Author Topic: Orthodox Liturgists Issue a Statement of Support for the Revival of Deaconess  (Read 4662 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline LivenotoneviL

  • An Indecisive Sinner
  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 506
  • 404 - Quote not found
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Not a Catechumen
So, just because he's inquiring into Orthodoxy means that he has no right to voice his opinion in the debate? Talk about Church inclusiveness!

Not at all what I said.  You need to work on your comprehension skills.  What I said was, as an inquirer, he should be more hesitant to condemn those who are already living within the Ark of Salvation as "liberal schismatics", especially when none of the parties mentioned - up to and including the Patriarch of Alexandria - are schismatics, and not every advocate for the restoration of the order of the deaconess could be classified as "liberal".  So yeah, reading is fundamental.  Work on that.

Well, you might as well ban me from the thread, ban him from the thread

Nobody is talking about banning anyone from the discussion, so again, work on that reading comprehension thing, but inquirers acting butthurt when the Orthodox Church they've created in their minds doesn't match up with what our living Tradition actually is should at least mind their manners and refrain from reviling actual Orthodox Christians as "liberal schismatics" when they are anything but.

and ban yourself from the thread, considering you are an Oriental Orthodox who isn't even inquiring into Eastern Orthodoxy, who is commenting on an Eastern Orthodox issue, who, by your own logic, should not have the privilege of voicing your opinion.

So now we see that your inability to comprehend the written word is surpassed only by your misapplication of logical thought.  Accepting for a moment your assertion that Oriental Orthodox Christians should be placed in the same category as Evangelical Protestants relative to the Eastern Orthodox Church - and ignoring the living witness of the Church and general consensus of the leading theologians of both sides that both families have upheld the same Apostolic Faith for the last 1500 years in a way that Western heretics have not - "by my own logic" I would not be barred from the discussion, but should rather be more careful about condemning those within the Eastern Orthodox Church as "schismatics" when I'm not even in the Church myself.  Try to keep up here.

And I wonder how you can say that this argument against "deaconess ordination" stems from "Evangelical baggage" when, may I remind you, Evangelicals are probably the most hostile group of "Christians" to any idea of organized Church governance.

And again, basic courses on reading comprehension are readily available at GED academies across the land.  Look into one.  I never said that that hostility to the Orthodox deaconess stemmed from Evangelical theology or ecclesiology, but rather that tarring Orthodox Christians in favor of reviving their own tradition as "liberals" and "secular feminists" stems from - and I quote - "American Evangelical...kneejerk political sensibilities".  So yeah, you can wipe that dung off of your shoes as you enter the doors of the Church, if you ever do, because trying to remake Orthodoxy in the image of one American political ideology or the other isn't going to fly.  No Orthodox jurisdiction - Eastern or Oriental - is going to ally itself exclusively with the American political right against the "feminists" and the "liberals" as American Evangelicalism has done, and none of that will factor into whether or not the order of the deaconess is revived in this country.


Well, I can tell good sir that you are currently in a state of Theosis!

Let's go by this step by step.

The original post was:
Absolutely no need for it in the West, except to appease secular feminism. There is no pastoral need.

If this happens, I expect schism. The liberal schismatics will go the same way as the Anglicans if they don't repent.


And you replied:

How would you know?  According to your profile you're a "post-Evangelical exploring the Orthodox Tradition and seeking the truth" who says "I am my own pope".  Many people actually living the Orthodox Tradition - among them clergy, laity, and academics- know better. You're not even an Orthodox Christian yet and you presume to call people who are actually within the Church "liberal schismatics"?  And you presume to know the pastoral needs of the Orthodox faithful?  The hubris in your post is overwhelming.

In this section, I've put in bold the section where you quite literally say "because you aren't in the Orthodox Church, any opinion you put forward is inferior."

This is your argument.

I responded by pointing out the fact that it would be pointless to allow me to have an account on this forum, because since I am not in the Orthodox Church, and my opinions are inferior, than I my posts would be pointless. I was being hyperbolic. What would be the point of allowing me to have an account? And I pointed out your hypocrisy because you aren't even looking into Eastern Orthodoxy, and you are commenting as though you are a member and have the end all be all authority of opinion.

Also, I underlined an argument that the original poster didn't make - he said "he expects schism" and the "liberal schismatics will go the same way the Anglicans are." He didn't say there are currently liberal schismatics within the Church.

My statement regarding you not being Eastern Orthodox is simply a reflection of what Christ Himself said.
"He that is not with me, is against me: and he that gathers not with me, scatters."
(Matthew 12:30)

Is this statement "illogical?"
You are not in communion with the Body of Christ (from my beliefs).

And the "logic" I was pointing out was your logic that "not being an official member equals having an inferior opinion."
So, your opinion is inferior by your own logic.

As for the argument about Orthodoxy being aligned with one political ideology, he never made that argument. The only thing political ideology wise he said was

Absolutely no need for it in the West, except to appease secular feminism. There is no pastoral need.

And considering that you equivocate that to "aligning Orthodoxy with the right," I could only conclude that you believe the secular feminism is somehow compatible with Orthodoxy - but it isn't, for the reasons I've already pointed out.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2017, 10:23:17 PM by LivenotoneviL »
"Our wickedness shall not overpower the unspeakable goodness and mercy of God; our dullness shall not overpower God's wisdom, nor our infirmity God's omnipotence."
-Saint John of Kronstadt

Keep shining, star!

Offline Antonious Nikolas

  • Orthodox Christian, Miaphysite
  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 7,237
  • Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Bishop of Myra
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Oriental Orthodox Church
Well, I can tell good sir that you are currently in a state of Theosis!

It's true!  Thanks for noticing.  :)

Let's go by this step by step.

Let's do.

The original post was:
Absolutely no need for it in the West, except to appease secular feminism. There is no pastoral need.

If this happens, I expect schism. The liberal schismatics will go the same way as the Anglicans if they don't repent.


And you replied:

How would you know?  According to your profile you're a "post-Evangelical exploring the Orthodox Tradition and seeking the truth" who says "I am my own pope".  Many people actually living the Orthodox Tradition - among them clergy, laity, and academics- know better. You're not even an Orthodox Christian yet and you presume to call people who are actually within the Church "liberal schismatics"?  And you presume to know the pastoral needs of the Orthodox faithful?  The hubris in your post is overwhelming.

In this section, I've put in bold the section where you quite literally say "because you aren't in the Orthodox Church, any opinion you put forward is inferior."

No I didn't.  I didn't "quite literally" say "because you aren't in the Orthodox Church, any opinion you put forward is inferior" because that would mean I actually typed that phrase word for word.  You need to look up the definition of the term "literally".  Or achieve theosis like me, in which case the knowledge will come to you automatically.

I also didn't say anything approximating the meaning of the phrase you typed above.  Anyone with a modicum of reading comprehension skills can see that what I did was admonish a person outside of the Church about terming those inside the Church "schismatic heretics".  This does not equate to saying that his opinions on Orthodox matters are necessarily inferior.  Feel free to try again though.

This is your argument.

Nope.  It's not.  Keep tilting at strawmen though, and in the process exposing your abysmal reading comprehension skills.

I responded by pointing out the fact that it would be pointless to allow me to have an account on this forum, because since I am not in the Orthodox Church, and my opinions are inferior, than I my posts would be pointless. I was being hyperbolic. What would be the point of allowing me to have an account? And I pointed out your hypocrisy because you aren't even looking into Eastern Orthodoxy, and you are commenting as though you are a member and have the end all be all authority of opinion.

You attempted the above, but as you are arguing against a position I never took, all of this hot air you expelled was utterly wasted.

Also, I underlined an argument that the original poster didn't make - he said "he expects schism" and the "liberal schismatics will go the same way the Anglicans are." He didn't say there are currently liberal schismatics within the Church.

No you didn't.  You've just raised that argument now.  It is an invalid one anyone, as it is still based upon a misidentification of those elements within the Eastern Orthodox Church in favor of the restoration of an order that has always been a part of Orthodox Tradition as "liberal" based upon the political sensibilities of American conservative heterodox Christians.

My statement regarding you not being Eastern Orthodox is simply a reflection of what Christ Himself said.
"He that is not with me, is against me: and he that gathers not with me, scatters."
(Matthew 12:30)

Is this statement "illogical?"
You are not in communion with the Body of Christ (from my beliefs).

If that's the case, than neither are you nor Daniel.  It's a fortunate thing for me that the leading theologians of the Church you are not a member of - the Eastern Orthodox Church - disagree with you.  I am quite sure that God does as well.  :)

And the "logic" I was pointing out was your logic that "not being an official member equals having an inferior opinion."
So, your opinion is inferior by your own logic.

And again, I never made that argument, but merely stated that Daniel - as a heterodox Christian - should be less condemnatory in his language when speaking about actual members of the Church he seeks to join.  You roll with strawmen so hard, I'm gonna start calling you Dorothy.

As for the argument about Orthodoxy being aligned with one political ideology, he never made that argument. The only thing political ideology wise he said was

Absolutely no need for it in the West, except to appease secular feminism. There is no pastoral need.

His language was pregnant with the idea.  Go ahead.  Try and tell me with a straight face that neither you nor him believe that Orthodoxy is not more compatible with one side of the American political fence than the other based upon your personal belief system and ideas concerning morality.

And considering that you equivocate that to "aligning Orthodoxy with the right," I could only conclude that you believe the secular feminism is somehow compatible with Orthodoxy

You'd be wrong in that conclusion, but that's par for the course, as you've been wrong about everything else.  What I've consistently said is that unfounded fears concerning "secular feminism" have prevented some people from evaluating the restoration of the order of the deaconess on its own merits.

but it isn't, for the reasons I've already pointed out.

You haven't pointed out a single one.  You must've imagined that, as you've imagined so many other things in this discussion.  But, o king of strawmen, that is in keeping with the famous strawman's refrain.
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

Offline Antonious Nikolas

  • Orthodox Christian, Miaphysite
  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 7,237
  • Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Bishop of Myra
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Oriental Orthodox Church
"schismatic heretics"

*"liberal schismatics"

Carry on.
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

Offline Mor Ephrem

  • Ο προκαθήμενος της Ορθοδοξίας - The President of Orthodoxy
  • Section Moderator
  • Protospatharios
  • *****
  • Posts: 33,238
  • Two half-eggs
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
  • Faith: The Ancienter Faith
  • Jurisdiction: East
The question this statement wants to avoid is "Why?"  Why is this necessary, now of all times?  Why?  But they won't or can't answer it.

As can be seen in this thread, there are answers.  Those reasons can be debated, of course, but they exist.   

Quote
As for the ordination rites (it should be mentioned in the plural, not the singular since even the prayers differed), as the saying goes, the devil is in the details.  Both would be dressed in the orar but that does not represent sacramental parity. 

We need to note that all ranks of the clergy that wear an orarion are wearing the same garment, from subdeacons to patriarchs.  Clerics wear it differently according to their respective rank, but they are wearing the same garment, and it is a priestly garment.  So while it is true that deaconesses wearing an orarion does not necessarily indicate equality with deacons, it is indicating a sharing in the priestly ministry in the diaconal ranks. 

Quote
Also, the rules governing who could be ordained were radically different; a man could be married and ordained at the minimal age of 24 while a deaconess had to be 40 and celibate.

So?  All of the major orders have canonical ages, and they are often dispensed with.  Celibacy was not required at one point for bishops, and now it is.  That could be reversed if the Church so decided, and so could the age and celibacy requirements for deaconesses.  I'm not sure what this proves.     

Quote
The deacon was ordained while he was kneeling with his head touching the altar; the deaconess stands and inclines her head. 

IIRC, in Fr Ephrem Lash's translation (linked above), he writes in a footnote that this detail is probably not significant.  For all we know, it could just be a matter of modesty and decorum. 

Quote
Both are given the chalice, but the deaconess returns it immediately indicating her exclusion from administering the Eucharist.
 

If she was excluded from administering the Eucharist, why give it to her in the first place?  Surely not giving it to her in the first place would make that point without turning the Holy Gifts into a theatrical prop.

Quote
Also, the office of deaconess was used in a time for when baptisms were common among adults (not so much today, but as many of us have seen adult conversions, perhaps this should be weighed in, but not considerably) and adult men and women were baptized separately (men were baptized naked).  Since that is no longer the case, why is the deaconess needed?


The prayers for the ordination of a deaconess say nothing of assisting at baptisms.  We know they did, but it's hardly the only thing they did.  Otherwise why not mention it in the prayers? 

Quote
To me, all this talk about ordination of deaconesses especially as Rome seems to be getting ready to do the very same thing is but yet another way to sneak women's ordination to the priesthood through the back door.  I have many theological disagreements on a wide variety of subjects with several of the signers of this document so I take their opinions cum grano salis.

How would you even "sneak women's ordination to the priesthood through the back door"?  I think this is just taken for granted because people, many of them ex-Protestant refugees, see how it's played out in Western denominations and assume we are just as likely to fold.  At a certain point, it's not about women priests, it's about lack of faith in the Church which has withstood and survived a lot worse than having deaconesses. 
How this relates to the coming Antichrist? I don't know...

Quote
The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

Offline LivenotoneviL

  • An Indecisive Sinner
  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 506
  • 404 - Quote not found
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Not a Catechumen
It's true!  Thanks for noticing.  :)

Luke 18:9-14

No I didn't.  I didn't "quite literally" say "because you aren't in the Orthodox Church, any opinion you put forward is inferior" because that would mean I actually typed that phrase word for word.  You need to look up the definition of the term "literally".  Or achieve theosis like me, in which case the knowledge will come to you automatically.

Fair enough. I had an adolescent grammar moment where I used "quite literally" incorrectly.

I also didn't say anything approximating the meaning of the phrase you typed above.  Anyone with a modicum of reading comprehension skills can see that what I did was admonish a person outside of the Church about terming those inside the Church "schismatic heretics".  This does not equate to saying that his opinions on Orthodox matters are necessarily inferior.  Feel free to try again though.

This entire section is wrong.

1. You "quite literally" said

Many people actually living the Orthodox Tradition - among them clergy, laity, and academics- know better.
And you presume to know the pastoral needs of the Orthodox faithful?

This is a response to

Absolutely no need for it in the West, except to appease secular feminism. There is no pastoral need.

If this happens, I expect schism. The liberal schismatics will go the same way as the Anglicans if they don't repent.

Thus, what you have argued is
1. Your opinion on the pastoral needs of the Orthodox Church can't be good because clergy, academics, and laypeople know better.
2. You, as someone who is outside the Church, can't presume to know the pastoral needs of the Orthodox Church.

This logic, that your opinion on the pastoral needs of the Orthodox Church is inferior, is flawed - as he, like me, could be attending an Orthodox Church and be a part of the community there for a significant amount of time such that he is able to give an opinion on the pastoral needs of the Church.

Your logic is also applicable to other aspects of Orthodox Church life.
"Your opinion on what iconography is appropriate is inferior because clergy, academics, and laypeople know better."
"Your opinion on what liturgical music is appropriate is inferior because clergy, academics, and laypeople know better."
"Your opinion on non-denominational charity is inferior because clergy, academics, and laypeople know better."
"Your opinion on the legitimacy of the Western Rite is inferior because clergy, academics, and laypeople know better."

Following through with this logic, I ask the question: "What is the point of even allowing him to post opinions, or me - as someone who holds the Orthodox Faith but isn't a catechumen yet - when any opinion I put forward can be struck down by the argument that 'Your opinion is inferior because members know better than you.'" So, why not ban me and him, when we are wasting account space?

And I point out the fact that you aren't a member of the Eastern Orthodox Church, either, and are probably less qualified to point out the needs of the Eastern Orthodox Faithful when you yourself probably don't even attend an Eastern Orthodox Church and are less likely to be knowledgeable on the pastoral needs of the Orthodox Church - and, following through on your logic that "members outside the Church have inferior opinions," and considering that your arguments meet the criteria of being stricken down by your logic, I've pointed out your hypocrisy.

No you didn't.  You've just raised that argument now.  It is an invalid one anyone, as it is still based upon a misidentification of those elements within the Eastern Orthodox Church in favor of the restoration of an order that has always been a part of Orthodox Tradition as "liberal" based upon the political sensibilities of American conservative heterodox Christians.

My reply:

Absolutely no need for it in the West, except to appease secular feminism. There is no pastoral need.

If this happens, I expect schism. The liberal schismatics will go the same way as the Anglicans if they don't repent.

How is his argument based on the "political sensibilities of heterodox Christians?"
And "always" is too strong of a word, considering that we are talking about this controversial issue to begin with.

He's calling those who cause a potential future schism as "liberal schismatics," if there is schism. Which is what he put forward.


If that's the case, than neither are you nor Daniel.  It's a fortunate thing for me that the leading theologians of the Church you are not a member of - the Eastern Orthodox Church - disagree with you.  I am quite sure that God does as well.  :)

But one day! I'm just repeating what Christ - who is God - said, who I think has a greater authority on matters of ecclesiology than a couple of opinions by some theologians, which are contested anyways.


And again, I never made that argument, but merely stated that Daniel - as a heterodox Christian - should be less condemnatory in his language when speaking about actual members of the Church he seeks to join.  You roll with strawmen so hard, I'm gonna start calling you Dorothy.

That's not what you "merely" said, as I've pointed out. Also, I consider this a compliment - I wish I was as fabulous as Dorothy.

His language was pregnant with the idea.  Go ahead.  Try and tell me with a straight face that neither you nor him believe that Orthodoxy is not more compatible with one side of the American political fence than the other based upon your personal belief system and ideas concerning morality.

He was calling "liberal schismatics" as those causing schism by female deaconess ordination.

And I wouldn't agree with Orthodoxy being aligned with one set of political ideology - but I think in the context of social / moral issues, such as feminism, abortion, drugs, LGBT rights, Orthodoxy is definitely more conservative. Not on every social issue - like welfare and the death penalty (maybe), but on these issues - yes.

You'd be wrong in that conclusion, but that's par for the course, as you've been wrong about everything else.  What I've consistently said is that unfounded fears concerning "secular feminism" have prevented some people from evaluating the restoration of the order of the deaconess on its own merits.

For the first sentence "nah."
For the second sentence, that's not what you said in reply to him.

You haven't pointed out a single one.  You must've imagined that, as you've imagined so many other things in this discussion.  But, o king of strawmen, that is in keeping with the famous strawman's refrain.

Your stealing my style by preceding the actual name calling with "O," like some kind of muse or narrator of epic poetry.
Also, WHOA! It's so weird that Dorothy looks younger than me.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2017, 01:20:07 PM by LivenotoneviL »
"Our wickedness shall not overpower the unspeakable goodness and mercy of God; our dullness shall not overpower God's wisdom, nor our infirmity God's omnipotence."
-Saint John of Kronstadt

Keep shining, star!

Offline Mor Ephrem

  • Ο προκαθήμενος της Ορθοδοξίας - The President of Orthodoxy
  • Section Moderator
  • Protospatharios
  • *****
  • Posts: 33,238
  • Two half-eggs
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
  • Faith: The Ancienter Faith
  • Jurisdiction: East
This makes me long for LenInSebastopol.
How this relates to the coming Antichrist? I don't know...

Quote
The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

Offline minasoliman

  • Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
  • Section Moderator
  • Stratopedarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 20,000
  • Pray for me Sts. Mina & Kyrillos for my interviews
  • Faith: Oriental Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Coptic
And I pointed out your hypocrisy because you aren't even looking into Eastern Orthodoxy, and you are commenting as though you are a member and have the end all be all authority of opinion.

I hope you do realize that the moderator of this particular section is an Oriental Orthodox.  If you are one of those people who do not see a difference of faith in both Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy, then one is not an "inquirer", but can see him/herself as a "member".
« Last Edit: October 28, 2017, 02:54:18 PM by minasoliman »
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline Mor Ephrem

  • Ο προκαθήμενος της Ορθοδοξίας - The President of Orthodoxy
  • Section Moderator
  • Protospatharios
  • *****
  • Posts: 33,238
  • Two half-eggs
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
  • Faith: The Ancienter Faith
  • Jurisdiction: East
And I pointed out your hypocrisy because you aren't even looking into Eastern Orthodoxy, and you are commenting as though you are a member and have the end all be all authority of opinion.

I hope you do realize that the moderator of this particular section is an Oriental Orthodox.  If you are one of those people who do not see a difference of faith in both Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy, then one is not an "inquirer", but can see him/herself as a "member".

Yeah, I've about had it with people who are too emotionally attached to a religion they are not actually attached to.
How this relates to the coming Antichrist? I don't know...

Quote
The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

Offline Antonious Nikolas

  • Orthodox Christian, Miaphysite
  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 7,237
  • Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Bishop of Myra
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Oriental Orthodox Church
Luke 18:9-14

Ironic that you're posting this, when you're the one vainglorious enough to attempt to teach Orthodox Christians about their own Faith.  Most Orthodox Christians - Eastern and Oriental - agree that the general spirituality of both families is very similar if not identical.  No one at all would say that about Orthodoxy and your sect.  And yet, you think you know what is best for the Orthodox Church.  Have you also endeavored to teach your granny to suck eggs?

Fair enough. I had an adolescent grammar moment where I used "quite literally" incorrectly.

You're entire posting history in this thread qualifies as an "adolescent moment", especially your attempt at dodging a substantive discussion of the actual subject by focusing on your deliberate misreading of what I've posted.  You seem quite unable to demonstrate that the restoration of the order of the deaconess has anything to do with modern feminism.  I'd love to see you prove that.

I also didn't say anything approximating the meaning of the phrase you typed above.  Anyone with a modicum of reading comprehension skills can see that what I did was admonish a person outside of the Church about terming those inside the Church "schismatic heretics".  This does not equate to saying that his opinions on Orthodox matters are necessarily inferior.  Feel free to try again though.

This entire section is wrong.

No, this entire section is spot on, with the exception of the statement that "anyone with a modicum of reading comprehension skills can see...".  This is obviously not true if the person is being deliberately obtuse and focusing on their intentional misreading of the text in order to mask the fact that they are unqualified and unable to speak to the larger issue at hand.  I see now that it is not an accident that you are not addressing the larger issue at play in this thread - that of the restoration of the female diaconate and whether or not it has anything to do with feminism and entitlement - and are instead taking up space - as you put it - trying to torture my words into fitting the narrative you've created in your own mind.  This makes sense though, since you're apparently trying to do the same thing with Orthodox Church: torture reality into fitting your preconceived notions of what it is.  Hint: it is not a refuge for disgruntled American conservatives who feel their own jurisdictions are "too liberal" a la Charles Martel.

1. You "quite literally" said

Many people actually living the Orthodox Tradition - among them clergy, laity, and academics- know better.
And you presume to know the pastoral needs of the Orthodox faithful?

This is a response to

Absolutely no need for it in the West, except to appease secular feminism. There is no pastoral need.

If this happens, I expect schism. The liberal schismatics will go the same way as the Anglicans if they don't repent.

Thus, what you have argued is
1. Your opinion on the pastoral needs of the Orthodox Church can't be good because clergy, academics, and laypeople know better.
2. You, as someone who is outside the Church, can't presume to know the pastoral needs of the Orthodox Church.

You're still attempting to force a meaning that isn't present in the actual text onto my words.  Why not try addressing what I actually typed instead of your deliberate misinterpretation of it and the flawed attempts at paraphrase that follow?  How about this: would you agree that Orthodoxy is a lived Faith?  Or do you think it boils down to something that can be known from without?  It's obvious from what you've posted below that you lean towards the latter idea, and thus have not truly embraced Orthodoxy at all, but are still very Western and heterodox in your outlook.

This logic, that your opinion on the pastoral needs of the Orthodox Church is inferior, is flawed - as he, like me, could be attending an Orthodox Church and be a part of the community there for a significant amount of time such that he is able to give an opinion on the pastoral needs of the Church.

Thanks for proving my point.  As Porter said, being Orthodox means more than simply showing up for church.  It's obvious from this post that you either:

a. haven't been attending an Orthodox parish for any length of time or
b. if you have (which I doubt) you haven't allowed Orthodoxy to penetrate your heart or adopted an Orthodox phronema

Your outlook on things is still very shallow and Western indeed, as is Daniel's.  Thanks for making my point so elegantly.

Your logic is also applicable to other aspects of Orthodox Church life.
"Your opinion on what iconography is appropriate is inferior because clergy, academics, and laypeople know better."
"Your opinion on what liturgical music is appropriate is inferior because clergy, academics, and laypeople know better."
"Your opinion on non-denominational charity is inferior because clergy, academics, and laypeople know better."
"Your opinion on the legitimacy of the Western Rite is inferior because clergy, academics, and laypeople know better."

If you don't see how Orthodoxy is a lived Faith - how living a life steeped in the Mysteries of the Church is the most essential aspect of that Faith - and that merely being an observer or a student of Orthodoxy in the academic sense does not mean that one truly understands or has imbibed the Faith, that is not my fault.  Heterodox Christians like yourself and Daniel are not automatically disqualified of any discussion of Orthodox things whatsoever, but they should bear in mind that they are not living the Orthodox Faith and should take that into account when considering whether or not to give into the urge to arrogantly lecture Orthodox Christians about their own Faith.  Besides, you haven't demonstrated in any post that you are especially educated - even in the mere academic sense - about any of the above topics.

Following through with this logic, I ask the question: "What is the point of even allowing him to post opinions, or me - as someone who holds the Orthodox Faith but isn't a catechumen yet - when any opinion I put forward can be struck down by the argument that 'Your opinion is inferior because members know better than you.'" So, why not ban me and him, when we are wasting account space?

See above.

You are indeed wasting space here, but not merely because you are a heterodox Christian.  There are other heterodox here who offer valued insight into Orthodox matters, and without the unbearable arrogance.

And I point out the fact that you aren't a member of the Eastern Orthodox Church, either, and are probably less qualified to point out the needs of the Eastern Orthodox Faithful when you yourself probably don't even attend an Eastern Orthodox Church and are less likely to be knowledgeable on the pastoral needs of the Orthodox Church

Not only are you in error as it pertains to my personal situation and experience with the Eastern Orthodox Church - I've actually graduated from an Eastern Orthodox seminary and prayed in Eastern Orthodox parishes for roughly half of my life - but it is generally agreed upon by most Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Christians - even those who aren't in favor of the reestablishment of full communion - that the general pastoral needs and spiritual life of the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox families are very similar if not completely identical.  No one would say that about your heterodox sect.  I would also note that the movement for the restoration of the deaconess in the Orthodox Church cuts across Eastern and Oriental Orthodox lines, and a perusal of the speakers at said conferences reveals both Eastern and Oriental Orthodox figures.

and, following through on your logic that "members outside the Church have inferior opinions," and considering that your arguments meet the criteria of being stricken down by your logic, I've pointed out your hypocrisy.

You've not at all, since you've fundamentally and seemingly deliberately misapprehended my overall point.  As I've repeatedly demonstrated, I've not disqualified the heterodox from the discussion, and I given the apparent confusion about who the Oriental Orthodox are and what we believe in your posting history outside of this thread, I don't think you're qualified to speak to whether we are Orthodox or not.  One thing is for sure: you aren't and neither is Daniel.

How is his argument based on the "political sensibilities of heterodox Christians?"

I've already demonstrated how his post was pregnant with the talking points of said group.  I won't go through the exercise again because you're slow on the uptake.

And "always" is too strong of a word, considering that we are talking about this controversial issue to begin with.

Not in this case.  The order of the deaconess has been a part of the Orthodox Church since the time of the New Testament.  I'd say that's pretty close to "always".

He's calling those who cause a potential future schism as "liberal schismatics," if there is schism. Which is what he put forward.

If anyone leaves the Church because she has reinstated the order of the deaconess - say, some dissident element within the Patriarchate of Alexandria for instance - they would be the schismatics.

But one day!

"But one day!" what?  One day you'll be Orthodox?  Maybe, maybe not.  In the meantime, what your positing in this thread certainly isn't indicative of an Orthodox phronema.

I'm just repeating what Christ - who is God - said, who I think has a greater authority on matters of ecclesiology than a couple of opinions by some theologians, which are contested anyways.

The words of Our Lord certainly don't invalidate the idea that both the Eastern and the Oriental Orthodox families have maintained the same Apostolic Faith for the past 2000 years, and they certainly don't mean that you and Daniel are part of the Church.  Plus, you said "anyways", so you've lost the argument right there.  Especially after the "quite literally" episode.  I'm beginning to think that in addition to not being Orthodox, you're also not particularly well-educated.

That's not what you "merely" said, as I've pointed out.

All you've pointed out is that you're more interested in focusing on your misreading of my words than on actually debating the subject at hand, that you are not anywhere close to living the Orthodox Faith, and that you're being deliberately being pedantic because you have nothing to actually contribute in terms of addressing the OP.

Also, I consider this a compliment - I wish I was as fabulous as Dorothy.

"Fabulous as Dorothy", huh?  Something tells me that while you consider yourself to be "conservative" on the issue of the deaconess, you'd probably be decidedly "liberal" on other issues.

He was calling "liberal schismatics" as those causing schism by female deaconess ordination.

I'm trying to parse your less than intelligible grammar here, but the proponents of the restoration of the order of the deaconess can hardly all be dismissed as "liberals" or "feminists" - the fears and fantasies of American political conservatives notwithstanding - and if anyone entered into schism over the issue, it would likely not be those in favor of the restoration of the order, but its reactionary opponents.  Case in point, deaconesses have been ordained in Alexandria.  Anyone breaking communion with Alexandria over that would be the schismatic, not H.B. Pope Theodoros.

And I wouldn't agree with Orthodoxy being aligned with one set of political ideology - but I think in the context of social / moral issues, such as feminism, abortion, drugs, LGBT rights, Orthodoxy is definitely more conservative. Not on every social issue - like welfare and the death penalty (maybe), but on these issues - yes.

So then you agree with my point that Orthodoxy is not and will never be firmly aligned with the American political right like Evangelicalism is.  Not so Daniel, apparently, as he seems to think that anyone interested in the restoration of the order of the deaconess is a "liberal feminist", which is as wrong as it is moronic.

For the first sentence "nah."

Yeah, you have.

For the second sentence, that's not what you said in reply to him.

Yes it is, your deliberate misreading notwithstanding.

Your stealing my style by preceding the actual name calling with "O,"

I was using that style before you created your account, O Undeservedly Haughty One.  So was Johnny Carson.

like some kind of muse or narrator of epic poetry.

You're far from either of those.  You apparently struggle with high school level writing.

Also, WHOA! It's so weird that Dorothy looks younger than me.

Yeah, how weird that an actress 16 years old at the time of filming should look younger than you.  Then again, based on your writing - such as it is - she might actually have been.

And I pointed out your hypocrisy because you aren't even looking into Eastern Orthodoxy, and you are commenting as though you are a member and have the end all be all authority of opinion.

I hope you do realize that the moderator of this particular section is an Oriental Orthodox.  If you are one of those people who do not see a difference of faith in both Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy, then one is not an "inquirer", but can see him/herself as a "member".

Yeah, I've about had it with people who are too emotionally attached to a religion they are not actually attached to.

+1000

Like I said, the hubris is overwhelming.
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

Offline Alpha60

  • Pray without ceasing!
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,591
  • Faith: Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox
in an open culture such as America...with its distinct lack of separation of the sexes....this seems like a 'frivolous grasping for the priesthood' sort of move.

But in -much- of the world...the ancient world...you know...the world where our traditions started and came from...the need is much clearer. 

And to be honest, even here in America...there are plenty of husbands who would be much more comfortable with their wife who is inquiring into Orthodoxy, mainly dealing with a female catechisist  than a male Priest or layperson who often ends up meeting with them alone.

So rather than just thinking about this in a 'western world' perspective...maybe we should look at it as 'What Orthodoxy used to do....might be worth reviving in the sake of being more traditional...and keeping ourselves 'not of this western world'

+100000000

This post makes perfect sense.  Setting aside the article and agenda of the "liturgists" who are laics like us, some of whom may support the restoration of deaconesses for the base and heterodox political motive of ordaining women to the priesthood and episcopate, which the holy Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria and All Africa is neither doing nor contemplating, there is a legitimate use for the ministry of the deaconness in the old world, which is why the Oriental Orthodox churches, the Antiochians and others have generally retained them for specific applications.

In the Coptic church, celibate deaconesses perform a range of humanitarian services including services connected with the running of the large number of orphanages operated by the church, whose existence is required by the cruel Islamic law, enforced in Egypt, preventing the adoption of children.  So our church ordains deaconesses to the most sacred ministry of being mothers to the motherless, a ministry uniquely suited to women, and a ministry intimately and directly connected to the charitable ministry that was the original historical function of the diaconate, before the role of deacons was expanded to the reading of the Gospel and the intonation of the litanies.   This charitable function is Eucharistic, even if it is not precisely the same liturgical function as the Deacon who helps serve the Chalice.

It is a role related to the vital process of extending the liturgy into the world and making life sacramental, by caring for the orphans and providing them the love denied to them otherwise by death, separation or abandonment by their natural parents and the barbaric laws of an Islamic society which owing to its innate wickedness, presumes to ban Christian children from being able to benefit from the dedicated love and care of adoptive parents, which I consider to be an act of Islamic terrorism in perpetua; whereas we celebrate Holy Communion as the apex of our religion, and then spread the liturgy into the world through charity, legalistic Sunni judges of the extremist fundamentalist schools view holy war as the apex of their religion (in contrast to some non-violent Sufis who interpret jihad as an internal struggle against sin), and this violence is propagated even in a moderately Islamic state like Egypt through the uncritical codification into civil law of the prohibition of adoption.

So the Holy Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, the close and ever supportive sister of the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria (the two churches tried to unite in the 1840s but the Albanian Khedive thwarted this union, fearing needlessly the political power the Pope of a united Egyptian (and at the time, Ethiopian) Church would posess has used deaconesses for some time to mitigate this casual and thoughtless barbarity, this expression of the inate cruelty of Islam in proscribing adoptions, by having them work with a host of other clergy and laity to operate orphanages so that our Christian children, who in Egypt for their safety in the Coptic church have a small tattoo of a cross discretely etched on their wrist, are not left abandoned in the streets, thus extending the love and compassion we share in the kiss of peace, which has always been preserved in the Oriental churches among the laity, outside of the formal confines of the divine liturgy and into the suffering world.

Now, in answer to the impertinent question raised by another poster, who dared to ask why an autocephalous church thousands of miles from his land had decided on its authority to resume the ordination of deaconesses, the specific neccessity of pastoral care impacting the Church of Alexandria from what I understand involves the reception of converts, and is related in a direct way both to the hypothetical case in America raised by the ever pious DeniseDenise, and to the original function of deaconesses.

The missions of the Orthodox Church in Africa are bearing fruit.  There are large families requiring conversion, including many adolescent and adult women.  In the past, before the baptismal gown existed, when baptisms were done in the nude, owing to their relationship to the mikvah purifications in Judaism, deaconesses exercised one primary ministry of unique and almost unparalled importance, which was to go down into the water with the women being baptized while the priest said the prayers, avoiding any immodesty and impropriety on the part of the priesthood and episcopate, or even the appearance of such immodesty, in marked contrast to the sexual indecency of the prevailing religions of Hellenic and Semitic Paganism, and this role and the need for it increased to extreme levels in the years following the conversion of St. Constantine; however, once the Roman Empire and surrounding regions had largely been converted, an impenetrable wall of Islam surrounded the church and constricted the mission field; the lands of Sub Saharan Africa south of Abyssinia and Zanzibar were utterly inaccessible, and the Church had to focus on its own survival, the Greek Orthodox Church in Alexandria being encircled by the destruction of the Chalcedonian churches of North Africa, the Eastern and Oriental church in Libya, the Oriental Orthodox Church of Numibia, and the church in the Sudan, and in the 1200s the extermination of the Church of the East in Yemen, in South Yemen and the Island of Socorro, where it had historically thrived (this having being the preferred, safe route by which the Christians on the Red Sea crossed the tip of the Arabian Peninsula when travelling to Kerala and Malankara, the bastion of Christians in central Asia; now the Churches in India and Africa were cut off, except through the intermediary of the surviving Syriac churches in present day Iraq, Syria and Palestine).

So, baptism of large numbers of adult converts stopped for the Patriarch of Alexandria probably around the same time, or in the centuries following, the miracle of the Baptism of the Rus.

But now, Sub Saharan Africa has been opened up, and indeed much of the population has been prepared to receive the true Gospel and join the Holy Orthodox Church through the ultimately inadequete ministrations of masses of Western missionaries, most of them heretical, but who nonetheless offered a compelling taste of the Gospel, so that the people of Africa who have come to know Christ increasingly seek the full and perfect Communion with him offered by the Holy Orthodox Church.  Thus we need presently deaconesses, just as we needed them when the Alexandrian Church was young; older women, strong in the faith, who can initiate the women into the mysteries of Holy Orthodoxy, preserving modesty in the African societies where modesty and chastity is of paramount importance, that everything might be done, as St. Paul commanded, decently and in order, as we seek to continue the work of the Great Commission of Matthew 28:19.
"It is logical that the actions of the human race over time will lead to its destruction.  I, Alpha 60, am merely the agent of this destruction."

- The computer Alpha 60, from Alphaville (1964) by Jean Luc Godard, the obvious inspiration for HAL-9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

This signature is not intended to offend any user, nor the relatives of Discovery 1 deputy commander Dr. Frank Poole,  and crew members Dr. Victor Kaminsky, Dr. Jack Kimball, and Dr. Charles Hunter.

Offline LivenotoneviL

  • An Indecisive Sinner
  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 506
  • 404 - Quote not found
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Not a Catechumen
And I pointed out your hypocrisy because you aren't even looking into Eastern Orthodoxy, and you are commenting as though you are a member and have the end all be all authority of opinion.

I hope you do realize that the moderator of this particular section is an Oriental Orthodox.  If you are one of those people who do not see a difference of faith in both Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy, then one is not an "inquirer", but can see him/herself as a "member".

Yeah, I've about had it with people who are too emotionally attached to a religion they are not actually attached to.

Elaborate on me being "emotionally attached," as I was simply attacking him on the point that he tried to disavow an opinion on the basis that the inquirer couldn't possibly know the needs of the Orthodox faithful, and me pointing out his hypocrisy, speaking for an organization - even with his "invisible" theory - he is not a part of.

My emotional attachment to Orthodoxy is irrelevant to the argument at hand. You can't attack someone for not being part of an organization when - even with flawed logic - they are not part of that same organization, physically as a member. If you can claim to be an "invisible member," his claim is the same considering he is inquiring into Orthodoxy.
"Our wickedness shall not overpower the unspeakable goodness and mercy of God; our dullness shall not overpower God's wisdom, nor our infirmity God's omnipotence."
-Saint John of Kronstadt

Keep shining, star!

Offline LivenotoneviL

  • An Indecisive Sinner
  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 506
  • 404 - Quote not found
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Not a Catechumen
Ironic that you're posting this, when you're the one vainglorious  enough to attempt to teach Orthodox Christians about their own Faith. Most Orthodox Christians - Eastern and Oriental - agree that the general spirituality of both families is very similar if not identical.  No one at all would say that about Orthodoxy and your sect.  And yet, you think you know what is best for the Orthodox Church.  Have you also endeavored to teach your granny to suck eggs?

Am I wrong with that post? Is it not truth?

I'm defending one man's ability to express his opinion.
And I'm pointing out your hypocrisy - even if you believe in the so called "invisible member" theory, you cannot really attack someone's opinion because they aren't an official member of a physical organization, when you are of the same status. You accuse them of being ignorant of the pastoral needs of the Eastern Orthodox Church, an organization which you don't even willingly attend at.

No, this entire section is spot on, with the exception of the statement that "anyone with a modicum of reading comprehension skills can see...".  This is obviously not true if the person is being deliberately obtuse and focusing on their intentional misreading of the text in order to mask the fact that they are unqualified and unable to speak to the larger issue at hand.  I see now that it is not an accident that you are not addressing the larger issue at play in this thread - that of the restoration of the female diaconate and whether or not it has anything to do with feminism and entitlement - and are instead taking up space - as you put it - trying to torture my words into fitting the narrative you've created in your own mind.  This makes sense though, since you're apparently trying to do the same thing with Orthodox Church: torture reality into fitting your preconceived notions of what it is.  Hint: it is not a refuge for disgruntled American conservatives who feel their own jurisdictions are "too liberal" a la Charles Martel.


My critique of you has nothing to do with the issue of female deaconess ordination - it has to do with the flawed ad-hominem attack against the person, accusing them of not being allowed to express an opinion because of who they are, and me not only addressing the flawed logic in your reasoning, but also your hypocrisy as someone who isn't a visible member of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Read my posts.

Did I once state whether or not I think female ordination of the deaconess is a good idea or not?

I attacked secular feminism, but this was separate from female ordination of deaconesses.

It's obvious from what you've posted below that you lean towards the latter idea, and thus have not truly embraced Orthodoxy at all, but are still very Western and heterodox in your outlook.

Thanks for proving my point.  As Porter said, being Orthodox means more than simply showing up for church.  It's obvious from this post that you either:

a. haven't been attending an Orthodox parish for any length of time or
b. if you have (which I doubt) you haven't allowed Orthodoxy to penetrate your heart or adopted an Orthodox phronema

Your outlook on things is still very shallow and Western indeed, as is Daniel's.  Thanks for making my point so elegantly.


I would like a response - how has anything I posted been "shallow" or "Western" or "heterodox," and how have I come across as "Orthodoxy hasn't penetrated my heart?"

I would dismiss this as a mere ad-hominem attack, but I would like to see how you would respond to this.



If you don't see how Orthodoxy is a lived Faith - how living a life steeped in the Mysteries of the Church is the most essential aspect of that Faith - and that merely being an observer or a student of Orthodoxy in the academic sense does not mean that one truly understands or has imbibed the Faith, that is not my fault.  Heterodox Christians like yourself and Daniel are not automatically disqualified of any discussion of Orthodox things whatsoever, but they should bear in mind that they are not living the Orthodox Faith and should take that into account when considering whether or not to give into the urge to arrogantly lecture Orthodox Christians about their own Faith.  Besides, you haven't demonstrated in any post that you are especially educated - even in the mere academic sense - about any of the above topics.


How have I arrogantly lectured about Orthodoxy or Daniel has arrogantly lectured about Orthodoxy?
And - even though you are not my teacher because we aren't in communion with one another (maybe one day!) - are students not allowed to critique their teachers?

Should've the Orthodox laypeople bowed down to the various Arian, Nestorian, and Iconoclastic bishops that have come in place?

I think you are wrong because you are attacking the legitimacy of a person and not the substance of their argument.

And point out the substance of my argument rather than my education if you wish to demonstrate how "uneducated" I am as an individual.



You are indeed wasting space here, but not merely because you are a heterodox Christian.  There are other heterodox here who offer valued insight into Orthodox matters, and without the unbearable arrogance.

I find it arrogant to attack people in where they are in their life, rather than attack arguments.

Could you elaborate how I'm being arrogant?


Not only are you in error as it pertains to my personal situation and experience with the Eastern Orthodox Church - I've actually graduated from an Eastern Orthodox seminary and prayed in Eastern Orthodox parishes for roughly half of my life - but it is generally agreed upon by most Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Christians - even those who aren't in favor of the reestablishment of full communion - that the general pastoral needs and spiritual life of the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox families are very similar if not completely identical.  No one would say that about your heterodox sect.  I would also note that the movement for the restoration of the deaconess in the Orthodox Church cuts across Eastern and Oriental Orthodox lines, and a perusal of the speakers at said conferences reveals both Eastern and Oriental Orthodox figures.

Thanks for the argument - finally. But I still think its wrong - on the Internet - to attack someone because of who they are and disavow their opinions.

You've not at all, since you've fundamentally and seemingly deliberately misapprehended my overall point.  As I've repeatedly demonstrated, I've not disqualified the heterodox from the discussion, and I given the apparent confusion about who the Oriental Orthodox are and what we believe in your posting history outside of this thread, I don't think you're qualified to speak to whether we are Orthodox or not.  One thing is for sure: you aren't and neither is Daniel.

What heterodox opinion have I given forward thus far?

I've already demonstrated how his post was pregnant with the talking points of said group.  I won't go through the exercise again because you're slow on the uptake.

No you haven't. In addition to not demonstrating how his post was "pregnant with the idea," you haven't demonstrated that was his intention. You can't just guess the intentions of people with no circumstantial evidence.

Not in this case.  The order of the deaconess has been a part of the Orthodox Church since the time of the New Testament.  I'd say that's pretty close to "always".

If it was "always" acceptable, then this wouldn't even be a debate.

If anyone leaves the Church because she has reinstated the order of the deaconess - say, some dissident element within the Patriarchate of Alexandria for instance - they would be the schismatics.

OK, I agree - you should've said this in the first place. But I think circumstances are key - who is the dissident element?

"But one day!" what?  One day you'll be Orthodox?  Maybe, maybe not.  In the meantime, what your positing in this thread certainly isn't indicative of an Orthodox phronema.

Elaborate please. And okay, "but one day" probably wasn't an appropriate response. I am an immature individual in certain aspects that needs to develop.

All you've pointed out is that you're more interested in focusing on your misreading of my words than on actually debating the subject at hand, that you are not anywhere close to living the Orthodox Faith, and that you're being deliberately being pedantic because you have nothing to actually contribute in terms of addressing the OP.

I don't find "hey, you can't know the pastoral needs of the Orthodox faithful" particularly helpful in addressing the topic at hand.


"Fabulous as Dorothy", huh?  Something tells me that while you consider yourself to be "conservative" on the issue of the deaconess, you'd probably be decidedly "liberal" on other issues.

It seems to me that calling someone "gay" as an insult isn't particularly Christ like.
And on those issues, no - I'm not. It was just a bit of humor. Bad humor, but humor nonetheless.

So then you agree with my point that Orthodoxy is not and will never be firmly aligned with the American political right like Evangelicalism is.  Not so Daniel, apparently, as he seems to think that anyone interested in the restoration of the order of the deaconess is a "liberal feminist", which is as wrong as it is moronic.

I never said that Orthodoxy was - have I given that opinion? And my point was Daniel never gave that point either.

I was using that style before you created your account, O Undeservedly Haughty One.  So was Johnny Carson.

I am undeservedly haughty - please pray for me.

Yeah, how weird that an actress 16 years old at the time of filming should look younger than you.  Then again, based on your writing - such as it is - she might actually have been.

I haven't seen Wizard of Oz in a while - when I was much younger. So, seeing Dorothy again looking younger than me is weird.


I also want to point out that it is rather embarrassing for someone who graduated from an Orthodox seminary to use such insults as "do you teach your granny to suck eggs," which to me comes across as rather juvenile.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2017, 03:08:55 PM by LivenotoneviL »
"Our wickedness shall not overpower the unspeakable goodness and mercy of God; our dullness shall not overpower God's wisdom, nor our infirmity God's omnipotence."
-Saint John of Kronstadt

Keep shining, star!

Offline LivenotoneviL

  • An Indecisive Sinner
  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 506
  • 404 - Quote not found
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Not a Catechumen
As well as call me "gay" as an insult.

Honestly, I think this whole discussion is leading both of us to sin - can we just end it and pray for each other?

Pray for me, because I'm immature in a lot of aspects and I need a lot of development in my person in many different areas of my life.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2017, 03:12:26 PM by LivenotoneviL »
"Our wickedness shall not overpower the unspeakable goodness and mercy of God; our dullness shall not overpower God's wisdom, nor our infirmity God's omnipotence."
-Saint John of Kronstadt

Keep shining, star!

Offline Mor Ephrem

  • Ο προκαθήμενος της Ορθοδοξίας - The President of Orthodoxy
  • Section Moderator
  • Protospatharios
  • *****
  • Posts: 33,238
  • Two half-eggs
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
  • Faith: The Ancienter Faith
  • Jurisdiction: East
And I pointed out your hypocrisy because you aren't even looking into Eastern Orthodoxy, and you are commenting as though you are a member and have the end all be all authority of opinion.

I hope you do realize that the moderator of this particular section is an Oriental Orthodox.  If you are one of those people who do not see a difference of faith in both Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy, then one is not an "inquirer", but can see him/herself as a "member".

Yeah, I've about had it with people who are too emotionally attached to a religion they are not actually attached to.

Elaborate on me being "emotionally attached," as I was simply attacking him on the point that he tried to disavow an opinion on the basis that the inquirer couldn't possibly know the needs of the Orthodox faithful, and me pointing out his hypocrisy, speaking for an organization - even with his "invisible" theory - he is not a part of.

My emotional attachment to Orthodoxy is irrelevant to the argument at hand. You can't attack someone for not being part of an organization when - even with flawed logic - they are not part of that same organization, physically as a member. If you can claim to be an "invisible member," his claim is the same considering he is inquiring into Orthodoxy.

So, just because he's inquiring into Orthodoxy means that he has no right to voice his opinion in the debate? Talk about Church inclusiveness!

Well, you might as well ban me from the thread, ban him from the thread - and ban yourself from the thread, considering you are an Oriental Orthodox who isn't even inquiring into Eastern Orthodoxy, who is commenting on an Eastern Orthodox issue, who, by your own logic, should not have the privilege of voicing your opinion.

^Emotional attachment to a Church you are not actually attached to in reality, expressed in the form of melodrama on steroids. 

No one is stopping anyone from sharing an opinion.  But opinions not grounded in experience are worth less than opinions that are.

You have been going after AN because he's OO and thus not EO and not qualified to speak to "an Eastern Orthodox issue".  While this may be convenient as a tool to establish your own qualification to speak, it fails on a number of grounds:

1.  The forum rules state that the Liturgy section is for the discussion of liturgical matters in the EO and OO traditions.
2.  The (incidentally all-EO) forum administration has appointed an OO as moderator of this section, which demonstrates their trust in OOs to know how to handle sections which are intentionally diverse.  At least in the course of official duties, it may happen that the (OO) mod opines in a thread involving "an Eastern Orthodox issue"; they know that and evidently are fine with it. 
3.  The authors of the "Statement of Support" in the OP explicitly mention the OO in their discussion of "an Eastern Orthodox issue".  Apparently they don't think it's just an EO issue, and by including us in the discussion, they have ensured that it is not. 
4.  "I'm not EO and AN isn't either" doesn't exactly mean the two of you are equal.  I can name EO bishops and synods that will commune him, even as I can name bishops and synods that will not.  But no one will commune you.  You're "not even a catechumen".  Unlike AN, you have no legitimate attachment to the faith you claim other than an intellectual adherence to it which, in the process of your discernment, you may well abandon as others have. 

Quote
And I wonder how you can say that this argument against "deaconess ordination" stems from "Evangelical baggage" when, may I remind you, Evangelicals are probably the most hostile group of "Christians" to any idea of organized church governance.

At least we agree that Evangelicals aren't really Christians.  I don't know what your current religious affiliation is, but unless you're currently RC, the odds are good you are one of these not-really-Christians.  I commend you for your honesty. 

Obviously, Evangelicals who convert to Orthodoxy have, in large part, abandoned any hostility to organised church governance.  But they can and often do bring in with them their past histories, their baggage, their damage, etc.  The Church is a place of healing, and they are of course welcome to be healed by the grace of the Spirit pulsing through it--the rest of us want that as well, so that our joy may be complete.  But when they view the Church and its tradition and its history through the lens of their past and try to mould the Church in the image of their preconceived notions rather than try to understand what their Mother is doing, yes, that is a matter of unhealthy baggage from the past and it needs to be called out, for their sake as much as for the rest of us who want no part of that BS. 

Quote
May I also ask how secular feminism today is compatible with Orthodoxy, which is what you are implying? The ideology which treats motherhood as a kind of slavery, and demands an incineration of any kind of distinction between the two genders? An ideology which, out of hubris, tries to create a boogeyman out of the mere concept of masculinity?

Where the hell did I imply any of that? 

I think deaconesses are a worthwhile ministry.  I also think motherhood is a worthwhile ministry.  I happen to enjoy being a man, and women I know enjoy the fact that I'm a man and that I enjoy being one because they enjoy men.  In other words, I'm a fairly normal Orthodox Christian. 
How this relates to the coming Antichrist? I don't know...

Quote
The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

Offline Mor Ephrem

  • Ο προκαθήμενος της Ορθοδοξίας - The President of Orthodoxy
  • Section Moderator
  • Protospatharios
  • *****
  • Posts: 33,238
  • Two half-eggs
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
  • Faith: The Ancienter Faith
  • Jurisdiction: East
As well as call me "gay" as an insult.

Where did anyone call you gay?  I control F'd this entire thread and the only times the word "gay" is used, they are used in your own original posts. 

Quote
Honestly, I think this whole discussion is leading both of us to sin - can we just end it and pray for each other?

A genuinely Orthodox approach would've had you admitting your own sins and committing to trying harder rather than also condemn other people as sinners.

Quote
Pray for me, because I'm immature in a lot of aspects and I need a lot of development in my person in many different areas of my life.

^That's better Orthodox.
How this relates to the coming Antichrist? I don't know...

Quote
The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

Offline Antonious Nikolas

  • Orthodox Christian, Miaphysite
  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 7,237
  • Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Bishop of Myra
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Oriental Orthodox Church
Elaborate on me being "emotionally attached," as I was simply attacking him on the point that he tried to disavow an opinion on the basis that the inquirer couldn't possibly know the needs of the Orthodox faithful, and me pointing out his hypocrisy, speaking for an organization - even with his "invisible" theory - he is not a part of.

Again, you are deliberately misrepresenting my point of view and misinterpreting my statements, apparently because you have nothing substantive to say about the actual subject at hand.  I never attempted to speak for the Eastern Orthodox Church and I never advanced what you term an "invisible theory".  What I have consistently stated is that it is arrogant for heterodox Christians like you and Daniel to attempt to upbraid actual Eastern Orthodox Christians concerning their own traditions based upon your preconceived notions and your very limited knowledge of the Orthodox Faith.  Should you care to question the latter part of that statement, I would say that it is evident to all who have read your posting history, most especially as it pertains to your exchanges with Mor regarding Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Church history.

My emotional attachment to Orthodoxy is irrelevant to the argument at hand. You can't attack someone for not being part of an organization when - even with flawed logic - they are not part of that same organization, physically as a member. If you can claim to be an "invisible member," his claim is the same considering he is inquiring into Orthodoxy.

No one has every claimed to be an "invisible member".  You really need to give it a break with the strawmen and trying to force words into the mouths of your interlocutors.  All I have ever said concerning the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches is that both have consistently upheld the same Apostolic Faith throughout the centuries and that the spirituality of both communions is similar if not identical, something that cannot be said about the heterodox sects that you and Daniel come from.  Even if I were "outside the Church" as you assert, my words are still not hypocritical, because I never made an arrogant and misguided attempt to upbraid Eastern Orthodox Christians as "liberals", "schismatics", or "feminists".

Am I wrong with that post?

Yes.

Is it not truth?

It is misapplied by a rank hypocrite.

I'm defending one man's ability to express his opinion.

You're defending a man outside of a Church who doesn't understand that Church's attempt to scold and upbraid the actual members of that Church in the harshest and most arrogant of terms.

And I'm pointing out your hypocrisy

And in attempting to do so, exposing your own.

even if you believe in the so called "invisible member" theory

I don't.  That's just another strawman you've erected in lieu of addressing my actual arguments.

you cannot really attack someone's opinion because they aren't an official member of a physical organization

Good thing I never attempted to do so, but rather counseled them to avoid being arrogant and condemnatory when speaking about a Church of which they are not a member.

when you are of the same status.

In your view.  Not in the view of many more erudite individuals who actually live and pray in the communities in question.

You accuse them of being ignorant of the pastoral needs of the Eastern Orthodox Church, an organization which you don't even willingly attend at.

Did you not read my previous response to you on this point?  You have no clue what parishes I attend or have attended, where I have received the Eucharist and under what circumstances, and what my living experience with Eastern Orthodoxy actually is.  I assure you, based on your posts here, it is far greater than yours.

My critique of you has nothing to do with the issue of female deaconess ordination

Because evidently you have nothing of substance to add to that discussion.

it has to do with the flawed ad-hominem attack against the person

"Quite literally", "anyways"...along with a host of other things, you need to look up the actual definition of the term "ad hominem fallacy".  I never dismissed Daniel's argument based on who he is.  Rather, what I did was explain why he - and you for that matter - are not qualified to evaluate or speak to the pastoral needs of the Orthodox Church and admonished him for the harsh and condemnatory terms in which he attempted to do so.  I realize this distinction might be lost on you, because either your readings skills are as lacking as your writing skills, or because you are being deliberately obtuse.

accusing them of not being allowed to express an opinion

I accused him of not being allowed to express an opinion?  I never did any such thing.  Make sense, man.  Basic sentence construction is as fundamental as reading. 

And slogging through your tortured grammar to discern your actual meaning, I never said he couldn't express an opinion, but warned him about why that opinion was unqualified and why is shouldn't be stated in hubristic and condemnatory terms.  Asked and answered.

because of who they are

Nope.  Try again.

and me not only addressing the flawed logic in your reasoning

You have not, but rather have exposed your own.

but also your hypocrisy as someone who isn't a visible member of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

I never claimed I was.  Yet another strawman, huh?  Crows must be scared of you.  But yeah, this has been asked and answered repeatedly.

Read my posts.

It is torturous and arduous, considering your hubris, strawmen and bad grammar, but for some reason, I have done so.

Did I once state whether or not I think female ordination of the deaconess is a good idea or not?

As I have already pointed out, you apparently have nothing to offer in that regard.

I attacked secular feminism, but this was separate from female ordination of deaconesses.

You did so in defense of Daniel's off-base assertion that those who are in favor of the restoration of the deaconess should be classified as "feminists".  And your sentence structure itself makes it sound as if the ordination itself - as well as the person being ordained - is female.  What gives?

I would like a response - how has anything I posted been "shallow" or "Western" or "heterodox," and how have I come across as "Orthodoxy hasn't penetrated my heart?"

I already have:

Quote
If you don't see how Orthodoxy is a lived Faith - how living a life steeped in the Mysteries of the Church is the most essential aspect of that Faith - and that merely being an observer or a student of Orthodoxy in the academic sense does not mean that one truly understands or has imbibed the Faith, that is not my fault.

You seem to think that living a life outside of the Mysteries but in close proximity to Orthodoxy - coupled with a clumsy attempt attaining discursive academic knowledge - qualifies you to speak as one who understands the Church as intimately as one who lives within her Mysteries.

I would dismiss this as a mere ad-hominem attack

Yeah, that seems to be your go-to position when confronted with realities that make you uncomfortable.

but I would like to see how you would respond to this.

Not that you'll give it any consideration.  You'll just begin assembling strawmen while attempting to debunk it.

How have I arrogantly lectured about Orthodoxy or Daniel has arrogantly lectured about Orthodoxy?

This has already been demonstrated, most especially in Daniel's case.

And - even though you are not my teacher because we aren't in communion with one another (maybe one day!)

Do you have to be in communion with someone to learn from them?  By that logic you could not learn from any Eastern Orthodox Christians, since you are not in communion with them either.

are students not allowed to critique their teachers?

In a respectful manner, not by upbraiding them as "feminist schismatics".

Should've the Orthodox laypeople bowed down to the various Arian, Nestorian, and Iconoclastic bishops that have come in place?

No.  Neither should they bow to disgruntled Roman Catholics and Evangelical fundies who have not divested themselves of their ideological and political baggage looking for a new rock to hide under.

I think you are wrong because you are attacking the legitimacy of a person and not the substance of their argument.

Demonstrating why someone is not qualified to make a certain argument is not the same thing as the ad hominem fallacy.  You may have a layman's opinion on quantum mechanics.  You don't get to call Richard Feynman nasty names though, and claim you know better than him, when all you've got to back that up is your hubris and (maybe) a high school diploma.

And point out the substance of my argument

There is none.

rather than my education if you wish to demonstrate how "uneducated" I am as an individual.

Pointing out your education or lack thereof is perfectly germane to demonstrating that you are uneducated.  If you were educated, you'd know that!  ;)

I find it arrogant to attack people in where they are in their life, rather than attack arguments.

In your case, there is ample room to do both.

Could you elaborate how I'm being arrogant?

You post as if you are lecturing people, when it is evident that you are vastly unqualified to do so.  Case in point:

Thanks for the argument - finally.

I see you have yet to advance one.

But I still think its wrong - on the Internet - to attack someone because of who they are and disavow their opinions.

You're using "disavow" wrong.  And, as already demonstrated, that's not what I have done.

What heterodox opinion have I given forward thus far?

The term was used here as a descriptor of who you are as an individual, not as a description of the beliefs that you are apparently still working out for yourself.  You are a Christian.  You are not an Orthodox Christian.  Therefore, you are, at present, a heterodox Christian.  Get it?

No you haven't.

I have.  That terminology didn't come to exist in a vacuum.  You don't have to be a dog to hear the dog whistles when it comes to politics.

In addition to not demonstrating how his post was "pregnant with the idea,"

I have.  That terminology didn't come to exist in a vacuum.  You don't have to be a dog to hear the dog whistles when it comes to politics.

you haven't demonstrated that was his intention. You can't just guess the intentions of people with no circumstantial evidence.

The circumstantial evidence is present not only in the post in question but in Daniel's posting history.  Let's have Daniel tell me then, that I am wrong about his political affiliation and sensibilities.  Either that, or you can peruse his history and take in the evidence, as you term it, for yourself.

If it was "always" acceptable, then this wouldn't even be a debate.

That's not true.  The fact that the issue has become controversial in some quarters of the Church in the modern day doesn't mean that it was not with us since the beginning and that it has not existed in some parts of the Church - as other posters have pointed out - right up until the present day.

OK, I agree - you should've said this in the first place.

I suppose there is some value in pointing out the obvious when dialoguing with those none too swift on the uptake.

But I think circumstances are key - who is the dissident element?

Whoever hypothetically enters into schism because the Patriarchate of Alexandria has reinstated the order of the deaconess within its territory.

Elaborate please.

I already have above.  Your mindset is still decidedly Western.

And okay, "but one day" probably wasn't an appropriate response. I am an immature individual in certain aspects that needs to develop.

Funny that you recognize this as it pertains to this particular aspect of the discussion when it is evident throughout all you've posted.  But I suppose it is a start!

I don't find "hey, you can't know the pastoral needs of the Orthodox faithful" particularly helpful in addressing the topic at hand.

And yet it is!  Who knows, it might lead the individuals in question down the path of actually becoming Orthodox, which of course is a lifelong process that means so much more than actually being received into the Church.

It seems to me that calling someone "gay" as an insult isn't particularly Christ like.
And on those issues, no - I'm not. It was just a bit of humor. Bad humor, but humor nonetheless.

So, when you're unbearably arrogant - or make a bad joke - that's cool, but when I when I make a joke you don't like, that's none too Christ like?  Hmmmm...If my name were you LivenotoneviL - or some other palindrome a sixth grader might think is clever, like say, "A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!"  - I'd be citing the Scripture about motes and eyeballs here.

I never said that Orthodoxy was - have I given that opinion?

I'm just asking if you agree with me.  Is it necessary to be defensive and contentious about even that?

And my point was Daniel never gave that point either.

Sure he did.

I am undeservedly haughty - please pray for me.

I see that.  And I will.

I haven't seen Wizard of Oz in a while - when I was much younger. So, seeing Dorothy again looking younger than me is weird.

And Spanky from The Little Rascals died at the age of 64 in 1993!



I also want to point out that it is rather embarrassing for someone who graduated from an Orthodox seminary to use such insults as "do you teach your granny to suck eggs," which to me comes across as rather juvenile.

You're apparently unfamiliar with the history of the phrase...among a host of other things.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teaching_grandmother_to_suck_eggs

As well as call me "gay" as an insult.

So again, when you make a bad joke, it's all good.  When I do it...Oh, the humanity!

Honestly, I think this whole discussion is leading both of us to sin - can we just end it and pray for each other?

How convenient that you should ask immediately after venting your spleen.  Whether you were sincere or not will be evident in your next reply.  If you're willing to start at this point, I am.  ;)

Pray for me, because I'm immature in a lot of aspects and I need a lot of development in my person in many different areas of my life.

You got it.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2017, 04:41:19 PM by Antonious Nikolas »
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

Offline LivenotoneviL

  • An Indecisive Sinner
  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 506
  • 404 - Quote not found
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Not a Catechumen
I surrender. You won this argument; I'll concede to the fact that I misinterpreted your intention of posting; and I don't intend to give an excuse other than from your first post alone gave the impression of trying to censor by means of ad hominem- which I can clearly see isn't your intention at all. And you are obviously more informed on the matter, compared to someone as ignorant as me. I also never once wanted to state my opinion on the matter of deaconesses, I attacked on the mere principle of attacking the individual.

It will seem to come from weakness that I made surrendered, but it was me assuming that I was dealing with someone who was attacking with a basis of emotional feelings rather than a rational thought process I'm not familiar with.


I'm sorry for my hubris and my false sense of being a "Crusader of Orthodoxy," which I'm not. I am filled with pride, and need your prayers.

Nevertheless, I am still quite offended at some of the very immature points thrown at me, such as the juvenile name calling.
"Our wickedness shall not overpower the unspeakable goodness and mercy of God; our dullness shall not overpower God's wisdom, nor our infirmity God's omnipotence."
-Saint John of Kronstadt

Keep shining, star!

Offline LivenotoneviL

  • An Indecisive Sinner
  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 506
  • 404 - Quote not found
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Not a Catechumen
And I'm a former Roman Catholic in my beliefs, and I am used to dealing with people who use such techniques of spreading heterodoxy by means of immature and ill informed tactics.
"Our wickedness shall not overpower the unspeakable goodness and mercy of God; our dullness shall not overpower God's wisdom, nor our infirmity God's omnipotence."
-Saint John of Kronstadt

Keep shining, star!

Offline Antonious Nikolas

  • Orthodox Christian, Miaphysite
  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 7,237
  • Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Bishop of Myra
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Oriental Orthodox Church
I surrender. You won this argument; I'll concede to the fact that I misinterpreted your intention of posting; and I don't intend to give an excuse other than from your first post alone gave the impression of trying to censor by means of ad hominem- which I can clearly see isn't your intention at all.

As previously stated, my intention was never to censor anyone by means of ad hominem, but rather:

a. to indicate how an individual who is just starting to learn about Orthodoxy, such as Daniel, is less than qualified to speak to the issue of whether or not there is a pastoral need for the restoration of the order of the deaconess within the Orthodox Church.

b. to suggest that if an individual in such a position cares to offer an opinion, he should do so respectfully.

If I was harsh in doing so it was because:

a. Daniel was snide, highhanded, and condemnatory in his initial post.

b. No offense, but as Mor has pointed out, this board has been lousy lately with wet-behind-the-ears inquirers scolding actual Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Christians for being everything from ecumenists to heretics, and frankly, I'm getting sick of it.

We've got one kid on here who couldn't even decide if he wanted to be Coptic Orthodox or ROCOR for the longest, but he knew one thing for sure, mainstream EO Christians were ecumenist, new calendar heretics and he was gonna tell 'em so in no uncertain terms, even though he wasn't even a catechumen yet.  People like that need to get verbally knocked on their behinds from time to time.  It's good for them.

And you are obviously more informed on the matter, compared to someone as ignorant as me. I also never once wanted to state my opinion on the matter of deaconesses, I attacked on the mere principle of attacking the individual.

Well, as I said, you were off base.  My advice to folks like Daniel: if you can't take it, don't dish it out.  Don't think you're going to come on here lecturing the Orthodox about how they're caving in to secular feminism and headed for schism when you haven't even finished The Orthodox Way yet because you took a break to play Pokémon Go or watch Fox & Friends.  In the words of the late, great Robin Harris, "I ain't your daddy, and I ain't havin' it".



You will get shut down.

It will seem to come from weakness that I made surrendered, but it was me assuming that I was dealing with someone who was attacking with a basis of emotional feelings rather than a rational thought process I'm not familiar with.

Now that you know better, I hope it will lead you towards embracing Orthodoxy on its own terms.

I'm sorry for my hubris and my false sense of being a "Crusader of Orthodoxy," which I'm not. I am filled with pride, and need your prayers.

Apology accepted.

Nevertheless, I am still quite offended at some of the very immature points thrown at me, such as the juvenile name calling.

Well, like you said, I was just kidding around.  That said, since you were offended, I apologize to you for any quip that got your goat.

And I'm a former Roman Catholic in my beliefs, and I am used to dealing with people who use such techniques of spreading heterodoxy by means of immature and ill informed tactics.

Crushing heterodoxy is what I'm all about.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2017, 06:01:31 PM by Antonious Nikolas »
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

Offline IreneOlinyk

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 506

...back to the "why" and the "why not"? 

You cannot simply say because it is ancient practice, blah blah blah.

It is also ancient practice that women should be quiet and not speak in church, nor teach, nor anything.  They should cover up, not wear pants, and not come to church when they are menstruating.  Shall we return to those teachings, as well?  They all make sense and had their true purpose.

As I understand it....deaconesses were a requirement due to the modesty of women back in the day.  Not only could a man not touch a woman, not his wife, he was not allowed to be alone in a room with her, etc.  Therefore, deaconesses were employed to visit the sick women, administer the Eucharist to them, be present at their baptisms, etc.  This was due to modesty.

Until we, women, decide to return to modesty, there's no need for deaconesses.

....why not?

Why not include organs to help the choir stay in tune?  Why not have large TV Monitors so the people in the back can see?  The "why not" question can have countless other "why nots" added to it.

It's not the "why not" that is important....as much as the why.  We do not do things merely "because"...there must be a real purpose to all things.  What is the real purpose?

Is it so women feel more "involved" and like they "participate"? 

As a woman, allow me to say...that I participate fully....I am able to partake of the Eucharist....I am able to confess my sins and obtain forgiveness....I am able to serve the needy, help the orphans, care for the widows.  I bury the dead.

Why do I need to be "ordained" to feel fulfilled....to answer the "calling"?

Is it truly a NEED or a WANT?

 
 

I disagree with you Elizabeth there is a want & a need.  Just read this presentation at the recent conference:

Quote
There is a mistaken belief that female deacons need not be revived in the modern church since they are no longer needed. This argument rests on a fallacy, namely, that female deacons were needed, historically, only for propriety’s sake for the baptism of adult women converts since even adult men and women in the early centuries of Christianity were baptized in the nude.
But we no longer practice the nude baptism of adult converts; therefore, we no longer need
female deacons (so the argument goes). In fact, however, various church manuals and other
documents from early Christian times describe multiple functions for female deacons. Taking the Eucharist to the sick was one of those and is still an important part of pastoral care today. Taking  the Eucharist to the homebound is not like delivering takeout; it is a form of chaplaincy. Many women, whether physically ill or dealing with any of a host of emotional or spiritual issues, would feel more comfortable talking about those issues with another woman as opposed to a man, no matter how caring and responsive a priest or male deacon might be. In fact, some men feel more comfortable discussing certain emotional and other issues with a woman as opposed to another man.
Serving as a chaperone for female parishioners who needed to meet with a male
clergyman was yet another historical function of female deacons, and this is clearly still a needed function today. Although clerical molestation of children receives the most press coverage and, rightly, the most outrage within our society, in actual fact, the most common form of clergy sexual misconduct by far is male clergy who become sexually involved with adult female parishioners. Even if the relationship appears to be initiated by the parishioner, this is always a form of sexual abuse because of the spiritual power or authority which a clergyman has over a parishioner (regardless of whether the cleric acknowledges that such a power differential in fact exists). Female deacons, particularly those who receive the appropriate training in counseling and spiritual direction, can obviate the need for many women to meet individually with their priest and, in those cases where they do need to meet with their priest, especially on a regular basis, they can provide a discrete presence which would forestall any potential “unfortunate development” in the relationship between priest and parishioner, and avoid “he said, she said” accusations.   

You can read the whole article here:  https://orthodoxdeaconess.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Karras-Diaconte-Conference-10-7-17.pdf


And here is what the Ecumenical Patriarch himself said in his greetings to the conference:
Quote
His Eminence thanked the conference presenters for doing “appropriate” diaconal work in chaplaincy, counseling, and visitation because they “articulated [their] own passion: the love of God and the grace of the Holy Spirit and make it real in our lives and the lives of those who suffer, the lives of the priests and deacons of the Church.” This included the counseling aspect of Demetra Jacquet’s presentation that “fits nicely the work of a deaconess,” and noting that in a history of women deacons essay by Valerie Karras “there’s lots of rich material that we have not unfolded, unwrapped.” His Eminence noted that the challenges of reviving the diaconate are many: What will deacons do? Is it permanent? What education and training is required? How “you and I make this particular paradigm change in our faithful”? He noted, “Forty years ago, there were the same questions about the concept of the deacon, the deaconess. We have come a little bit forward. At least we are talking about it.”

https://orthodoxdeaconess.org/

Offline scamandrius

  • A man of many, many turns
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 9,198
  • Faith: Greek Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: DOWAMA of AANA

And here is what the Ecumenical Patriarch himself said in his greetings to the conference:
Quote
His Eminence thanked the conference presenters for doing “appropriate” diaconal work in chaplaincy, counseling, and visitation because they “articulated [their] own passion: the love of God and the grace of the Holy Spirit and make it real in our lives and the lives of those who suffer, the lives of the priests and deacons of the Church.” This included the counseling aspect of Demetra Jacquet’s presentation that “fits nicely the work of a deaconess,” and noting that in a history of women deacons essay by Valerie Karras “there’s lots of rich material that we have not unfolded, unwrapped.” His Eminence noted that the challenges of reviving the diaconate are many: What will deacons do? Is it permanent? What education and training is required? How “you and I make this particular paradigm change in our faithful”? He noted, “Forty years ago, there were the same questions about the concept of the deacon, the deaconess. We have come a little bit forward. At least we are talking about it.”

https://orthodoxdeaconess.org/

That's hardly  an endorsement.
Da quod iubes et iube quod vis.

Offline Antonious Nikolas

  • Orthodox Christian, Miaphysite
  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 7,237
  • Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Bishop of Myra
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Oriental Orthodox Church

And here is what the Ecumenical Patriarch himself said in his greetings to the conference:
Quote
His Eminence thanked the conference presenters for doing “appropriate” diaconal work in chaplaincy, counseling, and visitation because they “articulated [their] own passion: the love of God and the grace of the Holy Spirit and make it real in our lives and the lives of those who suffer, the lives of the priests and deacons of the Church.” This included the counseling aspect of Demetra Jacquet’s presentation that “fits nicely the work of a deaconess,” and noting that in a history of women deacons essay by Valerie Karras “there’s lots of rich material that we have not unfolded, unwrapped.” His Eminence noted that the challenges of reviving the diaconate are many: What will deacons do? Is it permanent? What education and training is required? How “you and I make this particular paradigm change in our faithful”? He noted, “Forty years ago, there were the same questions about the concept of the deacon, the deaconess. We have come a little bit forward. At least we are talking about it.”

https://orthodoxdeaconess.org/

That's hardly  an endorsement.

Sure it is.  After all, it was a part of H.A.H.'s official greetings to the Conference.  I doubt he would have participated in this capacity if he didn't endorse the idea in some respect.  It's certainly closer to an endorsement than it is a condemnation or a dismissal.  It seems that H.A.H. had some very positive things to say about the Conference and the papers presented there.  He didn't seem opposed to the idea of a restoration of the female diaconate.  He certainly didn't dismiss it out of hand or boneheadedly chalk it up to feminism and entitlement.
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

Offline scamandrius

  • A man of many, many turns
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 9,198
  • Faith: Greek Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: DOWAMA of AANA

And here is what the Ecumenical Patriarch himself said in his greetings to the conference:
Quote
His Eminence thanked the conference presenters for doing “appropriate” diaconal work in chaplaincy, counseling, and visitation because they “articulated [their] own passion: the love of God and the grace of the Holy Spirit and make it real in our lives and the lives of those who suffer, the lives of the priests and deacons of the Church.” This included the counseling aspect of Demetra Jacquet’s presentation that “fits nicely the work of a deaconess,” and noting that in a history of women deacons essay by Valerie Karras “there’s lots of rich material that we have not unfolded, unwrapped.” His Eminence noted that the challenges of reviving the diaconate are many: What will deacons do? Is it permanent? What education and training is required? How “you and I make this particular paradigm change in our faithful”? He noted, “Forty years ago, there were the same questions about the concept of the deacon, the deaconess. We have come a little bit forward. At least we are talking about it.”

https://orthodoxdeaconess.org/

That's hardly  an endorsement.

Sure it is.  After all, it was a part of H.A.H.'s official greetings to the Conference.  I doubt he would have participated in this capacity if he didn't endorse the idea in some respect.  It's certainly closer to an endorsement than it is a condemnation or a dismissal.  It seems that H.A.H. had some very positive things to say about the Conference and the papers presented there.  He didn't seem opposed to the idea of a restoration of the female diaconate.  He certainly didn't dismiss it out of hand or boneheadedly chalk it up to feminism and entitlement.

He said they're talking about it.  Endorsing talking about an issue does not mean that he will endorse what you hope will result.
Da quod iubes et iube quod vis.

Offline Porter ODoran

  • PHILIA NIKA
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 11,665
  • St. John the Beloved, pray for me
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: GOAA

And here is what the Ecumenical Patriarch himself said in his greetings to the conference:
Quote
His Eminence thanked the conference presenters for doing “appropriate” diaconal work in chaplaincy, counseling, and visitation because they “articulated [their] own passion: the love of God and the grace of the Holy Spirit and make it real in our lives and the lives of those who suffer, the lives of the priests and deacons of the Church.” This included the counseling aspect of Demetra Jacquet’s presentation that “fits nicely the work of a deaconess,” and noting that in a history of women deacons essay by Valerie Karras “there’s lots of rich material that we have not unfolded, unwrapped.” His Eminence noted that the challenges of reviving the diaconate are many: What will deacons do? Is it permanent? What education and training is required? How “you and I make this particular paradigm change in our faithful”? He noted, “Forty years ago, there were the same questions about the concept of the deacon, the deaconess. We have come a little bit forward. At least we are talking about it.”

https://orthodoxdeaconess.org/

That's hardly  an endorsement.

No, it's much more. The quotes also show that he is deeply engrossed in the topic, and impatient to see actual progress on it.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline Antonious Nikolas

  • Orthodox Christian, Miaphysite
  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 7,237
  • Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Bishop of Myra
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Oriental Orthodox Church

And here is what the Ecumenical Patriarch himself said in his greetings to the conference:
Quote
His Eminence thanked the conference presenters for doing “appropriate” diaconal work in chaplaincy, counseling, and visitation because they “articulated [their] own passion: the love of God and the grace of the Holy Spirit and make it real in our lives and the lives of those who suffer, the lives of the priests and deacons of the Church.” This included the counseling aspect of Demetra Jacquet’s presentation that “fits nicely the work of a deaconess,” and noting that in a history of women deacons essay by Valerie Karras “there’s lots of rich material that we have not unfolded, unwrapped.” His Eminence noted that the challenges of reviving the diaconate are many: What will deacons do? Is it permanent? What education and training is required? How “you and I make this particular paradigm change in our faithful”? He noted, “Forty years ago, there were the same questions about the concept of the deacon, the deaconess. We have come a little bit forward. At least we are talking about it.”

https://orthodoxdeaconess.org/

That's hardly  an endorsement.

Sure it is.  After all, it was a part of H.A.H.'s official greetings to the Conference.  I doubt he would have participated in this capacity if he didn't endorse the idea in some respect.  It's certainly closer to an endorsement than it is a condemnation or a dismissal.  It seems that H.A.H. had some very positive things to say about the Conference and the papers presented there.  He didn't seem opposed to the idea of a restoration of the female diaconate.  He certainly didn't dismiss it out of hand or boneheadedly chalk it up to feminism and entitlement.

He said they're talking about it.  Endorsing talking about an issue does not mean that he will endorse what you hope will result.

Is this how desperate you are?  You want to waste time quibbling about what constitutes endorsement?  As Porter has observed, it is clear from the comments that His All Holiness is deeply engaged with the topic and wants to see the discussion move forward.  There is no denying that H.B. Pope Theodoros thinks that there is a pastoral need in his Patriarchate.  As Iconodule has pointed out, it is somewhat bizarre that the discussion keeps circling around to what is needed in the West, as if we're the only place that counts, when there are not only new deaconesses in Africa, but - according to OrthodoxWiki - there are longstanding (if small) communities of deaconesses in Russia, Romania, and Bulgaria, and that's not even counting the deaconesses in Oriental Orthodox communities like the Armenian and Ethiopian deaconesses.

https://orthodoxwiki.org/Deaconess

But, since the discussion keeps swinging around to the West, I do think it is worth truly discussing if there is a pastoral need here.  I think there is, and I don't think anyone with a contrary opinion has thus far even attempted to address the counter-arguments to the assertion that there is not from the St. Phoebe page, and posted by Irene and me.  Here is an interesting article by Professor Carrie Frederick Frost of St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Seminary arguing that there is a legitimate need, and asking raising some interesting questions, foremost among them for me:

Quote
The other factor that has limited me, and others interested in this topic, is the lack of international Orthodox forums for communication among hierarchs, scholars, and interested laypersons. As far as I can tell, no one in the English-speaking parts of the Church knew about the new deaconesses until a few days after they had been consecrated. Also, none of us working on the issue knew that the Alexandrian Synod was even considering this matter prior to its decision to revive the female diaconate a few months ago.

I'd like to know that too.
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

Offline Daniel2:47

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 139
  • Exploring the Orthodox tradition and seeking Truth
  • Faith: Orthodox - Catechumen
  • Jurisdiction: Archdiocese of Thyateira & Great Britain

...back to the "why" and the "why not"? 

You cannot simply say because it is ancient practice, blah blah blah.

It is also ancient practice that women should be quiet and not speak in church, nor teach, nor anything.  They should cover up, not wear pants, and not come to church when they are menstruating.  Shall we return to those teachings, as well?  They all make sense and had their true purpose.

As I understand it....deaconesses were a requirement due to the modesty of women back in the day.  Not only could a man not touch a woman, not his wife, he was not allowed to be alone in a room with her, etc.  Therefore, deaconesses were employed to visit the sick women, administer the Eucharist to them, be present at their baptisms, etc.  This was due to modesty.

Until we, women, decide to return to modesty, there's no need for deaconesses.

....why not?

Why not include organs to help the choir stay in tune?  Why not have large TV Monitors so the people in the back can see?  The "why not" question can have countless other "why nots" added to it.

It's not the "why not" that is important....as much as the why.  We do not do things merely "because"...there must be a real purpose to all things.  What is the real purpose?

Is it so women feel more "involved" and like they "participate"? 

As a woman, allow me to say...that I participate fully....I am able to partake of the Eucharist....I am able to confess my sins and obtain forgiveness....I am able to serve the needy, help the orphans, care for the widows.  I bury the dead.

Why do I need to be "ordained" to feel fulfilled....to answer the "calling"?

Is it truly a NEED or a WANT?

 
 

Excellent post.

Offline Daniel2:47

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 139
  • Exploring the Orthodox tradition and seeking Truth
  • Faith: Orthodox - Catechumen
  • Jurisdiction: Archdiocese of Thyateira & Great Britain
Also worth noting that most of the advocates for this are not clergy but lay Orthodox "theologians". From my admittedly limited knowledge of Orthodoxy, there are actually only 3 saints who were given such a sacred title.

Finally, just to clarify my earlier post, I do not think the Patriarch of Alexandria is a heretic or liberal schismatic. This was in reference to those who want to imitate various mainline Protestant churches in the ordination of women to the priesthood, which is the clear motivation behind many of those advocating for this in the West. I recognise that in non-Western cultures, there may be a pastoral need for something similar to a deaconess, but this is very different from the type of liturgical role that Western Orthodox "theologians"/"liturgists" are pushing for...
« Last Edit: October 30, 2017, 08:22:43 AM by Daniel2:47 »

Offline DeniseDenise

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 6,545
  • This place holds to nothing....
  • Faith: Does it matter?
  • Jurisdiction: Unverifiable, so irrelevant
Also worth noting that most of the advocates for this are not clergy but lay Orthodox "theologians". From my admittedly limited knowledge of Orthodoxy, there are actually only 3 saints who were given such a sacred title.

Finally, just to clarify my earlier post, I do not think the Patriarch of Alexandria is a heretic or liberal schismatic. This was in reference to those who want to imitate various mainline Protestant churches in the ordination of women to the priesthood, which is the clear motivation behind many of those advocating for this in the West. I recognise that in non-Western cultures, there may be a pastoral need for something similar to a deaconess, but this is very different from the type of liturgical role that Western Orthodox "theologians"/"liturgists" are pushing for...


I am so glad that you are able to discern the 'clear motivation'  of a wide grouping of people......have you tried to market this skill for use in stock market predictions?
All opinions expressed by myself are quite tragically my own, and not those of any other poster or wall hangings.

Offline Iconodule

  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 13,475
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Ecumenical Patriarchate (ACROD)
Also worth noting that most of the advocates for this are not clergy but lay Orthodox "theologians". From my admittedly limited knowledge of Orthodoxy, there are actually only 3 saints who were given such a sacred title.

So I guess Sts Athanasius, Ephrem Syrus, Maximus, Gregory Palamas, etc. were not real theologians either? Pace Evagrius Pontikos, people who are trained in theology in a scholarly setting are conventionally termed theologians, among the Orthodox as well as others. Some might choose to gripe about that but no one will listen to them.

Quote
Finally, just to clarify my earlier post, I do not think the Patriarch of Alexandria is a heretic or liberal schismatic. This was in reference to those who want to imitate various mainline Protestant churches in the ordination of women to the priesthood, which is the clear motivation behind many of those advocating for this in the West. I recognise that in non-Western cultures, there may be a pastoral need for something similar to a deaconess, but this is very different from the type of liturgical role that Western Orthodox "theologians"/"liturgists" are pushing for...

I get it: even when something happens in Sub-Saharan Africa, it's only worth discussing in its relation to European and American culture wars.
Quote
Don John pounding from the slaughter-painted poop
- GK Chesteron, "Lepanto"

Online Asteriktos

  • Hypatos
  • *****************
  • Posts: 36,260
Also worth noting that most of the advocates for this are not clergy but lay Orthodox "theologians". From my admittedly limited knowledge of Orthodoxy, there are actually only 3 saints who were given such a sacred title.

And all believers in the NT were called "saints"... sometimes a title or descriptor can be used in multiple ways, can change over time, or can vary depending on context.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2017, 10:38:27 AM by Asteriktos »

Offline Alpha60

  • Pray without ceasing!
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,591
  • Faith: Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox
Also worth noting that most of the advocates for this are not clergy but lay Orthodox "theologians". From my admittedly limited knowledge of Orthodoxy, there are actually only 3 saints who were given such a sacred title.

Finally, just to clarify my earlier post, I do not think the Patriarch of Alexandria is a heretic or liberal schismatic. This was in reference to those who want to imitate various mainline Protestant churches in the ordination of women to the priesthood, which is the clear motivation behind many of those advocating for this in the West. I recognise that in non-Western cultures, there may be a pastoral need for something similar to a deaconess, but this is very different from the type of liturgical role that Western Orthodox "theologians"/"liturgists" are pushing for...

The title of Theologian being given to saints refers to those individuals having been known to have had specifically received knowledge of God expressed through their writings.

However, the same Church also venerates as a saint and accepts the words of the man who said "He is a theologian who prays, and he who prays is a theologian."

The only theologians, so-called, who do not deserve the title are certain Western scholars of religion, who are called theologians, but who reject prayer, or do not pray, or redefine prayer and reduce it to mere meditation and self-awareness as opposed to direct communion with God, or who are simply atheists.  Most Unitarian Universalist theologians of recent years, probably nearly the entire faculty of Harvard Divinity School, although I don't know all of them so I cannot say for sure if they posess faith or not, are eminent scholars; I hope they are theologians but I don't know if they pray or not.

I pray, and am therefore a theologian.  This does not make me a religious scholar and I certainly don't pray enough to be called a theologian on a par with Sts. John, Gregory or Symeon.

You yourself pray, and are a theologian; you might well be a better theologian than I am.  Neither of us is St. John the Divine.  But let us vow to keep praying and becoming better theologians through prayer in the Church, and to not be scandalized but instead to calmly and through prayer work against the divisions and strife inflicted on our church from those theologians falsely called who exist outside or hide as wolves in the fold of the Church, seeking to deceive if possible even the Elect, and let them be anathema to us.

In this thread, everyone should relax and take note that the Patriarch of Alexandria and the Coptic Orthodox Church are using women in the diaconate for reasons of pressing pastoral neccessity, as opposed to engaging in some kind of perverse liturgical experiment designed to deprecate Holy Tradition; neither the Greek nor Coptic Popes are the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Orthodox in Africa are as traditional and as pious as can be imagined.  There should be no criticism of this, only of the attempt of some faux-Orthodox persons of a heretical orientation inspired by the "success" of women in the dying Protestant churches to fete this act of pastoral necessity as a clarion call for abandoing Holy Tradition regarding the Priesthood and Episcopate.
"It is logical that the actions of the human race over time will lead to its destruction.  I, Alpha 60, am merely the agent of this destruction."

- The computer Alpha 60, from Alphaville (1964) by Jean Luc Godard, the obvious inspiration for HAL-9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

This signature is not intended to offend any user, nor the relatives of Discovery 1 deputy commander Dr. Frank Poole,  and crew members Dr. Victor Kaminsky, Dr. Jack Kimball, and Dr. Charles Hunter.

Offline Antonious Nikolas

  • Orthodox Christian, Miaphysite
  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 7,237
  • Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Bishop of Myra
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Oriental Orthodox Church
Also worth noting that most of the advocates for this are not clergy but lay Orthodox "theologians".

Quantify that.  What is the ratio of clerical advocates to lay advocates in this scenario, and how many points do the Patriarch of Alexandria and the Bishops of His Synod count for?  How about Metropolitan Kallistos?  Also, who are you to put "theologians" in quotes when speaking about eminent scholars such as Valarie Karras, Fr. John McGuckin, or Teva Regule?  In what ways would you call their credentialing into question and in what ways are you qualified to make those critiques?

From my admittedly limited knowledge of Orthodoxy

You should have stopped there.

there are actually only 3 saints who were given such a sacred title.

Let's say for the sake of argument that is true.  What do you think it proves?

Finally, just to clarify my earlier post, I do not think the Patriarch of Alexandria is a heretic or liberal schismatic. This was in reference to those who want to imitate various mainline Protestant churches in the ordination of women to the priesthood, which is the clear motivation behind many of those advocating for this in the West.

How do you know?  What are you basing this on?  Prove it.  Otherwise, you're just blowing hot air based on your personal political ideology.

I recognise that in non-Western cultures, there may be a pastoral need for something similar to a deaconess, but this is very different from the type of liturgical role that Western Orthodox "theologians"/"liturgists" are pushing for...

How so?  Elaborate.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2017, 01:04:31 PM by Antonious Nikolas »
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

Offline Daniel2:47

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 139
  • Exploring the Orthodox tradition and seeking Truth
  • Faith: Orthodox - Catechumen
  • Jurisdiction: Archdiocese of Thyateira & Great Britain
In a Western context, this has far more to do with feminism than any realistic need.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2017, 08:20:54 AM by Daniel2:47 »

Offline DeniseDenise

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 6,545
  • This place holds to nothing....
  • Faith: Does it matter?
  • Jurisdiction: Unverifiable, so irrelevant
In a Western context, this has far more to do with feminism than any realistic need.



and only a -tiny- fraction of the Church is western.
All opinions expressed by myself are quite tragically my own, and not those of any other poster or wall hangings.

Offline Mor Ephrem

  • Ο προκαθήμενος της Ορθοδοξίας - The President of Orthodoxy
  • Section Moderator
  • Protospatharios
  • *****
  • Posts: 33,238
  • Two half-eggs
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
  • Faith: The Ancienter Faith
  • Jurisdiction: East
In a Western context, this has far more to do with feminism than any realistic need.

I live in the West, am an Orthodox Christian, and see a realistic need for this.  I wouldn't call myself a feminist, at least not in the sense you and LivenotoneviL probably mean it. 
How this relates to the coming Antichrist? I don't know...

Quote
The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

Offline LizaSymonenko

  • Слава Ісусу Христу!!! Glory to Jesus Christ!!!
  • Global Moderator
  • Hoplitarches
  • ******
  • Posts: 15,564
    • St.Mary the Protectress Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A.

I had a long and circular discussion on this topic on FB yesterday....and I am back at Square 1.  I simply do not understand the need.  ...and I do not understand why my not "getting it" upsets people so much.  I've been painted as an uneducated, anti-woman, pseudo-believer....why?  Because I do not think women today need to be ordained? 

Reason 1 which was given me....was that women have a need, a calling to fulfill.  However, other than priestly duties such as administering Eucharist, etc...what can the woman NOT do unless she is ordained?  She can counsel.  She can help others.  She can visit the sick.  What exactly can she not do that she will be able to do then?  I totally understand heeding the "call"....and having a huge desire to serve the Lord...but, do we need to be ordained to do so?

Reason 2 which I was given yesterday...education.  The woman will study to become a deaconess, and will be of greater value through her studies to society.  We, women, can study today.  We can gain our Masters Degrees, Doctorates, etc.  Seminaries are open to us.  There is nothing we cannot learn.  We cannot act upon some things we learn...but, we certainly can study until we run out of money.  So, this reason holds no water for me, either.

Reason 3 - women can counsel abused women/men better than a man.  I was given examples of many abusive priests...who use their "rank" to "lord" it over people, some abuse their own wives, and when a battered woman comes to them, they tell her to shut-up and get back to her husband.  Granted this happens.  I have personally known a few "unpriestly" priests...and yet...women can be as nasty if not worse.   Women can be physically and mentally abusive, just like men.  I know some very power hungry women, who will stop at nothing for personal gain...and these same women might simply join the ranks of deaconesses in order to gain the "upper hand" over others.  Having two X chromosomes, does not guarantee kindness, tenderness and selflessness.  So, this reason also doesn't answer the question for me.

Clearly, in ancient days the main reason for the deaconess was modesty...and while that reason is no longer valid, I have yet to find one that is.

Without a lot of fluff....can someone give me in one or two sentences "why" we need deaconesses in the U.S.A?

I really really want to get on this band wagon....but, I'm just not understanding the "why".  To me it is more of a "want" than a "need"...and if that is the case...and the bishops are happy to fulfill the "want" ....I will be 100% behind it...but, let's call it what it is.

Someone help me understand this.

Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
—St. Isaac of Syria

Offline minasoliman

  • Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
  • Section Moderator
  • Stratopedarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 20,000
  • Pray for me Sts. Mina & Kyrillos for my interviews
  • Faith: Oriental Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Coptic
It's unfortunate that people resort to these ad hominem, to call you "anti-woman".  You raise valid questions, and I will answer them in my own understanding as follows.

I think there was always a need.  HOWEVER, the deaconate was recently seen as unnecessary and a waste of a rank, male or female.  But if the deaconate is necessary IN GENERAL, then there's a need.  That's the simple way I see things.

Yes, we can counsel and serve the poor and be theologically educated and all of that without the deaconate, but we need a "lead servant" that can coordinate that, and that has always been in the hands of the deacon, male and female, in the ancient Church.  It's about doing things decently and in order as St. Paul says.  That's all.

The centuries that was determined there was "no need" I thought were unfortunate.  There was always a need, and the fact that there were no female deacons even made the male deacons irrelevant in our practices.  Should we continue to keep irrelevant the deaconate as a whole?  Is that what the tradition of the Orthodox Church allows, to remove irrelevant ranks?  What determines an ordained rank irrelevant?

Every generation we have witnessed that the harvest is plenty, but the laborers are few.  I think it's time to recognize that the Church has not been very effective in bringing laborers to the harvest as speedily and necessarily as possible.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2017, 12:11:37 PM by minasoliman »
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline Alpo

  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 9,294
  • Faith: Finnish Orthodox
But if the deaconate is necessary IN GENERAL, then there's a need.

+1
But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
Leviticus 19:34

Offline Arachne

  • Trinary Unit || Resident Bossy Boots
  • Section Moderator
  • Merarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 9,531
  • Hatred is learned behaviour.
  • Faith: Cradle Greek Orthodox. Cope.
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian Archdiocese, UK
'Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against stupid. That might actually make a difference.'~Harry Dresden

Blog ~ Bookshelf ~ Jukebox

Offline LizaSymonenko

  • Слава Ісусу Христу!!! Glory to Jesus Christ!!!
  • Global Moderator
  • Hoplitarches
  • ******
  • Posts: 15,564
    • St.Mary the Protectress Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A.
It's unfortunate that people resort to these ad hominem, to call you "anti-woman".  You raise valid questions, and I will answer them in my own understanding as follows.

I think there was always a need.  HOWEVER, the deaconate was recently seen as unnecessary and a waste of a rank, male or female.  But if the deaconate is necessary IN GENERAL, then there's a need.  That's the simple way I see things.

Yes, we can counsel and serve the poor and be theologically educated and all of that without the deaconate, but we need a "lead servant" that can coordinate that, and that has always been in the hands of the deacon, male and female, in the ancient Church.  It's about doing things decently and in order as St. Paul says.  That's all.

The centuries that was determined there was "no need" I thought were unfortunate.  There was always a need, and the fact that there were no female deacons even made the male deacons irrelevant in our practices.  Should we continue to keep irrelevant the deaconate as a whole?  Is that what the tradition of the Orthodox Church allows, to remove irrelevant ranks?  What determines an ordained rank irrelevant?

Every generation we have witnessed that the harvest is plenty, but the laborers are few.  I think it's time to recognize that the Church has not been very effective in bringing laborers to the harvest as speedily and necessarily as possible.

Hmmmm....thank you, Mina.  THIS was the first time it has made even a little sense to me....in view of the Deaconate, in general.

I do thoroughly enjoy the Liturgies when I visit other parishes that have deacons serving....but, my parish has NEVER had a deacon...so, perhaps my opinion is skewed towards the necessity of one.

What you say...in the sense of retaining a deaconate is starting to shine a light. 

Thank you.
Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
—St. Isaac of Syria

Offline Antonious Nikolas

  • Orthodox Christian, Miaphysite
  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 7,237
  • Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Bishop of Myra
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Oriental Orthodox Church
In a Western context, this has far more to do with feminism than any realistic need.

And that's your weak non-response to all of the questions I put to you above in the hopes of actually advancing this dialogue beyond your apparently baseless assertions and uniformed opinions?  I'll try once more: What are you basing the above on?  How do you know that "in a Western context, this has far more to do with feminism than any realistic need"?

In a Western context, this has far more to do with feminism than any realistic need.

I live in the West, am an Orthodox Christian, and see a realistic need for this.  I wouldn't call myself a feminist, at least not in the sense you and LivenotoneviL probably mean it.

+1
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

Offline minasoliman

  • Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
  • Section Moderator
  • Stratopedarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 20,000
  • Pray for me Sts. Mina & Kyrillos for my interviews
  • Faith: Oriental Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Coptic
It's unfortunate that people resort to these ad hominem, to call you "anti-woman".  You raise valid questions, and I will answer them in my own understanding as follows.

I think there was always a need.  HOWEVER, the deaconate was recently seen as unnecessary and a waste of a rank, male or female.  But if the deaconate is necessary IN GENERAL, then there's a need.  That's the simple way I see things.

Yes, we can counsel and serve the poor and be theologically educated and all of that without the deaconate, but we need a "lead servant" that can coordinate that, and that has always been in the hands of the deacon, male and female, in the ancient Church.  It's about doing things decently and in order as St. Paul says.  That's all.

The centuries that was determined there was "no need" I thought were unfortunate.  There was always a need, and the fact that there were no female deacons even made the male deacons irrelevant in our practices.  Should we continue to keep irrelevant the deaconate as a whole?  Is that what the tradition of the Orthodox Church allows, to remove irrelevant ranks?  What determines an ordained rank irrelevant?

Every generation we have witnessed that the harvest is plenty, but the laborers are few.  I think it's time to recognize that the Church has not been very effective in bringing laborers to the harvest as speedily and necessarily as possible.

Hmmmm....thank you, Mina.  THIS was the first time it has made even a little sense to me....in view of the Deaconate, in general.

I do thoroughly enjoy the Liturgies when I visit other parishes that have deacons serving....but, my parish has NEVER had a deacon...so, perhaps my opinion is skewed towards the necessity of one.

What you say...in the sense of retaining a deaconate is starting to shine a light. 

Thank you.

You are not alone.  A recent upsurge of male Coptic deacons have made laity question its value.  Many are simply calling the male Coptic deacons "nothing but cup-bearers (alluding to the blood of Christ in the chalice) and a waste of parish resources".  When I hear that, I think that's the underlying disease in the symptom of our views of the holy orders of the Church, that we lack a good understanding of the spirituality behind the necessity of the holy orders.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2017, 12:22:30 PM by minasoliman »
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline Luke

  • Formerly Gamliel
  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 5,027
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Metropolis of San Francisco
But if the deaconate is necessary IN GENERAL, then there's a need.  That's the simple way I see things.
+3
     My Church does not have deacons on a regular basis.  When we do have one, he his a tremendous help to our priest by chanting part of the Liturgy and helping the priest with the censers, etc.

Offline Mor Ephrem

  • Ο προκαθήμενος της Ορθοδοξίας - The President of Orthodoxy
  • Section Moderator
  • Protospatharios
  • *****
  • Posts: 33,238
  • Two half-eggs
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
  • Faith: The Ancienter Faith
  • Jurisdiction: East

I had a long and circular discussion on this topic on FB yesterday....and I am back at Square 1.  I simply do not understand the need.  ...and I do not understand why my not "getting it" upsets people so much.  I've been painted as an uneducated, anti-woman, pseudo-believer....why?  Because I do not think women today need to be ordained? 

I think this is one of the problems with discussing topics like this.  I don't think anyone should question your Christianity or anything else on the basis of your not understanding and/or accepting the need for deaconesses.  That's stupid. 

Quote
Reason 1 which was given me....was that women have a need, a calling to fulfill.  However, other than priestly duties such as administering Eucharist, etc...what can the woman NOT do unless she is ordained?  She can counsel.  She can help others.  She can visit the sick.  What exactly can she not do that she will be able to do then?  I totally understand heeding the "call"....and having a huge desire to serve the Lord...but, do we need to be ordained to do so?

All Christians have a calling to fulfill, not just women.  For most of these people, that call is lived out through the grace conferred in Baptism and in the Eucharist.  That is all the "ordination" they need. 

But we know that some people are called to a more particular ministry in the Church; either the Church herself calls them or they feel a call and the Church as a mother confirms its genuineness for them. 

If we look at the ordained ministries we currently have, a lot of them involve tasks non-ordained people could perform.  For instance, why ordain someone specifically to read the Scriptures in church?  Nowadays most people in our churches can read.  Similarly, does anyone think only a specific class of people are solely capable of learning how to celebrate the Liturgy and other rites?  It's not that difficult to learn. 

But we don't regard these ministries from a human perspective, as simply functional.  People are not ordained merely to do, but to be.  On the one hand, we as the Church recognise that the grace of the Holy Spirit, received in a particular way, is necessary to perform even such a "basic" task as reading.  On the other hand, we believe that the same grace transforms the one doing the work in the very act of doing the work, and the Church needs such transformed people. 

So I wouldn't say it's just about doing things.  Yes, a woman can counsel, help, visit the sick, etc. without ordination.  But so can a man.  Yet, we assign these duties to men in the diaconate and think nothing of it.  It's not as if they are secondary to their "ritual" duties.  Those "pastoral" duties are an essential part of how they live out their diaconate.  It's part of what they do, but it's also part of who they are, who God is transforming them to be in the Church, and the Church needs them. 

I think it's reasonable to ask why the female diaconate declined in the Church, what, if anything, that might imply, and whether it is a worthwhile thing to cultivate.  But as this thread makes clear, we need to have the right ideas in mind.  If we reduce ordained ministry to "tasks", then eventually there will be very little need for any ordained rank.  Nowadays, for example, it is common for non-ordained readers of both sexes to perform liturgical functions in the churches.  I think that practice is abhorrent, but it's what happens when we lose sight of ordination as a particular mode of living and serving within the Church and view it merely as commissioning liturgical performers.  If we can neuter one order in this way, we can neuter them all.  We need to return to a more traditional view.  And, ironically, that traditional view included a place for deaconesses. 

Quote
Reason 2 which I was given yesterday...education.  The woman will study to become a deaconess, and will be of greater value through her studies to society.  We, women, can study today.  We can gain our Masters Degrees, Doctorates, etc.  Seminaries are open to us.  There is nothing we cannot learn.  We cannot act upon some things we learn...but, we certainly can study until we run out of money.  So, this reason holds no water for me, either.

I agree with you.  If it's just a matter of having more people with theological education, that can be done without ordination.  It's happening even now.

Quote
Reason 3 - women can counsel abused women/men better than a man.  I was given examples of many abusive priests...who use their "rank" to "lord" it over people, some abuse their own wives, and when a battered woman comes to them, they tell her to shut-up and get back to her husband.  Granted this happens.  I have personally known a few "unpriestly" priests...and yet...women can be as nasty if not worse.   Women can be physically and mentally abusive, just like men.  I know some very power hungry women, who will stop at nothing for personal gain...and these same women might simply join the ranks of deaconesses in order to gain the "upper hand" over others.  Having two X chromosomes, does not guarantee kindness, tenderness and selflessness.  So, this reason also doesn't answer the question for me.

You're right to point out that women can be abusive.  Many men, myself included, have experienced this.  If it was a matter of having kinder, more tender, more selfless people in ordained ministry, I don't think extending diaconate to women would do any more good than keeping it only for men. 

Both men and women are capable of abuse, of an unpastoral approach, etc.  But we don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.  With regard to men, we try to vet candidates for ordination as much as possible, and if problems arise, we try to deal with them appropriately.  Why wouldn't we do this for women?

And if we factor out the bad cases, there are still a lot of places in which I believe women can minister to women in a different and perhaps more beneficial way than men.  You could argue that a lot of that can be done without ordination, and while that may be true, again, it's not just function, but identity.  Incorporating that ministry into the work of the Church, investing that specific work and worker with the grace of the Spirit, subjecting both to obedience to the Church and lending both the authority of the Church...this is something different than just being a good neighbour.   

Quote
Clearly, in ancient days the main reason for the deaconess was modesty...and while that reason is no longer valid, I have yet to find one that is.

I don't think that reason is no longer valid, I just think we reduce "modesty" to "we don't baptise in the nude anymore" and think it is no longer a concern.  But there are all sorts of "modesty" concerns in the Church today.  For example, whenever I've catechised women in preparation for Baptism, if I couldn't do it in the church building itself during regular hours, I always did it in a public place (e.g., coffee shop).  There are a lot of similarly innocuous situations in which "modesty" concerns come into play and can erupt into something bad without a lot of vigilance.   

Quote
Without a lot of fluff....can someone give me in one or two sentences "why" we need deaconesses in the U.S.A?

I really really want to get on this band wagon....but, I'm just not understanding the "why".  To me it is more of a "want" than a "need"...and if that is the case...and the bishops are happy to fulfill the "want" ....I will be 100% behind it...but, let's call it what it is.

Someone help me understand this.

Not sure if I helped, but I don't want to type more unless I have to, so let me know.  :P
How this relates to the coming Antichrist? I don't know...

Quote
The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

Offline DeniseDenise

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 6,545
  • This place holds to nothing....
  • Faith: Does it matter?
  • Jurisdiction: Unverifiable, so irrelevant
It's unfortunate that people resort to these ad hominem, to call you "anti-woman".  You raise valid questions, and I will answer them in my own understanding as follows.

I think there was always a need.  HOWEVER, the deaconate was recently seen as unnecessary and a waste of a rank, male or female.  But if the deaconate is necessary IN GENERAL, then there's a need.  That's the simple way I see things.

Yes, we can counsel and serve the poor and be theologically educated and all of that without the deaconate, but we need a "lead servant" that can coordinate that, and that has always been in the hands of the deacon, male and female, in the ancient Church.  It's about doing things decently and in order as St. Paul says.  That's all.

The centuries that was determined there was "no need" I thought were unfortunate.  There was always a need, and the fact that there were no female deacons even made the male deacons irrelevant in our practices.  Should we continue to keep irrelevant the deaconate as a whole?  Is that what the tradition of the Orthodox Church allows, to remove irrelevant ranks?  What determines an ordained rank irrelevant?

Every generation we have witnessed that the harvest is plenty, but the laborers are few.  I think it's time to recognize that the Church has not been very effective in bringing laborers to the harvest as speedily and necessarily as possible.

Hmmmm....thank you, Mina.  THIS was the first time it has made even a little sense to me....in view of the Deaconate, in general.

I do thoroughly enjoy the Liturgies when I visit other parishes that have deacons serving....but, my parish has NEVER had a deacon...so, perhaps my opinion is skewed towards the necessity of one.

What you say...in the sense of retaining a deaconate is starting to shine a light. 

Thank you.

You are not alone.  A recent upsurge of male Coptic deacons have made laity question its value.  Many are simply calling the male Coptic deacons "nothing but cup-bearers (alluding to the blood of Christ in the chalice) and a waste of parish resources".  When I hear that, I think that's the underlying disease in the symptom of our views of the holy orders of the Church, that we lack a good understanding of the spirituality behind the necessity of the holy orders.


Parishes that do not have Deacons in my opinion are missing out.  Fine if you have another Priest to do some of the work, but then that Priest is in effect, during the DL functioning as a Deacon.  And If you have never been at a DL with TWO Deacons during the Litany of the Catechumens....you are missing out even more!

The Deacon at my parish -enables- through his work and dedication, for our Priest to accomplish more, because the Deacon shares the work of the altar with him. 
All opinions expressed by myself are quite tragically my own, and not those of any other poster or wall hangings.