Studies in Honour of Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia
2 The Monk
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2 The Monk
When I was invited to give this presentation, I found myself in a quandary: ‘How much do we actually know about the monastic side of the Bishop’s life?’ We know him as a supreme theologian, an iconic lecturer, an outstanding hierarch of the Orthodox Church, a remarkable pastor of the people of God. All these qualities seem to eclipse in our minds his identity as a monk. When I asked the people who are close to him to share their views on Bishop Kallistos’s monasticism, I was met with bewilderment on their faces. It all appears to be hidden from the public eye. Eventually I decided to confront the Bishop himself, to interview him on the subject. And he shared with me valuable insights into his monastic career.
His interest in the monastic life first arose when he was still an Anglican. At about sixteen years of age, he came into contact with the Anglican religious order, the Society of St Francis. Through one of their monks who visited his school he was attracted to the idea of becoming a Franciscan. But by the middle of his time as a university student, when he was about twenty-one, he began to realize that his calling was to become Orthodox. This did not change his desire to dedicate his life to Christ in the monastic way, attracted as he was by the idea of community life...
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