Do it like the Orthodox!
Sex scandals in the Catholic Church can be avoided if priests are allowed to marry, stated Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Australia Stylianos. The Archbishop said if the Catholic Church follows in the Greek Orthodox Churches footsteps and allows their priests to be married, then the sex scandals that have been rocking the Vatican will go away.
His comments were made following the shock resignation of Pope Benedict XVI , and believes that the pope’s sudden resignation was brought on by the sex scandals.
In an interview with the Greek Language Program of SBS Radio Archbishop Stylianos spoke very highly of the academic Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger and described him as the “best lecturer”.
Archbishop Stylianos said that Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger was also a friend of the Orthodox church, “but once he became a Pope he made a U-turn”.
Archbishop Stylianos was engaged in many dialogues between Orthodoxy and other Christian groups, most prominently as co-chairman of the Theological Dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church, but also as co-chairman of the dialogue with the Anglican Church. He also started teaching Orthodox Theology and Spirituality at Sydney University.
In his capacity as a co-chairman of the Theological Dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church, he worked very close with Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger who he admired as a theologian.
Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I also expressed his sadness over the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, saying the head of the Catholic Church had “built bridges.”
“I am really saddened by news of the resignation of the pope, who was doing his utmost to connect the Catholic and Orthodox Churches and overcome differences,” Bartholomew said in a media release on February 11.
Bartholomew praised Benedict, describing him as “a highly influential figure in the Church, not only as a Pope but also as a theologian”.
“He was a person who could solve problems not only in religion, but also in the problems that we are facing today,” Bartholomew said, adding that he believed the pontiff would continue to be a prominent figure even after stepping down as pope. “He was an important reference to everyone. Thus, I believe he will continue to add value to the world with his research and articles,” he said.
“As the Fener Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate, we hope the new pope will also contribute to the fraternity between the Churches,” Bartholomew added.
Archbishop Stylianos (Harkianakis) also serves as the inaugural and permanent Chairman of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Churches in Australia, and Dean of St. Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Theological College and is a world-renowned theologian, specialising in ecclesiology. He is also a well-regarded poet. He completed postgraduate studies in systematic theology and philosophy of religion in Bonn, West Germany, during 1958 to 1966, numbering among his lecturers Pope Benedict XVI (formerly Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger).