant any dispensation to Sodomites. Leviticus commands us to deal with Sodomites harshly, it’s only our Christian reticence that curbs us from carrying out God’s sentence. Perhaps that’s our punishment, having to deal with a Sodomite ridden US government.

      • Every man on earth has the option of marrying a woman.
        Every woman on earth has the option of marrying a man.

  14. I doubt this is bshp Ware’s position. It contradicts the scripture.
    I am sure bishop Ware doean’r take such a perverted stand sincd he hasn’t entered the senelity period yet

  15. Well, first Anglicans, then Rome, now the Orthodox.
    While the ‘church’ may not have power to change things in practical terms….it is what it does.

  16. I latched onto this statement: “I am not suggesting here that we should bluntly set aside the traditional Orthodox teaching, but we do need to enquire more rigorously into the reasons that lie behind it.” We are all sinners, but who among us has the right to weigh one sin against another? I read through this quickly, i admit. Still, with the comments included, it seems individuals react too violently for one type of sin and less so for others. I don’t see any foul in researching the foundations of our beliefs, or in praying that God has mercy on any of us when we are seeking a more Orthodox Christian life.

  17. I would encourage all to read Met. Kallistos’s actual introduction, for if you do, you will see that certain quotations in this editorial are taken somewhat out of context. Met. Kallistos, like Fr. Thomas Hook in his book on same-sex attraction, is raising questions that need to be addressed within the Orthodox Church, not because, it seems to me, he is unsure of the answers, but because these questions are already being asked among the laity and NOT being responded to by the clergy. It is always good to have reasons for why we believe and act the way we do. That is the basis of apologetics, and Orthodox Christians need to be able to give reasons why they believe what they do. Simply saying tradition is not enough. Reasons for Tradition need to be given. We should never be afraid of the Truth.

    • Read it and the title of this post accurately captures the gist of the totality of what Met. Kallistos wrote and insinuated! He expresses his angst that homosexuals are “burdened” by the Church by not having the “sacrament of holy matrimony” and his praise of “faithful and monogamous homosexuals” and his comments regarding homosexuals who “share a common life, marked by mutual affection”, aka: MARRIAGE.

      “Persons of heterosexual orientation have the option of getting married, and so in a positive way they can fulfil their erotic desire with the Church’s blessing through the God-given sacrament of holy matrimony.

      But homosexuals have no such option. In the words of Vasileios Thermos, “A homosexual subject is called to lead a celibate life without feeling a vocation for it.” Are we right to impose this heavy burden on the homosexual?” — Bp. Kallistos Ware

      Pray tell, how does the Church alleviate this heavy burden it places on homosexual “couples” exactly, hmmm?

  18. It’s a really tragic, when old man after long years of ministry has suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith 🙁

  19. In reply to Nicholas above, the original paper by the Metropolitan is linked. It is not in fact as black as painted by the excerpts, though he could have been more explicit. Still, it is unfortunate that he should have written what he did as it almost begged misinterpretation.

    • We the faithful ought to demand that Met. Kallistos be explicit. It’s really not difficult to simply and flatly state the teachings of the Church that he is sworn to uphold.

      In my experience watching this debate develop in other Christian communities, it always begins with vague language and plausible deniability. And it only grows from there.

  20. I was shocked to say the least when I read this headline. I couldn’t believe that Met. Kallistos Ware would say such a thing. Being sensible, I immediately downloaded the Metropolitan’s forward and read it. It seemed clear to me that the Metropolitan did not in fact endorse any sort of gay marriage and in fact appeared to distance himself at least twice from some of the writers of the journal. Not to mention that the Metropolitan clearly stated that the Orthodox tradition condemns homosexual behavior. The Metropolitan’s comments appear directed at how pastoral care is employed when dealing with homosexual persons, not on any sort of dogmatic issue. Not being a pastor, I cannot imagine the complexities priests are faced with in the confessional. I applaud the Metropolitan for tackling these issues head-on. Shame on the editors of this blog for their lack of charity and dishonest headline.

  21. I think it’s too hasty to say he’s approving SSM. Nonetheless, we must accept the fact that it is the World, not the Church, that has the initiative. If we are having this conversation about SSM at all, it’s because the world around us demands it. The Church seems to have long lost the ability to put any demands at all upon the world. Furthermore, if we are having these discussions by entering into some sort of compromise, we must remember that in almost every case over the last hundred years or so, that compromise ends with some part of the Church’s teachings being altered or even dismissed. If you don’t think so, you need merely look at the Catholic Church over the last few decades for what happens when the goal is to ‘rethink our approach based on the world’s dictates.’

  22. “The Wheel Magazine” has done to this man what the fake news did and continues to do to Prsident Trump. Lies, lies and more lies. What do you expect from disgusting MDSD (mentally deranged sexual deviants)? The truth?

    • Well, if Met. Kallistos did not actually write that Foreword he should renounce it and/or issue a retraction. As it stands, the essay was written by him. We haven’t seen any proof he was not the author. We will gladly publish any evidence to the contrary.

  23. I can’t help but find it tiresome that every time a bishop or theologian offers a vague or slippery endorsement of “rethinking” the orthodox understanding of a Christian practice or doctrine, the first thing most people do is to point out that he hasn’t formally contradicted anything. Why is the benchmark for Christian witness in these contexts merely the absence of full-throated error?

    I fully understand, and even appreciate, the desire for men in Bp. Ware’s position to make outreach on issues frequently marked by dissent. I have no tolerance, however, for endless namby-pambyism where the absence of any clear statement in favor of or against anything whatsoever is mistaken for profundity. “Would that you were hot or cold! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth.”

    Bp. Ware’s foreword is wrongheaded not because it espouses error, but because it espouses nothing. “Marriage is good; but then again, a committed relationship is better than promiscuity.” “Confession is good; but then again, what a waste for one person to seek repeated forgiveness for heinous sins he doesn’t fully intend to avoid, when another person can’t seek forgiveness even once for slightly less heinous sins he fully intends not to avoid.” “It’s unfortunate that heterosexuals have been given an opportunity to exercise their lust in marriage but homosexuals haven’t.” (*Not actual quotes.)

    In the best interpretation of this foreword, it simply tries to be something for everyone, and it’s only successful at that insofar as it’s precisely nothing for anyone. And in the worst interpretation, this forward is an implicit endorsement of rejecting an orthodox understanding of human sexuality and the sacrament of marriage.

    For what it’s worth, I think the time is rapidly upon us when we should cease to presume that a bishop’s failure to plainly state Christian truth is because his adherence to the faith is presupposed. Rather, it may behoove the faithful to presume the opposite.

  24. Rev. Christopher,

    I speak as someone who seriously considered “Continuing Anglicanism” as an Episcopalian but came into Orthodoxy instead more than 20 years ago.

    Your right, Orthodoxy “is in real trouble”, in the sense that its contact with western “secularism and it’s sources” (as Fr. Matthew Baker of blessed memory put is so succinctly) is not going well. This contact with secularism is relatively new, and in many ways Orthodoxy is deeply naive about the foundations and thrust of secularism. A comment box is too small to even touch on all the diverse ways things are not going well.

    That said, there is an “on the other hand”. Met. Kallistos is in so many ways a half converted Anglican, and this is widely understood even among those of us that recognize his outsized contribution to Orthodox popularization and scholarship in the english language. As you rightly point out, he has never understood – never *believed* the theological anthropology that lies behind our normative moral tradition and our ecclesiology. He is also very much a modern, academic man and so he recommends the only thing he knows how to do: interrogate the Faith in that modern, academic “dialogue” methodology so as to force it to yield its “reasons” for its ascetical life.

    Met. Kallistos and everyone like him will fail (they have always failed) because the Faith does not give up its secrets (it’s “hiddenness” as St. Paul so often put it) to such a man, to this kind of very secular methodology. Even a cursory knowledge of the Scripture and the Fathers reveals that such methods are the vanity of this world.

    So…while you are correct in that Orthodoxy and the Faith are “in real trouble”, this has always been so. This world is always threatening us with faithlessness and death, but then we are not of this world. I lament the fact that men like Met Kallistos can not see the limits of the academic/secular tools they wield. Those of us in the Orthodoxy who see more fully the shape and character of western secularism could really use more men with the intelligence and talent of Met. Kallistos, but Providence wills what He wills.

    Met. Kallistos is but one of many “shallow and clumsy old men, who are the norm” as St. John Cassian so well puts it when he exhorts us not to allow them to lead us into faithlessness. I will leave you with this quote from Fr. Matthew Baker’s excellent essay “Neopatristic Synthesis and Ecumenism: Towards the “Reintegration” which everyone – Anglican and Orthodox alike should read no matter what you think you know about “ecumenism” and Patristics:

    “In a secularized academic context riveted by the political ideologies of “race, class, and gender”…The questions of “experience” and reason in theology – its sources, first principles and procedure – and the acceptable cultural “correlation” require a more rigorous and dogmatic-philosophical treatment. Orthodox theologians must deal not only with Western theology, but also with the sources of Western secularism with greater depth and care than has yet been shown…”

    Christopher Encapera

  25. We are talking about a particular sin, not a general statement that “everybody sins.” You cannot claim to be homosexual and live a monogamous life. It does not matter that you are monogamous. It is a sin to be a homosexual. If I were a pedophile but chose to live with a child and only love the child with my heart and not physically, would that be okay? Of course not. We cannot entertain living a monogamous life as a homosexual. That does not make sense. Hot and cold water cannot exist simultaneously. If you claim to be homosexual and want to be in the Orthodox Church, you must leave that lifestyle. That’s it.

  26. 22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it [is] abomination.
    (Lev.18:22)
    9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
    10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (1Co.6:9,10)
    13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood [shall be] upon them.
    (Lev.20:13)
    8 But we know that the law [is] good, if a man use it lawfully;
    9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
    10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
    11 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.
    (1Ti.1:8-11)
    18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
    19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed [it] unto them.
    20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
    21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
    22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
    23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
    24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
    25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
    26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
    27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
    28 And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
    29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
    30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
    31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
    32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
    (Ro.1:18-32)

  27. I have been considering becoming Orthodox for a number of years, but statements like this by senior clergy, and similar indications that Orthodoxy is going to “ordain” women as priests, make me wonder whether there is any point in ceasing to be Anglican?

    • Dr. Marsh,

      I understand the weight of your question. But I think you should just look to Jesus Christ, not the sinful followers, not the wolves in sheep’s clothing – just look to Christ, where is His true church that He established? Where are the sacraments? Don’t make the decision about our likes and dislikes, or even the other people around us, just be faithful to Christ in joining to the body He established, through thick and through thin, and be part of the faithful remnant within that.

    • The Orthodox Church will never ordain women priests, nor will it marry homosexuals. Both of these are impossibilities, because a woman cannot hold holy orders and two men or two women cannot be married to each other. But woe to those who would attempt to simulate a sacrament.

  28. I do not agree that homosexuality needs to be accepted since we are placing too much burden on that sin. BUT – and this is a BIG BUT – I do think many Orthodox, particularly priests, are being very unfair in how they treat homosexual vs. heterosexual sin. How many couples have been cohabiting leading up to their Orthodox marriage? How many Orthodox singles engage in premarital sex and continue to attend, partake of communion, get married without really repenting of it? I do think homosexuality is far more readily focused on with concrete consequences than heterosexuals are – and that is a real shame, because that is how we lead up to this confusion that results in thinking we are being somehow unfair to homosexuals in terms of Christian teachings and practices. It is not the homosexuals who are breaking marriage. It is the heterosexuals who have broken marriage and ground it up beneath their feet so that homosexuals truly can say, what is different between what we are doing and what you are doing?

  29. It’s also very strange that Kallistos Ware makes the assumption that we all agree that sexual promiscuity is somehow a greater sin than monogamous sexual sin. Both are sins, I do not agree, and do not know where in the Bible or Orthodox teaching it would be agreed upon that one sin is worse than the other.

    The second mistake is for him to suggest that it’s unfair that the promiscuous person who repents gets absolution more easily than the person who is involved in monogamous sexual sin and does not repent – absolution goes to whomever repents. Even if they continue to fail, if they are repenting, that is the path they must be on. The monogamous sexual person who won’t change or repent is not doing what it takes to receive absolution – he’s not repenting.

    Kallistos is completely missing this basic point – and if he’s bemoaning the fact that it’s supposedly harder for the monogamous person to repent, he doesn’t know that for sure – and either way, that’s not a judgement call for him to make, he is not judging according to his own human mind to make such a decision – it should just be based on do they repent? Are they going to try to change? Not any priest or bishop’s personal conclusions as to what sin is harder, what is harder to repent of, etc. If the monogamous sexual sinner is managing to not be promiscuous, that does not erase the lack of repentance for the sin that is being committed. If we all, for whatever sins, were going to be judged against whether our sins are harder or easier than other people’s sins as to whether we receive absolution and take communion, etc, that would result in such chaos.

  30. Metropolitan Kallistos is 84 years old. In recent years, while he has concentrated on issues of church politics which were no concern of his, he has signally failed to complete his lifetime’s work of translating the Greek Philokalia, assigned to him in the 1960s by his late spiritual father at the Monastery of St. John the Theologian at Patmos, of which he has been a monk since he first embraced Orthodoxy.

    Perhaps it is now time the Holy Synod at Constantinople did Kallistos the kindness of formally retiring him. I must say that if they decided to defrock him as well, I would not be signing any petitions for his reinstatement.

  31. No such thing as a “moral and upright member of the Church” that is a sodomite at the same time. Kallistos Ware is now an apostate, there can be no doubt about that.

  32. If the average layperson only knew how unabashedly rampant homosexual activity is among the clergy and monastics…

    • Time to expose these impostors and defrock them! Start naming names and demanding the bishops take action. This dark depravity needs to be brought into the light. The Church cannot tolerate such insanity in Her midst.

  33. What is the work of Satan is not in His Eminence’s stance but the fact of emphasis on gay over any other sexual perversions these days particularly the phenomenon of indulging in open-air sex in the most inappropriate of circumstances, something which can gravely harm vulnerable people who are forced to witness it without giving their consent to having to witness it. Most of the sexual perversions are straight ones with quiet gays being able to surpass depraved straights in morality. Satan gets us to go on about one thing just so that he gets his own way in the other thing and he gets his own way with homosexuality, too. At the end of the day, there are gays out there who are genuinely suffering in all of this and LGBT is certainly not representative of them as LGBT is fundamentally antiChristian and there is such a thing as the suffering gay Christian who believes what he has inherited through the fall is wrong but can do nothing about it any more than a Down Syndrome sufferer can do anything about that, or a human being can do anything about their own mortality. In time they will receive a resurrected body but for now they are mortal and we are all sinners.

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