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Author Topic: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church  (Read 179961 times) Average Rating: 0
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lubeltri
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« Reply #1260 on: August 05, 2009, 10:41:03 PM »

Or is it "preserved" in the same way that a old living tree or vine preserves the same DNA from the same Seed while growing towards the Sun and spreading it's branches for the birds to nest in, producing fragrant blossoms and fruit for the benefit of the Cosmos, shedding it's leaves when it needs to protect itself and sprouting new ones when the conditions are right....? 
I think the latter. Our beautiful Liturgies did not descend from heaven on a parachute, they developed over time and history and in particular circumstances. Would there be an Akathist Hymn if there had been no Constantinople? Would there have been an Elevation of the Cross had St. Helen not found it? The Church grows and develops and continues to do so. The unchanging thing about the Church is her sure Foundation on Christ, and its this sure Foundation which allows her to grow.

Hear, hear. Now you're starting to sound like a Catholic.  Smiley
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« Reply #1261 on: August 05, 2009, 10:46:53 PM »

Or is it "preserved" in the same way that a old living tree or vine preserves the same DNA from the same Seed while growing towards the Sun and spreading it's branches for the birds to nest in, producing fragrant blossoms and fruit for the benefit of the Cosmos, shedding it's leaves when it needs to protect itself and sprouting new ones when the conditions are right....? 
I think the latter. Our beautiful Liturgies did not descend from heaven on a parachute, they developed over time and history and in particular circumstances. Would there be an Akathist Hymn if there had been no Constantinople? Would there have been an Elevation of the Cross had St. Helen not found it? The Church grows and develops and continues to do so. The unchanging thing about the Church is her sure Foundation on Christ, and its this sure Foundation which allows her to grow.

Hear, hear. Now you're starting to sound like a Catholic.  Smiley
How so? Isn't the rock your Church is founded on supposed to be St. Peter?
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« Reply #1262 on: August 05, 2009, 10:50:05 PM »

Since we are all suppose to be of one priesthood, I wonder what more women could do in the Church? After all, wasn't the Mother of God present at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit ascended on Her and the Apostles? Perhaps our roles are not limited just to motherhood?
Quote
The Church has never restricted the role of women to marriage and motherhood. One need only look at the examples of some of the valiant women of the Church- St. Paraskevi of Rome, St. Irene Chrysovolantu, St. Thekla, St. Nina, St. Philothei of Athens to name only a few. We also have the examples of contemporary Eldresses like Gerontissa Gavrielia. Gerontissa Dorothea. None of these women were married or had children.

Also, none of those women were Priestesses. They were able to serve the Church outside of the Holy Priesthood, just as millions of Orthodox women have done for 2000 years. We should not give in to something just because it's demanded or encouraged by the society and culture that is around us. This new innovation of female priesthood within Christianity has only really taken prominence in the last 50 years. That is 1/4% of the total time Christianity has been around. This is simply (in my humble opinion) a fad that will die out in 100-200 years.
We should not act on things that may not last forever. The Church acted on heresies such as Arianism & Nestorianism because they were VERY threatening and lasted for decades (and even hundreds of years, existing still today). This "issue" has been around (that is, in force) for only about 50 years. Give it time, don't react just because the world thinks we ought to do as it wills.
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« Reply #1263 on: August 05, 2009, 10:52:30 PM »

Or is it "preserved" in the same way that a old living tree or vine preserves the same DNA from the same Seed while growing towards the Sun and spreading it's branches for the birds to nest in, producing fragrant blossoms and fruit for the benefit of the Cosmos, shedding it's leaves when it needs to protect itself and sprouting new ones when the conditions are right....? 
I think the latter. Our beautiful Liturgies did not descend from heaven on a parachute, they developed over time and history and in particular circumstances. Would there be an Akathist Hymn if there had been no Constantinople? Would there have been an Elevation of the Cross had St. Helen not found it? The Church grows and develops and continues to do so. The unchanging thing about the Church is her sure Foundation on Christ, and its this sure Foundation which allows her to grow.

Hear, hear. Now you're starting to sound like a Catholic.  Smiley

The RC's Foundation should be on Christ, not the Pope. Your Popes and their underlings have not only made drastic and unpleasant changes to dogma and tradition, but have taken an wrecking ball to the trusts of the Bride by sweeping the sex scandal under the rug. I think he sounds nothing like a Catholic. My apologies for offense, lubeltri.

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« Reply #1264 on: August 05, 2009, 10:54:18 PM »

Or is it "preserved" in the same way that a old living tree or vine preserves the same DNA from the same Seed while growing towards the Sun and spreading it's branches for the birds to nest in, producing fragrant blossoms and fruit for the benefit of the Cosmos, shedding it's leaves when it needs to protect itself and sprouting new ones when the conditions are right....? 
I think the latter. Our beautiful Liturgies did not descend from heaven on a parachute, they developed over time and history and in particular circumstances. Would there be an Akathist Hymn if there had been no Constantinople? Would there have been an Elevation of the Cross had St. Helen not found it? The Church grows and develops and continues to do so. The unchanging thing about the Church is her sure Foundation on Christ, and its this sure Foundation which allows her to grow.

Hear, hear. Now you're starting to sound like a Catholic.  Smiley
How so? Isn't the rock your Church is founded on supposed to be St. Peter?

Or is it "preserved" in the same way that a old living tree or vine preserves the same DNA from the same Seed while growing towards the Sun and spreading it's branches for the birds to nest in, producing fragrant blossoms and fruit for the benefit of the Cosmos, shedding it's leaves when it needs to protect itself and sprouting new ones when the conditions are right....? 
I think the latter. Our beautiful Liturgies did not descend from heaven on a parachute, they developed over time and history and in particular circumstances. Would there be an Akathist Hymn if there had been no Constantinople? Would there have been an Elevation of the Cross had St. Helen not found it? The Church grows and develops and continues to do so. The unchanging thing about the Church is her sure Foundation on Christ, and its this sure Foundation which allows her to grow.

Hear, hear. Now you're starting to sound like a Catholic.  Smiley

The RC's Foundation should be on Christ, not the Pope. Your Popes not only have made drastic and unpleasant changes to dogma and tradition, but have taken an wrecking ball to the trusts of the Bride by sweeping the sex scandal under the rug. I think he sounds nothing like a Catholic. My apologies for offense, lubeltri.



Please let's not turn this into a Catholic-bashing thread...
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« Reply #1265 on: August 05, 2009, 10:56:28 PM »

This new innovation of female priesthood within Christianity has only really taken prominence in the last 50 years. That is 1/4% of the total time Christianity has been around. This is simply (in my humble opinion) a fad that will die out in 100-200 years.

By then, women priests might be the only way to shore up the numbers within the Church.  Tongue
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« Reply #1266 on: August 05, 2009, 11:04:22 PM »

The RC's Foundation should be on Christ, not the Pope.

That is where you are mistaken.
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« Reply #1267 on: August 05, 2009, 11:05:29 PM »

Also, none of those women were Priestesses. They were able to serve the Church outside of the Holy Priesthood, just as millions of Orthodox women have done for 2000 years.
Well, some of them were clergy in that they were Deaconesses, and in the case of St. Brigid, she may have been a Bishop as we saw in this thread, but thats besides the point. I think if you read this thread, you will find that no one is arguing that women were Priestesses in the Church.

We should not give in to something just because it's demanded or encouraged by the society and culture that is around us.
Has your Bishop ever been married? Why not? Our Holy Scripture demands that a Bishop must be "the husband of one wife" (1 Timothy 3:2). Surely the Church did not adjust it's practices to forbid Bishops from marrying when Scripture clearly teaches they must be "the husband of one wife"? Why the change? What is the explanation?

We should not act on things that may not last forever.
The Church does that all the time. Were Planned Giving and Stewardship always around? Are they universal practices? Why was this hideous innovation introduced in the Church in the US these last few decades? How dare the Church in the US react to something that has only been an issue for such a short time?
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« Reply #1268 on: August 05, 2009, 11:06:38 PM »

The RC's Foundation should be on Christ, not the Pope.

That is where you are mistaken.

How so? Isn't he "Christ on Earth"?
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« Reply #1269 on: August 05, 2009, 11:10:05 PM »

The RC's Foundation should be on Christ, not the Pope.
That is where you are mistaken.

How so? Isn't he "Christ on Earth"?

This boring old discussion has occurred again and again on this forum, it is hardly "Christian News"...
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« Reply #1270 on: August 05, 2009, 11:18:01 PM »

The RC's Foundation should be on Christ, not the Pope.
That is where you are mistaken.

How so? Isn't he "Christ on Earth"?

This boring old discussion has occurred again and again on this forum, it is hardly "Christian News"...

Yup....(puts train back on the right track)  Smiley
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« Reply #1271 on: August 05, 2009, 11:19:16 PM »

By then, women priests might be the only way to shore up the numbers within the Church.  Tongue

Well, I'm not sure the numbers issue should be a consideration, but I think there may have brought up something else to think about. Lets say the question is honestly and synodically examined by the Church, and it is found that there is no dogmatic reason for women not to be ordained to the priesthood, but it is the practice of the Church. That's fine for our generation, but if future generations see that the Church has no dogmatic reason to exclude women from the Priesthood, yet continues to exclude them, and society considers this unjust, should the Church take this in to consideration or not? While it's true that the Church's dogma and moral teaching should be "in the world but not of the world", does this mean that the Church should never consider the opinions of society? For instance, bonded slavery was acceptable in the New Testament, does this mean that the Church should forbid workers the right to strike or that slavery should be morally acceptable because the Church should not adjust it's teaching to the views of the world?
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« Reply #1272 on: August 05, 2009, 11:32:23 PM »

Perhaps we should balance the views of society and the world with Christ's teachings. Slavery was not in line with His two greatest commandments, so the Church could not honestly support it and claim to be the true Church of Christ. Perhaps we should consider what it means to have "new life" when we try to follow Christ--what changes are included in this life called Theosis.
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« Reply #1273 on: August 05, 2009, 11:43:52 PM »

Clearly there are aspects of the Latin in persona Christi argument that the Orthodox cannot swallow, but there are parts of this argument that are really quite good and make even more sense in terms of the Byzantine liturgy when one compares it to the Latin rite.  When the priest is facing the altar, he is acting as the president of the assembly, on behalf of and with the people.  But more often than not, when he faces the people to bless, he does not say, as in the Latin Rite, "the peace of the Lord be always with you", but speaking directly as Christ did when he entered the locked room of the apostles, he exclaims "Peace be unto all"!  Here, he is clearly acting as Christ, in a way that is much more than simply "representing" Him. 

Christ and his early followers turned the world absolutely upside down when it came to treating women as people on the same level as men.  And not just people, but as part of the Royal priesthood!   (Really, all laity are priests, this is the true Christian priesthood.)  The ministerial "priesthood" (the presbyterate and the episcopacy) seems to have always been reserved for men.  If Christ had wanted women to be priests, it would have happened back in the days of the early Church, when He and his followers were turning everything else upside down in Jewish life and completely transforming it, with women being treated as persons, Jews being told that they had to welcome gentiles into their midst, eating all kinds of food deemed "unclean" beforehand, dispensing with all other Jewish ritual law, etc. etc.

If the Bishops and other representatives of the Church wish to  discuss this  issue at a great council, that will be their prerogative.  And if the great council decides that there is nothing to stop women from being priests and bishops, then that will be that, unless of course some decide that this is an illegitimate council.  From where I stand now, I think that it is very likely that I would see it in such a way.  But that is just from where I stand now.  Who knows.  For the moment, though, I will personally continue to see the idea of a female presbyterate as blasphemous.  But I think people should talk about it all they want.  Not that anyone should actually care about what I think.
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« Reply #1274 on: August 06, 2009, 12:22:12 AM »

^Some interesting points. Thanks
I'm wondering though about how the Episcopate and Presbyteriate can be seperated as the "ministerial" ranks of the Clergy, when "Diakos" literally means "minister" and the Diaconate has Liturgical functions. I'm not sure these Liturgical functions of the different ranks of the Clergy have always been static. For example, What is now Chrisimation was a Mystery originally reserved for the Apostles and Bishops through the laying on of hands, and later became an anointing by the Priest with Chrism consecrated by the Bishops. The 14th century St. Nicholas Cabasilas wrote in "The Life In Christ" (a commentary on the Liturgical Life of the Church):
"‘Scripture says that the Spirit was given when the apostles laid hands upon those who had been initiated. Now too the Paraclete comes upon those who are being chrismated’" (Life in Christ 3:2)
So the different functions of the clergy seemed to develop and were not static.
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« Reply #1275 on: August 06, 2009, 12:55:49 AM »

This new innovation of female priesthood within Christianity has only really taken prominence in the last 50 years. That is 1/4% of the total time Christianity has been around. This is simply (in my humble opinion) a fad that will die out in 100-200 years.

By then, women priests might be the only way to shore up the numbers within the Church.  Tongue

Yes, it has done wonders for the Anglicans.

Wait, those swelled numbers were those going over to Orthodoxy or the Vatican....or the Evangelicals..... Shocked
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« Reply #1276 on: August 06, 2009, 12:57:40 AM »

Also, none of those women were Priestesses. They were able to serve the Church outside of the Holy Priesthood, just as millions of Orthodox women have done for 2000 years.
Well, some of them were clergy in that they were Deaconesses, and in the case of St. Brigid, she may have been a Bishop as we saw in this thread, but thats besides the point. I think if you read this thread, you will find that no one is arguing that women were Priestesses in the Church.

We should not give in to something just because it's demanded or encouraged by the society and culture that is around us.
Has your Bishop ever been married? Why not? Our Holy Scripture demands that a Bishop must be "the husband of one wife" (1 Timothy 3:2). Surely the Church did not adjust it's practices to forbid Bishops from marrying when Scripture clearly teaches they must be "the husband of one wife"? Why the change? What is the explanation?

The bishop who wrote that and the bishop he wrote to were not married.


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« Reply #1277 on: August 06, 2009, 01:12:06 AM »

Also, none of those women were Priestesses. They were able to serve the Church outside of the Holy Priesthood, just as millions of Orthodox women have done for 2000 years.
Well, some of them were clergy in that they were Deaconesses, and in the case of St. Brigid, she may have been a Bishop as we saw in this thread, but thats besides the point. I think if you read this thread, you will find that no one is arguing that women were Priestesses in the Church.

We should not give in to something just because it's demanded or encouraged by the society and culture that is around us.
Has your Bishop ever been married? Why not? Our Holy Scripture demands that a Bishop must be "the husband of one wife" (1 Timothy 3:2). Surely the Church did not adjust it's practices to forbid Bishops from marrying when Scripture clearly teaches they must be "the husband of one wife"? Why the change? What is the explanation?

The bishop who wrote that and the bishop he wrote to were not married.
Does that changes the fact that Bishops were originally permitted to marry in the Church by a Scriptural instruction which was later over-ruled by the Church?
Or is your point that you think St. Paul and St. Timothy are hypocrites?
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« Reply #1278 on: August 06, 2009, 01:14:31 AM »

Also, none of those women were Priestesses. They were able to serve the Church outside of the Holy Priesthood, just as millions of Orthodox women have done for 2000 years.
Well, some of them were clergy in that they were Deaconesses, and in the case of St. Brigid, she may have been a Bishop as we saw in this thread, but thats besides the point. I think if you read this thread, you will find that no one is arguing that women were Priestesses in the Church.

We should not give in to something just because it's demanded or encouraged by the society and culture that is around us.
Has your Bishop ever been married? Why not? Our Holy Scripture demands that a Bishop must be "the husband of one wife" (1 Timothy 3:2). Surely the Church did not adjust it's practices to forbid Bishops from marrying when Scripture clearly teaches they must be "the husband of one wife"? Why the change? What is the explanation?

The bishop who wrote that and the bishop he wrote to were not married.
Does that changes the fact that Bishops were originally permitted to marry in the Church by a Scriptural instruction which was later over-ruled by the Church?
Or is your point that you think St. Paul and St. Timothy are hypocrites?
No. No. But I've seen the Protestants argue, as your line seems to imply, that a bishop MUST have a wife, not be the husband of one wife (and no more).  The celibate bishop was there from the beginning, along with the married.  The woman bishop was no where to be found.
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« Reply #1279 on: August 06, 2009, 01:17:50 AM »

Also, none of those women were Priestesses. They were able to serve the Church outside of the Holy Priesthood, just as millions of Orthodox women have done for 2000 years.
Well, some of them were clergy in that they were Deaconesses, and in the case of St. Brigid, she may have been a Bishop as we saw in this thread, but thats besides the point. I think if you read this thread, you will find that no one is arguing that women were Priestesses in the Church.

We should not give in to something just because it's demanded or encouraged by the society and culture that is around us.
Has your Bishop ever been married? Why not? Our Holy Scripture demands that a Bishop must be "the husband of one wife" (1 Timothy 3:2). Surely the Church did not adjust it's practices to forbid Bishops from marrying when Scripture clearly teaches they must be "the husband of one wife"? Why the change? What is the explanation?

The bishop who wrote that and the bishop he wrote to were not married.
Does that changes the fact that Bishops were originally permitted to marry in the Church by a Scriptural instruction which was later over-ruled by the Church?
Or is your point that you think St. Paul and St. Timothy are hypocrites?
No. No. But I've seen the Protestants argue, as your line seems to imply, that a bishop MUST have a wife, not be the husband of one wife (and no more).  The celibate bishop was there from the beginning, along with the married. 
No. The point is that a married man could be a Bishop in the Early Church (as ratified by Scripture), but a married man can no longer be a Bishop in the Church as decreed by the Church. If you go back in the thread, you'll see that I use it as an example of how the Church can "bind and loose".

The woman bishop was no where to be found.
Until St. Brigid possibly. Wink
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« Reply #1280 on: August 06, 2009, 01:27:11 AM »

Also, none of those women were Priestesses. They were able to serve the Church outside of the Holy Priesthood, just as millions of Orthodox women have done for 2000 years.
Well, some of them were clergy in that they were Deaconesses, and in the case of St. Brigid, she may have been a Bishop as we saw in this thread, but thats besides the point. I think if you read this thread, you will find that no one is arguing that women were Priestesses in the Church.

We should not give in to something just because it's demanded or encouraged by the society and culture that is around us.
Has your Bishop ever been married? Why not? Our Holy Scripture demands that a Bishop must be "the husband of one wife" (1 Timothy 3:2). Surely the Church did not adjust it's practices to forbid Bishops from marrying when Scripture clearly teaches they must be "the husband of one wife"? Why the change? What is the explanation?

The bishop who wrote that and the bishop he wrote to were not married.
Does that changes the fact that Bishops were originally permitted to marry in the Church by a Scriptural instruction which was later over-ruled by the Church?
Or is your point that you think St. Paul and St. Timothy are hypocrites?
No. No. But I've seen the Protestants argue, as your line seems to imply, that a bishop MUST have a wife, not be the husband of one wife (and no more).  The celibate bishop was there from the beginning, along with the married. 
No. The point is that a married man could be a Bishop in the Early Church (as ratified by Scripture), but a married man can no longer be a Bishop in the Church as decreed by the Church. If you go back in the thread, you'll see that I use it as an example of how the Church can "bind and loose".

Yes, I know.  But you imply that they can loose it out of whole cloth.  The example you give doesn't support that, as there were many celibate bishops (and far from the exception) when the canon was created and long before.

The woman bishop was no where to be found.
Until St. Brigid possibly. Wink

Nearly a millenium too late.
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« Reply #1281 on: August 06, 2009, 01:34:21 AM »

Yes, I know.  But you imply that they can loose it out of whole cloth. 
Actually, no. It is an example of binding, not loosing. The Church decided to forbid Bishops to be married even though Scripture permitted them to marry, therefore, in this instance, the Church bound something on Earth and thereby bound it in Heaven. A restriction (binding) was imposed by the Church which overuled the Apostolic permission (loosing) of St. Paul.
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« Reply #1282 on: August 06, 2009, 01:39:48 AM »

The woman bishop was no where to be found.
Until St. Brigid possibly. Wink

The Book of Lismore (quoted earlier) says:  "Wherefore the men of Ireland from that time to this give episcopal honour to Brigid's successor."

The  Book of Lismore, was compiled in the 15th century.  Its original name is Leabhar Mhic Carthaigh Riabhaigh (The Book of Mac Carthaigh Riabhach.)

Now Saint Brigid died in 520.  Does this mean that there was a thousand year line of episcopal succession from Saint Brigid up until the 15th century (and beyond)?   Surely we would have evidence of it?

One consideration is that the Book is a compilation.  We would need to check the date of the section dealing with the life of Saint Brigid.

Another question is: does the Book of Lismore mean that "episcopal honour is given to Brigid's successor," i.e., her successor as a bishop?  Or her successor as abbess of Kildare?
   
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« Reply #1283 on: August 06, 2009, 01:51:26 AM »

Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) does not see any theological reason against women being ordained.  And if the Church is to keep up with the 'spirit of the times' (Bishop Ignaty Brianchaninov) then why not?

Whatever decision is made, let's all pray to God that it isn't based on conformity to the "spirit of the times!"

"Lord have mercy!"

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« Reply #1284 on: August 06, 2009, 01:58:06 AM »

Yes, it has done wonders for the Anglicans.

Wait, those swelled numbers were those going over to Orthodoxy or the Vatican....or the Evangelicals..... Shocked

Nah, I meant in 200 years I'm sure Church attendance will be a hair above non-existent, and belief in orthodox Christian theology will only be marginally better.  So they'll "try something new".  Tongue
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« Reply #1285 on: August 06, 2009, 02:11:01 AM »

Another question is: does the Book of Lismore mean that "episcopal honour is given to Brigid's successor," i.e., her successor as a bishop?  Or her successor as abbess of Kildare?
  
Until the Synod of Kells (1152) Kildare was a powerful monastery for quite some time, and the Abbesses did in fact have episcopal-like roles, for example, in that they selected candidates for the Priesthood. I think that is what is meant. I don't think it means the Abbess of Kildare was the official Bishop of Kildare. Remember, Kildare was not a convent, but a monastery for both men and women, and it was ruled by an Abbess who presumably stood jointly with the Bishop, and so was seen as being kind of equal in authority to one.
Abbesses today (especially in the greater and older monasteries) also have some sort of "episcopal-like" roles, and the Abbot of the ancient Holy Monastery of St. Catherine in the Sinai is, in fact, always consecrated as a Bishop.
The Icon of the Theotokos as Abbess of The Holy Mountain depicts her wearing a Bishop's mantiya:
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« Reply #1286 on: August 06, 2009, 02:13:26 AM »

Wow, I have never seen that icon before.
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« Reply #1287 on: August 06, 2009, 06:52:24 AM »

The image of the "Abbess of Athos", also known as Economissa, while honorable in intent, is somewhat problematic for two reasons:

Firstly, the Mother of God is shown without the presence of her Son, which, along with the three stars of perpetual virginity on her maphorion, and the inscription MP-ΘY are canonically essential. At the very least, there should be a motif of Christ (either as Emmanuel or as an adult) or the Holy Trinity in the upper border of the icon. This is what is done in icons of the Mother of God where the icon portrays a historical event, such as the Visitation to St Sergius of Radonezh, Bogolyubskaya, and other icons of the post-Pentecost period where she has appeared.

Secondly, while she is indeed, and with great honor, referred to as the Abbess of Athos, she was never an abbess in real life. The Abbess title is akin to the myriad of poetic and descriptive titles found in liturgical texts, notably the Akathists to her. However, as I have said many a time, iconography is about revelation, not about imagination, and any symbolic representations must be subordinate to the revealed.

A good example of this is in the Visitation icons I referred to above: The Mother of God is shown bearing an abbess's staff, denoting her authority (and, it is quite likely that she did indeed bear such a staff in these visitations), but she is dressed in the familiar blue or dark inner garment and red maphorion.

Here is a better version of the Abbess of Athos, without the mantle, though unfortunately, Christ is still absent.



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« Reply #1288 on: August 06, 2009, 07:06:47 AM »

The image of the "Abbess of Athos", also known as Economissa, while honorable in intent, is somewhat problematic for two reasons:

These "topical" icons are not without their venerators.   Here is one painted on the instructions of Saint Seraphim of Sarov.  It must be popular with Russian farmers and smallholders  -  "The Mother of God, Gatherer of the Wheat"
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« Reply #1289 on: August 06, 2009, 07:13:57 AM »

 From http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,17565.msg305661.html#msg305661 :

Quote
The Multiplier of Wheat shows the Mother of God surrounded by a mandorla, an oval motif of rays and stars which represents the uncreated light and glory of God. This is a major error in iconography, as the Virgin, while, of course, partaking of the glory and life of God, is not divine herself. She does not generate this light. Christ alone may be depicted in this light, such as in icons of Christ in Majesty (Christ enthroned, surrounded by the bodiless hosts), the Transfiguration, the Dormition of His mother (where He is seen holding her soul in the form of a babe in swaddling clothes, surely one of the loveliest of iconographic motifs, and truly loaded with theological meaning), and in icons of the Mother of God of the Sign, where He, as Christ Emmanuel, is surrounded by a circular mandorla over His mother's body as she holds her arms raised in supplication. By contrast, a mandorla is often seen in western images (paintings and statues) of the Virgin, notably in Our Lady of Guadelupe.
Quote
Many would dismiss this as nothing more than an anti-western rant. Not so. I am completely aware of the comprehensive displacement of conventional, canonical iconography with images derived from western art, which often bore little in the way of integrity and fidelity to Orthodox liturgical and doctrinal tradition. This displacement began in around the 15thC, but was in full swing by the 17th-18thC. Therefore, particularly in regions such as western Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (bordering with Poland, Austria-Hungary, etc), the Balkans, and many of the Greek islands and provinces which were under Venetian or other administration, such images soon were seen as "the norm", and persist to this day. Hence the persistence of such images, which, in recent years, are often rendered in the geometric, "non-realistic" artistic style associated with iconography. St Seraphim probably had little choice but to venerate images such as these, as these images were everywhere.

What can be done about such images? One solution is to ensure that budding iconographers are not only taught the artistic techniques of painting an icon, but to be (perhaps more importantly) thoroughly trained in what is, and is not, permissible to be painted. Of the images of the Mother of God which were deficient, but became associated with miracles or saints (such as the Seraphim-Diveyevo), it would be wise to direct iconographers painting these images to paint a motif of Christ or the Holy Trinity in the upper border of the composition, and to ensure that the Virgin's insignia of the MP-ΘY inscription and the stars of perpetual virginity be painted. In this way, doctrinal and theological integrity is maintained.
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« Reply #1290 on: August 06, 2009, 07:16:12 AM »

LBK,
The "Economissa"  is a completely different icon. It depicts the Theotokos as the "Economissa" (The female verson of the "Economos" or "Steward" of the monastery).
The inscription of the Icon of the Abeess of the Holy Mountain Icon says "Hegumeni (Abbess) and Protectoress of the Holy Mountain".

Lets review your history as an "expert in orthodox iconography" in this thread:
I used the term "church art" to refer to the following image posted in this thread:

BELOW: the 9th century "Episcopa Theodora" mosaic
in the St. Zeno Chapel of the Church of St. Praxedis, Rome



You stated that I was wrong to call this "Church art" and had to call it "iconography":
This isn't just about women Priests. It's about Church history, facts, hagiographies, documents, church art, the concept of binding and loosing and authority in the Church.

My dear ozgeorge, please do not denigrate iconography by calling it mere "church art".

You clearly must have known that this was the image I was referring to since you refer to it in a post directly after it:
So, ozgeorge, even if this woman was indeed a bishop

OK, so you think that the above mosaic depicting "Bishopess Theodora" is an icon. Fine.

Then I post this Icon painted (spare me the nonsense about having to say "written" - they are the same in Koine Greek) by an Athonite monk of St. Annes Skete on the Holy Mountain depicting the Theotokos as the Abbess of the Holy Mountain, and you tell me that it is not an Icon (presumably because you are a greater authority on Iconography than this Athonite Skete which has produced Icons for centuries.)



So according to you the Bishopess Theodora mosaic is an example of iconography and I must not dare refer to it as anything else, but the Abbess of the Holy Mountain produced by the Athonite Fathers of St. Annes Skete is "problematic".

Somehow, I have little confidence in your credibility as being knowlegable about Orthodox Iconography.
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« Reply #1291 on: August 06, 2009, 08:10:36 AM »

Another question is: does the Book of Lismore mean that "episcopal honour is given to Brigid's successor," i.e., her successor as a bishop?  Or her successor as abbess of Kildare?
  
Until the Synod of Kells (1152) Kildare was a powerful monastery for quite some time, and the Abbesses did in fact have episcopal-like roles, for example, in that they selected candidates for the Priesthood. I think that is what is meant. I don't think it means the Abbess of Kildare was the official Bishop of Kildare. Remember, Kildare was not a convent, but a monastery for both men and women, and it was ruled by an Abbess who presumably stood jointly with the Bishop, and so was seen as being kind of equal in authority to one.
Just had another thought about this. Given that the earliest account of the Consecration of St. Brigid as a Bishop is the 9th century text of the "Bethu Brigte", by which time Kildare would have been established as a powerful monastery, could the "accidental consecration" story have been added to her Life as a way of explaining the episcopal-like authority of her successors, the Abbesses of Kildare?
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« Reply #1292 on: August 06, 2009, 08:11:48 AM »

Why are you using St. Brigid as an example? Yes she was ordained as a Bishop. But it was a mistake, the Bishop that ordained her was impaired, and he even repented for it and was forgiven. The Theotokos herself addressed him and although he was forgiven he couldn't touch alcohol ever again.
Does this say to you that female Bishops is OK? To me, it says that we should never have female Bishops or Priestesses, if we mistakingly do so, then we have to repent.

ozgeorge, I don't see why you seem to be equating Deacons with Priests. They are both clergy, but serve VERY different roles. Women can be Deaconesses according to the Church, but never Priests.

Also, in my humble opinion, if we EVER need more Priests, and are at a shortage, then that would show a lack of faithfulness on our part. (Or it could be because of severe persecution) The answer would NOT be to ordain women as Priestesses, but rather to bring up our men more piously. (However being ordained is still their choice and shouldn't be imposed)

Bishops were originally married, but that was back when you had Bishops that were mainly centered in cities. Then, as Christianity grew & became legalized, the diocese of the Bishops became huge as they were drawn out by councils. The Bishops could not longer spend enough time with their families as they had to travel around their regions. As we know even today, the absent father/husband puts a severe strain on a family and is a huge missing hole.
In my opinion, Bishops ought to be allowed to be married, HOWEVER they ought also to have smaller diocese and there ought to be more Bishops.

ozgeorge, I'm not arguing against female deaconesses, I'm arguing against female Priestesses. It's not only against Church canon/doctrine/tradition, it's not even Biblical.
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« Reply #1293 on: August 06, 2009, 08:13:44 AM »

Why are you using St. Brigid as an example?
What am I using her as an example of and where?

Yes she was ordained as a Bishop. But it was a mistake, the Bishop that ordained her was impaired, and he even repented for it and was forgiven. The Theotokos herself addressed him and although he was forgiven he couldn't touch alcohol ever again.
What is your source for this? The text of the 9th century Bethu Brigte says the Bishop was "intoxicated with the Grace of God", not alcohol. Even the Book of Lismore text (written after the Kell Synod which removed much of the power of Kildare Monastery) says that this episcopal authority was given to her successors (the Abbesses of Kildare)- pretty stupid if it was "repented of".
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« Reply #1294 on: August 06, 2009, 08:17:34 AM »

Quote
What is your source for this? The text of the 9th century Bethu Brigte says the Bishop was "intoxicated with the Grace of God", not alcohol. Even the Book of Lismore text (written after the Kell Synod which removed much of the power of Kildare Monastery) says that this episcopal authority was given to her successors (the Abbesses of Kildare)- pretty stupid if it was "repented of".
I could have sworn i read that somewhere on here, that the Bishop went and repented of it and the Theotokos forgave him of it and he couldn't drink anymore after that... I swear I read it, perhaps someone on here edited their post after I read it?

Ok, I've read your posts, and I still don't know where you stand ozgeorge. For some reason I'm unable to understand what you are trying to argue for.

Are you simply arguing for fair dialogue?

Are you arguing that women should be ordained as Priestesses?

Are you arguing they should only be allowed to be deaconesses?

Are you saying the Church ought to consider being more modern?

What are you arguing for? I'm tired of trying to respond to what I think are arguments for women Priestesses, but if that isn't what you are arguing for, then it just makes me look like an idiot. I feel like a basketball player whose trying to help his team win, but is unknowingly defending against his own teammates.
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« Reply #1295 on: August 06, 2009, 08:31:03 AM »

Ok, I've read your posts, and I still don't know where you stand ozgeorge.
Again I ask: why is that important?
I'm pleased that you don't know where I stand, because that means that I am not bringing my own unfounded assumptions to the discussion but rather examining the available evidence.

So could you tell me where you got the information that Bishop Mel "repented" of consecrating St. Brigid- contrary to the accounts in the Bethu Brigte and the Book of Lismore?
Please go back to the purity of the text of the Bethu Brigte and examine the evidence.
You'll find the Bethu Brigte here:
 http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/T201002/index.html
What a 20th century Catholic Nun said to a poster and is reported second hand is not really evidence but heresay.
Is it possible that this is a later fabrication intended to diminish the power of the Abbesses of Kildare (which, as I suggest above, may actually be the origin of the story of the accidental consecration to explain the power of the Abbeses of Kildare in the first place?)
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« Reply #1296 on: August 06, 2009, 09:45:21 AM »

Ok, I've read your posts, and I still don't know where you stand ozgeorge.
Again I ask: why is that important?
I'm pleased that you don't know where I stand, because that means that I am not bringing my own unfounded assumptions to the discussion but rather examining the available evidence.

So could you tell me where you got the information that Bishop Mel "repented" of consecrating St. Brigid- contrary to the accounts in the Bethu Brigte and the Book of Lismore?
Please go back to the purity of the text of the Bethu Brigte and examine the evidence.
You'll find the Bethu Brigte here:
 http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/T201002/index.html
What a 20th century Catholic Nun said to a poster and is reported second hand is not really evidence but heresay.
Is it possible that this is a later fabrication intended to diminish the power of the Abbesses of Kildare (which, as I suggest above, may actually be the origin of the story of the accidental consecration to explain the power of the Abbeses of Kildare in the first place?)

It's important because like I said above, I don't want to be arguing against someone who is on my own side of the issue. If your neutral that is ok, just tell me so that I will at least know where you stand.

As for St. Brigid, I don't know where I read that about her ordination, I thought it was on this thread. I'm not saying it is right, but it was what I read (I hadn't read the actual account at the time, so I thought that was the actual account).

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« Reply #1297 on: August 06, 2009, 10:40:21 AM »

Oh my, ozgeorge, you really are trying hard to put words in my mouth.

Quote
The "Economissa"  is a completely different icon.

There are, in fact two icons which the Greeks and Slavs call Economissa (the Slavonic form is Domostroytel'nitsa): the Abbess of Athos type, and the other, to which you are referring, which shows the Mother of God enthroned with her Child, flanked by Sts Athanasius of Athos, and Michael of Synnada.

Quote
I used the term "church art" to refer to the following image posted in this thread: ...You stated that I was wrong to call this "Church art" and had to call it "iconography":

Your statement of:
Quote
This isn't just about women Priests. It's about Church history, facts, hagiographies, documents, church art, the concept of binding and loosing and authority in the Church.
was worded as a general (and quite correct) comment on the invalidity (if I may use that word) of heterodox justifications for female ordination and a female episcopate. It did not come across as referring specifically to the mosaic you posted. My comment about "church art" versus "iconography" therefore cannot be construed as commenting specifically about the validity or otherwise of the mosaic.

Quote
OK, so you think that the above mosaic depicting "Bishopess Theodora" is an icon. Fine.

Thiis is what I actually wrote, ozgeorge:
Quote
So, ozgeorge, even if this woman was indeed a bishop (which I seriously doubt), is it really possible to extrapolate from this that it were once permissible for women to be ordained to the priesthood?

Any mention there of approval of this image as an icon? Please.

Quote
Then I post this Icon painted (spare me the nonsense about having to say "written" - they are the same in Koine Greek)


You may be pleasantly surprised to hear that I share your distaste for the term "writing" icons. I am quite aware of the Greek term graphe, which refers to both the written word and to pictorial representations. If you care to search through any of my posts on iconography, you will find I have always used the word paint, not write to describe the act of producing an icon.

Quote
... by an Athonite monk of St. Annes Skete on the Holy Mountain depicting the Theotokos as the Abbess of the Holy Mountain, and you tell me that it is not an Icon

Athonite sketes and monasteries have also been host to, and/or the source of, images such as the so-called New Testament Trinity and of St Joseph the Betrothed holding the infant Christ, after the manner of icons of the Mother of God. Yet it is clear, doctrinally and theologically, that such images are not canonical. Athonite provenance per se does not automatically bestow canonicity on an image.

Quote
So according to you the Bishopess Theodora mosaic is an example of iconography and I must not dare refer to it as anything else,
See my earlier point above. You are putting words in my mouth. Conversely, did I not give you the courtesy of post #108, in reply to that of Cleveland?

He may have used the term to include both proper Iconography and other non-Iconographic pictorial depictions.

To be fair, let ozgeorge answer that, lest he accuse either of us of putting words in his mouth.  Wink
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« Reply #1298 on: August 06, 2009, 12:05:03 PM »

Dear LBK,

I really appreciate the theological information on iconography you provide. I find it fascinating and very enlightening. We are so blessed to have you here on this forum. You really clear up any misconceptions any of us might hold.

 Smiley  Tamara
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« Reply #1299 on: August 06, 2009, 08:18:27 PM »

Ok, I've read your posts, and I still don't know where you stand ozgeorge.
Again I ask: why is that important?
I'm pleased that you don't know where I stand, because that means that I am not bringing my own unfounded assumptions to the discussion but rather examining the available evidence.

So could you tell me where you got the information that Bishop Mel "repented" of consecrating St. Brigid- contrary to the accounts in the Bethu Brigte and the Book of Lismore?
Please go back to the purity of the text of the Bethu Brigte and examine the evidence.
You'll find the Bethu Brigte here:
 http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/T201002/index.html
What a 20th century Catholic Nun said to a poster and is reported second hand is not really evidence but heresay.
Is it possible that this is a later fabrication intended to diminish the power of the Abbesses of Kildare (which, as I suggest above, may actually be the origin of the story of the accidental consecration to explain the power of the Abbeses of Kildare in the first place?)

It's important because like I said above, I don't want to be arguing against someone who is on my own side of the issue. If your neutral that is ok, just tell me so that I will at least know where you stand.
Why does a discussion have to be an argument? Why can't an issue be examined without having to take sides? This thread is about the discussion of the ordination of women, it is not a poll to see whether you think women should be ordained.

As for St. Brigid, I don't know where I read that about her ordination, I thought it was on this thread. I'm not saying it is right, but it was what I read (I hadn't read the actual account at the time, so I thought that was the actual account).
This is what I am talking about. Rather than come in to a discussion without looking at the available facts, lets look at the available facts.
As you see, I have given you a link to a translation of her 9th century Celtic life, the "Bethu Brigte". Perhaps that is a place to start. According to this text, St. Brigit was indeed accidentally consecrated a Bishop by Bishop Mel who read the wrong text because he was "intoxicated with the Grace of God" (not that he was drunk with alcohol). There is no mention of a "repentance" or "visitation" of the Theotokos to "forgive" Bishop Mel.
The other textual evidence is the 15th century Celtic manuscript, the Leabhar Breac which contains a life of St. Brigit, and which again mentions the accidental consecration saying that it was due to "the Grace of the Holy Ghost".
"It came to pass then, through the grace of the Holy Ghost, that the form of ordaining a bishop was read over Brigit. MacCaille said that ‘The order of a bishop should not be (conferred) on a woman.’ Dixit Bishop Mél: ‘No power have I in this matter, inasmuch as by God hath been given unto her this honour beyond every woman.’ Hence, it is that the men of Ireland give the honour of bishop to Brigit's successor."
http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/T201010/index.html

Note the last line in the above quote: "Hence, it is that the men of Ireland give the honour of bishop to Brigit's successor." This is what makes me think that the story of St. Brigit's consecration was given as a way of explaining why the Abbesses of Kildare held episcopal-like positions. One thing though is clear, that for some centuries until the Kell Synod:  "the men of Ireland give the honour of bishop to Brigit's successor"- the Abbesses of Kildare.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2009, 08:35:37 PM by ozgeorge » Logged

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« Reply #1300 on: August 06, 2009, 09:00:55 PM »

I'm incapable of looking at things w/o a side, don't ya know? lol

j/k though...

TBH, I don't know enough about the subject, therefore all I can do is defend my position since I don't know anymore facts to present dispassionately. (sorry, all I could think of was unbiasly and that was definitely wrong lol)
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« Reply #1301 on: August 06, 2009, 09:37:07 PM »

I'm incapable of looking at things w/o a side, don't ya know? lol

j/k though...

TBH, I don't know enough about the subject, therefore all I can do is defend my position since I don't know anymore facts to present dispassionately. (sorry, all I could think of was unbiasly and that was definitely wrong lol)

We all have prejudices and biases, myself included. And I think there are places on a discussion forum to express those biases and personal opinions. But I also think that discussion forums can allow an opportunity for all of us to examine primary evidence and look at what informs our personal opinion. I think that on an Orthodox forum particularly, there are times when we need to just have our own opinion informed by our particular tradition and not think that it is "better" or "worse" than anyone else's- just different. But I also think that discussion forums can provide excellent opportunities for the exchanging of information which is not just opinion- things like primary source documents. In a way it is like the role of the monasteries which kept knowledge alive through their Scriptorums. There is no point in having primary sources if nobody knows about them and they are forgotten. We Orthodox in particular, with our love of our ancient hymns, texts etc, and who incorporate these into our daily lives should appreciate this. Imagine if we had lost the text of the Ladder of St. John Klimakos because nobody had read, discussed, copied or mentioned it for centuries. Imagine if we lost the Philokalia, or the Life of St. Mary of Egypt. Imagine if we had lost the Bethu Brigte discussed in this thread. Our Tradition is a Living Tradition because the Church is the Living People of God who pass it on and don't forget it.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2009, 09:41:59 PM by ozgeorge » Logged

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« Reply #1302 on: August 07, 2009, 12:54:06 AM »


What about the "monthly cycle and uncleanness" issue?  That would certainly throw a monkey wrench into the service schedule!

How could a natural part of a woman's life be unclean???

What would we call her:  Father, Mother, Fatheress?

Mother would be fine.

I wouldn't want to confess to a woman!

There are a few male priests I would never confess to because they talk too much.

What about the "women shouldn't pray with their heads uncovered" issue?

So she could cover it.

I would be scared of a female priest who could grow a beard!

I think that might be kinda cute.

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« Reply #1303 on: August 07, 2009, 10:54:09 AM »

I'll have to hunt around for a citation, but as one who is given to regarding the Holy Canons not a unchangable or rigid rules, but as generally sound advice from the Harps of the Spirit on how the Church ought govern herself, I've always felt that the canon that forbids women from entering the altar unless they be virgins over the age of 40 or widows living in chastity over the age of 60 provided some guidance on women's ordination (to the deaconate).
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« Reply #1304 on: August 07, 2009, 10:46:38 PM »

I'll have to hunt around for a citation, but as one who is given to regarding the Holy Canons not a unchangable or rigid rules, but as generally sound advice from the Harps of the Spirit on how the Church ought govern herself, I've always felt that the canon that forbids women from entering the altar unless they be virgins over the age of 40 or widows living in chastity over the age of 60 provided some guidance on women's ordination (to the deaconate).

If you can find that Canon, it would be excellent as a primary source to look at!
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