Met. Kallistos Ware on the Ordination of Women and Blessing of Same-Sex Marriages

Kallistos Ware on Ordination of Women and Blessing of Same-Sex Marriagesby Fr. Ioannes Apiarius –
Excerpts from an August 2, 2008 interview with Bishop Kallistos Ware published on VirtueOnline. Fr. George Westhaver questioned Bishop Kallistos regarding the various topics discussed at the Lambeth Conference held in 2008. According to the Anglican Church, the Lambeth Conference “takes place approximately every ten years” and is attended by Anglican bishops from around the world and “presided over by the Archbishop of Canterbury” to address the issues of the day.

Among the topics raised were the issues regarding the ordination of women and the blessing of same-sex marriages by the Anglican Church, and the implications for the Orthodox and Catholic Churches.

Notice what Bp. Kallistos Ware said about the ordination of women to the priesthood and the blessing of same-sex marriages, and how he’s framing the issues. There is no disapproval on his part. He did not contradict the Anglican Church decisions, but expressed his desire for consensus among the various churches. In other words, he seemed untroubled by the immorality or wrongness of the Anglican positions, but concerned mostly that the Orthodox and Catholic Churches have not embraced them.

Notice also how he insinuated that the Anglican Church may have been guided by the “Holy Spirit” in embracing these heretical changes.


LAMBETH: Interview with the Most Rev. Kallistos Ware, Archbishop of Gt. Britain

Bishop Kallistos Ware (key words bolded for emphasis):

“So surely the Anglican Communion cannot decide the question of the ordination of women to the priesthood or episcopate in isolation. Nor the question of the possibility of blessing of same-sex marriages. Surely that must involve a consensus of the total Body.

The Anglican Communion cannot settle this without bearing in mind its bonds with the wider communion of the Church – the Orthodox and the Roman Catholics. And that is one thing, I think, that troubles us very much as Orthodox, as it troubles the Roman Catholics. We feel that the Anglican Church, on these matters which are of basic importance, has acted alone, without catholic consensus. So I would have wished that the Windsor Report had put more emphasis upon communion meaning the total Body, not just the Anglican Communion. That I see as a limitation in its perspective.

I’ve spoken about the need for catholic consensus on issues like the ordination of women or the blessing of homosexual relations. These are departures from Church order and from accepted moral teaching of major importance, and therefore there ought to be some consensus not just within the Anglican Communion but with the other Churches, especially those that preserve the historic apostolic faith and order, the Roman Catholics and the Orthodox. That is one side of the matter, the need for consensus.

But then we might also say, should there not also be the possibility for a prophetic action? Will you ever have change unless some people are willing to stand up and say, this is what we ought to be doing? And even if their testimony is highly controversial, who will nonetheless stand by their position.

It could be argued that perhaps the Anglican Communion was guided by the Holy Spirit to lead other Christians into new paths. Now I can see that as a valid argument and I want to balance that against the point that we need to act with catholic consensus.

How can we do both these things together – preserve catholic consensus, and yet allow grace for freedom in the Holy Spirit? Christ did not tell us that nothing should never be done for the first time. The whole witness of the early Church points in a different direction.

So how do you balance these two things – the need for consensus with the need for freedom in the Spirit, the need for loyalty to holy tradition, with the need to be open to new initiatives? And I think this is at the heart of a great deal of what we are talking about here in Canterbury at this Lambeth Conference.” — Bishop Kallistos Ware

HT: VirtueOnline


4 thoughts on “Met. Kallistos Ware on the Ordination of Women and Blessing of Same-Sex Marriages”

  1. I feel confident that Fr. Ware knows full well what 1 Timothy 2:11-12 commands Christians to do.

    I’m frankly appalled at his statements. I have at least one of his books that assisted me in my conversion to Orthodoxy.

    Let me state flat out. I didn’t convert to Orthodoxy to see it slide into apostasy in a similar fashion to the protestant church I left. I wanted a firm, hard core Christian faith. Fr. Ware has, deliberately or not, enabled Sodomites to continue their sin, without repentance. Apparently he’s for enabling the equal apostasy of female clergy. That cannot stand.

    I don’t know who Fr. Ware’s confessor is, and should not know, but it’s my opinion that he needs a long period with him.

    • It would be easier if there were a thumbs up to demonstrate agreement, but pushing people toward deeper dialogue is good too. Society is missing that element.

      “I have at least one of his books that assisted me in my conversion to Orthodoxy.” I know how you feel. I was sad to read that Tertullian died outside of the Church. His writings helped me come to grips with the Trinity after a lifetime of denial in a cult.

      I had read that interfaith dialogues, while having John 17:21 in mind, are an attempt to gain understanding of other faith perspectives. If the Anglicans want to go that way, so be it. They do not need Orthodox permission. Fr. Ware has free will also, and if he wants to be “inclusive” he can convert. He should not be contaminating Orthodoxy. I do not understand the difficulty some have in ‘loving the sinner, hating the sin.’

  2. 2 Peter 2

    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)

  3. For me, things are clear:

    All the Orthodox Fathers, saints and elders have spoken for the catholics, protestants and the rest of the heretics and anti-theists with the worst words. And, surely, they did not consider them part of any christian church, except of course from the church of satan. Without doubt and clear as crystal, they did not consider them them part of the Church of Chirst, where the Orthodox people belong. And it would be really foolish to do so, since knowing even the basics of e.g. catholicism, makes you realize that it has absolutely nothing to do with Christianity. On top of that, the people holding those heretic beliefs, have historically caused and continue to cause so much horror, pain, disaster and spiritual decay all over the world, that only a fool would claim they have anything even remotely related to the Holy Spirit.

    Now, hearing a person state that his church has communion and unity with those heretics and anti-theists, clearly implies that he belongs to the church of satan. This man is not a Bishop. You should correct your article.

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