LAST UPDATED 16:39
Bishop of Diokleia, Kallistos Ware, is in critical condition.
Earlier today there were rumours about his death as had been reported from the Holy Church of the Transfiguration in Coventry and the Cathedral of Apostolos Andreas Birmingham, among others.
Metropolitan of Belgium Athenagoras had also written in his personal account on social media that Bishop Kallistos has reposed in the Lord.
However, he later deleted it.
The Bishop of Diokleia has been facing health problems for some time and his condition is considered critical.
Kallistos Ware is an English bishop and theologian of the Eastern Orthodox Church. From 1982, he held the titular bishopric of Diokleia in Phrygia, later made a titular metropolitan bishopric in 2007, under the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
He is one of the best-known contemporary Eastern Orthodox hierarchs and theologians. From 1966 to 2001, he was Spalding Lecturer of Eastern Orthodox Studies at the University of Oxford.
Born Timothy Richard Ware in 1934 to an Anglican family in Bath, Somerset, England, he was educated at Westminster School in London (to which he had won a King’s Scholarship) and Magdalen 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. He describes his first contacts with Orthodoxy and the growing attraction of the Orthodox Church in an autobiographical text entitled “My Journey to the Orthodox Church”. While still a layman, he spent six months in Canada at a monastery of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.
Thoroughly conversant in modern Greek, Ware became an Orthodox monk at the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian in Patmos, Greece. He also frequented other major centres of Orthodoxy such as Jerusalem and Mount Athos. In 1966 he was ordained to the priesthood within the Ecumenical Patriarchate and was tonsured as a monk, receiving the name “Kállistos”
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 appointed to a fellowship at Pembroke College, Oxford.
In 1982 he was consecrated to the episcopate as an auxiliary bishop with the title Bishop of Diokleia (in Phrygia) in the Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Following his consecration, Ware continued to teach at the University of Oxford and served in the Greek Orthodox parish in Oxford.
On 30 March 2007, the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate elevated the Diocese of Diokleia in Phrygia to a titular metropolitan diocese and Ware to the rank of metropolitan.
In 2017, Ware was awarded the Lambeth Cross for Ecumenism by the Archbishop of Canterbury “for his outstanding contribution to Anglican-Orthodox theological dialogue”.
Ware is a prolific author and lecturer. He has authored or edited over a dozen books, numerous articles in a wide range of periodicals, essays in books on many subjects, as well as providing prefaces, forwards or introductions to many other books. He is perhaps best known as the author of the book The Orthodox Church, published when he was a layman in 1963 and subsequently revised several times.
In 1979 he produced a companion volume, The Orthodox Way. He has collaborated in the translation and publication of major Orthodox ascetic and liturgical texts. Together with G. E. H. Palmer and Philip Sherrard, he translated the Philokalia (four volumes of five published as of 2018); and with Mother Mary he produced the Lenten Triodion and Festal Menaion.
St Vladimir’s Seminary Press published a Festschrift in his honour in 2003: Abba, The Tradition of Orthodoxy in the West, Festschrift for Bishop Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia, eds. John Behr, Andrew Louth, Dimitri Conomos (New York: SVS Press, 2003).