13 May 2018

Red, Tory and Orthodox

God bless and save His Eminence, Met. Kallistos of Diokleia!

This is an excerpt from an interview he gave with the Anglican priest, Fr George Westhaver, on the occasion of the Lambeth Conference in 2008:
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? …

When so much of the human population is permanently hungry, ill-housed, suffering from disease which could be cured (if we the rich nations would really set our minds to helping), when so much of the world is suffering in this way, is it not a loss of proportion to be concentrating on women priests, or even on homosexuality? And one could strengthen this point by saying, the Church does not exist for herself. Christ said, ‘May they all be one that the world may believe’. The Church exists for the world, for the conversion of the world, for mission, and mission doesn't just mean telling people about Christ (though that is vitally important). Mission means also helping them and ensuring that there is social, political and economic justice - that is all part of mission. The Epistle of James is very clear on this matter, that if a poor man comes to you and is hungry, has no clothes, no home and no food, and you just talk to him about Jesus Christ and say, ‘Now go away,’ that's not really mission, that’s not preaching the faith. Faith is not words, faith is how we relate to living persons, how we make their joys and sorrows our own, to use the image of St. Paul that I have already mentioned.
Coming as it does from an Orthodox hierarch of the Œcumenical Patriarchate, I honestly can’t think of a better expression of the broad basic convictions of the Red Tory idea, unless Dr George Grant himself were to have expressed it. Unless, of course, one counts His Eminence’s presence as a chief office-holder in the Royal Stuart Society. One doesn’t get much higher a Tory than that. God grant His Eminence many, many years!

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