It has been my understanding that his comments regarding the ordination of women are simply along the lines of the church having a council and putting forward a statement of Orthodox belief in this regard. He is not in support of the ordination of women, he is in support of the church making a definitive statement so as to put the issue to rest once and for all. Can you imagine an Orthodox council approving women's ordination?
Neither can I.
Where did you get your information? I am not being sarcastic. I would seriously like to know because I recently saw on http://www.goarch.org/en/multimedia/video/
the "Conversation with Bishop Kallistos" and between 57:36-1:04:43 Bishop Kallistos made a few statements that just seem to make the question open ended. I particularly couldn't understand why Bishop Kallistos seemed insistent that it is important we know why women should not be ordained. As I see it does not matter whether we know why or not but to follow what has been handed down to us.
But I would also like to say that the video "Conversation with Bishop Kallistos" shows Bishop Kallistos telling about his conversion to Orthodoxy and is very touching. It made me wonder what would have happened had he joined the Russian Orthodox church instead of the Greek Orthodox church; his books might have been much different. Who knows?
I've read this review of the Orthodox Way and I also own Bishop Kallistos' book. I agree with you about both the review and the views of Bishop Kallistos. I also agree with you that the Orthodox Way is a valuable book, so long as you bear in mind that it has some problems. Even the Fathers were not always entirely correct in every particular so how could we expect that Bishop Kallistos could be? Personally, I found the Orthodox Church and the Orthodox Way to be very valuable when I was first considering Orthodoxy - they helped me decide to enter the catechumenate. Since I entered the Church, I've tended to concentrate more on 'weightier' books and on the Fathers, but I certainly owe Bishop Kallistos a debt of gratitude for the part his books played in my journey to Orthodoxy.
I think that the problem is that Bishop Kallistos is making errors about central aspects of our Faith. These errors are intentional in Chapter 4. He writes that Jesus Christ assumed fallen human nature in a way that is at odds with Orthodoxy. This is very sad because Bishop Kallistos is sowing these errors into impressionable inquirers, catechumens, and Orthodox in such a way that they will go on believing the Bishops words to be the Orthodox Truth rather than Bishop Kallistos private ideas. This saddened me and confused me quite a bit because Bishop Kallistos is a Patristic scholar of great reknown and yet a cursory reading of the Fathers will show where Bishop Kallistos errors. Consider this from the article
His Grace correctly points out the Christ was not Himself sinful, but goes on to maintain that "in his solidarity with fallen man he accepts to the full the consequences of Adams sin" (ibid.). Now by "consequences" he understands not only the physical kind, such as weariness, bodily pain, and, eventually, death, but also the moral variety, "the loneliness, the alienation, the inward conflict" (ibid., p. 100). But alienation from whom or from what? From God? In the next section, he goes so far as to say, on the basis of Christs words on the Cross, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" (St. Matthew 27:46), that Jesus truly experienced "the spiritual death of separation from God" (ibid., p. 106). As we shall see, this is wholly at odds with Orthodox teaching, and all the more astounding for the fact that it comes from the pen of an Orthodox Hierarch and a renowned Patristic scholar. That our Lord experienced some degree of loneliness is undeniable. Perhaps the best example of this is the episode in the garden of Gethsemane, where He chided the three chief Apostles for their inability to stay awake: "And He cometh unto the Disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with Me one hour?" (St. Matthew 26:40). We can hardly begin to imagine what Christ underwent during those anxious moments, when He permitted His human will to give expression to its feelings of weakness in the midst of the unfolding drama of His Passion: "O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt" (St. Matthew 26:39). This kind of loneliness is not only perfectly understandable, but it is, more importantly, innocent; it is not sinful. There is another kind of loneliness, however, which is either sinful, or which at least has the potential to become sinful; and that is when someone who makes no effort to interact with other human beings indulges in self-pity over what he perceives as abandonment by his fellow men. Christ did not experience this kind of loneliness. He deliberately sought solitude so that He could devote Himself to prayer, away from the crowds that habitually followed Him wherever He went.
Bishop Kallistos assertion that Christ experienced "inward conflict" is without any foundation in the New Testament. Worse still, it is something that we encounter in the blasphemous novel by Nikos Kazantzakis, The Last Temptation of Christ, which aroused such a furor in the late 1980s, when a film based on the novel was released to an international audience. Among the scenes that caused the greatest offense to traditional Christians, Orthodox or otherwise, were those in which Jesus was portrayed as undergoing sexual temptations and entertaining serious doubts about His Messianic calling. Some of the same ideas were espoused by the heretic Theodore of Mopsuestia, whose name was frequently raised in theological circles in connection with the aforementioned film. According to Father Georges Florovsky, Theodore taught that Christ "struggled trying to overcome passion and even lust," in which He was "assisted by the Spirit with Its "moral influences." The Spirit "illuminated Him and strengthened His will in order to destroy sin in the flesh, to curb its lust with a light and noble force." Only in death did Christ attain "perfect purity and unalterability of thoughts." (See The Byzantine Fathers of the Fifth Century [Vaduz: Bchervertriebsanstalt, 1987], p. 208.)
and this from St.Gregory the Theologian's 4th Theological Oration
V. Take, in the next place, the subjection by which you subject the Son to the Father. What, you say, is He not now subject, or must He, if He is God, be subject to God?20 You are fashioning your argument as if it concerned some robber, or some hostile deity. But look at it in this manner: that as for my sake He was called a curse,21 Who destroyed my curse; and sin,22 who taketh away the sin of the world; and became a new Adam23 to take the place of the old, just so He makes my disobedience His own as Head of the whole body. As long then as I am disobedient and rebellious, both by denial of God and by my passions, so long Christ also is called disobedient on my account. But when all things shall be subdued unto Him on the one hand by acknowledgment of Him, and on the other by a reformation, then He Himself also will have fulfilled His submission, bringing me whom He has saved to God. For this, according to my view, is the subjection of Christ; namely, the fulfilling of the Father's Will. But as the Son subjects all to the Father, so does the Father to the Son; the One by His Work, the Other by His good pleasure, as we have already said. And thus He Who subjects presents to God that which he has subjected, making our condition His own. Of the same kind, it appears to me, is the expression, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?"24 It was not He who was forsaken either by the Father, or by His own Godhead, as some have thought, as if It were afraid of the Passion, and therefore withdrew Itself from Him in His Sufferings (for who compelled Him either to be born on earth at all, or to be lifted up on the Cross?) But as I said, He was in His own Person representing us. For we were the forsaken and despised before, but now by the Sufferings of Him Who could not suffer, we were taken up and saved. Similarly, He makes His own our folly and our transgressions; and says what follows in the Psalm, for it is very evident that the Twenty-first25 Psalm refers to Christ.
VI. The same consideration applies to another passage, "He learnt obedience by the things which He suffered,"26 and to His "strong crying and tears," and His "Entreaties," and His "being heard," and His" Reverence," all of which He wonderfully wrought out, like a drama whose plot was devised on our behalf. For in His character of the Word He was neither obedient nor disobedient. For such expressions belong to servants, and inferiors, and the one applies to the better sort of them, while the other belongs to those who deserve punishment. But, in the character of the Form of a Servant, He condescends to His fellow servants, nay, to His servants, and takes upon Him a strange form, bearing all me and mine in Himself, that in Himself He may exhaust the bad, as fire does wax, or as the sun does the mists of earth; and that I may partake of His nature by the blending. Thus He honours obedience by His action, and proves it experimentally by His Passion. For to possess the disposition is not enough, just as it would not be enough for us, unless we also proved it by our acts; for action is the proof of disposition.
I am sure Bishop Kallistos knows what the Fathers have always written and so he should have qualified his statements for the sake of those new to Orthodoxy. The particular error of saying our Lord experienced inner conflict is very common in Protestantism and Roman Catholicism in modern times and is used as a way of 'psychoanalyzing' Christ as if he is not God! They particularly say this of the Forty days and the tempting of the Devil. If you truly believe Jesus Christ is God He cannot have inward conflict which results from being created and not knowing all that is and will be. It comes from separation from God. Jesus Christ is God and so to impute inward conflict is a very grave error and very problematic for those trying to come to the Orthodox faith! This is what I have referred to in the past as semi-Arianism and I think it is part of why many Protestants are fond of referring our Lord as the 'Righteous guy who died for our sins.' He is relocated to the role of being the best man who ever lived and not our God and King and Saviour among us.