Orthodoxy worldwide mourns today the passing away of one of its prominent figures, the great churchman and theologian, Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia. After a long period of struggling with cancer, Metropolitan Kallistos rested in peace.
Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia was born in Bath, Somerset, England (1934), and got his education at Westminster School in London and Magdalene College, Oxford, where he took a double first in classics as well as reading theology. On 14 April 1958, at the age of 24, he embraced the Orthodox Christian faith (having been raised Anglican). In 1966 he was ordained to the priesthood within the Ecumenical Patriarchate and was tonsured as a monk, receiving the name “Kallistos”. In 1966 Ware became Spalding Lecturer at the University of Oxford in Eastern Orthodox studies, a position he held for 35 years until his retirement. In 1970 he was elected a Fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford, and in 1971 he was named a Senior Denyer and Johnson Scholar of the University of Oxford. As a visiting professor he taught at the Gregorian University of Rome in 2006. In 1982 he was consecrated to the episcopacy as an auxiliary bishop with the title “Bishop of Diokleia”, appointed to serve as the assistant to the bishop of the Ecumenical Patriarchate's Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain. Despite his consecration, Ware remained in Oxford and carried on his duties both as the parish priest of the Greek Orthodox community and also as a lecturer at the university. On March 30, 2007, the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate elevated the Diocese of Diokleia to a metropolitan diocese and thus Ware became a titular metropolitan. Metropolitan Kallistos is perhaps best known as the author of the book The Orthodox Church, published when he still was a layman in 1963 and subsequently revised several times. In 1979 he produced a companion volume, The Orthodox Way. Together with G. E. H. Palmer and Philip Sherrard he has undertaken the enormous work to translate the Philokalia (four volumes of five published to date); and with Mother Mary he produced the translations of the Lenten Triodion and Festal Menaion. He has authored many books and articles in international theological journals while many of his books have been translated into Greek. His books include: The Orthodox Church, 2nd ed. (Pelican, 1993), The Orthodox Way (Mowbray, 1979) The Inner Kingdom: Collected Works, Vol. 1 (St Vladimir's Seminary Press, 2000,) In the Image of the Trinity: Collected Works, Vol. 2 (St Vladimir's Seminary Press, 2006,) Communion and Intercommunion (Light & Life, 1980,), etc.
Recognizing his ecumenical importance and his contribution to the present and the future of Orthodox Church and theology, Volos Academy for Theological Studies received the late Metropolitan of Diokleia as its Honorary Fellow, in the context of an International Conference organized in his honor in Volos, Greece (November 20-22, 2015) on the general theme: “Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia: The Witness of Orthodoxy in the West.” The proceedings of that conference have been published (in Greek) by the Volos Academy Publications.