Thursday, December 19, 2019

Fr. George Metallinos Has Reposed


Today, 19 December 2019, at the age of 79, Protopresbyter Fr. George Metallinos reposed in the Lord. He left behind his wife Barbara, his three children and ten grandchildren.

Fr. George was a great and important theologian of the Church of Greece and the author of dozens of significant books and articles. He was distinguished by his faithfulness to the patristic Orthodox tradition, uncovering the authentic history of the Church especially in the modern era, and teaching theology as something that is primarily empirical.

BRIEF PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY

He was born on March 11, 1940 in Kerkyra, where he received his primary education. He is a graduate of the University of Athens in Theology (1962) and Classical Literature (1967). After his military service (1963–1965) he became Research Assistant at the Department of Patrology and in 1969 he went to Western Germany for post graduate studies in Bonn and Cologne, where he resided until 1975. During this time he also conducted studies and archival research in England. In 1971, he was ordained a deacon on May 16th and a presbyter on May 23rd, and became Doctor of Theology (University of Athens) and Doctor of Philosophy - History (University of Cologne).

In 1984 he became Professor at the School of Theology of the University of Athens, teaching History of Spirituality during the Post-Byzantine Period, History and Theology of Worship, and Byzantine History. He served as Dean of the School of Theology between 2004 and 2007, when he was emerited.

He conducted his pastoral activity at the University Church of Saint Antipas at the Dental School in Athens. In 2015 he received the Macedonian Award for his entire work.

THEOLOGICAL CONVERSION

Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos sums up the theological conversion of Fr. George as follows:

"I consider very important the testimony and confession offered by Fr. George Metallinos, the renowned theologian of our times; the intelligent and charismatic and tireless researcher. According to him, when as a postgraduate student in Cologne in Germany in 1973, he came across a typed manuscript of Fr. John Romanides' Dogmatics, he regarded it as a 'gift of God’s grace.' He writes: 'I threw aside all the German-Catholic and Protestant manuals and systematic theological works (I have had enough of those!), and I began hungrily to study the true patristic dogmatics of the Greco-American priest and professor, whom I had not yet had the blessing to meet.'

Later on he writes that after studying this work he 'recognized that this unknown to me Fr. Romanides had become my most important teacher in dogmatic theology, but also in ecclesiastical history... so that I could be described as and feel like being his disciple. I am especially happy when I am being "accused" of clearly exhibiting his influence on me.'

In his speech at Fr. Romanides’ funeral he stresses: 'We must designate the period "before" Romanides and "after" Romanides. His work is regarded as instructive and as the task of a writer with a fighting spirit. He has really severed our theology from our Scholastic past, which has so far been acting as the Babylonian captivity of our theology.'

As I have already mentioned, Fr. George Metallinos is a leading teacher of theology, a highly valued researcher and a scholar; a cleric with Orthodox views, but mostly he is an authentic and untainted man without inner complexes. That is the reason why he does not detest anyone, but recognizes the work of the pioneers in theology, like Fr. John."

THEOLOGICAL QUOTES

The Resurrection of Christ

"The Resurrection of Christ is the most significant event to take place in history. It is the event that differentiates Christianity from every other religion. Other religions have mortal leaders, whereas the Head of the Church is the Resurrected Christ. 'Resurrection of Christ' implies the deification and the resurrection of human nature, and the hope for deification and resurrection of our own hypostasis. Since the medicine has been discovered, there is hope for life.

Through Christ’s Resurrection, both life and death take on a new meaning. 'Life' now means communion with God; 'Death' is no longer the end of this present lifetime, but the distancing of Man from Christ. The separation of the soul from the mortal body is no longer seen as 'death'; it is only a temporary slumber."

The Definition of Christianity

"If we wanted to give a conventional definition of Christianity, as Orthodoxy, we would say it is the experience of the presence of the Uncreated (God) within history and the possibility of those who are created (people) becoming God 'according to grace'."

The Essence of Orthodoxy

"Orthodoxy does not wish to be a religious community for charitable services, nor a human organization which strives only for peace on earth and coexistence among nations. Orthodoxy wishes to be, above all, the Body of Christ, a salvation laboratory for healing human existence, which is a basic prerequisite for man's formation at the limits of authentic communion with God and the world.

Moreover, there is no evolutionary process in Orthodoxy by the meaning of continuous change. Our course is Christ-centered with no changes. Christ remains the absolute center and reference point of Orthodox people in all times. He secures our unity throughout time, with His presence within ourselves. His uncreated energy is uniting (in the horizontal, as well as vertical dimension) the faithful people throughout history and accomplishes their unity, not as subjection under fixed norms of living and acting, but as life resulting by His presence within themselves."



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