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Moderated Forums => Free-For-All => Religious Topics => Topic started by: Brigidsboy on April 26, 2006, 06:25:52 PM

Title: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Brigidsboy on April 26, 2006, 06:25:52 PM
GreekisChristian has stated elsewhere that he approves of the ordination of women to the priesthood in the Orthodox Church.

How do you all feel about this issue? If some of you feel there are strong arguments, either for or against, please share them.

(I am interested in a serious discussion of this issue. I hope it will not descend into fighting and name-calling.)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: TomS on April 26, 2006, 07:31:59 PM
I support it. And I don't think that will surprise many people here.  :D
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Carpatho Russian on April 26, 2006, 07:49:36 PM
Tom,
Would you want to be the priest's husband?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: drewmeister2 on April 26, 2006, 07:50:48 PM
Key word is "Ordination", not Ordination. Women can not have valid Orders, ever.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on April 26, 2006, 07:51:57 PM
Key word is "Ordination", not Ordination. Women can not have valid Orders, ever.

Thank you for your opinion...why?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Brigidsboy on April 26, 2006, 07:52:27 PM
I support it. And I don't think that will surprise many people here.  :D

Fine. But why? Please be as specific as possible.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: TomS on April 26, 2006, 07:55:15 PM
Tom,
Would you want to be the priest's husband?

Nope. No weekends off!
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: drewmeister2 on April 26, 2006, 08:08:59 PM
Thank you for your opinion...why?

The canons say only men can be ordained.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on April 26, 2006, 08:11:44 PM
The canons say only men can be ordained.

I'm fairly well versed in the canons and yet am unfamiliary the one you're refering to...to which one are you refering?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: drewmeister2 on April 26, 2006, 08:38:12 PM
CANON XLIV of the 60 CANONS:
That women must not enter the sacrificial Altar.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on April 26, 2006, 08:51:46 PM
CANON XLIV of the 60 CANONS:
That women must not enter the sacrificial Altar.

First of all, this says absolutely nothing about ordination.

Secondly, with the canons of Laodicea we unfortunately only have the headings of the ancient canons, the canons proper are lost to us; thus this is a heading of a complete canons, the text of which we lack. Accordingly, St Nikodemos in his commentary on this canon specifically states, 'The present Canon decrees that women shall not go into the holy Bema, if they are lay women.' This interpretation is given as to not create a contradiction between Laodicea 44, the text of which we lack, and Canon 15 of St. Nicephorus the Confessor which states, 'Nuns must enter the holy bema in order to light a taper or candle, and in order to sweep it.'

Of course, all this should be viewed in the light of VI 69 which states, 'Let it not be permitted to anyone among all the laity to enter within the sacred altar, with the exception that the Imperial power and authority is in no way or manner excluded therefrom whenever it wishes to offer gifts to the Creator, in accordance with a certain most ancient tradition.'

Incidentally, this canon would allow the Ruling Empresses (such as Theodora, Irene, Zoe, etc.) to enter the altar in the preformance of their Priestly Imperial Duties.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: pensateomnia on April 26, 2006, 09:24:13 PM
(I am interested in a serious discussion of this issue. I hope it will not descend into fighting and name-calling.)

Well, I wouldn't count on finding much of a serious discussion on such a volatile issue here. However, there have been a number of articles and monographs written on this topic, starting with the German and French Protestant and Catholic scholars of the beginning of the 20th century. I can't remember for the life of me -- or find! -- one such excellent monograph written by some dutiful Jesuit in the 60s (what was his name!?), which was quite exhaustive in its treatment (even going so far as to utilize solid epigraphical evidence from Rome and Phrygia), while still being conservative in orientation.

Anyway, the standard Orthodox authors are: Kyriaki Fitzgerald-Karidoyanes, Fr. Thomas Hopko and, more recently, Valerie Karras. For an even more liberal take, one can turn to the Frenchies, e.g. Elisabeth Behr-Siegel, who delivered the keynote address of the 2003 meeting of the Orthodox Theological Society in America on this very topic ( "Women and Authority in the Church").

Since I'm too busy at the end of the semester to actually pontificate (and because I luuuuuuuuv bibliographies), I'm posting what I find on my shelves and on my little computer here (ahhhhhhh, PDF files) that would serve one well if one were interested in reading the relevant literature. Enjoy!


Davis, J. "Deacons, Deaconesses and the Minor Orders in the Patristic Period," Journal of Ecclesiastical History 14:1 (1969), 1-12.

Fitzgerald-Karidoyanes, Kyriaki. Orthodox women speak: Discerning the "signs of the times". Brookline, Mass.: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 1999.

 ÃƒÆ’‚ ――  Women Deacons in the Orthodox Church: Called to Holiness and Ministry. Brookline, Mass.: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 1998.

Hopko, Thomas, ed. Women and the Priesthood. Crestwood, New York: SVS Press, 1983.

Karras, Valerie A. "The Liturgical Functions of Consecrated Women in the Byzantine Church," Theological Studies 66:1 (2005).

 ÃƒÆ’‚ ――   "Female Deacons in the Byzantine Church," Church History 73:2 (2004).

Prokschi, Rudolf. "Die Rolle der Frau in der Kirche: ein intensiv diskutiertes Thema auf dem Landeskonzil der Russischen Orthodoxen Kirche von 1917/18," Ostkirchliche Studien 49:2 (2000), 105-144.

Stiefel, Jennifer H. "Women deacons in 1 Timothy: A linguistic and literary look at 'women likewise...' (1 Tim 3.11)," New Testament Studies 41:3 (1995), 442-457.

Synek, Eva Maria. "Der Frauendiakonat der Alten Kirche und seine Rezeption durch die orthodoxen Kirchen: Losungsansatze fur die katholische Ordinationsdiskussion?" Ostkirchliche Studien 48:1 (1999), 19-27

Winjngaards, J.N.M. No Women in Holy Orders?: The Women Deacons of the Early Church. Norwich: Canterbury, 2002.

And, of course, there are Behr-Siegel's major books (which I don't own, so I can't supply you a full reference for): Discerning the Signs of the Times, The Ministry of Women in the Church, and The Ordination of Women in the Church.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Brigidsboy on April 26, 2006, 09:42:57 PM
Some thoughts of Father Alexander Schmemann on the subject...

"...the Orthodox Church has never faced this question; it is for us totally extrinsic, a casus irrealis for which we find no basis, no terms of reference in our Tradition, in the very experience of the Church, and for the discussion of which we are therefore simply not prepared.

Such then, is my difficulty. I cannot discuss the problem itself because to do so would necessitate the elucidation of our approach, not to women and to the priesthood only, but above all to God in His Triune Life, to Creation, Fall and Redemption, to the Church and the mystery of her life, to the deification of man and the consummation of all things in Christ. Short of all this, it would remain incomprehensible, I am sure, why the ordination of women is to us tantamount to a radical and irreparable mutilation of the entire faith, the rejection of the whole Scripture - and needless to say, the end of all "dialogues"... Short of all this, my answer will sound like another "conservative" and "traditional" defense of the status quo, of precisely that which many Christians today, having heard it too many times, reject as hypocrisy, lack of openness to God's will, blindness to the world, etc. Obviously enough, those who reject Tradition will not listen once more to an argument ex traditione..........."

The entire article can be found herehttp://jbburnett.com/resources/schmemann/schmemann-ord-women.pdf (http://jbburnett.com/resources/schmemann/schmemann-ord-women.pdf)

Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Sarah on April 26, 2006, 09:45:07 PM
I am against it for various reasons.

Our priest's son was ordained a priest at our parish recently.  Bishop ANTOUN told us about another priest's son whose hand his father kissed after his ordination.  When the son protested, the father told him that he was not kissing his hand but the hand of Christ.  Since Christ was a male, priests should be male.

What if a young woman was ordained and then became pregnant?  How could the baby who is not ordained do priestly things (e.g., go through the Royal Doors)?  I know the baby has to go where the mother goes, but that is kind of my point!  And those who argue that she could be too old or celebate, let me remind them of Sarah, Elizabeth, and the Theotokos!

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

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

I wouldn't want to confess to a woman!

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

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

Women play an important role in the Church.  Being a priest isn't the only way to serve.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: minasoliman on April 26, 2006, 10:39:04 PM
This is quite an interesting discussion, one of which I must say is something that I'd like to lightly discuss and mostly just simply read.

For one thing, while I am all with my own Church, the Coptic Church, against female ordination, I am all for female deaconesses or female old mothers in the church who tend to the women of the Church.

Also, I find nothing wrong with a "spiritual mother" in the Church, especially for women.  Sarah made a statement that's quite confusing:

Quote
I wouldn't want to confess to a woman!

May I ask why?  I have parents, and sometimes I might confess a sin or two to either my mother or father or both just for support and advice.  Priests' jobs are not only spiritual helpers, but the most important is to bear this sin and put it on the Eucharist, to absolve people, which is why I feel a priest must be male (as icons of Christ).  However, spiritual guidance is not solely necessary from a priest, and I feel, personally, we need woman as spiritual guiders too.  Many times, we ask the Theotokos to comfort us and to help us, so I find nothing wrong with spiritual mothers.

For another thing, I also wish that there are those that can elaborate their positions on why female priesthood is okay, and what Church father or fathers can you show to strengthen your position?  

Also, I have an itch when I hear that there are canons that allow queens or kings or imperial officers in the altar.  I disagree with it (are they pre-Chalcedonian?).  I feel this comes from an Imperial Church, especially starting in Constantinople, not a Spiritual motherly Church that separates herself from politics.

God bless.

Mina
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on April 26, 2006, 10:44:59 PM
Some thoughts of Father Alexander Schmemann on the subject...

Well, let me quote His Grace Bishop Kallistos again,

'Let us make the questions of the contemporary West our own questions; let us acknowledge that the question of women priests is a question posed also to us. As yet we are still at the very beginning of our exploration; let us not be too hasty or premature ion our judgements. As Prof. Erickson rightly observes, "We must admit quite simply: while the Fathers have blessed us with a multifaceted yet coherent teaching on the priesthood, they have not given us a complete and altogether satisfactory answer to the question of the ordination of women."'

(from the essay 'Man, Woman and the Priesthood in Christ' from The Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church; first published in Hopko's Women and the Priesthood)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Brigidsboy on April 26, 2006, 10:52:53 PM
But that doesn't answer the points Father Alexander, of blessed memory, makes:

1. A question extrinsic to the Church.

2. A radical and irreparable mutilation of the entire faith.

3. The rejection of the whole Scripture.

The post from Bishop Kallistos doesn't really say anything. It is quite vague.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Asteriktos on April 26, 2006, 11:01:57 PM
I don't have a particular view on the subject, though I have read a thing or two on it, including some texts which are not generally cited in these debates. So, for the sake of discussion, I'll summarize some of the thoughts that are expounded in the book The Mystery of Gender and Human Sexuality, whose authors I generally disagree with on many subjects, but whose arguments seem somewhat more thoughtful and unique in this case.


1. The essay by Archbishop Lazar Puhalo is titled Gender as Prophecy and Revelation, and his main thesis is that men and women have different roles--but both important prophetic roles--to play in God's plan of salvation. He says: "the man is a revelation of Christ and the woman is a revelation about the Church... Human gender and the spousal relationship are prophetic, and were given to us by God in the very beginning as a form of revelation. This is the essence of the mystery of human gender and of the roles of men and women in life and in the Church." (p. 17)

He goes on to give different arguments in favor of what amounts to a literal interpretation of Eph. 5: "Christ was revealed through the male prophets in the Old Testament, the Church was revealed through the female prophets, beginning with Eve. It is not without reason that Christ says that the gender relation between men and women will not exist in the resurrection... If human gender is given for prophecy, then when all prophecy has been fulfilled, there is no longer a need for prophets nor for the means of prophecy." (pp. 18-19) From this perspective, neither the male prophetic role (revealing Christ) nor the female prophetic role (revealing the bride of Christ, the Church) is of greater or lesser importance.

Thus Archbp. Lazar is essentially going beyond the usual "well women have important stuff to do as well" argument, and saying explicitly that they are given a role of equal status and power as that which the male is given. About this he says: "To understand the reason why women are not enrolled in the priesthood, we must first of all put away one treacherous presupposition: that it has to do with relative value. It does have to do with roles, but here again, there is a destructive presupposition. Many people have, for centuries, equated roles with value, and they have extended the roles of men and women in the liturgical life of the Church (which deals with prophecy and revelation) to society, politics, and industry--which have nothing to do with the faith or the salvation of humanity. The roles we are speaking of have nothing to do with caste, personal value or human worthiness. Thus, throughout Scriptural history [which Archbp. Lazar provides a half dozen or so examples of], women have held the prophetic role of revealin ghte Church: the nature and mission of the Church on earth... The prophecy about Christ has been proclaimed through the male prophets, with one exception: Eve." (pp. 26-27)

He continues: "The role of priest in the Church belongs only to Christ. He is the priesthood of the Church. He is also the spouse and the husband of the Church. Christ's visible priesthood in the Church is fulfilled through the ordained priests, more precisely, through the bishops of the Church (who delegate this to parish presbyters since the bishop cannot be everywhere). Thus, the prophetic role of men is in revelation about Christ, and the prophetic role of women is in revelation about the Church. There is no relative value in these roles, since the mystery of redemption is the mystery of Christ and the Church. It should be clear, however, that while women fulfil a ministry in the Church (first of all, the prophetic ministry) they do not enter into the priesthood, which is a revelation about Christ, not about the Church. A woman in the priesthood would have to be representing a revelation about the husband of the Church, the spouse of the 'spotless, pure bridge of Christ.' Do you not see how perverted and corrupt such a 'revelation and prophecy' would be?" (p. 27)


2. The essay by Dr. Kharalambos Anstall is titled: "Male and Female He Created Them": An Examination of the Mystery of Human Gender, and attempts (through anthropological, typological, and other arguments) to briefly articulate the meaning of gender from an Orthodox perspective. Regarding the priesthood, his words about equality mirrors those of Archbp. Lazar: "Various roles in the Church are often thought to be associated with personal value and special graces and are rarely  understood in terms of the right types, according to revealtion... It is important to stress that the Church is not a structure of power and the priesthood is not an echelon in such a structure. The question about the ordination of women is not a matter of equal rights and has nothing to do with the relative value of genders." (p. 59)

And as with Archbp. Lazar, Dr. Anstall also argues that this equality does not mean that there are not distinctive, defined, and immutable roles for each gender: "There is only one priesthood, the priesthood of Jesus Christ. Christ is 'priest unto the ages, according to the order of Melchisedek' Priesthood does not 'belong' to the one who receives ordination. It is Christ Who is present and acts, it is His sacrifice that is offered. The ordained priest is just 'a type in the place of Christ.' He is an icon of the one and only Priest. He has to be a man, not a woman, because Christ is a man..." (pp. 59-60)

"In the same way that marriage is a type of salvation, the mystery of the relationship between God and the creation is reciprocally revealed as a marital relationship. The Church, representing all Creation, is revealed as a bride, as a woman dressed the sun, with her feet on the moon. Our representative in the mystery of the incarnation, our most honorable offering and participation is again a woman, a bride, the Theotokos. The bridegroom of the Church is Christ. The fruit of this unity is salvation and life everlasting. It is impossible to change the tradition of the Church to ordain only men to the priesthood, without damaging this icon of Christ as the bridegroom, and the icon of salvation as a marital relationship between Christ and the Church. Since this icon is language for revelation deeply rooted in the tradition of the Church, it has profound dogmatic significance." (p. 60)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: pensateomnia on April 26, 2006, 11:03:46 PM
Women play an important role in the Church.  Being a priest isn't the only way to serve.

Yes. This, however, presents the question: Are there legitimate ways in which women can serve in some kind of consecrated or, perhaps, "ordained" role in the liturgy? Certainly, most women do not currently have any such legitimate way (although nuns act as altar servers with the blessing of Bishop and Abbess). However, what does Church history tell us, and what does that history mean for the present? This is the real question and also the real reason why we often see so many people summarily dismiss the idea of an official liturgical (not necessarily sacramental, but liturgical) role for women in the modern Church, viz. people don't really know Church history.

Consider as just one small example this bit from one of the articles I referenced above. It comes from Valerie Karras's “The Liturgical Functions of Consecrated Women in the Byzantine Church,” Theological Studies 66:1 (2005). As the article's abstract says:

Quote
Although the ordained order of deaconesses vanished in the Byzantine Church, some women continued to fulfill, either informally or formally, various liturgical functions in public church life. The author examines the art-historical and textual evidence of three groups of women: noblewomen who participated as incense-bearers in a weekly procession in Constantinople; matrons who helped organize and keep order in a monastic church open to the public in Constantinople; and the possibly ordained order of myrrhbearers in the Church of Jerusalem.

All three examples are very instructive, in so far as they give us specific examples (outside of the well known offices of widow, virgin and deaconess) of ways in which the Church has included women in liturgical services. In the modern age, we may kick and scream and hate those who report such things, but the facts remain. What we do with those facts, of course -- ignore, spin, use them as a political platform -- is another matter.

Anyway, here is a section of the article on the "myrhhbearers." In the interest of time, I've had to leave out the footnotes, but the basic text will give everyone a good idea of the main descriptive part of this section of the essay (I had to leave out the analysis, unfortunately).



Quoted from section of article:
----------------------

It is not known when exactly the order of myrophoroi developed in the Jerusalem Church; when they disappeared is equally unknown. They are not mentioned in early church documents relating to the paschal celebration in Jerusalem, including the detailed description given by Egeria in the late fourth century. However, there are numerous references to these women in a typikon (liturgical rule) of the Church of Jerusalem, contained in a twelfth-century manuscript that apparently is a copy of an earlier work from the late ninth or early tenth century.'' Egeria's diary and the dating of the original typikon on which the twelfth-century manuscript is based thus provide us with a terminus post quem of the fifth century and a terminus ante quem of the ninth century, since the myrophoroi were clearly an established order by the time the typikon was written. It is likely that they still existed in the 13th century when the extant manuscript was copied from the lost original, although it is also possible that they had become defunct by that time but still existed within institutional memory. Their disappearance thus may coincide with, or postdate by a century or so, the disappearance of the female diaconate in the Byzantine Church.

Unlike the confusion over the use of the term myrophoroi by certain Russian travelers describing the Great Church in Constantinople, these women definitely cannot be identified with deaconesses, since that order is separately mentioned in the typikon's description of the paschal services. Thus, the myrophoroi were a distinctive order unique to the Church of Jerusalem. Their liturgical functions are quite clearly spelled out in the Jerusalem typikon, and largely mirror, in a stylized and liturgical fashion, the activities of the biblical myrrhbearing women.

The Jerusalem myrophoroi began their liturgical service early on Holy Saturday morning, when they accompanied the patriarch and his clerical assistants, such as the archdeacon and chanters, to the Holy Sepulcher. The myrrhbearers were to clean and prepare the oil lamps in the Holy Sepulcher, chanting the canon and the liturgy of the hours while they worked. When they had finished cleaning and preparing the lamps, they chanted the "Glory to the Father . . ." and a hymn in plagal second tone. A deacon then would chant the litany, and the patriarch would lock the Holy Sepulcher after extinguishing the lamps.

It cannot be stated for certain whether the myrophoroi were included as part of the clergy in the vesper service and for the Divine Liturgy of St. James, since they are not individually mentioned in the rubrics. However, it is likely that their inclusion should be inferred since, at the end of the liturgy, the typikon mentions that the myrrhbearers remained behind and reentered the Holy Sepulcher in order to cense and anoint it. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher was then locked until the return of the patriarch and clergy early the following morning.

For Easter matins, the clergy, which apparently included the myrophoroi, gathered early in the morning at the patriarchate, in the secreton, where they changed into white vestments before presumably returning to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Although the text does not give a full list of clerical orders included, the rubrics for the paschal matins service make it impossible not to understand the term "clergy" to include the myrrhbearers. Outside the church, the clergy chanted the Easter apolytikion, "Christ is risen," several times as a refrain to psalm verses intoned by the patriarch, who then called out: "Open to me the gates of righteousness; I shall confess the Lord as I enter in," to which the archdeacon responded with another "Christ is risen." Then,

Quote
The doors of the church are immediately opened and the patriarch together with the clergy enter the church, chanting the 'Christ is risen'. And the patriarch and the archdeacon immediately enter into the Holy Sepulcher, those two alone, with the myrophorot standing before the Holy Sepulcher. Then the patriarch shall come out to them and say to them [the myrophoroi]: "Rejoice! [ or "Greetings!"] Christ is risen." The myrophoroi then fall down at his feet, and, after rising up, they cense the patriarch and sing the polychronion to him. They [then] withdraw to the place where they customarily stand.

The matins service then proceeded normally with the chanting of the canon for Easter, the exaposteilarion, the praises (lauds), and the Easter aposticha. Near the end of the service comes the final reference to the myrophoroi. Following the deacon's chanting of the epakousta, there was a procession to the bema with two of each clerical order: deacons, subdeacons, deaconesses, and myrophoroi. The deacons held censers, the subdeacons and deaconesses held manoualia, and the myrophoroi each carried a triskelion. The two myrophoroi took up position one on each side of the Holy Sepulcher, censing throughout the second deacon's reading of the Gospel. At the end of the reading, the myrrhbearers entered the Holy Sepulcher and censed and anointed it.
--------------------
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Asteriktos on April 26, 2006, 11:08:12 PM
Brigidsboy

Quote
The post from Bishop Kallistos doesn't really say anything. It is quite vague.

Though it's been a while since I read that essay, if I am remembering correctly, I think that the quote given by GIC is a pretty good summation of what Bp. Kallistos said. His main point was that, yes, we have this long standing tradition, but on the other hand we should force ourselves to deal with the issue again. Fwiw, here are a couple threads on the topic...

 Bishop Kallistos On Female Priests (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=1152.0)
Women in the Priesthood?!? (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?PHPSESSID=26da14f15c9bc7347a2f13db052e1d26&topic=3448.msg44494)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on April 26, 2006, 11:31:03 PM
I am against it for various reasons.

Well, let's look at them individually

Quote
Our priest's son was ordained a priest at our parish recently.  Bishop ANTOUN told us about another priest's son whose hand his father kissed after his ordination.  When the son protested, the father told him that he was not kissing his hand but the hand of Christ.  Since Christ was a male, priests should be male.

Christ was also a Jew...so should only Jews be priests? St. Paul teaches us that 'There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.' The issue of race and gender are here equated, so your belief that women shouldn't be priests logically implies that neither should gentiles.

Quote
What if a young woman was ordained and then became pregnant?  How could the baby who is not ordained do priestly things (e.g., go through the Royal Doors)?  I know the baby has to go where the mother goes, but that is kind of my point!  And those who argue that she could be too old or celebate, let me remind them of Sarah, Elizabeth, and the Theotokos!

While celibacy is a possibility, I dont see how this is really an issue. Even today, are not children taken through the Royal Doors and around the altar at a Churching? I fail to see how allowing an ordained woman who is pregnant to move as normal through the royal doors would be either practically or theologically problematic.

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

As tempted as I am to jump up and down yelling things like judaizer and blasphemy, I shall refrain and simply quote again from the words of St. Paul, 'I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.'

Of course if you do believe that there is uncleanness related to menstruation perhaps that could be discussed separately; but I will say now with conviction that it is sin and not the body that makes one unclean.

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

While I support the ordination of women, I do not like the idea of artificially forcing all titles and customs without allowing for reasonable change like the anglicans did. I would advocate the use of the term Priestess and calling her Mother...though this should have no impact on ranking within ecclesiastical orders.

Quote
I wouldn't want to confess to a woman!

While I am tempted to adjust the arguments of Chiniquy's The Priest, the Woman, and the Confessional for this subject, I wont simply because I would not believe my own presuppositions (not that that has stopped me in the past, but there's probably enough controversy here without me artificially creating more). But I will ask why? There is actually a fairly well established custom of confessing to a Spiritual Mother in a female monastery, though absolution cannot be given. Furthermore, I will say then dont confess to a female priest; there are many priests to whom I would not feel comfortable confessing, so I simply dont confess to them, I'll find another priest for confession.

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

They can wear a kalimafi...KAKOS ;D ...nevermind that, it's an inside HCHC joke. Elsewhere I have discussed this issue and have argued that this is an outdated Judaizing custom. It certainly should not be expected of anyone and the fact of the matter is that, at least within the Greek Archdiocese, women who wear headscarves are very few and far between (and almost always get funny looks and are avoided at coffee hour unless they're over 70). Of course vestments could always be designed to include some sort of a head covering (such as a kalimafi), but, really, such a consideration would be nothing short of absurd.

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

I would too...mind you I look fairly scary in a beard as well, decided to go clean shaven recently, fortunately they're not a requirement.

Quote
Women play an important role in the Church.  Being a priest isn't the only way to serve.

No, it's not the only way to serve, but I see no reason that it should be forbidden to women as one of many ways to serve.

I'm sorry, but I really dont see how any of these considerations are (or even imply) compelling theological arguments the ordination of women. But the fact that these arguments are used does illustrate one important point, when this is the best the Church can put forth to defend a position which is contrary to social mores and egalitarian decency is it any surprise that the Church is quickly becomming irrelevant to the masses and especially the youth even in traditionally Orthodox societies?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on April 26, 2006, 11:38:25 PM
But that doesn't answer the points Father Alexander, of blessed memory, makes:

1. A question extrinsic to the Church.

Actually the quote I gave does answer this question, which is why I posted the quote. Basically His Grace says that though we have not been presented with this question in the past, we have had it presented to us today and accordingly are compelled to address it.

Quote
2. A radical and irreparable mutilation of the entire faith.

3. The rejection of the whole Scripture.

The post from Bishop Kallistos doesn't really say anything. It is quite vague.

I didn't answer these points because they wern't actually made, they were merely stated. I personally have no idea why he would view the ordination of women as 'a radical and irreparable mutilation of the entire faith' and 'the rejection of the whole of scripture,' personally they simply sound like angry ramblings, especially considering the adjectives used, and unless I am presented with viable arguments to support these assertions I fear I have little choice but to dismiss them as such.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: pensateomnia on April 26, 2006, 11:41:45 PM
I'm sorry, but I really dont see how any of these considerations are (or even imply) compelling theological arguments the ordination of women. But the fact that these arguments are used does illustrate one important point, when this is the best the Church can put forth to defend a position which is contrary to social mores and egalitarian decency is it any surprise that the Church is quickly becomming irrelevant to the masses and especially the youth even in traditionally Orthodox societies?

Well, obviously the strongest argument is none of these, but, rather, the argument ex traditione -- which is, of course, a very powerful one for an Orthodox Christian (but not, of course, for an egalitarian, postmodern society).

That said, there are so many well known, historic ecclesial offices for women that are no longer extant. Why not just look at these, instead of overhauling the system?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Brigidsboy on April 26, 2006, 11:58:26 PM
"I didn't answer these points because they wern't actually made, they were merely stated. I personally have no idea why he would view the ordination of women as 'a radical and irreparable mutilation of the entire faith' and 'the rejection of the whole of scripture,' personally they simply sound like angry ramblings, especially considering the adjectives used, and unless I am presented with viable arguments to support these assertions I fear I have little choice but to dismiss them as such."
If you read the entire article, you will find that he does make these points. He also develops the question further. I suspect that this isn't the only discussion of the subject Father Alexander engaged in. This is the one I found handy.

IMO, the Church doesn't have the authority to make such a change 2000 years on. (The only groups with a female presbyterate in the early centuries were gnostic in orientation.)
If so, then why not throw out the Icons and the Liturgy while we are at it.

Also, you fail to understand that the only places that the Church is thriving are those where the Tradition is adhered to. My GOA parish has a low to moderate turnout among its youth and young adults. The local ROCOR communities are packed to the rafters with young people every Sunday. Insert women priests into this mix (or any other gross capitulation to modernism) and the place would empty out. Guaranteed.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: pensateomnia on April 27, 2006, 12:19:06 AM
(The only groups with a female presbyterate in the early centuries were gnostic in orientation.)

[Pedant's Hat] Actually, I think the most well-documented group with a robust female presbyterate was the Montanists. We have a number of good inscriptions from Phyrigia (and other Montanist hot-beds) that attest to different kinds of female clergy members and prophetesses. [/Pedant's Hat] But Montanists were often just as crazy as "gnostics."
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Brigidsboy on April 27, 2006, 12:26:25 AM
[Pendant's Hat] Actually, I think the most well-documented group with a robust female presbyterate was the Montanists. We have a number of good inscriptions from Phyrigia (and other Montanist hot-beds) that attest to different kinds of female clergy members and prophetesses. [/Pendant's Hat] But Montanists were often just as crazy as "gnostics."

Thank you for the clarification.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: pensateomnia on April 27, 2006, 12:40:02 AM
Thank you for the clarification.

NP. I learned something in my epigraphy class!

BTW, what do you think of those myrrhbearers from Jerusalem? Very striking. I think I'm going to dig up a copy of the Typikon itself and see what it has to say about the liturgical duties of the female deacons. If myrrhbearers are doing all that during Holy Week, what, I wonder, would deaconesses be doing?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: minasoliman on April 27, 2006, 12:51:26 AM
Quote
They can wear a kalimafi...KAKOS Grin ...nevermind that, it's an inside HCHC joke. Elsewhere I have discussed this issue and have argued that this is an outdated Judaizing custom. It certainly should not be expected of anyone and the fact of the matter is that, at least within the Greek Archdiocese, women who wear headscarves are very few and far between (and almost always get funny looks and are avoided at coffee hour unless they're over 70). Of course vestments could always be designed to include some sort of a head covering (such as a kalimafi), but, really, such a consideration would be nothing short of absurd.

Now, wait a second there.  Didn't St. Paul give some sort of spiritual reason for the head covering?  There is no clear proof that he ordered head coverings because of societal pressures.

Can we also say the same to Christ who ordained men as Apostles and disciples, that is, He also gave in to societal pressures as well, or can we have a prophetic/spiritual reason to it?

Now, I've never read anything in the Coptic (or other Oriental Orthodox for that matter) Church concerning about why we ordain men, and not women, other than using the Bible and saying that in 2000 years, it was never done.  So, my own personal contemplations lead me to the same conclusions as Archbishop Lazar Puhalo.  I also have a personal opinion that in the second coming, the distinctions of male priesthood from female priesthood will be gone, but for now, I like the spiritual/prophetic roles the Church provides for us.

Here's a perspective from HH Pope Shenouda, which solely bases his arguments on obedience to Scripture and logic from Scripture:

http://tasbeha.org/content/hh_books/ordofwom/index.html

Some can be understandably refuted, but he also makes other compelling arguments, like many of St. Paul's verses concerning man's authority.

God bless.

Mina
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on April 27, 2006, 01:18:08 AM
Well, obviously the strongest argument is none of these, but, rather, the argument ex traditione -- which is, of course, a very powerful one for an Orthodox Christian (but not, of course, for an egalitarian, postmodern society).

Yes, tradition is certainly the strongest of all arguments, but this argument presents fundamental difficulities on two levels. First, it is an argument from silence; while the ordination of women was never strongly supported in the history of the Church, neither was it strongly opposed. The reasonable conclusion is not a condemnation of the practice, but rather the that this is an issue that the Church has never had to address. The reason that it never had to address the issue is obvious, culture and society were such as to make women second-class citizens, culture prejudices against the equality of women were so strong as to not even allow a consideration of the issue from a theological perspective.

To this effect, a quote from St. John Chrysostom in his treatise On the Priesthood should be considered,

'When one is required to preside over the Church and to be entrusted with the care of so many souls, the whole female sex must retire before the magnitude of the task, and the majority of men also, and we must bring forward those who to a large extent surpass all others and soar as much above them in excellence of spirit as Saul overtopped the whole Hebrew nation in bodily stature.'

Chrysostom here argues that the reason women cannot be priests is not because of some theological reason prohibiting it, but rather because all women are too weak for such a task. Our experience, however, tells us that this is simply untrue, some women, like some men, are too week for the task, but, in all honesty, surely we cannot say that this is true of all women. Thus implying that Chrysostom's statement is simply based on a culturally generated bias and misconception.

Secondly, the difficulity with the argument from tradition is that no sound theological reasoning accompanies it; to quote Elisabeth Behr-Sigel on this problem, 'To those who ask us for the bread of understanding, we cannot be satisfied with offering only the stones of certitude hardened by negation.' Yet, the answers always given by the so-called conservatives to the issue of women priests are nothing more than 'certitude hardened by negation' accompanied by, at best, yiayiaology...theologies so unfounded and problematic that if taken to their logical conclusions would be either heresy, blasphemy, or simply utter absurdity (usually all three). It is little wonder why His Grace, Bishop Kallistos, has come to at least question a posistion so weakly held.

Since no one can seem to offer a sound theological reason for the failure to ordain women in the past (to say nothing of a reason steeped in patristic theology) I will offer a reason, though not theological for I do not believe the past inaction to be theological in motivation. As the above quote from Chrysostom demonstrates there was, without a doubt, an extreme cultural and social bias against women, the failure to ordain women had nothing to do with theology or faith and everything to do with discrimination and human fallenness. This is hardly a revolutionary proposition, the fact that women were second-class citizens in the Greco-Roman world is well documented; since this unfortunate mindset infected every other element and institution of society, it is most reasonable to believe it also influenced the Church. Of course, this is not only the case with the issue of the role of women in society, it can also be found in issues like slavery as well.

Now, while this mindset may have influenced various members of the Church, we can be greatful that the Holy Spirit safeguarded her, in large part, from the teachings that could have arose from this unfortunate weltanschauung. Thus, today, while women have yet to be accepted as equals in the Church we fortunately lack any treatise or established dogma against the correction of this situation and now, with the rectification of society, are in a posistion to effect this correction.

Quote
That said, there are so many well known, historic ecclesial offices for women that are no longer extant. Why not just look at these, instead of overhauling the system?

Because these offices only amplify the problem at hand; for while these offices may allow a limited degree of service by women in the Church they are also set up in such a way as to allow a man to be secure in the belief that no woman will ever be his equal, to say nothing of superior (though, of course, society is correcting this problem in its own way, which is most damaging to the Church, by making the Church an irrelevant institution at best and and a hostile one at worst). Such a course of action would do nothing to correct the negative view of the Church within Orthodox societies and would only reinforce the already existing injustice.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Amdetsion on April 27, 2006, 01:20:19 AM
I am sure this subject will find a more appreciative discussion group among Protestants and other new age religious groups or among people who are not accepting of order.

Our God is a God of Order not kaos.

Christ left us with an order that is greater than our earthly human social conscience and ideas about fairness and equality no matter how right we may think it is. When we begin to try to adapt these ideologies to Christ' established order destruction of our faith to him soon follows.

Like I read in a post that 'the traditions of the Church is loosing favor among the followers in this current age'. This is due to the need to secularize the the Holy Church to bring it more in line with the 'common' rather faithless nature of the current generation (we want the Church to conform to us; instead of us conforming to the Church). As one person put it 'Greek women are frowned at for wearing a head covering during prayer'....and 'wearing the head covering is a Judaized behavior'...in both case I paraphrased. This attitude is counter-Orthodox and therefore not worthy of discussion; but I mention it to show how bad things can get when we are not willing to accept what we have (we forget that Christianity is fulfillment of Judaic prophecy; thus we are bound to aspects of our origin). I see what happened to Martin Luther's movement....it is a debacle today to say the most...not a glimmer of faith or Church exist in todays plethora of "religious" groups that come from his heresy.

Christ was asked by His disciples "how should we pray?" Christ said pray: OUR FATHER who art in heaven.....  .....LEAD us not into temptation.
 
This is a clear example of Father and Divinity.

This became a problem with some Episcopal groups....so they changed it to Our Father and 'Mother'...etc. When I watched this on the evening news 10 years ago I said to myself "these people are soon going to have services sent to their houses and take communion from pre-packaged, pre-blessed microwavable plastic  containers. They want whatever is convenient at the time.

This is not Christianity this is buffoonery.

Is this where we want to go? Absolutely NOT; but there is always the few. Always were and and ways will be. Our Holy Fathers and the true faithful have fought these types over the ages as well which is how we have the Orthodox Church today.

Sadly the Roman Catholics have given many of the Apostolic traditions away and have many new inventions.

Orthodox Christians should not waste time on these types of subjects. Nobody will win the point. Its a dead end.

I apologize in advance fro my directness.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on April 27, 2006, 01:24:55 AM
If you read the entire article, you will find that he does make these points. He also develops the question further. I suspect that this isn't the only discussion of the subject Father Alexander engaged in. This is the one I found handy.

Perhaps you could present the arguments, rather than relying exclusively on a hyperlink. This is a forum for discussion, I have no intention of reading an essay and writing a refutation...I do that enough for various classes.

Quote
IMO, the Church doesn't have the authority to make such a change 2000 years on. (The only groups with a female presbyterate in the early centuries were gnostic in orientation.)
If so, then why not throw out the Icons and the Liturgy while we are at it.

The Church actually has a long-standing and VERY formalized ruling on icons; as far as the Liturgy, that's bound to change in the future as the Bishops see fit, as with the ordination of women.

Quote
Also, you fail to understand that the only places that the Church is thriving are those where the Tradition is adhered to. My GOA parish has a low to moderate turnout among its youth and young adults. The local ROCOR communities are packed to the rafters with young people every Sunday. Insert women priests into this mix (or any other gross capitulation to modernism) and the place would empty out. Guaranteed.[/b]

There are many factors that could be at play, the discussion of which would be off the topic. What I will say is that America is a poor society to consider in gaging the reaction of an Orthodox society, which is why I tend to consider issues from the perspective of Greek society (as I'm more knowledgable about it than other Orthodox societies).
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Amdetsion on April 27, 2006, 01:35:41 AM
Minasoliman

I follow what you are tring to say.

Do you believe you can say something to convence a mentality which is clearly new age and bent on femminist idealism and NOT Orthodoxy.

I beleive that people can think whay they want. But the facts are the facts.

I was shocked to read a rebuke of our Holy fathers in the last few posts. Which is disrespectful and a clear sign of desperation not cooperation.

Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 27, 2006, 01:36:52 AM
Personally, I oppose the ordination of women to the offices of priest and bishop, but I do agree with Bishop Kallistos that the issue of the ordination of women is a very important issue that the Church must address today.  It does us no good at all to refuse even to talk about the subject or "sweep it under the rug and hope we forget about it."

Let me quote a couple of essays that I think capture my concerns pretty well.


From "Man, Woman and the Priesthood of Christ" by Bishop Kallistos of Diokleia

"Examining more closely the Orthodox appeal to Tradition, let us first seek to establish what Tradition is and what it is not.  Obedience to Tradition must not be seen as a kind of dead fundamentalism.  It does not mean that nothing can ever be done for the first time.  Holy Tradition, rightly understood, is dynamic, not static and inert.  It is received and lived by each new generation in its own way, tested and enriched by the fresh experience that the Church is continually gaining.  In the words of Vladimir Lossky, Tradition is 'the critical spirit of the Church.'  It is not simply a protective, conservative principle, but primarily a principle of growth and regeneration.  It is not merely a collection of documents, the record of what others have said before us, handed down automatically and repeated mechanically; but it involves a living response to God's voice at the present moment, a direct and personal meeting on our part, here and now, with Christ and the Spirit.  Authentic traditionalism, then, is not a slavish imitation of the past, but a courageous effort to discriminate between the transitory and the essential.  The true traditionalist is not the integrist or the reactionary, but the one who discerns the 'signs of the times' (Matthew 16:3)--who is prepared to discover the leaven of the Gospel at work even within such a seemingly secular movement as modern feminism.

"Yet, if there is dynamism in Holy Tradition, there is also continuity.  'Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever' (Hebrews 3:8 )  The Spirit is always active in each new generation of the Church, yet it is the Spirit's role to bear witness to the Son (John 16:13-15); the Spirit brings us not a new revelation, but the eternal and unchanging truth of Christ Himself.  Nove, non nova, enjoins St. Vincent of Lerins.  We are not to do or to say 'new things,' for the revelation brought by Christ is final and complete; but, guided by the Spirit, we are ever to act and speak 'in a new way,' with renewed mind and heart.  Does not the innovation of women priests constitute precisely the kind of novelty that breaks the continuity of Tradition?"1



From "Testing the Spirits" by Deborah Malacky Belonick

"We Orthodox Christians are bound by Jesus Christ to enter this debate because of the apostle John's admonishment: 'Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world.' (1 John 4:1)  Our Church must decide whether women priests are the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

"However, the question of women's ordination should not result in an endless quarrel about whether women are 'clean enough,' 'good enough,' or 'smart enough' to perform sacraments, preach, and lead a Christian community.  To be sure, women are.  The question is much deeper than that.

"The point is, anthropological and theological arguments supporting the ordination of women often reflect a secular, feminist philosophy.  Furthermore these arguments rely on doctrines almost always opposed to the Christian faith and teachings about salvation."2


"When the feminist movement began, proponents envisioned a new human community.  They advocated the avoidance of culturally determined roles. ... Life would increasingly require that 'individuals know how to take the initiative and to be receptive, to be aggressive and sensitive, to discipline and to nurture, to be both strong and gentle...combining what have been defined in American society as masculine and feminine qualities. ...

"Unfortunately, the idea of one person possessing all human traits came to imply that psychologically there are no distinctions between women and men.  Masculinity and femininity came to be regarded as mere cultural labels with no basis in reality.  It came to imply that anatomy alone distinguishes the sexes, and human being denotes a person who is beyond the categories of masculine and feminine.

"Those advocating the ordination of women imbedded this extreme anthropology into their theology.  They believe that there are no psychological differences between women and men.  They theorize that the anatomical differences between women and men will be annihilated in the heavenly realm.  They promote the effacement of sexual distinction on earth as a cooperative work with the Holy Spirit."3


"In a traditional Christian sense, a complement as well as common human nature is assumed between the sexes."4


"However, masculinity and femininity are not traits, but the modes by which human traits are expressed."5


"Further, this created complement is permanent, even after death.  Humans are not 'saved' from sexual distinction in the resurrection.  The feminist expectation that the soul and body will be dissociated in the heavenly realm is foreign to the Orthodox Christian Tradition.  The resurrection of the body and its reunion with the soul is an essential Christian tenet."6


"The traditional Christian believes sexuality and gender are psychological, biological, significant, and permanent.7


"Since the Christ became human, His sexuality and gender likewise are psychological, biological, significant, and permanent.  Jesus Christ had to possess a deep, personal sexuality, or He would not have been fully human and could not have saved humanity (Hebrews 4:15).  However, it is the permanent male gender and masculinity of Jesus Christ that disturbs proponents of women's ordination."8



Footnotes:
1 - Women and the Priesthood, pp. 25-26
2 - ibid, p. 190
3 - ibid, pp. 191-192
4 - ibid, p. 197
5 - ibid, p. 198
6 - ibid, p. 199
7 - ibid, p. 200
8 - ibid, p. 201

All quotes extracted from Women and the Priesthood, edited by Fr. Thomas Hopko, St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1999


I'm sure to dig up more quotes that express my views rather well, and maybe I'll even offer my own opinions and arguments on this.  But I can only do so much right now, and I am anxious to go to bed soon so that I can wake up ready to go back to work tomorrow morning.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on April 27, 2006, 01:44:22 AM
Now, wait a second there.  Didn't St. Paul give some sort of spiritual reason for the head covering?  There is no clear proof that he ordered head coverings because of societal pressures.

Reading 1 Corinthians 11 it is difficult to not interpret it in anything other than a cultural context, it talks so often of things being proper or shameful, clearly appeals to social customs. Considering specifically verse 6, 'For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.' Well, I would answer that it's not shameful for a woman to be 'shorn or shaven,' for it simply isn't in our culture and society, would this not invalidate the conclusion made?

The theological 'argument' that is made is dependent on verse 7, 'For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.' The problems with this assumption are manifold as it is inconsonant with our anthropological belief that both man and woman are created in the image and likeness of God. The entire argument continues with this faulty line of reasoning, ending in an irrational conclusion (a woman should have her head covered because of the angels) based on irrational presuppositions. But even Paul almost immediately realizes the problem of his posistion and says, 'Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.' And getting back to his original point, which at this point we should see is clearly cultural in nature, he then continues his argument using a cultural appeal, 'Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?' Well, to answer Paul, yes, judging in myself, it is comely that a woman pray to God uncovered.

Quote
Can we also say the same to Christ who ordained men as Apostles and disciples, that is, He also gave in to societal pressures as well, or can we have a prophetic/spiritual reason to it?

I would not say that our Lord succumbed to societal pressures, but rather that he chose for his ministry those who would be most effective and in the misogynistic society of the day the most effective people happened to be men.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: jmbejdl on April 27, 2006, 02:09:58 AM
Does anyone else find it strange that almost the only people (and so far, it appears, here absolutely the only people) who clamour for a female presbyterate are western males? I have yet to come across a single Orthodox woman who thinks that a female priesthood is in any way desirable. Of course, this may be skewed as I don't actually know a single female convert in real life and perhaps cradles have a different attitude. Judging, however, by the way the male converts I know are almost always more traditional in outlook than their cradle contemporaries, I somehow doubt this.

Personally, I am opposed to a female priesthood for many of the reasons that have been raised by others here. I am, however, a western male and believe that my opinion is therefore of less import on this issue than that of the women is. Whilst I most certainly agree that we should not sweep the issue of female ordinations under the carpet, I also feel that we should more or less relegate it to the back seat until such a time as there is actually a desire on the part of Orthodox women for such a move. At the moment all I can see is that a handfull of politically correct men are saying that we need to do this to make women equal in the Church while vast numbers of women look on bemused because they feel perfectly equal to us men now even without the possibility of being ordained to the priesthood.

James
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: CRCulver on April 27, 2006, 05:14:46 AM
Such a course of action would do nothing to correct the negative view of the Church within Orthodox societies and would only reinforce the already existing injustice.

The negative view of the Church is not held in Orthodox societies, but in the heterodox West. To speak from personal experience, having resided for several years in Orthodox countries (Ukraine and Romania) I have never met an Orthodox Christian who desired female ordaination, and the people I knew who disliked the Church did so from hatred of certain Christian doctrines such as the Cross than from its male-only priesthood.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Fr. David on April 27, 2006, 07:54:19 AM
Reading 1 Corinthians 11 it is difficult to not interpret it in anything other than a cultural context, it talks so often of things being proper or shameful, clearly appeals to social customs.

Not to get off topic, I'll tie this into the topic at hand...

To GiC specifically and to anyone else generally who'd care to comment,

What reason do you see, if any, to prohibit the acceptance of active homosexuals within the Church, either lay or clerical?  I ask this because your belief in ordaining women to the priesthood seems to rely solely on the changing societal norms regarding how women are perceived.  A train of thought within the Church currently concedes that, while homosexuals may still need to live a life of abstinence and carry the cross of their fallen orientation, said orientation is a predisposition at least partially inherited from genetics and therefore (sadly) is as unavoidable as gender.

Should we look at St. Paul's prohibitions of homosexuality as being incompatible with Christian belief as merely "societal norms" of his day and something we should move past?  I would say no, as the Church has never treated homosexuality as something that needed to be reconsidered, due to its going against the natural order of things.

This issue, I know, is fundamentally different in reasoning from gender in the priesthood--it can by no means be considered fallen nor sinful for humans to be female--but the comparison is merely meant to raise a point that, if the written part of the apostolic teachings can be seen as merely "societal norms codified," then such a view moves for everything to be seen as humanistic in its origin and not proceeding from divine revelation.  Yes, homosexuality can be positively refuted through biology--man and man cannot naturally procreate, which should raise red flags--but while the idea of female clergy cannot be dismissed through similar, empirical reasoning, it stands to reason, in my opinion, that the mystery of the command of the apostle should be honored.  Just as it is possible to attribute, as you seem to have done, St. John's reasons for not allowing women to serve (they are "weak" or whatnot) as the only and original justification for a male-only priesthood, so it is entirely possible that he simply echoed the unexplained, divine order of things given in the Scriptures and added his own, fallible commentary on the reason for its inclusion in Holy Writ.

I prefer to leave all decrees of the apostles as they are, as the reasons for their inclusion are most likely beyond me.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on April 27, 2006, 08:11:48 AM
Who, in their right mind, would want to be a priest?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Amdetsion on April 27, 2006, 09:56:07 AM
CrCulver

Exactly...

Thanks for being simple plain and to the point.

Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Amdetsion on April 27, 2006, 11:09:58 AM
I have noticed how in order to make any points in favor of this woman priest heresy people are posting disputations of the Holy Scriptures.

I read one post: "The Lord gave in to the social standard of the time"

This statement is shameful...

Amazing that someone could think that they can qualify the actions of Christ?????

I find that western and western minded converts to the Orthodox Church are more apt to follow this heresy or at least entertain it. And if neither of these then would express an open mindedness that "it should be discussed".

Discussed for what?

I have never heard of this thinking.

Real Orthodox (not converts who have not had time to learn with new age ideas and thier male groopies) have not concern over this. I spoke to a women who is a non-practicing Catholic as she refers to herself (as do so many Catholics) she laughed.....and said "people need to get their priorities in order"

All the posts so far are counter - Orthodox and lack spiritual understanding.

The whole subject reaks of new age protestantism.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: FrChris on April 27, 2006, 11:21:31 AM
Who, in their right mind, would want to be a priest?

Often a person finds that the Cross the Lord gives you to bear is not of your own choosing.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: minasoliman on April 27, 2006, 11:25:51 AM
Well, here's my personal beliefs of chapter 11.

St. Paul starts with two amazing verses:

"Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ."  and "Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you."

I think when St. Paul pleads with us to imitate him, the icon of Christ, and to not stray from the traditions he teaches us, then it seems very weak to attribute mere societal pressures to St. Paul.  In fact, within the Orthodox Church, there is continued societal pressure to keep it the way it is.

One important question that ozgeorge asked is "Who in their right mind would want to become priest?"  I'm a firm believer that priests who were called against their own will serve as better priests than those who wanted to be priests in the first place (this doesn't mean the latter was not called).  So once you start having females protesting against the Church in wanting to be priests, then you have an issue.  Male or female, those who want to be priests, I have issues with.  It is the Church that chooses, and Christ that calls.

So moving on:

Quote
But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

Here, St. Paul begins with a theological reason.  The "shame" or "dishonor" that comes later is applied to both the male for covering his head, and female for not covering her head.  And notice, both praying or prophecying must do this to remember verse 3.

Also, St. Paul does not end it at woman, but continues with Christ, saying that the head of Christ is God.  Was it not the same St. John Chrysostom who said that that marriage of woman to man along with her submission is like the unity and submission of Christ to the Father?  Therefore, St. Paul leaves us open with the fact that although woman is subject to man as the glory of man, yet both woman and man are of the same equal glory, just as Christ and the Father.  If there be any societal pressures, this last part of verse 3 should not have been included.

Therefore, later when reading about what is shameful, or to be shorn or shaven, it must be read in a theological context as St. Paul started.  Yes, it has turned into cultural, and may have been worse in Western circles where woman were brutally considered as second-class citizens, without clear Bible verses written by St. Paul himself, like verse 3 or the famous Gal. 3:28.

It is just as shameful by the way, for both man and woman in the Church to get closer to the Eucharist with their shoes on in the OO churches.  "Shameful" may mean something societal, but there is also something theological, and seeing that St. Paul starts with a theological statement, his purpose is for spirituality.

So in parts where man is considered the image and glory of God, while woman the image and glory of man, then we can look at verse three and say that Christ is the image and glory of God.  Does that mean Christ is not consubstantial to God?  Away with such a thought!  For as long as St. Paul starts with verse 3, and not because society frowns upon it, then "it is not so difficult after all to interpreting it other than a cultural context."

And even you agree that St. Paul clarifies this so that he doesn't put woman below man anthropologically:

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Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God.

Indeed.  He tells us we need one another, and that no one is above another, but all things from God.  The preservation of this verse, and the likes of verse three makes the idea of women as second-class citizens not only wrong, but a heresy, in my opinion.

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Judge among yourselves. Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him? But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering.

To read this, it seems to make sense.  Not only is he reiterating the same words "dishonor" and "glory" that can be seen in a theological light, not necessarily a cultural light, but even in cultural ways, this statement still holds true for today, even there's a select vociferous few.

I like to see woman always with reasonably long hair, and longer would be nice, but men usually do not have long hair, and it is considered a dishonor.  Now, the length of the hair is to every culture's judgment, but I would say that a man who extends his hair to his shoulders is pushing it.  I may sound stereotypical, but you don't see lots of men with very long hair, or women with very short hair.  Thus, my stereotype stands because the culture around me makes me think this way.

It's interesting, since culture still holds somewhat what St. Paul holds in this verse, then we continue to see St. Paul's point, who started with a plea not to change the traditions, and ends with a command not to be contentious:

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But if anyone seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God.

I can't help but wonder.  Why did he include this last verse?  Were there indeed those rebellious ones in the Church who wanted to change tradition or custom?

Backtracking a little:

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For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.

This is one verse I don't understand.  Why "because of the angels?"  What do angels have to do with head coverings?  Are women like the Cherubim who cover themselves before the Lord?

Finally:

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I would not say that our Lord succumbed to societal pressures, but rather that he chose for his ministry those who would be most effective and in the misogynistic society of the day the most effective people happened to be men.

But then this begs the question why the Lord still allowed "misogynistic" societies to flourish under the guidance of His chosen men.  I don't think the same Lord who claimed Himself Christ and was crucified while society was looking for a warrior Christ would have had the same pressures to choose men only for priests.

God bless.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: pensateomnia on April 27, 2006, 11:46:53 AM
Yes, tradition is certainly the strongest of all arguments, but this argument presents fundamental difficulities on two levels. First, it is an argument from silence; while the ordination of women was never strongly supported in the history of the Church, neither was it strongly opposed. The reasonable conclusion is not a condemnation of the practice, but rather the that this is an issue that the Church has never had to address. The reason that it never had to address the issue is obvious, culture and society were such as to make women second-class citizens, culture prejudices against the equality of women were so strong as to not even allow a consideration of the issue from a theological perspective.

On the other hand, when it comes to something as serious as ordained ministry -- which touches upon so many sacramental, theological, pastoral and ecclesial issues -- perhaps the burden of proof is on those who want to introduce a novel practice. Before changing established custom, we need precedent and support from the Scripture and the Holy Fathers -- not only holes punched in the established narrative. (Hence why it seems oh-so-much-more-productive to look at the scriptural and historical role of deaconesses). We also need Pan-Orthodox consensus (which means, of course, that most of this is simply ars gratia artis, since hundreds of years of history have shown us that there is no real possibility of that occurring on even the most pressing issues presented to the Church).

Certainly the argument ex traditione is, in a technical sense, an argument from silence, but it is not by any means incontrovertible that cultural bias accounts for this silence. The Church has had a number of consecrated and even ordained roles for women (ministerial and liturgical) -- a practice that went against cultural sensibilities -- and yet She never felt it necessary to include women in the presbyterate.

The question, as I think you've pointed out, is why? Is there a solid theological reason in addition to the witness of tradition? There may well be. The Church, however, has not really been able to give a very precise one -- much like it was not able, by the standards of the 6th century, to give a very "precise" account of Trinitarian theology in the 2nd century -- but that does not mean that one does not exist, nor that we should jettison received practice.

Of course, that's really Bishop Kallistos's point: We need to come up with a more solid and complete theological understanding of male priesthood and female ministry, so that the reasons for established practice can respond to current realities.

One shouldn't go about saying, "I support female priesthood" -- especially in your position, GiC -- but, rather, "I support prayerful and careful examination of the theology and the history of these issues." To do otherwise is to jump the gun...or even the ship itself.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: observer on April 27, 2006, 12:50:17 PM

It seems that Western intellectuals and some modernist Orthodox are convinced that St Paul is no match for our modern theologians. The Holy Apostle writes that he did not come with the reasoning of men, with sophistry or smart rhetoric,  but in the folly of the Cross - or Christ crucified.  According to our modernists, Christ was an expert in marketing i.e. finding the right target audience...

Suggest you read Men are from Mars or the Surrendered Wife...much better than the ramblings of a those who in former times were champions of Holy Tradition.  I suppose things have changed over time.   As the saying goes:   the newly ordained (deacon, priests) fears God for the first three years..  After that God fears the priest/bishop.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Zoe on April 27, 2006, 12:56:03 PM
Real Orthodox (not converts who have not had time to learn with new age ideas and thier male groopies) have not concern over this. I spoke to a women who is a non-practicing Catholic as she refers to herself (as do so many Catholics) she laughed.....and said "people need to get their priorities in order"

What a statement!


Anyway, I'm personally rooting for GiC here.  This is a topic that needs to be discussed, looked at and picked apart before anyone starts putting themselves into the "for" or "against" camp.

Whoever said that their GOA church was empty and their Russian church was full - it's opposite in my city.  Since when does one example set the rule, anyway?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on April 27, 2006, 01:31:18 PM
Does anyone else find it strange that almost the only people (and so far, it appears, here absolutely the only people) who clamour for a female presbyterate are western males? I have yet to come across a single Orthodox woman who thinks that a female priesthood is in any way desirable. Of course, this may be skewed as I don't actually know a single female convert in real life and perhaps cradles have a different attitude. Judging, however, by the way the male converts I know are almost always more traditional in outlook than their cradle contemporaries, I somehow doubt this.

That's simply not the case, there was the Rhodes Conference in 1988 consisting primarily of Orthodox Women (though I believe a few Bishops from the Synod were present) convened by the Oecumenical Patriarch, there was a similar conference in Constantinople in 1997, and there have been numerous gatherings of Orthodox Women made possible through the WCC, all of which had numerous articles presented in support of the Ordination of Women. If you're looking for a dividing line between the two camps (which is dangerous because stereotypes are never perfect), I would not place it between men and women or cradle and convert, but rather between the educated and the uneducated (speaking in general terms, not specifically theological education).

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Personally, I am opposed to a female priesthood for many of the reasons that have been raised by others here. I am, however, a western male and believe that my opinion is therefore of less import on this issue than that of the women is. Whilst I most certainly agree that we should not sweep the issue of female ordinations under the carpet, I also feel that we should more or less relegate it to the back seat until such a time as there is actually a desire on the part of Orthodox women for such a move.

Of course the Orthodox Women's conferences are demanding that the issue at least be discussed, so perhaps now is the time after all.

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At the moment all I can see is that a handfull of politically correct men are saying that we need to do this to make women equal in the Church while vast numbers of women look on bemused because they feel perfectly equal to us men now even without the possibility of being ordained to the priesthood.

In the reading of Academic Articles and Journals Papers on the subject, that is not what I detect; rather, I sense a frustration on the part of women theologians about the slowness with which the Church has been moving to even evaluate the issue. Though thanks mainly to the ecumenical dialogue, the issue is at least finding its way into the discussions and articles of Orthodox theologians, male and female.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on April 27, 2006, 01:35:51 PM
The negative view of the Church is not held in Orthodox societies, but in the heterodox West. To speak from personal experience, having resided for several years in Orthodox countries (Ukraine and Romania) I have never met an Orthodox Christian who desired female ordaination, and the people I knew who disliked the Church did so from hatred of certain Christian doctrines such as the Cross than from its male-only priesthood.

As the western enlightenment demonstrated it is rarely doctrine that is the cause people's dislike of the Church. It is how they view the Church's place in society and, more often than not, an, often true, belief that the Church is perpetrating injustice. Because the Church will often use dogmatic posistions to justify themselves, the theology, incorrectly, comes to be viewed as the source of this injustice. No one hates the Church for purely theoretical reasons.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on April 27, 2006, 02:04:23 PM
What reason do you see, if any, to prohibit the acceptance of active homosexuals within the Church, either lay or clerical?  I ask this because your belief in ordaining women to the priesthood seems to rely solely on the changing societal norms regarding how women are perceived.  A train of thought within the Church currently concedes that, while homosexuals may still need to live a life of abstinence and carry the cross of their fallen orientation, said orientation is a predisposition at least partially inherited from genetics and therefore (sadly) is as unavoidable as gender.

I would view this as fundamentally different issue than the place of women in the Church. For one thing, while homosexuality seems to be phenotypical (genetics combined conditions during fetal development which cannot be controlled) and one may have no choice as to whether or not they have homosexual tendencies one does have control over whether or not they act on these tendencies. Hardly comprable to the issue of gender.

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Should we look at St. Paul's prohibitions of homosexuality as being incompatible with Christian belief as merely "societal norms" of his day and something we should move past?  I would say no, as the Church has never treated homosexuality as something that needed to be reconsidered, due to its going against the natural order of things.

Was it simply societal norms or is homosexuality truly contrary to natural law? While I can think of several good moral arguments against homosexuality, the arguments, moral or theological, against women being ordained are far weaker.

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This issue, I know, is fundamentally different in reasoning from gender in the priesthood--it can by no means be considered fallen nor sinful for humans to be female

Dont say 'by no means'...there were a few fathers that at least hinted at that being the case. The influence that cultural experience can have on a person is truly amazing. To quote Tertullian on women:

'Do you know that you are each an Eve? The sentence of God on this sex of yours lives in this age: the guilt must of necessity live too. You are the devil's gateway: you are the unsealer of that forbidden tree; you are the first deserters of the divine law; you are she who persuades him whom the devil was not valiant enough to attack. You destroyed so easily God's image, man. On account of your desert - that is death - even the Son of God had to die.'

Such statements and cultural mindsets must be taken into account when weighing the value of a particular person's opinion on this matter.

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--but the comparison is merely meant to raise a point that, if the written part of the apostolic teachings can be seen as merely "societal norms codified," then such a view moves for everything to be seen as humanistic in its origin and not proceeding from divine revelation.  Yes, homosexuality can be positively refuted through biology--man and man cannot naturally procreate, which should raise red flags--but while the idea of female clergy cannot be dismissed through similar, empirical reasoning, it stands to reason, in my opinion, that the mystery of the command of the apostle should be honored.  Just as it is possible to attribute, as you seem to have done, St. John's reasons for not allowing women to serve (they are "weak" or whatnot) as the only and original justification for a male-only priesthood, so it is entirely possible that he simply echoed the unexplained, divine order of things given in the Scriptures and added his own, fallible commentary on the reason for its inclusion in Holy Writ.

I prefer to leave all decrees of the apostles as they are, as the reasons for their inclusion are most likely beyond me.

While the scriptures are important and respected documents, they are not infallible, they were written by fallen men and that which comes from one who is not perfect can not be regarded as perfect. If the scriptures state something that is unjustifiable, then it is unjustifiable, as Orthodox we cannot invoke the doctrine of Sola Scriptura and end the conversation with that. Scripture was written in stone by the had of God, but is rather a man's interpretation of the revelation of God, an interpretation that is dependent on the man's cultural mindset, experience, and perspective...hence the differences in the Gospels.

With paul this seems to be especially true, in it we have great theology and anthropology, clearly reflecting the revelation of God ('There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.'), yet we see cultural advice which contradicts this high theology. It seems to me to be Paul trying to reconcile his revelation from God with the reality of the society in which he finds himself. Keep in mind that St. Paul's epistles are generally not theological treatises, but pastoral letters dealing with the difficult task of finding solutions to real problems within a specific community, implying that these letters must, by their very nature, take into account the culture and society of those to whom he is giving pastoral advice.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Sarah on April 27, 2006, 02:05:59 PM
Well, let's look at them individually

Christ was also a Jew...so should only Jews be priests? St. Paul teaches us that 'There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.' The issue of race and gender are here equated, so your belief that women shouldn't be priests logically implies that neither should gentiles.

There are male Jews and male Gentiles.  The common factor there is "male."  Jesus included several nationalities and both genders in his ministry, but the 12 were the chosen leaders.

While celibacy is a possibility, I dont see how this is really an issue. Even today, are not children taken through the Royal Doors and around the altar at a Churching? I fail to see how allowing an ordained woman who is pregnant to move as normal through the royal doors would be either practically or theologically problematic.

Only male babies are taken through the Royal Doors at churching and circle the Altar once; the female babies are held by the priest in front of the Royal Doors only.

As tempted as I am to jump up and down yelling things like judaizer and blasphemy, I shall refrain and simply quote again from the words of St. Paul, 'I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.'

Of course if you do believe that there is uncleanness related to menstruation perhaps that could be discussed separately; but I will say now with conviction that it is sin and not the body that makes one unclean.

Man, it just doesn't pay to be tongue-in-cheek on the Internet!

While I support the ordination of women, I do not like the idea of artificially forcing all titles and customs without allowing for reasonable change like the anglicans did. I would advocate the use of the term Priestess and calling her Mother...though this should have no impact on ranking within ecclesiastical orders.

By all means, let's follow what the Anglicans do!  What kind of slippery slope would we find ourselves on then?!?

While I am tempted to adjust the arguments of Chiniquy's The Priest, the Woman, and the Confessional for this subject, I wont simply because I would not believe my own presuppositions (not that that has stopped me in the past, but there's probably enough controversy here without me artificially creating more). But I will ask why? There is actually a fairly well established custom of confessing to a Spiritual Mother in a female monastery, though absolution cannot be given. Furthermore, I will say then dont confess to a female priest; there are many priests to whom I would not feel comfortable confessing, so I simply dont confess to them, I'll find another priest for confession.

This was said kind of jokingly.  There are differences in males and females.  Women tend to be more gossipy/judgmental/emotional, although I suppose an ordained woman (priestess or nun) would probably be no different than an ordained man in those tendencies.

They can wear a kalimafi...KAKOS ;D ...nevermind that, it's an inside HCHC joke. Elsewhere I have discussed this issue and have argued that this is an outdated Judaizing custom. It certainly should not be expected of anyone and the fact of the matter is that, at least within the Greek Archdiocese, women who wear headscarves are very few and far between (and almost always get funny looks and are avoided at coffee hour unless they're over 70). Of course vestments could always be designed to include some sort of a head covering (such as a kalimafi), but, really, such a consideration would be nothing short of absurd.

I grew up wearing a head covering but don't now.  I don't care either way really.  I disagree that a priestess' vestment should be altered to accommodate her femaleness though.

I would too...mind you I look fairly scary in a beard as well, decided to go clean shaven recently, fortunately they're not a requirement.

;D

No, it's not the only way to serve, but I see no reason that it should be forbidden to women as one of many ways to serve.

There must be a reason or the Church wouldn't adhere to the practice.  That's not to say that the Church cannot or does not change.  On the contrary, for example, the practice of celebate instead of married bishops evolved.

I'm sorry, but I really dont see how any of these considerations are (or even imply) compelling theological arguments the ordination of women. But the fact that these arguments are used does illustrate one important point, when this is the best the Church can put forth to defend a position which is contrary to social mores and egalitarian decency is it any surprise that the Church is quickly becomming irrelevant to the masses and especially the youth even in traditionally Orthodox societies?

I wasn't trying to be theological.  I was only expressing my opinion.  So much of societal thinking is based on pride, "me, me, me," and entitlement, not sacrifice or service.  You know, not every man may be a priest either.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 27, 2006, 02:08:26 PM
Considering that the Church has not ordained women to the priesthood for close to 2000 years--I don't see this fact in and of itself as a truly convincing reason to refuse ordination to women--the burden of proof doesn't fall on the Church to defend convincingly its refusal to ordain women.  Our argument from silence may not be convincing, but neither does this make it unreasonable.  It just may be that we've never had to articulate in any dogmatic way our historic refusal to ordain women until recently.

Rather, because the desire to see women ordained is so unprecedented in its scope, the burden of proof falls squarely on the proponents of women's ordination to convince the Church of the reasons why we should ordain women.  I'm not convinced by most of the arguments put forth for preserving an all-male priesthood, but neither am I convinced by any of the arguments made in favor of women's ordination.  Maybe in this case the best course of action is to just continue to follow the Orthodox practice of not ordaining women to the priesthood.

For me to be convinced by an argument for a woman's ordination, the argument would have to grow organically from within Holy Tradition and would have to be totally consistent with Holy Tradition.  If some theologians were to formulate such an argument, I might actually take it seriously.  I just don't see any of the arguments presented so far as meeting the above criteria.  To me, they appear to represent the agenda of secular feminism rather than the Faith of the Church.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on April 27, 2006, 02:11:57 PM
Who, in their right mind, would want to be a priest?

In their right mind? Arn't your expectations a bit high here? Well, I seem to be drawing a blank, but I'll tell you if I come across any. ;)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on April 27, 2006, 02:27:21 PM
Well, here's my personal beliefs of chapter 11.

Well, since this is getting somewhat off topic I won't respond directly to your exegesis except to say that the issue of headcoverings is hardly essential to the issue of woman's ordination and that what this pericope essentially demonstrates is the difficulity of applying the theological revelation of Paul (that there is no greek or jew, bond or free, or male or female in Christ) to a fallen culture and society.

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But then this begs the question why the Lord still allowed "misogynistic" societies to flourish under the guidance of His chosen men.  I don't think the same Lord who claimed Himself Christ and was crucified while society was looking for a warrior Christ would have had the same pressures to choose men only for priests.

Christ and the Church have allowed numerous social injustices because Christ did not come to rid the world of injustice or corruption, he was not a social revolutionary, he came to bring salvation to the world; likewise, this is the primary responsibility of the Church. But since society has already had the revolution to correct this ancient injustice I can think of no reason why the Church should not embrace this social improvement, which cannot now be done without compromising it's soteriological mission.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on April 27, 2006, 02:45:12 PM
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There are male Jews and male Gentiles.  The common factor there is "male."  Jesus included several nationalities and both genders in his ministry, but the 12 were the chosen leaders.

But not only were the 12 all men, they were also all circumcised jews, not a gentile amongst them. Furthermore, the apostle to whom Christ appeared on the road to Damascus, Paul, was also a circumcised jews. If this argument is valid against the ordination of women, we must also, by the same logic, prohibit the ordination of non-jews.

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Only male babies are taken through the Royal Doors at churching and circle the Altar once; the female babies are held by the priest in front of the Royal Doors only.

Depends on a priest, many priests, realizing the absurdity of such a custom, today will take male or female babies into the altar.

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This was said kind of jokingly.  There are differences in males and females.  Women tend to be more gossipy/judgmental/emotional, although I suppose an ordained woman (priestess or nun) would probably be no different than an ordained man in those tendencies.

lol...my bad, and hence the limitations of the medium.

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There must be a reason or the Church wouldn't adhere to the practice.  That's not to say that the Church cannot or does not change.  On the contrary, for example, the practice of celebate instead of married bishops evolved.

Oh, I believe there is a reason, one related to a misogynistic society. For, quite frankly, no other viable reason has yet been presented.

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I wasn't trying to be theological.  I was only expressing my opinion.  So much of societal thinking is based on pride, "me, me, me," and entitlement, not sacrifice or service.  You know, not every man may be a priest either.

And I'm not saying that every woman should be ordained either, but I am saying that there are many women who are more worthy of ordination than many men who are ordained (none are truly worthy, hence the use of the comparative).
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Brigidsboy on April 27, 2006, 03:10:32 PM
GIC

To state that those who disagree with you on this issue are "uneducated" is foolish and insulting.

I suggest you reconsider your opinion. It says more about you than it does about those who disagree with you.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on April 27, 2006, 03:18:34 PM
On the other hand, when it comes to something as serious as ordained ministry -- which touches upon so many sacramental, theological, pastoral and ecclesial issues -- perhaps the burden of proof is on those who want to introduce a novel practice.

Well, I would say that the burden of proof is on those who wish to make an absolute statement (e.g. The Church MUST (not) ordain women). The posistion that something CAN be done by a bishop, with the consent of his synod, is the natural posistion in the absence of past thelogical decrees on the subject (and often even with past decisions on the issue, consider the ordination of those who had committed fornication at some point in their life).

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Before changing established custom, we need precedent and support from the Scripture and the Holy Fathers -- not only holes punched in the established narrative.

This is true provided the custom was formally established by the fathers (e.g. in Canon Law), but the fathers are silent on this issue; in the absence of past legislation these standards do not apply. Procedurally all that is necessary is the consent of a patriarchal synod.

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We also need Pan-Orthodox consensus (which means, of course, that most of this is simply ars gratia artis, since hundreds of years of history have shown us that there is no real possibility of that occurring on even the most pressing issues presented to the Church).

This would only be true if there was some Oecumenical Synod that had established the existing custom. Since there is no authorative synodal ruling on this issue, a pan-orthodox consensus, while prudent, is far from necessary. I believe that if and when the ordinatoin of women to the presbyteriate is effected it will be brought about in a manner similar to the Calendar change. In fact, the calendar change was really a bigger change, as there had been past endimousa synods that had explicitly forbidden the use of the gregorian calendar for the celebration of the feasts of the saints; yet this Synod of Constantinople under Meletius of Blessed Memory overturned those synods and issued new rulings contrary to those of past endimousa synods. No such canonical difficulities exist with the ordination of women.

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Certainly the argument ex traditione is, in a technical sense, an argument from silence, but it is not by any means incontrovertible that cultural bias accounts for this silence. The Church has had a number of consecrated and even ordained roles for women (ministerial and liturgical) -- a practice that went against cultural sensibilities -- and yet She never felt it necessary to include women in the presbyterate.

Women having lesser roles in religious life was hardly an innovation, it was quite common place amongst the pagans, which was the past cultural experience of the overwhelming majority of Christian Societies of the time. What was outside the cultural sensibilities was the equality of men and women and this was not challenged as the posistions available for women were always of the lowest orders.

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The question, as I think you've pointed out, is why? Is there a solid theological reason in addition to the witness of tradition? There may well be. The Church, however, has not really been able to give a very precise one -- much like it was not able, by the standards of the 6th century, to give a very "precise" account of Trinitarian theology in the 2nd century -- but that does not mean that one does not exist, nor that we should jettison received practice.

But the trinitarian questions were not being asked in the second century. If they were the response that 'we'll come up with one eventually' would have clearly been unacceptable. The issue of the ordination of women has been presented and, inlight of this fact, if one is going to make the absolutist claim that it is unacceptable the posistion must be justified.

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Of course, that's really Bishop Kallistos's point: We need to come up with a more solid and complete theological understanding of male priesthood and female ministry, so that the reasons for established practice can respond to current realities.

That does not seem to be a fair assessment of His Grace's intents. It would seem that His Grace is willing to approach this issue with a more open mind, he has not appealed for more arguments to support the status quo but for open and honest academic disscussion and consideratin of the issue.

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One shouldn't go about saying, "I support female priesthood" -- especially in your position, GiC -- but, rather, "I support prayerful and careful examination of the theology and the history of these issues." To do otherwise is to jump the gun...or even the ship itself.

Considering the silence of our tradition, I fail to see how it is any more dangerous to say 'I support the female priesthood' than to say 'I oppose the female priesthood.' But the fact of the matter is that in light of the silence of the fathers there is no valid reason why, until a formal and authorative synodal ruling on the issue, someone should not be able to take whatever posistion they want on the matter. For the sake of academic discussion people need to take sides, perhaps not the bishops, prudence may be called for in their case, but certainly the theologians of the Church. This way (and only this way) can we have the open and honest academic dialogue that is necessary to fully explore the issue at hand.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on April 27, 2006, 03:21:07 PM
GIC

To state that those who disagree with you on this issue are "uneducated" is foolish and insulting.

I suggest you reconsider your opinion. It says more about you than it does about those who disagree with you.

Simply an observation of trends, I clearly stated that it was not intended to be an absolute statement. And level of education is probably far more likely to determine what side people take on the issue than gender or status as convert or cradle.

If you want an exception to the rule just look at me, I'd hardly consider myself educated yet I support the ordination of women ;)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Brigidsboy on April 27, 2006, 03:27:16 PM
Fair enough. :)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 27, 2006, 03:36:07 PM
If you want an exception to the rule just look at me, I'd hardly consider myself educated yet I support the ordination of women ;)

[teasing facetiousness]Well, then, that does speak volumes about your [lack of] qualification to speak as an authority on this issue.  :P[/teasing facetiousness]
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on April 27, 2006, 03:38:48 PM
[teasing facetiousness]Well, then, that does speak volumes about your [lack of] qualification to speak as an authority on this issue.  :P[/teasing facetiousness]

AHHHH...but that would be an ad hominem attack, which is against the forum rules (I had already thought about that potential response ;) )
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: pensateomnia on April 27, 2006, 04:21:31 PM
Well, I would say that the burden of proof is on those who wish to make an absolute statement (e.g. The Church MUST (not) ordain women). The position that something CAN be done by a bishop, with the consent of his synod, is the natural position in the absence of past thelogical decrees on the subject (and often even with past decisions on the issue, consider the ordination of those who had committed fornication at some point in their life).

The question is not if a Synod or even, perhaps, a lone Bishop, CAN ordain women, but, rather, if they should. Procedure, ability and right are secondary questions of orderly governance.


GiC says:
Quote
Considering the silence of our tradition, I fail to see how it is any more dangerous to say 'I support the female priesthood' than to say 'I oppose the female priesthood.'

Because the silence of our tradition is also the clarion call of our practice. That alone should give one great pause. Further, there's always more danger in introducing novel practices or charting unexplored theological ground (that is, by definition, a risk). Thus, discretion is the proper method of "academic discussion" (not to mention prayer or inspiration!). After all, Bp. Kallistos puts things in terms of "might," "ask," and "perhaps."
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Anastasios on April 27, 2006, 04:27:36 PM
I don't think our tradition is silent at all: it's never been done, hence it's loud and clear.  We've never used grape juice for communion either, but hey, no one ever mentioned it so I guess a bishop could use it, right? Nah....

Anastasios
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: pensateomnia on April 27, 2006, 04:35:21 PM
I don't think our tradition is silent at all: it's never been done, hence it's loud and clear.  We've never used grape juice for communion either, but hey, no one ever mentioned it so I guess a bishop could use it, right? Nah....

Anastasios

Well said. That's an example (although not the best) of what I meant when I said the silence of our tradition is also the clarion call of our practice.

We can't look at this as a simple matter of canonical right, ability or procedure -- although we also can't ignore such things.

Side note: (I believe there are canons that speak about the proper elements for the Eucharist)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Elisha on April 27, 2006, 04:55:33 PM

Also, you fail to understand that the only places that the Church is thriving are those where the Tradition is adhered to. My GOA parish has a low to moderate turnout among its youth and young adults. The local ROCOR communities are packed to the rafters with young people every Sunday. Insert women priests into this mix (or any other gross capitulation to modernism) and the place would empty out. Guaranteed.


...or turn it into a Protestant mega-church like atmosphere (to grow it).
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 27, 2006, 04:55:55 PM
AHHHH...but that would be an ad hominem attack, which is against the forum rules (I had already thought about that potential response ;) )

I don't even know what an ad hominem attack is.

In all seriousness, what you thought to be an ad hominem I did not intend to be anything more than a joke, hence my framing the statement in [teasing facetiousness] brackets.  If you perceived it to be anything other than a joke, then please forgive me.  Even though I disagree with your fundamental premises, I must admit that your posts on this thread are very well conceived and that I have enjoyed reading your thoughts on this debate.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on April 27, 2006, 05:02:24 PM
The question is not if a Synod or even, perhaps, a lone Bishop, CAN ordain women, but, rather, if they should. Procedure, ability and right are secondary questions of orderly governance.

Thus far the only argument I have put forward is that in absence of a theological argument it is a non-theological pastoral issue; I believe that, over all, the ordination of women would be pastorally benificial. And in an earlier post (though perhaps on the threat where this discussion began) I put forward my reasoning as to why I believe it to be pastorally benificial. I fail to see the danger in asserting that I believe a certain course of action to be more pastorially benificial than another; especially since it does not appear to be a theological issue, if someone believes otherwise I'm still waiting for a sound theological argument. Asking me to prove it's not a theological issue is absurd, as it is not even possible to prove non-existance outside of a well-defined axiomatic mathematical system.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Sarah on April 27, 2006, 05:28:26 PM
It seems neither side is going to convince the other regarding this issue.  Both sides can quote Scripture and twist it around to make their point, but the bottom line is the Church does not ordain women.  A fellow parishioner of mine would prefer to be cremated, but she will be buried when her time comes because she wants to follow the rules of the Church.

By the way, GIC, I'm disturbed to hear that a priest would take it upon himself to decide which practices are absurd.  What is so absurd about it anyway?  Both children are offered to God.  Hmmm, maybe the male is taken around the Altar and not the female because the Church decided that males could be priests.  Just a thought.  ;)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Brigidsboy on April 27, 2006, 05:47:17 PM
Thus far the only argument I have put forward is that in absence of a theological argument it is a non-theological pastoral issue; I believe that, over all, the ordination of women would be pastorally benificial. And in an earlier post (though perhaps on the threat where this discussion began) I put forward my reasoning as to why I believe it to be pastorally benificial. I fail to see the danger in asserting that I believe a certain course of action to be more pastorially benificial than another; especially since it does not appear to be a theological issue, if someone believes otherwise I'm still waiting for a sound theological argument. Asking me to prove it's not a theological issue is absurd, as it is not even possible to prove non-existance outside of a well-defined axiomatic mathematical system.

Since it has been proved to be anything but pastorally beneficial in the other Christian communities where it has been introduced, please tell us why you think it would be different if introduced into the Orthodox Church.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Amdetsion on April 27, 2006, 06:05:10 PM
Since it has been proved to be anything but pastorally beneficial in the other Christian communities where it has been introduced, please tell us why you think it would be different if introduced into the Orthodox Church.

Is this a real question?

How many Christian communities did Christ Establish in your mind?

The Holy Orthodox Church IS the established Church; one true and unchanged in its doctrine and order from the Apostles.

Anything else out their is a byproduct of the established Church and NOT "a church" or "the church".

No matter how you see this fact you must not think that we (Orthodox) take instructions from people outside Church.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Brigidsboy on April 27, 2006, 06:09:29 PM
If you read what I wrote, I recognize only one CHURCH.
There are, however other groups of Christians that call themselves "churches".
I think its pretty clear that I made that distinction in my question to GIC.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 27, 2006, 06:19:31 PM
If you read what I wrote, I recognize only one CHURCH.
There are, however other groups of Christians that call themselves "churches".
I think it's pretty clear that I made that distinction in my question to GIC.

Maybe Amdetsion should speak for him/her-self on what he/she means, but what I read in Amdetsion's post is the idea that it's not even possible to be Christian outside of the Orthodox Church, a view held by many (but not all) Orthodox.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on April 27, 2006, 06:30:12 PM
And when people sling everything at others except the milk of human kindness, I have to wonder if there is a Christian left anywhere on Earth.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Amdetsion on April 27, 2006, 06:31:07 PM
Elisha

I may be following you on this if I understand the sincerity of what you stated.

It was very funny!!

I drove past a mega "church" (amazing way to apply the term "church") for the first time. It was a real site. I slowed down to take in the site. It was designed to look like a very large shopping mall.  You know the really gaudy ones. This building had a standing seam turquois roof.

I guess if some people on this strip actually ever get their way with the woman ordination heresy they want or except so much; who knows as we move along in life (if the lord does not come back first and redeem His Church) these people may just have our Priest call themselves preachers (since it works with the "other christian communities") instead and start wearing diamond studded crosses and huge custom made three peice suits and break dancing down on the alter (if they keep that).

They may even want to have their new Lady Bishops in more feminin attire like a Channel wool crepe suit (Lavender with gold trim of course) and a nice pair of David Choo leopard skin mules. Hey!!! it works in so many "other christian communities".

Have you ever seen the shananagins that go in some of these mega "church" services? If you have not than you may not follow my point.

I joking of course. But if we are looking for equallitywe may as well challenge how far we are willing to go.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: minasoliman on April 27, 2006, 06:38:26 PM
Quote
Well, since this is getting somewhat off topic I won't respond directly to your exegesis except to say that the issue of headcoverings is hardly essential to the issue of woman's ordination

Actually, I feel that this may somewhat deal with female priesthood.  Again, it was St. Paul's belief that "Christ is the head of man, and man the head of woman, and God the head of Christ."  When applied to priesthood, you can understand why it is preferrable theologically for male priesthood over female priesthood.

Quote
and that what this pericope essentially demonstrates is the difficulity of applying the theological revelation of Paul (that there is no greek or jew, bond or free, or male or female in Christ) to a fallen culture and society.

Well, I disagree.  It would seem odd that St. Paul would contradict himself on one point, making man the head of woman, and another point where not differentiating between man and woman.  Theologically and prophetically, we are carrying out roles that which is done between the Father and the Divine Sophia, Christ, and between Christ and the Church.  A man doesn't complain on why he can't give birth to children.  Even with Christ, His biological mother would be a woman, Mary, and His Forerunner and Spiritual Baptist, a priest of the line of Aaron, would be a man, John.  In the Church victorious, I believe that the equality between man and woman will be consummated when we receive our spiritual bodies.

Quote
Christ and the Church have allowed numerous social injustices because Christ did not come to rid the world of injustice or corruption, he was not a social revolutionary, he came to bring salvation to the world; likewise, this is the primary responsibility of the Church.

Not necessarily.  It was a social norm under the Law of Moses to pay "eye for an eye, and tooth for tooth."  But with Christ, not only did He bring salvation, He also brought fulfillment to the morals of the Law, lifting the curse and bringing it to fulfillment (love your enemies and turn the other cheek).  That in itself is a social revolutionary.  There were also cultural pressures in Jewish versus Gentile Christians, and nothing stopped St. Paul on that issue, which could have easily been the same for female and male priesthood if he so felt the inspired need to speak about it.

Quote
But since society has already had the revolution to correct this ancient injustice I can think of no reason why the Church should not embrace this social improvement, which cannot now be done without compromising it's soteriological mission.

Well, society already corrected injustice done AGAINST women, but I see no "injustice" done against women when not allowing them ordained priesthood.  This is simply an accepted norm, an accepted role in the Church.  Can the foot say why I'm not the hand?  Besides, the same argument can be used on homosexuality.  This last part is, to me, a poor argument, because one can see injustice done against homosexuals should lead the Church's openness in gay marriage!

God bless.

Mina
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: suzannes on April 27, 2006, 08:27:34 PM
Amdetsion,

It's Jimmy Choo.  I don't think too many pro-woman priest types are familiar with couture shoes (!)  Not feminist enough  ;) (Although I wish rocor would return the Birkenstocks to the hippy, Ms. magazine-readers!)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Amdetsion on April 27, 2006, 11:19:20 PM
MO the Ethio

Thanks for the correction.
Apparently I am no fashion mogul either.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Amdetsion on April 27, 2006, 11:21:37 PM
Suzanne

Please note that the previous thanks I gave to Mo The Ethio is intended for you...

Thanks for the correction.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Amdetsion on April 27, 2006, 11:52:25 PM
PeterTheAlute

The term Christianity; its people,Adherents and faith is the subject of what became to be called Orthodox Christians. This word belongs to our heritage.

If people are not Orthodox but are only following the faith of the Orthodox
they are protestant. They choose to leave the Church and keep what they like and all things they think is best. That is their choice.

P r o t e s t a n t  says it all. They are dis=satisfied with the established Church which is Orthodox.

If you want to see non-Orthodox people as Christian then that is up to you.

If you feel this way...Do you also take communion and other sacraments from the protestants? Or did you know that they DO NOT believe in ANY sacraments, Alters, Priests (male or otherwise), the holiness of the Cross, Liturgy....they do not believe in anything you or I believe. So if they are Christians than what are Orthodox Christians?

You can call this a Christian?

Enough...this is off the point of the lady priest heresy under discussion on this strip; so we can pick this up later.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 27, 2006, 11:55:25 PM
I guess if some people on this strip actually ever get their way with the woman ordination heresy they want or except so much;

(Not that I disagree with you, because I don't, but neither do I agree with you.)

Why is the ordination of women a heresy?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 28, 2006, 12:14:06 AM
PeterTheAlute

The term Christianity; its people,Adherents and faith is the subject of what became to be called Orthodox Christians. This word belongs to our heritage.

If people are not Orthodox but are only following the faith of the Orthodox
they are protestant. They choose to leave the Church and keep what they like and all things they think is best. That is their choice.

P r o t e s t a n t  says it all. They are dis=satisfied with the established Church which is Orthodox.

If you want to see non-Orthodox people as Christian then that is up to you.

If you feel this way...Do you also take communion and other sacraments from the protestants? Or did you know that they DO NOT believe in ANY sacraments, Alters, Priests (male or otherwise), the holiness of the Cross, Liturgy....they do not believe in anything you or I believe. So if they are Christians than what are Orthodox Christians?

You can call this a Christian?

Enough...this is off the point of the lady priest heresy under discussion on this strip; so we can pick this up later.

I'll give you my answer to your off-topic question and then return immediately to the topic of this thread.  I used to be a Protestant myself.  Now that I'm Orthodox, can I or will I deny that I was not even Christian while I was Protestant?

I didn't choose to be Protestant.  I was born Protestant.  As a Protestant I tried to live my faith in Christ with all of my heart, and I had many friends who did the same.  I tried to live according to the truth that I knew, which I recognize only now was incomplete and in some respects heretical--I really didn't realize this until after I was introduced to the Orthodox Faith at Age 25.  But many of my Protestant friends and I were sincere in our commitment to what faith we knew, which is a heckuvalot more than I can say about some Orthodox.  (Protestants don't have the fullness of Truth, yet many of them are much more sincere in their faith in Christ than many Orthodox, who are in communion with the fullness of Truth but don't live like it.  This is very sad. :'( )  If I wasn't first a Protestant, I don't know that I would even be Orthodox today.  For all I know, I might have become an atheist.

What is a Christian but a follower of Christ?  Protestants don't have the fullness of truth and are all in varying degrees following after heresies, but many of them are indeed sincere followers of Christ to the extent of the truth that they know of Him and would never knowingly follow after a heresy as you charge.  Is this not the very definition of what it means to be a Christian, to be a follower of Christ?  I would deny the term Christian only to those Protestant reformers who knew what the Church proclaims as Truth yet still followed the doctrines of their own creation.

Now, as I promised, back to the topic.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 28, 2006, 12:27:40 AM
Some questions to help guide this discussion:



And a thought (that may have already been expressed):

The liturgical priesthood is not a right or a privilege; it is a Divine calling, the vocation of participation in what is ultimately the liturgical priesthood of Christ Himself.  This is a calling that only very few men--and, as far as we know, no women--receive.  We should therefore not ask why we don't allow women to be priests and bishops, we should rather ask why the Church discerns that Christ does not call women to be priests and bishops.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Amdetsion on April 28, 2006, 12:49:11 AM
PetertheAlute

Well said.

But one thing else...

Please remember what the Orthodox Church is. For man it is not faith  in christ, or love of Christ...persay but....

Orthodoxy IS THE WAY to Christ and His truth which leads to salvation and His love.

Not just faith based religion like all protestant churches. what these faith based religions offer are a good in-this-life based God centeredness.....which is great and I know many people as you do that find great comfort and thus commitment to these religions. their purpose is metaphysical and more here and now.

Orthodoxy is the True path to salvation. If you are not looking for salvation as the end result and purpose of your life in this world you will loose your way or become stagnant on the path. So many Orthodox fall into this condition because of the nationalistic nature or purpose of "maintaining" their Orthodox "affiliation" a prideful Orthodox heritage. This causes the poor commitment or the faithlessness you spoke about. But this can be avoided if we remain TRUE to the PATH and stay focused on the purpose which is to obtain salvation from Christ and to live eternally in the light of His love. Orthodoxy if followed (like a highway with signs for example) will get you their. Protestants do not have this. They are like being on a higway without signs...they know thier own way.

I to would not have become a Christian if I had been steered by many modern day orthodox. And I know that protestants do not have the way. So maybe I would be .....I do not know....

Thanks for your response.

O.K.

Back to the subject..............
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Theognosis on April 28, 2006, 06:06:36 AM
There are no female priests in the One, Holy and Apostolic Church.  Those who are looking for one in the future are barking up the wrong tree.  There is not even a social factor to consider here, for in the ancient times when women were considered "inferior" to men, women priests had served pagan gods.

For those women who think that they deserve to be part of the clergy, I pray that they follow the example of the Theotokos.  She is all-holy and yet she never wanted to be ordained in her lifetime.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on April 28, 2006, 07:51:08 AM
I pray that they follow the example of the Theotokos.
The Theotokos can never be an example for women, or anyone. The Incarnation was a Singularity which will never be repeated in this age (or any other as far as we know). The only way women could "follow the example" of the Theotokos is if they could conceive and give birth while remaining virgins. The example we have to follow, whether male or female, is Christ- the same example the Theotokos followed, and we seek Her Intercession to aid us in following Her Son and God.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Pravoslavbob on April 28, 2006, 09:26:28 AM
The Theotokos can never be an example for women, or anyone.

 Really?ÂÂ ???
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: BoredMeeting on April 28, 2006, 09:28:05 AM
GreekisChristian has stated elsewhere that he approves of the ordination of women to the priesthood in the Orthodox Church.

How do you all feel about this issue?
I am satisfied with the idea of following Christ's lead and we know that He did not name any female Apostles.  Some will claim that this was because of the times, but I do not follow a Christ who was so cowardly as to not challenge those societal elements that He wanted changed.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: pensateomnia on April 28, 2006, 09:32:31 AM
There are no female priests in the One, Holy and Apostolic Church.  Those who are looking for one in the future are barking up the wrong tree.  There is not even a social factor to consider here, for in the ancient times when women were considered "inferior" to men, women priests had served pagan gods.

This is a point I have been meaning to bring up for a while. While Hellenistic Jewish and Roman culture did have a comparatively low view of women, in so far as these societies generally excluded women from direct participation in politics and, with a few exceptions for wealthy nobility, granted women few legal rights per se, it was precisely in the realm of religion and cult practice that women enjoyed considerable leeway.

In fact, it seems that even in Classical Athens, religion was the means by which women exercised a public -- even political -- role. (Cf. Matthew Dillon's Girls and Women in Classical Greek Religion). And, of course, Roman law, especially after Augustan's reforms, was much more "liberal" in regards to women, which, combined with Hellenized Roman religious practice, meant that at the time of Christ, St. Paul and even the Fathers of Late Antiquity, there was a tremendous variety of explicitly female religious opportunities, including public cults for men and women and even popular public cults that were only for women.

Especially in the eastern part of the Empire -- where Christianity so flourished -- there were many, many priestesses of a wide variety of cults, and, as always, there were many female practitioners of magic (this last area, unfortunately, is probably one of the few areas in which women in Orthodox countries continue to exercise a leading cultic role).

The point is this: The legal and political rights of women were restricted, but their cultic, religious "rights" were most certainly not. In fact, orthodox Christianity's staunchly male priesthood was one of the ways in which Christianity stood in contrast to the typical cults of the time. Thus, it seems, GiC, that attributing Paul's words, St. John Chrysostom's homilies and the Church's practice to cultural bias may not be the easiest case to make.

Two thoughts:

1) As I've thought about this, I've remembered a number of passages in Epiphanius of Salamis, Origen, John Chrysostom, Cyril of Alexandria and, I think, Justin Martyr and even Irenaeus that speak strongly against (pagan and heretical) female priests. In the very least it seems this indicates (a) early Christianity's male priesthood as a distinguishing hallmark of its orthodox praxis/morality, and, perhaps, (b) an explanation for why male priesthood was so important to early Christianity (other than the "they degraded women" deal).

2) As others have indicated, what does one do with St. Paul's theology of the family? Is this also "culturally driven"? If the family is the little Church, and the husband is always the spiritual head of the family, how can the spiritual head of the larger family, the parish, not also be taken from one of the already-leading men? (The same questions apply to many, many homilies by St. John Chrysostom, who spoke extensively on the position of women in the Church and family -- not just in the passage from One the Priesthood that you quoted. Cf. David Ford's book on St. John Chrysostom and women.)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: minasoliman on April 28, 2006, 09:35:27 AM
There are no female priests in the One, Holy and Apostolic Church.  Those who are looking for one in the future are barking up the wrong tree.  There is not even a social factor to consider here, for in the ancient times when women were considered "inferior" to men, women priests had served pagan gods.

For those women who think that they deserve to be part of the clergy, I pray that they follow the example of the Theotokos.  She is all-holy and yet she never wanted to be ordained in her lifetime.

That's actually a good point.  The fact that women priests existed in Gentile nations should have at least brought some ease for the Apostles to allow female priesthood when converting.  However, the outcry was that most of these woman priests were there for pagan sexual festivals, with the priestess being some sort of the prostitute at the time.  If one can find that there were "civil" woman priests in Gentile nations, then your point can be well taken.

As for following the example of the Theotokos, I agree.  Those who think that giving birth to God was a singularity is not true.  Just as the Theotokos gave birth to the Logos (which is truly a singularity), so it is our job to continually give birth to the Holy Spirit in our hearts.

God bless.

Mina
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: pensateomnia on April 28, 2006, 09:44:31 AM
That's actually a good point.  The fact that women priests existed in Gentile nations should have at least brought some ease for the Apostles to allow female priesthood when converting.  However, the outcry was that most of these woman priests were there for pagan sexual festivals, with the priestess being some sort of the prostitute at the time.  If one can find that there were "civil" woman priests in Gentile nations, then your point can be well taken.
Mina

There were plenty of such "civil" female priests. The Hellenistic Philosophers liked to described for polemical purposes pagan priesthood and cultic practice as little more than ignorant decadence and an excuse for prostitution (a refrain that the Church Fathers picked up, as they did a number of other arguments against paganism, e.g. Clement of Alexandria's arguments against pagan art and cultic practice, which come right out of fashionable Alexandrian non-Christian philosophy). However, most female priests -- and certainly most female participants in cultic practices and ceremonies -- were not involved in prostitution.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on April 28, 2006, 09:47:46 AM
As for following the example of the Theotokos, I agree.  Those who think that giving birth to God was a singularity is not true.  Just as the Theotokos gave birth to the Logos (which is truly a singularity), so it is our job to continually give birth to the Holy Spirit in our hearts.
If both men and women must follow the example of the Theotokos and give birth to the Holy Spirit (which the Theotokos didn't do, but anyway), why is it the case that only women should follow the example of the Theotokos in not seeking priesthood? Why don't men follow this example also, so that no one seeks the priesthood?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: minasoliman on April 28, 2006, 09:54:48 AM
If both men and women must follow the example of the Theotokos and give birth to the Holy Spirit (which the Theotokos didn't do, but anyway), why is it the case that only women should follow the example of the Theotokos in not seeking priesthood? Why don't men follow this example also, so that no one seeks the priesthood?

I also agree with that.  I don't know where exactly, but I did say earlier that the best priests are those who don't seek it.

God bless.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: minasoliman on April 28, 2006, 09:55:24 AM
There were plenty of such "civil" female priests. The Hellenistic Philosophers liked to described for polemical purposes pagan priesthood and cultic practice as little more than ignorant decadence and an excuse for prostitution (a refrain that the Church Fathers picked up, as they did a number of other arguments against paganism, e.g. Clement of Alexandria's arguments against pagan art and cultic practice, which come right out of fashionable Alexandrian non-Christian philosophy). However, most female priests -- and certainly most female participants in cultic practices and ceremonies -- were not involved in prostitution.

Point well taken, and might I say a strong case as well.

God bless.

Mina
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 28, 2006, 01:09:28 PM
The Theotokos can never be an example for women, or anyone. The Incarnation was a Singularity which will never be repeated in this age (or any other as far as we know). The only way women could "follow the example" of the Theotokos is if they could conceive and give birth while remaining virgins. The example we have to follow, whether male or female, is Christ- the same example the Theotokos followed, and we seek Her Intercession to aid us in following Her Son and God.

I think the above quote misses a few things about the example that the Theotokos is for us.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Ebor on April 28, 2006, 02:17:02 PM
That's actually a good point.  The fact that women priests existed in Gentile nations should have at least brought some ease for the Apostles to allow female priesthood when converting.  However, the outcry was that most of these woman priests were there for pagan sexual festivals, with the priestess being some sort of the prostitute at the time.  If one can find that there were "civil" woman priests in Gentile nations, then your point can be well taken.

It is not true that female cleric=prostitution.  The Vestal Virgins of Ancient Rome were not for example. The Oracle of Delphi was not. I am unaware of any Norse goddess worship involving such behaviour. In our own time, the "miko" or shrine maidens of Shinto are most certainly not. ÂÂ

It is interesting that for many people who disapprove of the idea, woman priest ---> immoral sexual behaviour.  On what exactly would this be based beyond a few bits of information that may or may not be historically accurate from such places as Sumer, I wonder.

Ebor
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Ebor on April 28, 2006, 02:27:01 PM
Quote from: GreekisChristian
While I support the ordination of women, I do not like the idea of artificially forcing all titles and customs without allowing for reasonable change like the anglicans did. I would advocate the use of the term Priestess and calling her Mother...though this should have no impact on ranking within ecclesiastical orders.

By all means, let's follow what the Anglicans do!  What kind of slippery slope would we find ourselves on then?!?


Ummm, Not to get too deep in here, since it's not my Church, but if Sarah is saying that Anglicans use the word "priestess" *I've* never heard of it, at least by women clerics themselves.  I have read the term used scornfully to refer to them by opponents of women's ordination.  In that context the word "priestess" has overtones of lurid or paganistic rites, or other such associations as, for example, it is the word used by Wiccans fto describe women leaders in that group; it is meant as an put-down and a label that such women's ministry is not to be taken seriously.  Often the term is accompanied by uncharitable or insulting personal remarks about the women. ÂÂ

GiC, "priestess" at least in English might have some unfortunate shades of meaning.  In those Anglican Provinces that do have women clergy they are referred to as a "priest".


Ebor
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Sarah on April 28, 2006, 02:34:05 PM
Ebor, you misunderstood what I was saying.  My focus was on the changes made in the Anglican Church not on the terminology used in the Anglican Church.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Amdetsion on April 28, 2006, 04:41:30 PM
The Anglican "church" and all the subsequent spin offs and off springs thereof was started by a seathing, despotic mad man. Created for his need to have sex with everbody he wanted.

Oh yeah!
I forgot one small fact................he was a mass murderer; which includes wholesale slaughter of Bishops and Priests of the Holy Church.

He died just the way a real Catholic Priest told him he would if he did not stop his adulterous lifestyle when he was dating (openly) his lover 'Berlyn' ( I can not remember her first name...she became his defacto second wife). He never asked for forgiveness nor did he make penance before the Holy Church which had many years before had formally excommunicated him at the approval of Pope Clement.

This bazaar socio-path upon finding out that he all but bankrupted the British Royal house had ALL the Church buildings burned to the ground including monasteries after first stealing and selling off all the properties and holdings and pocketed the proceeds. I heard this would equate to about 100 million by todays values. Much of the land holding he assumed as his own.

We all know him as Henry VIII, 16th century King of England during the so-called Tudor period.

Thus the resulting Anglican "church" is really an element of British history thats it.... period.

O.K.

Now again; what example from the Anglicans is worth using for the True Church?

If anyone can find any reason to use any kind of example from this unfortunate group than you may as well use examples from whatever else is out there.

These people (Anglicans) need us to pray for them NOT follow them.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Amdetsion on April 28, 2006, 04:51:55 PM
Ebor

Did you not get the sarcasm of Sarah' comment?

You are on the wrong page; at lease where her comments concerned.

Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Ebor on April 28, 2006, 04:54:59 PM
Ebor, you misunderstood what I was saying.  My focus was on the changes made in the Anglican Church not on the terminology used in the Anglican Church.

Thank you for clarifying what you meant.  I beg your pardon for not understanding it clearly.

Ebor
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 28, 2006, 05:02:51 PM
Thus far the only argument I have put forward is that in absence of a theological argument it is a non-theological pastoral issue;

This brings up two questions in my mind.
   1.   How does it follow that just because the Church has not yet put forward a sound theological argument for women's ordination that there is no such argument?  Maybe there is, but the Church hasn't articulated it yet.
   2.   How is the issue of women's ordination not theological?  Considering that lex orandi, lex credendi (the law of prayer is the law of belief), how the Church worships is central to her theology.  And considering that the priest fulfills such an important role in the liturgy of the Church, it follows that the gender of the priest is very much a theological (and ecclesiological) issue and not merely a pastoral issue as you claim.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Ebor on April 28, 2006, 05:03:02 PM
My apologies, Amdetsion, but you seem to have some mistaken ideas about the history of my Church. (yes, the Anglican Communion is Christian.)  Could you please provide some links or documentation for a "real Catholic priest" foretelling how Henry VIII would die?  Thank you.

Anne Boleyn (or "Bullen" spelling was somewhat loose in those days) was Henry's second wife.  And a major reason for desiring an *anullment" from the marriage to Catherine of Aragon was the desire for a male heir to the throne.  Anullments and divorces had been granted to Royals and nobles by Rome before.  It was not something new. ÂÂ

May I ask what your first hand experience with any real Anglican might have been that you have such umm vehement words to direct against us?  Thank you in advance.

With respect

Ebor

edited for spelling
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Ebor on April 28, 2006, 05:05:02 PM
Ebor

Did you not get the sarcasm of Sarah' comment?

You are on the wrong page; at lease where her comments concerned.



Sometimes such things as humour, sarcasm and other emotions or overtones do not come across well in on-line postings.  

Sarah clarified her meaning. Why would you feel the need to make remarks against my misunderstanding?  

respectfully,

Ebor
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 28, 2006, 06:06:06 PM
But the fact that these arguments are used does illustrate one important point, when this is the best the Church can put forth to defend a position which is contrary to social mores and egalitarian decency is it any surprise that the Church is quickly becomming irrelevant to the masses and especially the youth even in traditionally Orthodox societies?

How do you reconcile your attitude that the Church should conform to "social mores and egalitarian decency" with this passage from St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans: "Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." (Romans 12:2)?  The Church is to conform to the will of Christ, not to the mindset and mores of this world.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 28, 2006, 07:51:12 PM
By all means, let's follow what the Anglicans do!  What kind of slippery slope would we find ourselves on then?!?

I agree.

If dialog with other non-Orthodox Christian faiths helps us to understand and appreciate our own Tradition better, I say let's enter into such dialog, but let's be very careful about how we do so.  However, if the Orthodox Church alone possesses the fullness of Truth as we have vowed to proclaim, than there is no truth that any other Christian tradition can possess that we don't already possess.  Any doctrine or practice, therefore, not found in our own Holy Tradition is to be rejected as unorthodox.  Thus, we should do nothing that any other Christian pseudo-church does if what they do is not organic to our own Orthodox Tradition.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Byzantine Catholic on April 28, 2006, 08:47:11 PM
 >:(   >:(   >:(

WHEN HELL FREEZES OVER!!!!

That good 'n' clear??

Brother Ed
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 28, 2006, 10:03:51 PM
>:(   >:(   >:(

WHEN HELL FREEZES OVER!!!!

That good 'n' clear??

Brother Ed

Is this directed to any particular person, or to the subject of women's ordination in general?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Asteriktos on April 28, 2006, 10:13:40 PM
GIC,

I offer you a quote by Jerome, who I think (based on what I've read) speaks for many...

Quote
You have compelled me, my dear Nepotian, in spite of the castigation which my treatise on Virginity has bad to endure--the one which I wrote for the saintly Eustochium at Rome--you have compelled me after ten years have passed once more to open my mouth at Bethlehem and to expose myself to the stabs of every tongue. For I could only escape from criticism by writing nothing--a course made impossible by your request; and I knew when I took up my pen that the shafts of all gainsayers would be launched against me. I beg such to hold their peace and to desist from gainsaying: for I have written to them not as to opponents but as to friends. I have not inveighed against those who sin: I have but warned them to sin no more. My judgment of myself has been as strict as my judgment of them. When I have wished to remove the mote from my neighbour's eye, I have first east out the beam in my own. I have calumniated no one. Not a name has been hinted at. My words have not been aimed at individuals and my criticism of shortcomings has been quite general. If any one wishes to be angry with me he will have first to own that he himself suits my description. - Jerome, Letter 52, 17 (http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF2-06/Npnf2-06-03.htm#P1872_458890)

The point being that Christian morality has never been what one would call popular ;)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on April 29, 2006, 12:43:30 AM
Well, I'm only one person, with that in mind I'll try to address the arguments presented best I can...afterall Clausewitz is calling and as fun as this is, it isn't the art and science of war ;)

There are no female priests in the One, Holy and Apostolic Church.  Those who are looking for one in the future are barking up the wrong tree.

Don't be too quick to prophesy...that which is static will die -- it's an evolutionary imperative.

This is a point I have been meaning to bring up for a while. While Hellenistic Jewish and Roman culture did have a comparatively low view of women, in so far as these societies generally excluded women from direct participation in politics and, with a few exceptions for wealthy nobility, granted women few legal rights per se, it was precisely in the realm of religion and cult practice that women enjoyed considerable leeway.

Two things to consider here; first, until the mid-second century the (overwhelmingly) primary cultural influence was Judaic, especially amongst the leadership of the Church (who were all circumcised Jews). By the mid-second century the norms and institutions were already established.

The second, and more significant, point is about the nature of female involvement in Roman Religion, while they were allowed an official presence in most cults by the end of the first century A.D., they were not given leadership roles (or anything close to it) in these cults which were almost entirely ruled by men (the one notable exception being Bona Dea, which was very suspect in Rome, and even there the leader was chosen by virtue of being the wife of the Flamen Dialis).

This pagan model that is here mentioned is the one the Church would eventually adopt, creating minor orders for women up through the deaconess (which, even though eventually an ordained posistion was still generally considered to be below a deacon), but depriving them from any higher (and therefore ruling) office in the Church.

Quote
The point is this: The legal and political rights of women were restricted, but their cultic, religious "rights" were most certainly not. In fact, orthodox Christianity's staunchly male priesthood was one of the ways in which Christianity stood in contrast to the typical cults of the time. Thus, it seems, GiC, that attributing Paul's words, St. John Chrysostom's homilies and the Church's practice to cultural bias may not be the easiest case to make.

But Christianity, while having a staunchly male priesthood, did adopt the customs of the pagans in allowing women to hold lower religious posistions, but the posistions of power were reserved for the men, as in the pagan cults.

Quote
As others have indicated, what does one do with St. Paul's theology of the family? Is this also "culturally driven"? If the family is the little Church, and the husband is always the spiritual head of the family, how can the spiritual head of the larger family, the parish, not also be taken from one of the already-leading men? (The same questions apply to many, many homilies by St. John Chrysostom, who spoke extensively on the position of women in the Church and family -- not just in the passage from One the Priesthood that you quoted. Cf. David Ford's book on St. John Chrysostom and women.)

The clearly culturally biased family structure mentioned by Paul aside, what of a celibate or widowed woman...would they not be the 'spiritual head' of their 'family,' while this 'family' may consist only of themselves this can also be said of the 'family' of the celibate male priests, who were the ones to hold the highest posistions in the Church (in the east the episcopacy, in the west ideally all sacerdotal posistions by the six century (it took several centuries to make this ideal universal, but it was the ideal before the sixth century)). Though a relationship between family leadership and Church leadership may have been envisioned by Paul, the fact that the leaders of the Church were generally (and are) celibate and not family men tends to undermine the analogy between one's family role and one's official ecclesiastical role.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on April 29, 2006, 12:54:32 AM
GiC, "priestess" at least in English might have some unfortunate shades of meaning.  In those Anglican Provinces that do have women clergy they are referred to as a "priest".

I am aware of that, though my statement you're responding to was a bit muddled. However, I do believe that such negative connotations are unfortunate. For while I support the ordination of women, calling a woman 'father' or, to a lesser degree for various linguistic and cultural reasons, calling a priestess a priest would bother me.

But I tend to get annoyed over minor linguistic points. The campaign against using the term 'man' for 'humanity' is another one that bothers me, the original use of the word 'man' was in reference to 'humanity' with waepman or wer meaning a male (and wyf or wifman meaning a female). So if you're going to complain about an inappropriate use of the word 'man' complain about using the word to refer specifically to males, because THAT is the misuse of the word.

But I'm sure I'm one of the few people that actually gets upset over the loss of Anglo-Saxon conventions in the English language (and dont even get me started about what's happening to our subjunctive)...so, in reality, these issues probably arn't that big of a deal for people who actually have a life.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on April 29, 2006, 12:59:43 AM
This brings up two questions in my mind.
 ÃƒÆ’‚  1.   How does it follow that just because the Church has not yet put forward a sound theological argument for women's ordination that there is no such argument?  Maybe there is, but the Church hasn't articulated it yet.

But if one is going to insist that there is a theological argument, the burden to prove that this is the case is upon them. It is not reasonable to expect me (or anyone else for that matter) to prove the non-existance of an argument (which is theoretically impossible).

Quote
2. ÂÂ  How is the issue of women's ordination not theological? ÂÂ Considering that lex orandi, lex credendi (the law of prayer is the law of belief), how the Church worships is central to her theology. ÂÂ And considering that the priest fulfills such an important role in the liturgy of the Church, it follows that the gender of the priest is very much a theological (and ecclesiological) issue and not merely a pastoral issue as you claim.

But I could use similar arguments to say that the race of a priest is also a significant theological issue...yet this is an issue that the Church has formally addressed and it has rejected the idea. Hence, we can have gentile priests. On the issue of the ordination of women I would say that just as there is no Greek or Jew in Christ, neither is there Male or Female; all are created in the image and likeness of God. Thus, what is important is not the race or gender, but rather the fact that the person is human and, thus, in the image and likeness of Christ.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: bergschlawiner on April 29, 2006, 01:44:04 AM
 :-\This may sound silly but when I hear this stuff I wonder what vestments a woman priest(ess) would wear since the priestly vestments are adaptions of male clothing worn at one time or the other in the imperial times.  Or would they wear something like the icons of holy empresses wear?   ::)Would they wear clerical robes like nuns?  What type of head covering would they wear?  Middle eastern? Burkhas? ::)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on April 29, 2006, 02:24:17 AM
:-\This may sound silly but when I hear this stuff I wonder what vestments a woman priest(ess) would wear since the priestly vestments are adaptions of male clothing worn at one time or the other in the imperial times.
Well, considering that it would be a new thing in our times to have women priests, perhaps they should adopt contemporary dress. A smart twin-set with Channel buttons on the jacket and a pearl necklace seems appropriate. But considering the length of Orthodox Services, I think high heels would be out of the question.
And I think we should also consider maternity vestments.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: prodromos on April 29, 2006, 04:15:22 AM
This brings up two questions in my mind.
   1.   How does it follow that just because the Church has not yet put forward a sound theological argument for women's ordination that there is no such argument?  Maybe there is, but the Church hasn't articulated it yet.
   2.   How is the issue of women's ordination not theological?  Considering that lex orandi, lex credendi (the law of prayer is the law of belief), how the Church worships is central to her theology.  And considering that the priest fulfills such an important role in the liturgy of the Church, it follows that the gender of the priest is very much a theological (and ecclesiological) issue and not merely a pastoral issue as you claim.
The fact of the bodily assumption of the Theotokos after her death is a good example to consider. Though there has never been a definitive statement from the church regarding Mary's assumption, there is no possibility of it being up for question.

John
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on April 29, 2006, 08:39:25 AM

1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.
      As in all the congregations of the saints, 34 women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. 35 If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on April 29, 2006, 08:46:51 AM
1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.
      As in all the congregations of the saints, 34 women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. 35 If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.
Gosh, we Greek Orthodox had better close down all our convents. All those disgraceful women reading Services and incensing in the church.......
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Brigidsboy on April 29, 2006, 12:26:34 PM
GIC,

Since you seem to have overlooked my question to you, I will repeat it.

Please explain why you think the "ordination" of women would be "pastorally beneficial" for the Orthodox Church, when it has been proven to be anything but that in the other Christian communities where it has been introduced.

Thank you.



Thus far the only argument I have put forward is that in absence of a theological argument it is a non-theological pastoral issue; I believe that, over all, the ordination of women would be pastorally benificial. And in an earlier post (though perhaps on the threat where this discussion began) I put forward my reasoning as to why I believe it to be pastorally benificial. I fail to see the danger in asserting that I believe a certain course of action to be more pastorially benificial than another; especially since it does not appear to be a theological issue, if someone believes otherwise I'm still waiting for a sound theological argument. Asking me to prove it's not a theological issue is absurd, as it is not even possible to prove non-existance outside of a well-defined axiomatic mathematical system.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Gregory1958 on April 29, 2006, 04:29:35 PM
I am a convert to Orthodoxy, after being a protestant my whole life, and a protestant minister for a number of years.  I have one question:

What in the world is happening to Orthodoxy that those in the Church want to become like protestants?  Good grief!  It is not in our tradition for women to be priests and it is unbiblical, too boot!  Try this passage from the Holy Bible:  "I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.  For Adam was formed first, then Eve.  And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner."  -- 1 Timothy 2:13-14

Now, lest some of you want to use the protestant argument that the "times were different and women were not respected", let me point out that the Apostle gives theological reasons as to why women cannot have authority over a man (which cancels out the priesthood, now doesn't it?) which transend "the times".  

If you want to be protestant, then abandon the true faith and go where you can come up with any theological stance that you tickles your fancy.  If you want to be in the Church and truly Christian, do like I did and abandon the "heresies of the West" and stop entertaining these wayward thoughts!
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: pensateomnia on April 29, 2006, 07:09:18 PM
I am a convert to Orthodoxy, after being a protestant my whole life, and a protestant minister for a number of years.  I have one question:

What in the world is happening to Orthodoxy that those in the Church want to become like protestants?

No need to worry over much. I can't imagine any Synod allowing the ordination of women to the priesthood (a) before the topic was discussed and settled favorably at a Pan-Orthodox Synod and (b) before the female diaconate were already broadly established and accepted.

Now, I would be willing to bet my entire library that option A will never happen before the Second Coming, if only for the simple fact that the various Orthodox communions evinced little consensus on the many issues discussed at the Pre-Conciliar meetings over the last few decades and have thus basically decided to chuck the idea of having a Pan-Orthodox Synod (it would obviously lead to major schism).

Heck, for much the same reason I'm willing to wager my library that option B will never happen before the Second Coming either! (As silly as that is, considering the ample evidence we have for such an office in Scripture, canon law and Church history).
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: suzannes on April 29, 2006, 07:39:26 PM
My post on this subject yesterday got lost!  I'll try to remember what I said.  I think it was...this is a very reasoned and intelligent discussion, and obviously, many people on this board are incredidibly well-versed in the Fathers and the Bible, but I want to ask a very basic, and perhaps stupid question.  Has there ever outside of our present times, been a call for women priests within Orthodoxy?  My second question would be: how does one separate the various "isms" of the 19th. and 20th. centuries from this subject?  What I mean is, how can the question of a female priesthood ever be separated from contemporary feminism?
An Anglican friend of mine says that female priesthood is idolatry because it is exactly this worship of "isms" (feminism, liberalism, etc.) that is motivating the desire of women to be ordained.  These are things of man's world, not God's.  Woman can serve God in a million ways, as can men.  A few days ago, I was in a doctors waiting room, there was a pregnant girl who had been mauled by a pit bull, and her arm was destroyed (NOT the day we were at the doctors), and she wanted to get up and get some water.  Normally, I would just read my book and not talk, but you gotta ask yourself "it's Bright Week, shouldn't I tell this girl that if the nurse calls her, I'll tell them she'll be right back?"  I know, I sound nuts, but what I mean to say is, I've heard women say "I'm called to celebrate the sacraments" but wretches that we are, how fortunate are we just to *partake*??  I want to hear an argument in favor that is characterized by humility and self-effacement of Christ.  I just don't see that.  I see more of a "having it all" mentality, which will never be the way of Orthodoxy.  (I HOPE this goes through this time!)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on April 29, 2006, 07:54:59 PM
Gosh, we Greek Orthodox had better close down all our convents. All those disgraceful women reading Services and incensing in the church.......
Unless of course we don't take a literal 'silence' but view it in relation to his views about women teaching... which he was against.
Which Gregory1958 himself cited...
"I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.  For Adam was formed first, then Eve.  And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner."  -- 1 Timothy 2:13-14


 Amusing though your responses have become. Where's the picture of a puppy-dog? :-[
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on April 29, 2006, 07:59:22 PM
My post on this subject yesterday got lost!  I'll try to remember what I said.  I think it was...this is a very reasoned and intelligent discussion, and obviously, many people on this board are incredidibly well-versed in the Fathers and the Bible, but I want to ask a very basic, and perhaps stupid question.  Has there ever outside of our present times, been a call for women priests within Orthodoxy?  My second question would be: how does one separate the various "isms" of the 19th. and 20th. centuries from this subject?  What I mean is, how can the question of a female priesthood ever be separated from contemporary feminism?
An Anglican friend of mine says that female priesthood is idolatry because it is exactly this worship of "isms" (feminism, liberalism, etc.) that is motivating the desire of women to be ordained.  These are things of man's world, not God's.  Woman can serve God in a million ways, as can men.  A few days ago, I was in a doctors waiting room, there was a pregnant girl who had been mauled by a pit bull, and her arm was destroyed (NOT the day we were at the doctors), and she wanted to get up and get some water.  Normally, I would just read my book and not talk, but you gotta ask yourself "it's Bright Week, shouldn't I tell this girl that if the nurse calls her, I'll tell them she'll be right back?"  I know, I sound nuts, but what I mean to say is, I've heard women say "I'm called to celebrate the sacraments" but wretches that we are, how fortunate are we just to *partake*??  I want to hear an argument in favor that is characterized by humility and self-effacement of Christ.  I just don't see that.  I see more of a "having it all" mentality, which will never be the way of Orthodoxy.  (I HOPE this goes through this time!)

I do believe you are onto something here. Many modernist apologists want to make the church 'relative' to current trends and fads. This is in fact what the Catholic church tried to do with Vatican II, and they're still suffering because of it.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: jaderook on April 29, 2006, 08:36:52 PM
I am a convert to Orthodoxy, after being a protestant my whole life, and a protestant minister for a number of years.  I have one question:

What in the world is happening to Orthodoxy that those in the Church want to become like protestants?  Good grief!  It is not in our tradition for women to be priests and it is unbiblical, too boot!  Try this passage from the Holy Bible:  "I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.  For Adam was formed first, then Eve.  And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner."  -- 1 Timothy 2:13-14

Now, lest some of you want to use the protestant argument that the "times were different and women were not respected", let me point out that the Apostle gives theological reasons as to why women cannot have authority over a man (which cancels out the priesthood, now doesn't it?) which transend "the times". ÂÂ

If you want to be protestant, then abandon the true faith and go where you can come up with any theological stance that you tickles your fancy.  If you want to be in the Church and truly Christian, do like I did and abandon the "heresies of the West" and stop entertaining these wayward thoughts!

I'm with you here.  Speaking as a woman who once thought that women's ordination was a good thing, and sat under a woman minister for a short time; she was super nice, but as for me, I was immediately convicted that it was wrong.  That conviction grew even more as I encountered women ministers on-line.  There is a tendency to make it all about pride and 'look at me and what I can achieve as a woman.'  No humility at all.  I certainly hope it never happens in Orthodoxy.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Gregory1958 on April 29, 2006, 11:36:08 PM
The lack of understanding that men and women have different roles does not mean that they have different value seems to be lost on the modern "mind".  While we are of equal value to our loving Creator, we are also designed to have different roles.  This is not a bad thing, as the feminist cannot seem to understand.  For example, I cannot be a mother, no matter how badly I would like to be one!  I can whine and complain and demand equal right all I want, but it will just never happen.  I was not designed to be a mother.  The Creator did not give me that option.  Neither does He give women the option to be bishops and priests.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on April 29, 2006, 11:54:42 PM
I wish people would stop thinking of "modernity" as a "heresy". Everything in the Church was "modern" at some stage of her history. Everything is subject to change: the Sixth Oecumenical Council anathamised those who do not receive Communion in the hand.
In Holy Tradition "not now" does not necessarily mean "never."

Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on April 30, 2006, 12:29:03 AM
I wish people would stop thinking of "modernity" as a "heresy". Everything in the Church was "modern" at some stage of her history. Everything is subject to change:


I accept that there's change inherent in the Orthodox Church - each time we take our faith to a new culture, we try to present it in their language.

We have seating in our churches, whereas once everyone stood.

But we should not confuse 'traditions' with 'Holy Tradition'. It is the same mistake Protestants make when we present evidence for keeping traditions; such as....

Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions as I delivered them to you (I Corinthians 11:2)

 

“Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or by our epistle” ÂÂ (II Thessalonians 2:15)



Fundamental to the teachings of Christ are the roles men and women play.



the Sixth Oecumenical Council anathamised those who do not receive Communion in the hand.
In Holy Tradition "not now" does not necessarily mean "never."
I thought it was the other way around; going against those that did receive it in the hand.

The Sixth Ecumenical Council, at Constantinople (680-681)
Forbade the faithful to take the Sacred Host in their hand, threatening transgressors with excommunication.
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Oracle/9463/cith.html

My church doesn't give communion in the hand. That site also has quotes suggesting that this is the way it has usually been practiced (though I haven't had time to cross-check these quotes).
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on April 30, 2006, 12:31:50 AM
The lack of understanding that men and women have different roles does not mean that they have different value seems to be lost on the modern "mind".  While we are of equal value to our loving Creator, we are also designed to have different roles.  This is not a bad thing, as the feminist cannot seem to understand.  For example, I cannot be a mother, no matter how badly I would like to be one!  I can whine and complain and demand equal right all I want, but it will just never happen.  I was not designed to be a mother.  The Creator did not give me that option.  Neither does He give women the option to be bishops and priests.
I agree. This also goes to why homosexuality is forbidden by the church because it confuses gender roles.

This of course burns the ears of those who are modernists.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Asteriktos on April 30, 2006, 12:44:32 AM
Technically it was the Council in Trullo in 691, not the Sixth Ecumenical Council in 680, which issued the canon in question, but traditionally these two gatherings are bound together...

Quote
The divine Apostle loudly proclaims the man created in the image of God to be a body of Christ and a temple. Standing, therefore, far above all sensible creation, and having attained to a heavenly dignity by virtue of the soterial Passion, by eating and drinking Christ as a source of life, he perpetually readjusts both his eternal soul and his body and by partaking of the divine grace he is continually sanctified. So that if anyone should wish to partake of the intemerate body during the time of a synaxis, and to become one therewith by virtue of transessencc, let him form his hands into the shape of a cross, and, thus approaching, let him receive the communion of grace. For we nowise welcome those men who make certain receptacles out of gold, or any other material, to serve instead of their hand for the reception of the divine gift, demanding to take of the intemerate communion in such containers; because they prefer soulless (i.e., inanimate) matter and an inferior article to the image of God. In case, therefore, any person should be caught in the act of imparting of the intemerate communion to those offering such receptacles, let him be excommunicated, both he himself and the one offering them. - Council in Trullo, Canon 101
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on April 30, 2006, 12:48:43 AM
And here is the the 101st Canon of the Council with it's ancient epitome.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.xiv.iii.cii.html (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.xiv.iii.cii.html)
This is a Canon of an Oecumenical Council- and has never been "officially" revoked.
So communing with a Spoon is not only "modern", it is technically uncanonical.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on April 30, 2006, 12:49:24 AM
Posted in error
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Bizzlebin on April 30, 2006, 12:50:25 AM
Hmm, just having read through the entire thread, I noticed something interesting: the total lack (not scarcity, but absence) of any patristic support for those who advocate women's ordination. I think that sums up about everything any patrisitically minded Orthodox Christian needs to know on the issue.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Bizzlebin on April 30, 2006, 12:52:07 AM
And here is the the 101st Canon of the Council with it's ancient epitome.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.xiv.iii.cii.html (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.xiv.iii.cii.html)
This is a Canon of an Oecumenical Council- and has never been "officially" revoked.
So communing with a Spoon is not only "modern", it is technically uncanonical.

You misread the canon. It is speaking of laymen who, I quote, "bring vessels of this kind." So, it is not speaking of the priest using a vessel, but of laymen coming and bringing vessels, rather than "arranging his hands in the form of a cross."
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on April 30, 2006, 12:55:30 AM
And here is the the 101st Canon of the Council with it's ancient epitome.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.xiv.iii.cii.html (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.xiv.iii.cii.html)
This is a Canon of an Oecumenical Council- and has never been "officially" revoked.
So communing with a Spoon is not only "modern", it is technically uncanonical.
How does one take bread AND wine in one's hands?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on April 30, 2006, 12:56:25 AM
Hmm, just having read through the entire thread, I noticed something interesting: the total lack (not scarcity, but absence) of any patristic support for those who advocate women's ordination. I think that sums up about everything any patrisitically minded Orthodox Christian needs to know on the issue.
And having read through the last posts as well as many other threads, I find a total lack of patristic support for Communing with a Spoon.....yet we now do. ;)
There is no patristic support for the use of the "Epitaphio" on Holy Friday either- it is not found in the rubrics of any typicon. Yet we began to use it.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on April 30, 2006, 12:58:02 AM
How does one take bread AND wine in one's hands?
The Precious Blood is drunk directly from the Chalice
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Bizzlebin on April 30, 2006, 12:59:29 AM
And having read through the last posts as well as many other threads, I find a total lack of patristic support for Communing with a Spoon.....yet we now do. ;)
There is no patristic support for the use of the "Epitaphio" on Holy Friday either- it is not found in the rubrics of any typicon. Yet we began to use it.

Start threads specifically on the subject, and you'll likely get a lot of responses. I am not well versed in the issues, so I cannot speak there. What's disturbing, though, is that after 9 pages, not one patristic source is cited. I cannot recall any other threads quite like this.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on April 30, 2006, 01:01:29 AM
The Precious Blood is drunk directly from the Chalice
Cyprian talks about using a cup, and it's given by a woman deaconess.
25...When, however, the solemnities were finished, and the deacon began to offer the cup to those present, and when, as the rest received it, its turn approached, the little child, by the instinct of the divine majesty, turned away its face, compressed its mouth with resisting lips, and refused the cup. Still the deacon persisted, and, although against her efforts, forced on her some of the sacrament of the cup. Then there followed a sobbing and vomiting. In a profane body and mouth the Eucharist could not remain; the draught sanctified in the blood of the Lord burst forth from the polluted stomach. So great is the Lord's power, so great is His majesty. The secrets of darkness were disclosed under His light, and not even hidden crimes deceived God's priest.
Treatise III. On the Lapsed at http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-05/anf05-113.htm#P7009_2277176

However you will notice that the Eucharist comes from the cup. There doesn't seem to be a separation of bread and wine - but that's just my interpretation.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on April 30, 2006, 01:02:36 AM
Start threads specifically on the subject, and you'll likely get a lot of responses. I am not well versed in the issues, so I cannot speak there. What's disturbing, though, is that after 9 pages, not one patristic source is cited. I cannot recall any other threads quite like this.
I feel some here are blurring 'traditions' and Holy Tradition anyway.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Bizzlebin on April 30, 2006, 01:03:07 AM
How does one take bread AND wine in one's hands?

The Ancient Epitome of the Canon makes it even clearer:

Whoever comes to receive the Eucharist holds his hands in the form of a cross, and takes it with his mouth

See ma, no hands!
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Bizzlebin on April 30, 2006, 01:04:29 AM
I feel some here are blurring 'traditions' from Holy Tradition anyway.

Sure, but if even local traditions don't support something, you know it isn't Orthodox!
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on April 30, 2006, 01:04:52 AM
Start threads specifically on the subject, and you'll likely get a lot of responses. I am not well versed in the issues, so I cannot speak there. What's disturbing, though, is that after 9 pages, not one patristic source is cited. I cannot recall any other threads quite like this.
Well, the obvious patristic support would be the ordination by cheirotonia of female Deacons, and it has been mentioned in this thread and elsewhere.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on April 30, 2006, 01:06:23 AM
The Ancient Epitome of the Canon makes it even clearer:

Whoever comes to receive the Eucharist holds his hands in the form of a cross, and takes it with his mouth

See ma, no hands!
It seems this is the way. In my church it's combined. In the quote I cited above (Cyprian) the Eucharist given to a posessed girl is all from a cup. Not the hand.

Though I must repeat that some are trying an argument here for women priests by stealth; by confusing 'tradition' with 'Holy Tradition' and then stating the truism that 'traditions' have changed in order to suggest 'Holy Tradition' should change. Women priests are part of Holy Tradition, and despite one person's claim that nothings been cited to this effect, I've cited Paul with reference to the role of women in Church.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on April 30, 2006, 01:07:41 AM
Well, the obvious patristic support would be the ordination by cheirotonia of female Deacons, and it has been mentioned in this thread and elsewhere.
Deacons aren't priests
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on April 30, 2006, 01:10:28 AM
The Ancient Epitome of the Canon makes it even clearer:

Whoever comes to receive the Eucharist holds his hands in the form of a cross, and takes it with his mouth

See ma, no hands!
Well then, St. Cyril of Jerusalem is pretty naughty, because on the same page, he is quoted as saying:
"When thou goest to receive communion go not with thy wrists extended, nor with thy fingers separated, but placing thy left hand as a throne for thy right, which is to receive so great a King, and in the hollow of the palm receive the body of Christ, saying, Amen.(Cateches. Mystagog. v.388)"
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Bizzlebin on April 30, 2006, 01:12:24 AM
Well then, St. Cyril of Jerusalem is pretty naughty, because on the same page, he is quoted as saying:
"When thou goest to receive communion go not with thy wrists extended, nor with thy fingers separated, but placing thy left hand as a throne for thy right, which is to receive so great a King, and in the hollow of the palm receive the body of Christ, saying, Amen.(Cateches. Mystagog. v.388)"


That's what canons are for. Every Church Father can't be right every time, so the standard was written down. Perhaps the author of that webpage didn't quite catch what both the canon, and the epitome, said.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on April 30, 2006, 01:15:10 AM
Deacons aren't priests
Priests are ordained by cheirotonia, and so are Deacons.
I remember a few years back there was an uproar on Orthodox forums because the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America tonsured a woman as a Reader. The reason for the uproar was because this is the first step toward Priesthood (as even the prayers for tonsuring a Reader say). If that is the case with merely tonsuring Readers, how much more the case actually ordaining a Deacon by cheirotonia?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on April 30, 2006, 01:17:50 AM
Deacons aren't priests
And also, in Orthodoxy, there are only three levels of Priesthood:
Bishops, Presbyters and Deacons.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on April 30, 2006, 01:18:24 AM
John Chrysostomon says, in part...
For if any one will consider how great a thing it is for one, being a man, and compassed with flesh and blood, to be enabled to draw nigh to that blessed and pure nature, he will then clearly see what great honor the grace of the Spirit has vouchsafed to priests; since by their agency these rites are celebrated, and others nowise inferior to these both in respect of our dignity and our salvation.
Book III.5
TREATISE ON THE PRIESTHOOD
http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF1-09/npnf1-09-08.htm#TopOfPage
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on April 30, 2006, 01:19:44 AM
Priests are ordained by cheirotonia, and so are Deacons.
I remember a few years back there was an uproar on Orthodox forums because the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America tonsured a woman as a Reader. The reason for the uproar was because this is the first step toward Priesthood (as even the prayers for tonsuring a Reader say). If that is the case with merely tonsuring Readers, how much more the case actually ordaining a Deacon by cheirotonia?
The tonsuring too goes against Paul's wishes regarding women's hair.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on April 30, 2006, 01:22:16 AM
The tonsuring too goes against Paul's wishes regarding women's hair.
Again, we Greek Orthodox need to close down our convents, because all monastics, male and female, are tonsured.
Oh those disgraceful women! ;)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on April 30, 2006, 01:23:06 AM
Our apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and there would be strife on account of the office of the episcopate. For this reason, therefore, inasmuch as they had obtained a perfect fore-knowledge of this, they appointed those [ministers] already mentioned, and afterwards gave instructions, that when these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed them in their ministry. We are of opinion, therefore, that those appointed by them, or afterwards by other eminent men, with the consent of the whole Church, and who have blame-lessly served the flock of Christ in a humble, peaceable, and disinterested spirit, and have for a long time possessed the good opinion of all, cannot be justly dismissed from the ministry. For our sin will not be small, if we eject from the episcopate those who have blamelessly and holily fulfilled its duties. Blessed are those presbyters who, having finished their course before now, have obtained a fruitful and perfect departure [from this world]; for they have no fear lest any one deprive them of the place now appointed them. But we see that ye have removed some men of excellent behaviour from the ministry, which they fulfilled blamelessly and with honour.
Clement of Rome Chapter XLIV.-The Ordinances of the Apostles, that There Might Be No Contention Respecting the Priestly Office. "Epistle to the Corinthians"
http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-01/anf01-05.htm#P171_20841
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on April 30, 2006, 01:24:02 AM
Again, we Greek Orthodox need to close down our convents, because all monastics, male and female, are tonsured.
Oh those disgraceful women!
No one's perfect
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Bizzlebin on April 30, 2006, 01:24:39 AM
The tonsuring too goes against Paul's wishes regarding women's hair.

Along that same line, Paul wrote to Pheobe, a deaconess at Cenchrea. It seems to logically follow that the she was not tonsured by the cutting of hair, something which he himself condmned. Therefore, any other precdent is not in line with the early Church. And, being that the readership is a path to priesthood, as ozgeorge said, it further shows that deaconesses are on a distinctly different one.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on April 30, 2006, 01:32:31 AM
Firstly I misread Paul's ideas of women's hair
1 Corinthians 11: 6 If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head.

As to women's ordination, we start off with the key texts are 1 Corinthians 14:33-40 and 1 Timothy 2:11-15, and as to different roles, 1 Corinthians 11:3
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: StBrigid on April 30, 2006, 02:16:01 AM
Our God is a God of Order not kaos.

Christ left us with an order that is greater than our earthly human social conscience and ideas about fairness and equality no matter how right we may think it is. When we begin to try to adapt these ideologies to Christ' established order destruction of our faith to him soon follows.

Like I read in a post that 'the traditions of the Church is loosing favor among the followers in this current age'. This is due to the need to secularize the the Holy Church to bring it more in line with the 'common' rather faithless nature of the current generation (we want the Church to conform to us; instead of us conforming to the Church).

Hear hear.  Amdetsion, your ideas are all superbly stated.  Having converted from Protestantism, I'm sickened when I hear Orthodox Christians begin to discuss such matters in the same manner that they do, for the reasons you lay out, alongside the fact that it is against Scripture and Tradition (as if that weren't enough!!).

It is the world that tells women we cannot be anything until we are just like men.  This isn't setting us free- quite the opposite.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: StBrigid on April 30, 2006, 02:26:03 AM
>:( ÂÂ  >:( ÂÂ  >:(

WHEN HELL FREEZES OVER!!!!

That good 'n' clear??

Brother Ed
LOL

This was my first thought when reading the post topic but I decided it wasn't genteel enough to post.  Thanks for seconding, however.  ;)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on April 30, 2006, 02:40:58 AM
Having converted from Protestantism, I'm sickened when I hear Orthodox Christians begin to discuss such matters in the same manner that they do
And here, I think, is the crux of the problem of this thread. This discussion will never be able to take place on this forum because of the baggage converts bring from their old confessions. "It shouldn't be done because that's what Protestants do." Well Protestants reject Papal Infallibility, does that mean the Orthodox should embrace it?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on April 30, 2006, 02:50:12 AM
And here, I think, is the crux of the problem of this thread. This discussion will never be able to take place on this forum because of the baggage converts bring from their old confessions. "It shouldn't be done because that's what Protestants do." Well Protestants reject Papal Infallibility, does that mean the Orthodox should embrace it?
That's not what the ex-Protestant StBrigid said. She based her argument on tradition and scripture.
Hear hear.  Amdetsion, your ideas are all superbly stated.  Having converted from Protestantism, I'm sickened when I hear Orthodox Christians begin to discuss such matters in the same manner that they do, for the reasons you lay out, alongside the fact that it is against Scripture and Tradition (as if that weren't enough!!).
Not only do you re-write her argument, but unable to prove why women should be priests (other than to appeal to modernist notions) you've moved to one of arguing by stealth; confusing 'traditions' with 'Holy Tradition'.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on April 30, 2006, 02:55:24 AM
Well, this dialogue and discussion is going as well as I expected....mores the pity
This "modernist" is outta here.

Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on April 30, 2006, 02:56:56 AM
Hear hear.  Amdetsion, your ideas are all superbly stated.  Having converted from Protestantism, I'm sickened when I hear Orthodox Christians begin to discuss such matters in the same manner that they do, for the reasons you lay out, alongside the fact that it is against Scripture and Tradition (as if that weren't enough!!).
That should be enough but some have it in their heart that there should be a different Orthodox Church, one that is up-beat and hip to what ever the latest fad is.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on April 30, 2006, 03:02:25 AM
Well, this dialogue and discussion is going as well as I expected....mores the pity
This "modernist" is outta here.
Yes it does seem to follow a pattern. Some modernists make a bid to advocate popularist ideals, and in absence of any evidence from tradition simply tries to make other argument.



I'm surprised in fact that those who've cited scripture as evidence haven't been accused of doing that for the purposes of quote mining - evidence it seems is to be despised as well.


What this thread needs is some picture of a sunrise to sum everything up.


Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on April 30, 2006, 03:12:08 AM
One thing that seems to have emerged here is a confusion between 'traditions' and 'Holy Tradition'. This is the same mistake I've met with when discussing our church with Protestants.

There are some things that have always been taught. Some things that have always been practiced.

Leaving that aside (since I've already raised it here and no one's responded), I should like to pose a question, to take a different tack...

I would like to know why women should be allowed to be priests.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Asteriktos on April 30, 2006, 03:32:35 AM
I have never been particularly fond of the "Big T Tradition" vs. "little t tradition" dichotomy, nor do I really know where it came from (I haven't read it in any of the Church Fathers, and while Lossky does have an essay titled Tradition and Traditions, I have read the essay many times and not really found the terms used in the same way that people on the internet use them today.) Nonetheless, let's say for the sake of argument that the distinction is valid. That raises an rather important practical question: how does someone know whether something is Tradition, as opposed to just being a tradition?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on April 30, 2006, 03:35:53 AM
I have never been particularly fond of the "Big T Tradition" vs. "little t tradition" dichotomy, nor do I really know where it came from (I haven't read it in any of the Church Fathers, and while Lossky does have an essay title Tradition and Traditions, I have read the essay many times and not really found the terms used in the same way that people on the internet use them today.) Nonetheless, let's say for the sake of argument that the distinction is valid. That raises an rather important practical question: how does someone know whether something is Tradition, as opposed to just being a tradition?
There has to be a distinction by virtue of the fact that we can't change what Jesus taught, but the ordinances of man can be changed.

Issues such as whether one can sit during the Liturgy, or for that matter how long the liturgy has to go on for I don't see are issues that Jesus taught us about.

Things such as the 'nature of the Trinity' would be the same now, as it was then.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on April 30, 2006, 03:41:29 AM
how does someone know whether something is Tradition, as opposed to just being a tradition?
Just ask a neophyte.
Preferably one wearing the equivalent of a banquet tablecloth on her head- they know. :D
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Asteriktos on April 30, 2006, 03:46:14 AM
Why don't you just call traditions that can change "customs," so as to avoid all the confusion that results from attributing to the word tradition two wholly different meanings? Practically I agree with your point about things changing over time (though I would extend it further) Still, I know you are a huge fan of quoting Church Fathers, so could you quote some that mention this distinction? Thanks :)

Also, I'm afraid you still haven't explained how you know which is the immutable Big T Tradition. Giving an example does not define the method for determining which is which, it only gives an example. This would be like me asking how you tell the difference between a good and bad Quarterback, and you responding that John Elway was a good Quarterback, while Bubby Brister was a bad one. As I'm sure you can see, that doesn't explain why or how you can determine if a Quaterback is good. In other words, you have given me a couple conclusions, but I'm asking you what process you went through to reach those conclusions. You say that the nature of the Trinity is the same now as then... how do you know for sure?

Perhaps I am just missing it though, if perhaps you are implying that Jesus had to teach something for it to be Tradition? But in that case, what about some of his teachings which the Orthodox Church doesn't follow exactly, like only allowing divorce in cases of adultery? How do you know that divorce is a matter of little-t tradition and not Big-T Tradition?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on April 30, 2006, 06:14:47 AM
Just ask a neophyte.
Do I detect a touch of snobbery from a cradle-Orthodox? You seem to have a problem with one ex-Protestant (earlier) who was zealous in her beliefs in Orthodox traditions.

Zeal of the neophytes may just kick-start some pride into those who grovel at the feet of modernity.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on April 30, 2006, 06:29:19 AM
Why don't you just call traditions that can change "customs," so as to avoid all the confusion that results from attributing to the word tradition two wholly different meanings?
Why don't we call them different things? Perhaps it's traditional we use those terms :o
Practically I agree with your point about things changing over time (though I would extend it further) Still, I know you are a huge fan of quoting Church Fathers, so could you quote some that mention this distinction? Thanks
Indeed I'm a big big fan of the Church Fathers.
There's a great source of bite-like gleanings that even the hectic and busy modernist can consume at
http://www.orthodox.net/gleanings/index.html  ::)
Also, I'm afraid you still haven't explained how you know which is the immutable Big T Tradition. Giving an example does not define the method for determining which is which, it only gives an example.
This is true. I have not. I would look to the Church Fathers to see what they determine as matters of dogma; but knowing that some things have already changed, viz. seating in church, I would assume/presume to guess that that is not a matter of dogma.
You say that the nature of the Trinity is the same now as then... how do you know for sure?
The answer to this is in parts. Irenaeus says that the fullness of teaching was given to the Apostles at Pentecost.
“For it is unlawful to assert that they preached before they possessed "perfect knowledge…,"

Irenaeus - "Against Heresies" Book III.I.I http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-01/anf01-60.htm#P7297_1937859

(Irenaeus goes into some lengths to show how the truth was established through a particular line (Apostolic Succession) in order to argue against many of the bewildering heresies that popped up in his own day.)



I know from reading “St. Cyril of Alexandria: The Christological Controversy : Its History, Theology, and Texts” by John Anthony McGuckin (still haven't finished it) that when St. Cyril was faced with arguing against Nestorius he went to what had always been taught. This was agreed to by an Ecumenical Council. There was no appeal to 'compromise' between the respective camps. It was a matter of saying "This is what we have always taught".



I have no evidence for a change in teaching.


Perhaps I am just missing it though, if perhaps you are implying that Jesus had to teach something for it to be Tradition?
See above re: Pentecost. It is my belief that Holy Tradition is not man-made, but God-made.
But in that case, what about some of His teachings which the Orthodox Church doesn't follow exactly, like only allowing divorce in cases of adultery? How do you know that divorce is a matter of little-t tradition and not Big-T Tradition?
I don't have an answer in that regards the teaching of divorce. In fact I don't know much about what the Church Fathers say, even though I'm also reading "On Marriage and Family Life" by St. John Chrysostomon (I just haven't got up to any part on divorce - if there is some).
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Bizzlebin on April 30, 2006, 10:06:47 AM
I myself would have to say that the Vincentian canon is generally the standard by which all tradition is judged. It seems to work every time, it always determines the ancient, patristic path.

Overview: http://jmm.aaa.net.au/articles/4608.htm

Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on April 30, 2006, 10:46:15 AM
The question remains whether a male-only priesthood is a matter of unchangeable dogma (such as the Veneration of Icons) or simply a changeable custom (such as the absence of pews or the Calendar), and even the Vincentian Canon doesn't help us here. This is a question which the Holy Spirit will have to provide an answer for at a future Oecumenical Synod.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Asteriktos on April 30, 2006, 12:06:20 PM
The Vincentian Canon... I'll have to revisit this thread in a few months...  ;D
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Bizzlebin on April 30, 2006, 05:44:32 PM
The question remains whether a male-only priesthood is a matter of unchangeable dogma (such as the Veneration of Icons) or simply a changeable custom (such as the absence of pews or the Calendar), and even the Vincentian Canon doesn't help us here. This is a question which the Holy Spirit will have to provide an answer for at a future Oecumenical Synod.

On the contrary, the Fathers often make a discernable distinction. Whether people care or not is the issue. If something is merely a custom, we will see it change from time and country. If it doesn't change, it probably isn't a custom, but Holy Tradition.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on April 30, 2006, 05:48:03 PM
On the contrary, the Fathers often make a discernable distinction. Whether people care or not is the issue. If something is merely a custom, we will see it change from time and country. If it doesn't change, it probably isn't a custom, but Holy Tradition.
If the Fathers of the Seventh Oecumenical Council had used that criterion, then the Icons would not have been restored, but dismissed as a custom which had changed.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Bizzlebin on April 30, 2006, 05:59:59 PM
If the Fathers of the Seventh Oecumenical Council had used that criterion, then the Icons would not have been restored, but dismissed as a custom which had changed.

Hardly. It was a tradition begun by God Himself in the OT; quite the root in antiquity. Further, they had been used by Christians from the earliest times, in all parts of Christendom. That seems to fulfill the Vincentian Canon quite easily.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Mother Anastasia on April 30, 2006, 06:14:58 PM


 As a Protestant I tried to live my faith in Christ with all of my heart, and I had many friends who did the same.  I tried to live according to the truth that I knew, which I recognize only now was incomplete and in some respects heretical--I really didn't realize this until after I was introduced to the Orthodox Faith at Age 25.  But many of my Protestant friends and I were sincere in our commitment to what faith we knew, which is a heckuvalot more than I can say about some Orthodox.  (Protestants don't have the fullness of Truth, yet many of them are much more sincere in their faith in Christ than many Orthodox, who are in communion with the fullness of Truth but don't live like it.  This is very sad. :'( )  If I wasn't first a Protestant, I don't know that I would even be Orthodox today.  For all I know, I might have become an atheist.

What is a Christian but a follower of Christ?  Protestants don't have the fullness of truth and are all in varying degrees following after heresies, but many of them are indeed sincere followers of Christ to the extent of the truth that they know of Him and would never knowingly follow after a heresy as you charge.





I don't know how long you have been Orthodox,  but I pray that you will never loose or compromise  this substantial truth, rather that it will bring wisdom, wholeness and new life to Orthodoxy.

How can we pray "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven."  If we are
excluding those with the first Sacrament, who love and serve Christ to the best of their ability?



Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Mother Anastasia on April 30, 2006, 06:39:25 PM

..the prophetic role of men is in revelation about Christ, and the prophetic role of women is in revelation about the Church. There is no relative value in these roles, since the mystery of redemption is the mystery of Christ and the Church. It should be clear, however, that while women fulfil a ministry in the Church (first of all, the prophetic ministry) they do not enter into the priesthood, which is a revelation about Christ, not about the Church. A woman in the priesthood would have to be representing a revelation about the husband of the Church, the spouse of the 'spotless, pure bridge of Christ.' Do you not see how perverted and corrupt such a 'revelation and prophecy' would be?"

 "Various roles in the Church are often thought to be associated with personal value and special graces and are rarely  understood in terms of the right types, according to revelation... It is important to stress that the Church is not a structure of power and the priesthood is not an echelon in such a structure. The question about the ordination of women is not a matter of equal rights and has nothing to do with the relative value of genders."

 It is Christ Who is present and acts, it is His sacrifice that is offered. The ordained priest is just 'a type in the place of Christ.' He is an icon of the one and only Priest. He has to be a man, not a woman, because Christ is a man.

Since Christ did everything by way of example, to instruct us, how can we miss the significance of His exclusion of women from the priesthood?   This is not any bias towards women, since He set so many precedences by choosing women to be first, His Mother, the woman at the well and Mary Magdalene.  This too He did as an example for the male dominated society.  He must have had a
VERY good reason for excluding women from the priesthood, and I believe the answer (at least in part) is well explained here.

Deaconess
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on April 30, 2006, 07:00:30 PM
Hardly. It was a tradition begun by God Himself in the OT; quite the root in antiquity. Further, they had been used by Christians from the earliest times, in all parts of Christendom. That seems to fulfill the Vincentian Canon quite easily.
I think you missed the point. The Iconoclasm changed the tradition of using Icons in the Church. If, as you said earlier, a tradition changing means that it is probably a custom and not dogma, had the Fathers stopped there, they would not have restored the Icons. If the tradition of assuming that priests must be male changes, then we are in the same situation, and an Oecumenical Council is the only authority which can rule for the entire Church on this.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Bizzlebin on April 30, 2006, 07:10:33 PM
I think you missed the point. The Iconoclasm changed the tradition of using Icons in the Church. If, as you said earlier, a tradition changing means that it is probably a custom and not dogma, had the Fathers stopped there, they would not have restored the Icons. If the tradition of assuming that priests must be male changes, then we are in the same situation, and an Oecumenical Council is the only authority which can rule for the entire Church on this.

And that was a point I was making too: they changed it because they were heretics. They were the ones that originally subverted Holy Tradition. So again, the Vincentian Canon stands, and proved they were heretics. The Ecumenical Councils didn't make it up, rather, the restated what Holy Tradition was for those who were unwilling to accept it from any less of an authority.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on April 30, 2006, 07:19:20 PM
And that was a point I was making too: they changed it because they were heretics. They were the ones that originally subverted Holy Tradition.
Fine. I agree. But how did the Church decide and proclaim that they were heretics and anathamised them?

So again, the Vincentian Canon stands, and proved they were heretics. The Ecumenical Councils didn't make it up, rather, the restated what Holy Tradition was for those who were unwilling to accept it from any less of an authority.
True, the Oecumenical council made the decree which made the dogma clear. But are you willing to say today, prior to an Oecumenical Council, that you will stake your eternal salvation that the male-only priesthood is a Dogma? I'm not prepared to do so.
There is nothing "heretical" or "unOrthodox" about saying "I'm not certain one way or another" about a dogma which has not yet been clearly defined. And some of those who are "certain" that they know find themselves outside the Church when the Church rules on it.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Bizzlebin on April 30, 2006, 07:33:43 PM
Fine. I agree. But how did the Church decide and proclaim that they were heretics and anathamised them?

True, the Oecumenical council made the decree which made the dogma clear. But are you willing to say today, prior to an Oecumenical Council, that you will stake your eternal salvation that the male-only priesthood is a Dogma? I'm not prepared to do so.

The principle of the Vincentian Canon, expressed even more harshly by Paul himself:

"I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!"

Well, the Ecumenical Councils serve to define, not create, doctrine. If it is taught by the Church, then I will believe it. Those who find themselves on the outside of the Church are NOT those who "thought they were doing the right thing" but rather those who wanted to believe what they wanted to believe, and then sought some justification by using the Church fathers as a means.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: serb1389 on April 30, 2006, 07:49:24 PM
Since Christ did everything by way of example, to instruct us, how can we miss the significance of His exclusion of women from the priesthood? ÂÂ  This is not any bias towards women, since He set so many precedences by choosing women to be first, His Mother, the woman at the well and Mary Magdalene. ÂÂ This too He did as an example for the male dominated society. ÂÂ He must have had a
VERY good reason for excluding women from the priesthood, and I believe the answer (at least in part) is well explained here.

Deaconess

I agree, but sometimes things are not as simple as that.  We have been called to be the living breath of the church and that means that we need to look at things in a context Christ could not have.  That's why we have the HS to guide us, cuz Christ isn't here.  

Also, how are you a Deaconess?  Is this an official title?  Were you ordained to this position?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Asteriktos on April 30, 2006, 08:22:28 PM
Mother Anastasia

Quote
Since Christ did everything by way of example, to instruct us, how can we miss the significance of His exclusion of women from the priesthood? ÂÂ  This is not any bias towards women, since He set so many precedences by choosing women to be first, His Mother, the woman at the well and Mary Magdalene. ÂÂ This too He did as an example for the male dominated society. ÂÂ He must have had a VERY good reason for excluding women from the priesthood, and I believe the answer (at least in part) is well explained here.

I'm glad to see that the hour that I spent typing that in did not go to waste. Ignored (or leastwise not commented on) by everyone, except for one person who totally misses that the excerpt I typed in was supporting and giving theological justifications for the exclusion of females from the priesthood. ;D ÂÂ


Bizzlebin

Quote
The principle of the Vincentian Canon, expressed even more harshly by Paul himself:

I don't quite understand in what way Gal. 1 :6-9 can be said to express the same idea as "universality, antiquity, consent," though certainly the interpretation of St. Vincent of this passage (Commonitory, 8-9 (http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF2-11/Npnf2-11-27.htm#P1532_668621)) is quite sobering (if, that is, you believe his words).
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Bizzlebin on April 30, 2006, 08:33:15 PM
Bizzlebin

I don't quite understand in what way Gal. 1 :6-9 can be said to express the same idea as "universality, antiquity, consent," though certainly the interpretation of St. Vincent of this passage (Commonitory, 8-9 (http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF2-11/Npnf2-11-27.htm#P1532_668621)) is quite sobering (if, that is, you believe his words).

It's both everywhere (though specifically written to Galatia), to all Christians (the Apostles, and the Chistians with them, approved the teachings: consent) because it is the Gospel that was first preached (antiquity, though in a slightly different sense: originality).

Good quote from St. Vincent!
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 30, 2006, 08:40:49 PM
"universality, antiquity, consent,"

Now in the Catholic Church itself we take the greatest care to hold that which has been believed everywhere, always, and by all. That is truly and properly 'Catholic,' as is shown by the very force and meaning of the word, which comprehends everything almost universally. We shall hold to this rule if we follow universality [i.e. oecumenicity], antiquity, and consent. We shall follow universality if we acknowledge that one Faith to be true which the whole Church throughout the world confesses; antiquity if we in no wise depart from those interpretations which it is clear that our ancestors and fathers proclaimed; consent, if in antiquity itself we keep following the definitions and opinions of all, or certainly nearly all, bishops and doctors alike.

St. Vincent of Lerins: Commonitorium Chapter 4, Clause 3

Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on April 30, 2006, 08:59:04 PM
Since you seem to have overlooked my question to you, I will repeat it.

I answered it by refering to a previous post I recently made...in case you missed it it's this one:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=8747.msg117545#msg117545

Quote
Please explain why you think the "ordination" of women would be "pastorally beneficial" for the Orthodox Church, when it has been proven to be anything but that in the other Christian communities where it has been introduced.

As for my reasons see the post linked to above, concerning other Christian communities and the problems they have had, I believe this to be a post hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy; these Churches have undergone innumerable changes as a result from enlightenment to modernist to postmodernist fault, to attribute their problems to the ordination of women is a statement that needs much more support...in many cases the ordination of women was simply viewed as a symptom of greater problems by reformation thinkers reacting to post-enlightenment philosophy. I am not suggesting that we need to abandon the whole of our tradition and fundamentally alter our world view to fit in with post-modernist western culture. But I am suggesting that just as in the 19th century when western cultures evolved to such a point as to reject slavery we enjoyed the luxury of abandoning our ancient support for this institution and to embrace the cause of social justice without substantially compromising the salvific mission of the church; now, in the wake of the liberation of women, we have the opportunity to do the same in regard to another social injustice, namely the marginalization of women in society. And in doing so, we gain the added bonus of ultimately advance the viability of the Church in the 21st Century.

Seriously, we may have got away with supporting slavery in 1906...but how about now in 2006? Similiarly we may get away with marginalizing and demeaning women in 2006...but will we in 2106? Actually considering the impact of modern communications I doubt we'll be able to get away with it in 2036...especially in a modern EU state like Greece.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Bizzlebin on April 30, 2006, 09:02:50 PM
Seriously, we may have got away with supporting slavery in 1906...but how about now in 2006? Similiarly we may get away with marginalizing and demeaning women in 2006...but will we in 2106? Actually considering the impact of modern communications I doubt we'll be able to get away with it in 2036...especially in a modern EU state like Greece.

And we definately can't go against society and be, *gasp*, persecuted for our Faith!
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 30, 2006, 09:13:33 PM
Similiarly we may get away with marginalizing and demeaning women in 2006...but will we in 2106?

I see that the Church probably should rethink its oft-demeaning attitude toward women and see how this fits our Tradition, a Tradition that praises a Woman above all other mere humans.  But with the theological, ecclesiological, and liturgical significance that the priesthood has within the Church, I don't see how consideration of the ordination of women can be seen as merely part of this process of rethinking our general treatment of women.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on April 30, 2006, 09:16:57 PM
I am a convert to Orthodoxy, after being a protestant my whole life, and a protestant minister for a number of years.  I have one question:

What in the world is happening to Orthodoxy that those in the Church want to become like protestants?

Well, to be equally frank...if you think that a male priesthood is what separates us from the protestants you have no idea what it means to be Orthodox...do you? Do you really think that if we ordained women we would all the sudden be protestants? There was a time when we had deaconesses and women in prominent places in the Church. A female priesthood would simply be resurrecting and expanding upon ancient roles for women, ancient roles that were limited not by sound theology but by the culture and society of the day.

It is said that the Church is the pillar and foundation of the truth...not that truth is the pillar and foundation of the Church. If the Church were to adopt women's ordination, by virtue of the Church adopting it we could know that it is truth. But as it is not, the Church has not spoken, the Church has not ruled on the issue. And until the Church rules on the issue, either by her actions in ordaining women or decrees against doing so, an appeal to her authority on the matter is an invalid argument.

Quote
Now, lest some of you want to use the protestant argument that the "times were different and women were not respected", let me point out that the Apostle gives theological reasons as to why women cannot have authority over a man (which cancels out the priesthood, now doesn't it?) which transend "the times". ÂÂ

Well the authority based argument is pretty much nullified by the Coronation of Roman Empresses as Augusti, who were vice-regents of Christ on Earth and held temporal authority over ALL Christians. 'They convoked the ecumenical councils and confirmed and decreed the acceptance of the pronouncements of the divine and holy canons regarding the correct doctrines and the government of Christians...The basileus is anointed with the great myrrh and is appointed basileus and autokrator of the Romans, and indeed of all Christians.' (Patriarch Anthony of Constantinople)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on April 30, 2006, 09:20:19 PM
No need to worry over much. I can't imagine any Synod allowing the ordination of women to the priesthood (a) before the topic was discussed and settled favorably at a Pan-Orthodox Synod and (b) before the female diaconate were already broadly established and accepted.

Now, I would be willing to bet my entire library that option A will never happen before the Second Coming, if only for the simple fact that the various Orthodox communions evinced little consensus on the many issues discussed at the Pre-Conciliar meetings over the last few decades and have thus basically decided to chuck the idea of having a Pan-Orthodox Synod (it would obviously lead to major schism).

Heck, for much the same reason I'm willing to wager my library that option B will never happen before the Second Coming either! (As silly as that is, considering the ample evidence we have for such an office in Scripture, canon law and Church history).

Don't bet too much, how many in 1800...or 1900 for that matter...would have guessed that we would abandon the Old Calendar in the early 20's?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Mother Anastasia on April 30, 2006, 09:56:15 PM

I agree, but sometimes things are not as simple as that.  We have been called to be the living breath of the church and that means that we need to look at things in a context Christ could not have.

Dear Brother,  you are implying that He is Not the Alpha and the Omega, the Eternal, Omniscient One,  that He is limited by His own creation, time and space??   That He did not foresee ALL things?
I do not agree, He knows all things in time and eternity, and He knew precisely what He was doing.
 

That's why we have the HS to guide us, cuz Christ isn't here.

I agree that the Holy Spirit is here guiding us, but not to the contradiction of the Second Person of the Holy Trinity.

Also, how are you a Deaconess?  Is this an official title?  Were you ordained to this position?


Yes I am an ordained Deaconess.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 30, 2006, 10:04:34 PM

That's why we have the HS to guide us, cuz Christ isn't here.

I guess I'm just being a nitpick.

I understand what you're trying to say, that Christ is not here physically as He was during His sojourn on earth, but He is truly here with us even today.  "Behold, I AM with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:20)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on April 30, 2006, 10:44:25 PM
I agree, but sometimes things are not as simple as that.  We have been called to be the living breath of the church and that means that we need to look at things in a context Christ could not have.  That's why we have the HS to guide us, cuz Christ isn't here. ÂÂ
Are you saying Christ (who is God) could not foresee possible problems down the track?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Mother Anastasia on April 30, 2006, 11:38:45 PM
I guess I'm just being a nitpick.

I understand what you're trying to say, that Christ is not here physically as He was during His sojourn on earth, but He is truly here with us even today.  "Behold, I AM with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:20)

Amen.  Thank you.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Theognosis on April 30, 2006, 11:41:37 PM
Quote
Don't be too quick to prophesy...that which is static will die -- it's an evolutionary imperative.

You cannot change the very structure of the Church.  Down to its most basic component, the Church is the assembly of the PEOPLE; it is composed of bishops, priests, deacons, prophets, saints, laypersons, etc.  The Church itself does not evolve.  It is static.  It cannot die.  

Quote
Two things to consider here; first, until the mid-second century the (overwhelmingly) primary cultural influence was Judaic, especially amongst the leadership of the Church (who were all circumcised Jews). By the mid-second century the norms and institutions were already established.

The second, and more significant, point is about the nature of female involvement in Roman Religion, while they were allowed an official presence in most cults by the end of the first century A.D., they were not given leadership roles (or anything close to it) in these cults which were almost entirely ruled by men (the one notable exception being Bona Dea, which was very suspect in Rome, and even there the leader was chosen by virtue of being the wife of the Flamen Dialis).

This pagan model that is here mentioned is the one the Church would eventually adopt, creating minor orders for women up through the deaconess (which, even though eventually an ordained posistion was still generally considered to be below a deacon), but depriving them from any higher (and therefore ruling) office in the Church.

You are grasping at straws here, and it displays how contradictory your thoughts are on this matter.  First you say that the influence was Jewish, and then on the second point you say that the Church adopted the pagan model.  You can't have it both ways, my friend.  Of course, the latter statement is unacceptable, because the example you cited still had women priests (regardless of rank).  Moreover, by saying that women didn’t have "leadership roles," you are changing the subject from women becoming priests to women becoming bishops.  This is nothing but a subtle reminder to all about the dangers of protestant converts who want women priests on board, because eventually, they would want to have a female bishop in Constantinople.

Quote
But Christianity, while having a staunchly male priesthood, did adopt the customs of the pagans in allowing women to hold lower religious posistions, but the posistions of power were reserved for the men, as in the pagan cults.

Position of power?  Is the priesthood all about power?  Is that your perception?

Women attaining POWER is nothing but a feminist agenda.

Quote
The clearly culturally biased family structure mentioned by Paul aside, what of a celibate or widowed woman...would they not be the 'spiritual head' of their 'family,' while this 'family' may consist only of themselves this can also be said of the 'family' of the celibate male priests, who were the ones to hold the highest posistions in the Church (in the east the episcopacy, in the west ideally all sacerdotal posistions by the six century (it took several centuries to make this ideal universal, but it was the ideal before the sixth century)).

You've already failed to prove that the tradition of male-only priesthood was culturally biased.  Feeding us with your personal interpretation of Scripture will not help you in any way.

Quote
Though a relationship between family leadership and Church leadership may have been envisioned by Paul, the fact that the leaders of the Church were generally (and are) celibate and not family men tends to undermine the analogy between one's family role and one's official ecclesiastical role.

A red herring.  Celibacy can never undermine the words of the blessed apostle.

Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on May 01, 2006, 01:09:23 AM
You cannot change the very structure of the Church.  Down to its most basic component, the Church is the assembly of the PEOPLE; it is composed of bishops, priests, deacons, prophets, saints, laypersons, etc.  The Church itself does not evolve.  It is static.  It cannot die. ÂÂ

The church does and has evolved to meet the cultural demands of the people...consider the difference between Slavic and Greek Christianity, there are substantial differences and changes dependent on culture. So also has the Church changed and adopted with time. We started as a small Jewish Community, became primarially Greek in thought, we went from a persecuted minority to the Imperial Religion and in doing so integrated the Empire into the Church (Imperial law had the same force of canon law within the Church, the Emperor would enter the Altar through the Royal Doors, the Emperor summoned Oecumenical Synods, etc.). Again, with the establishment of the Church outside the Empire different structures arose, when the Empire fell yet new adjustments were made...The Church has always evolved and adapted...that is the way it both expanded and survived.

Quote
You are grasping at straws here, and it displays how contradictory your thoughts are on this matter.  First you say that the influence was Jewish, and then on the second point you say that the Church adopted the pagan model.  You can't have it both ways, my friend.  Of course, the latter statement is unacceptable, because the example you cited still had women priests (regardless of rank).

Actually, you can have it both ways...Imagine Jewish people brought up in a Greco-Roman Society had BOTH Jewish and Greco-Roman influences!!! WOW, who would have thought. Thus, I addressed the influence of the two primary influences. The Jewish culture would exclude women from religion, whereas the Greco-Roman would include them, but in lesser roles.

Furthermore, looking at the history of the Church we can see a tendency towards the Jewish model at first, evolving towards the Greco-Roman model. Thus, while at the time of the Council of Nicea we know from the text of one of the canons that deaconesses were not ordained posistions; by the time of the Council of Chalcedon the canonical texts clearly demonstrate that they were ordained by the laying on of hands. An evolution from the Jewish system with a rather informal role for women to the Greco-Roman system with an Ordained office for women, just like for men, but a lower office than those available for men.

Quote
Moreover, by saying that women didn’t have "leadership roles," you are changing the subject from women becoming priests to women becoming bishops. ÂÂ This is nothing but a subtle reminder to all about the dangers of protestant converts who want women priests on board,

If it makes you feel any better, when I was a protestant I was part of the ultra-conservative German Reformed Church...I quite regularly attacked groups that would advocate such things as the ordination of women. It's the Orthodox Church and the study of Orthodox Theology (and I'm talking about a real and genuine study of theology, not patristic proof-texting) that brought me to the posistions I now maintain.

Quote
because eventually, they would want to have a female bishop in Constantinople.

I want whoever is the most qualified and capable to be the Patriarch of Constantinople.

Quote
Position of power?  Is the priesthood all about power?  Is that your perception?

No, that is not my perception or at least not it in it's entirety; but it is the posistion of many throughout history...and many on this board who would argue against the ordination of women based on a fear of women having any authority or power; thus pragmatism demands we address that point

Quote
Women attaining POWER is nothing but a feminist agenda.

Men trying to prevent women from getting power is nothing but a misogynistic chauvinist agenda. (how's that for a few words, since you seem to belive that the prefered method of debate is to throw catch-phrases around...btw, I consider myself a feminist, so my response is pretty much, so what?)

Quote
You've already failed to prove that the tradition of male-only priesthood was culturally biased.  Feeding us with your personal interpretation of Scripture will not help you in any way.

One can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

Quote
A red herring.  Celibacy can never undermine the words of the blessed apostle.

But what this celibacy does demonstrate is that the Church, in her practice, has not interpreted Paul's teachings in the manner you suggested...if she had, then we would have not only maintained a married episcopacy, but would have established marriage as a pre-requisite for the episcopacy.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on May 01, 2006, 01:10:58 AM
Are you saying Christ (who is God) could not foresee possible problems down the track?

Christ reacted to the social situation of His time; He gave us the Church and His Holy Spirit to guide us through the ages and address future issues that were not concerns in the first century Greco-Roman world.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on May 01, 2006, 01:17:45 AM
I'm glad to see that the hour that I spent typing that in did not go to waste. Ignored (or leastwise not commented on) by everyone, except for one person who totally misses that the excerpt I typed in was supporting and giving theological justifications for the exclusion of females from the priesthood. ;D ÂÂ

I fear I cannot find the post you're refering to...it must have been drowned out, perhpas you could give a link if you want me to comment on it. I seem to have stirred up a hornet's nest of irrational emotion; perhaps I should boldface my signature line ;D

FYI, you're making a terrible agnostic...you ever consider going back to one of the traditionalist movements ;)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on May 01, 2006, 01:22:56 AM
And we definately can't go against society and be, *gasp*, persecuted for our Faith!

Don't kid yourself...it's not time to get out the martyr complex. The Church won't be persecuted, it will simply be ignored. If it becomes irrelevant it will simply whither on the vine, become ineffectual, become a museum, become 'the tombs and sepulchers of God'...ever read Nietzsche's Parable of the Madman? It's happening to the western Church, don't fool yourself into thinking we're immune.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 01, 2006, 03:42:11 AM
And that was a point I was making too: they changed it because they were heretics. They were the ones that originally subverted Holy Tradition. So again, the Vincentian Canon stands, and proved they were heretics. The Ecumenical Councils didn't make it up, rather, the restated what Holy Tradition was for those who were unwilling to accept it from any less of an authority.

You seem to think that before an Oecumenical Council is called, it's decisions are already known. That is not how it works. An Oecumenical Synod is convoked to settle disputes, not with the idea that the dispute is settled already. In the example of the dispute about the Iconoclasm, the Iconoclasts were equally cock-sure that they not only had Tradition on their side, but that God Himself had already decreed in their favour on Mount Sinai in the Second Commandment of the Decalogue. Both sides of the Iconoclasm dispute argued from Tradition, both sides were sure they were correct.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 01, 2006, 04:47:15 AM
Don't kid yourself...it's not time to get out the martyr complex. The Church won't be persecuted, it will simply be ignored. If it becomes irrelevant it will simply whither on the vine, become ineffectual, become a museum, become 'the tombs and sepulchers of God'...ever read Nietzsche's Parable of the Madman? It's happening to the western Church, don't fool yourself into thinking we're immune.
Attempting to be 'relevant' is what lead the Romans to err with Vatican II, and we are seeing the results with people moving to the Orthodox Church (like myself).
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 01, 2006, 04:48:56 AM
You cannot change the very structure of the Church.  Down to its most basic component, the Church is the assembly of the PEOPLE; it is composed of bishops, priests, deacons, prophets, saints, laypersons, etc.  The Church itself does not evolve.  It is static.  It cannot die. ÂÂ
Amen! The truths of the church don't change to the whim of man. That is what some here want to do, put man above God. To suggest that the church (God's truth) should bow down to man's desires.

What next? Practicing homosexual priests?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 01, 2006, 04:50:18 AM
As regards the so-called "feminist" position (of which we hear so much today), there are certain issues on which the Orthodox Christian (if not, perhaps, the rational individual) cannot yield. We do affirm and recognize an order, meaning, and functional differentiation in created things. Thus our Faith teaches us that the female is endowed by God with certain characteristics and tendencies that differ from those of men. (And this, rather than detracting from her, elevates her as part of the divine scheme. By no means does this teaching suggest. or tolerate the relegating of women to some lowly status.) Moreover, our intellects and senses teach us that women and men differ. We border on the insane (not an unusual thing in these bizarre times) if we deny the biological roles of men and women in procreation. These roles are verified by the external, physical distinctions of gender. And even the most radical psychological portrayals of men and women readily admit to fundamental differences between the sexes in cognitive style and mental functioning. (Paradoxically enough, it is part of the feminist movement itself that psychological profiles and categories standardized on males are not appropriate in the assessment of female behavior.)
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/general/women.aspx
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: surajiype on May 01, 2006, 06:51:46 AM
You seem to think that before an Oecumenical Council is called, it's decisions are already known. That is not how it works. An Oecumenical Synod is convoked to settle disputes, not with the idea that the dispute is settled already. In the example of the dispute about the Iconoclasm, the Iconoclasts were equally cock-sure that they not only had Tradition on their side, but that God Himself had already decreed in their favour on Mount Sinai in the Second Commandment of the Decalogue. Both sides of the Iconoclasm dispute argued from Tradition, both sides were sure they were correct.

What could be the role of the Holy Spirit in the decision of the Ecumenical Council?  Was the decision of the Ecumenical council a well considered but nevertheless a rational decision . In that case it is no more than a historical accident, is it not.

Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 01, 2006, 06:55:14 AM
What could be the role of the Holy Spirit in the decision of the Ecumenical Council?  Was the decision of the Ecumenical council a well considered but nevertheless a rational decision . In that case it is no more than a historical accident, is it not.
Rather than repeat myself with what I have just spent an hour typing on another thread, can I just direct you there:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=8926.msg118369#msg118369 (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=8926.msg118369#msg118369)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 01, 2006, 07:37:53 AM
You seem to think that before an Oecumenical Council is called, it's decisions are already known. That is not how it works. An Oecumenical Synod is convoked to settle disputes, not with the idea that the dispute is settled already. In the example of the dispute about the Iconoclasm, the Iconoclasts were equally cock-sure that they not only had Tradition on their side, but that God Himself had already decreed in their favour on Mount Sinai in the Second Commandment of the Decalogue. Both sides of the Iconoclasm dispute argued from Tradition, both sides were sure they were correct.
It was indeed called to settle a dispute, but that's because some were teaching with 'authority' what wasn't tradition. The opposition in such cases tries to show through reworking of tradition that their beliefs were always 'traditional'. The members of council gather together and say "This is what was always taught".
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 01, 2006, 07:39:04 AM
Rather than repeat myself with what I have just spent an hour typing on another thread, can I just direct you there:
That took you an hour? Do you use more than two fingers?  ;)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 01, 2006, 07:44:31 AM
Rather than repeat myself with what I have just spent an hour typing on another thread, can I just direct you there:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=8926.msg118369#msg118369 (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=8926.msg118369#msg118369)


Looking at that which you typed I note the following...
The doctrines can be made clearer and clearer.
I agree. What can be made more clearer about accepting women as priests? Your defence of this 'progression' implies something is (as it is currently understood) not clear.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Theognosis on May 01, 2006, 08:07:20 AM
Quote
The church does and has evolved to meet the cultural demands of the people...consider the difference between Slavic and Greek Christianity, there are substantial differences and changes dependent on culture. So also has the Church changed and adopted with time. We started as a small Jewish Community, became primarially Greek in thought, we went from a persecuted minority to the Imperial Religion and in doing so integrated the Empire into the Church (Imperial law had the same force of canon law within the Church, the Emperor would enter the Altar through the Royal Doors, the Emperor summoned Oecumenical Synods, etc.). Again, with the establishment of the Church outside the Empire different structures arose, when the Empire fell yet new adjustments were made...The Church has always evolved and adapted...that is the way it both expanded and survived.

Political and ceremonial issues?  You missed my point completely.  I was referring to the constituency of the Church, i.e. its PEOPLE. ÂÂ

Church = People

I say it again, the very structure of the Church does not change.

Quote
Actually, you can have it both ways...Imagine Jewish people brought up in a Greco-Roman Society had BOTH Jewish and Greco-Roman influences!!! WOW, who would have thought. Thus, I addressed the influence of the two primary influences.

One has no women priests.  The other has women priests.  Hence, they are mutually exclusive.  Either you have it, or you don't.

Quote
The Jewish culture would exclude women from religion, whereas the Greco-Roman would include them, but in lesser roles.

Your argument about "lesser roles" is a clever yet desperate attempt to defend your untenable position.  By itself, it is already an admission that women were appointed as priests in ancient times.

Quote
I want whoever is the most qualified and capable to be the Patriarch of Constantinople.

Fortunately, what you "want" doesn't matter.  The Church after all, is not a democracy.

Quote
No, that is not my perception or at least not it in it's entirety; but it is the posistion of many throughout history...and many on this board who would argue against the ordination of women based on a fear of women having any authority or power; thus pragmatism demands we address that point

The priesthood is about serving people.  It is a sacrifice.

Quote
Men trying to prevent women from getting power is nothing but a misogynistic chauvinist agenda.

I beg your pardon.  Are you accusing the Church of having a misogynistic chauvinist agenda?

Quote
btw, I consider myself a feminist, so my response is pretty much, so what?

That's quite obvious.

Quote
But what this celibacy does demonstrate is that the Church, in her practice, has not interpreted Paul's teachings in the manner you suggested...if she had, then we would have not only maintained a married episcopacy, but would have established marriage as a pre-requisite for the episcopacy.

That argument is based on the assumption that marriage is a prerequisite to priesthood. ÂÂ Where did you get that idea? ÂÂ  That's absurd. ÂÂ What Paul was concerned about was polygamy and disorder within the family; he was not advocating priests to marry at all!
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: surajiype on May 01, 2006, 08:20:32 AM
Let's look at another example which actually happened. A bishop stood up in Constantinople and told his congregation that Christ was actually two persons and the Virgin Mary was only the Mother of the human one of them. Half the congregation got up and walked out because they didn't recognise the Voice of the True Shepherd in the bishop. Christ's sheep know His voice, not by defined, inscribed dogmas, but by the Holy Spirit. The dogma of the One Hypostasis had not been defined yet, but the traditional hymns of the Church already praised the Virgin as "Theotokos" and her "in whom the Word was wholly circumscribed." This bishop, they understood, was introducing a "new" revelation which the Apostles had not received.
And it is not erroneous to say that nothing can be newly revealed to the Church simply because of the fact that it may be newly revealed to individuals within the Church. The fact that all the dogmas are not known to an individual at their baptism doesn't lessen the fact that the Church catholic knows them.
And we also need to look at what we mean by "knowing". We cannot speak of "knowing" in the Church only in terms of cognition. St Paul was "caught up to the Third Heaven" (whatever that means) and "heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter" (2Cor. 12:2-4). There is a "knowing" in the Church of things which cannot be expressed in words.

 Two men see a bush in the dark and one imagines it to be a distant city, while the other (whose night vision is sharper) thinks it is just a bush. The imagination of the first man doesn't make the bush a city. If they light a lamp and look, they'll find it was always a bush, and the second man's opinion was correct. In the same way as the lamp, the Holy Spirit enlightens the People of God in the Church to see what was already there more clearly. And the second man with the sharper night vision who saw the bush for what it was from the beginning, could be said to have developed an "indwelling lamp" which aids his vision- as is the case with the Fathers of the Church, who, through prayer, ascesis, good works and diligent study have "aquired the Holy Spirit" Who enlightens us.

I absolutely agree with you, but does not the above example only bolster those ( like me) who believe that the idea of the ordination of women is an innovation . Now I have read GIC's long defenses on the above .
Still to me the duties of ordianed deaconesses were very different from those which are being expounded today. The roles women played then are different from those being demanded today .
Bp. Tikhon of the OCA(Diocese of the West) wrote this:
=======================================================
What the Reader describes here was done at some time and in some places,
but it was never part of the Holy Tradition or What is passed on to us. At
best we could say that it is a dead tradition, as opposed to Living Tradition.
There have always been those who wish to do something or teach something
outside the Living Tradition, and they dig and delve into ancient
manuscripts, travel diaries, historical anecdotes, back shelves of
libraries etc., and Lo! and Behold! Voila! Eureka1 They find it and when
someone firmly adhering to the Living Tradition questions it, they say,
"Well, this is a Tradition of.....century" or "This is a tradition of the
Church of Carthage (or the like). Only that Tradition Which lives and is
passed on to us, is Tradition. For how can there be such a thing as "that
which was passed on which was not passed on?"

Recently Elaine Pagels (sp?) has mined the rich lode of Gnostic literature
and found there all kinds of "forgotten" or "lost" traditions, or even
"suppressed" traditions on which to base the destruction of the Living, the
True Tradition, so that it even effected Roman Catholic nuns, once the
epitome of service, now much attenuated, and competing with quasi-monastic
women who have built up a Woman Church out of such excavated dead
traditions! This is impossible. Tradition is alive, not dead, not suppressed.
=======================================================


What do you think of it ?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 01, 2006, 08:51:36 AM
What do you think of it ?
I think it has many valid points (but I would have preferred if he had not cast apersions on Roman Catholic monastics).
The problem is: "what is the Tradition we are dealing with here?"  For example, one thing which is claimed to be a Tradition (?dogma) is that the Priest is the icon of Christ and Christ is male therefore the Priest must be male. This may be a traditional theologumen, but I'm not sure if it is a Tradition, let alone a Dogma. If the Priest is dogmatically the Icon of Christ, then why does he offer the Sacrifice on behalf of himself also? And doesn't the notion of the Priest being the Icon of Christ make the Eucharist a re-enactment (which it isn't) rather than a memorial (which it is)? The theologumen of the Priest being the Icon of Christ in itself raises dogmatic questions. And if this premise of the Priest being the Icon of Christ needs to be questioned, then the premise that follows (that only men can be priests) needs to be questioned also.

For nearly two thousand years, Orthodox Churches traditionally had no pews- shouldn't we have assumed from this that it was against Tradition to sit in Church during Services? It is certainly against Holy Tradition to kneel on Sundays, this is in the Canons of our Oecumenical Councils. But if a tradition existed for 1900 years that we didn't sit during Services, shouldn't we have assumed that it is uncanonical to do so in anticipation of a decree on this by an Oecumenical Council? The same argument as was used to exclude pews from Churches- the argument of: "it has never been done before"- is being used to say that women should be excluded from the Priesthood. And yet, we now have pews. Clearly "Holy Tradition" does not simply mean "customary practice". It means the doctrinal teachings of the Holy Orthodox Church.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Theognosis on May 01, 2006, 08:59:11 AM
Quote
An evolution from the Jewish system with a rather informal role for women to the Greco-Roman system with an Ordained office for women, just like for men, but a lower office than those available for men.

Is it true that the women priests held a "lower office?"  

The answer is NO.

http://campus.houghton.edu/webs/employees/tpaige/Construct.html
When we turn from the profane to the realm of the sacred, it is striking what a difference is to be seen. Even in the Greek world during the classical era--in general a more restrictive time for women everywhere than the first century A.D.--women are found participating and officiating at every level in religious cults, both private and public. "Whereas inequality between the sexes was the rule in the political sphere, it appears that honors and responsibilities in the religious sphere were divided according to some other principle. Priestesses seem to have had the same rights and duties as priests religion offered the only sphere in which Greek women could be treated as citizens." Though excluded from some shrines, cults, or festivals (just as men are also banned from some), women and virgin maidens make up processions, serve as hierophants, priestesses, and other functionaries elsewhere. And this is not only in all-woman events such as the Thesmophoria, but in mixed-gender settings as well.

I'd like to add that it is important to study priesthood as it relates to Greek culture only, not the multi-cultural Greco-Roman world.

 
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on May 01, 2006, 10:07:40 AM
As regards the so-called "feminist" position (of which we hear so much today), there are certain issues on which the Orthodox Christian (if not, perhaps, the rational individual) cannot yield. We do affirm and recognize an order, meaning, and functional differentiation in created things. Thus our Faith teaches us that the female is endowed by God with certain characteristics and tendencies that differ from those of men. (And this, rather than detracting from her, elevates her as part of the divine scheme. By no means does this teaching suggest. or tolerate the relegating of women to some lowly status.) Moreover, our intellects and senses teach us that women and men differ. We border on the insane (not an unusual thing in these bizarre times) if we deny the biological roles of men and women in procreation. These roles are verified by the external, physical distinctions of gender. And even the most radical psychological portrayals of men and women readily admit to fundamental differences between the sexes in cognitive style and mental functioning. (Paradoxically enough, it is part of the feminist movement itself that psychological profiles and categories standardized on males are not appropriate in the assessment of female behavior.)
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/general/women.aspx

orthodoxinfo.com eh? The mere fact it's something they publish on that BS site is just about sufficient grounds to reject it as absurd.

What we see here is someone spending an excessive amount of time trying to express a very simple concept. George Orwell expressed it far better and more eloquently, so I thought I'd post his more eloquent words so that we can better understand your posistion:

Freedom is Slavery.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: serb1389 on May 01, 2006, 10:52:33 AM
I guess I'm just being a nitpick.

I understand what you're trying to say, that Christ is not here physically as He was during His sojourn on earth, but He is truly here with us even today.  "Behold, I AM with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:20)

I agree with this, and that is what I was trying to say.  Sorry I was dealing with other things when I was writing.  thanks for the help!  

Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: serb1389 on May 01, 2006, 10:56:34 AM

I agree, but sometimes things are not as simple as that.  We have been called to be the living breath of the church and that means that we need to look at things in a context Christ could not have.

Dear Brother, ÂÂ you are implying that He is Not the Alpha and the Omega, the Eternal, Omniscient One, ÂÂ that He is limited by His own creation, time and space?? ÂÂ  That He did not foresee ALL things?
I do not agree, He knows all things in time and eternity, and He knew precisely what He was doing.

Also, how are you a Deaconess?  Is this an official title?  Were you ordained to this position?
[/color]

Yes I am an ordained Deaconess.

I did not mean it that way.  What I meant was that Christ did not leave us a clear understanding of how to address every issue that would befall us after his Ascension.  He left us the Holy Spirit and his presence as our Lord and Savior. ÂÂ

So I agree with what your assesment but we have no standardized answer from God or the HS about this issue, so that's what I was trying to get to...eventally

Would you mind telling us more about your ordination?  Like who ordained you?  What church?  How it happened = the liturgical experience.  Your role in the church...etc. ÂÂ
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: surajiype on May 01, 2006, 11:22:29 AM
The reference to Rc monastics must be to those activist nuns running around . Well if they are not obedient to their magestirium, how could they expect any quarter from the Orthodox :)

I agree Holy Tradition does not equal customary practise, but WO is different from  using pews is it not.  Today most Orthodox churches, have a choir with musical instruments. That was not the practise for atleast 1500 years .  Though I have reservations re the unrestrained use of keyboards and the like, WO is a different issue altogether . If am not wrong Greek priests use stoles inscribed with IC and XC. Even if it were a theologuemenon ; it seems to be a deeply ingrained one.

A women celebrating the eucharist to me seems to violate the symolic nature of the Eucharist.  I hear Behr-Siegel had critiqued that view.  Must confess I am not convinced.  The reasons  demands for WO are being made has nothing to do with the reasons for which  deaconesses or myrrh bearers existed.
IMO todays demands stem from a relativistic view of Scripture and Tradition.
If St Paul was merely giving into cultural biases with respect to WO, could not the same apply to Homosexuality.  And if St Paul could be behind todays times, how could SS Peter Mathew and John be protected from the same.
I have read from too many Anglo Catholics who were  Pro WO in the seventies and today with the benefit of hindsight call it the beginning of the end.

Should'nt the singular failure of the liberal Protestant experience with WO, cause us to take a pause. Even if today clear cut knock down arguments against WO seem lacking.


Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 01, 2006, 12:07:59 PM
I agree Holy Tradition does not equal customary practise, but WO is different from  using pews is it not.
I'm assuming "WO" stands for something to do with the ordination of women. The points I was making are, firstly that "it has never been done before" does not mean "not doing it is a teaching of the Church"- this cannot be used as a basis of dogma; and secondly, that everyone is so sure that they know the dogmas about the Priesthood, and that these include that women should be excluded from it. What I'm saying is that our understanding of the Priesthood may be wrong to begin with. If a belief can be questioned as to it's doctrinal soundness, should it not be questioned?
 
If am not wrong Greek priests use stoles inscribed with IC and XC. Even if it were a theologuemenon ; it seems to be a deeply ingrained one.
My priest doesn't- and he's an Athonite monk.

A women celebrating the eucharist to me seems to violate the symolic nature of the Eucharist.  
"Seems to"? So you aren't certain? Well neither am I. So perhaps some dialogue is needed about it? Perhaps we both would like clarification about this? So rather than scream "heretic" or "reactionary" or  "liberal" at each other, and accuse one another of being "modernist" (as though that actually means anything in the Church), let's talk about it, pray about it, study about it. Just don't try and tell me "it is dogma, the case is closed" before an Oecumenical Synod has decreed that to be the case or not.

The reasons  demands for WO are being made has nothing to do with the reasons for which  deaconesses or myrrh bearers existed.
Who is demanding anything? Can you tell me where anyone in the Orthodox Church has "demanded" ordination for women? Why is a request for dialogue on theological grounds assumed to be a "demand"?

If St Paul was merely giving into cultural biases with respect to WO, could not the same apply to Homosexuality.  
The same old illogical, emotional argument...
Tell me, what has homosexuality (which is a sin) have to do with womanhood? Do you consider it a sin to be born a woman? Are women not Icons of God? The old argument of "first it's women, and then it's homosexuals" makes as much logical sense as saying that infant baptism leads to murder.

Should'nt the singular failure of the liberal Protestant experience with WO, cause us to take a pause.
Absolutely. We should, as you yourself say,  "take pause" and be circumspect. But "take pause" does not mean "press the stop button and eject". If for nothing else than the fact that the Archbishop of Canterbury is not the head of the Orthodox Church, and hence the teachings of the Orthodox Church cannot be soley determined by the experiences of those you call "liberal protestants".
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Ebor on May 01, 2006, 02:13:56 PM
"Seems to"? So you aren't certain? Well neither am I. So perhaps some dialogue is needed about it? Perhaps we both would like clarification about this? So rather than scream "heretic" or "reactionary" or  "liberal" at each other, and accuse one another of being "modernist" (as though that actually means anything in the Church), let's talk about it, pray about it, study about it. Just don't try and tell me "it is dogma, the case is closed" before an Oecumenical Synod has decreed that to be the case or not.

Being radical again and asking for thoughtful and charitable discussion, OzGeorge.? ;)  It would certainly be different for there to be defined terms and concepts (like what is meant and how is this assertion backed up that "men and women are different in things like "cognitive style and mental functioning""? maths abilities?  Logic?) or to have discussions that don't toss off labels and don't really think about what other people might be saying. (or that don't slag off on other Churches)

Ebor

 
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on May 01, 2006, 02:37:26 PM
Being radical again and asking for thoughtful and charitable discussion, OzGeorge.? ;)  It would certainly be different for there to be defined terms and concepts (like what is meant and how is this assertion backed up that "men and women are different in things like "cognitive style and mental functioning""? maths abilities?  Logic?) or to have discussions that don't toss off labels and don't really think about what other people might be saying. (or that don't slag off on other Churches)

Come, come now Ebor...dont you know that the primary reason we dont ordain women is because those modernist anglican heretics do? ;)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Fr. David on May 01, 2006, 05:03:51 PM
Wow.  What a thread...

First, to the guys...

Though a relationship between family leadership and Church leadership may have been envisioned by Paul, the fact that the leaders of the Church were generally (and are) celibate and not family men tends to undermine the analogy between one's family role and one's official ecclesiastical role.

Not sure I buy this argument...just as the man, being the physical patriarch of the family unit knit together by a common bloodline, is the head of said unit, so is the priest the head of the "spiritual family" of the parish which is knit together by the common Blood and Body of Christ.  St. Paul declared that the heads of both families would be male.

Quote from: greekischristian
...in the 19th century when western cultures evolved to such a point as to reject slavery we enjoyed the luxury of abandoning our ancient support for this institution...

"Ancient support"?  How about "long-standing acknowledgement"?  It seems that, as you're fond of saying, there was neither slave nor free in regards to salvation in Christ, but they did acknowledge that, within the secular world at that time, slavery did exist, for better or for worse, and that slaves should submit to their masters as good witnesses rather than engage in violent uprisings, which would not be Christian.  Acknowledged, yes, but I can hardly see how such a thing would be supported.

On the issue of the ordination of women I would say that just as there is no Greek or Jew in Christ, neither is there Male or Female; all are created in the image and likeness of God. Thus, what is important is not the race or gender, but rather the fact that the person is human and, thus, in the image and likeness of Christ.

...and, thus, is just as much a candidate for theosis as any other human.  This does not mean he or she is by default a candidate for the priesthood.  You stated elsewhere (I lost the link) that St. Paul states this quote you mention often in a "moment of clarity," or something like that, for he realizes deep down that his other statements prohibiting women from teaching were faulty, so the "neither male nor female" comment is a sort of, "well, yeah, okay, BUT" moment of backpaddling.  The lack of faith placed in St. Paul's ability to articulate truth aside, do you also think that he was merely having social friction within his own mind about whether or not slaves would be suitable to teach the Church?  Certainly it would make no sense to say St. Paul was so confused as to give equality to slaves to the extent that they, who were bound to their master in an apparently "anciently supported" institution, would be suitable for the presbytery.

I remember a few years back there was an uproar on Orthodox forums because the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America tonsured a woman as a Reader. The reason for the uproar was because this is the first step toward Priesthood (as even the prayers for tonsuring a Reader say). If that is the case with merely tonsuring Readers, how much more the case actually ordaining a Deacon by cheirotonia?

Being tonsured a reader IS the first step of the priesthood.  That's why there are no female readers in the OCA.  That aside, isn't it true that the female deacons didn't even serve liturgical purposes like the deacons did back when the female deaconate even existed?

And having read through the last posts as well as many other threads, I find a total lack of patristic support for Communing with a Spoon.....yet we now do. ;)
There is no patristic support for the use of the "Epitaphio" on Holy Friday either- it is not found in the rubrics of any typicon. Yet we began to use it.

As has been mentioned, the problem was not with distribution with instruments, but with reception through instruments.  THe quote-throwing shows that there were multiple customs within the Church re: reception of the Eucharist as well as re: many other things.  Women's ordination was consistently rejected.  Even if it is "mere theologoumena" and not defined by a council, the consistent, until-recently unquestioned theologoumenon of male-only priesthood should stand in contrast to the contested ones concerning communion and the epitaphio.

And now, for the ladies...

I know, I sound nuts, but what I mean to say is, I've heard women say "I'm called to celebrate the sacraments" but wretches that we are, how fortunate are we just to *partake*??  I want to hear an argument in favor that is characterized by humility and self-effacement of Christ.  I just don't see that.  I see more of a "having it all" mentality, which will never be the way of Orthodoxy.

Right on.  Met a fellow this Pascha who, due to the fact that he'd gotten in trouble with the law earlier in life, was rejected by all Orthodox seminaries (and apparently can't be ordained), so he's solved that problem by coming to SW Theological Seminary (the Baptist one in Dallas) and is working his way towards being a Baptist minister, simply because he feels "called to preach."  I see those who run after women's ordination in much the same way; unwilling to accept that perhaps they are mishearing God, they push after this out of pride.  God knows, ultimately, but the women I've talked to who are in Protestant seminaries to become ministers are often very vocal about this "entitlement" of being in the clergy...

Since Christ did everything by way of example, to instruct us, how can we miss the significance of His exclusion of women from the priesthood? ÂÂ  This is not any bias towards women, since He set so many precedences by choosing women to be first, His Mother, the woman at the well and Mary Magdalene. ÂÂ This too He did as an example for the male dominated society. ÂÂ He must have had a VERY good reason for excluding women from the priesthood, and I believe the answer (at least in part) is well explained here.

Like I said to GiC, and like you said so well, the Theotokos and the myrrhbearing women are some of our greatest saints.  It may be to the benefit of women that they're excluded from the priesthood; it may actually save their souls...

Anyone else notice that the Orthodox WOMEN here are against women's ordination and that it's only a couple of GUYS who are attempting to make room for it?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: PeterTheAleut on May 01, 2006, 05:20:56 PM
One can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

OH, YES YOU CAN!  Just put salt in its oats.   :D
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Amdetsion on May 01, 2006, 05:23:45 PM
Pedro

I have been peaking at this thread from time to time.....

I hear you!!...

Hold your breadth since if you note some of the comments some of the people here make they will argue you down (With biblical support) that for example: ...A mother should not be relegated to a second class motherhood status; but that women should also have the right to be men and fathers with the same rights and powers endowed to men...

It is a lost cause for people like you considering the level of thinking you seem to be at.

Oh!
Regarding slavery and uprising being non-Christian as it relates to slavery. I think you are right. But remember the master has to be bound by the same honor which is Christ. If he is truly a believer and following Christ commands he will no longer own his slaves since Christ owns him thus his slaves belong to Christ.
Christ did not leave any room for justifying slavery in any of its forms.

I think you know that; I thought that I would just make an emphasis on this issue.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Amdetsion on May 01, 2006, 05:30:56 PM
Pedro

I noticed that a few days ago. So did another poster.

These guys are in my opinion trying to feed the full.

"MetroOrthodoxual"

Hmmm.....
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 01, 2006, 06:39:11 PM
Being tonsured a reader IS the first step of the priesthood.  That's why there are no female readers in the OCA.
See, I have a problem with that. This is like saying "XYZ is a dogma of the Ecumenical Church because it is the practice of my Synod."
"'Taint necessarily so......"
That aside, isn't it true that the female deacons didn't even serve liturgical purposes like the deacons did back when the female deaconate even existed?
Depends who you ask. Ask a "traditionalist-with-agenda" and they'll tell you they just assisted the Priest in the baptism of women. Yet even the Subdeaconesses ordained by St. Nektarios of Pentapolis less than 120 years ago administered Holy Communion according to his own accounts. The "traditionalists-with-agenda" will also tell you that Deaconesses weren't ordained by cheirotonia even though the Apostolic Constitutions gives the rubrics for doing so:

"Concerning a deaconess, I, Bartholomew enjoin O Bishop, thou shalt lay thy hands upon her with all the Presbytery and the Deacons and the Deaconesses and thou shalt say: Eternal God, the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the creator of man and woman, that didst fill with the Spirit Mary and Deborah, and Anna and Huldah, that didst not disdain that thine only begotten Son should be born of a woman; Thou that in the tabernacle of witness and in the temple didst appoint women guardians of thy holy gates: Do thou now look on this thy handmaid, who is appointed unto the office of a Deaconess and grant unto her the Holy Spirit, and cleanse her from all pollution of the flesh and of the spirit, that she may worthily accomplish the work committed unto her, to thy glory and the praise of thy Christ. " ( Source (http://www.suite101.com/lesson.cfm/18869/2511/4))

My point is that we haven't even done the groundwork on this issue yet, and yet some have already decided what is and isn't dogma. Since when has obscuring facts been considered "Orthodoxy"? Is it really too much to ask that both sides of the debate go to the primary sources and dispationately gather facts and dialogue about them instead of re-writing history to fit with their argument?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 01, 2006, 06:43:59 PM
 Women's ordination was consistently rejected.
Really? Could you point out where this issue came up in the Church before and was "consitently  rejected."? If indeed, as you say, it was "consistently rejected" there must be some documents to this effect.
The fact that the Church has been silent on this issue may simply mean the issue hasn't come up, not necessarily that she "consistently rejects" it.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 01, 2006, 06:53:20 PM
What is needed is genuine scholarly study and dialogue, not assumptions based on "bloody opinion".
Unfortunately, "bloody opinion" seems to be easily mistaken for "Orthodoxy".
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on May 01, 2006, 07:55:21 PM
Wow.  What a thread...

Wouldn't it be boring here without me around ;D ;D ;D

Quote
Not sure I buy this argument...just as the man, being the physical patriarch of the family unit knit together by a common bloodline, is the head of said unit, so is the priest the head of the "spiritual family" of the parish which is knit together by the common Blood and Body of Christ.  St. Paul declared that the heads of both families would be male.

But that's not what Paul, at least, is saying in his first epistle to Timothy, rather he says, 'One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)' The consideration here is not one of male authority, but rather of choosing proven people for the office of bishop who were first entrusted with lesser responsibilities and have proven themselves there before being given the greater reponsibility of ruling within the Church.

Quote
"Ancient support"?  How about "long-standing acknowledgement"?  It seems that, as you're fond of saying, there was neither slave nor free in regards to salvation in Christ, but they did acknowledge that, within the secular world at that time, slavery did exist, for better or for worse, and that slaves should submit to their masters as good witnesses rather than engage in violent uprisings, which would not be Christian.  Acknowledged, yes, but I can hardly see how such a thing would be supported.

Acknowledged, supported, you may use whatever word you like, but the institution was enforced by Scripture, Canons, and Tradition. However, don't belive the Church can be criticized for this, her mission is primarially a salvific one, not one of social justice; thus, she reacted to the culture of the day in her interaction with it, even though these actions were not consonant the fullness of the truth given to the Church. Likewise, I submit, with the Ordination of Women. Just as until the last couple centuries it would have been socially disastrous to openly oppose slavery so also would it have been a social problem to place women in posistions of authority in the Church until the latter part of the 20th Century. Furthermore, I suggest that as we reversed our posistion on slavery when society allowed such a stance, we should today reevaluate the posistion of women in the Church since society now, like it did with slavery, not only will allow us to do so, but it demands it. Just as once our asserting of this social posistion could have undermined the salvific mission of the Church, so also today our failure to do so could undermine the salvific mission of the Church.

Quote
...and, thus, is just as much a candidate for theosis as any other human.  This does not mean he or she is by default a candidate for the priesthood.  You stated elsewhere (I lost the link) that St. Paul states this quote you mention often in a "moment of clarity," or something like that, for he realizes deep down that his other statements prohibiting women from teaching were faulty, so the "neither male nor female" comment is a sort of, "well, yeah, okay, BUT" moment of backpaddling.

Actually, I articulated the point slightly better than that for which you are giving me credit. St. Paul had revealed to him the fullness of Christian Anthropology on this issue when he manifested that there is no Male or Female in Christ. However, his Epistles are also pastoral letters and must be understood in that context. He is not writing dogmatic treatises to the several Church, but is rather addressing real and specific problems that are occurring within a given society and place, and thus he makes allowances for the culture when solving real pastoral issues. Later we would come to call this economia, but at the time it was simply good pastoral sense. Today the pastoral demands are different and we must make allowances for the time, cultures, and societies in which the Church finds herself.

Quote
The lack of faith placed in St. Paul's ability to articulate truth aside, do you also think that he was merely having social friction within his own mind about whether or not slaves would be suitable to teach the Church?  Certainly it would make no sense to say St. Paul was so confused as to give equality to slaves to the extent that they, who were bound to their master in an apparently "anciently supported" institution, would be suitable for the presbytery.

Again, I believe he was putting aside the theological ideal which he gave to deal with a real pastoral problem, in which he did not enjoy the luxury of pontificating about Christian Anthropology, as it would been contrary to his salvific mission.

Quote
Being tonsured a reader IS the first step of the priesthood.  That's why there are no female readers in the OCA.  That aside, isn't it true that the female deacons didn't even serve liturgical purposes like the deacons did back when the female deaconate even existed?

Well, within the GOA there are female readers, so perhaps progress is being made afterall. ;)

As has been mentioned, the problem was not with distribution with instruments, but with reception through instruments.  THe quote-throwing shows that there were multiple customs within the Church re: reception of the Eucharist as well as re: many other things.  Women's ordination was consistently rejected.  Even if it is "mere theologoumena" and not defined by a council, the consistent, until-recently unquestioned theologoumenon of male-only priesthood should stand in contrast to the contested ones concerning communion and the epitaphio.

Quote
Right on.  Met a fellow this Pascha who, due to the fact that he'd gotten in trouble with the law earlier in life, was rejected by all Orthodox seminaries (and apparently can't be ordained), so he's solved that problem by coming to SW Theological Seminary (the Baptist one in Dallas) and is working his way towards being a Baptist minister, simply because he feels "called to preach."

How could someone leaving the Church to get what they want be comprable to someone working within the Church to make their case before our Theologians and Bishops?

Quote
I see those who run after women's ordination in much the same way; unwilling to accept that perhaps they are mishearing God, they push after this out of pride.  God knows, ultimately, but the women I've talked to who are in Protestant seminaries to become ministers are often very vocal about this "entitlement" of being in the clergy...

O.K....let's save this quote for a second...

Quote
Anyone else notice that the Orthodox WOMEN here are against women's ordination and that it's only a couple of GUYS who are attempting to make room for it?

Now let's bring that quote back...

Quote
I see those who run after women's ordination in much the same way; unwilling to accept that perhaps they are mishearing God, they push after this out of pride.  God knows, ultimately, but the women I've talked to who are in Protestant seminaries to become ministers are often very vocal about this "entitlement" of being in the clergy...

Why do you think that women don't want to step up on this issue? When they do speak up you get accusations of pride, arrogance, and excessive ambition. While I may be accused of being a modernist (a title that I take upon myself with pride anyway) or question my 'manhood' based on some archaic cultural paradigm (but I'm secure enough in that to not be concerned about the opinion of a few online reactionaries) but no one can make a viable accusation of ambition or having an agenda against me. So until ad homines and bullying cease to be part of the so-called 'traditionalist's' rhetorical methodology many women who might have genuine callings will be unwilling to enter into this discussion...it is a great tragedy and loss to this world that everyone doesn't enjoy argument, rhetoric, and conflict as much as I ;D But dont get your hopes up too quickly, there are enough of us who thrive on such things to prevent this issue from ever going away until it is finally determined one way or the other ;)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on May 01, 2006, 08:17:16 PM
"'Taint necessarily so......"Depends who you ask. Ask a "traditionalist-with-agenda" and they'll tell you they just assisted the Priest in the baptism of women. Yet even the Subdeaconesses ordained by St. Nektarios of Pentapolis less than 120 years ago administered Holy Communion according to his own accounts. The "traditionalists-with-agenda" will also tell you that Deaconesses weren't ordained by cheirotonia even though the Apostolic Constitutions gives the rubrics for doing so:

"Concerning a deaconess, I, Bartholomew enjoin O Bishop, thou shalt lay thy hands upon her with all the Presbytery and the Deacons and the Deaconesses and thou shalt say: Eternal God, the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the creator of man and woman, that didst fill with the Spirit Mary and Deborah, and Anna and Huldah, that didst not disdain that thine only begotten Son should be born of a woman; Thou that in the tabernacle of witness and in the temple didst appoint women guardians of thy holy gates: Do thou now look on this thy handmaid, who is appointed unto the office of a Deaconess and grant unto her the Holy Spirit, and cleanse her from all pollution of the flesh and of the spirit, that she may worthily accomplish the work committed unto her, to thy glory and the praise of thy Christ. " ( Source (http://www.suite101.com/lesson.cfm/18869/2511/4))

My point is that we haven't even done the groundwork on this issue yet, and yet some have already decided what is and isn't dogma. Since when has obscuring facts been considered "Orthodoxy"? Is it really too much to ask that both sides of the debate go to the primary sources and dispationately gather facts and dialogue about them instead of re-writing history to fit with their argument?

Well, in the spirit of academic dialogue I will post a couple primary sources about the role of the deaconess...but I dont expect scholarly and honest discussion to go to far here ;)

Concerning ordination of deaconesses by the laying on of hands, as a supporting document to what you above posted I submit the 15th Canon of Chalcedon:

'Let no woman be ordained (χειροντονείσθα) a deaconess before the age of forty, and even then after a strict test. But if she, after receiving the gift of chirothesy (χειροθεσία) and remaining for some time in the ministry, proceeds to give herself in marriage, thus insulting the grace of God, let any such actress be anathematized together with the man who has joined himself with her in marriage.'

We see that the Greek word used to refer to the Ordination of a Deaconess is the same one used when refering to the Ordination of a Male Priest or Deacon.

Also of potential interest, in the First Collection, Title VI, Chapter 6, Paragraph 1 it is written in the Constitutions of Justinian (italics added):

'We do not permit women who have contracted a second marriage, or who (as We have already stated), have led a vicious life, to be ordained, but they must be free from all suspicion in order to be admitted into the holy service of the Church, to be present in baptism, and assist in the celebration of the mysterious and sacred rites which form part of their duties.' (S. P. Scott's Translation)

Unfortunately, I have been unable unable to come across the Original Greek of Justinian's Novels (not that I've tried too hard, but it's not readily available; though the Latin Digests, Intitutes, and Code of Justinian are widely available, even online) thus am unable to confirm what word was used for 'ordained,' though it is the same word the translator uses in reference to Deacons, Priests, and Bishops. However, the primary reason I posted this paragraph that I found buried in the middle of Justinian's Novels is because of what I italicized, which clearly states that assisting in the 'celebration of the mysterious and sacred rites' (note the use of the plural) is part of the duties of the deaconess. Though it doesn't give details this quite clearly implies that the deaconess did have a broader liturgical role than many today would like to admit.

(If anyone has the Greek text of the above law, posting it would be most appreciated)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Theognosis on May 01, 2006, 10:04:47 PM
Quote
she reacted to the culture of the day in her interaction with it,

There you go again with that totally unsupported assertion.  Time and again we have shown that the gender of priesthood and the position of women in society are INDEPENDENT of each other in Greek culture (and even Latin). This alone demolishes your entire argument.  The teachings of Paul about the exclusivity of priesthood to men were not motivated by social or cultural factors at all!

Quote
even though these actions were not consonant the fullness of the truth given to the Church

What's even worse is that you are accusing Paul of not having "the fullness of the truth!" ÂÂ

Amazing.  Did Jesus Christ reveal something to you that He didn't tell St. Paul?  Do you claim to have the fullness of the truth?

Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: minasoliman on May 02, 2006, 01:59:53 AM
Let's take this one question at a time.

When St. Paul says something like this:

Quote
But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

What does this mean to us?  Is it a theological verse or a customary verse ruled by cultural prejudices?

God bless.

Mina
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 02, 2006, 02:20:01 AM
What does this mean to us?  Is it a theological verse or a customary verse ruled by cultural prejudices?
I don't think it's theological. Our own theology doesn't allow us to say that it is a dogma.
Who is the head of the Theotokos, she who is "more honourable than the cherubim and more glorious beyond compare than the seraphim"? Was St. Joseph her head? If so, in what sense do we mean this if they were not married, nor "one flesh"? If this is a theological statement, wouldn't it mean that a woman must not be an Orthodox Empress- a position recognised by the Church and annointed by the Church? Are not men subject to the Empress? What about St. Helen, St. Catherine the Great, St. Irene the Empress- who not only opposed Iconoclasm, but opposed her own son taking the throne from her and was supported by the Church in this...?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: minasoliman on May 02, 2006, 02:45:05 AM
Like I said before, I frown at the fact that Kings, let alone Empresses, entered the altar because of the dangerous mixture of government and church.  I truly oppose such things, and it is one thing that makes me attached to the OO Church.

Therefore, issues concerning women in politics have nothing to do with teaching in Church.  To "consecrate" an empress is nothing but a Church kissing the feet of the world, and not being above the world.

So, if we disagree on these issues concerning the empress, it shows how different traditions can interpret that same verse differently, and why it has become a theological issue.  Render to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's.  If one truly understands this, then we can proceed to the issue of female priesthood, as St. John Chrysostom also believed to be non-existent in the Church (who is also an opponent of the government).

I wanted to add something else concerning deaconesses:

While there is consecration or ordination of a deacon, the role of a deacon is certainly not like that of a priest or bishop.  For the priest and bishop is just like the role of the husband in the household, to be the leader or head of a house, and for the priest and bishop's cases, the church.

Now, what is a deacon's role?  To help serve those directly in need as well as help serve the priest with certain duties.  The word "deacon" means "servant," and while a male deacon in the epistle to St. Timothy should be a man of one wife and ruling his household well, the deacons' first roles were to serve widows and tables and other issues that allow more flexibility than the priest or bishop.  This is why female deacons existed.  In addition, deacons did come out not because it was always there, but because of a necessity as Acts 6 shows.  The increasing role of females in the Church also lead to the formation of female deaconesses.  Therefore, the role was "unnecessary" and became necessary to make more efficient service to the needy.

At the same time, I don't deny that the deacon is also an ordained role, part of the threefold orders of priesthood, but that doesn't mean that deacons ruled the church like priests and bishops do.  In fact, I would also venture to say that the role of both deacons and deaconesses shows also a prophetic role of the state of the Heavenly Jerusalem, where I believe no distinction would be made since we are all "priests and kings" and of the one Church having communion with our bridegroom Christ.

Just as we are the "body of Christ," so was a deaconess necessarily the body of priests and bishops in very important issues as well, but certainly women were taught to be submissive to men, just as the Church is to Christ, or Christ is to the Father.  This is sufficient reason, I believe, why male priesthood is preferred, and it seems to me a very good theological reason.

There are other Bible verses that may seem harsh, like those that forbid women to have authority over or to teach men.  A female deacon does not have authority over men, and certainly not over priests and bishops.  However a priest and bishop will have authority over male deacons, and this is something St. Paul would object to, not because of cultural reasons, but because of a theological reason, that Adam was formed first.

St. Paul seemed very serious when asking those not to change traditions and that those contentious with customs do not exist in the church.

God bless.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 02, 2006, 03:09:04 AM
Like I said before, I frown at the fact that Kings, let alone Empresses, entered the altar because of the dangerous mixture of government and church.  I truly oppose such things, and it is one thing that makes me attached to the OO Church.
What you and I "frown on" is immaterial- unless we want to rewrite the history of the Church, which, unfortunately, it seems many people wish to. And from this personal prefrerence of yours to "frown on" Kings and Emperesses "entering the altar" you conclude that:
Therefore, issues concerning women in politics have nothing to do with teaching in Church.
"I feel [fill in the blank], therefore the teaching of the Church is [fill in the blank]."

This is not discussion, it is just more "bloody opinion" which is going nowhere fast. It is substituting dispassionate fact gathering with illogical syllogisms based on no premise other than "I feel".

I'm not idiotic, I know that people "feel" certain ways about women as priests. I feel certain ways about it myself, but I would never base Church dogma simply on how "I feel".


Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 02, 2006, 03:32:47 AM
Let's take this one question at a time.

When St. Paul says something like this:

What does this mean to us?  Is it a theological verse or a customary verse ruled by cultural prejudices?
What evidence do you provide for this? Nothing.

The evidence for the opposite assumption is that the church didn't ordain female priests. As someone else earlier pointed it out before a cradle Orthodox objected to them being zealous for Orthodoxy*, there's nothing in Tradition for women to be ordained.

That should be the end of it, but people here insist on personal speculation based on modernity driven notions.


*-itself a problematical stand-point to take
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 02, 2006, 03:34:41 AM
What is needed is genuine scholarly study and dialogue, not assumptions based on "bloody opinion".
Unfortunately, "bloody opinion" seems to be easily mistaken for "Orthodoxy".
I didn't know you had a sense of irony.

When someone suggested earlier about leaving this up to the hands of church tradition you didn't like the fact that they, a convert to Orthodoxy, would be zealous in defending the Traditions of the church.

You offer no alternative proofs, yourself.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 02, 2006, 04:44:47 AM
I've still not seen any good argument for change other than those that are suggesting that it's possible (by not classing it as a matter of dogma). That in itself is not a good reason.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Theognosis on May 02, 2006, 06:22:25 AM
Let's take this one question at a time.

When St. Paul says something like this:

What does this mean to us?  Is it a theological verse or a customary verse ruled by cultural prejudices?

Not again.  Greek civilization was accustomed to having women priests.  The alleged cultural prejudices have been ruled out already by virtue of this historical fact.  

http://campus.houghton.edu/webs/employees/tpaige/Construct.html
The practice of women prophesying at the church in Corinth would have had no negative reaction from Greek culture, at least not for being done by females. On the contrary, two of the most famous oracles of the Greek world had at their heart women who were used as vehicles to medate the message of the god. Women played key roles in the public celebrations of many cults, and there is little doubt that at least some of these roles involved speaking: prayers, words of consecration of the sacrifice, perhaps instruction in the mysteries or words of assurance or warning to initiates. The only trouble Christian prophetesses would have caused the surrounding culture would have been due to the fact that the religion was foreign and denounced traditional faiths as false. But this has nothing to do with women's roles.

Those who assert that the women can be priests do the ff: (1) ignore the facts of history,  (2) deny 2,000 years of Tradition and (3) provide personal interpretation of Scripture as they see fit at the expense of the credibility of the apostles.

Quite frankly, these GUYS remind of me of Martin Luther who did exactly the same things.  Didn't he ignore history when he preached Sola Scriptura?  Didn't he reject the Tradition of the fathers?  Didn't he interpret Scripture to his liking to the point of calling the epistle of James the epistle of straw?  

Even so, Martin Luther wasn't so critical of St. Paul!

Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Fr. David on May 02, 2006, 06:46:35 AM
Who is the head of the Theotokos, she who is "more honourable than the cherubim and more glorious beyond compare than the seraphim"? Was St. Joseph her head? If so, in what sense do we mean this if they were not married, nor "one flesh"?

Had they been married, then yes, he would have been.  Since they were not, then no, he was not.  Not even the Theotokos, however, was elevated in her lifetime (as far as has been recorded) to any kind of teaching or sacramental ministry within the Church--highly revered and dearly loved by all who received her, according to Ignatius, iirc, but not an ordained anything.

Quote
If this is a theological statement, wouldn't it mean that a woman must not be an Orthodox Empress- a position recognised by the Church and annointed by the Church? Are not men subject to the Empress? What about St. Helen, St. Catherine the Great, St. Irene the Empress- who not only opposed Iconoclasm, but opposed her own son taking the throne from her and was supported by the Church in this...?

I'm afraid I fail to see your point here, George.  How is being the civil head of the government comprable to being an ordained priest or bishop?  I understand that they entered a church through the altar, but did they concelebrate with the actual, ordained clergy?  I don't think so; it seems this honor was given to them due to their helping the church in matters of secular life--protection of the Church from enemies of the Empire and so on.  Yet, even though they were granted access to the altar area, are there any examples within history of an empress standing before the holy table and proclaiming "Blessed is the Kingdom..." and proceeding to celebrate the liturgy in the place of (or even with) a priest or bishop?  Any examples of an empress giving absolution to a penitent?  Any examples of an empress baptizing anyone, at any time?  I just don't see how saying that an empress (or even an emperor) has authority over men in a civil way is the same as saying that she is therefore eligible for the sacramental priesthood.

...Paul...in his first epistle to Timothy...says, 'One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)' The consideration here is not one of male authority, but rather of choosing proven people for the office of bishop who were first entrusted with lesser responsibilities and have proven themselves there before being given the greater reponsibility of ruling within the Church.

Right...having HIS children in subjection and ruling HIS own house, for otherwise HE can't take care of the Church of God.  These are not neuter pronouns.  To ignore the gender is dishonest.  I agree it's about presbyters (who were all called either bishops or presbyters in the NT time but whose office separated into celibate bishops and married priests (in the East), as you know) being able to handle smaller responsibilities, but the gender in the verses leaves no room for matriarchal rule.

Quote
Acknowledged, supported, you may use whatever word you like, but the institution was enforced by Scripture, Canons, and Tradition.

The two words are worlds apart.  I can acknowledge something exists and seek to be a Christian within this framework as best I can, but I do not have to support it and call it good.  There is, however, a difference between the issue of slavery and that of women's ordination.  Never in the history of the Church has the Church demanded that slaves be slaves within the Church; they all approach the altar as equals with non-slaves and, when slavery is abolished, they rejoice with them in their freedom, as in Philemon.  IOW, it was always seen as evil yet not resisted (nor "supported").  Women's exclusion from the priesthood, otoh, was, as has been stated elsewhere, not only something the NT authors and Fathers often saw as compatible with their culture, but also something that was a part of their orthodoxy even in situations when the positions of authority held by pagan women were greater than those of women within the Church.

So when you say something like this:

Quote
I suggest that as we reversed our posistion on slavery when society allowed such a stance, we should today reevaluate the posistion of women in the Church since society now, like it did with slavery, not only will allow us to do so, but it demands it.


I say, we never reversed our position on slavery (I refer to the American version; the version in ancient times was incredibly different, as you know); we just found ourselves in a position where we didn't have to deal with it anymore.  Yet now that society has changed their views on women, we are not at all beholden to society to change that which we have never seen to be at odds with our morality, as was the case with slavery.

I've still not seen any good argument for change other than those that are suggesting that it's possible (by not classing it as a matter of dogma). That in itself is not a good reason.

Right on.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 02, 2006, 07:01:07 AM
Those who assert that the women can be priests do the ff: (1) ignore the facts of history,  (2) deny 2,000 years of Tradition and (3) provide personal interpretation of Scripture as they see fit at the expense of the credibility of the apostles.

Quite frankly, these GUYS remind of me of Martin Luther who did exactly the same things.  Didn't he ignore history when he preached Sola Scriptura?  Didn't he reject the Tradition of the fathers?  Didn't he interpret Scripture to his liking to the point of calling the epistle of James the epistle of straw?  

Theognosis,
Firstly, isn't refusing to examine the Holy Tradition of Deaconesses an attempt to "ignore history ...(and).... reject the Tradition of the fathers?
Secondly, precisely who is being "sola scriptura" on this issue? The only appeals made for documented evidence that the Church Dogmas forbid women to be Priests are ever made to St. Paul's writings. So let's  examine them (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=53&chapter=11&version=9) to see how well we have maintained this Holy Apostle's Tradition:
How many women cover their heads in accordance with the same Apostle's command in your Church?
And if they don't cover their heads, why are they not shorn?
Why is this tradition no longer observed?  Is it not an Apostolic Tradition, even though an Apostle wrote it and taught it?
Why is women covering their heads a dispensible Apostolic Tradition, but women speaking in Church (which they do in the Oecumenical Patriarchate anyway) absolutely indispensible? Why is it that we can disobey the Apostle's instruction to "observe every tradition whether in writing or spoken by the Apostles" in the case of women covering their heads?
Also, St. Paul forbade women to "prophesy" in Church with their heads uncovered. Didn't these women speak their prophesies, and thereby instruct the People of God in the Church. How can this be that St. Paul forbids women to teach but allows them to prophesy in Church?
Why is one Apostolic Tradition more important than others?

Let me tell you something you may not know. The Church, and only the Church is the sole interpreter of Holy Tradition. No individual, no matter how great, how holy, much they have attained theosis, can ever interpret alone what the Holy Tradition is. So no matter what, this question can only be answered by the Church.
We cannot simply, as someone else suggested, place this question "in the hands of holy tradition", because the Church still needs to interpret that Tradition.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 02, 2006, 07:13:08 AM
Not again.  Greek civilization was accustomed to having women priests.  The alleged cultural prejudices have been ruled out already by virtue of this historical fact. ÂÂ

http://campus.houghton.edu/webs/employees/tpaige/Construct.html

Those who assert that the women can be priests do the ff: (1) ignore the facts of history,  (2) deny 2,000 years of Tradition and (3) provide personal interpretation of Scripture as they see fit at the expense of the credibility of the apostles.

Quite frankly, these GUYS remind of me of Martin Luther who did exactly the same things.  Didn't he ignore history when he preached Sola Scriptura?  Didn't he reject the Tradition of the fathers?  Didn't he interpret Scripture to his liking to the point of calling the epistle of James the epistle of straw? ÂÂ

Even so, Martin Luther wasn't so critical of St. Paul!

Your words ring true with me.

So far this thread has not produced a good reason for change, other than it might be possible. One person, a convert to Orthodoxy like myself was criticised for coming to Orthodoxy and being zealous for it's great and Holy Tradition! I found that argument astounding.*

Jesus knew what He was doing when He picked 12 men. The Apostles knew what they were doing too, after Pentecost.

All of this for the sake of those who feel pressures from modern notions of what is right or wrong and seek to change the church to suit these fleeting ideals.



* Why one shouldn't be allowed to be zealous for their new faith is beyond me. There seems to be some snobbery here - that a cradle-orthodox would resent someone who holds the Orthodox traditions more dear than he.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 02, 2006, 07:15:49 AM
Had they been married, then yes, he would have been.  Since they were not, then no, he was not.  
So then, who was the head of the Theotokos, because if St. Paul's words are dogma and not mere custom, she who is "more honourable than the Cherubim" must have had a human male as her head. So who was it?

I'm afraid I fail to see your point here, George.  
I can see that by the rest of what you wrote. The point is that the Emperor was a position both in the State and the Church. And when the Emperor was a female, men in the Church even bishops were subject to her. The Seventh Oecumenical Council was convened by a woman- St. Irene the Emperess. This woman summoned 367 bishops of the Orthodox Church to a Synod. So the point is that if St. Paul's instruction meant that women could not have authority over men, that's not what the Fathers of the Seventh Oecumenical Council thought.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 02, 2006, 07:23:33 AM
Firstly, isn't refusing to examine the Holy Tradition of Deaconesses an attempt to "ignore history ...(and).... reject the Tradition of the fathers?
How so?
Secondly, precisely who is being "sola scriptura" on this issue? The only appeals made for documented evidence that the Church Dogmas forbid women to be Priests are ever made to St. Paul's writings.
That is false. I have cited John Chrysostomon in post #145
Clement of Rome #148. Sorry that you wish to go down the path of ignoring such evidence as has been presented. I include both at bottom of this to save you or any other reader time.
How many women cover their heads in accordance with the same Apostle's command in your Church?
And if they don't cover their heads, why are they not shorn?
Firstly, women in my church cover their heads.
Secondly, there's biblical injunctions not to bear false witness. People do do that. That doesn't mean that the injunction is thrown-out because people aren't following it. That's your 'logic' here, cite examples of people not following a calling by St. Paul

John Chrysostomon says, in part...
For if any one will consider how great a thing it is for one, being a man, and compassed with flesh and blood, to be enabled to draw nigh to that blessed and pure nature, he will then clearly see what great honor the grace of the Spirit has vouchsafed to priests; since by their agency these rites are celebrated, and others nowise inferior to these both in respect of our dignity and our salvation.
Book III.5
TREATISE ON THE PRIESTHOOD
http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF1-09/npnf1-09-08.htm#TopOfPage

Our apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and there would be strife on account of the office of the episcopate. For this reason, therefore, inasmuch as they had obtained a perfect fore-knowledge of this, they appointed those [ministers] already mentioned, and afterwards gave instructions, that when these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed them in their ministry. We are of opinion, therefore, that those appointed by them, or afterwards by other eminent men, with the consent of the whole Church, and who have blame-lessly served the flock of Christ in a humble, peaceable, and disinterested spirit, and have for a long time possessed the good opinion of all, cannot be justly dismissed from the ministry. For our sin will not be small, if we eject from the episcopate those who have blamelessly and holily fulfilled its duties. Blessed are those presbyters who, having finished their course before now, have obtained a fruitful and perfect departure [from this world]; for they have no fear lest any one deprive them of the place now appointed them. But we see that ye have removed some men of excellent behaviour from the ministry, which they fulfilled blamelessly and with honour.
Clement of Rome Chapter XLIV.-The Ordinances of the Apostles, that There Might Be No Contention Respecting the Priestly Office. "Epistle to the Corinthians"
http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-01/anf01-05.htm#P171_20841
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 02, 2006, 07:32:23 AM
The Church, and only the Church is the sole interpreter of Holy Tradition. No individual, no matter how great, how holy, much they have attained theosis, can ever interpret alone what the Holy Tradition is. So no matter what, this question can only be answered by the Church.
We cannot simply, as someone else suggested, place this question "in the hands of holy tradition", because the Church still needs to interpret that Tradition.
You do interpret that yourself, in light of modernity, and then argue from there, ah irony! (Having provided NO evidence for a change yourself) *

The church can't change Holy Tradition; the teachings of the church. I've already asked this question, perhaps I'm on some people's 'ignore list'; what is to be understood more properly about having women priests?


*And, worse still is claiming that the opposition has provided less evidence than they have. So in balance we have

one side providing evidence -v- one side producing none.
one side providing reasons for staying the same -v- one side producing no reason for change (other than you 'can').
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 02, 2006, 07:37:21 AM
Had they been married, then yes, he would have been.  Since they were not, then no, he was not.  Not even the Theotokos, however, was elevated in her lifetime (as far as has been recorded) to any kind of teaching or sacramental ministry within the Church--highly revered and dearly loved by all who received her, according to Ignatius, iirc, but not an ordained anything.

Indeed! I'm not aware of any teachings by Mary.

I'm afraid I fail to see your point here, George.  How is being the civil head of the government comparable to being an ordained priest or bishop?  I understand that they entered a church through the altar, but did they concelebrate with the actual, ordained clergy?  I don't think so; it seems this honor was given to them due to their helping the church in matters of secular life--protection of the Church from enemies of the Empire and so on.  Yet, even though they were granted access to the altar area, are there any examples within history of an empress standing before the holy table and proclaiming "Blessed is the Kingdom..." and proceeding to celebrate the liturgy in the place of (or even with) a priest or bishop?  Any examples of an empress giving absolution to a penitent?  Any examples of an empress baptizing anyone, at any time?  I just don't see how saying that an empress (or even an emperor) has authority over men in a civil way is the same as saying that she is therefore eligible for the sacramental priesthood.

I think Constantine the Great was declared 'equal of the Apostles' for honorific purposes, as I'm unaware of him preaching. And I'm aware that the Emperor may have called the Ecumenical Councils but deferred to the clerics there present.

Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 02, 2006, 07:41:20 AM
John Chrysostomon says, in part...
For if any one will consider how great a thing it is for one, being a man, and compassed with flesh and blood...
Montalban, I'm going to be blunt.
This issue is complex enough as it is, and one which, I think, is worthy of much thought and examination. I have already spent an hour answering two other people on this thread.
When you throw quotes like this at me and expect me to answer, it chews up a lot of time for no purpose I can see. If you cannot work out for yourself why St. John Chrysostom could not have possibly written "being a man or woman", then you wouldn't possibly be able to understand any answer I would give to this.
So if I ignore posts like this filled with quotes which look like they were simply googled for keywords, it's because I don't have the time or the energy to spend explaining to you why they are irrelevant.



Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 02, 2006, 07:43:31 AM
Indeed! I'm not aware of any teachings by Mary.

Then you haven't read the Gospel. It records the Theotokos as teaching others to: "Do whatever He tells you".
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 02, 2006, 07:55:23 AM
Montalban, I'm going to be blunt.
This issue is complex enough as it is, and one which, I think, is worthy of much thought and examination. I have already spent an hour answering two other people on this thread.
When you throw quotes like this at me and expect me to answer, it chews up a lot of time for no purpose I can see. If you cannot work out for yourself why St. John Chrysostom could not have possibly written "being a man or woman", then you wouldn't possibly be able to understand any answer I would give to this.
So if I ignore posts like this filled with quotes which look like they were simply googled for keywords, it's because I don't have the time or the energy to spend explaining to you why they are irrelevant.
Then let me be equally blunt. When people present evidence to you (and I didn't google it, I read it through - I love research)* several days ago and then you appear today and say the only evidence people have provided is from the Bible then you are re-working the argument of those opposed to your opinion. And I say 'opinion' because you provide NO evidence for change at all, other than it is possible.

If you can't possibly see that you've already been answered also with respects to any 'gender' issues, then you've obviously NOT given it enough thought. I didn't give you that evidence, someone else did. So in short you claim no one person has the right to interpret the teachings of the Church and yet you are ONE doing just that. Based on your opinion; based on ignoring evidence in context (gender issues iron out any objections anyway to the quotes I gave - which even here you give me no credit, based on some further unknown assumption).

*-It is because I love research I'm so very appalled by you being content to argue from opinion backed by opinion backed by opinion, and your disdain for evidence, and your disdain for another person, a convert, for being zealous.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Theognosis on May 02, 2006, 07:57:59 AM
Quote
Firstly, isn't refusing to examine the Holy Tradition of Deaconesses an attempt to "ignore history ...(and).... reject the Tradition of the fathers?

And you elevate that "tradition" to the priesthood?  The most that you can do is argue about women becoming deacons because that is all the evidence that your side can present.  The priesthood is another matter altogether and you know it.

Quote
Secondly, precisely who is being "sola scriptura" on this issue? The only appeals made for documented evidence that the Church Dogmas forbid women to be Priests are ever made to St. Paul's writings. So let's examine them to see how well we have maintained this Holy Apostle's Tradition:

The way to understand Scripture is to understand it in the context of Tradition.  What you're trying to do is isolate the words of Paul and apply a twisted take on history, particularly GiC's unscholarly assertion that the male-only priesthood was culturally motivated.  This makes your argument Sola-Scriptura-oriented and historically blind.

You are also mistaken about your perception of Tradition.  You seem to be equating it with Dogma.  Mind you, not all Tradition is documented.  The church, after all, is not legalistic.  Ever heard of ORAL tradition?  

Once you abandon oral tradition, you will be arguing based on Scripture alone.  That is the danger.

Quote
How many women cover their heads in accordance with the same Apostle's command in your Church?
And if they don't cover their heads, why are they not shorn?
Why is this tradition no longer observed?  
Is it not an Apostolic Tradition, even though an Apostle wrote it and taught it?

Head coverings are totally irrelevant to the subject of the gender of the priesthood.  If anything, the Church must revive the tradition of head covering.

Quote
Why is women covering their heads a dispensible Apostolic Tradition, but women speaking in Church (which they do in the Oecumenical Patriarchate anyway) absolutely indispensible? Why is it that we can disobey the Apostle's instruction to "observe every tradition whether in writing or spoken by the Apostles" in the case of women covering their heads?

Because head coverings do not comprise the Church itself.  When you want reforms in the gender of priests, you are dealing with changing the very composition of the Church, i.e. its members.

BTW, I pray that head coverings are revived in all churches.

Quote
Also, St. Paul forbade women to "prophesy" in Church with their heads uncovered. Didn't these women speak their prophesies, and thereby instruct the People of God in the Church. How can this be that St. Paul forbids women to teach but allows them to prophesy in Church?

Because the members of the body have different roles.

Quote
Why is one Apostolic Tradition more important than others?

Your line of questioning is evidence of a legalistic mindset.

Shake that thing off, my brethren.

Quote
Let me tell you something you may not know. The Church, and only the Church is the sole interpreter of Holy Tradition. No individual, no matter how great, how holy, much they have attained theosis, can ever interpret alone what the Holy Tradition is. So no matter what, this question can only be answered by the Church.
We cannot simply, as someone else suggested, place this question "in the hands of holy tradition", because the Church still needs to interpret that Tradition.

And who are we to question Tradition when in fact we can't interpret it?  Can't we just live our lives and enjoy church life AS IT IS?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 02, 2006, 08:00:20 AM
Then you haven't read the Gospel. It records the Theotokos as teaching others to: "Do whatever He tells you".
???
That's simply deferring to Jesus. It's in fact saying "Don't ask me". You remind me very much of a charcter in "The Life of Brian". When Brian says "Go away" this man shouts "A blessing! A blessing!"

 ::)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 02, 2006, 08:05:15 AM
Montalban, I'm going to be blunt.
This issue is complex enough as it is, and one which, I think, is worthy of much thought and examination. I have already spent an hour answering two other people on this thread.
Furthermore you sound here as if responding is an imposition on your precious time. Although you've been here two hours you've been instantly dismissive of any evidence - cleverly, or perhaps that's too much credit, constructing ahead of time a false set of parameters for dismissing any of the evidence that could and should be used by people of my ilk against you. Even when people take time to respond to you you've been exceptionally dismissive, and all based on your opinion that women could be priests - but for reasons still yet not stated.

Well my time is up for this evening. I won't cite you my billable hours.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Theognosis on May 02, 2006, 08:13:00 AM
Quote
You do interpret that yourself, in light of modernity, and then argue from there, ah irony! (Having provided NO evidence for a change yourself)

What irony indeed!

If there was any other motivation for introducing women into the priesthood other than modernity, the thread would have been more interesting.  At least they are consistent in one thing.  That is, since they believe that the male-only priesthood was culturally motivated (despite the overwhelming evidence against it), it's just proper that the introduction of women to the priesthood should also be culturally motivated.

To them, it is culture that dictates theology.

How sad.  It's supposed to be the other way around.

Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 02, 2006, 08:19:29 AM
 The most that you can do is argue about women becoming deacons because that is all the evidence that your side can present.
"My side"? What side am I on other than the side of those seeking examination, dialogue, and discussion about this?

You are also mistaken about your perception of Tradition.  You seem to be equating it with Dogma.
So then, please tell me, what is Holy Tradition if it is not the teachings of the Church?

Mind you, not all Tradition is documented.  The church, after all, is not legalistic.  Ever heard of ORAL tradition?  
Yes, we have several terms for it here in Australia: "Chinese Whispers", "Gossip", "Whatever I want to believe is Tradition"....

Once you abandon oral tradition, you will be arguing based on Scripture alone.  That is the danger.
On the contrary, once you believe that "My Priest, Father So-and-So says" is the equivalent of Holy Tradition, then you can kiss Holy Tradition goodbye. Oral Tradition means the teachings of the Apostles which were orally transmitted and recorded. It doesn't mean: "St. John told St. Prochoros, who told Fr. X who told Fr. Y who told Fr. Z......who told my priest who told me"

Head coverings are totally irrelevant to the subject of the gender of the priesthood.  
I know, that wasn't my point. My point again is: "women covering their heads was an APOSTOLIC TRADITION written and taught by the same Apostle. Yet we ignore this tradition today. So how is it decided which Traditions should be observed and which should be dispensed with?"

And who are we to question Tradition when in fact we can't interpret it?  Can't we just live our lives and enjoy church life AS IT IS?
Because God has endowed us with reason and commanded us to seek Him in His Truth. If the Church always "lived and enjoyed life as it is", we would be arians, monophysites, nestorians, iconoclasts, believing that we were following the Truth.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Theognosis on May 02, 2006, 08:47:47 AM
Quote
So then, please tell me, what is Holy Tradition if it is not the teachings of the Church?

My point is that not all the teachings of the Church have been written down for the purpose of legality. ÂÂ
 
Quote
Yes, we have several terms for it here in Australia: "Chinese Whispers", "Gossip", "Whatever I want to believe is Tradition"....

Some funky sense of humor you have there. ÂÂ  That the exclusively-male priesthood is, according to you, "chinese whispers" and "gossip?" ÂÂ
 
So why argue at all?  Go tell your parish that women can become priests because the rumors are not true.

Quote
On the contrary, once you believe that "My Priest, Father So-and-So says" is the equivalent of Holy Tradition, then you can kiss Holy Tradition goodbye. Oral Tradition means the teachings of the Apostles which were orally transmitted and recorded. It doesn't mean: "St. John told St. Prochoros, who told Fr. X who told Fr. Y who told Fr. Z......who told my priest who told me"

They ALL tell us of men becoming priests. Not one woman was ordained in that position.
 
Quote
I know, that wasn't my point. My point again is: "women covering their heads was an APOSTOLIC TRADITION written and taught by the same Apostle. Yet we ignore this tradition today. So how is it decided which Traditions should be observed and which should be dispensed with?"

So if a jurisdiction breaks an apostolic tradition, all other traditions should be broken as well?
 
Is that your line of reasoning?  Please clarify.
 
Quote
Because God has endowed us with reason and commanded us to seek Him in His Truth.

If you truly believe that female priesthood represents the "truth," then the Anglican Church has beaten Orthodoxy for the grand prize.

Quote
If the Church always "lived and enjoyed life as it is", we would be arians, monophysites, nestorians, iconoclasts, believing that we were following the Truth.

Those heresies you mentioned ADDED something to the norm.  They were all innovations.  People asking for female priests are in danger of following their lead.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: minasoliman on May 02, 2006, 09:46:52 AM
What evidence do you provide for this? Nothing.

The evidence for the opposite assumption is that the church didn't ordain female priests. As someone else earlier pointed it out before a cradle Orthodox objected to them being zealous for Orthodoxy*, there's nothing in Tradition for women to be ordained.

That should be the end of it, but people here insist on personal speculation based on modernity driven notions.


*-itself a problematical stand-point to take

What evidence are you talking about?  I asked a question.

Not again.  Greek civilization was accustomed to having women priests.  The alleged cultural prejudices have been ruled out already by virtue of this historical fact.  

You haven't even answered the question.  I agree with your line of argument, that this should satisfy us to understand that there was no cultural motivation in Gentile nations.  But I asked concerning St. Paul.

It was a simple question trying to produce a dialogue.

I personally see the mentioning of St. Paul concerning Christ and God along with man and woman as something theological, refuting any notion of cultural motivation.

And for those who say that head coverings issue is irrelevant to the discussion, I personally find it relevant, considering the teaching that the head of woman is man in relation to the head of Christ is the Father.

Now as for interpreting the verse concerning women not teaching men, this only concerns matters in the Church, not in the government.  Outside the Church, there is no problem with bishops submitting to the law of the land, whether the law is executed by man or woman.  However, men or women in the government are still mere laity and have nothing to do with the Church.  To say that the emperor was roleplaying in both the Church and the state would also assume that the bishop have the same authority over the state, which the Church frowns upon under canon law.  The government is nothing but a worldly government, and while necessary for the world, is not obligated to have the same verses of women and men issues apply to them.

That's like saying there should be no female professors in universities teaching men.  That is utter rubbish, and no where in the Bible does it forbid this.

God bless.

Mina
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Fr. David on May 02, 2006, 12:16:25 PM
So then, who was the head of the Theotokos, because if St. Paul's words are dogma and not mere custom, she who is "more honourable than the Cherubim" must have had a human male as her head. So who was it?

In her case? ÂÂ Christ was, as He is for all unmarried women who do not live with their fathers: "The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world—how she may please her husband" (1 Cor. 7:34). ÂÂ

Quote
The point is that the Emperor was a position both in the State and the Church. And when the Emperor was a female, men in the Church even bishops were subject to her.

I grant you that, but in a limited sense.  For, to use your example, "The Seventh Oecumenical Council was convened by a woman- St. Irene the Emperess. This woman summoned 367 bishops of the Orthodox Church to a Synod" (emph. mine)."  So the authority to summon the men to a council was hers.  Well and good, for such befits the secular authorities of the Emperor/ess at that time.  Yet St. Paul's instruction within the context of the Church (as opposed to secular authority, which, as minasoliman correctly states, is distinct from that of the Church) was that women were not allowed to teach and have authority over a man -- the teaching of doctrine and right division of the word of truth being the authority in question.  The Emperess may have convened the council, but she had no say in what would come out of the council; that was for the bishops alone to decide.  She--I'm thinking in particular of Emperess Irene w/the 7th Council, to continue your thought--then made an official proclamation which made icons the law of the land, secularly speaking, but the decision the Church had already made was made by the episcopate, not her.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on May 02, 2006, 02:30:51 PM
Had they been married, then yes, he would have been.  Since they were not, then no, he was not.  Not even the Theotokos, however, was elevated in her lifetime (as far as has been recorded) to any kind of teaching or sacramental ministry within the Church--highly revered and dearly loved by all who received her, according to Ignatius, iirc, but not an ordained anything.

I would disagree, I would say that the Incarnation itself was a sacramental ministry; the essence of all the sacraments is the Eucharist, and even more tho the point, Christ; a Priest can only participate in that which was done by our Lady. The sacramental nature of the Priesthood is dependent on the sacramental nature of the Incarnation, when our Lady formed the Divine Body and Divine Blood not out of Bread or Wine, but out of herself; furthermore, not only was His Body and Blood from Her Body and Blood, so also the Human Nature of Christ also came from our Lady. Accordingly, I have a problem with claiming the ministry of our Lady to be non-sacramental in nature; it was sacrament par excellence.

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I just don't see how saying that an empress (or even an emperor) has authority over men in a civil way is the same as saying that she is therefore eligible for the sacramental priesthood.

She had authority over men in both a civil and ecclesiastical manner, as Patriarch Anthony would later say of the Imperial Office, 'The basileus is anointed with the great myrrh and is appointed basileus and autokrator of the Romans, and indeed of all Christians.' The Emperor (The masculine was the appropriate term to use for a reigning Emperor regardless of gender due to a technicality in Roman Law, hence St. Irene would have been addressed with the titles 'Imperator' and 'Basielus' and 'Augustus') had authority over people by virtue of their being Christians, making his authority more than merely Secular in Nature; the Name of the Emperor would be commemorated in the Liturgy by all the Orthodox, and even by some amongst the Latins, regardless of what country they were in or who immediately ruled over them, clearly demonstrating a strong ecclesiastical element to Imperial Rule.

Quote
Right...having HIS children in subjection and ruling HIS own house, for otherwise HE can't take care of the Church of God.  These are not neuter pronouns.  To ignore the gender is dishonest.  I agree it's about presbyters (who were all called either bishops or presbyters in the NT time but whose office separated into celibate bishops and married priests (in the East), as you know) being able to handle smaller responsibilities, but the gender in the verses leaves no room for matriarchal rule.

Like in English, Greek would and does use the masculine pronoun for mixed or uncertain gender. However, your comment about 'matriarchal rule' does betray your concerns; for years Her Majesty Elizabeth II was queen of England with Margaret Thacher as the Prime Minister...does that mean England was a matriarchy? Of course not, such categories as patriarchal and matriarchal are absurd and equally ridiculous to the enlightened mind; it is merely government by whoever is qualified, gender is irrelevant.

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The two words are worlds apart.  I can acknowledge something exists and seek to be a Christian within this framework as best I can, but I do not have to support it and call it good.  There is, however, a difference between the issue of slavery and that of women's ordination.  Never in the history of the Church has the Church demanded that slaves be slaves within the Church; they all approach the altar as equals with non-slaves and, when slavery is abolished, they rejoice with them in their freedom, as in Philemon.  IOW, it was always seen as evil yet not resisted (nor "supported").  Women's exclusion from the priesthood, otoh, was, as has been stated elsewhere, not only something the NT authors and Fathers often saw as compatible with their culture, but also something that was a part of their orthodoxy even in situations when the positions of authority held by pagan women were greater than those of women within the Church.

But slavery was enforced by the Canons, teaching Slaves to me discontent with their condition was Anathema (by both Scripture and Canon), slaves were forbidden from the priesthood. The analogy is quite clear and accurate. Our exclusion of women from the priesthood is no different than our exclusion of slaves from the priesthood. Telling women that they cannot be in a position of authority is not different than anathematizing those who undermined the insitution of slavery. It is something that may have been brought about by necessity, but something that should be abandoned at the earliest possible convenience.

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I say, we never reversed our position on slavery (I refer to the American version; the version in ancient times was incredibly different, as you know); we just found ourselves in a position where we didn't have to deal with it anymore.  Yet now that society has changed their views on women, we are not at all beholden to society to change that which we have never seen to be at odds with our morality, as was the case with slavery.

As we were able to correct one social injustice, we not have a moral responsibility to correct another.

In her case? ÂÂ Christ was, as He is for all unmarried women who do not live with their fathers: "The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world—how she may please her husband" (1 Cor. 7:34).

So then you wouldn't object to the Ordination of Women, provided celibacy was a requirement? That could possibly be arranged, though I find your theory of marriage based on authority and headship to be, at best, repugnant to our theological understanding of the sacrament and the Christian faith.

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I grant you that, but in a limited sense.  For, to use your example, "The Seventh Oecumenical Council was convened by a woman- St. Irene the Emperess. This woman summoned 367 bishops of the Orthodox Church to a Synod" (emph. mine)."  So the authority to summon the men to a council was hers.  Well and good, for such befits the secular authorities of the Emperor/ess at that time.  Yet St. Paul's instruction within the context of the Church (as opposed to secular authority, which, as minasoliman correctly states, is distinct from that of the Church) was that women were not allowed to teach and have authority over a man -- the teaching of doctrine and right division of the word of truth being the authority in question.  The Emperess may have convened the council, but she had no say in what would come out of the council; that was for the bishops alone to decide.  She--I'm thinking in particular of Emperess Irene w/the 7th Council, to continue your thought--then made an official proclamation which made icons the law of the land, secularly speaking, but the decision the Church had already made was made by the episcopate, not her.

You seem to misunderstand the Role of the Emperor, including Irene, in the Oecumenical Synods. Not only would they summon the synod, the Imperial Authority would also set the agenda, control the discussions, if necessary expel bishops, etc. Though the Emperor didn't vote, he essentially said who could and who couldn't, if the Synod was not going favourably the session might be closed, the problematic bishops removed, and the synod reconvened elsewhere. Sometimes the Emperor would delegate this role and authority to someone else, sometimes an Emperor would oversee it in person, depending on what else they had going on. There was more to it than simply summoning the Bishops and letting them go at it; the Emperor controlled the synod from the beginning to the end and ensured a favourable outcome regardless of the initial disposition of the Bishops.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on May 02, 2006, 02:50:02 PM
The way to understand Scripture is to understand it in the context of Tradition.  What you're trying to do is isolate the words of Paul and apply a twisted take on history, particularly GiC's unscholarly assertion that the male-only priesthood was culturally motivated.  This makes your argument Sola-Scriptura-oriented and historically blind.

The male priesthood was unquestionably culturally motivated, the initial influences were Jewish, which was an extremely misogynistic culture. By the time that Pagan culture became influential in the late second century it reflected Roman State Religion, which relegated women to minor Roles, granted there were a few unofficial cults that were women-only, but these were always looked upon with suspicion by the mainstream of society; and the popular non-state cults that formed (Christianity and Mithra) both ended up coming in line with the tendencies of Roman State Religion. Your reference to pre-Roman Greek religious practices is irrelevant; most of those cults either integrated into the mainstream Roman State Religion, with the relevant gender roles, or became unofficial cults that were tolerated but taboo. The reason that I didn't address this issue before is because the claim that Jewish misogynistic culture did not influence an all-male priesthood is absurd at best and unworthy of comment.

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You are also mistaken about your perception of Tradition.  You seem to be equating it with Dogma.  Mind you, not all Tradition is documented.  The church, after all, is not legalistic.  Ever heard of ORAL tradition?

Once you abandon oral tradition, you will be arguing based on Scripture alone.  That is the danger.

Tradition, oral or otherwise, is determined by the Church and the Church alone...not by individuals. I have not contested that point, while I support the Ordination of Women only the Bishops have the authority to make it happen. And if they rule that it is appropriate, then it is, by definition, consonant with Tradition and neither your nor I have a valid right to object. Thus is the nature of the Authority of the Church.

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And who are we to question Tradition when in fact we can't interpret it?  Can't we just live our lives and enjoy church life AS IT IS?

The only people who can interpret it are the Bishops. The tradition argument is moot because if the Episcopacy decides that the Ordination of Women is appropriate (and no body else can ordain anyone, obviously) then it is, by definition, consonant with tradition as interpreted by the only ones who have the right to interpret it authoritatively.

To them, it is culture that dictates theology.

No, haven't you studied Church history? Culture dictates custom and tradition; it was Imperial Politics that dictated theology.

My point is that not all the teachings of the Church have been written down for the purpose of legality.

And the episcopacy, not us, will get to make the ultimate ruling on these teachings.

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So if a jurisdiction breaks an apostolic tradition, all other traditions should be broken as well?

You missed the point, the traditions of the Orthodox Church are living, growning, and develpoing, not dead and static, traditions.

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If you truly believe that female priesthood represents the "truth," then the Anglican Church has beaten Orthodoxy for the grand prize.

As one of my professors here at Holy Cross told me, we Orthodox do a great job at preserving dogmas and liturgy, but where we fail and the Catholics and Protestants excel is in the advocating and advancing of justice and that we could learn a thing or two if we paid attention to them.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: serb1389 on May 02, 2006, 02:56:32 PM


Tradition, oral or otherwise, is determined by the Church and the Church alone...not by individuals. I have not contested that point, while I support the Ordination of Women only the Bishops have the authority to make it happen. And if they rule that it is appropriate, then it is, by definition, consonant with Tradition and neither your nor I have a valid right to object. Thus is the nature of the Authority of the Church.


Actually we do have the right to object, respectfully  ;)

If a bishop started a heresy with his tradition then we would have the right to apostasize from him.  So, why is it different with this topic?  

I've read all the posts so I know where the theological points lie on this, but the problem is, since we havn't figured it out amongst ourselves what makes you think that Bishops have?  

So if they make a decision and some other bishop thinks its a heresy i'm sure they'll have a nice little chat about it and whoever has the most titles, money, connections is going to win.  

Either that or the Holy Spirit is working in them but hey...who's gona make that claim  ;)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on May 02, 2006, 03:12:27 PM
Actually we do have the right to object, respectfully  ;)

If a bishop started a heresy with his tradition then we would have the right to apostasize from him.  So, why is it different with this topic? ÂÂ

I've read all the posts so I know where the theological points lie on this, but the problem is, since we havn't figured it out amongst ourselves what makes you think that Bishops have? ÂÂ

So if they make a decision and some other bishop thinks its a heresy i'm sure they'll have a nice little chat about it and whoever has the most titles, money, connections is going to win. ÂÂ

Either that or the Holy Spirit is working in them but hey...who's gona make that claim  ;)

I was refering to the episcopacy as a whole, specifically the synod, not to individual bishops...individual bishops may have made up their minds, but the episcopacy as a whole has yet to come to a conclusion and rule one way or the other...but whatever way they do rule, that will become the tradition of the Church.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: minasoliman on May 02, 2006, 05:39:49 PM
I would disagree, I would say that the Incarnation itself was a sacramental ministry; the essence of all the sacraments is the Eucharist, and even more tho the point, Christ; a Priest can only participate in that which was done by our Lady. The sacramental nature of the Priesthood is dependent on the sacramental nature of the Incarnation, when our Lady formed the Divine Body and Divine Blood not out of Bread or Wine, but out of herself; furthermore, not only was His Body and Blood from Her Body and Blood, so also the Human Nature of Christ also came from our Lady. Accordingly, I have a problem with claiming the ministry of our Lady to be non-sacramental in nature; it was sacrament par excellence.

I would disagree.  The Incarnation itself took the form of what any other mother would go through who would give birth to priests, a biological function, with the exception of Christ's as a very important one.  The "sacramental ministry" was consummated by none other than St. John the Forerunner, who coincidentally is naturally a priest of Aaronian blood.  Hence the Deisis icon on the importance of both the Theotokos and the Forerunner, with the Theotokos on a slightly more important role (all credit is due to the late Fr. Sergius Bulgakov).

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But slavery was enforced by the Canons, teaching Slaves to me discontent with their condition was Anathema (by both Scripture and Canon), slaves were forbidden from the priesthood. The analogy is quite clear and accurate. Our exclusion of women from the priesthood is no different than our exclusion of slaves from the priesthood. Telling women that they cannot be in a position of authority is not different than anathematizing those who undermined the insitution of slavery. It is something that may have been brought about by necessity, but something that should be abandoned at the earliest possible convenience.

That's not true.  They are allowed insomuch as their master allows them.

God bless.

Mina
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on May 02, 2006, 06:26:36 PM
I would disagree.  The Incarnation itself took the form of what any other mother would go through who would give birth to priests, a biological function, with the exception of Christ's as a very important one.

Pray tell, what other woman created either the prototype or the symbol (to use platonic distinctions) of the divine body and blood in her womb? Human begetting human is one thing, that is natural, human begetting divine is another, that is sacramental.

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That's not true.  They are allowed insomuch as their master allows them.

That is not true, the master would have to free them according to the canons, not merely allow them. So long as they are a slave they were not allowed to be ordained.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 02, 2006, 06:44:13 PM
If a bishop started a heresy with his tradition then we would have the right to apostasize from him.  So, why is it different with this topic?  
The Canons only permit us to withdraw from a Bishop who preaches a "heresy condemned by the Holy Synods, or the Fathers" (Canon 15 of the 1st & 2nd Councils). We ourselves cannot decide that something a Bishop is teaching is heretical, it must have already been clearly decreed by a Synod or the Fathers of the Church to have been heretical. If we withdraw because we "think" a bishop "might" be teaching heresy, we stand condemned by the multitude of Canons which forbid us to withdraw from the Bishop, and we are nothing less than schismatics, which is worse than heresy.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: SonofAslan on May 02, 2006, 07:12:11 PM
I must admit a certain level of astonishment at GiC's posts. As I recall during my terror, uh, excuse me, tenure at HCHC, I listened to GiC vociferously defend a diametrically opposed position. Although it is possible I could be misremembering as I did try to block much of my experience out. Is this true, GiC? Have you changed positions? Or am I remembering falsely? Now that I think about it, I do seem to recall occasions where you admitted in deepest secrecy your propensity to support women's ordination. But I also seem to recall occasions sitting in the lounge with a certain other student, who unabashedly opposed so much as the mere discussion of the issue, and you defending him. Or perhaps, seeing as this other person had a great affinity for Bishop Kallistos, he has changed his opinion, since Bishop Kallistos has at the very least, softened his.

Regardless, as keeping my mouth shut has never been one of my greater talents, I feel I have to put in my 2 drachma worth, so I must ask forgiveness for contributing so lately to the discussion, particularly if I repeat arguments already made..

Much of what GiC says is true, I believe. The Church has never taken a explicit hard and fast stand on the issue, and I do believe the issue merits and requires serious discussion. But we must also remember that the Church has taken a stand on the issue. If it isn't an explicit stand, it is surely an unambiguous implicit stand.

Two arguments sway me on this issue, although I must further admit to having no strong feelings on this particular issue. Being male and having absolutely NO desire for the priesthood (BLECH!!!) It doesn't impact me much. However, I do believe there are theological issues at stake here. Whether they are "compelling" or not is another debate. The first argument is Scripture which says that women should not have authority over a man. (1 Timothy 2:12) I admit this is not the strongest possible argument, since the biblical model of authority is one of servanthood, in which one precisely does not have authority "over", so one might argue that having authority "over" a man is not the model of priestly authority in the first place, so it doesn't apply to this argument. However, the claim in the same passage that Paul doesn't allow a woman to teach, seems more relevant. As for GiC's claim that this is merely the result of cultural circumstances in which women weren't granted equality, one should note that the very same passage does present a theological argument as to why women are to submit to men. As to the claim that women's inequality was prior to the Incarnation, after which all people should be equal, I would argue that rather than removing the condition according to which women should submit to men, the Incarnation added the condition that we are all supposed to submit to each other. This is called humility. So, far from making it the condition that we can all do whatever we want, e.g. become priests in we're a woman, Scripture reveals precisely that we are NOT equal, but are to regard everyone else as superior to ourselves. (Philippians 2:3) One of the main reasons I oppose women's ordination more because it usually arises from the view "I can do whatever I want. You're no better than I am," which I believe to be patently unChristian and contrary to biblical teaching.

The second argument that I find compelling is the "icon of Christ" argument, which was brought up by Sarah at the beginning of this discussion. GiC's response was, "Christ was a Jew too, does that mean only Jews can be priests?" As a matter of fact, I would argue, yes it does. Given the New Testament teaching on what it means to be a Jew, one could quite easily argue that all priests are, in fact, Jews. As the New Testament, and Church Teaching via other sources, makes clear, being Israel, i.e. a Jew, is not a function of genetics. Rather, it is a function of spirituality or faith. One is truly a Jew when one shares that faith of Abraham. One who rejects Christ, regardless of his ethnicity, is not a Jew. He is not a descendant of Israel. This is found in Romans: "A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God." It is also in Galatians, and even in Revelation (Revelation 2:9; 3:9 in reference to those who claim to be Jews but are not). Scripture and Church Teaching (for those who don't accept Scripture AS Church teaching) is clear on this issue. The Church is Israel, and that makes all its members Jews.

For better or worse, for reasons I can't fathom, God chose to reveal Himself through masculine images. Christ calls Him "Father", not mother. Christ Himself was born a man. Christ is the Groom and the Church is the Bride. Throughout Scripture and the Tradition of the Church, God, who is in Himself genderless, reveals Himself as Father. Cultural prejudice is not enough to dismiss this fact, in my opinion. Further, this cultural bias, according to Paul, has in itself theological significance. Centuries of practice cannot be dismissed merely as the result of cultural bias. The basis for this cultural bias needs to be examined in itself.

One last argument, if there are no compelling theological arguments prohibiting the ordination of women, what are the compelling theological arguments for it? There ought to be at least some compelling theological argument before one changes centuries of belief and practice in the Church that do have a theological basis, even if it isn't a "compelling" one.

Ok, that's my argument, for what it's worth. The issue merits and requires discussion if for no other reason so that we can be clear on what it is our Church teaches and believes. It is not enough to say, "Well, they did it in the past." We must have reasons for what we do and believe, especially if we're going to insist that others do and believe the same things, which we are, in this case. ::)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: SonofAslan on May 02, 2006, 07:17:54 PM
PS  GiC, equality should really not be an ideal highly prized by someone who follows Plato.  :)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 02, 2006, 07:20:44 PM
One last argument, if there are no compelling theological arguments prohibiting the ordination of women, what are the compelling theological arguments for it?

Here are three that have been discussed on this thread:

1) The fact that Christians are not Muslims, and that our theology forbids us to consider women to be inferior to men.

2) The fact that women have been ordained in the Church in the past.

3) The fact that the docrine that the Priest is the "Icon of Christ" is a questionable doctrine.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: PeterTheAleut on May 02, 2006, 07:38:43 PM
Here are three that have been discussed on this thread:

1) The fact that Christians are not Muslims, and that our theology forbids us to consider women to be inferior to men.

2) The fact that women have been ordained in the Church in the past.

3) The fact that the docrine that the Priest is the "Icon of Christ" is a questionable doctrine.

These may indeed be arguments, but I for one certainly don't find them compelling.  (More on this later, if I get around to it.)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 02, 2006, 07:49:04 PM
These may indeed be arguments, but I for one certainly don't find them compelling.  (More on this later, if I get around to it.)
I would say "compelling" to at least open the doors of discussion and discernment on the subject of Ordination of women and the issues around this.
Just take the 3rd one- the belief that "the Priest is the Icon of Christ". Shouldn't it be "compelling" to at least examine the possibility that a doctrine used to support an all-male Priesthood may actually be heresy?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: minasoliman on May 02, 2006, 08:32:55 PM
Pray tell, what other woman created either the prototype or the symbol (to use platonic distinctions) of the divine body and blood in her womb? Human begetting human is one thing, that is natural, human begetting divine is another, that is sacramental.

Indeed she held the Divine Logos in her, but that does not make it "sacramental."  We all, male or female, hold the Holy Spirit in us that we may be sons of God like the Logos, and she held the most Divine grace stemming from the Logos than anyone else, something that we all strive for.  In the OT, mothers of prophets, kings, or priests were very important, for they have raised their children to be great in the eyes of the Lord.  People like St. Sarah, St. Hannah, the mother of Moses (and Pharaoh's daughter), the mother of Samson, St. Rahab, St. Ruth and St. Elizabeth all had important children to give birth to, but they were not priests and kings in virture of giving birth to important figures.  They were exceedingly blessed, but blessed among all women is the Theotokos Mary, for she bore God.  But bearing God does not make her the True God, but makes her full of grace, where no one else, save the Forerunner, had greater blessing.

To define "sacramental," it is a duty upon which a priest in a ritualistic sense must perform.  For St. Mary, this was not "sacramental," but natural.  Miraculously, she bore in her God without the seed of Man which is the unnatural part, but afterwards, all that Christ went through in her and out was a natural outcome of His full humanity.  One can say the same of women like Sts. Sarah, the mother of Samson, Hannah, and Elizabeth (who also had a child filled with the Holy Spirit at conception) who were barren and bore children by the miraculous grace of God, but nevertheless, not something that makes them priests.  St. Paul writes:

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Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.
1Tim. 2:15

For St. Mary, she brought God to us in human form, in analogy to the importance of mothers who bear important sons.  For St. John, he brought God to us in anointed (christos) mystery, in analogy to the priesthood from men.  Blessed is St. Mary among women, and there is no man born of woman greater than St. John.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0802849792/sr=8-1/qid=1146616302/ref=pd_bbs_1/102-2672045-5827332?%5Fencoding=UTF8

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That is not true, the master would have to free them according to the canons, not merely allow them. So long as they are a slave they were not allowed to be ordained.

That's the point.  You made it seem at first as if a slave has no chance of being free in the first place.  However, is there a chance for a female to become a male later in her life?

God bless.

Mina
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: minasoliman on May 02, 2006, 08:34:51 PM
Unless you want to define certain levels of what is "sacramental," for I have no problem that our lives even in helping the needy and simply praying to God is considered sacramental, for all these things help us partake of God.  But priestly issues are clear where the "main sacraments" are celebrated and distributed for the order of things.

God bless.

Mina
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: minasoliman on May 02, 2006, 08:59:59 PM
1) The fact that Christians are not Muslims, and that our theology forbids us to consider women to be inferior to men.

Yes.  Absolutely.  I would venture to say that when St. Paul said that women should cover their heads, it was put analogous to the Father being the head of Christ.  Unless one is Arian, this proves that role-playing does not make women, or any laity in this case, inferior to the priesthood.

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2) The fact that women have been ordained in the Church in the past.

I was reviewing the canons, since this topic forced me to look at the canons, and in the Council of Nicea Canon XIX is translated:

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Concerning the Paulianists who have flown for refuge to the Catholic Church, it has been decreed that they must by all means be rebaptized; and if any of them who in past time have been numbered among their clergy should be found blameless and without reproach, let them be rebaptized and ordained by the Bishop of the Catholic Church; but if the examination should discover them to be unfit, they ought to be deposed. Likewise in the case of their deaconesses, and generally in the case of those who have been enrolled among their clergy, let the same form be observed. And we mean by deaconesses such as have assumed the habit, but who, since they have no imposition of hands, are to be numbered only among the laity.

The "laying of hands" may be a weakness of language, but in the ancient epitome, it is also written:

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Paulianists must be rebaptised, and if such as are clergymen seem to be blameless let then, be ordained. If they do not seem to be blameless, let them be deposed. Deaconesses who have been led astray, since they are not sharers of ordination, are to be reckoned among the laity.

Now, I don't dispute the word "ordain," but I believe there is a difference between ordaining concerning priestly sacramental duties, and "ordaining" for laity "sacramental" duties.  Even government officials were considered "ordained," but are still laity.

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3) The fact that the docrine that the Priest is the "Icon of Christ" is a questionable doctrine.

Not really.  A Catholic female theologian writes some very convincing concerning the role of Christ as a male for the salvation of women, and why we should always necessarily follow Christ's suit for the sake of equality:

http://www.godspy.com/reviews/Priesthood-and-the-Masculinity-of-Christ.cfm

Which will be posted in the next post.

God bless.

Mina
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: pensateomnia on May 02, 2006, 09:07:30 PM
Just for clarity's sake, allow me to summarize some of the main arguments of this thread. I'm sure I'm missing some, but these seem to be the six major areas that require further study/proof on both sides. Some of these arguments are strong, some are weak, some are simply a priori statements, while other are strongly a posteriori.

Again: These are not my arguments. The arguments I have summarized for female priests are longer than the ones against because most people on this forum (and in general) seem to be quite aware of all of the arguments AGAINST any such office, but not familiar with the actual arguments in favor.

Against Female Priests

1) Ain't never happened. There is no Scriptural, Patristic or canonical text in the entire corpus of venerated Orthodox literature that speaks favorably of female priests. There are, however, various texts in this corpus that speak against it.

2) St. Paul forbids women to teach and to hold authority over men.

3) Most Orthodox Bishops who have spoken in public on the issue have spoken against it.

4) The modern Elders of Greece, Romania, Serbia, etc. have spoken against it.

5) The priest is an Icon of Christ, who was male, and therefore the priest acts "in persona Christi."

6) Christ and the early Church were not afraid to go against social norms. Thus, one cannot claim that the Church's practice was motivated by cultural bias.

For Female Priests

1) The early Church's female diaconate entailed a full-fledged ordination (cheirotonia). The canons dealing with female deacons use the term cheirotonia, as does the actual prayer of female-diaconal ordination. While no text explains in detail the liturgical and/or ministerial role of female deacons, there are a number of texts that show that the deaconesses were numbered among the clergy (see, for example, the work of Evangelos Theodorou, et al.) Cheirotonia is a major ordination, and the diaconate is considered to be the "first level" of the ordained priesthood. Thus, there is precedent for women sharing in one of the levels of priesthood.

2) There are many examples in Church history of women teaching men (even clergymen!) about theology, spirituality and prayer. There are, for example, various women who are called isaapostolos, equal to the apostles, in the Church's hagiography and hymnography, e.g. St. Thekla, various Empresses and St. Nina of Georgia, who evangelized and taught thousands.

2) The Fathers emphasize that Christ became human, not that he became male (cf. the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, etc.). Our shared human nature is what allows us to imitate, represent and even become Christ -- not our particular gender. Furthermore, all genders are one in Christ; they are equal in the eyes of God. Thus, the gender of the individual, theologically speaking, is irrelevant.

3) At the most important priestly moment, the epiklesis, the Orthodox priest does NOT act as an Icon of Christ for the people (qua Roman Catholic ideas of the priest being in persona Christi at the words of Institution); rather, he acts in persona Ecclesiae, as a representative not of Christ, but of the Church, which is portrayed in feminine terms as the Bride of Christ. Thus, the argument that the priest is a physical Icon of Christ and therefore must be male holds no water.

4) Bishop Kallistos Ware, of course, has said the issue deserves to be examined (not that it is settled), and, perhaps, other Bishops can be construed to support looking at the evidence, since they have sponsored official theological dialogues on related topics, e.g. women and authority in the Church, and female deacons.

5) The Church has often changed practices and introduced novelties in liturgy, theological expression and cultural traditions. Some examples:

a) Apostolic Canon 9 and Canon 2 of the Council of Antioch (from the 4th century) require everyone present at a liturgy to receive the Eucharist, and yet the Medieval Church forbade regular reception ("traditionalists" still do). [/li][/list]

b) The Canons also strictly prohibit the transfer of bishops (and, often, even clerics) from one area to another. In general, many of the canons dealing with local synods, ecclesiastical appeals, episcopal authority, etc. have been radically re-interpreted or have simply not been applied for centuries.

c) The "Endemousa" Synod of Constantinople discussed and rejected (as heretical?) the adoption of the “Gregorian” calendar in the 1580s. In the 1920s, however, that decision was reserved, and a sizable number of Orthodox Churches switched over.

d) Although there was no clear or authoritative canonical basis on which to do so, another Endemousa Synod defined autocephaly as the official administrative principle of the Orthodox Church circa 1850. This responded to the social and political reality (e.g. Russia’s autocephaly in the 16th century), but the idea of “autocephaly” as we understand it today — the very way in which we organize the Church! — is markedly different from both the primitive Church’s structure and the Imperial.

e) The rubrics, most of the hymns and the very structure of the liturgical services have changed considerably since the early Church (cf. the Cathedral Rite, the Studion Reform, the liturgical reforms after the Hesychastic controversies, etc.), and they continue to change. Many popular services and practices date no earlier than the Medieval Period (e.g. the Lamentations on Great Friday) or even as recent as 1888, when Constantinople issued a new Typikon that universalized several new rituals for the services of Holy Week and Pascha (e.g. the Un-Nailing Service).

6) Matters of Dogma and morals are unchangeable, but liturgy, practice and organization do change according to the Spirit and the needs of the Church. There is no dogmatic decree against female priests.

---------------

Now, have at it!...and feel free to fill in the blanks. If we're going to talk about this — despite the fact that it isn’t going to happen!! — then we might as well have some sort of idea of what each side is saying.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: minasoliman on May 02, 2006, 09:09:11 PM
Priesthood and the Masculinity of Christ

The maleness of Christ is required to restore the unity between men and women disrupted by original sin.

By R. Mary Hayden Lemmons

The refusal of the Catholic Church to ordain women as priests has left many feeling that the Church considers women to be inferior to men. They have difficulty reconciling the Church's proclamations of sexual equality with the 1994 papal argument of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis. In that document, John Paul II reaffirmed the 1977 teaching of Inter Insigniores and proclaims that the Church lacks the authority to ordain women, since Christ did not appoint women as apostles and since the historical tradition has restricted priestly ordination to men.

These papal arguments have not been very persuasive due to the common conviction that equality requires gender neutrality—even within the ministries of Christ. If this were so, masculinity would be irrelevant for the mission of Christ. But this is not true. The masculinity of Christ is crucial to his mission of remedying the effects of original sin.

According to Genesis, original sin deprived the human race of its original unity with God and deeply affected the original unity of man and woman. As a result, Christ had an humanitarian mission to restore unity with God and a gender mission to restore heterosexual unity. The humanitarian mission required that Christ be fully human and fully God. Accordingly, since women are as human as men, God could have incarnated as a woman. A female Christ could have restored the human race to its original unity with God. It is not Christ's humanitarian mission that required Christ to be male.

The maleness of Christ is required to restore the unity between men and women disrupted by original sin. Genesis 3:16 says, "Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you." This passage indicates three gender consequences of original sin: the excessive desire or obsession of women for their men, male domination over women and sexual inequality. Freeing the human race from these consequences of original sin constitute Christ's gender mission.

These consequences are significant. In his letter On the Dignity and Vocation of Women, John Paul II identifies male domination with chauvinism and blames it for the many ways in which women suffer from the lack of proper appreciation for her equality and dignity. Chauvinism—as a consequence of Original sin—required that the Christ be a man. Due to chauvinism, a female Christ would not have been recognized by men as being their lord, their rabbi, their savior. Christ exemplified sacrificial love, which chauvinism identifies as a weakness and as a peculiarity of women. According to chauvinism, maleness is about power, independence, and control. Not so, taught Christ. Rather, masculinity is for the sake of pouring out one's life for another in love, not for the sake of dominating self-gratification.

Fallen women also needed Christ to be incarnated as a man-and not only to teach men a lesson. Original sin weakened femininity to the point where it blinded women to the truth about her desire for love. Original sin derailed woman's transcendent passion for God with an egocentric passion for man-for a Mr. Right able to satisfy the yearnings of her heart. Fallen woman thus assumes either that Mr. Right will be perfect or that accommodating his chauvinism will be the sacrifice that enables her to be loved. Thus, woman needs not only to be freed from the harms of chauvinism but also from the misdirection of her desire. Women need to learn not only that there can only be one perfect man, Jesus Christ, but also that men need not be chauvinistic. If Christ had been incarnated as a woman, these lessons would have been untaught. Thus, the gender mission of Christ required Christ to be incarnated as a man for the sake of women as well as for the sake of men.

If Christ had to be incarnated as a man in order to fulfill his gender mission, then it is not possible for women to undertake this mission. If it is not possible for women to undertake the gender mission, then it is not possible for women to be ordained Catholic priests. For the Catholic priest images Christ in his gender mission as well as in his humanitarian mission. This is particularly the case since the Catholic Church was founded to counter the effects of Original Sin.

Since the refusal of the Catholic Church to ordain women is grounded on the gender mission of Christ, it is a refusal that promotes sexual equality. It is incredibly important that the Church promote sexual equality—for two reasons. First, sexual equality counters the harmful gender inequities of original sin. Secondly, as John Paul II points out, it is only when spouses recognize and appreciate the equality of the other that they are able to appreciate properly the other's spousal gift of self. Without this appreciation, marriages fail to properly image the loving equality of the Trinity. Genesis 1:27 says "God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created him." We are made in the image of God. Thus, we love best when we love as God loves. As John Paul II puts it in On the Dignity and Vocation of Women, n.7:

"The fact that man 'created as man and woman' is the image of God means not only that each of them individually is like God, as a rational and free being. It also means that man and woman, created as a 'unity of the two' in their common humanity, are called to live in a communion of love, and in this way to mirror in the world the communion of love that is in God, through which the Three Persons love each other in the intimate mystery of the one divine life."

In other words, heterosexual love and spousal oneness image the love and the oneness of the Trinity, where the distinction of persons—and roles—precludes neither unity or equality. Thus, the need to image Trinitarian love requires heterosexual equality. The Church is thereby obligated to promote sexual equality.

Therefore, the promotion of sexual equality, Trinitarian love, and faithfulness to the missions of Christ requires the Catholic Church to forgo ordaining women. By so doing, not only does she proclaim the importance of Christ's male incarnation and the need for ordained priests to image His gender mission, but she also honors her Savior.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: pensateomnia on May 02, 2006, 09:30:08 PM
Quote
Paulianists must be rebaptised, and if such as are clergymen seem to be blameless let then, be ordained. If they do not seem to be blameless, let them be deposed. Deaconesses who have been led astray, since they are not sharers of ordination, are to be reckoned among the laity.

Now, I don't dispute the word "ordain," but I believe there is a difference between ordaining concerning priestly sacramental duties, and "ordaining" for laity "sacramental" duties.  Even government officials were considered "ordained."

This canon also says that "clergymen" should be ordained. Should we assume, then, that according to this canon all priests need to get another ordination? No, of course not, because it's talking about PAULIANIST clergy, including deaconesses. PAULIANIST deaconesses need to be reckoned among the laity because the PAULIANIST rite of female diaconal ordination, according to this canon, is not considered to be real ordination (vis-a-vis the Orthodox ordination).

Ordination (cheirotonia) is a technical, ecclesiastical term in Orthodox canon law. It is fairly consistently distinguished from cheirothesia (appointment). The former (cheirotonia) describes the rite of ordination to one of the three levels of the priesthood; the latter applies to minor orders (sub-deacon, reader, et al.).

Sorry to get all GiC-like on you, but there have been tomes written on this very canon and one wearies...
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on May 02, 2006, 09:32:19 PM
Indeed she held the Divine Logos in her, but that does not make it "sacramental."  We all, male or female, hold the Holy Spirit in us that we may be sons of God like the Logos, and she held the most Divine grace stemming from the Logos than anyone else, something that we all strive for.  In the OT, mothers of prophets, kings, or priests were very important, for they have raised their children to be great in the eyes of the Lord.  People like St. Sarah, St. Hannah, the mother of Moses (and Pharaoh's daughter), the mother of Samson, St. Rahab, St. Ruth and St. Elizabeth all had important children to give birth to, but they were not priests and kings in virture of giving birth to important figures.  They were exceedingly blessed, but blessed among all women is the Theotokos Mary, for she bore God.  But bearing God does not make her the True God, but makes her full of grace, where no one else, save the Forerunner, had greater blessing.

First of all, none of these other women gave birth to God, giving birth to a king or prophet, no matter how great, is not even analogous to giving birth to God. And not only did she give birth to God, but she formed the Divine Body and the Divine Blood from herself; she gave to God her nature that He may be both God and Man. No, she is not God and no one says otherwise, but she is the one who united God and Man, hardly a trivial role.

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To define "sacramental," it is a duty upon which a priest in a ritualistic sense must perform.  For St. Mary, this was not "sacramental," but natural.  Miraculously, she bore in her God without the seed of Man which is the unnatural part, but afterwards, all that Christ went through in her and out was a natural outcome of His full humanity.

Except Christ was not a mere human, he was and is theanthropic...his body and blood are not merely human but also Divine. For Just as he is fully human, so also is he fully divine. Our Lady was no less Mother to the Divinity than to the Humanity...unless you believe her to be merely Christotokos?

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One can say the same of women like Sts. Sarah, the mother of Samson, Hannah, and Elizabeth (who also had a child filled with the Holy Spirit at conception) who were barren and bore children by the miraculous grace of God, but nevertheless, not something that makes them priests.  St. Paul writes:
1Tim. 2:15

These are not analogous, for they did not give birth to Divinity.

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That's the point.  You made it seem at first as if a slave has no chance of being free in the first place.  However, is there a chance for a female to become a male later in her life?

Well with modern technology there's no telling anymore ;)

But seriously, the mutability or immutability of the condition does not lessen the injustice.

Unless you want to define certain levels of what is "sacramental," for I have no problem that our lives even in helping the needy and simply praying to God is considered sacramental, for all these things help us partake of God.  But priestly issues are clear where the "main sacraments" are celebrated and distributed for the order of things.

What I am saying is that the Incarnation is the Eucharist [/i]par excellence[/i], it is the fullest and most complete manifestation of the Eucharist that has ever been celebrated. And in this incarnation one person alone acted on the behalf of all mankind, one person made the sacrifice that brought God to Man, these actions of our Lady are the essence of the priestly role and she fulfilled this Priestly office to a degree that no one else in the history of the world has been able to accomplish.

I was reviewing the canons, since this topic forced me to look at the canons, and in the Council of Nicea Canon XIX is translated:

The "laying of hands" may be a weakness of language, but in the ancient epitome, it is also written:

Just a quick note here, I made this point earlier on the forum but in case you missed it. There seems to be a change in practice at some point between Nicea and Chalcedon. At Nicea it is clear that deaconesses were not ordained by the laying on of hands like the male clergy; however, in the canons of Chalcedon it is stated (as received practice, not innovation), that deaconesses are ordained by the laying on of hands just like male priests (this point is clearly emphasized twice in the canon, I believe canon 15 if I remember properly). This is confirmed by the Novles of Justianian which also speak of the Ordination of Deaconesses, it also states that they participate in the celebration of the 'mysterious and sacred rites' of the Church (can't remember the exact reference, but it's in a fairly recent post on this thread).

Quote
Not really.  A Catholic female theologian writes some very convincing concerning the role of Christ as a male for the salvation of women, and why we should always necessarily follow Christ's suit for the sake of equality:

http://www.godspy.com/reviews/Priesthood-and-the-Masculinity-of-Christ.cfm

I'd avoid that article for your posistions, it is heavily dependent on the Latin doctrine of Original Sin, which is rejected by the Orthodox, to say the least. To deny that the Image of Christ is just as present in Woman as in Man seems to me to be blasphemy against the Image of God as it is a denial of its form and existance.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Gregory1958 on May 02, 2006, 10:01:10 PM
"Well, to be equally frank...if you think that a male priesthood is what separates us from the protestants you have no idea what it means to be Orthodox...do you? Do you really think that if we ordained women we would all the sudden be protestants? There was a time when we had deaconesses and women in prominent places in the Church. A female priesthood would simply be resurrecting and expanding upon ancient roles for women, ancient roles that were limited not by sound theology but by the culture and society of the day." -- greekischristian

Actually, I do know, and am still learning, what it means to be Orthodox.  One thing I do know -- the Church, as the pillar and foundation of the truth, does not create truth, it simply is a depositor of the truth and as such, clarifies it.  When the ecumenical councils met, they did not do so to create new "truth/dogma", but rather to clarify what had been believed universally by the church since its inception.  Women have never been allowed to be bishops and or priests, and it is my humble opinion that the true church will not suddenly declare some new revelation.  Of course, the ecumenists may, in an heretical moment, try to change the tradition of the church in this regard, but that does not mean that it is correct doctrine.

As to your unkind remark about my understanding of what it means to be Orthodox, I will admit that I have much to learn.  There is one other thing I have learned, however:  ecumenism is the great heresy facing the Church in our times.  You would do well to steer clear of this, lest you fall out of the grace of God.  In the late Fr. Seraphim Rose's book Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future, Fr. Seraphim recounts a story (pp. 189-190) of a disciple of St. Paisius the Great who was confused by a Jew who told St. Paisius' disciple that Jesus was not the Messiah.  "The disciple, being weak in mind and simple in heart, began to listen to these words and allowed himself to say: 'Perhaps what you say is correct.'" (p. 190).  When the disciple returned to St. Paisius, the saint informed him that the grace of Baptism had left him and the image of a Christian had been removed.  The disciple repented, the saint prayed for him, and the Lord restored him.  Father Seraphim goes on to compare the ecumenists, and even those who participate in the ecumenical movement but are not truly ecumenists, with this disciple because, "by their very participation in this movement, including invariably common prayer with those who believe wrongly about Christ and His Church, they tell the heretics who behold them: 'Perhaps what you say is correct,', even as the wretched disciple of St. Paisius did.  No more than this is required for an Orthodox Christian to lose the grace of God; and what labor it will cost for him to gain it back!" (p. 191).

Take heed!

P.S.  I don't think that the male priesthood is what seperates us from protestants.  I used to be a protestant, remember?  If you think that protestants are all "ordaining" women, then you don't know much about protestantism, do you?  Your comment reflects not only a lack of kindness and some serious bad manners (didn't you listen to your mother?), but an arrogance that one would not expect in this forum.

Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Theognosis on May 02, 2006, 10:22:08 PM
Quote
The male priesthood was unquestionably culturally motivated, the initial influences were Jewish, which was an extremely misogynistic culture.

That is a weak presupposition.  On the contrary, the Jewish all-male priesthood itself could very well be THEOLOGICALLY motivated, which I believe is a very strong case.  You would need to twist and turn the passages of the Old Testament to suite your speculation and Marcionite tendencies.  To this effect, I expect you to say that the Old Testament itself was "culturally motivated."

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By the time that Pagan culture became influential in the late second century it reflected Roman State Religion, which relegated women to minor Roles, granted there were a few unofficial cults that were women-only, but these were always looked upon with suspicion by the mainstream of society; and the popular non-state cults that formed (Christianity and Mithra) both ended up coming in line with the tendencies of Roman State Religion.

You are treating the Roman Empire as having a homogeneous culture. That speaks millions about your ignorance of the subject.

Quote
Your reference to pre-Roman Greek religious practices is irrelevant;

Constantinople--the capital of the Roman Empire--was predominantly GREEK.  That makes a survey of Greek society so very, very relevant.

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most of those cults either integrated into the mainstream Roman State Religion, with the relevant gender roles, or became unofficial cults that were tolerated but taboo.

See?  The key word is HETEROGENEOUS, that's why it is important to identify the particular culture in the Roman Empire that is relevant to the discussion, i.e., Greek.

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The reason that I didn't address this issue before is because the claim that Jewish misogynistic culture did not influence an all-male priesthood is absurd at best and unworthy of comment.

How about Jewish theology influencing Christian theology? Let me just replace a word on your statement and tell me how it sounds to you:

The reason that I didn't address this issue before is because the claim that Jewish THEOLOGY did not influence an all-male priesthood is absurd at best and unworthy of comment.
 
Quote
No, haven't you studied Church history? Culture dictates custom and tradition; it was Imperial Politics that dictated theology.

That's what the Jehovah's Witnesses say. Shake that thing off.

Quote
As one of my professors here at Holy Cross told me, we Orthodox do a great job at preserving dogmas and liturgy, but where we fail and the Catholics and Protestants excel is in the advocating and advancing of justice and that we could learn a thing or two if we paid attention to them.

Yes, YOU should be paying attention yourself. What we learn from both Catholics and Protestants are their MISTAKES.  For instance, we should recognize the failure of liberal theology (which led to atheism) and Vatican II. Other than those mistakes, Orthodoxy has nothing to gain from them because they have everything to gain from us. ÂÂ

On the subject of female priesthood, go to England and see what a disaster it has created among the laity.

http://www.westernorthodox.com/options
I can still remember the confusion and pain at Nashotah House Seminary when the news began to spread that the 1976 General Convention had passed, by a razor thin margin, a canon to permit the ordination of women to the priesthood and episcopate. The 100th Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Ramsey, was teaching theology at the seminary in the fall of 1976. His powerful presence had an almost spell-like effect on everyone and we all looked to him for guidance and wisdom. In true Anglo-Catholic fashion, most, but not all of us, decided to stay and suffer through! We rallied around Lord Ramsey and other sound bishops, like Robert Terwilliger, and we made our threats to stay and not leave!

There are days now, when I wish that I had been able to recognize that the Anglican house was no longer inclusive enough to find room for orthodox Christians. It would take me another 18 years before it became clear that I truly no longer had a place at the family table in the Anglican Communion, which had been the very place where I had been formed as an orthodox Christian.

In my case, I fell victim to an Episcopalian bishop who totally ignored the Eames Commission, Lambeth pronouncements and the so-called conscience clause by trying to force me to stand with a woman priest to renew ordination vows. This action was not long after his promise not to force the issue with his clergy who held theological objections to female ordinations.




Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: PeterTheAleut on May 02, 2006, 11:05:59 PM
I would say "compelling" to at least open the doors of discussion and discernment on the subject of Ordination of women and the issues around this.
Just take the 3rd one- the belief that "the Priest is the Icon of Christ". Shouldn't it be "compelling" to at least examine the possibility that a doctrine used to support an all-male Priesthood may actually be heresy?
I think I opened my first post on this thread with this assertion, and I'll say it again.  Though I currently oppose women's ordination to the priesthood, I certainly do not oppose at least a reasonable discussion of the issue.  (I'm actually saying this to voice my agreement with your above quote.)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: PeterTheAleut on May 02, 2006, 11:19:52 PM
These may indeed be arguments, but I for one certainly don't find them compelling.  (More on this later, if I get around to it.)
Okay, now is the time to expand on the above statement.

Here are three that have been discussed on this thread:

1) The fact that Christians are not Muslims, and that our theology forbids us to consider women to be inferior to men.
With our understanding of the biological and psychological differences between men and women, we do understand that women can perform roles that are different from men's.  Different, though, in no way means inferior.

However, I don't see how the above argument says anything that applies even remotely to the issue of women's ordination.  Are we automatically calling woman inferior to man because we deny her ordination to the priesthood?  If so, then maybe our concept of the priesthood is not according to Tradition.

Quote
2) The fact that women have been ordained in the Church in the past.
No one will deny that women were ordained deacons in the past.  But we have no record of women ever being ordained priests or bishops.

Quote
3) The fact that the docrine that the Priest is the "Icon of Christ" is a questionable doctrine.
I won't argue with this.  This may be one good argument for reconsidering our blanket rejection of women's ordination, but it certainly doesn't tell anyone why we should actively ordain a woman to the priesthood.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Fr. David on May 03, 2006, 12:23:40 AM
George,

Just take the 3rd one- the belief that "the Priest is the Icon of Christ". Shouldn't it be "compelling" to at least examine the possibility that a doctrine used to support an all-male Priesthood may actually be heresy?

Why would this be heresy? I'm having trouble seeing the connection you're trying to make here (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=8894.msg118391#msg118391) between "Priest as Chrstic Icon" and "mere re-enactment instead of memorial Eucharist" (the latter two terms also confuse me).
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 03, 2006, 06:22:37 AM
Why would this be heresy? I'm having trouble seeing the connection you're trying to make here (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=8894.msg118391#msg118391) between "Priest as Chrstic Icon" and "mere re-enactment instead of memorial Eucharist" (the latter two terms also confuse me).

I think there are four issues I need to clarify for you if I understood you correctly:
1) The Eucharist as memorial vs. the Eucharist as re-enactment.
2) The validity of the notion of the Priest as Icon of Christ.
3) How (1) and (2) interplay.
4) How all this ties in with the question of women's ordination.

Before I start spending time explaining myself about these 4 issues, can I just check that this is what you want me to do?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 03, 2006, 07:08:59 AM
However, I don't see how the above argument says anything that applies even remotely to the issue of women's ordination.  Are we automatically calling woman inferior to man because we deny her ordination to the priesthood?  If so, then maybe our concept of the priesthood is not according to Tradition.
That our concept of Priesthood may not be in accordance with Tradition in the sense of not in accordance with Orthodox Christian dogma, (particularly cosmology) is a possibility we may need to examine. If we can clearly demonstrate that God, and not merely men has decreed that women must be excluded from the priesthood, then clearly, no issue of inferiority could be implied. But if this is a tradition of men and not a command of God, then not only does it throw up the question of why this tradition of excluding women from the priesthood should be maintained, it also brings in to question everything we have assumed to be dogmatic reasons to exclude women from the priesthood. If women have been excluded  from priesthood solely because of a custom of men based on the notion that women are not "worthy" to be priests and bishops, then everything we have used as a "dogmatic justification" to obscure the real motive for our position is false dogma which has no place in the Church.

No one will deny that women were ordained deacons in the past.  But we have no record of women ever being ordained priests or bishops.
No one is arguing that women have never been Priests or Bishops. But the history of the Deaconesses demonstrates at least that women were not excluded from the Mystery of Cherotonia. We can never say that Cherotonia can only be administered to a male.

I won't argue with this.  This may be one good argument for reconsidering our blanket rejection of women's ordination, but it certainly doesn't tell anyone why we should actively ordain a woman to the priesthood.
No, but it may remove one false dogmatic reason- if it is false- which is repeatedly used to dogmatically justify the exclusion of women from the priesthood And don't tell me it's a non-issue, because it has been used on this thread, For example:
Two arguments sway me on this issue, although I must further admit to having no strong feelings on this particular issue. Being male and having absolutely NO desire for the priesthood (BLECH!!!) It doesn't impact me much. However, I do believe there are theological issues at stake here.........The second argument that I find compelling is the "icon of Christ" argument, which was brought up by Sarah at the beginning of this discussion.
Questioning the validity of the "Priest as Icon of Christ" doctrine does not compell us to ordain women, but it does cause us to question the validity of a dogmatic reason some find "compelling" to exclude women from the priesthood.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Fr. David on May 03, 2006, 07:09:55 AM
I think there are four issues I need to clarify for you if I understood you correctly:
1) The Eucharist as memorial vs. the Eucharist as re-enactment.
2) The validity of the notion of the Priest as Icon of Christ.
3) How (1) and (2) interplay.
4) How all this ties in with the question of women's ordination.

Before I start spending time explaining myself about these 4 issues, can I just check that this is what you want me to do?

You got it, exactly.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 03, 2006, 08:06:55 AM
Pedro,

(1) The Eucharist as memorial vs. the Eucharist as re-enactment.

Here's a potted explanation of the difference:
At the Mystical Supper, Our Lord Jesus Christ commanded the Apostles: "Do this in rememberance (Gk: en anemnisis) of Me."
"In rememberance" means do this in a way comparable to our custom of erecting War Memorials and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in our cities in rememberance (en anemnisis) of our soldiers who have fallen in war.
If we were to "re-enact" the Mystical Supper, not only we would be doing something comparable to staging a "Civil War Re-enactment", we would also be disobeying Christ Who commanded us to remember Him, not the Mystical Supper itself.
The Eucharist is the memorial of Christ's Sacrifice on Golgotha, not the memorial of the Mystical Supper. Thus, the Apostle says: "For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till he come." (1Cor. 11:26).

(2) Validity of the Notion of Priest as Icon of Christ.
If the Eucharist is the memorial of Christ's Sacrifice on Golgotha, what then do we mean if we say that "the Priest is the Icon of Christ" in the Eucharist?
Firstly, this is incongruous, because the Priest offers the Gifts also on behalf of himself. We would have the "Icon of Christ" offering the Sacrifice of the Eucharist on behalf of the "Icon of Christ".
Secondly, why do we need an Icon of Christ in the Eucharist? Not only did He promise that "when two or three gather in my Name, I am there among them", we also have the Real Presence of Christ in the Gifts.
Thirdly, the Eucharist is not an "Icon" of anything. It is not a symbolic gesture or action. It is an actual reality in itself. Each Eucharist is the Divine and Eternal directly entering the Earthly and Temporal. The Eucharist is not simply an Earthly gesture symbolising something Divine- it is Divine in itself, hence we call it "The Divine Liturgy".
Fourthly, in what way is the Priest the "Icon of Christ"? Is he the Icon of Christ's physical image? I doubt it. Is he the Icon of Christ's Authority? Then why must he perform the Divine Liturgy on an antimension signed by his Bishop? What do we mean by "The Priest is the Icon of Christ"?

(3) How do (1) and (2) interplay?
The only reason the Priest would have to be the "Icon of Christ" in the Eucharist would be if the Eucharist was a re-enactment of an action of Christ in which the Priest serves the function of representing Christ. In other words, the Priest is doing what Christ did.
But the Eucharist is not a re-enactment, but a memorial, so what is the Priest doing that Christ did? Is he hosting the Mystical Supper as Christ did? Then the Eucharist is simply a stage-play in which we are re-enacting what happened in the Upper Room before Christ's death, and it recalls the Mystical Supper, not the Sacrifice of Christ. Is the Priest acting as Christ on Golgotha? Then why does he offer the gifts on his own behalf as well?
The conclusion we are compelled to draw is that the Eucharist is not a "re-enactment" of anything at all. It is a memorial. So if we say that the Priest is the "Icon of Christ" in the Eucharist, we make the Eucharist into something it isn't.

(4)How all this ties in with the question of women's ordination.

If we accept that the Eucharist is a memorial, and not a re-enactment, then the Priest is not the "icon of Christ" in the Eucharist. And if a Priest does not have to be an "Icon of Christ" in order to celebrate the Eucharist, then the exclusion of women from the Priesthood on the basis of the notion that only a male can be an "Icon of Christ" is invalid.

Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: BoredMeeting on May 03, 2006, 10:13:25 AM
A parishoner once asked me what I would do if a woman priest were standing at the altar one day.

"I'd promptly leave and go find an Orthodox Church," was my response.

Christ selected no woman as Apostles. I believe those that wish to change this tradition see themselves as being superior in some way to Christ Himself.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: minasoliman on May 03, 2006, 10:22:38 AM
Dear Pensatoemnia,

Actually GiC admitted that there was no "laying of hands" on deaconesses from Nicea.  Plus, I don't see how one can escape the ancient epitome.  They mentioned Paulinian priests not only to be rebaptized, but reordained.  For deaconesses, while she was "among the clergy," as in helping the clergy (it is in no way indicating she was of a clerical duty, which the last sentence shows).

And I don't mind being "GiC'ed."  In many times, being "GiC'ed" forces me to think. ;)

Speaking of GiC,

Dear GiC :)

We may continue to disagree on the role of the Theotokos.  One thing I do know is that she is above all the cherubim and the serafim, sitting on the throne with Christ interceding to Him for us.  This is perhaps one proof on the side of "male-only priests" that priests are not considered superior to all others, especially women.  If anything, the Theotokos makes the priests submit to the women, even though he is considered leader and master.  St. Paul did say "submit to one another."

But still, we cannot escape St. Paul's theological explanations of man-woman relations and the priesthood, such as the head of woman is man (head of Christ is the Father), and that women are not allowed to "speak" because man was formed first, and that wives must submit to husbands as the Church to Christ.  All these attest to theological explanations.  There may have been some cultural issues and misinterpretations into these (especially the latter when men forget the sacrificial loving role of the husband), but that does not automatically dismiss the Apostles' theological/spiritual explanations, not to mention St. Paul's plea to hold on to whatever he teaches and never change the customs, and we all know how very gender nuetral St. Paul is.

Other issues that come to mind is that if the Theotokos would be considered a priest (in context of the call of Melchizedek), then there would have been no need for a Forerunner baptizing Christ and preparing His way, or the Apostles should have included women in that Holy Table breaking bread and drinking wine with Christ partaking of Him.  Surely, the speaking in tongues came to anyone, including women, but the breath of the Holy Spirit ordaining them to priesthood was reserved for the men.

There is no greater priest than the Theotokos, and in priest, I mean what is told to us in Revelations, the spiritual priest, in which we are all, in a sacramental fashion sacrificying ourselves and holding the Holy Spirit within us.  But the role of the priesthood of Melchizedek was not given to St. Mary.

Just one other thing, and I know you wanted to push a button there ;)

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Except Christ was not a mere human, he was and is theanthropic...his body and blood are not merely human but also Divine. For Just as he is fully human, so also is he fully divine. Our Lady was no less Mother to the Divinity than to the Humanity...unless you believe her to be merely Christotokos?

She held the theanthropic Logos, and she is TRULY the Theotokos, holding in her the prosopon who existed before all ages.  Yet, while she is full of grace and no one held much grace than she did, I don't believe she held all of the divinity, for the divinity was not only in her, but out of her and beyond to infinity.  I don't believe she held the Divine essence, for she can't hold all of it, but a small part of it, the energia.

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These are not analogous, for they did not give birth to Divinity.

I disagree.  Regardless of giving birth to God or not, I see the analogy.  Otherwise, there would have been no need for a Forerunner.

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What I am saying is that the Incarnation is the Eucharist [/i]par excellence[/i], it is the fullest and most complete manifestation of the Eucharist that has ever been celebrated. And in this incarnation one person alone acted on the behalf of all mankind, one person made the sacrifice that brought God to Man, these actions of our Lady are the essence of the priestly role and she fulfilled this Priestly office to a degree that no one else in the history of the world has been able to accomplish.

This is beautiful and all, but I disagree that it is some sort of Melchizedek priestly role.  The Eucharist is not just bringing Christ, but a crucified Christ.  "Here is My Body and My Blood, which is broken and shed for you."  Did she give birth to a broken and shed Christ, or did she present the prosfora that will be washed and anointed (John the Baptist) and broken (the Apostles) by the priest?  I'm not denying that she made a sacrifice herself incomparably above all priestly sacrifices, which we all must follow her example, but the order of things done is clear.

The Theotokos also represents the Church, for just as the Theotokos gave birth to God, the Church by Her baptismal womb gives birth to gods by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  It is afterwards, in our journey after putting on Christ, do we suffer with Him.

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But seriously, the mutability or immutability of the condition does not lessen the injustice.

I don't see any injustice.  It is injustice to those who misconstrue the roles as some sort of superiority-inferiority complex, which brings me back to my belief that those who should be priests are those qualified persons who didn't want to be priests in the first place.

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Just a quick note here, I made this point earlier on the forum but in case you missed it. There seems to be a change in practice at some point between Nicea and Chalcedon. At Nicea it is clear that deaconesses were not ordained by the laying on of hands like the male clergy; however, in the canons of Chalcedon it is stated (as received practice, not innovation), that deaconesses are ordained by the laying on of hands just like male priests (this point is clearly emphasized twice in the canon, I believe canon 15 if I remember properly). This is confirmed by the Novles of Justianian which also speak of the Ordination of Deaconesses, it also states that they participate in the celebration of the 'mysterious and sacred rites' of the Church (can't remember the exact reference, but it's in a fairly recent post on this thread).

Besides the fact that I am not a Chalcedonian, it is obvious that "deaconesses" were not considered ordained in the same manner that their fellow deacons were, even the the practice is the same, such as laying of hands and cheritonia.  Therefore, if it may be "received practice and not innovation", then the idea behind it should remain the same as it was in that Nicean canon.  And in accordance with the "mysterious and sacred rites," I agree that even in Nicean times or before, that deaconesses had to help women in baptistry with the priest there or of the like, with the consecration coming from the priest, assisted by the deaconess.  If the Eucharist has to be administered to women, it was first consecrated by a priest, so forth.  A deaconess is not independant from the clergy nor is she of the clergy, but she is "among" them assisting them.

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I'd avoid that article for your posistions, it is heavily dependent on the Latin doctrine of Original Sin, which is rejected by the Orthodox, to say the least. To deny that the Image of Christ is just as present in Woman as in Man seems to me to be blasphemy against the Image of God as it is a denial of its form and existance.

Come on now!  She hardly touched on her definition of "Original Sin."  If it pleases you, replace it with "Fallen Nature" or "Corrupt Nature" or simply "The Fall."  I've also read somewhere in the GOTR that St. John Chysostom also believed gender inequalities to be a result of the fall.

God bless.

Mina
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Sarah on May 03, 2006, 10:59:00 AM
As a cradle Orthodox woman, I have never felt like a second-class citizen in regard to church matters or otherwise.  It never occurred to me to be offended or pouty because I couldn't be an altar server.  Guess what?  God blessed me with two when I became a mother!

So many sects were started because someone didn't get his way and suddenly had a revelation of the truth.  Bah!  Pride has a lot to do with this as well.  Sounds like those people have their sights on themselves and not on God.

Does anyone actually believe that Christ would have been swayed by the customs of the time?  He bucked a lot of tradition and rules even without the priest issue.  If He meant for women to serve as priests, He would have chosen them to be Apostles.  He didn't exclude women in His ministry, however.  In fact, the Theotokos was the first one to accept Christ, thus becoming the first Christian!  The influence of women is felt in the church at home, when they teach their children, when they perform the myriad tasks needed at the temple.

ozgeorge, I'm not sure how you went from a priest being the Icon of Christ to a priest being the Icon of Christ in the Eucharist in your argument above.  I've read that the priest accepts the offering, and, by doing so, represents God accepting our offering.  There again is the "maleness" represented in the priesthood.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: minasoliman on May 03, 2006, 11:08:57 AM
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(1) The Eucharist as memorial vs. the Eucharist as re-enactment.

I believe the "memorial" is a "re-enactment," not just of the Last Supper, but of Golgotha.  To be mere memorial of Him in Golgotha would lead to the Protestant belief that the body and blood are just "mere statues of the soldiers of the Civil War", and not the real thing.  Not only was it Him we preach crucified, but Him who also broke that bread in the Last Supper, which leads to the next point:

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(2) Validity of the Notion of Priest as Icon of Christ.

Yes, the Icon of Christ gives us Christ.  Christ Himself on the Last Supper broke the bread and consecrated the wine, and did not partake of the communion until He went to Heaven.  When the priest breaks bread and consecrates the wine, it is not the priest, but Christ in Him who "sups with us" (Rev. 3:20).  There is nothing incongruous about it.  In fact, we should remember that this sacrament is a mystery, which holds an element unexplainable to us, but we practice it anyway because we know the grace of God that is contained in it.

And the sacrifice is not done on the icon of Christ's behalf, but on behalf of all.  For when Christ died on the Cross, He didn't do this for Himself, even though He was fighting sin and corruption in His humanity, but for all, so that even the priest who eats it takes the same grace and blessing as all who did, with the exception that it is he as the priest whom Christ appointed to consecrate and distribute.  Even Christ eats and drinks Them with us (Lk 22, Rev. 3) Who is the primary Consecrator and Distributer.

Christ and the Apostles, including St. Paul always asked us to follow their examples so that we may imitate things divine:  "Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ." (1 Cor. 11:1)  This is all we need to do.  And surely enough, St. Paul in that same Chapter gives an explanation of the man being the head of the woman.  Thus, this is just one of many reasons why priests must be male and that this priest becomes the Icon of Christ to all, the icon of His authority, priesthood, and service (and in some churches, physically, including the beard and hair, imitating the Nazarene practice).

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(3) How do (1) and (2) interplay?

Like I said before, memorial is re-enactment.  Otherwise, we would be Protestants in our beliefs.  Furthermore, the Eucharist is a mystery, and it is only a result of pride trying to understand more than the mystery allows us to understand.  St. Paul writes in 1 Cor. 11 (the same chapter of male-female issues) to re-enact what Christ did in the Last Supper without blemish.  This is very clear, and that this re-enactment is the re-enactment of Christ's sacrifice in Golgotha.

Furthermore, just because the priest is the icon of Christ does not mean the Eucharist is being made into something it's not.  In fact, if Christ promises to eat and drink this with us (Lk 22 and Rev. 3), then should we question Christ eating His own flesh, or do we leave it as a mystery of the communion He is establishing between us and Him?

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(4)How all this ties in with the question of women's ordination.

Therefore, since the memorial is indeed a re-enactment, and that the priest is truly the icon of Christ re-enacting Christ in the Last Supper and remembering the crucified Christ in the Eucharist, the issue of female priesthood is out of question, and male-only priesthood is indeed very valid.

God bless.

Mina
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: minasoliman on May 03, 2006, 11:16:28 AM
Quote
As a cradle Orthodox woman, I have never felt like a second-class citizen in regard to church matters or otherwise.  It never occurred to me to be offended or pouty because I couldn't be an altar server.  Guess what?  God blessed me with two when I became a mother!

You can imagine how a mother of a bishop or patriarch must have felt, or even the Theotokos herself. :)

God bless.

Mina
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Fr. David on May 03, 2006, 12:19:45 PM
Mina,

Excellent reply.  You said everything I was eventually going to, and probably did it better.  I especially liked this part:

I believe the "memorial" is a "re-enactment," not just of the Last Supper, but of Golgotha. ... Furthermore, just because the priest is the icon of Christ does not mean the Eucharist is being made into something it's not.  In fact, if Christ promises to eat and drink this with us (Lk 22 and Rev. 3), then should we question Christ eating His own flesh, or do we leave it as a mystery of the communion He is establishing between us and Him?

This got to the heart of the matter, I think.  Christ Himself, during the original Mystic Supper, partook of His own, yet-to-be-crucified-in-time-yet-still-eucharistically-crucified Body, as did the apostles.  Therefore the Mystic Supper was itself a memorial of Golgotha before the fact, as are our re-enactments of the Mystic Supper; we not only participate in the Mystic Supper, but also in Calvary.

Therefore, as mina said, priest=icon of Christ, priest is male.  As for GiC's comment that priest must=Jew as well, aside from what pensateomnia said re: "The New Jews" et al, which was good, I'd also add that the apostles themselves, within the NT era, appointed Gentiles to the priesthood, so obviously they made a distinction between ethnicity and gender in terms of who was eligible for the priesthood.  Obviously the "Jew/Greek, slave/free, m/f" phrase is not meant to be applied as an eligibility litmus test for the priesthood.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: PeterTheAleut on May 03, 2006, 12:35:02 PM
(1) The Eucharist as memorial vs. the Eucharist as re-enactment.[/b]
Here's a potted explanation of the difference:
At the Mystical Supper, Our Lord Jesus Christ commanded the Apostles: "Do this in rememberance (Gk: en anemnisis) of Me."
"In rememberance" means do this in a way comparable to our custom of erecting War Memorials and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in our cities in rememberance (en anemnisis) of our soldiers who have fallen in war.
If we were to "re-enact" the Mystical Supper, not only we would be doing something comparable to staging a "Civil War Re-enactment", we would also be disobeying Christ Who commanded us to remember Him, not the Mystical Supper itself.
The Eucharist is the memorial of Christ's Sacrifice on Golgotha, not the memorial of the Mystical Supper. Thus, the Apostle says: "For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till he come." (1Cor. 11:26).
May I suggest a third way?  What if it happens that the Greek concept of "anamnesis" could be better translated into English?  For instance, what if the concept really means much more than just remembering a past event?  What if it means that we actually enter into the past event so that we are present at the event in a mystical way?  This is not a re-enactment of an event that cannot be repeated, but neither is it strictly memorial in the English sense of the word.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Pravoslavbob on May 03, 2006, 12:35:45 PM
This got to the heart of the matter, I think.  Christ Himself, during the original Mystic Supper, partook of His own, yet-to-be-crucified-in-time-yet-still-eucharistically-crucified Body, as did the apostles.  Therefore the Mystic Supper was itself a memorial of Golgotha before the fact, as are our re-enactments of the Mystic Supper; we not only participate in the Mystic Supper, but also in Calvary.

Actually, the majority of Orthodox do not believe that the "institution" of the Eucharist took place at the mystic supper.  It is considered to be Christ perhaps beginning the "setting in motion" of the "institution" of the Eucharist, but not the complete Eucharist.

Apart from this, I think the "iconic" argument for the male priesthood originally put forward by Latin theologians is a good argument, and is not given enough credit sometimes.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Fr. David on May 03, 2006, 01:34:02 PM
Actually, the majority of Orthodox do not believe that the "institution" of the Eucharist took place at the mystic supper.  It is considered to be Christ perhaps beginning the "setting in motion" of the "institution" of the Eucharist, but not the complete Eucharist.

Huh.  Never heard this one.  Do you have any references for that?  And does this mean, if such is the case, that these Orthodox don't believe that the bread and wine really became His Body and Blood like it does for us when Christ did it in the original mystic supper?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: pensateomnia on May 03, 2006, 01:48:14 PM
Therefore, as mina said, priest=icon of Christ, priest is male.  As for GiC's comment that priest must=Jew as well, aside from what pensateomnia said re: "The New Jews" et al, which was good, I'd also add that the apostles themselves, within the NT era, appointed Gentiles to the priesthood, so obviously they made a distinction between ethnicity and gender in terms of who was eligible for the priesthood.  Obviously the "Jew/Greek, slave/free, m/f" phrase is not meant to be applied as an eligibility litmus test for the priesthood.

Let me be more clear about my own beliefs: I think ordination of women to the priesthood (1) will NOT happen in the canonical Orthodox Church; (2) SHOULD not happen; and (3) discussion of it is fraught with peril, especially on a forum such as this, since it is far too easy to be misunderstood.

That said, I really think the whole "Icon of Christ" argument should be chucked out the window. It is NOT one used by the ancient Fathers, and it just doesn't make good theological or liturgical sense. In order for it to even BEGIN to make theological sense, one would have to define how male "nature" -- if that is even a valid theological (as opposed to behavioral, etc.) category! -- is ONTOLOGICALLY different than female "nature." Then, one would have to explain how that ONTOLOGICALLY different nature is somehow uniquely what Christ assumed/is. I doubt one could do either. That's why the Fathers and the Church’s hymnography *always* say that Christ became HUMAN, or He took on HUMAN nature...not that he became a MALE.

From a liturgical and patristic point of view, there's little, if any, indication that the priest being in persona Christi is anything other than analogical and angogical.

St. Ignatius, for example, compares priests to the Apostles and the BISHOP to Christ in several passages, but, when he does so, he is always making a point about the offices' AUTHORITY and the individual's moral uprightness. St. Ignatius' point isn't about gender or ontological representation, but about order, orthodox teaching and submission to authority. Further, in more direct passages, such as Magnesians 3.1, St. Ignatius draws a parallel between the Bishop and God the Father. How would gender have anything to do with this representation? Are we to assume, then, that Saint Ignatius was trying to insist on a male episcopacy because he believed the Father was, in fact, MALE? No. Because St. Ignatius is concerned with the SOURCE of priestly authority, not the priesthood as an iconic representation. Bishops, priests and deacons are authoritative teachers and moral guides because their authority comes from God, not because their gender happens to be male.

(Anyway, St. Ignatius also says Bishops equal God the Father; priests are like the Apostles; and deacons represent Christ. Why? Because deacons are "Icons" of Christ in so far as they are servants, i.e. because of moral action/life, not because of some mystical ontological equivalence).

Similar principles hold true for other Fathers who speak of an analogical relationship between priest and Christ, Who is, of course THE priest.

Finally, as others have mentioned, the priest prays the anaphora and celebrates the Divine Mysteries not as a representative or Icon of Christ to the people, but as a representative of the people (the Church) to God the Father THROUGH Christ and the Holy Spirit. This is an important distinction between old-school Roman Catholic sacramental theology and Orthodox liturgy/theology: in persona Christi vs. in persona Ecclesiae.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Fr. David on May 03, 2006, 02:26:13 PM
Pensateomnia,

So then, why DO you think that the male priesthood is something that will and SHOULD remain in the Church, if not for the priest-as-icon thing?

Personally, I see the priest-as-both-Christi-and-Ecclesia as a perfectly acceptable position...
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Pravoslavbob on May 03, 2006, 02:29:41 PM
Huh.  Never heard this one.  Do you have any references for that?  

No, but so far I have found 4 or 5 patristic and modern references that contradict my assertions explicitly or implicitly!  Maybe I will have to eat my words here.  Obviously I will have to dig deeper and perhaps even admit that I am wrong.    Unbelievable!  ;) :P

Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: pensateomnia on May 03, 2006, 04:04:47 PM
Personally, I see the priest-as-both-Christi-and-Ecclesia as a perfectly acceptable position...

PERHAPS if one is willing to admit (1) it is not a theologoumenon that comes from the ancient Fathers; (2) that the priest as "icon" is "iconic" in a purely symbolic or exterior sense, i.e. he must be male to the same degree that an Icon of Christ must portray Christ as a male, not as a female...(although if general exterior features are the critical thing, what, then, does one do with the numerous Icons of Christ as an African, Byzantine Emperor, Roman senator, German and/or Chinese wise man?).

If THIS is what the priest as "icon" means, however, then it is a rather weak argument in this particular debate, since it is not grounded in any dogmatic or ontological reality, but only in questions of form.

And, thus, one is still faced with the essential theological question: If Christ assumed HUMAN nature, in what way -- ontologically -- do males have the exclusive, categorical ability to "represent" Christ?

(Further, as this theologoumenon is applied within this particular debate, it completely sidesteps the essential Patristic message that the ordained clergy (all priestly offices, not just the presbyters!) are Icons of Christ not because of exterior representation but because of their charismata, their office, their moral/spiritual life and their orthodox teaching. Thus, a re-interpreted theologoumenon is elevated to the status of one of THE defining elements of the priesthood...it's just way too ad hoc).
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Fr. David on May 03, 2006, 05:42:09 PM
Pensateomnia,

You make a good point.  TO repeat my question, though, why, then, DO you think that the male priesthood is something that will and SHOULD remain in the Church, if not for the priest-as-icon thing?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 03, 2006, 06:15:26 PM
To be mere memorial of Him in Golgotha would lead to the Protestant belief that the body and blood are just "mere statues of the soldiers of the Civil War", and not the real thing.  
How so? How does being a re-enactment make them "the real thing"? A re-enactment is a play, it is theatre. When you watched the Mel Gibson movie "The Passion of The Christ", did you believe the red liquid which was sprayed on the pillar and the ground as the actor playing Christ was "scourged" was actually "The Precious Blood of Christ"? How did being a re-enactment make it a reality?

When the priest breaks bread and consecrates the wine, it is not the priest, but Christ in Him who "sups with us" (Rev. 3:20).
So who "sups with us" when we are ill and the Deacon brings us the Holy Gifts to Commune? Yes it is Mystery, but you seem to wish to substitute Mystery with Theatre.


Christ and the Apostles, including St. Paul always asked us to follow their examples so that we may imitate things divine:  "Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ." (1 Cor. 11:1)  This is all we need to do.  And surely enough, St. Paul in that same Chapter gives an explanation of the man being the head of the woman.  Thus, this is just one of many reasons why priests must be male and that this priest becomes the Icon of Christ to all, the icon of His authority, priesthood, and service (and in some churches, physically, including the beard and hair, imitating the Nazarene practice).
So, by this logic, not only can women not imitate the Apostles, they cannot imitate Christ. Christianity is therefore a faith only for males.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 03, 2006, 06:32:10 PM
May I suggest a third way?  What if it happens that the Greek concept of "anamnesis" could be better translated into English?  For instance, what if the concept really means much more than just remembering a past event?  What if it means that we actually enter into the past event so that we are present at the event in a mystical way?  This is not a re-enactment of an event that cannot be repeated, but neither is it strictly memorial in the English sense of the word.
This is actually correct, but had I tried to explain it, I could see what was going to happen- I would again be accused of being Protestant. As I have already been accused of being so anyway, I guess it makes no difference.
"Anemnesis" includes the notion of "making present again", it makes a reaity that once was in the past "present in the present again". In the case of the Eucharist, the Mystery not only makes the Sacrifice of Golgotha "present again", it also makes the Eternal Feast in the Kingdom of Heaven present, so that in Communing we become partakers of a foretast of the Kingdom of Heaven as well as sharers in the Body and Blood of Christ Broken and Poured out on Golgotha "so that sins may be forgiven". And when the Priest communes us, these two realities are mentioned: "The Servant of God, N, Communes of the Body and Blood of Christ to the forgiveness of sins and Eternal Life. Amen"
So these two realities, the Sacrifice of Christ and the Eternal Kingdom are made present again in the Eucharist, that is, they are "re-presented." But if the Eucharist is a re-enactment, these two realities are not "re-presented", but merely "represented".
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Carpatho Russian on May 03, 2006, 08:51:13 PM
This is actually correct, but had I tried to explain it, I could see what was going to happen- I would again be accused of being Protestant. As I have already been accused of being so anyway, I guess it makes no difference.
"Anemnesis" includes the notion of "making present again", it makes a reaity that once was in the past "present in the present again". In the case of the Eucharist, the Mystery not only makes the Sacrifice of Golgotha "present again", it also makes the Eternal Feast in the Kingdom of Heaven present...
To continue this train of thought...
Anemnesis is not only the remembrance or making present past realities but also future realities as well.  As the anaphoral prayer of St Basil continues after the words of institution, "Do this in remembrance of Me!  For as often as you eat this Bread and drink this Cup, you proclaim My Death, you profess My Resurrection!"  It doesn't say re-enact My Death, re-enact My Resurrection.  Continuing, "Therefore, we also, O Master, remembering His saving Passion and life-creating Cross, His three-day Burial and Resurrection from the dead, His Ascension into heaven and Sitting at the right hand of the God and Father, and His glorious and awesome Second Coming..." An event yet to take place.  Unless I am missing something, the prayer neither states nor alludes to a re-enactment.
Now, in reference to the priest as in persona Christi, the priest continues the prayer "Therefore, most holy Master, we also, Thy sinful and unworthy servants, whom Thou hast permitted to serve at Thy Holy altar not because of our own righteousness (for we have done nothing good upon the earth) but because of Thy mercy and compassions (which Thou hast so richly poured out on us)..."  If the priest is the icon of Christ, why does the priest, at this very moment, refer to himself as "sinful and unworthy" and that he serves at the altar not because of his own righteousness?  This certainly doesn't sound like an icon of Christ but an icon of humanity, an icon of us all, female and male.
"lex orandi, lex credendi"
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: minasoliman on May 04, 2006, 12:29:31 AM
How so? How does being a re-enactment make them "the real thing"? A re-enactment is a play, it is theatre. When you watched the Mel Gibson movie "The Passion of The Christ", did you believe the red liquid which was sprayed on the pillar and the ground as the actor playing Christ was "scourged" was actually "The Precious Blood of Christ"? How did being a re-enactment make it a reality?

You make a good point.  A re-enactment does not make something real, and you are right.  However, to make things mere memorial is also weak on your part, if not weaker.

When one participates in the Liturgy, a lot of the prayers do become a re-enactment.  When we say "Take eat of it all of you, for this is My body," or "take drink of it all of you, for this is My blood of the new covenant," we are re-enacting the Last Supper, and not merely remembering Him.  When we have something as real as the Body and Blood of Christ, mere memory is not enough according to St. Paul, but the way we practice is how we should remember, and the way we practice IS TRULY INDEED re-enactment.  I don't see how re-enactment makes something merely "represented."  You "re-present" it when you re-enact as well.

And I don't think I called you Protestant, but just your way of thinking.  Forgive me if you were offended (I didn't think you were the type of person to be offended anyway), but you seemed to forget that we do re-enact in our Liturgies, and St. Paul even mentions in an indirect manner that we should re-enact.  And who else breaks the bread other than the priest?  Who else consecrates the wine other than the priest?

Now, let's reverse this question.  Who else in the Bible broke bread or consecrated the wine before distributing them?  Now that one sees this as a "re-enactment" and not just mere "memorial," the priest is considered the icon of Christ.

And just to be fair, the way you defined "amnesis" was the way I define "re-enactment."  So when you say that we don't re-enact, it only made me wonder how you missed out on the Liturgical "re-enactments" themselves, and the Church structure as well.

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So who "sups with us" when we are ill and the Deacon brings us the Holy Gifts to Commune? Yes it is Mystery, but you seem to wish to substitute Mystery with Theatre.

You seem to forget that there is a "theatre."  What's the point of icons or the Church structure if we don't "re-enact"?  What's the point of incense, if it's nothing but what happens in heaven?  Or the praise of "Holy, Holy, Holy"?  How are all of these not "re-enactments"?  When something is "amnesis," not only is it memorial, but we LIVE in the memorial, we LIVE in the roleplaying.  Yes, call it a "theatre," but mere theatrics, as you correctly pointed is only fake, but what we have is real and we live in the roles, or as you correctly put it "makes a reality that once was in the past present in the present again."  And as Carpatho correctly puts it, not only past, but present and future.

And when the priest issue comes up, the first thing an Orthodox or Catholic Christian says is that men and women have "roles", and that a priest is not superior to laymen neither are laymen, which includes women, inferior to priests, but one submits to the authority of the other, while the other sacrifices himself in the service for the one.  The word "role" itself is also extended to those confused concerning homosexual relationships, and how one understands that not only biologically, but even spiritually, God intended men and women to have a heterosexual sort of relationship, if there is a relationship to begin with, but never homosexual.  We are in a "divine play," not just "memorial statues," and we live the role for the sake of grace, not just pretend to live the role for vanity's sake.

As for your question, when the priest eats and drinks, not only is it for His own good, but clearly, as a conclusion to the thought of Him being the icon of Christ (or even the icon of the Father, which all the more proves the point), he represents Christ who said to "sup" with us.  And yes, Christ is supping with all of us, when we eat it.  He passes the Spirit of this Icon to all of us.

We also say amongst ourselves that when we kiss the hands of a priest, we are kissing the hands of Christ.

Now anticipating to what you may say, that doesn't mean we don't see Christ in anyone, for Christ came for everyone salvation, and the Image of God is in both man and woman.  It is only different when roleplaying and re-enacting, we imitate things divine for the grace that is provided for us, and that goes for both priesthood and marriage.  It was a logical outcome for the Anglican Church to go from female priesthood to the acceptance of homosexuality as a way of life because of merely practicing a memory, and not a true re-enactment.

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So, by this logic, not only can women not imitate the Apostles, they cannot imitate Christ. Christianity is therefore a faith only for males.

Where did I say that?  He asked those to imitate him as he imitates Christ.  Not only does this mean in righteousness, but also in context of this verse, he writes in the next verse:  "Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you."  This included the head coverings and the spiritual teachings behind the head coverings and ends it with "But if anyone seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God."  St. Paul starts with a plea and ends with stubborness.  This is serious stuff.

Thus, when asking people to imitate him, and that man is the head of woman, while Christ is the head of man, is he saying that woman is inferior to man?  If not, then how is it that you can misconstrue my words into thinking Christianity is only for males?  When I say that St. Paul to imitate him, I was:

1.  Referencing 1 Cor. 11, which is personally a pivotal point to the dialogue.
2.  Saying that one should keep the tradition as it always was because there's a spiritual reason (the Father is the head of Christ).

If we imitate St. Paul, we are not only imitating what he's doing but also what he's teaching, and what he taught is very important.  And when I say we should imitate things divine as Christ, St. Paul, and the Apostles taught (such as husband and wife in relation to Christ and the Church), then this does not exclude women (otherwise, you would be asking men to become wives).  Or when I write something like:

Quote
And surely enough, St. Paul in that same Chapter gives an explanation of the man being the head of the woman.

If women are excluded from Christianity, then how can I even say that man should be the head of woman, unless a man wants to make himself a woman?

God bless.

Mina
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 04, 2006, 04:10:48 AM
Pedro,

(1) The Eucharist as memorial vs. the Eucharist as re-enactment.

Here's a potted explanation of the difference:
At the Mystical Supper, Our Lord Jesus Christ commanded the Apostles: "Do this in rememberance (Gk: en anemnisis) of Me."
"In rememberance" means do this in a way comparable to our custom of erecting War Memorials and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in our cities in rememberance (en anemnisis) of our soldiers who have fallen in war.
If we were to "re-enact" the Mystical Supper, not only we would be doing something comparable to staging a "Civil War Re-enactment", we would also be disobeying Christ Who commanded us to remember Him, not the Mystical Supper itself.
The Eucharist is the memorial of Christ's Sacrifice on Golgotha, not the memorial of the Mystical Supper. Thus, the Apostle says: "For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till he come." (1Cor. 11:26).
Jeus Himself noted that His body is real food. And, lest anyone suggest it was merely a metaphor, He repeats and emphasises that it is.

Sometimes Jesus spoke metaphorically;

1. I am the light of the world (John 8:12)

2. I am the door (John 10:9)

3. I am the good shepherd (John 10:11)

4. I am the resurrection and the life (John 11:25)

5. I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6)

 

However Jesus says that His Body and Blood are really food and drink…

 

John 6:35 Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."

 

    41 At this the Jews began to grumble about him because he said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven." 42 They said, "Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, 'I came down from heaven'?"

 

    43 "Stop grumbling among yourselves," Jesus answered. 44 "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets: 'They will all be taught by God.' Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. 46 No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. 47 I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."

 

    52 Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"

 

    53 Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever." 59 He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

It is why all three Synoptic Gospels show that it is a COVENANT...
Matthew 26:27 Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Mark 14:24 "This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many," he said to them

Luke 22:20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.



And it is why Paul says it is not just a commemrative meal - he says if you're hungry eat at home, because this is a special meal.

 

1 Corinthians 11:20 When you come together, it is not the Lord's Supper you eat, 21 for as you eat, each of you goes ahead without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk. 22 Don't you have homes to eat and drink in?




He is saying that when the believers come together normally to eat together it is NOT the same as the Lord's Supper. The Lord's Supper is different.

 

1 Corinthians 11:26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.

 27 Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself.

 

He is saying that partaking of this bread and cup in sin is to sin against the flesh and blood of the Lord BECAUSE it is the flesh and blood of the Lord as proclaimed by Jesus (John 6:55)

Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 04, 2006, 05:44:12 AM
"My side"? What side am I on other than the side of those seeking examination, dialogue, and discussion about this?
If only.
You've berrated one convert here for being zealously in favour of tradition. You've cited that no evidence, none has been presented to you by those in favour of tradition, other than the Bible. When I point out further evidence you go on about how your time is precious, and that I've just googled it - so you instantly dismiss any evidence based on your own suppositions. And what do you add in return? Opinion.
On the contrary, once you believe that "My Priest, Father So-and-So says" is the equivalent of Holy Tradition, then you can kiss Holy Tradition goodbye. Oral Tradition means the teachings of the Apostles which were orally transmitted and recorded. It doesn't mean: "St. John told St. Prochoros, who told Fr. X who told Fr. Y who
told Fr. Z......who told my priest who told me"
And there you go again, re-working the evidence presented against you. How you can keep doing this is beyond me.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 04, 2006, 05:46:14 AM
What evidence are you talking about?  I asked a question.
Well your question was answered by those trying cultural relativity. Not by me, but by another

I didn't note who showed it, but they showed...
“The practice of women prophesying at the church in Corinth would have had no negative reaction from Greek culture, at least not for being done by females. On the contrary, two of the most famous oracles of the Greek world had at their heart women who were used as vehicles to medate the message of the god. Women played key roles in the public celebrations of many cults, and there is little doubt that at least some of these roles involved speaking: prayers, words of consecration of the sacrifice, perhaps instruction in the mysteries or words of assurance or warning to initiates. The only trouble Christian prophetesses would have caused the surrounding culture would have been due to the fact that the religion was foreign and denounced traditional faiths as false. But this has nothing to do with women's roles”
http://campus.houghton.edu/webs/employees/tpaige/Construct.html
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 04, 2006, 06:39:15 AM
When one participates in the Liturgy, a lot of the prayers do become a re-enactment.  When we say "Take eat of it all of you, for this is My body," or "take drink of it all of you, for this is My blood of the new covenant," we are re-enacting the Last Supper, and not merely remembering Him.
If we were re-enacting the Last Supper in the Eucharist, then these words of Christ should be suffient to consecrate the Holy Gifts. But this is not the Orthodox understanding of the Eucharist. The gifts are consecrated by the priest's prayer of the  Epiclesis, not by repeating Christ's words of institution. We are not re-enacting the Last Supper in the Eucharist. To re-enact the Last Supper, we would have to have only 13 people present, be sitting reclined, the Priest should wash everyone's feet first, we should eat a meal during which we break the bread, and we should drink the wine after the conclusion of the meal, and one of the people present should betray the Priest to the local authorities.

When we have something as real as the Body and Blood of Christ, mere memory is not enough according to St. Paul, but the way we practice is how we should remember, and the way we practice IS TRULY INDEED re-enactment.  I don't see how re-enactment makes something merely "represented."  You "re-present" it when you re-enact as well.
But in the "re-enactment theory" of the Eucharist, the Priest is the "Icon of Christ"- so doesn't that make the Bread and Wine the "Icon of the Body and Blood of Christ" rather than the prototype?

You seem to forget that there is a "theatre."  What's the point of icons or the Church structure if we don't "re-enact"?  What's the point of incense, if it's nothing but what happens in heaven?  Or the praise of "Holy, Holy, Holy"?  How are all of these not "re-enactments"?  When something is "amnesis," not only is it memorial, but we LIVE in the memorial, we LIVE in the roleplaying.  
My dear friend, you see, you used the word clearly here: "roleplaying". This makes the "Eucharist as re-enactment" no different to the animist rituals of shamans who put on masks and "roleplay" the gods and spirits and totems which the masks represent.

As for your question, when the priest eats and drinks, not only is it for His own good, but clearly, as a conclusion to the thought of Him being the icon of Christ (or even the icon of the Father, which all the more proves the point), he represents Christ who said to "sup" with us.  
Nope, you missed the point again.
The Eucharist is the Sacrifice of Golgotha. If the Priest is the :"Icon of Christ", then the "Icon of Christ" offers the Sacrifice on behalf of himself as well as the people. It is the fact that the "Icon of Christ" offers the Sacrifice of Christ on behalf of the "Icon of Christ" which is incongruous.

It is only different when roleplaying and re-enacting, we imitate things divine for the grace that is provided for us, and that goes for both priesthood and marriage.
So the Eucharist is not the Divine Liturgy, but the imitation of the Divine Liturgy?  Not in the Church in which I worship it isn't. It is The Divine Liturgy in my Church. I think a big part of your problem with this is a confusion of an Icon with it's prototype. I repeat again: the Eucharist is a Prototype, it is not an "Icon" of anything.

It was a logical outcome for the Anglican Church to go from female priesthood to the acceptance of homosexuality as a way of life because of merely practicing a memory, and not a true re-enactment.
Same illogical argument: "womanhood leads to sin". This is nonsense. If anything, homosexual transvestites would be most at home at your "re-enactment Eucharist"- they would love dressing up in embroidered vestments and roleplaying!
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 04, 2006, 06:41:47 AM
Pensateomnia,

You make a good point.  TO repeat my question, though, why, then, DO you think that the male priesthood is something that will and SHOULD remain in the Church, if not for the priest-as-icon thing?
At last, someone wanting to return this thread to the OP! :D

Still there has been no good reason put forward for change.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Theognosis on May 04, 2006, 07:07:11 AM
Well your question was answered by those trying cultural relativity. Not by me, but by another

I didn't note who showed it, but they showed...
“The practice of women prophesying at the church in Corinth would have had no negative reaction from Greek culture, at least not for being done by females. On the contrary, two of the most famous oracles of the Greek world had at their heart women who were used as vehicles to medate the message of the god. Women played key roles in the public celebrations of many cults, and there is little doubt that at least some of these roles involved speaking: prayers, words of consecration of the sacrifice, perhaps instruction in the mysteries or words of assurance or warning to initiates. The only trouble Christian prophetesses would have caused the surrounding culture would have been due to the fact that the religion was foreign and denounced traditional faiths as false. But this has nothing to do with women's roles”
http://campus.houghton.edu/webs/employees/tpaige/Construct.html

Thanks for repeating that one, Montalban.  Scholarship beats speculation and unfounded presuppositions any time of the day.  At least now I know that the advocates of female priesthood on this board are fond of making things up.  I am positive that readers can distinguish fact from fiction.  

Let's just hope that the admins do their job and close this thread.  Any agument that is solely SPECULATIVE is never a good thing, especially to the Orthodox Church.  
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 04, 2006, 07:20:57 AM
Let's just hope that the admins do their job and close this thread.  Any agument that is solely SPECULATIVE is never a good thing, especially to the Orthodox Church.  
Firstly, this is a forum, not the Orthodox Church.
Secondly, the Admins are doing their job in providing a moderated forum.
Thirdly I don't see anything "speculative" except in the statement quoted by montalban which says in part:
Quote
"and there is little doubt that at least some of these roles involved ....."
The words "and there is little doubt" means that there is some doubt- in other words, it is speculation.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 04, 2006, 07:53:45 AM
Thanks for repeating that one, Montalban.  Scholarship beats speculation and unfounded presuppositions any time of the day.  At least now I know that the advocates of female priesthood on this board are fond of making things up.  I am positive that readers can distinguish fact from fiction.  
Some can. Some are too proud to admit that they as individuals might be in error.
Let's just hope that the admins do their job and close this thread.  Any argument that is solely SPECULATIVE is never a good thing, especially to the Orthodox Church.  
Indeed. Odd that some in the 'opposition' posits nothing but opinion, whilst graphically down-playing evidence that is in fact presented AND at the same time refusing to provide any good reasons for change.

Maybe we're seeing the birth of Protestant Orthodoxy. Orthodox driven away from tradition because of modernism. I would not mind if they did close it, because we've gone for days with out any 'real' discussion of fact.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 04, 2006, 08:02:57 AM
Firstly, this is a forum, not the Orthodox Church.
A truism. But it's good to discuss the mind of the Orthodox Church to defend it against those who need to attack it due to modernist opinion. I can't wait for your posting of some evidence other than repeating your own opinion.
Thirdly I don't see anything "speculative" except in the statement quoted by Montalban which says in part: The words "and there is little doubt" means that there is some doubt- in other words, it is speculation.
Almost there!

1st statement:
I am certain of Orthodoxy.
2nd statement:
There are a few who doubt Orthodox truth.

The second statement saying that there is doubt is not speculative that there is doubt. It is stating a fact. It might be considered speculative on the amount of doubt; that there is little doubt, as opposed to a 'great deal of doubt'. Now in the context of the whole quote, if you believe that they are wrong in stating that there is little doubt, and instead there is a great deal of doubt, you're yet to show any proofs that their choice of words is speculative. (Granted they have not offered any proofs as to numbers of people polled, etc.)

Now as to your statements being speculative, they are a whole heap of opinion that women might be priests based on the opinion that they can possibly be priests. That is speculation, or maybe more accurately presumption.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Carpatho Russian on May 04, 2006, 08:40:21 AM
However, to make things mere memorial is also weak on your part, if not weaker.
It is not a mere memorial.  Re-read ozgeorge's and my comments.  It is a making present a past or future reality.  There is a difference in re-enactment and making present.  In re-enacting we are watching something that previously happened.  In making present, we participate in the actual event, not a re-enactment.  As the church sings on major holy days, "Today He is hung upon a tree", "The Virgin gives birth today", etc.
When we say "Take eat of it all of you, for this is My body," or "take drink of it all of you, for this is My blood of the new covenant," we are re-enacting the Last Supper, and not merely remembering Him.
The prayer continues, "Do this in memory of me!"  Do what in memory of me?  The answer, "Take eat...Take drink", not re-enact the Last Supper.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Anastasios on May 04, 2006, 08:42:49 AM
Quote
Let's just hope that the admins do their job and close this thread.  Any agument that is solely SPECULATIVE is never a good thing, especially to the Orthodox Church.  

Why exactly would it be our job to close it?

Anastasios
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 04, 2006, 09:22:17 AM
It is not a mere memorial.  Re-read ozgeorge's and my comments.  It is a making present a past or future reality.  There is a difference in re-enactment and making present.  In re-enacting we are watching something that previously happened.  In making present, we participate in the actual
Exasperating, isn't it? Welcome to my world.  :D
The problem I think is that some people on this thread assume I am pushing for women's ordination, so rather than looking at what is said, it is immediately dismissed and assumed that the opposite must be true.
I've said from the start: I know that the Church from the beginning to the present has not ordained women to the Priesthood or Episcopy. However, I don't know whether a male-only priesthood is dogma or not. And the arguments that people use to say it is dogma I find questionable, not  because they are a hinderance to women's ordination, but because I think they are a distortion of Orthodox doctrine.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Ebor on May 04, 2006, 09:28:29 AM
Firstly, this is a forum, not the Orthodox Church.
Secondly, the Admins are doing their job in providing a moderated forum.
Thirdly I don't see anything "speculative" except in the statement quoted by montalban which says in part: The words "and there is little doubt" means that there is some doubt- in other words, it is speculation.

Interesting that there were some in the thread who at least wanted to examine whys and whats and all, kind of like "refining" thoughts and arguements and not just "X? No! end of story".  Isn't that one of the reasons that a forum might exist? To at least get some understanding of other positions?  

I agree with you OzGeorge. The Admins are doing their job.  

One wonders *whY* someone would want the thread closed.  What is it doing by being here?

Ebor
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Ebor on May 04, 2006, 09:35:59 AM
Exasperating, isn't it? Welcome to my world.  :D
The problem I think is that some people on this thread assume I am pushing for women's ordination, so rather than looking at what is said, it is immediately dismissed and assumed that the opposite must be true.

I'd noticed that you had never said anything about pushing it; you were looking at the subject.  It was interesting to see the jumping to conclusions/assumptions.  "You bring up Z? You must want Z."  

Sigh

Ebor
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: minasoliman on May 04, 2006, 09:45:00 AM
Quote
If we were re-enacting the Last Supper in the Eucharist, then these words of Christ should be suffient to consecrate the Holy Gifts. But this is not the Orthodox understanding of the Eucharist. The gifts are consecrated by the priest's prayer of the  Epiclesis, not by repeating Christ's words of institution. We are not re-enacting the Last Supper in the Eucharist. To re-enact the Last Supper, we would have to have only 13 people present, be sitting reclined, the Priest should wash everyone's feet first, we should eat a meal during which we break the bread, and we should drink the wine after the conclusion of the meal, and one of the people present should betray the Priest to the local authorities.

There is no mere re-enacting, but also prayer.  I don't say take everything to the extremes, and I agree that the priest consecrates by the Epiclesis, but what is so necessary about repeating Christ's words if it was just memorial?  We have the icon of the Last Supper showing 11 Apostles and Judas the betrayer leaving in the background.  We have 12 icons of the 12 Apostles, six on each side.  In some churches (especially the Coptic Church), the east altar includes Christ sitting on his throne with the 24 priests.  Confession and repentance is always the spiritual re-enacting of the washing of feet, and we celebrate the literal washing of feet on Holy Thursday of Pascha Week, where the Priest girds himself and washes all the people's feet.  Some churches offer an agape meal after the Eucharist, which only re-enacts or imitates the Last Supper, and I don't mind the drinking of wine.

The icons of the Church we have do most of the re-enacting for us; there is no need to take it to the extremes and have a "Judas."  We are doing things considered as God's desire or will, and we do them to imitate Him and the good things.  In Palm Sunday, we raise palms in the air and sing "Hosanna to the highest, hosanna to the Son of David, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord."  In the Coptic Church, starting Holy Wednesday of Pascha (Coptic tradition), since it was the day of betrayal, we do not shake one another's hands to commemorate the evil Judas did up until Joyous Saturday.

The church building itself is a stage of the heavens, the altar being represented as the Holy of holies, where the throne of Christ is, which is why it is elevated above the rest of the Kingdom of Heaven.

How in all this do you not see some re-enactments?  I'm not saying to take it to extremes where we do a full-pledged Broadway play, but I'm saying that re-enactments are very clear by the structure of the Church, iconagraphy, and (tadadada) the roles of laity and priests, men and women, while also having the element of praying.

Quote
But in the "re-enactment theory" of the Eucharist, the Priest is the "Icon of Christ"- so doesn't that make the Bread and Wine the "Icon of the Body and Blood of Christ" rather than the prototype?

I already implicitly answered this.  Who else but Christ Himself who broke bread and blessed the wine?  Unless you want to tell me that when Christ says "He will drink and eat with us," He meant He will eat the prototype because He's already there.  It's only a weak attempt on your behalf to belittle my idea of what I learned as Orthodox tradition.

Like I said, a re-enactment means we live the role.  So, if the priest is the icon of Christ, He is truly in the priest by the special grace of the Spirit in him.  Don't we say to the bishops, "you are a high priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek?"  This echoes the same words said to Christ.

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My dear friend, you see, you used the word clearly here: "roleplaying". This makes the "Eucharist as re-enactment" no different to the animist rituals of shamans who put on masks and "roleplay" the gods and spirits and totems which the masks represent.

I could say the same about "memorial," which makes it nothing more than a memorial stone full of names of veterans, who we believe are truly present in the names.  Where is the argument you made here?

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Nope, you missed the point again.
The Eucharist is the Sacrifice of Golgotha. If the Priest is the :"Icon of Christ", then the "Icon of Christ" offers the Sacrifice on behalf of himself as well as the people. It is the fact that the "Icon of Christ" offers the Sacrifice of Christ on behalf of the "Icon of Christ" which is incongruous.

The priest takes two roles.  It is the fact that the "Icon of Christ" offers the Sacrifice of Christ on behalf of his own human weakness and all other human weakness, while re-enacting the role of Christ drinking it with us.  We commemorate all aspects of the Eucharist, Golgotha being the most important.

St. Paul writes in Hebrews 5 the qualifications of priests and mentioning their weaknesses, then attests that their priesthood comes from Christ, quoting the Psalmist concerning the "priesthood forever according to the order of Melchizedek."  Christ did not glorify Himself for the priesthood, but the Father did to Him, so also we are called to the priesthood, but we do not choose this honor for ourselves.  So this chapter alone proves that priests represent and become icons and images of Christ's priesthood.  And get this, priests are weak because they're human persons, but Christ was never weak, but took others' weaknesses, for our sake.  So while St. Paul says priests should have compassion to the weak because they're weak, and analogizing our priesthood to Christ's, is he saying Christ is naturally weak?

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So the Eucharist is not the Divine Liturgy, but the imitation of the Divine Liturgy?  Not in the Church in which I worship it isn't. It is The Divine Liturgy in my Church. I think a big part of your problem with this is a confusion of an Icon with it's prototype. I repeat again: the Eucharist is a Prototype, it is not an "Icon" of anything.

It seems that you missed the point as well.  When Christ blesses the Eucharist, where is Christ's body, in the Eucharist or in Him?  If both, you have no right to think of the body and blood not present but merely symbolized by bread and wine, since we are not only playing roles, but LIVING it, and when living it, lo and behold, the True Body and True Divine Blood is before us, and we all worship.  The Eucharist is not an icon, it is real.  We are all icons re-enacting what is real.

It is also not in the Church I worship too. :)  The Body and Blood is real.

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Same illogical argument: "womanhood leads to sin". This is nonsense. If anything, homosexual transvestites would be most at home at your "re-enactment Eucharist"- they would love dressing up in embroidered vestments and roleplaying!

In the Bible, you can't escape St. Paul's teaching about women's role in submission to men, and how he connects it to things divine.  If you want to call someone "anti-womanhood", you would have to go through St. Paul first.

You also can't escape the logical outcomes that came about the Anglican Church.  I'm not accusing you of endorsing anything; I'm only showing where your argument produces faults.  You misconstrued before and thought I called you Protestant, while I was only alluding to your arguments.

Dear Carpatho,

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It is not a mere memorial.  Re-read ozgeorge's and my comments.  It is a making present a past or future reality.  There is a difference in re-enactment and making present.  In re-enacting we are watching something that previously happened.  In making present, we participate in the actual event, not a re-enactment.  As the church sings on major holy days, "Today He is hung upon a tree", "The Virgin gives birth today", etc.

I've also explained that "re-enacting" means "to live whatever is present," or as you put it "to participate in the actual event."  Yes, we sing "Today."  We have icons to see this, and for the Eucharistic role, the priest would say the same words Christ says "Take, eat/drink all of you..."  To me "memorial" does not mean "making present and participating in it."  The word "memorial" in English is a weak word, not like amnesis.  That is why we have Protestants who confuse this verse.

Maybe you and I are saying the same thing, but when it comes to the debate concerning female priesthood, there seems to be a slight difference even though both leads to true Eucharistic presence of body and blood.

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The prayer continues, "Do this in memory of me!"  Do what in memory of me?  The answer, "Take eat...Take drink", not re-enact the Last Supper.

The fact that the priest says "Do this in memory of me," is he not repeating Christ's words to himself?  Whatever "Do this in memory of me" means does not disprove the re-enactment that's being done.

God bless.

Mina
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Carpatho Russian on May 04, 2006, 10:14:49 AM
I've also explained that "re-enacting" means "to live whatever is present," or as you put it "to participate in the actual event."  Yes, we sing "Today."  We have icons to see this, and for the Eucharistic role, the priest would say the same words Christ says "Take, eat/drink all of you..."
You can't compare icons to the Eucharist.  Icons are representations of the proto-type.  The Eucharist is the proto-type
 To me "memorial" does not mean "making present and participating in it."  The word "memorial" in English is a weak word, not like amnesis.  That is why we have Protestants who confuse this verse.
As for the word memory (memorial, rememrance, etc),  answer this question, what do we mean when we sing "Memory Eternal" at the end of the funeral service, parastas, or lity for the dead?
Maybe you and I are saying the same thing...
We probably are!
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: serb1389 on May 04, 2006, 10:56:35 AM
To re-enact the Last Supper, we would have to have only 13 people present, be sitting reclined, the Priest should wash everyone's feet first, we should eat a meal during which we break the bread, and we should drink the wine after the conclusion of the meal, and one of the people present should betray the Priest to the local authorities.

Other than the mass chaos that betraying your priest would cause, this would be the most hilarious scenario EVER!   ;D

Sorry I couldn't pass this one up!  :D
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Fr. David on May 04, 2006, 11:38:36 AM
The problem I think is that some people on this thread assume I am pushing for women's ordination, so rather than looking at what is said, it is immediately dismissed and assumed that the opposite must be true.

Well, I would hope that I hadn't been that "jumpy," but perhaps I was.  If I was, George, forgive me.  I did catch all those times when you said, "Let's just LOOK at it."

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I've said from the start: I know that the Church from the beginning to the present has not ordained women to the Priesthood or Episcopy. However, I don't know whether a male-only priesthood is dogma or not. And the arguments that people use to say it is dogma I find questionable, not  because they are a hinderance to women's ordination, but because I think they are a distortion of Orthodox doctrine.

Well, this, I think, will be my last post on this subject (unless the dialogue takes a different turn of sorts), but the issues for me seem to be this:

1) St. Paul states explicitly that women are not to teach or hold authority over men within the Church, and gives theological reasons for it: The Father as the head of Christ, Christ as the head of man, man as the head of woman.  To discount the theological reasonings of an Apostle as cultural bias (as some have done, both within and without the Orthodox Church) is to open the door for discounting any and all other such theological reasonings.

2) Fathers since the beginning, have maintained this tradition (for one reason or another).  As has been mentioned, St. Ignatius said (I'm obviously paraphrasing) that a parish's willingness to obey the bishop was the same as obeying Christ...the bishop's office as parish president quickly evolved into one of diocese president, with "presbyter" becoming a separate term for those clergy under him.  This equalling the bishop and/or those there in his stead as "Christ" shows a very real parallel between the presbyter and Christ; the idea of priest as icon of Christ as well as icon of Ecclesia, it seems, is not that unknown.

3) The role of the presbyter, as icon of Christ, is to re-enact and thereby participate in both the act of the initial Mystic Supper and the reality of Golgotha as a true amnesis memorial.  This, of course, means the presbyter offers the sacrifice of Him of Whom he is an icon for his own sins as well as those of the parish, but since he stands as a sort of dual icon, this is to be expected.  It is, however, my understanding (as well as that of the majority of the Church at this time) that, as Christ is also the representative of Christ to the people as well as that of the people to Christ in the liturgy, he needs to be male, as has always been the case in Church history.

4) The only reason I can see for the bishops to decide on ordaining women--and thus make it a valid part of our tradition--would be because society today demands it.  To me, this is no reason to change, especially when the scriptures, the fathers, and the current role of the presbyter as understood by many (though not all, of course) in the Church goes against this trend, as they do against many other societal trends.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: serb1389 on May 04, 2006, 12:40:02 PM
Yah what if society finds out that monkeys actually are human beings?  Are we going to accept that and start ordaining them?   ;)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: TomS on May 04, 2006, 12:53:24 PM
Yah what if society finds out that monkeys actually are human beings? ÂÂ Are we going to accept that and start ordaining them? ÂÂ  ;)

Nah. Don't worry, you are safe!  :D ;D
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: serb1389 on May 04, 2006, 12:58:37 PM
Not according to some scientists....remember that guy who tried to prove that Jesus didn't actually walk on ice... ;)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on May 04, 2006, 05:54:19 PM
Exasperating, isn't it? Welcome to my world.  :D

Tell me about it...it's why I haven't been keeping up with the conversation like I would want to...some of these 'google scholars' have too much free time on their hands, and I really have neither the time nor energy nor desire to teach Roman/Greek Civ 101. So I've decided not to bother disproving the absurd.

But I believe that I can safely say that anyone who has an open mind and looks at this thread will come to support the ordination of women out of the pure absurdity of the arguments that have here been presented against it. I personally don't know whether to laugh or cry.

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The problem I think is that some people on this thread assume I am pushing for women's ordination, so rather than looking at what is said, it is immediately dismissed and assumed that the opposite must be true.
I've said from the start: I know that the Church from the beginning to the present has not ordained women to the Priesthood or Episcopy. However, I don't know whether a male-only priesthood is dogma or not. And the arguments that people use to say it is dogma I find questionable, not  because they are a hinderance to women's ordination, but because I think they are a distortion of Orthodox doctrine.

Reasonable discussion and academic debate? NEVER, did the fathers debate theology? ok, bad example...but you get the point. The zealot is to blinded by emotion to discuss a matter with an open mind. They are right because they believe they're right, and they'll proof text to prove it ;) (at least they haven't brought up so-called monastic elder such-and-such yet...but I'm sure it's comming).
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on May 04, 2006, 05:58:08 PM
Yah what if society finds out that monkeys actually are human beings? ÂÂ Are we going to accept that and start ordaining them? ÂÂ  ;)

When you can convince me that monkeys are intelligent creatures made in the image and likeness of God, I'll make the case for their ordination ;)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 04, 2006, 06:36:14 PM
There is no mere re-enacting, but also prayer.  I don't say take everything to the extremes, and I agree that the priest consecrates by the Epiclesis, but what is so necessary about repeating Christ's words if it was just memorial? .......The fact that the priest says "Do this in memory of me," is he not repeating Christ's words to himself?  Whatever "Do this in memory of me" means does not disprove the re-enactment that's being done.
No, the Priest is not repeating Christ's words to himself, he is repeating them to The Holy Trinity.
Christ's words form part of the prayer the Priest is offering. And if you actually read what the priest is saying, he is narrating a story, not re-enacting it or roleplaying it. In the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, the prayer is:
"Together with these blessed powers, merciful Master, we also proclaim and say: You are holy and most holy, You and Your only-begotten Son and Your Holy Spirit. You are holy and most holy, and sublime is Your glory. You so loved Your world that You gave Your only begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. He came and fulfilled the divine plan for us. On the night when He was betrayed, or rather when He gave Himself up for the life of the world, He took bread in His holy, pure, and blameless hands, gave thanks, blessed, sanctified, broke, and gave it to His holy disciples and apostles saying: "Take, eat, this is my Body which is broken for you for the forgiveness of sins." "
The words of Christ are therefore recalled in the context of a prayer in preparation for the Epiclesis because the Eucharist is a memorial, and the Priest is recalling at Whose command we undertake this memorial. If it were a re-enactment, the Priest would simply say the words as Christ said them.


Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on May 04, 2006, 06:39:17 PM
Well, this, I think, will be my last post on this subject (unless the dialogue takes a different turn of sorts), but the issues for me seem to be this:

On this, at least, I can't blame you. ;)

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1) St. Paul states explicitly that women are not to teach or hold authority over men within the Church, and gives theological reasons for it: The Father as the head of Christ, Christ as the head of man, man as the head of woman.  To discount the theological reasonings of an Apostle as cultural bias (as some have done, both within and without the Orthodox Church) is to open the door for discounting any and all other such theological reasonings.

As Arius used this pericope to defend his theology so now the opponents of the ordination of women use it to defend theirs. Further, various historical arguments that have already been presented aside, I submit that for this verse to have the implications that you suggest one must adopt an Arian Christology. For the fathers teach that the Son is Constubstantial to the Father, yet you would create a dichotomy of authority between the Divine Persons, subjugating the Son to the Father, who is surely, by your reading of the verse, as high above the Son as the Son is above man, and as man is above woman. Furthermore, as we continue on this analogy, we must conclude that since woman is to man as man is to Christ, the authority that man has over women is comprable to the authority a god has over his creation. So with this we can reasonably establish that Christ's crucifixion was salvation only to men and the salvation of women comes not directly through Christ, but only through a man and then through Christ...wow, I think I just developed Islamic Anthropology from Arian thought, which would make sense considering the Arian influence on Islam. So I guess you can keep your male-only priesthood, all you have to do is overturn the Synod of Nicea, restore 'Saint' Arius, and condemn the 'heresiarch' Athanasios, or you could just make it easier on yourself and become an Islam...I mean, what the heck, only the father is truly a god anyway, Christ is really just a demigod, perhaps the brother of Lucifer...oh wait, that's another religion, but not by much.

If you believe this pericope manifests an ontological distinction between male and female then you are an Arian, there no way around that, if on the other hand one views it as a distinction based on culture and casual observation, with the point being the pastoral and not theological end, it may be slopy theology and betray a strong cultural bias, but we can at least avoid the conclusion that Paul was an Arian, and though I disagree with Paul here and there I really have no desire to see things taken that far.

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2) Fathers since the beginning, have maintained this tradition (for one reason or another).  As has been mentioned, St. Ignatius said (I'm obviously paraphrasing) that a parish's willingness to obey the bishop was the same as obeying Christ...the bishop's office as parish president quickly evolved into one of diocese president, with "presbyter" becoming a separate term for those clergy under him.  This equalling the bishop and/or those there in his stead as "Christ" shows a very real parallel between the presbyter and Christ; the idea of priest as icon of Christ as well as icon of Ecclesia, it seems, is not that unknown.

3) The role of the presbyter, as icon of Christ, is to re-enact and thereby participate in both the act of the initial Mystic Supper and the reality of Golgotha as a true amnesis memorial.  This, of course, means the presbyter offers the sacrifice of Him of Whom he is an icon for his own sins as well as those of the parish, but since he stands as a sort of dual icon, this is to be expected.  It is, however, my understanding (as well as that of the majority of the Church at this time) that, as Christ is also the representative of Christ to the people as well as that of the people to Christ in the liturgy, he needs to be male, as has always been the case in Church history.

OK, 2 and 3 seem to be, essentially, the same point, so I'll address them together. The priest is an Icon of Christ, for the sake of argument let's go with that assumption for a while...ok, we're going with it...still going with it...I'm sorry, I'm lost, how does this support an exclusionary priesthood? A human being leading the community in prayer, I can see the analogy to Christ, mind you every human being is an Icon of Christ, Christian, Atheist, Hindu, Male, Female, Rich, Poor, White, Asian, etc....To say that only a male can be an Icon of Christ is to create an ontological distinction between Male and Female...to say that Only the male is Created in the Image and Likeness of God...and the female? Is she not also in the Image and Likeness of God? Truly she is. So to deny that a female is just as much an Icon of Christ as a male is to deny the Divine Image in her, the Denial of Presence the Divine Image is the ultimate Blasphemy against the Divine Image, which is ultimately and act of Blasphemy against both God and His Creative Nature, by whom and in whose Image we were Created.

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4) The only reason I can see for the bishops to decide on ordaining women--and thus make it a valid part of our tradition--would be because society today demands it.  To me, this is no reason to change, especially when the scriptures, the fathers, and the current role of the presbyter as understood by many (though not all, of course) in the Church goes against this trend, as they do against many other societal trends.

It would be far from the first Change the Church has made on account of society and the demands of reality, often on issues with a real theology against the change. Consider marraige, Initially the Church would only bless the First Marriage, giving penance, not blessings, to subsequent marriages. But when Leo Vi made the Church the only legitimage means within the Empire for a Christian to marry, the Church had to conform to reality and bless second and even third marriages. Likewise, in violation of the Canons of Oecumenical Synods, the reality of the Situation compelled them to conduct marriages between Christians and non-Christians.

The Ordination of Women does not have nearly as many Canonical and Theological difficulities as the changes in the administration of the Sacrament of Marriage had and in time the socal pressure may far stronger than it ever was in the case of Marriage.


As a last note, when I said that the theological arguments against the Ordination of Women were poor, I didn't simply mean weak or absurd, which they are, but also heretical, as I demonstrated above.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 04, 2006, 06:48:59 PM
1) St. Paul states explicitly that women are not to teach or hold authority over men within the Church,
Then I ask again: Why did St. Paul allow women to prophesy in Church?

2) Fathers since the beginning, have maintained this tradition (for one reason or another).  As has been mentioned, St. Ignatius said (I'm obviously paraphrasing) that a parish's willingness to obey the bishop was the same as obeying Christ...the bishop's office as parish president quickly evolved into one of diocese president, with "presbyter" becoming a separate term for those clergy under him.  This equalling the bishop and/or those there in his stead as "Christ" shows a very real parallel between the presbyter and Christ; the idea of priest as icon of Christ as well as icon of Ecclesia, it seems, is not that unknown.
If, as the Fathers say of the Incarnation: "only what has been assumed can be saved", the idea that "The Icon of Christ" must be male means that Christ did not assume the humanity of women, and therefore women are not saved. Unless of course, by "Icon of Christ" we simply mean an Icon of His physical appearance.....which seems at best useless, and at worst, absurd

3) The role of the presbyter, as icon of Christ, is to re-enact
Well, I think you know I have a problem with that doctrine!


4) The only reason I can see for the bishops to decide on ordaining women--and thus make it a valid part of our tradition--would be because society today demands it.  
I would be the first to oppose this as a reason to ordain women. But vox populi has often made the Church examine and clarify her teachings, and indeed, is how Saints are glorified in the Church. Clarification is what is needed, and vox populi is the catalyst which makes the Church clarify her teachings.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: pensateomnia on May 04, 2006, 07:10:43 PM
I'll try to be (uncharacteristically) brief.

1) The Eucharistic Anaphora is, above all, eschatological.

2) Basic point of sacramental theology: Reality IS symbol. After the first three centuries (wherein the liturgical emphasis is almost exclusively eschatological), the Patristic tradition understands liturgy as symbolic (not re-enactment!) in this precise way. Need I quote from Fr. Hopko's introductory catechism?
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Thus, the bread of the Eucharist is Christ's flesh, and Christ's flesh is the eucharistic bread. The two are brought together into one. The word "symbolical" in Orthodox terminology means exactly this: "to bring together."

This Orthodox understanding of "symbol" is still quite eschatological, because it places things in an eternal present.

3) Stop the anachronism! When the Fathers say a Bishop (or, later, a presbyter) is Christ, they are talking about (a) the AUTHORITY that stems from the office, (b) the purity of his TEACHING (i.e. it's the same as Christ's), and (c) that Bishop's moral/spiritual excellence. They are NOT talking about the fact that said Bishop's gender is the same as Christ's and the Bishop is therefore able to "represent" Christ as an Icon.

It's just fine to talk about the priest in persona Christi, especially if one uses the concept as do the early Fathers. But to apply the idea to this debate is to add an entirely different set of theological/liturgical concepts to the phrase -- and then to anachronistically claim that's what the Fathers meant!
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: pensateomnia on May 04, 2006, 07:32:16 PM
If, as the Fathers say of the Incarnation: "only what has been assumed can be saved", the idea that "The Icon of Christ" must be male means that Christ did not assume the humanity of women, and therefore women are not saved. Unless of course, by "Icon of Christ" we simply mean an Icon of His physical appearance.....which seems at best useless, and at worst, absurd

I wouldn't say it is absurd, in so far as there are some standards for how one goes about making iconography. However, as a theological argument for why half of human nature is categorically and ontologically unfit for ordination, it seems rather weak and ad hoc.

If one wants the concept of priest in persona Christi to be more substantial than the idea that an Icon must at least minimally reflect its Prototype in a physical sense, then one has to answer the following: If Christ assumed HUMAN nature, in what way -- ontologically -- do males have the exclusive, categorical ability to "represent" Christ?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: PeterTheAleut on May 04, 2006, 08:23:10 PM
As Arius used this pericope to defend his theology so now the opponents of the ordination of women use it to defend theirs. Further, various historical arguments that have already been presented aside, I submit that for this verse to have the implications that you suggest one must adopt an Arian Christology. For the fathers teach that the Son is Constubstantial to the Father, yet you would create a dichotomy of authority between the Divine Persons, subjugating the Son to the Father, who is surely, by your reading of the verse, as high above the Son as the Son is above man, and as man is above woman. Furthermore, as we continue on this analogy, we must conclude that since woman is to man as man is to Christ, the authority that man has over women is comprable to the authority a god has over his creation. So with this we can reasonably establish that Christ's crucifixion was salvation only to men and the salvation of women comes not directly through Christ, but only through a man and then through Christ...wow, I think I just developed Islamic Anthropology from Arian thought, which would make sense considering the Arian influence on Islam. So I guess you can keep your male-only priesthood, all you have to do is overturn the Synod of Nicea, restore 'Saint' Arius, and condemn the 'heresiarch' Athanasios, or you could just make it easier on yourself and become an Islam...I mean, what the heck, only the father is truly a god anyway, Christ is really just a demigod, perhaps the brother of Lucifer...oh wait, that's another religion, but not by much.

If you believe this pericope manifests an ontological distinction between male and female then you are an Arian, there no way around that, if on the other hand one views it as a distinction based on culture and casual observation, with the point being the pastoral and not theological end, it may be slopy theology and betray a strong cultural bias, but we can at least avoid the conclusion that Paul was an Arian, and though I disagree with Paul here and there I really have no desire to see things taken that far.
GiC, let me know if I've interpreted your above arguments correctly.  Are you suggesting to those who use St. Paul's theology to support an all-male priesthood that we shouldn't place so much stock in St. Paul's theological arguments?  I can actually agree with this.  Through the Acts of the Apostles and his own Epistles, it appears that Paul saw himself first as a missionary and a pastor and saw theological argument only as a way to carry out his evangelical duties.  He appears to me to just not have the mind for high theology that his colleague St. John the Apostle and Theologian showed.  The high Christology that we see throughout St. John's Gospel is very articulate and detailed and is therefore worthy to be used as the foundation for Nicene Christology in combat against Arianism.  I just don't see St. Paul's theology being anywhere near this articulate, so any theological reasoning that he puts forth to support his pastoral practice should be scrutinized a bit in light of the more articulate theology of both St. John and later theologians.  What we shouldn't argue with, however, is St. Paul's understanding of the pastoral needs of Christ's sheep--I'm not implying that you are--since he seems to understand this better than any of the Apostles.

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It would be far from the first Change the Church has made on account of society and the demands of reality, often on issues with a real theology against the change. Consider marraige, Initially the Church would only bless the First Marriage, giving penance, not blessings, to subsequent marriages. But when Leo Vi made the Church the only legitimage means within the Empire for a Christian to marry, the Church had to conform to reality and bless second and even third marriages. Likewise, in violation of the Canons of Oecumenical Synods, the reality of the Situation compelled them to conduct marriages between Christians and non-Christians.

The Ordination of Women does not have nearly as many Canonical and Theological difficulities as the changes in the administration of the Sacrament of Marriage had and in time the socal pressure may far stronger than it ever was in the case of Marriage.
Again, how does the above sentiment reconcile with St. Paul's admonition that we not be conformed to this world?  Pastoral concerns may require that the Church adjust her method of economia to minister best to the needs of a particular people in a particular place at a particular time, but I don't see this as adopting the world's way of thought.  It often seems to me that you would go farther and actually encourage us to even adopt the world's ways of thinking.

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As a last note, when I said that the theological arguments against the Ordination of Women were poor, I didn't simply mean weak or absurd, which they are, but also heretical, as I demonstrated above.
As far as I can see, you only "undermined" two of the theological arguments made to support an all-male priesthood.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Carpatho Russian on May 04, 2006, 09:03:35 PM
Other than the mass chaos that betraying your priest would cause, this would be the most hilarious scenario EVER!   ;D

Sorry I couldn't pass this one up!  :D
Sort of like a heirarchal Divine Liturgy with a novice deacon and inexperienced sub-deacons!  ;D
Now, if you want to talk about play-acting, go to a heirarchal Divine Liturgy in an Orthodox Church of Russian recension in this country.  Let's dress up and play 19th century Tsarist Rus!  ;)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Carpatho Russian on May 04, 2006, 09:09:36 PM
No, the Priest is not repeating Christ's words to himself, he is repeating them to The Holy Trinity.
Christ's words form part of the prayer the Priest is offering. And if you actually read what the priest is saying, he is narrating a story, not re-enacting it or roleplaying it. In the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, the prayer is:
"Together with these blessed powers, merciful Master, we also proclaim and say: You are holy and most holy, You and Your only-begotten Son and Your Holy Spirit. You are holy and most holy, and sublime is Your glory. You so loved Your world that You gave Your only begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. He came and fulfilled the divine plan for us. On the night when He was betrayed, or rather when He gave Himself up for the life of the world, He took bread in His holy, pure, and blameless hands, gave thanks, blessed, sanctified, broke, and gave it to His holy disciples and apostles saying: "Take, eat, this is my Body which is broken for you for the forgiveness of sins." "
Another argument for the "silent" prayers of the priest to be read audibly.  Once again, lex orandi, lex credendi.  (You've got to love all this Latin on an Orthodox forum!  ;) )
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Carpatho Russian on May 04, 2006, 09:16:40 PM
But I believe that I can safely say that anyone who has an open mind and looks at this thread will come to support the ordination of women out of the pure absurdity of the arguments that have here been presented against it. I personally don't know whether to laugh or cry.
An open mind in the Orthodox Church?  That would make you Protestant like ozgeorge!  Move over George, I'm taking the seat in the pew next to you!
Reasonable discussion and academic debate? NEVER, did the fathers debate theology? ok, bad example...but you get the point. The zealot is to blinded by emotion to discuss a matter with an open mind. They are right because they believe they're right, and they'll proof text to prove it
GiC, I couldn't agree with you more.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 04, 2006, 09:39:56 PM
I'd noticed that you had never said anything about pushing it; you were looking at the subject.  It was interesting to see the jumping to conclusions/assumptions.  "You bring up Z? You must want Z." ÂÂ

Sigh

Ebor
Then that is to propose speculation for its own sake. :-X
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 04, 2006, 09:41:21 PM
Exasperating, isn't it? Welcome to my world.  :D
The problem I think is that some people on this thread assume I am pushing for women's ordination, so rather than looking at what is said, it is immediately dismissed and assumed that the opposite must be true.
I've said from the start: I know that the Church from the beginning to the present has not ordained women to the Priesthood or Episcopy. However, I don't know whether a male-only priesthood is dogma or not. And the arguments that people use to say it is dogma I find questionable, not  because they are a hinderance to women's ordination, but because I think they are a distortion of Orthodox doctrine.
As noted with Ebor, then you admit wishing to 'speculate' for its own sake, something you claim that's not happening. If you were here to ask 'why' then perhaps you'd have welcomed evidence that shows 'why?' (as in why we have only male priests). You have not.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Carpatho Russian on May 04, 2006, 09:46:28 PM
As noted with Ebor, then you admit wishing to 'speculate' for its own sake, something you claim that's not happening. If you were here to ask 'why' then perhaps you'd have welcomed evidence that shows 'why?' (as in why we have only male priests). You have not.
We're still waiting for the evidence that shows why.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 04, 2006, 10:49:23 PM
We're still waiting for the evidence that shows why.
Indeed, so much for the 'genuine' search for the truth claim.

It's quite strange that some enter this thread to 'discern 'why?'' and ignore all evidence that is cited for that very reason; claiming it is speculation - irony being the very asking 'why?' is to begin speculation.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: PeterTheAleut on May 05, 2006, 01:33:21 AM
Just for clarity's sake, allow me to summarize some of the main arguments of this thread. I'm sure I'm missing some, but these seem to be the six major areas that require further study/proof on both sides. Some of these arguments are strong, some are weak, some are simply a priori statements, while other are strongly a posteriori.

Again: These are not my arguments. The arguments I have summarized for female priests are longer than the ones against because most people on this forum (and in general) seem to be quite aware of all of the arguments AGAINST any such office, but not familiar with the actual arguments in favor.
Thank you, Pensateomnia, for offering this accurate and balanced summary of the arguments on both sides of this controversial yet necessary discussion.  I hope that maybe we can enrich our discussion by examining these points.  I hope nobody minds me offering my two cents on a few of these arguments.  I'm not going to address every one, since I consider myself knowledgeable enough to only address a few.

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Against Female Priests

1) Ain't never happened. There is no Scriptural, Patristic or canonical text in the entire corpus of venerated Orthodox literature that speaks favorably of female priests. There are, however, various texts in this corpus that speak against it.
Just appealing to the fact that it's never happened before is not a very convincing argument for me.  Do we have a sound theological reason for never having ordained women to be priests and bishops?  The fact that we've never done it before does convince me, however, that we must not abolish our current practice of excluding women from the priesthood without first considering the issue with extreme care, prayer, and ecumenical (as the term is used in 'Ecumenical Council') discussion.

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2) St. Paul forbids women to teach and to hold authority over men.
No argument with this.  However, I think GiC has done a great job of pointing out the difficulty of following St. Paul's theological reasoning behind his prohibition. "But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God." (1 Corinthians 11:3)  I won't accuse St. Paul's theology of being faulty, for such attitude would be truly presumptuous on my part.  But I must recognize that St. Paul was first a missionary and pastor for whom articulate theology was a secondary or tertiary concern; therefore, his theology was not very thoroughly developed, nowhere near as much as was that of St. John the Theologian.  The lack of clarity in St. Paul's theology allows a lot of freedom for misinterpretation, such that the theology may not serve as a good foundation for a definition of the churchly role of women to forbid women's ordination.

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5) The priest is an Icon of Christ, who was male, and therefore the priest acts "in persona Christi."
Is the Holy Trinity male in His very Divine Essence?  This is totally unknowable because we can never know the transendent Essence of God.  The male names that God has revealed to us, "Father" and "Son," are what He has chosen to reveal to us; they don't necessarily mean that God is male in His Divine Essence.  When the Son of God became human, He was born MALE.  What significance to us does His choice of gender have?  AFAIK, He could have become male merely because He needed to become fully male or fully female in order to be fully human--androgyny is really not fully human precisely because it is neither male nor female.  For the "priest as icon" argument to convince me, the Church needs to articulate a much clearer understanding than I have provided of why Christ is MALE.

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6) Christ and the early Church were not afraid to go against social norms. Thus, one cannot claim that the Church's practice was motivated by cultural bias.
"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." (Romans 12:2)

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For Female Priests

1) The early Church's female diaconate entailed a full-fledged ordination (cheirotonia). The canons dealing with female deacons use the term cheirotonia, as does the actual prayer of female-diaconal ordination. While no text explains in detail the liturgical and/or ministerial role of female deacons, there are a number of texts that show that the deaconesses were numbered among the clergy (see, for example, the work of Evangelos Theodorou, et al.) Cheirotonia is a major ordination, and the diaconate is considered to be the "first level" of the ordained priesthood. Thus, there is precedent for women sharing in one of the levels of priesthood.

2) There are many examples in Church history of women teaching men (even clergymen!) about theology, spirituality and prayer. There are, for example, various women who are called isaapostolos, equal to the apostles, in the Church's hagiography and hymnography, e.g. St. Thekla, various Empresses and St. Nina of Georgia, who evangelized and taught thousands.
St. Mary Magdalene, who was really the first apostle, for she was commissioned to tell the disciples that Christ had risen from the dead.

Quote
2) The Fathers emphasize that Christ became human, not that he became male (cf. the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, etc.). Our shared human nature is what allows us to imitate, represent and even become Christ -- not our particular gender. Furthermore, all genders are one in Christ; they are equal in the eyes of God. Thus, the gender of the individual, theologically speaking, is irrelevant.

3) At the most important priestly moment, the epiklesis, the Orthodox priest does NOT act as an Icon of Christ for the people (qua Roman Catholic ideas of the priest being in persona Christi at the words of Institution); rather, he acts in persona Ecclesiae, as a representative not of Christ, but of the Church, which is portrayed in feminine terms as the Bride of Christ. Thus, the argument that the priest is a physical Icon of Christ and therefore must be male holds no water.

4) Bishop Kallistos Ware, of course, has said the issue deserves to be examined (not that it is settled), and, perhaps, other Bishops can be construed to support looking at the evidence, since they have sponsored official theological dialogues on related topics, e.g. women and authority in the Church, and female deacons.

5) The Church has often changed practices and introduced novelties in liturgy, theological expression and cultural traditions. Some examples:

a) Apostolic Canon 9 and Canon 2 of the Council of Antioch (from the 4th century) require everyone present at a liturgy to receive the Eucharist, and yet the Medieval Church forbade regular reception ("traditionalists" still do). [/li][/list]

b) The Canons also strictly prohibit the transfer of bishops (and, often, even clerics) from one area to another. In general, many of the canons dealing with local synods, ecclesiastical appeals, episcopal authority, etc. have been radically re-interpreted or have simply not been applied for centuries.

c) The "Endemousa" Synod of Constantinople discussed and rejected (as heretical?) the adoption of the “Gregorian” calendar in the 1580s. In the 1920s, however, that decision was reserved, and a sizable number of Orthodox Churches switched over.

d) Although there was no clear or authoritative canonical basis on which to do so, another Endemousa Synod defined autocephaly as the official administrative principle of the Orthodox Church circa 1850. This responded to the social and political reality (e.g. Russia’s autocephaly in the 16th century), but the idea of “autocephaly” as we understand it today — the very way in which we organize the Church! — is markedly different from both the primitive Church’s structure and the Imperial.

e) The rubrics, most of the hymns and the very structure of the liturgical services have changed considerably since the early Church (cf. the Cathedral Rite, the Studion Reform, the liturgical reforms after the Hesychastic controversies, etc.), and they continue to change. Many popular services and practices date no earlier than the Medieval Period (e.g. the Lamentations on Great Friday) or even as recent as 1888, when Constantinople issued a new Typikon that universalized several new rituals for the services of Holy Week and Pascha (e.g. the Un-Nailing Service).

6) Matters of Dogma and morals are unchangeable, but liturgy, practice and organization do change according to the Spirit and the needs of the Church. There is no dogmatic decree against female priests.

---------------

Now, have at it!...and feel free to fill in the blanks. If we're going to talk about this — despite the fact that it isn’t going to happen!! — then we might as well have some sort of idea of what each side is saying.
Right now, the argument that convinces me most strongly to oppose women's ordination is my recognition of where the movement for women's ordination is rooted.  The push today for the ordination of women to the priesthood is ultimately rooted in a secular feminist movement that has its own anti-Christian, anti-traditional interests in mind and has no concern for Truth.  This is not the work of the Holy Spirit.  If the movement for women's ordination was to come entirely from within the Church and was perfectly consistent with Holy Tradition, then I might consider opening my mind to the idea, seeing in its churchly nature the work of the Holy Spirit.  This is not what I see happening right now.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: PeterTheAleut on May 05, 2006, 01:54:32 AM
Indeed, so much for the 'genuine' search for the truth claim.

It's quite strange that some enter this thread to 'discern 'why?'' and ignore all evidence that is cited for that very reason; claiming it is speculation - irony being the very asking 'why?' is to begin speculation.
What makes the speculation "speculation"? ???

Please be careful to not let your natural dogmatism lead you to proclaim that your limited knowledge of truth, Orthodox as it certainly is, is the fullness of truth and the final word on the issue.

You are very strong in your convictions.  Are those who understand Tradition differently from you wrong merely because they disagree with you?  Is the faith of another weak and undeveloped simply because they aren't as convinced as you are?  What makes you even qualified to judge the faith of another?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: minasoliman on May 05, 2006, 02:48:36 AM
Just to chear things up:

Quote
Ain't no mountain high enough
Ain't no valley low enough
Ain't no river wide enough
To keep me from getting to you babe

This was meant for the Suns fans.

Woops, I think I didn't chear up the Lakers fans... :P (but I do applaud Kobe, really)

God bless. ;D
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: minasoliman on May 05, 2006, 03:30:07 AM
Okay, seriously:

Dear Carpatho,

Quote
You can't compare icons to the Eucharist.  Icons are representations of the proto-type.  The Eucharist is the proto-type

I am comparing the icons to the priest.  Just as the priest is not truly Christ, but represents Him, so does the icon not truly what it represents, but represents what it represents.  The Eucharist is not an icon; neither is it a symbol.  I fully confess this.

Quote
As for the word memory (memorial, rememrance, etc),  answer this question, what do we mean when we sing "Memory Eternal" at the end of the funeral service, parastas, or lity for the dead?

We commemorate and re-enact in a very subtle way, "re-enact" the person who passed away (and I don't mean his whole life story).  We recognize his presence in the Church, which is why we sacrifice for him/her the incense (or the priest does anyway).  Wasn't it a belief in the early Church that one can pray for a soul's repentant on behalf of the soul by prayers and incense sacrifices?  For we know that a soul cannot repent when separated from the body, but we know that God may accept our prayers on this soul's behalf.  This is a tiny "re-enactment."

If it is someone who was commendable in this life, we would have his/her icon in the church building already re-enacting his/her role (icons of the Apostles, St. Mary, of the saints of the church, etc.), and even we would look towards these saints as St. Paul said, "Imitate me as I also imitate Christ."

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We probably are!

Gosh, I hope so. :)

Dear ozgeorge,

Quote
No, the Priest is not repeating Christ's words to himself, he is repeating them to The Holy Trinity.

And the priest also lifts the bread when praying it, and lifts the wine when praying it (notice, I do not deny the "praying" parts, but add to them the "re-enactments").  The lifting itself by the hand of the priest shows you that he is acting out something.  He also breaks bread, which Christ also did.  Who else would dare to break the body of Christ except the priest himself in the icon of Christ?  Thus, while praying, he is also acting out.  Not only is he praying to the Holy Trinity for himself, but on behalf of all.

Another reason I consider "re-enactments" is because priests are "mediators" between man and Christ, just as Christ is mediator between us and the Father.  Thus, if there's anything forgiveness of sins or sacramental duty that must go through, no mere layman can do it.  Priest acts out the role of mediator just as Christ does.

Quote
Then I ask again: Why did St. Paul allow women to prophesy in Church?

In the chauvinistic OT, women also prophecied.  That's nothing new.  It's doesn't prove anything.  The "not-allowed-to-speak" issue was, according to St. John Chrysostom, regarding women's chitter chatter, and not the mere vocal vibrations of the larynx.  Otherwise, how then would women participate in singing the hymns?

Dear GiC,

Quote
As Arius used this pericope to defend his theology so now the opponents of the ordination of women use it to defend theirs.

I'm going to make an attempt to defend Pedro because I assumed that he read my previous posts concerning the interpretation of this Pauline verse, as well as you and anyone else.  What Arian said can be used as an element of truth, but he erred on two points:

1.  Christ being created and unequal to the Father.
2.  Woman being inferior to and unequal to men.

We can use the same line of reasoning of Arius however to prove male-only priesthood and at the same time prove that priests are equal to the laity and men to women.  St. John Chrysostom tells us that in marriage, man and woman are united as the Father is to the Son.  If one believes that the Father is equal to the Son, it is impossible to bring out a chauvinistic interpretation into that verse in 1 Cor. 11, and it certainly is impossible to call someone an Arian.

You're lucky you're not ozgeorge giving the Arian accusation to someone.

Concerning the icon of Christ and men and women, I can bring your attention to this verse:

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To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
(Rev. 1:5-6)

Earlier I said we are all priests and kings, but the priesthood of Melchizedek doesn't come except by a special calling, with this "special" priest having a special role.

Therefore, all men and women are icons of Christ are made in the image of Christ.  The Melchizedek priest has a special role, being the special icon of Christ.

Quote
It would be far from the first Change the Church has made on account of society and the demands of reality, often on issues with a real theology against the change. Consider marraige, Initially the Church would only bless the First Marriage, giving penance, not blessings, to subsequent marriages. But when Leo Vi made the Church the only legitimage means within the Empire for a Christian to marry, the Church had to conform to reality and bless second and even third marriages. Likewise, in violation of the Canons of Oecumenical Synods, the reality of the Situation compelled them to conduct marriages between Christians and non-Christians.

WOW!  That is the most interesting thing I've ever heard.  You Chalcedonians got some tradition there.  In the Coptic Church, we do second and third marriages, but there is no crowning like the first marriage, and marriages after a first marriage (that is if the first marriage was only "anulled" by means of a death of a spouse), is treated as inferior and solemn compared to the first.  As for the situation of marrying between Christians and non-Christians, while I've heard stories, the OO Church (don't know about EO's) do not in any way endorse even a marriage outside the OO (and nowadays, EO's are allowed as well).

Quote
As a last note, when I said that the theological arguments against the Ordination of Women were poor, I didn't simply mean weak or absurd, which they are, but also heretical, as I demonstrated above.

Quite a long stretch.  You only put words to Pedro's mouth, making him Arian, but you never proved he was Arian.  Forgive me for being some sort of a "lawyer," but I felt you did injustice to Pedro. (gosh, I guess now I know how a lawyer feels)

Finally, to all, concerning "pastoral concerns."  I wouldn't think a pastoral concern would lead to someone making a statement like "man is the head of woman, Christ is the head of man, Father is the head of Christ."  That wouldn't be for the sake of pastoral, but for the sake of deception.  His plea "not to change the traditions" both before and after the head covering issue seems to be much more than just pastoral.

God bless.

Mina
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 05, 2006, 03:47:06 AM
What makes the speculation "speculation"? ???
Speculating
Please be careful to not let your natural dogmatism lead you to proclaim that your limited knowledge of truth, Orthodox as it certainly is, is the fullness of truth and the final word on the issue.
You are very strong in your convictions.  Are those who understand Tradition differently from you wrong merely because they disagree with you?  Is the faith of another weak and undeveloped simply because they aren't as convinced as you are?  What makes you even qualified to judge the faith of another?
If you want to discuss the accuracy of my claims of facts, you're welcome to dissect them. One of the things that sustains my faith in my own argument is the lack of argument from any opposition. When I posit facts, I'm wrongfully accused of 'googling' them, as opposed to actually looking up John Chrysostomon's talk about the priesthood, and reading through a few chapters. That highly dismissive (to the point of flippancy) style shows me that there is no real argument.

It is conceivable I am wrong. I am but an individual. You're welcome to try to convince me.


* * * *
I believe some of the things you say are wrong. You posit your own mistaken assumptions, such as the mere fact that Mary Magdalene is instructed to tell the Apostles that Christ has risen, makes her an Apostle too. How you come to that conclusion I am yet to understand.

The role of Apostle was given to 12, they are named. Mary was not one of the named. We have no evidence from Holy Tradition of women priests, ergo there's a reason for this.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 05, 2006, 06:05:56 AM
Right now, the argument that convinces me most strongly to oppose women's ordination is my recognition of where the movement for women's ordination is rooted.  The push today for the ordination of women to the priesthood is ultimately rooted in a secular feminist movement that has its own anti-Christian, anti-traditional interests in mind and has no concern for Truth.  This is not the work of the Holy Spirit.  
Some time ago, I would have fully agreed with you on this, but now I only partially agree. Where I disagree is that this should be considered "an argument against" women's ordination. Truth is truth no matter what the source is, and the Church must teach the Truth even if the catalyst for her to do so comes from outside herself. If women are to be ordained it should be because our dogmas cannot permit their continued exclusion. But to simply refuse to examine this simply because we don't like the source of the spur which urges us to do so would do nothing other than prove "the feminists" point that the exclusion of women from the priesthood is culturally based and not theologically based.

If the movement for women's ordination was to come entirely from within the Church and was perfectly consistent with Holy Tradition, then I might consider opening my mind to the idea, seeing in its churchly nature the work of the Holy Spirit.  This is not what I see happening right now.
And I fully disagree with this. The Church should not ordain women simply in response to a "movement for women's ordination", even if that movement comes from within the Church itself. Arianism was a movement that came from within the Church, so was Iconoclasm, so were countless other heresies. What we need is to frankly, honestly, prayerfully and concilliarly/synodically examine and discuss the theology and doctrine about the question. We need to, above all, avoid substituting doctrine with our passionate feelings about the issue- whether they are for or against it. The issue is Orthodoxy and correct doctrine. And this works both ways, because as far as I can see, the supposed "doctrinal arguments" against womens ordination are a far greater threat to Orthodoxy, particularly our Christology and Soteriology, than the prospect of an open dialogue about women's ordination spurred on by the secular feminist movement will ever be.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 05, 2006, 07:59:54 AM
Some time ago, I would have fully agreed with you on this, but now I only partially agree. Where I disagree is that this should be considered "an argument against" women's ordination. Truth is truth no matter what the source is, and the Church must teach the Truth even if the catalyst for her to do so comes from outside herself. If women are to be ordained it should be because our dogmas cannot permit their continued exclusion. But to simply refuse to examine this simply because we don't like the source of the spur which urges us to do so would do nothing other than prove "the feminists" point that the exclusion of women from the priesthood is culturally based and not theologically based.
What is the 'truth' here that Orthodoxy needs to learn from modernism/feminism?

Please cite any works you're aware of by feminist writers on their understanding of the priesthood in Eastern Orthodoxy and how the ordination of women priests would better guide us to this 'truth'.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: minasoliman on May 05, 2006, 08:04:11 AM
btw,

Just a side note.  It's been said that many arguments are made from emotion.  Just to make things clear, the whole "re-enactment" issue does not come from some sort of desperate emotion.  2005 Pascha, our bishop was visiting all churches teaching all of us that we do indeed act out and re-enact in all our services, and every single person in church, both priest and laity have a role in the church in every service.  He mentioned Palm Sunday, who we raise Palms and bring the days of Christ riding on a colt in the present, and how we all live the role, and Holy Thursday how we wash people's feet, and Wednesday to Saturday how we don't shake hands or not kiss, not kissing even the hands of the priest or touching it.

And many times, from my youth, from Sunday School to sermon, there is a HUGE concensus that the priest represents Christ, and that when we obey the authority of the priest in the liturgy, we are obeying Christ Himself, and in Liturgy we are paying close attention to the icon of Christ in the altar who is praying on behalf of all of us as Christ did.

Ask any Copt, and they will affirm these two points to you without even thinking about women's ordination.

We also take very seriously the head covering verses and the female teaching issues very seriously in the Church, and do not consider them mere pastoral issues for the ancient Church.  Even Ethiopians when entering into Church, ALL OF THEM wear white as imitating and taking the roles of angels, and Ethiopian women not only cover their heads with the white robe, but also their mouths, to symbolize their purity and submissions.  When they go in Church (and Indian Orthodox do this as well), they take off their shoes on the outside, symbolizing entering holy ground, as St. Moses did, taking that role as well.  We as Copts limited the shoe thing only to the altar.  It's a beautiful thing, how we take roles very seriously, which is why I insist on "re-enactment."

God bless.

Mina
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 05, 2006, 08:48:06 AM
Mina,
It is not only your Church in which these views are popular, they are also popular in the Eastern Orthodox Church. For example, the "Priest as Icon" argument against the ordination of women appears in  this article (http://dlibrary.acu.edu.au/research/theology/ejournal/aejt_4/Nicolaides.htm) by an Eastern Orthodox writer in the Australian EJournal of Theology. But popularity of a teaching does not necessarily make it Orthodox. At one point, Arianism was a popular Christology in the Church- and it turned out to be erroneous. We cannot judge the Orthodoxy of a doctrinal claim simply on it's popularity. Try as I may, as it stands, I simply cannot reconcile the teaching of "the-Priest-as-Icon-of-Christ-means-he-must-be-male" with the Church's Orthodox dogmas about Salvation and Christology.

Montaban,
Please look up the words "catalyst" and "spur" in the dictionary, and try to develope the practice of actually reading what people have written before you respond.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Carpatho Russian on May 05, 2006, 08:51:22 AM
...but what is so necessary about repeating Christ's words if it was just memorial?
Who said anything about repeating the words of institution as necessary.  There are several very early liturgies that lack the words of institution.  
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Carpatho Russian on May 05, 2006, 08:59:20 AM
The fact that the priest says "Do this in memory of me," is he not repeating Christ's words to himself?  Whatever "Do this in memory of me" means does not disprove the re-enactment that's being done.
Not whatever it means.  The this refers to Take eat, Take drink.
In John's Gospel account of the Emmaus episode, the disciples recognize Jesus in the breaking of the bread, not in the re-enactment of the Last Supper.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: pensateomnia on May 05, 2006, 09:01:03 AM
WOW!  That is the most interesting thing I've ever heard.  You Chalcedonians got some tradition there.  In the Coptic Church, we do second and third marriages, but there is no crowning like the first marriage, and marriages after a first marriage (that is if the first marriage was only "anulled" by means of a death of a spouse), is treated as inferior and solemn compared to the first.  As for the situation of marrying between Christians and non-Christians, while I've heard stories, the OO Church (don't know about EO's) do not in any way endorse even a marriage outside the OO (and nowadays, EO's are allowed as well).

What you just described is almost exactly the theological position and canonical practice of the EO Chalcedonian Church, but that position and canonical tradition did not come about until the time (and in the controversy) that GiC described. When the Copts and the Greeks were united (and following the ancient canons) no such second and third marriage were actually blessed in the Church. Thus, how did the Copts develop the SAME tradition that the Greeks did in the 8th and 9th century? Very interesting (seriously, I'm not being sarcastic!). For that matter, what exactly is the rite of Coptic marriage? Are there crowns and a "Dance of Isaiah"? Because all of these things -- indeed, the entire rite of ecclesiastical marriage -- did not develop until a very late date. Was the rite itself borrowed from the Imperial Church centuries after Chalcedon? For that matter, are the Holy Week services similar, because these too date from the Middle Ages — some even from later?

These are fascinating questions, especially b/c my thesis is on the textual reception and memory of Chalcedon. Despite the polemics on both sides at various times, there seems to have been many, many points of contact and influence.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 05, 2006, 09:21:41 AM
Montaban,
Please look up the words "catalyst" and "spur" in the dictionary, and try to develope the practice of actually reading what people have written before you respond.

You need to look up irony, considering your little 'words of wisdom' in light of your refusal to read evidences put to you.

But asides from dodging the question do you want to let me know what is the truth that feminism needs to spur us to?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 05, 2006, 09:34:26 AM
But asides from dodging the question do you want to let me know what is the truth that feminism needs to spur us to?
Montalban,
Please read what I wrote in response to PetertheAleut:
Some time ago, I would have fully agreed with you on this, but now I only partially agree. Where I disagree is that this should be considered "an argument against" women's ordination. Truth is truth no matter what the source is, and the Church must teach the Truth even if the catalyst for her to do so comes from outside herself. If women are to be ordained it should be because our dogmas cannot permit their continued exclusion. But to simply refuse to examine this simply because we don't like the source of the spur which urges us to do so would do nothing other than prove "the feminists" point that the exclusion of women from the priesthood is culturally based and not theologically based.
You are making a spectacle of yourself because you have not understood what I have said. If you can't be bothered to read it with comprehension, then why don't you go outside and play while the grown-ups talk?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 05, 2006, 09:37:45 AM
Some time ago, I would have fully agreed with you on this, but now I only partially agree. Where I disagree is that this should be considered "an argument against" women's ordination. Truth is truth no matter what the source is, and the Church must teach the Truth even if the catalyst for her to do so comes from outside herself. If women are to be ordained it should be because our dogmas cannot permit their continued exclusion. But to simply refuse to examine this simply because we don't like the source of the spur which urges us to do so would do nothing other than prove "the feminists" point that the exclusion of women from the priesthood is culturally based and not theologically based.
To put it another way...

You've said that outside forces might be used to spur the Orthodox Church into teaching a truth.

What truth is it that is needed to be taught?

Who is doing the spurring, in this case?

(your previous answer seems to suggest that those forces doing the spurring aren't actually conscious actors - as you're unable to cite any works by them in relation to Orthodox truths)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 05, 2006, 09:41:19 AM
Truth is truth no matter what the source is, and the Church must teach the Truth even if the catalyst for her to do so comes from outside herself. If women are to be ordained it should be because our dogmas cannot permit their continued exclusion. But to simply refuse to examine this simply because we don't like the source of the spur which urges us to do so would do nothing other than prove "the feminists" point that the exclusion of women from the priesthood is culturally based and not theologically based.
You are saying that there is a truth the church should teach and that this should be 'revealed' even if those spurring us into revealing that truth are from without.

So I ask you again what is this truth that we're not revealing, that needs to be revealed?
If you can't be bothered to read it with comprehension, then why don't you go outside and play while the grown-ups talk?
Condescension becomes ironic! Well done!
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Carpatho Russian on May 05, 2006, 09:46:22 AM
We commemorate and re-enact in a very subtle way, "re-enact" the person who passed away (and I don't mean his whole life story).  We recognize his presence in the Church, which is why we sacrifice for him/her the incense (or the priest does anyway).  Wasn't it a belief in the early Church that one can pray for a soul's repentant on behalf of the soul by prayers and incense sacrifices?  For we know that a soul cannot repent when separated from the body, but we know that God may accept our prayers on this soul's behalf.  This is a tiny "re-enactment."
I quess, I should have phrased my question differently.  Is the "Memory Eternal" a command to us, or, is it a prayer to God?  If it is a prayer to God, then, we are asking God to keep the departed ever (eternally) in His presence.  God doesn't need to re-enact the person's life.  The person's life is eternally present to God.
Mina,
Sorry, but I'm not going to let up until you let go of re-enact.  Say "Uncle" and I'll stop!
CR
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 05, 2006, 09:48:14 AM
What truth is it that is needed to be taught?
Um...the truth.
I think I said that when I said: "Truth is truth". How many ways can you interpret the words "Truth is truth"?

Who is doing the spurring, in this case?
Whoever spurs us to seek the truth- whether inside or outside the Church. I think I said that also, didn't I? How many ways can you interpret the words:
"Truth is truth no matter what the souce is, and the Church must teach the truth even if the catalyst for her to do so comes from outside herself."

(your previous answer seems to suggest that those forces doing the spurring aren't actually conscious actors - as you're unable to cite any works by them in relation to Orthodox truths)
I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about here. Could you please clarify?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 05, 2006, 09:48:49 AM
Ozgeorge...

Or, are you just making comments in general, with no relation to this specific thread? Perhaps you're simply making a statement of general principles on how one discerns 'the truth' in Orthodoxy.

I merely assumed that you were suggesting that this broad principle should be applied to the topic at hand. So which is it?

Are you talking about how you believe that the truth 'in general' within Orthodoxy might sometimes be revealed by the reaction of outside forces? Or, are you saying that (in relation to this topic) you're aware of certain truths that aren't being taught that need to be or are being 'revealed' through the spurring of outside forces?

I'm after some clarification. Sorry if that too seems to be a drain on your time resources.

Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 05, 2006, 09:53:47 AM
Um...the truth.
I think I said that when I said: "Truth is truth". How many ways can you interpret the words "Truth is truth"?

Oh, so you simply wished to state a truism. Okay. Thank you for that. So you're simply injecting into this specific thread (the ordination of women) that the truth, whatever it is, needs to be taught. Well done!
Whoever spurs us to seek the truth- whether inside or outside the Church. I think I said that also, didn't I? How many ways can you interpret the words:
"Truth is truth no matter what the souce (sic) is, and the Church must teach the truth even if the catalyst for her to do so comes from outside herself."
Thank you for continuing with this. Wow. That's very profound.
I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about here. Could you please clarify?
Well I thought that you were saying that there were forces at work specifically involved in the search for the 'truth' on this particular topic. I had no idea you simply had stopped talking about the specific topic and want to tell everyone some general truths. Thank you for that contribution. The 'truth is the truth'. Great stuff! Thank you.

Are you aware of any truths that Orthodoxy has outsourced?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: pensateomnia on May 05, 2006, 10:00:06 AM
Pensateomnia,

So then, why DO you think that the male priesthood is something that will and SHOULD remain in the Church, if not for the priest-as-icon thing?

That's not quite what I said. First, I said long ago to GiC that an Orthodox Christian should not declare himself in favor of female priests (for reasons obvious below). This is quite important for us all to consider. Second, I said that I personally do not think the canonical Orthodox Church will have or should have female priests. The reasons I hold these two positions are as follows:

1) My Bishop says so.
2) Many, many, many other Bishops, priests and holy elders have said so.

Really, these two reasons should be more than enough for any Orthodox Christian to refrain from calling for or supporting female priests, especially in public. Unless one has talked to one's Bishop and to one's Synod about the matter and received their blessing, one should never publicly argue for a complete novelty in liturgy, practice, morals or doctrine. To do otherwise is insubordinate, and it misrepresents Orthodoxy's historical and present-day consensus. Now, calling for or supporting discussion and examination of what, exactly, is the theological motivation behind the Church's practice is another matter.

If one needs reasons other than this, I would add:

3) Scripture, the Fathers and the canons do not speak or approve of female priests (argument ex traditione), except when detailing the calumny of heretics and pagans.

4) While the canons do not FORBID female priests, they also don't forbid standing on one's head and squawking like a chicken. The absence of a clear, Ecumenically-authored canonical prohibition does not give license for innovation.

5) Furthermore, the canons DO contain many requirements for the priesthood, all of which speak only of men. Thus, the canons do not tell us what would be the process, requirements or specific impediments for female ordinands (Would they have to be of an age even older than the deaconesses of yore? Would they have to be celibate like deaconesses?). In other words, we have no canonical, liturgical or historical method for determining which woman should be ordained or how the process should take place. While all this could be theoretically developed in a major Synod, the complete absence of such tradition shows the extremity of the innovation and the lack of historical precedent.

Thus, my argument is first and foremost argumentum ad verecundiam, which I consider valid within the context of the Church, because (a) I am deferring to the "the competent ecclesiastical authority," to wax canon law-like, (b) the aforementioned authority is charismatic and Apostolic and (c) I have willing submitted myself to the aforementioned authority. It is also an argumentum ex traditione, which I also consider quite valid in the context of the Church, especially when determining if one should SUPPORT this or that novelty (versus examine the theology that underpins established practice).
 
Oh, and one last reason!

6) Because GiC supports it.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 05, 2006, 10:02:35 AM
Are you talking about how you believe that the truth 'in general' within Orthodoxy might sometimes be revealed by the reaction of outside forces? Or, are you saying that (in relation to this topic) you're aware of certain truths that aren't being taught that need to be or are being 'revealed' through the spurring of outside forces?
Montalban,
The former, with the qualification (in order to make it the same as what I said) that it is not the "outside forces" which reveal truths to the Church, but the Church herself discerns them. Or to put it another way: "What we need is to frankly, honestly, prayerfully and concilliarly/synodically examine and discuss the theology and doctrine about the question. We need to, above all, avoid substituting doctrine with our passionate feelings about the issue- whether they are for or against it. The issue is Orthodoxy and correct doctrine." Which is exactly what I said in the same post you quoted from.

Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 05, 2006, 10:17:58 AM
3) Scripture, the Fathers and the canons do not speak or approve of female priests (argument ex traditione), except when detailing the calumny of heretics and pagans.

4) While the canons do not FORBID female priests, they also don't forbid standing on one's head and squawking like a chicken. The absence of a clear, Ecumenically-authored canonical prohibition does not give license for innovation.
Interestingly, it was this very lack of guidance in the Canons and Scripture about female priests which got me wondering about whether an exclusively male priesthood was dogma or not. The absence of clear guidance could mean, either that it is assumed that the question of women's ordination would never come up (i.e. that it was understood from the outset that women can't be priests), or it could also mean that it was not dogma, but culturally deternmined.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: pensateomnia on May 05, 2006, 10:44:10 AM
Interestingly, it was this very lack of guidance in the Canons and Scripture about female priests which got me wondering about whether an exclusively male priesthood was dogma or not. The absence of clear guidance could mean, either that it is assumed that the question of women's ordination would never come up (i.e. that it was understood from the outset that women can't be priests), or it could also mean that it was not dogma, but culturally deternmined.

Sure. But WONDERING is a far cry from SUPPORTING. That's my essential point.

Clearly the Church should prayerfully reflect on the theological justification for male priesthood, which includes reflection on gender and biological sex as an ontological category. But until the Church has done so -- and such would include the involvement of the Hierarchy, the clergy, the people and (let us not forget!) the modern elders -- outright SUPPORT for innovation is not only premature and presumptuous, it's spiritually dangerous.

Ultimately, this is not a question of arguments and proofs, but of revelation.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: BoredMeeting on May 05, 2006, 11:17:20 AM
Clearly the Church should prayerfully reflect on the theological justification for male priesthood, which includes reflection on gender and biological sex as an ontological category. But until the Church has done so...
It is my belief that the Church has already done so and that no possible good can come from revisting the topic.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 05, 2006, 11:25:04 AM
Sure. But WONDERING is a far cry from SUPPORTING. That's my essential point.
I know, and I fully agree.
All I was noting was that in my case, I had simply always assumed that an all male priesthood was an Orthodox dogma, not that anyone actually said that it was, but being cradle Orthodox, somehow I picked this idea up. It was only when I noted the silence on the issue in the Scriptures and Canons that I began to question my assumption, as I said, because I realised that this silence can be interpreted in two ways: "Never" or "Not now".
As for the GiC factor, on an affective level, like you, that is also swaying me against women's ordination ;), but I've continually said on this thread that our passions and emotions on the issue need to give way to an honest search for the truth. And really, to be fair, even GiC has said that the issue will ultimately be decided by the Church.
And while I agree that it can be spiritually harmful to anticipate a future decision of the Church to be in favour of women's ordination, I also think it is spiritually harmful to anticipate that the Church will decide against women's ordination on the basis of teachings which themselves are not clearly dogmas of the Orthodox Church.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 05, 2006, 11:28:11 AM
It is my belief that the Church has already done so and that no possible good can come from revisting the topic.
This is your belief, and I know that it is many other people in the Church's belief- but can you show me where the Church has irrefutably and unequivocally said what is her belief about it? Does she mean "Never" or just "Not now"?
That's what my problem is.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on May 05, 2006, 01:16:24 PM
I'm going to make an attempt to defend Pedro because I assumed that he read my previous posts concerning the interpretation of this Pauline verse, as well as you and anyone else.  What Arian said can be used as an element of truth, but he erred on two points:

1.  Christ being created and unequal to the Father.
2.  Woman being inferior to and unequal to men.

We can use the same line of reasoning of Arius however to prove male-only priesthood and at the same time prove that priests are equal to the laity and men to women.  St. John Chrysostom tells us that in marriage, man and woman are united as the Father is to the Son.  If one believes that the Father is equal to the Son, it is impossible to bring out a chauvinistic interpretation into that verse in 1 Cor. 11, and it certainly is impossible to call someone an Arian.

Ah, but you're ignoring part of the pericope: 'But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.' Yet this ignored part is the essence of the argument against the ordination of women, and the implications, if taken theologically, are clearly Arian...asserting that God is to Christ as Christ is to Man, thus subjugating Christ to God...that is unless you're asserting that Christ is Equal to man, which is Ebionitism. You see why this verse is problematic to interpret theologically. It is essentially a pastoral text that makes some (very poor) theological references as support, but is most dangerous if used as a theological basis, implying either Arian or Ebionite thought.

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Earlier I said we are all priests and kings, but the priesthood of Melchizedek doesn't come except by a special calling, with this "special" priest having a special role.

Therefore, all men and women are icons of Christ are made in the image of Christ.  The Melchizedek priest has a special role, being the special icon of Christ.

Which tells me nothing about why the priest must be male, as I said state that a male is 'more in the image of Christ' or 'in the image of Christ in a way that a female is not' is to deny the Image of Christ that is equally present in Male and Female, it is blasphemy against the Creative Energies of God.

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WOW!  That is the most interesting thing I've ever heard.  You Chalcedonians got some tradition there.  In the Coptic Church, we do second and third marriages, but there is no crowning like the first marriage, and marriages after a first marriage (that is if the first marriage was only "anulled" by means of a death of a spouse), is treated as inferior and solemn compared to the first.  As for the situation of marrying between Christians and non-Christians, while I've heard stories, the OO Church (don't know about EO's) do not in any way endorse even a marriage outside the OO (and nowadays, EO's are allowed as well).

That is what we started doing in the 9th Century, but now we tend to even crown second marriages. However, the introduction of a service for a second or third nature, even the initial penitential one, was an introduction that is at odds with our fundamental theology of marriage that opposes any marriage after the first...but we did what we did because it was a realistic necessity, and the pastoral concerns took precedence even over the theology (which is the same reason we often crown second or third marriages today).

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Finally, to all, concerning "pastoral concerns."  I wouldn't think a pastoral concern would lead to someone making a statement like "man is the head of woman, Christ is the head of man, Father is the head of Christ."  That wouldn't be for the sake of pastoral, but for the sake of deception.  His plea "not to change the traditions" both before and after the head covering issue seems to be much more than just pastoral.

Personally, I'd attribute it to a degree of theological ignorance on the part of Paul, with the pastoral situation, which was his expertise, being his primary concern. As I said, if you take this verse as a theological maxim, you must logically adopt either Arianism or Ebionitism, which, ulike women's ordination, are serious and formally condemend heresies.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Anastasios on May 05, 2006, 01:16:55 PM
Thinking too much can be sinful, too. That is not said in reply to anyone in specific.

Anastasios
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: PeterTheAleut on May 05, 2006, 01:56:44 PM
WOW!  That is the most interesting thing I've ever heard.  You Chalcedonians got some tradition there.  In the Coptic Church, we do second and third marriages, but there is no crowning like the first marriage, and marriages after a first marriage (that is if the first marriage was only "anulled" by means of a death of a spouse), is treated as inferior and solemn compared to the first.
AFAIK, second and third marriages in the Chalcedonian churches are really much more similar in their penitential nature to your Coptic experience than one post may have led you to believe.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on May 05, 2006, 02:06:40 PM
That's not quite what I said. First, I said long ago to GiC that an Orthodox Christian should not declare himself in favor of female priests (for reasons obvious below). This is quite important for us all to consider. Second, I said that I personally do not think the canonical Orthodox Church will have or should have female priests. The reasons I hold these two positions are as follows:

And as I submitted before, I again submit that it woule be no more inappropriate for me to support the Ordination of Women than for me to oppose the same. For logic dictates that in the absence of a proof, either positive or negative, the logically appropriate posistion is neutral, neither affirming nor denying the proposistion in the absence of a positive or negative proof.  Any affirmation or denial is a deviation from the logical posistion of neutrality.

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1) My Bishop says so.
2) Many, many, many other Bishops, priests

This is merely their private opinion until it is proclaimed in an authorative synod.

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and holy elders have said so.

Should I go into the other kooky things the 'holy elders' have said as well? I'd stick to arguing from the private opinions of bishops.

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Really, these two reasons should be more than enough for any Orthodox Christian to refrain from calling for or supporting female priests, especially in public. Unless one has talked to one's Bishop and to one's Synod about the matter and received their blessing, one should never publicly argue for a complete novelty in liturgy, practice, morals or doctrine. To do otherwise is insubordinate, and it misrepresents Orthodoxy's historical and present-day consensus. Now, calling for or supporting discussion and examination of what, exactly, is the theological motivation behind the Church's practice is another matter.

It's not insubordinate unless there is an authoritive decree explicitly condemning it. The Episcopacy may be, when together in Synod, the authorative and ruling body of the Church, and as a whole honour is due to them on this account, but they are not Popes and their Private Opinions are not Infallible Decrees on Faith and Morals...nor even authorative apart from their synod. For as the 34th Apostolic Canons states:

'It behoves the Bishops of every nation to know the one among them who is the premier or chief, and to recognise him as their head, and to refrain from doing anything superfluous without his advice and approval: but, instead, each of them should do only whatever is necessitated by his own parish and by the territories under him. But let not even such a one do anything without the advice and consent and approval of all. For thus will there be concord, and God will be glorified through the Lord in Holy Spirit, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.'

Thus, it would be uncanonical for a bishop to pontificate such a doctrinal decree independent from his Synod. Furthermore, even the rulings of Synods, while authorative, are not infallible...as witnessed by the large number that have been overruled by later synods.

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3) Scripture, the Fathers and the canons do not speak or approve of female priests (argument ex traditione), except when detailing the calumny of heretics and pagans.

Which, again, places us in a posistion of logical neutrality on the issue.

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4) While the canons do not FORBID female priests, they also don't forbid standing on one's head and squawking like a chicken. The absence of a clear, Ecumenically-authored canonical prohibition does not give license for innovation.

What it does do is leave the decision to individual bishops, to do whatever they think is best on the matter with the consent of their synod.

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5) Furthermore, the canons DO contain many requirements for the priesthood, all of which speak only of men. Thus, the canons do not tell us what would be the process, requirements or specific impediments for female ordinands (Would they have to be of an age even older than the deaconesses of yore? Would they have to be celibate like deaconesses?). In other words, we have no canonical, liturgical or historical method for determining which woman should be ordained or how the process should take place. While all this could be theoretically developed in a major Synod, the complete absence of such tradition shows the extremity of the innovation and the lack of historical precedent.

Of course these canons are pastoral in issue, dealing with the pastoral demands and requirements of a given culture, society, and time. They are applied where still appropriate and economia is used where they are not. For example, the Canons say none should be ordained a priest under 30, yet under the guidelines given out by Archbishop Iakovos, 21 was the minimum age. Do you really believe we enforce the canon that forbids anyone who has ever committed fornication after baptism from being ordained? The fact that these are pastoral canons and applied accordingly today should make the use of masculine pronouns (which is the norm for refering to both genders in Greek anyway) irrelevant. I propose using the same standards for men and women, with one simple statement the problem could be solved.

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Thus, my argument is first and foremost argumentum ad verecundiam, which I consider valid within the context of the Church, because (a) I am deferring to the "the competent ecclesiastical authority," to wax canon law-like, (b) the aforementioned authority is charismatic and Apostolic and (c) I have willing submitted myself to the aforementioned authority. It is also an argumentum ex traditione, which I also consider quite valid in the context of the Church, especially when determining if one should SUPPORT this or that novelty (versus examine the theology that underpins established practice).

Ultimately we're all 'deferring to the "competent ecclesiastical authority"' since none of us can actually ordain anyone, male or female. What we can do is act in the role of a theologian, offering our arguments in favour of or in opposistion to the issue, so that if and when it does come before a synod to be decided, the issue will have been discussed, the opinion of the people can be weighed, and the opponents and proponents can present their case...thus allowing the Synod to make an informed decision. What you propose is that we treat the argument as though it has already been decided, looking not for the truth but for excuses to maintain the status quo, which I will not do because I believe the status quo to be wrong. Now, contrary to popular opinion, I am not infallible and may infact be incorrect on this issue, but until the Synod of the Great Church of Christ so rules it is within my rights to maintain and present this posistion; in the absence of such a ruling the faithful are not compelled by ecclesiastical law to take one posistion or the other.

Of course, on the flip side, if the Synod of the Great Church of Christ rules in favour of or allows the ordination of women, as the Synod under Patriarch Meletios of Most Blessed Memory did on the Calendar issue to the surprise of many, then it would be those who continue to oppose the Ordination of Women, and thus defy the Synod, who would be professing a faith contrary to that of the Orthodox and subject to canonical penalties.
 
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Oh, and one last reason!

6) Because GiC supports it.

That's as good a reason as any other I've heard.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: PeterTheAleut on May 05, 2006, 02:22:43 PM
If you want to discuss the accuracy of my claims of facts, you're welcome to dissect them. One of the things that sustains my faith in my own argument is the lack of argument from any opposition.

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When I posit facts, I'm wrongfully accused of 'googling' them, as opposed to actually looking up John Chrysostomon's talk about the priesthood, and reading through a few chapters. That highly dismissive (to the point of flippancy) style shows me that there is no real argument.
Well, I wonder why people think your quoting of the Fathers to be mere proof-texting.

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It is conceivable I am wrong. I am but an individual. You're welcome to try to convince me.
I never thought the purpose of this forum was to prove myself right and/or to prove you or anyone else wrong.

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* * * *
I believe some of the things you say are wrong. You posit your own mistaken assumptions, such as the mere fact that Mary Magdalene is instructed to tell the Apostles that Christ has risen, makes her an Apostle too. How you come to that conclusion I am yet to understand.

The role of Apostle was given to 12, they are named. Mary was not one of the named. We have no evidence from Holy Tradition of women priests, ergo there's a reason for this.

No, Mary Magdalene was never given the actual title of Apostle, such office as was given only to each of the Twelve and to St. Paul--I never asserted that she had been granted this office, so my statement was not a mistaken assumption.  Follow the definition of the term apostle, "one who is sent on a mission" (Merriam-Webster), however, and you can see clearly that this describes Mary Magdalene, for Christ did send her to proclaim the Resurrection to the Apostles.  Hence, some of our hymnography actually calls Mary Magdalene the apostle to the Apostles.  But again, this is purely honorific, whereas we do agree that only the twelve disciples of Christ were given the actual office of Apostle.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: PeterTheAleut on May 05, 2006, 03:19:15 PM
If the movement for women's ordination was to come entirely from within the Church and was perfectly consistent with Holy Tradition, then I might consider opening my mind to the idea, seeing in its churchly nature the work of the Holy Spirit.  This is not what I see happening right now.
And I fully disagree with this. The Church should not ordain women simply in response to a "movement for women's ordination", even if that movement comes from within the Church itself. Arianism was a movement that came from within the Church, so was Iconoclasm, so were countless other heresies.
Maybe I need to reiterate what I said, because you seem to be reacting to only part of my statement.
If the movement for women's ordination was to come entirely from within the Church and was perfectly consistent with Holy Tradition, then I might consider opening my mind to the idea, seeing in its churchly nature the work of the Holy Spirit.  This is not what I see happening right now.
The examples you use, Arianism, Iconoclasm, and so many other heresies, may indeed have been movements that started from within the Church, but they were not perfectly consistent with Holy Tradition.  In fact, they weren't even close to being consistent with Holy Tradition.

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What we need is to frankly, honestly, prayerfully and concilliarly/synodically examine and discuss the theology and doctrine about the question. We need to, above all, avoid substituting doctrine with our passionate feelings about the issue- whether they are for or against it. The issue is Orthodoxy and correct doctrine. And this works both ways, because as far as I can see, the supposed "doctrinal arguments" against womens ordination are a far greater threat to Orthodoxy, particularly our Christology and Soteriology, than the prospect of an open dialogue about women's ordination spurred on by the secular feminist movement will ever be.
I agree fully with everything you say in this assessment.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 05, 2006, 11:03:50 PM
Montalban,
The former, with the qualification (in order to make it the same as what I said) that it is not the "outside forces" which reveal truths to the Church, but the Church herself discerns them. Or to put it another way: "What we need is to frankly, honestly, prayerfully and concilliarly/synodically examine and discuss the theology and doctrine about the question. We need to, above all, avoid substituting doctrine with our passionate feelings about the issue- whether they are for or against it. The issue is Orthodoxy and correct doctrine." Which is exactly what I said in the same post you quoted from.
What truths are being revealed within the Church as a reaction too, or being prodded by outside forces?

What are these outside forces?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 05, 2006, 11:04:58 PM
Thinking too much can be sinful, too. That is not said in reply to anyone in specific.

Anastasios
I agree. Jesus says how happy are the children brought to Him.
Matthew 18:3
Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.
We have been given the truth of Christ, some we don't understand, but we accept.
For sometimes we still don't believe...
John 6:36
But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe.

John 20:29 ...Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Asteriktos on May 05, 2006, 11:13:27 PM
Quote
Thinking too much can be sinful, too

In what way?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 05, 2006, 11:23:06 PM
What truths are being revealed within the Church as a reaction too, or being prodded by outside forces?
Take the Seventh Oecumenical Council for example.
The Iconoclasm was at least partially the result of the rise of Islam. This prodded the Church to seek the truth and define her Dogma about Icons.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on May 06, 2006, 01:11:59 AM
In what way?

Ignorance is Strength!!!
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: PeterTheAleut on May 06, 2006, 01:18:24 AM
Ignorance is Strength!!!
What would anyone know of ignorance?  ;)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 06, 2006, 01:34:16 AM
Take the Seventh Oecumenical Council for example.
The Iconoclasm was at least partially the result of the rise of Islam. This prodded the Church to seek the truth and define her Dogma about Icons.
My understanding is that the church has always defined the truth by what it has always believed. Therefore the 'truth' of icons was always understood; such as the fact that Jesus was a living icon. That a heresy came into being and challenged this does not mean that 'the truth' needed to be prodded out of the Church... because the church always had that truth. It's rather silly that someone would suggest that the church coasting along minding its own business, teaching what it teaches, needs to be upset by heresy, in order to more formally defne what it believes.

So we come now to the topic at hand. The ordination of women. The church has always had the ordination of men only. It doesn't 'need' an outside source/force to come along start questioning 'why?' so as to make it need to justify what it's always held to believe.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 06, 2006, 01:35:08 AM
What would anyone know of ignorance?  ;)
Persoanlly, I couldn't care.

No, wait! That's apathy :)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 06, 2006, 01:42:32 AM
My understanding is that the church has always defined the truth by what it has always believed. Therefore the 'truth' of icons was always understood;
So, we didn't need an Oecumenical Council to define what the truth was then? "The Seven Useless Councils".... ::)

such as the fact that Jesus was a living icon.
And such as the fact that both men and women are Icons of God?

So we come now to the topic at hand. The ordination of women. The church has always had the ordination of men only. It doesn't 'need' an outside source/force to come along start questioning 'why?' so as to make it need to justify what it's always held to believe.
If this is how truth is determined, I suggest you remove the pews from your Church and return to the pre-revised Julian Calendar, otherwise you are living a lie.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: PeterTheAleut on May 06, 2006, 01:47:14 AM
It's rather silly that someone would suggest that the church coasting along minding its own business, teaching what it teaches, needs to be upset by heresy, in order to more formally defne what it believes.
Yet this is the very thing that forced the Council of Nicea to articulate the Church's belief in the Trinity into an official dogma.  The most important task of virtually every one of the Ecumenical Councils was in fact to articulate the beliefs of the Church in opposition to heresies.  Without these heresies, the Councils would have never been needed.  Without these Councils, the heresies might have destroyed the Orthodox Faith.  (Yes, even though Christians had always worshipped the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Arianism was such a threat to longstanding belief in the Trinity that the Church would very likely have died if she hadn't defined this belief.)

Quote
So we come now to the topic at hand. The ordination of women. The church has always had the ordination of men only. It doesn't 'need' an outside source/force to come along start questioning 'why?' so as to make it need to justify what it's always held to believe.
Yet, in light of what I said above, maybe the Church does need to articulate in detail her reasons for excluding women from the priesthood.  The key concept in both this statement and the one I make above is clarity--clarity of witness to the Truth.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 06, 2006, 01:59:57 AM
So, we didn't need an Odecumenical (sic) Council to define what the truth was then? "The Seven Useless Councils"....
Almost cute! Your remarks seem to be a product of looking at things from the wrong end of history. It is true that they defined them in reaction to attacks (usually from within). However they were unnecessary only insofar as the Church didn't need to be attacked in the first place.

And so we have it here. The truth was always know, and taught. That is the 'ideal'. That is 'good'. That there were attacks upon that truth is not 'good'. That there were ecumenical councils who resoundly defeated these attacks, is good, but were 'unnecessary only insofar as the truth shouldn't have been attacked in the first place.

You seem to praise these attacks just so the church can 'strive' to reassert the truth, as if it needs to be constantly tested, or something.

And such as the fact that both men and women are Icons of God?
Indeed. What is your point?

If this is how truth is determined, I suggest you remove the pews from your Church and return to the pre-revised Julian Calendar, otherwise you are living a lie.
What have these to do with dogma? I'm unsure that Jesus ever taught about pews in churches.

Your 'logic' here would be to look at a battered woman who has survived, praised her survival (which itself is a 'triumph') but then to also suggest that the battering (in this case as a 'test') was necessary in order to show that she could survive. Ideally she shouldn't have been put through that in the first place. You seem to think that the church should be 'tested'. If it takes a battering from 'outside forces' and survives, that's great. But it doesn't need to be tested.

Matthew 22:18
But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, “Why do you test Me, you hypocrites?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 06, 2006, 02:04:32 AM
Yet this is the very thing that forced the Council of Nicea to articulate the Church's belief in the Trinity into an official dogma.  The most important task of virtually every one of the Ecumenical Councils was in fact to articulate the beliefs of the Church in opposition to heresies.  Without these heresies, the Councils would have never been needed.  Without these Councils, the heresies might have destroyed the Orthodox Faith.  (Yes, even though Christians had always worshipped the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Arianism was such a threat to longstanding belief in the Trinity that the Church would very likely have died if she hadn't defined this belief.)
Yes, the key factor here is that the heresies caused the Councils, so had we not had the heresies, we'd not have need of the councils, and the church would have gone on teaching the truth.
Yet, in light of what I said above, maybe the Church does need to articulate in detail her reasons for excluding women from the priesthood.  The key concept in both this statement and the one I make above is clarity--clarity of witness to the Truth.
That seems a might like having the church made to continually justify itself. Also, here I would prefer to see a 'good reason' why women should be ordained
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 06, 2006, 02:15:44 AM
Your remarks seem to be a product of looking at things from the wrong end of history. It is true that they defined them in reaction to attacks (usually from within). However they were unnecessary only insofar as the Church didn't need to be attacked in the first place.
Montalban, calm down and listen.
Those who develop what turn out to be heretical teachings also believe they are defending the Truth of the Church's doctrine. No one ever developed an heresy with the direct intention of "attacking the Church". Everyone on both sides of a doctrinal dispute argues that they are supported by Holy Tradition. Heresarchs believed that the Church had slipped into error (eg. just as Nestorius thought that the title "Theotokos" was heresy.) The Church needs heresy in order to clarify the truth apophatically. And what's more, your teaching that heresy is not required for the Church to clarify the truthis itself a heresy which contradicts Apostolic teaching:"For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you." (1 Corinthians 11:19)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Bizzlebin on May 06, 2006, 02:24:32 AM
Montalban, calm down and listen.
Those who develop what turn out to be heretical teachings also believe they are defending the Truth of the Church's doctrine. No one ever developed an heresy with the direct intention of "attacking the Church". Everyone on both sides of a doctrinal dispute argues that they are supported by Holy Tradition. Heresarchs believed that the Church had slipped into error (eg. just as Nestorius thought that the title "Theotokos" was heresy.) The Church needs heresy in order to clarify the truth apophatically.

It is true that some of the heretics may believe in what they are doing, but as you also said, they believe "that the Church had slipped into error." So, we may identify people quite easily this way: are they teaching what the Church has always taught (Orthodox) or are they saying the Church is wrong, somehow in error (Heretics)? When it is put that way, I think it is quite clear.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 06, 2006, 02:32:12 AM
So, we may identify people quite easily this way: are they teaching what the Church has always taught (Orthodox) or are they saying the Church is wrong, somehow in error (Heretics)? When it is put that way, I think it is quite clear.
I'd be careful about saying that "we may identify people quite easily this way". In our time, some Old Calendarists believe that New Calandarists are "heretics easily identified"- and schisms have resulted.
It is not "quite easy"- it is very difficult. Which is why we have Oecumenical Synods.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Bizzlebin on May 06, 2006, 02:41:19 AM
I'd be careful about saying that "we may identify people quite easily this way". In our time, some Old Calendarists believe that New Calandarists are "heretics easily identified"- and schisms have resulted.
It is not "quite easy"- it is very difficult. Which is why we have Oecumenical Synods.

But with calendars, the Julian wasn't even the standard in some lands until relatively recently. Since this was not something standard throughout the Church, but varied throughout history and location, it is clearly a local custom. Can the same be said of women's ordination?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 06, 2006, 02:52:39 AM
But with calendars, the Julian wasn't even the standard in some lands until relatively recently. Since this was not something standard throughout the Church, but varied throughout history and location, it is clearly a local custom. Can the same be said of women's ordination?
Up until the end of the fourth century, Deaconesses baptised catechumens until the Apostolic Constitutions made this a function of the Priest only. So it cannot be said that women have never celebrated the Mysteria (Sacraments) of the Church. Should we take this to be an argument in favour of women's ordination, since women have not always been excluded from administering a Sacrament of the Church? According to her hagiography, St. Paraskevi of Rome was not only a great missionary preacher, she baptised the Emperor Antoninus Pius. Have we somehow forgotten this tradition? Or rather is the Church teaching "not now" rather than "never"?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Bizzlebin on May 06, 2006, 03:09:42 AM
Up until the end of the fourth century, Deaconesses baptised catechumens until the Apostolic Constitutions made this a function of the Priest only. So it cannot be said that women have never celebrated the Mysteria (Sacraments) of the Church. Should we take this to be an argument in favour of women's ordination, since women have not always been excluded from administering a Sacrament of the Church?

Deaconesses assisted in the baptism of female parishoners for obvious reasons, not performed theSacrament in it's entirety. If this function is restored, that is quite fine, but anything beyond that is not what the Church has taught from the beginning.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 06, 2006, 03:19:07 AM
Deaconesses assisted in the baptism of female parishoners for obvious reasons, not performed the entire Sacrament in it's entirety. If this function is restored, that is quite fine, but anything beyond that is not what the Church has taught from the beginning.
An Australian Greek Orthodox Theologian (who, by the way, actually opposes women's ordination) disagrees with your view of history:
Quote from: ANGELO NICOLAIDES
"By the end of the fourth century the Apostolic Constitutions dictated that women no longer baptize as this was now considered the function of a priest. Deaconesses would serve as a go-between, intermediating between other women and officials of the Ekklesia. "  Source (http://dlibrary.acu.edu.au/research/theology/ejournal/aejt_4/Nicolaides.htm) (emphasis added).
So if even the history of the Church's position on this is disputed by those who oppose women's ordination, why should I accept any one's personal opinion of what the Holy Tradition of the Church actually is?
See, not so "easy" is it? ;)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Bizzlebin on May 06, 2006, 03:37:21 AM
An Australian Greek Orthodox Theologian (who, by the way, actually opposes women's ordination) disagrees with your view of history:
So if even the history of the Church's position on this is disputed by those who oppose women's ordination, why should I accept any one's personal opinion of what the Holy Tradition of the Church actually is?
See, not so "easy" is it? ;)

I was speaking mainly of the third century, hence why he spoke of the change at the time of the fourth. But did you notice that at neither time were women ordained? There are indeed some complex issues here, but the Church's stance on women's ordination never changed.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 06, 2006, 04:01:35 AM
but the Church's stance on women's ordination never changed.
Assuming it is a "stance" intended to teach a dogma.
No evidence of women's ordination is not evidence against women's ordination.
Edit: and I think we should clarify that we mean "women's ordination to the priesthood" since Deaconesses were ordained by cheirotonia.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Bizzlebin on May 06, 2006, 04:17:50 AM
Assuming it is a "stance" intended to teach a dogma.
No evidence of women's ordination is not evidence against women's ordination.
Edit: and I think we should clarify that we mean "women's ordination to the priesthood" since Deaconesses were ordained by cheirotonia.

It is evidence, because it was not part of the Gospel delivered to the Church, or a related doctrine.

Of course, I think we know what we mean :P
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 06, 2006, 05:12:41 AM
Montalban, calm down and listen.
How about giving the advice a bit of a rest (I know that makes for irony, advising you to knock off the advice)
Those who develop what turn out to be heretical teachings also believe they are defending the Truth of the Church's doctrine.No one ever developed an heresy with the direct intention of "attacking the Church". Everyone on both sides of a doctrinal dispute argues that they are supported by Holy Tradition. Heresarchs believed that the Church had slipped into error (eg. just as Nestorius thought that the title "Theotokos" was heresy.) The Church needs heresy in order to clarify the truth apophatically. And what's more, your teaching that heresy is not required for the Church to clarify the truthis itself a heresy which contradicts Apostolic teaching:"For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you." (1 Corinthians 11:19)
Ah, so you're providing a service for the church. By speculating, and raising questions that no one else is, about women's ordination; by creating issues where there are none, you hope that the church might categorically rule one way or the other and thus be strengthened! You're doing a great service.

I again thank you.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 06, 2006, 05:20:01 AM
Up until the end of the fourth century, Deaconesses baptised catechumens until the Apostolic Constitutions made this a function of the Priest only. So it cannot be said that women have never celebrated the Mysteria (Sacraments) of the Church. Should we take this to be an argument in favour of women's ordination, since women have not always been excluded from administering a Sacrament of the Church? According to her hagiography, St. Paraskevi of Rome was not only a great missionary preacher, she baptised the Emperor Antoninus Pius. Have we somehow forgotten this tradition? Or rather is the Church teaching "not now" rather than "never"?

In the Book of Acts , a deacon, Philip baptises an Ethiopian BUT he does not lay hands on him. The laying on of hands is done by Apostles. They are clearly different roles right at the beginning of the church. Few here have questioned women acting as a deaconess. You simply shift from the OP which is about ordination of priests to 'ordination' per se.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 06, 2006, 05:29:46 AM
So in summary OzGeorge is on an heroic quest to strengthen the Orthodox Church by raising questions about ordaining women as priests. His evidence for this is that some women might have served in other roles. Great! There's no connection there.

When offered evidence about the fact only men have acted as priests there's a number of counter-arguments;
a) too busy to assess the evidence
b) the evidence might be true, but it was just got at by web-searching
c) attempts to develop other arguments in order to add to speculation (because we now know that speculation has only made the church stronger)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 06, 2006, 05:32:48 AM
It is evidence, because it was not part of the Gospel delivered to the Church, or a related doctrine.
Some have trouble separating Holy Tradition from traditions; by continually referring back to the fact that 'traditions' have changed (e.g. the inclusion of pews in churches, etc.)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 06, 2006, 05:43:09 AM
I was speaking mainly of the third century, hence why he spoke of the change at the time of the fourth. But did you notice that at neither time were women ordained? There are indeed some complex issues here, but the Church's stance on women's ordination never changed.

A small goal-shift has happened. It happened so gradually I didn't even notice it till now.

The OP is about the ordination of women as priests. I took this as read. So too, it seems most people here have discussed the 'ordination of women' in that light, NOT the ordination of women into any office ('per se'). OzGeorge has now blurred the issue by shifting from 'priests' to 'in general' and no one's caught up with this and so he is able to present evidence for one, in order to discuss the other.

So the statement 'the Church's stance on women's ordination never changed' is correct in relation to the OP.

When asked for evidence on this issue, he's now presented evidence on the other. This is the second series of goal-shifts that he's attempted.

The first was to discuss changes in 'traditions' to prove changes in 'Holy Tradition'. When people have discussed that the institution of the priesthood is a part of Holy Tradition, and therefore never changed, he's discussed the fact churches now have pews.

This seems to be the 'best' argument I can see for change - when I've asked why Orthodoxy should in fact change, to have women priests.

So in dealing with this topic, the best evidences for changing the strictures on one thing we've got arguments about changes in others. And the reason for this it seems, is because by raising this as an 'issue' where it wasn't before, that perhaps it might strengthen the church! ???
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 06, 2006, 08:37:06 AM
It is evidence, because it was not part of the Gospel delivered to the Church, or a related doctrine.
Neither was the depiction of Icons until the Seventh Oecumenical Council- was that evidence which should have led to a triumph of Iconoclasm?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 06, 2006, 08:57:19 AM
Neither was the depiction of Icons until the Seventh Oecumenical Council- was that evidence which should have led to a triumph of Iconoclasm?
Iconaclasm, as you already noted, only became an issue because of the influence of an outside force; Islam.

So, given that there was no 'problem' in the church until caused by such, I don't see what your point here is.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 06, 2006, 10:05:08 AM
So, given that there was no 'problem' in the church until caused by such, I don't see what your point here is.
If you follow the discussion between Bizzelbin and myself, you will note that the sequence of thought is as follows:
1) I agreed with Bizzelbin's position that the Church has never changed it's stance on the ordination of women to the priesthood, but said that this does not constitute evidence that a male only priesthood is a dogma. I said "No evidence of women's ordination is not evidence against women's ordination."
2) Bizzelbin said that there are no records in the Gospels or related documents of women's ordination to the priesthood.
3) I replied that there is no evidence in the Gospels or related documents in favour of depicting Icons.

So the "point" is that the dogmas about Icons were clarified despite the silence in "the Gospels and related documents" about the use of Holy Images; so therefore, a silence in "the Gospels and related documents" about the ordination of women to the priesthood cannot be construed as being clear evidence against it.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Sarah on May 06, 2006, 10:23:47 AM
If you follow the discussion between Bizzelbin and myself, you will note that the sequence of thought is as follows:
1) I agreed with Bizzelbin's position that the Church has never changed it's stance on the ordination of women to the priesthood, but said that this does not constitute evidence that a male only priesthood is a dogma. I said "No evidence of women's ordination is not evidence against women's ordination."
2) Bizzelbin said that there are no records in the Gospels or related documents of women's ordination to the priesthood.
3) I replied that there is no evidence in the Gospels or related documents in favour of depicting Icons.

So the "point" is that the dogmas about Icons were clarified despite the silence in "the Gospels and related documents" about the use of Holy Images; so therefore, a silence in "the Gospels and related documents" about the ordination of women to the priesthood cannot be construed as being clear evidence against it.

When did something have to be written "in the Gospels or related documents" for it to be a practice of the Orthodox Church?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 06, 2006, 10:27:31 AM
When did something have to be written "in the Gospels or related documents" for it to be a practice of the Orthodox Church?
I don't know.Ask Bizzelbin. ;)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on May 06, 2006, 10:36:55 AM
So we come now to the topic at hand. The ordination of women. The church has always had the ordination of men only. It doesn't 'need' an outside source/force to come along start questioning 'why?' so as to make it need to justify what it's always held to believe.

The Church has never existed in a vacuum, it has long interacted with the world and has been challenged by the world, Paul in his evangelism welcomed these challenges...why don't we? If we are concerned about truth, the source of the challenge is irrelevant, we will give it an objective theological evaluation regardless. The Church is certainly the source of much revelation from God, but it is not the only one, Creation itself is also a revelation and science is the uncovering of this revelation, such things deserve to be heeded for they too can reveal to us cosmology, ontology, and theology.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: minasoliman on May 06, 2006, 12:12:01 PM
I quess, I should have phrased my question differently.  Is the "Memory Eternal" a command to us, or, is it a prayer to God?  If it is a prayer to God, then, we are asking God to keep the departed ever (eternally) in His presence.  God doesn't need to re-enact the person's life.  The person's life is eternally present to God.
Mina,
Sorry, but I'm not going to let up until you let go of re-enact.  Say "Uncle" and I'll stop!
CR

I would go on in this whole re-enactment issue, and I still didn't change my mind, but I'll say it:

"UNCLE!!!"

Only because I don't think we're going anywhere.  You do make a good point on your own side that you have little liturgies that don't say these same words Christ said, but in the Coptic Church, no such liturgy exists.  So not only are we not going anywhere, but both you and I come from different worlds in this issue.

God bless.

Mina
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: minasoliman on May 06, 2006, 12:14:24 PM
What you just described is almost exactly the theological position and canonical practice of the EO Chalcedonian Church, but that position and canonical tradition did not come about until the time (and in the controversy) that GiC described. When the Copts and the Greeks were united (and following the ancient canons) no such second and third marriage were actually blessed in the Church. Thus, how did the Copts develop the SAME tradition that the Greeks did in the 8th and 9th century? Very interesting (seriously, I'm not being sarcastic!). For that matter, what exactly is the rite of Coptic marriage? Are there crowns and a "Dance of Isaiah"? Because all of these things -- indeed, the entire rite of ecclesiastical marriage -- did not develop until a very late date. Was the rite itself borrowed from the Imperial Church centuries after Chalcedon? For that matter, are the Holy Week services similar, because these too date from the Middle Ages — some even from later?

These are fascinating questions, especially b/c my thesis is on the textual reception and memory of Chalcedon. Despite the polemics on both sides at various times, there seems to have been many, many points of contact and influence.

I don't know or think there's a "Dance of Isaiah."  There's a procession at the beginning, and then in the middle of prayers, there's a crowning, and only the husband receives a robe, the same robe a priest wears as a sign of the man being the priest of the family.

Interesting questions though, to which I honestly haven't given much thought or study.

God bless.

Mina
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: minasoliman on May 06, 2006, 12:30:36 PM
Dear GiC,

Quote
It is essentially a pastoral text that makes some (very poor) theological references as support, but is most dangerous if used as a theological basis, implying either Arian or Ebionite thought.

Well, we tend to forget the dual nature of Christ, humanity and divinity.  In humanity, He is equal to us, and "His Father is greater than Him" so to speak.  In divinity, "He and the Father are one," and thus "equal with Him" and "greater than us."

So, this text, taken in correct Christological interpretation, cannot be poor.  Christ became the mediator by taking humanity as Himself, and made the two into one.  While we can't become gods in essence, He gave us the Divine Grace to become Gods, and by this, He elevates us, we who are worthless.  That's why you see some sort of heirarchy, from woman to man to Christ to God.  Woman is equal to man who is equal to Christ in humanity who is equal to God in divinity.  Let's also not forget Christ willingly submitted Himself to the Father even though He was equal.  Arius misinterpreted this and said Christ must have not been consubstantial with the Father.  Ebionites must have taken this further to say Christ is above all mankind, but nowhere near like the Father.  But proper Christology disproves both and makes this verse, to me, neither merely pastorial, nor weak in a theological sense.  One only needs Christological clarification to understand what St. Paul meant (not to mention he still did write "neither male or female").

Quote
Which tells me nothing about why the priest must be male, as I said state that a male is 'more in the image of Christ' or 'in the image of Christ in a way that a female is not' is to deny the Image of Christ that is equally present in Male and Female, it is blasphemy against the Creative Energies of God.

And as I said, it does not deny the female the Image of God in her as much as man does.  What I am saying is that this verse in Revelations makes all people, including laity, "priests and kings."  Protestants misinterpret this verse, which is why they don't have the Melchizedek priesthood heirarchy of the Church.  We do, and this does not deny the laity of their role as "priests and kings."  It only gives the "special calling" to men.

So, when we say that men only can be the icon of Christ via priesthood, that does not exclude women from being icons of Christ in the same fashion that "special callings" excluded from the laity do not deny the laity's role as "kings and priests."

Unless, there's a new argument to the table, I'll have to say "UNCLE!"

God bless.

Mina
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: minasoliman on May 06, 2006, 12:45:00 PM
Dear Pensateomnia,

I found something for you :)

http://www.copticchurch.net/topics/thecopticchurch/sacraments/6_matrimony.html

God bless.

Mina
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Asteriktos on May 06, 2006, 06:15:49 PM
Montalban

Quote
Some have trouble separating Holy Tradition from traditions

Speaking of which, have you dug up any actual quotes from Church Fathers that articulate this? I mean, if it's such an obvious and necessary distinction, then surely someone in Church history must have mentioned it! Someone? Anyone? ;D


GIC,

Hey, I would know if I was ignorant!  :P  I've been reading a book on the history of paradoxes through the centuries, that one would be an enjoyable one to read about...
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Bizzlebin on May 06, 2006, 06:36:52 PM
Neither was the depiction of Icons until the Seventh Oecumenical Council- was that evidence which should have led to a triumph of Iconoclasm?

Jesus Himself is an Icon. Even in the OT, God commanded the Israelities to make images of angels. What other evidence do you need?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 06, 2006, 06:55:42 PM
What other evidence do you need?
An Oecumenical Council to clarify that this is indeed the Church's teaching and does not contradict the Second Commandment of the Decalogue. Fortunately, there was one. You may have not needed one, but apparently the Church felt she needed one.
Jesus Himself is an Icon.
Yes, He said that He was the image of the Father, but where in the "Gospels or related documents" did He add: "Therefore make images of Me and venerate them"? What Icons did Our Lord instruct His disciples paint and venerate?
Even in the OT, God commanded the Israelities to make images of angels.
And to venerate them? I think you are being a bit anachronistic here and contradicting the teachings of the Seventh Oecumenical Council. The Council decreed that since Christ had been Incarnated and had Sanctified and Redeemed created matter, it was therefore possible to depict Him and the Saints in Icons and venerate them. This was not possible before the Incarnation.
The Iconoclasts were not so much opposed to the making of Images, but to their veneration. Hence the Imperial order to place them high and out of reach in Churches.

Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Bizzlebin on May 06, 2006, 07:06:21 PM
An Oecumenical Council to clarify that this is indeed the Church's teaching and does not contradict the Second Commandment of the Decalogue. Fortunately, there was one. You may have not needed one, but apparently the Church felt she needed one.

Yes, He said that He was the image of the Father, but where in the "Gospels or related documents" did He add: "Therefore make images of Me and venerate them"? What Icons did Our Lord instruct His disciples paint and venerate?

And to venerate them? I think you are being a bit anachronistic here and contradicting the teachings of the Seventh Oecumenical Council. The Council decreed that since Christ had been Incarnated and had Sanctified and Redeemed created matter, it was therefore possible to depict Him and the Saints in Icons and venerate them. This was not possible before the Incarnation.

If the Ecumenical Council is the highest authority, then who established the Ecumenical Council, or set them up as that authority? Whoever/whatever is behind that is the real authority.

Jesus was venerated Himself. Also, seeing that we are commanded to honor our elders, and that anyone who follows God is a mother or brother or sister, etc, then what is the logical conclusion if not "honor the saints?" And what is veneration if not that?

I don't think I mentioned the veneration of icons before the Incarnation before, but no, it doesn't contradict the Seventh Ecumenical Council. Honor was to be given, even under the Old Covenant. Surely those commands from God were not sinful.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 06, 2006, 07:41:10 PM
If the Ecumenical Council is the highest authority, then who established the Ecumenical Council, or set them up as that authority? Whoever/whatever is behind that is the real authority.
True, but that's not the point. An Oecumenical Council's role is to define what is and isn't dogma. Until an Oecumenical Council decrees one way or another, we may be able to have an opinion of what we think is a dogma, and even back it up with what we understand of Holy Tradition, but we cannot absolutely state that our opinion is the opinion of the Church on the matter. Even the Iconoclasts claimed they could back up their teaching with what they believed was Holy Tradition (eg, the Second Commandment of the Decalogue, the writings of St. Eusebius of Caesarea and Epiphanius of Cyprus).
The Church, and the Church alone, discerns what is and isn't the Teaching of Christ and the Apostles.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Bizzlebin on May 06, 2006, 07:44:11 PM
True, but that's not the point. An Oecumenical Council's role is to define what is and isn't dogma. Until an Oecumenical Council decrees one way or another, we may be able to have an opinion of what we think is a dogma, and even back it up with what we understand of Holy Tradition, but we cannot absolutely state that our opinion is the opinion of the Church on the matter. Even the Iconoclasts claimed they could back up their teaching with what they believed was Holy Tradition (eg, the Second Commandment of the Decalogue, the writings of St. Eusebius of Caesarea and Epiphanius of Cyprus).

The Church, and the Church alone, discerns what is and isn't the Teaching of Christ and the Apostles.

Again, what set the Ecumenical Council so high? That is the real authority. It is indeed the Church, because the Church gives authority to Councils, not vice versa. Because of this, we already have a definitive answer, one that has not changed in the history of the Church. Let us accept that, and not reject the very Body of Christ.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 06, 2006, 08:00:54 PM
Jesus Himself is an Icon. Even in the OT, God commanded the Israelities to make images of angels. What other evidence do you need?
The seraphim were depicted on the ark of the covenant
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 06, 2006, 08:10:50 PM
If you follow the discussion between Bizzelbin and myself, you will note that the sequence of thought is as follows:
1) I agreed with Bizzelbin's position that the Church has never changed it's stance on the ordination of women to the priesthood, but said that this does not constitute evidence that a male only priesthood is a dogma. I said "No evidence of women's ordination is not evidence against women's ordination."
I've already noted that you seem to believe that raising this 'question' seems to be a cause for you, to strengthen the church. Perhaps you feel it's something the church should make a formal statement on in order to clarify it's position. You're raising an issue that is only an 'issue' because you're raising it.
2) Bizzelbin said that there are no records in the Gospels or related documents of women's ordination to the priesthood.
There doesn't need to be. The very fact that all the evidence is that men were ordained as priests is enough. There's no prohibitions (as far as I'm aware) against children being priests, either. We don't need to have an exacting list of those who are prohibited. Perhaps I've mistaken your argument, because it now seems your championing a legalistic mode for the Orthodox church.
3) I replied that there is no evidence in the Gospels or related documents in favour of depicting Icons.
There doesn't need to be. Jesus Himself is the icon depicted. The whole Bible is to put the 'essentially unknowable God' into an expressible form, a word-picture if you will. The very fact God depicted Himself is enough.
So the "point" is that the dogmas about Icons were clarified despite the silence in "the Gospels and related documents" about the use of Holy Images; so therefore, a silence in "the Gospels and related documents" about the ordination of women to the priesthood cannot be construed as being clear evidence against it.
We are not a sola-scriptura church. Not everything was written down.
John 21:25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

The evidence rests in a) Jesus only picked men for the priesthood. b) the church has only picked men for the priesthood. That is enough for most.

Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 06, 2006, 08:16:01 PM
Jesus Himself is the icon depicted.
An Icon of Who?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 06, 2006, 08:30:20 PM
The evidence rests in a) Jesus only picked men for the priesthood. b) the church has only picked men for the priesthood. That is enough for most.
And the fact that the people Christ first chose to preach the Resurrection were the myrrhbearing women......oh wait....
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Bizzlebin on May 06, 2006, 08:31:44 PM
And the fact that the people Christ first chose to preach the Resurrection were the myrrhbearing women......oh wait....

And yet even they were not ordained priests. Interesting...
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Sarah on May 06, 2006, 08:33:13 PM
Montalban

Speaking of which, have you dug up any actual quotes from Church Fathers that articulate this? I mean, if it's such an obvious and necessary distinction, then surely someone in Church history must have mentioned it! Someone? Anyone? ;D

In Vol. 2 of What the Church Fathers Say About . . ., in the "Bishops, Priests, Deacons" chapter, there are 5 quotes:

"A woman does not become a priest (or priestess)."  Canon Law of St. Photius (9th century)

"The Church has never appointed women presbyters or priests."  "Panarion" by St. Epiphanius (4th century)

"The appointment of women priests to stand before goddesses is a delusion of Hellenic godlessness, and not a decree of Christ."  Apostolic Constitutions (c. 375 A.D.)

"It is not permitted for a woman to speak in the Church.  Neither may she teach, baptize, offer the Eucharistic Sacrifice, nor claim for herself any function proper to a man, least of all the sacerdotal (priestly) office."  Tertullian

"Deaconesses are forbidden to cense before the All-Pure Mysteries, or to take in their hands the sacramental fans, which is strictly the deacon's function."  "Alphabetical Syntagma" (14th century)

Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Bizzlebin on May 06, 2006, 08:37:55 PM
"A woman does not become a priest (or priestess)."  Canon Law of St. Photius (9th century)

Thanks for that wonderful post! I am definately getting that book.

But about the quote I quoted above, do you know if that is one of the canons from the Eighth Ecumenical Council? That would settle it once and for all, if so.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 06, 2006, 08:40:07 PM
And yet even they were not ordained priests. Interesting...
And yet Our Lord commissioned them to teach and evangelise men...Strange, since St. Paul, (I'm told), "clearly" forbids this.....even more interesting... ;)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Bizzlebin on May 06, 2006, 08:43:00 PM
And yet Our Lord commissioned them to teach and evangelise men...Strange, since St. Paul, (I'm told), "clearly" forbids this.....even more interesting... ;)

It wasn't in Church, and it wasn't preaching, so no connection.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Fr. George on May 06, 2006, 08:43:24 PM
No, the Lord didn't tell them to teach, just to announce that He is Risen; proclamation and instruction are different.  Yes, they were to tell the men that He rose, but they weren't part of His inner circle, they didn't receive the straight-talk that He gave the 12 ("ahh, now you speak plainly" and etc.), and according to the accounts of Pentecost they weren't part of the original group to receive the spirit.

Does this make them inferior?  Of course not.  But their mission was different without being lower.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Sarah on May 06, 2006, 08:45:10 PM
Bizzlebin, I don't know.  So sorry.  I quoted from the book exactly, and that's all that was printed.

ozgeorge, women can certainly talk to men, but the restriction on evangelizing/teaching/etc. is in the venue, i.e., not the temple.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 06, 2006, 08:52:14 PM
"A woman does not become a priest (or priestess)."  
We knew that. Ive said the same thing on this thread. Isn't that what the discussion is about?

"The Church has never appointed women presbyters or priests."
We knew that. Ive said the same thing on this thread. Isn't that what the discussion is about?

"The appointment of women priests to stand before goddesses is a delusion of Hellenic godlessness, and not a decree of Christ."  Apostolic Constitutions (c. 375 A.D.)
Unfortunately we don't worship godesses or godlessly, so this Canon doesn't clarify things much either.

"It is not permitted for a woman to speak in the Church.  Neither may she teach, baptize, offer the Eucharistic Sacrifice, nor claim for herself any function proper to a man, least of all the sacerdotal (priestly) office."  Tertullian
You're quoting someone whose teachings were denounced as heresy.

"Deaconesses are forbidden to cense before the All-Pure Mysteries, or to take in their hands the sacramental fans, which is strictly the deacon's function."  
The practices of Deaconesses changed. We've said this before on this thread- including me.
Nevertheless, at Vespers in Orthodox convents, when no Priest is present, who censes the Holy Table?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 06, 2006, 08:58:29 PM
"The appointment of women priests to stand before goddesses is a delusion of Hellenic godlessness, and not a decree of Christ."  Apostolic Constitutions (c. 375 A.D.)
And doesn't this decree also seem to indicate what was suggested on this thread before that the exclusion of women from the Christian priesthood was a cultural reaction to pagan worship?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Sarah on May 06, 2006, 08:58:42 PM
Look, ozgeorge, Asteriktos was asking for quotes.  I simply gave them to him.  If you had read my post, as you have accused others of not doing to yours, you would have realized that.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 06, 2006, 09:03:06 PM
Look, ozgeorge, Asteriktos was asking for quotes.  I simply gave them to him.  If you had read my post, as you have accused others of not doing to yours, you would have realized that.
I do realise that. I'm sorry, I wasn't attacking you- I should have removed your name from the quote fuction.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Sarah on May 06, 2006, 09:36:04 PM
Thanks for clarifying that.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Asteriktos on May 06, 2006, 09:45:36 PM
Sarah,

Quote
Look, ozgeorge, Asteriktos was asking for quotes.  I simply gave them to him.  If you had read my post, as you have accused others of not doing to yours, you would have realized that.

Actually.... what I was asking Montalban to provide evidence for was the idea that a distinction can be made between "Tradition" and "traditions". I don't deny the need for the type of clarification that such a distinction provides, I am merely asking an Orthodox Christian what patristic support he has for his position. That seems like the standard he would hold others to. I'm just being fair and balanced. :) If it is such an obvious and important position, I would think that he would be able to come up with a quote like:

"And now you all know, of course, that a tradition like apostolic succession is different from a tradition like sitting while the Psalms are read at the service..." - Some Father, Some Work, 5, 43, 21
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Asteriktos on May 06, 2006, 09:51:29 PM
Quote
But about the quote I quoted above, do you know if that is one of the canons from the Eighth Ecumenical Council? That would settle it once and for all, if so.

How so? Canons from Ecumenical Councils have been discarded and ignored for 1,681 years (give or take a few months), why would a canon from a Council that the overwhelming majority of Orthodox don't consider Ecumenical "settle it once and for all"? Did Nicea settle once and for all the common practice of a bishop committing spiritual and pastoral adultery--ie. moving from city to city? No, the canon was disregarded almost as soon as the ink was dried.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Bizzlebin on May 06, 2006, 09:55:13 PM
How so? Canons from Ecumenical Councils have been discarded and ignored for 1,681 years (give or take a few months), why would a canon from a Council that the overwhelming majority of Orthodox don't consider Ecumenical "settle it once and for all"? Did Nicea settle once and for all the common practice of a bishop committing spiritual and pastoral adultery--ie. moving from city to city? No, the canon was disregarded almost as soon as the ink was dried.

By some, not by all. Remember that every parish and church doesn't treat the canons like dirt. I tend to think those kind of things are the exception, too; all the Orthodox I know outside of OC.net are very interested in the canons and keeping them.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Fr. George on May 06, 2006, 10:07:09 PM
How so? Canons from Ecumenical Councils have been discarded and ignored for 1,681 years (give or take a few months), why would a canon from a Council that the overwhelming majority of Orthodox don't consider Ecumenical "settle it once and for all"? Did Nicea settle once and for all the common practice of a bishop committing spiritual and pastoral adultery--ie. moving from city to city? No, the canon was disregarded almost as soon as the ink was dried.

Actually, the Photian Synod is considered to have the weight of ecumenicity by most of hte Orthodox, but we don't call it "Ecumenical" because of our dialogues with the Catholics.  BUt if you see, the canons hold force within the church as if it were, and the decrees as well.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on May 06, 2006, 10:11:32 PM
Again, what set the Ecumenical Council so high? That is the real authority. It is indeed the Church, because the Church gives authority to Councils, not vice versa.

That's not how I read Church History...the Oecumenical Synods' authority is derived from the Imperial Authority.

But about the quote I quoted above, do you know if that is one of the canons from the Eighth Ecumenical Council? That would settle it once and for all, if so.

OK, First of all there are only Seven (7) Oecumenical Synods, none of the subsequent Imperial Synods have been received by the Church as Oecumenical, though the Frist-Second Synod under Photios is certainly held above most other non-Oecumenical Imperial Synods. Secondly, no, the canon was not promulgated by the First-Second Synod.

Furthermore, before summoning Photios to your defence perhaps a more precise reference could be given than 'Canon Law of St. Photius (9th century)'...I mean if you're referencing a quote in defence of your posistion surely you have access to the primary source so that you are aware of the context, right?...right?

Unfortunately, I lack the context (and am unwilling to do someone else's research for them) so an informed comment is impossible; however, a quick look at the translation seems to imply that the term 'does not,' rather than 'cannot,' is used; implying two things, the canon is part of a greater context and that it's not a prohibition against the ordination of women.

By some, not by all. Remember that every parish and church doesn't treat the canons like dirt. I tend to think those kind of things are the exception, too; all the Orthodox I know outside of OC.net are very interested in the canons and keeping them.

As tempted as I am to go into the proper interpretations and applications of canon law, being not absolute commandments but 'temporal manifestations of eternal truths;' unfortunately, I really don't have the time or energy right now...so I'll simply ask this, no inter-christian marriages at your parish? or anyone have a Jewish doctor? ::)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Asteriktos on May 06, 2006, 10:13:52 PM
Bizzlebin

Gregory the Theologian didn't seem too concerned with keeping that particular canon, otherwise he'd never have gone to Constantinople... his opponents, the semi-Arians, were the ones who were trying to "keep the canons" in that case. And Orthodox bishops violate that canon all the time. Just read the biographies of the Patriarchs of Constantinople in the 20th century... one of them wwa in almost every single Orthodox Patriarchate as bishop!


Cleveland,

To be honest, I very much doubt that most Orthodox have even heard of the Photian synod(s), but I was trying to not seem condescending, which I'm not trying to be, but it's the truth, most haven't. And I would agree that they are binding in Orthodox theology, at least as far as any other pan-Orthodox council is binding (ie. take what you like and call it settled doctrine/dogma, ignore what you don't like). However, I don't see what the Catholic part of the equation has to do with it... are the Catholics going to reject their Photian Council, ie. the one that condemned Photius a few years prior to the Orthdoox Photian Council? The Catholics call their Photian Council Ecumenical, even if an attempt has been made in recent years to "rehabilitate" the reputation of Photius in the Catholic Church. But as I already mentioned, it doesn't really matter, since the canons that are liked are applied, and the canons that aren't are ignored. This is especially helpful when the canons contradict each other (e.g., affirming different Old Testament canons), ya know? ;)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Fr. George on May 06, 2006, 10:14:28 PM
Wouldn't many canonists argue that the First-Second and a few others have Ecumenical weight within the Church?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Bizzlebin on May 06, 2006, 10:19:02 PM
That's not how I read Church History...the Oecumenical Synods' authority is derived from the Imperial Authority.

OK, First of all there are only Seven (7) Oecumenical Synods, none of the subsequent Imperial Synods have been received by the Church as Oecumenical, though the Frist-Second Synod under Photios is certainly held above most other non-Oecumenical Imperial Synods. Secondly, no, the canon was not promulgated by the First-Second Synod.

They called the Ecumenical Councils, yes, but they also called other councils which were not. So, it cannot be the deciding factor.

Actually there are 9 Ecumenical Councils, or so say the Patriarchates and their Synods.

Do you have a list of the canons from that Council we could all read?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on May 06, 2006, 10:20:16 PM
Wouldn't many canonists argue that the First-Second and a few others have Ecumenical weight within the Church?

Technically the synod would probably be placed just below the Oecumenical Synods, along with the other Imperial Synods, but the Imperial Synods do hold a universal authority of sorts and the First-Synod is the highest of these Synods.

Of course, this isn't relevant to the conversation since statement presented isn't even in a canon from that Synod.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Fr. George on May 06, 2006, 10:21:40 PM
Oh... all I saw was a mention of it... but obviously, proof still needs to be provided.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Bizzlebin on May 06, 2006, 10:22:16 PM
Gregory the Theologian didn't seem too concerned with keeping that particular canon, otherwise he'd never have gone to Constantinople... his opponents, the semi-Arians, were the ones who were trying to "keep the canons" in that case. And Orthodox bishops violate that canon all the time. Just read the biographies of the Patriarchs of Constantinople in the 20th century... one of them wwa in almost every single Orthodox Patriarchate as bishop!

Even saints aren't perfect, but that doesn't make his actions any more right. At the same time, we must consider the spirit of the canon, too (not saying this is the case here, but in general). And I will have to refrain from comment on the canonicity of recent Patriarchs of Constantinople :P
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on May 06, 2006, 10:23:24 PM
Do you have a list of the canons from that Council we could all read?

The canons of the synod are listed in the Pedalion as well as in the Syntagma.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Bizzlebin on May 06, 2006, 10:24:04 PM
The canons of the synod are listed in the Pedalion as well as in the Syntagma.

Is it available online?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 06, 2006, 10:25:36 PM
or anyone have a Jewish doctor? ::)
God forbid we are ill enough in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney to need a doctor on Yom Kippur!
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on May 06, 2006, 10:27:07 PM
Is it available online?

I came across a site that had the pedalion in english on it a while back, but can't recall what it is, perhaps someone else knows. I have it on my hard drive and am building a canon/roman law resource to perhaps post on the web some day, but I lack the time, energy, and motivation to do it in the near future.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: minasoliman on May 06, 2006, 10:41:21 PM
Did Nicea settle once and for all the common practice of a bishop committing spiritual and pastoral adultery--ie. moving from city to city? No, the canon was disregarded almost as soon as the ink was dried.

Well, that canon at least preserves the idea that a Bishop/priest was married to his diocese/city.  To me, at least this proves...

I won't say it ;) or else I'll lose my "uncle-ness"...lol

God bless.

Mina

PS  Btw...i don't know whether sarcasm was involved or not, but you can read the canons at ccel.org
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: pensateomnia on May 06, 2006, 11:33:20 PM
In Vol. 2 of What the Church Fathers Say About . . ., in the "Bishops, Priests, Deacons" chapter, there are 5 quotes:

"A woman does not become a priest (or priestess)."  Canon Law of St. Photius (9th century)

Just FYI, everyone: Having read the actual canons from the so-called "First-Second" Synod several times in the past, I am fairly sure that this quote does not come from either the "First-Second" Synod or from any other. Rather, I believe it comes from St. Photios's commentary on canon law, which included Photios's own interpretations and synethesis, and is particularly important for its discussion of Church-State matters.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: pensateomnia on May 06, 2006, 11:53:37 PM
Is it available online?
You are willing to make public pronouncements about the history of canon law and its application in the Church and you don't even know how to find one of the most basic collections of Church canons? Have you even read the Pedalion (not to mention the Syntagma!)?

Really! The mind is boggled. What are we even doing here? What's the point, people? Less talking and more reading! This is like pontificating on what the "Fathers" have to say about this or that when one hasn't even SEEN a full set of Patrologia Graeca -- not to mention actual critical texts.

Less Internet and more Corpus Christianorum and Sources Chretiennes!

Edit: As a complement to hortatory exclamation, I should add incentive. Hence, everyone should know that Sources Chretiennes is currently having a HUGE sale. 50 percent off all 500 titles in the Sources Chretiennes series, which publishes foundationally important Patristic works in the original language, carefully put together from the best manuscripts with an apparatus criticus and a convenient French translation. Here's the Web site: http://www.sources-chretiennes.mom.fr/
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 07, 2006, 12:02:32 AM
An Icon of Who?

The human part of Him is God personified, described in a comprehendable form.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 07, 2006, 12:03:31 AM
And the fact that the people Christ first chose to preach the Resurrection were the myrrhbearing women......oh wait....
And have women ever acted as priests? I know you love to argue one thing by addressing another, but it doesn't work like that.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 07, 2006, 12:05:37 AM
And yet even they were not ordained priests. Interesting...
That is the point. Ozgeorge's argument seems to always be one of showing one thing to prove another.

We're dealing 'ordination of priests', so he argues about deacons.

We're dealing with roles as priests, so he deals with other roles.

I suspect this thread will go on forever until we give up, because he's not going to introduce an argument that deals with the point.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 07, 2006, 12:07:16 AM
In Vol. 2 of What the Church Fathers Say About . . ., in the "Bishops, Priests, Deacons" chapter, there are 5 quotes:

"A woman does not become a priest (or priestess)."  Canon Law of St. Photius (9th century)

"The Church has never appointed women presbyters or priests."  "Panarion" by St. Epiphanius (4th century)

"The appointment of women priests to stand before goddesses is a delusion of Hellenic godlessness, and not a decree of Christ."  Apostolic Constitutions (c. 375 A.D.)

"It is not permitted for a woman to speak in the Church.  Neither may she teach, baptize, offer the Eucharistic Sacrifice, nor claim for herself any function proper to a man, least of all the sacerdotal (priestly) office."  Tertullian

"Deaconesses are forbidden to cense before the All-Pure Mysteries, or to take in their hands the sacramental fans, which is strictly the deacon's function."  "Alphabetical Syntagma" (14th century)



Thank you for that informative post. I don't think though that evidence will be appreciated by those here who believe speculation and arguing past the point
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 07, 2006, 12:08:16 AM
And yet Our Lord commissioned them to teach and evangelise men...Strange, since St. Paul, (I'm told), "clearly" forbids this.....even more interesting... ;)
Wow, I didn't spot that coming! Showing one thing to prove something else entirely different!
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 07, 2006, 12:12:09 AM
The human part of Him is God personified, described in a comprehendable form.
??? This sounds rather Arian. Christ is God, not a "Personification" of God. Christ is One Person, not a "Personification" of another. At any rate, by "human part" I suppose you mean His "Human Nature"- which He shares with all humanity, in that He is "a man like us in all things". So if His Human Nature is the Image of God, then so must ours. And this resonates with what we know from Genesis in that God created us in His "Image and Likeness".
So everyone is an Icon of God.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 07, 2006, 12:43:51 AM
You are willing to make public pronouncements about the history of canon law and its application in the Church and you don't even know how to find one of the most basic collections of Church canons? Have you even read the Pedalion (not to mention the Syntagma!)?
Hey, go easy on Bizzlebin. He belongs to a Non-Chalcedon Church (Coptic), so why would he have read the Pedalion or the Syntagma or any of our Patristic texts from Chalcedon onwards?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 07, 2006, 12:50:44 AM
This sounds rather Arian. Christ is God, not a "Personification" of God. Christ is One Person, not a "Personification" of another. At any rate, by "human part" I suppose you mean His "Human Nature"- which He shares with all humanity, in that He is "a man like us in all things". So if His Human Nature is the Image of God, then so must ours. And this resonates with what we know from Genesis in that God created us in His "Image and Likeness".
So everyone is an Icon of God.
God is essentially unknowable, and thus indescribable. He thus shouldn't be depicted or described.* However He made Himself known. He first made Himself known through 'creation'. And then He made Himself viewable as Jesus, and therefore in both cases He is describable. In that way He is an Image of Himself in that we can now know what is essentially unknowable. However, He is not 'just' an image of Himself. He is more than that because He is both man and God. But the fact that He took on an image, so that He could be seen makes Him a living icon.

We are made in His image, it is true. But just because I draw a picture of the Mona Lisa, (that is in the image of the Mona Lisa) doesn't make it the Mona Lisa. Both are images of the same thing, but aren't the same thing.

So in one sense we are all made in God's image, it is true. But God is not a Father, because of gender, so a man, and a woman, can be said to be both in the image of God, despite the very obvious sexual differences between us, and between us and God. The 'prohibition' on women priests is not because women are any less in the image of God than are men. We have different roles. God has made these for us. They are not to be confused. We continue to both be partners in the image of God, but we don't do the same things. Women are not Fathers. Women are not priests. There are some things we have in common, as I've just noted; both being eqaully the image of God, and therefore we can do things in common without confusing these differences. Women can be missionaries, and saints. Inspiration of the church is the Theotokos. And then again, no man can even be/could have been the Mother of Christ.

Jesus is fully God and is fully human. If you want to discuss the 'properties' of him, rather than prop up your 'evidence-light' approach; speculation on the ordination of women as priests, so be it. Though I pop in and out of this forum, as I'm simultaneously on three different fora.


*It follows on that it is our tradition that the Church doesn't do pictures of God the Father (as Catholics do).
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Asteriktos on May 07, 2006, 12:53:56 AM
The canons from the seven Orthodox Ecumenical Councils, as well as the Canons from the Local Councils and Church Fathers which have been accepted into Orthodox canon law via Ecumenical Councils, are all available on this page (http://www.holytrinitymission.org/index.php) (click on the "Textbooks" button, and scroll down to "Canonical Law"). But reading the canons is pretty pointless, actually. Most people are going to treat the canons like the Scripture and Fathers are treated... if it agrees with you, quote it! If not, eh, forget about it.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 07, 2006, 12:58:41 AM
You are willing to make public pronouncements about the history of canon law and its application in the Church and you don't even know how to find one of the most basic collections of Church canons? Have you even read the Pedalion (not to mention the Syntagma!)?

Why not just list an on-line source, if you knew of one?

A list of books
http://www2.orthodoxwiki.org/Online_books
The Pedalion itself
http://aroundomaha.com/cn/stjohn/canons1.html
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: PeterTheAleut on May 07, 2006, 01:04:24 AM
Hey, go easy on Bizzlebin. He belongs to a Non-Chalcedon Church (Coptic), so why would he have read the Pedalion or the Syntagma or any of our Patristic texts from Chalcedon onwards?
Actually, I think Bizzlebin has identified himself as OCA, which is a Chalcedonian church--it better be, because I'm in it.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 07, 2006, 01:06:32 AM
It follows on that it is our tradition that the Church doesn't do pictures of God the Father (as Catholics do).
Oh really?
Someone should tell Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Raleigh North Carolina:

(http://www.holytrinityraleigh.org/images/trinity%20icon2.jpg)

Yet another "tradition" bites the dust?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 07, 2006, 01:07:25 AM
Whilst we're giving cites about sites... two other great sources

http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 07, 2006, 01:08:40 AM
Actually, I think Bizzlebin has identified himself as OCA, which is a Chalcedonian church--it better be, because I'm in it.
Hey, you're right! Well then, absolutely NO EXCUSES! :D
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 07, 2006, 01:09:40 AM
Oh really?
Someone should tell Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Raleigh North Carolina:

(http://www.holytrinityraleigh.org/images/trinity%20icon2.jpg)

Yet another "tradition" bites the dust?

Do you have  a web-source for that picture? I'd just am keen to check out your 'evidences' following the 'Jewish Council of Australia' debacle
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 07, 2006, 01:11:46 AM
Do you have  a web-source for that picture?
Sure do:
http://www.holytrinityraleigh.org/photo%20tour/Photo%20Tour.htm (http://www.holytrinityraleigh.org/photo%20tour/Photo%20Tour.htm)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: PeterTheAleut on May 07, 2006, 01:12:34 AM
*It follows on that it is our tradition that the Church doesn't do pictures of God the Father (as Catholics do).
Look at some Russian icons of the Crucifixion and you'll see the Father pictured at the top of the Cross as an old man with a long white beard.  You would be correct in calling this uncanonical--at least this is what I was told by an iconographer friend of mine.  But I've seen this.  I even have one of these icons at home.

BTW, this same iconographer friend informed me that it is permissible to depict God the Father in icons, just so long as He is pictured as a circular field of blue light.  The rule of which I am aware is that each Person of the Holy Trinity can be pictured in icons only in the form in which He revealed Himself to us historically: the Father as a field of light (think Moses and Mt. Sinai), the Son as Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit as a dove at the baptism of Christ or as tongues of fire at Pentecost.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 07, 2006, 01:15:11 AM
Look at some Russian icons of the Crucifixion and you'll see the Father pictured at the top of the Cross as an old man with a long white beard.  You would be correct in calling this uncanonical--at least this is what I was told by an iconographer friend of mine.  But I've seen this.  I even have one of these icons at home.
The Wonderworking "Kursk Root" Icon also has God the Father depicted at the top- apparently this isn't a problem for God, because He doesn't mind working wonders through it.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 07, 2006, 01:20:15 AM
John 1:18

Sure do:
http://www.holytrinityraleigh.org/photo%20tour/Photo%20Tour.htm (http://www.holytrinityraleigh.org/photo%20tour/Photo%20Tour.htm)
Those naughty Greeks! It has been my understanding that throughout our history the Trinity has been depicted allegorically, often by three angels
http://amsterdam.park.org/Guests/Russia/moscow/sergiev/tr.jpg

Or on occasion a 'hand of God' emerging from the clouds is used.
Even your source church's homepage does this...
http://www.holytrinityraleigh.org/

Do they have women priests?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 07, 2006, 01:23:20 AM
John 1:18
Those naughty Greeks!
And Russians (see above).

But yes, there was some dispute about this (and at least one schism). Vladimir Moss wrote an interesting article about it:
http://www.romanitas.ru/eng/THE%20ICON%20OF%20THE%20HOLY%20TRINITY.htm (http://www.romanitas.ru/eng/THE%20ICON%20OF%20THE%20HOLY%20TRINITY.htm)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 07, 2006, 01:27:57 AM
Look at some Russian icons of the Crucifixion and you'll see the Father pictured at the top of the Cross as an old man with a long white beard.  You would be correct in calling this uncanonical--at least this is what I was told by an iconographer friend of mine.  But I've seen this.  I even have one of these icons at home.

BTW, this same iconographer friend informed me that it is permissible to depict God the Father in icons, just so long as He is pictured as a circular field of blue light.  The rule of which I am aware is that each Person of the Holy Trinity can be pictured in icons only in the form in which He revealed Himself to us historically: the Father as a field of light (think Moses and Mt. Sinai), the Son as Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit as a dove at the baptism of Christ or as tongues of fire at Pentecost.
That has always been my understanding. The only way I can think that it could be done is because Jesus said...
Matthew 11:27
All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.

So that in knowing Jesus we have now come to know the Father. However it does seem to be a modernist trend too.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 07, 2006, 01:30:08 AM
However it does seem to be a modernist trend too.
Perhaps, but "modernity" doesn't explain the Russian Wonderworking Kursk Root Icon depicting God the Father.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 07, 2006, 01:31:59 AM
And Russians (see above).

But yes, there was some dispute about this (and at least one schism). Vladimir Moss wrote an interesting article about it:
http://www.romanitas.ru/eng/THE%20ICON%20OF%20THE%20HOLY%20TRINITY.htm (http://www.romanitas.ru/eng/THE%20ICON%20OF%20THE%20HOLY%20TRINITY.htm)

That's a very interesting article (from having only skimmed over it). I don't know how they quibble about it depicting him symbolically, instead of realistically, all the icons I always thought were rather 'unreal' which is what made them special.

Also, I read elsewhere that some suggest the depictions of the three angels is NOT the Trinity, but of Jesus and two angels. I've always understood it to be representations of all members of the Trinity.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 07, 2006, 01:33:14 AM
Perhaps, but "modernity" doesn't explain the Russian Wonderworking Kursk Root Icon depicting God the Father.
The Kursk Root Icon was found in the 13th century.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 07, 2006, 01:34:06 AM
Perhaps, but "modernity" doesn't explain the Russian Wonderworking Kursk Root Icon depicting God the Father.
Sorry, yes, I keep referring to the Greek icons you cited. I'm still catching up with the Russian evidence you're presenting. I'll print out the arguments from "THE ICON OF THE HOLY TRINITY" By: Vladimir Moss and read them on the train to/from work tomorrow
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 07, 2006, 01:38:08 AM
I supppse the defenders of the Kursk icon would still use

John 1:18 No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known.

That God the Father can be 'known' in icon through Jesus being God made Man.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: PeterTheAleut on May 07, 2006, 01:38:33 AM
Also, I read elsewhere that some suggest the depictions of the three angels is NOT the Trinity, but of Jesus and two angels. I've always understood it to be representations of all members of the Trinity.
The depiction of the Three Angels is really a depiction of the three angels to whom the patriarch Abraham offered hospitality in Genesis 18:1-33.  AFAIK, the three angels are not seen as BEING the Holy Trinity; rather, they are seen as PREFIGURING the Holy Trinity, hence the Trinitarian symbolism of the icon.


Now, what's this digression have to do with the issue of the Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 07, 2006, 01:44:23 AM
I supppse the defenders of the Kursk icon would still use
John 1:18 No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known.
That God the Father can be 'known' in icon through Jesus being God made Man.
But in the Kursk Root Icon, all Three Persons of the Holy Trinity are depicted individually and simultaneously.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 07, 2006, 01:51:11 AM
Now, what's this digression have to do with the issue of the Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church?
Well, if we can't agree on what the Tradition regarding the depiction of God the Father is, how is this dispute to be settled other than by an Oecumenical Council. Just like the dispute about what we should see as the Church's Tradition about women and the priesthood.
(Yes, I was leading you all up the garden path!)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: PeterTheAleut on May 07, 2006, 01:56:46 AM
Well, if we can't agree on what the Tradition regarding the depiction of God the Father is, how is this dispute to be settled other than by an Oecumenical Council. Just like the dispute about what we should see as the Church's Tradition about women and the priesthood.
(Yes, I was leading you all up the garden path!)
Okay, I see where you're going with this.  Good analogy.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 07, 2006, 04:39:05 AM
Well, if we can't agree on what the Tradition regarding the depiction of God the Father is, how is this dispute to be settled other than by an Oecumenical Council. Just like the dispute about what we should see as the Church's Tradition about women and the priesthood.
(Yes, I was leading you all up the garden path!)
Actually that's a really poor analogy. Unfortunately it's a tactic that you continually have tried; that you've already tried with the covering of women's heads. You're trying again to argue about one thing by discussing something entirely different. You also did it earlier by failing to distinguish between 'traditions' and 'Holy Tradition' (such as with pews being in churches).

Who in the church is pushing for the ordination of women into the priesthood? You're the only one raising it here. It is otherwise a non-issue. You construct a problem based on the speculation (itself) that there is confusion about it. By leaps and bounds you tie this 'unsolved thing' to any other number of things you might be able to prove that are problems.

In other words faced with your own opinion that there's 'doubt' on this issue; based in fact on the speculation that there must be doubts on the issue. It's a self-fulfilling argument then. I could say "No church council has ruled categorically that children/minors can't be priests", (this itself may be proven a bad analogy, if in fact there is such a ruling). And the mere fact that there is no ruling, would cause me to declare, as you have that it is an 'issue', even though it's not because I'm the only one raising it.

And further, you do all this by ignoring all the evidence put to you on this issue, by claiming that no one can ever really know the minds of the fathers in this regards. So faced with evidence, you just dismiss it summarily, because it gets in the way of your suppositions.

So in summary you create an 'issue', declare that it is, because it 'is' because you've declared it to be!

However you've opened my eyes to a number of things such as that regarding iconographical depictions of the Fathers. I'm not even sure if this qualifies as an 'issue' either, because I'm unsure if it's a matter of great debate in the church as a whole.

*- is there an age limit on priests?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on May 07, 2006, 08:15:02 AM
Why not just list an on-line source, if you knew of one?

A list of books
http://www2.orthodoxwiki.org/Online_books
The Pedalion itself
http://aroundomaha.com/cn/stjohn/canons1.html

The 85 without commentaries hardly constitutes the Pedalion.

Do you have  a web-source for that picture? I'd just am keen to check out your 'evidences' following the 'Jewish Council of Australia' debacle

NEWS FLASH: The Entire Corpus of Human Knowledge does not exist online...this is especially true of theological texts and sources. If you really want to do meaningful research you really are going to have to crack a book at some point. Google can be useful, but it's not a panacea.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 07, 2006, 08:35:57 AM
The 85 without commentaries hardly constitutes the Pedalion.
If you wanted to list a better site, you'd have done so. The person earlier asked for an on-line source. If you think it's insufficient, why not be positive and list a better site? But then I don't think that was your intent, hence... drum-roll...
NEWS FLASH: The Entire Corpus of Human Knowledge does not exist online...this is especially true of theological texts and sources. If you really want to do meaningful research you really are going to have to crack a book at some point. Google can be useful, but it's not a panacea.
Ignoring the truism made sarcasm google is not a search engine I use anyway. I use meta-searchengines, such as www.ithaki.net and www.ixquick.com, since we're about 'educating' each other, meta-searchengines search through search engines so that using ithaki is like using 12 search engines or so, all at once.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 07, 2006, 08:47:05 AM
GiC,
Whose signature on this forum once read: "Never give a sword to a man who can't dance."?
I can't remember...

Well, perhaps we should never put a "can(n)on" in the hands of inexperienced artillerymen.
They should at least understand what a canon is first. Here's a good introduction:
 The Canonical Tradition of the Orthodox Church. (http://www.goarch.org/en/ourfaith/articles/article7071.asp)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 07, 2006, 09:11:36 AM
I use meta-searchengines, such as www.ithaki.net and www.ixquick.com, since we're about 'educating' each other, meta-searchengines search through search engines so that using ithaki is like using 12 search engines or so, all at once.
Which are all still completely useless if the information you are looking for is not on the internet, but only in books.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on May 07, 2006, 01:01:28 PM
Which are all still completely useless if the information you are looking for is not on the internet, but only in books.

At least someone got my point...which had absolutely nothing to do with what search engine one is using.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: bergschlawiner on May 07, 2006, 01:13:40 PM
What happened to the original topic of this thread? The ordination of women?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: minasoliman on May 07, 2006, 01:19:48 PM
What happened to the original topic of this thread? The ordination of women?

I think all or most of the arguments have been hashed out, and we heard both sides of the debate.

God bless.

Mina
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Bizzlebin on May 07, 2006, 04:29:45 PM
Hey, you're right! Well then, absolutely NO EXCUSES! :D

My library is growing, don't worry. I am still only a catechuman, in high school at that. With the cost and availability of ancient texts, it's no wonder I don't have every single one...
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Bizzlebin on May 07, 2006, 04:41:09 PM
The canons from the seven Orthodox Ecumenical Councils, as well as the Canons from the Local Councils and Church Fathers which have been accepted into Orthodox canon law via Ecumenical Councils, are all available on this page (http://www.holytrinitymission.org/index.php) (click on the "Textbooks" button, and scroll down to "Canonical Law"). But reading the canons is pretty pointless, actually. Most people are going to treat the canons like the Scripture and Fathers are treated... if it agrees with you, quote it! If not, eh, forget about it.

Thanks a bunch for that link. I have read all the Canons from the first Seven Ecumenical Councils, but I couldn't find anything from the Eighth and Ninth until now!
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Psalti Boy on May 07, 2006, 04:55:45 PM
Our priest's son was ordained a priest at our parish recently.  Bishop ANTOUN told us about another priest's son whose hand his father kissed after his ordination.  When the son protested, the father told him that he was not kissing his hand but the hand of Christ.

Speaking of kissing a priest's hand . . . I know an Antiochian priest who just about freaks out if you try to kiss his hand.  The first time I met him he yanked his hand away from my face so fast as I was trying to kiss it, that he almost broke my nose.  (OK, no big nose jokes)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: pensateomnia on May 07, 2006, 05:20:57 PM
Speaking about iconographic portrayal of the Father...

So that in knowing Jesus we have now come to know the Father. However it does seem to be a modernist trend too.

The earliest examples of the Iconographic portrayal of the Father that I have seen are on Mt Athos, whereat one will find such Icons quite frequently in monasteries of all ethnic origins. One will also find iconographic portrayals of the "All Seeing Eye" of the God. Many of these icons date anywhere from the 1700s to the end of the 19th century (during which time these kinds of Icons were very popular...I have seen a 1905 printing of the Pedalion itself with this kind of "Holy Trinity" Icon on the cover page). I've also seen many Churches and monasteries in Romania with similar depictions of the Trinity, and several of the lay prayer books I bought there had the now-naughty Holy Trinity on their cover. It's quite a popular Icon throughout the Balkans.

As for "modernist trends": When George Gabriel wrote an excellent little book against its canonicity and legitimacy, HE was condemned by some Athonites as a modernist.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: minasoliman on May 07, 2006, 05:41:39 PM
One will also find iconographic portrayals of the "All Seeing Eye" of the God.

I saw that in a Coptic Church in Queens.  That's an interesting one.

God bless.

Mina
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: pensateomnia on May 07, 2006, 06:18:32 PM
In other words faced with your own opinion that there's 'doubt' on this issue; based in fact on the speculation that there must be doubts on the issue. It's a self-fulfilling argument then. I could say "No church council has ruled categorically that children/minors can't be priests", (this itself may be proven a bad analogy, if in fact there is such a ruling). And the mere fact that there is no ruling, would cause me to declare, as you have that it is an 'issue', even though it's not because I'm the only one raising it...

*- is there an age limit on priests?

This actually touches on one of the fundamental motivations (the spirit!) of the canonical tradition's stipulations about potential ordinands, viz. they must be above reproach. Of course, this standard comes from St. Paul himself, who spelled out the "qualifications" for a Bishop in 1 Timothy 3. The canons develop this idea in both a personal and a social way. Thus, the potential cleric should actually possess a moral life AND should be thought to possess such a life by the community.  

The former part comes naturally to us today -- of course the priest should be moral! But the canons are very concerned that the priesthood as an office, and the authority that comes from that office, not be diminished in stature by publicly known sin/scandal/compromise to the world, e.g. having cohabited before marriage, getting a divorce, going into or owning a bar (eventually, even owning a business!). All of these are either forbidden to the priest or constitute an "absolute" impediment to his ordination. Thus, the canons are concerned with far more than personal moral character. What outright, necessary sin is there in owning a business? Yet, this could be perceived by members of the Church (and the public) to compromise the priest's integrity, to present conflicts of interests and favoritism, and, ultimately, to undermine the spiritual authority of the priesthood as an institution. Thus, so that the priest might be "above reproach" -- i.e. there be nothing that anyone could reproach him for -- the priest must conform to certain standards of public decorum.

After liturgy today, I was speaking with a learned priest about this, and he pointed out that AGE and MALENESS fall under this same category. For the priest to be above reproach, he must be of the sort which society defines as a mature adult with public standing. A certain child, for example, may be quite holy and Christ-like, yet he is not above reproach, since many could reproach him and his "leadership" as infantile, immature and inappropriate.

Enter the gender thing. Even in today's society, I fear that being a woman is not, in this sense, "above reproach." Whether or not this SHOULD be the case is another matter, but, so long as such public perceptions persist, it would go against the spirit of the canons to introduce female priests. (As we have seen on this board, MANY Orthodox would reproach such a priest!). If one is searching for theological reasons, I fear this doesn't explain much, but it is, in fact, a rather ecclesial and pastoral insight that reminds us of one of the key concerns of the canonical aspects of priesthood.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: pensateomnia on May 07, 2006, 07:04:15 PM
NEWS FLASH: The Entire Corpus of Human Knowledge does not exist online...this is especially true of theological texts and sources. If you really want to do meaningful research you really are going to have to crack a book at some point. Google can be useful, but it's not a panacea.

You mean I don't know everything about Church history, theology, canon law, liturgy and praxis after reading Ware, Chadwick, Kelley, Pelikan, Meyendorff, Schmemann and Behr!?

I may have to read primary sources!!!? Primary sources other than the likes of Eusebius and Socrates Scholaticus!?

What's the you say? I may also have to do more than give these sources a quick once-over in English? I may have to learn about context, textual criticism, literary genres, ancient languages and the world of Late Antiquity?

Bah!

(All sarcasm aside, this is an important point. Sure, this is an Internet forum and ignorance is fine. Being wrong is fine. We all fall into both categories frequently. But doesn't it give one caution about one's suitability to correct, contradict and quickly pontificate on certain matters when outside of one's competence? It does for me. I'm being serious here. This is not a personal attack, but, rather, a question about the prudent use of Internet resources and discussion, a question that applies to all of us. No! It's not even a question -- it's a plea, an exhortation, a bit of advice. When I was a "well-read" 16-year-old convert, I thought I knew a lot about matters Church-related, but quickly discovered that the 50 or so books I had read and my time on the Internet didn't even begin to break the ice. I eventually left the Orthodox Internet and availed myself of actual sources. Ten years later, I only consider myself competent in ONE specific era of ONE region...ah, nevermind...I'm trying to encourage people to head to the library, to the peer-reviewed publications and journals, to the primary sources and the primary languages, etc...without that, we just end up repeating the same old parochial narratives of mediocrity and confusion.)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Νεκτάριος on May 07, 2006, 07:38:43 PM
Quote
Whose signature on this forum once read: "Never give a sword to a man who can't dance."?
I can't remember...

That was Demetri!  I haven't seen him post in ages though....

Just to add my two cents:

About icons depicting the Father... I saw plenty of those on the Holy Mountain.   I also saw icons depicting Christ in non-human form.  I also saw very "modern" style Russian iconography.  The icon of Panagia that St. Seraphim of Sarov had in his cell was very "modern" - so much so that today's ultra-Orthodox would reject it, I'm sure.  
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on May 07, 2006, 08:06:28 PM
Enter the gender thing. Even in today's society, I fear that being a woman is not, in this sense, "above reproach." Whether or not this SHOULD be the case is another matter, but, so long as such public perceptions persist, it would go against the spirit of the canons to introduce female priests. (As we have seen on this board, MANY Orthodox would reproach such a priest!). If one is searching for theological reasons, I fear this doesn't explain much, but it is, in fact, a rather ecclesial and pastoral insight that reminds us of one of the key concerns of the canonical aspects of priesthood.

A valid point and the one that caused me to have reservations about the ordination of women for quite some time; but, I would extend this point to say that if the failure to ordain women is scandalous then it too is wrong. However, the more familiar I become with the situation of the Church in Greece and it's relation to the state, especially in the light of the late scandals, the Church appears to be slipping into irrelevancy. A majority of Greeks support the disestablishment of the Church, an increasing number of youth are viewing the Church as out of touch with modern Society, and while I have very little knowledge of eastern European countries, I do know that secularism and atheism are influential and, in many cases, growing...especially amongst the youth. Looking from the perspective of America, an interesting statistic I came across is that in 1993 63% of Catholics supported the Ordination of Women, and I cannot believe that the statistic would be substantially lower amongst the Greek Church. However, I will admit that this is simple observation and not a scientific study, it would probably be most prudent to initiate a sociological study to determine the acceptance of women in the deaconate and presbyterate in various countries, reigons, and contexts; if anyone has a reference to such data from Greece or elsewhere I would be most interested in seeing it.

Of course, prudence is paramount in all actions. Even if the Ordination of Women were to be instituted, I do not believe it should be done over night, but rather a reestablishment of the order of the Deaconess should come first, which should be prevalent and accepted throughout most Church before moving to the next step. One would start in convents, of course, move on to cosmopolitan parishes, and expand from there. So while a woman being ordained to the priesthood tomorrow may be scandalous and problematic, the slightest amount of prudence would negate this problem and, ultimately, if any persons on the fringes did to schism, the affect would be nominal and probably even less of a concern than the old calendarist movement; as the change in calendar was abrupt and immediately affected everyone, yet was accomplished with minimal and acceptable cost (of course the desired benefits, reunion with one or more of the western Churches, have not yet been achieved; but it takes time to heal a thousand years of schism so I believe it is premature to pass judgement on those grounds. Furthermore, the effects of the schism of the old calendarists from the State Church have been diminishing, revealing the cost to be far less than what we once thought it would be.)

You mean I don't know everything about Church history, theology, canon law, liturgy and praxis after reading Ware, Chadwick, Kelley, Pelikan, Meyendorff, Schmemann and Behr!?

I may have to read primary sources!!!? Primary sources other than the likes of Eusebius and Socrates Scholaticus!?

What's the you say? I may also have to do more than give these sources a quick once-over in English? I may have to learn about context, textual criticism, literary genres, ancient languages and the world of Late Antiquity?

Bah!

LOL ;D

Quote
(All sarcasm aside, this is an important point. Sure, this is an Internet forum and ignorance is fine. Being wrong is fine. We all fall into both categories frequently. But doesn't it give one caution about one's suitability to correct, contradict and quickly pontificate on certain matters when outside of one's competence? It does for me. I'm being serious here. This is not a personal attack, but, rather, a question about the prudent use of Internet resources and discussion, a question that applies to all of us. No! It's not even a question -- it's a plea, an exhortation, a bit of advice. When I was a "well-read" 16-year-old convert, I thought I knew a lot about matters Church-related, but quickly discovered that the 50 or so books I had read and my time on the Internet didn't even begin to break the ice. I eventually left the Orthodox Internet and availed myself of actual sources. Ten years later, I only consider myself competent in ONE specific era of ONE region...ah, nevermind...I'm trying to encourage people to head to the library, to the peer-reviewed publications and journals, to the primary sources and the primary languages, etc...without that, we just end up repeating the same old parochial narratives of mediocrity and confusion.)

Very good point, though I will point out that I have found the internet to be a better forum for the practice rhetoric than theology...which also can be both fun and educational ;)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Carpatho Russian on May 07, 2006, 08:59:53 PM
I would go on in this whole re-enactment issue, and I still didn't change my mind, but I'll say it:

"UNCLE!!!"
No hard feelings, I hope.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 07, 2006, 11:05:37 PM
What happened to the original topic of this thread? The ordination of women?
Unable to prove an argument some have branched out in order to prove other things, and therefore hope to have gained the OP by proxy
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 07, 2006, 11:07:48 PM
Which are all still completely useless if the information you are looking for is not on the internet, but only in books.
Some people must have a low opinion of other people's intelligence... if they insist on stating the exceptionally obvious.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: minasoliman on May 07, 2006, 11:28:48 PM
No hard feelings, I hope.

No, no hard feelings.  On the positive side, I enjoyed from this discussion and learned a lot.

God bless you. :)

Mina
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Asteriktos on May 07, 2006, 11:39:58 PM
montalban

Quote
Unable to prove an argument some have branched out in order to prove other things, and therefore hope to have gained the OP by proxy

I'll take that as an answer to my last post to you... You know, it'd be easier, not to mention intellectually honest, if you would just admit that you hold to a doctrine that you can't evidence from the Church Fathers. I know pride is a hard task master, though.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on May 08, 2006, 01:05:29 AM
Unable to prove an argument some have branched out in order to prove other things, and therefore hope to have gained the OP by proxy

This is just a skirmish in a greater war and I believe that after 33 pages both sides are tired and willing to retire to their respective camps to fight another day. It is a skirmish on the level of the squad while armies are yet manoeuvring. Sometimes the point of these engagements are simply to draw the battle lines and eventually force a fixed battle, each doing what they can to gain an advantage when the battle proper begins. I am sure this issue will come up again when we feel like putting into the discussion the energy it deserves...we're only the advanced guards, so to speak.

Some people must have a low opinion of other people's intelligence... if they insist on stating the exceptionally obvious.

:-X
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Theognosis on May 08, 2006, 02:29:25 AM
The depiction of the Three Angels is really a depiction of the three angels to whom the patriarch Abraham offered hospitality in Genesis 18:1-33.  AFAIK, the three angels are not seen as BEING the Holy Trinity; rather, they are seen as PREFIGURING the Holy Trinity, hence the Trinitarian symbolism of the icon.

I used to be a fan of Rublev myself.

http://www.traditionaliconography.com/hospitality.asp
To summarize this work we have an excerpt from the Seventh Ecumenical Council in regards to what may be depicted in icons. Read in the context of what the Fathers have said, the meaning of the following paragraph is clear: the Father, the Holy Spirit or Trinity may not be painted:

"We therefore, following the royal pathway and the divinely inspired authority of our Holy Fathers and the traditions of the Catholic Church, define with all certitude and accuracy that just as the figure of the precious and life-giving cross, so also the venerable and holy images should be set forth...the figure of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ, of our Lady, the Mother of God, of the honorable Angels, of all Saints and of all pious people." Nowhere does it mention God the Father or Holy Spirit.

"For by so much more frequently as they are seen in artistic representation, by so much more readily are men lifted up to the memory of their prototypes, and to a longing after them and to these should be given due salutation and honorable reverence...." [The Decree of The Holy, Great, Ecumenical Synod, The Second of Nice. Pg. 550]

Centuries later, the Trinity portraitures infiltrated the Church everywhere, especially in Russia. This kind of religious art was condemned by two Councils: the Great Council of Moscow in 1666 an the Council of Constantinople [1780]. To quote from the decree of the Russian Synod:

"We synodically declare that the so-called icon of the Holy Trinity, a recent [my emphasis] invention, is alien and unacceptable to the Apostolic and Catholic Orthodox Church. It was transmitted to the Orthodox Church from the Latins."

According to the Council of 1666 and the council of Constantinople of 1780 the "icon" of the Trinity is referred to as "improper", "ignorant", "unbefitting" "unacceptable", and "base". It would seem contradictory to reverence such an icon so described. What sense does it make? Even if the "icon" has not been officially declared a heresy it seems by these words to be nothing else. If these words do not mean heresy then what do they mean?



Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 08, 2006, 05:53:13 AM
montalban

I'll take that as an answer to my last post to you... You know, it'd be easier, not to mention intellectually honest, if you would just admit that you hold to a doctrine that you can't evidence from the Church Fathers. I know pride is a hard task master, though.
I wasn't referring to you at all. I have hardly addressed you on this thread. As to 'Church Fathers' I've already cited them, and I raised this a second time with another person and that he summarily dismissed this evidence. But that was some time ago. See, you make a post about pride* ironic, because you lecture me about it, yet you think that I was talking about you

*if pride includes conceit
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 08, 2006, 05:56:55 AM
I used to be a fan of Rublev myself.

http://www.traditionaliconography.com/hospitality.asp
To summarize this work we have an excerpt from the Seventh Ecumenical Council in regards to what may be depicted in icons. Read in the context of what the Fathers have said, the meaning of the following paragraph is clear: the Father, the Holy Spirit or Trinity may not be painted:

"We therefore, following the royal pathway and the divinely inspired authority of our Holy Fathers and the traditions of the Catholic Church, define with all certitude and accuracy that just as the figure of the precious and life-giving cross, so also the venerable and holy images should be set forth...the figure of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ, of our Lady, the Mother of God, of the honorable Angels, of all Saints and of all pious people." Nowhere does it mention God the Father or Holy Spirit.

"For by so much more frequently as they are seen in artistic representation, by so much more readily are men lifted up to the memory of their prototypes, and to a longing after them and to these should be given due salutation and honorable reverence...." [The Decree of The Holy, Great, Ecumenical Synod, The Second of Nice. Pg. 550]

Centuries later, the Trinity portraitures infiltrated the Church everywhere, especially in Russia. This kind of religious art was condemned by two Councils: the Great Council of Moscow in 1666 an the Council of Constantinople [1780]. To quote from the decree of the Russian Synod:

"We synodically declare that the so-called icon of the Holy Trinity, a recent [my emphasis] invention, is alien and unacceptable to the Apostolic and Catholic Orthodox Church. It was transmitted to the Orthodox Church from the Latins."

According to the Council of 1666 and the council of Constantinople of 1780 the "icon" of the Trinity is referred to as "improper", "ignorant", "unbefitting" "unacceptable", and "base". It would seem contradictory to reverence such an icon so described. What sense does it make? Even if the "icon" has not been officially declared a heresy it seems by these words to be nothing else. If these words do not mean heresy then what do they mean?


I e-mailed a monk friend of mine who spoke to his superior who said... (paraphrasing)
'...it was addressed in the minutes of the Seventh Ecumenical Council, for some reason it didn't make the
Canons, but it is assumed that they didn't believe it would become a grave issue.

It was also addressed in the "Great Synodal Assembly" in Russia in 1666'
I have not checked the veracity of these references.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 08, 2006, 06:06:32 AM
montalban
I'll take that as an answer to my last post to you... You know, it'd be easier, not to mention intellectually honest, if you would just admit that you hold to a doctrine that you can't evidence from the Church Fathers.
Without the patience to look back through the pages herein, I will simply re-post the 'evidences' that were cited. The first was posted originally by another poster (I can't recall whom, so I apologise for that). I repost it because it contextualises the following two references; that talked of 'men' (it means that they are not talking about men in the sense of all people).



Historically, the Greeks had accepted women priests

“The practice of women prophesying at the church in Corinth would have had no negative reaction from Greek culture, at least not for being done by females. On the contrary, two of the most famous oracles of the Greek world had at their heart women who were used as vehicles to medate the message of the god. Women played key roles in the public celebrations of many cults, and there is little doubt that at least some of these roles involved speaking: prayers, words of consecration of the sacrifice, perhaps instruction in the mysteries or words of assurance or warning to initiates. The only trouble Christian prophetesses would have caused the surrounding culture would have been due to the fact that the religion was foreign and denounced traditional faiths as false. But this has nothing to do with women's roles”

http://campus.houghton.edu/webs/employees/tpaige/Construct.html

Thus St. Paul was showing a clear break with this known custom when he advocated male priests.

John Chrysostomon says, in part...
For if any one will consider how great a thing it is for one, being a man, and compassed with flesh and blood, to be enabled to draw nigh to that blessed and pure nature, he will then clearly see what great honor the grace of the Spirit has vouchsafed to priests; since by their agency these rites are celebrated, and others nowise inferior to these both in respect of our dignity and our salvation.
Book III.5
TREATISE ON THE PRIESTHOOD
http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF1-09/npnf1-09-08.htm#TopOfPage



Our apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and there would be strife on account of the office of the episcopate. For this reason, therefore, inasmuch as they had obtained a perfect fore-knowledge of this, they appointed those [ministers] already mentioned, and afterwards gave instructions, that when these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed them in their ministry. We are of opinion, therefore, that those appointed by them, or afterwards by other eminent men, with the consent of the whole Church, and who have blame-lessly served the flock of Christ in a humble, peaceable, and disinterested spirit, and have for a long time possessed the good opinion of all, cannot be justly dismissed from the ministry. For our sin will not be small, if we eject from the episcopate those who have blamelessly and holily fulfilled its duties. Blessed are those presbyters who, having finished their course before now, have obtained a fruitful and perfect departure [from this world]; for they have no fear lest any one deprive them of the place now appointed them. But we see that ye have removed some men of excellent behaviour from the ministry, which they fulfilled blamelessly and with honour.
Clement of Rome Chapter XLIV.-The Ordinances of the Apostles, that There Might Be No Contention Respecting the Priestly Office. "Epistle to the Corinthians"
http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-01/anf01-05.htm#P171_20841



The two objections I recall being put to this was
a) that men refers to all humanity (ignoring the first reference, and the mere fact that the priests of the time of the two quotes were men)
and
b) that I has 'simply googled it' (which is a rather odd rejection, and a false one)

And this now makes the third time I've presented these 'Church Fathers'. I add now to posterity your unique rebuttal that I haven't.

Fortunately I do save many of my arguments in a laboriously indexed and cross-references word documents
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 08, 2006, 07:11:20 AM
the Great Council of Moscow in 1666
I think he meant to say "The Strange Council of Moscow of 1666" or perhaps "The Council  of 1666 Contirved by the Tsar to Imprison His Former Friend, the Patriarch, Because of Jealousy". This was the notorious "council" which deposed Patriarch Nikon- after the same Council had just finished adopting all of the Patriarch's reforms and anathemising those who refused to accept them. And the Patriarch was deposed without appealing to an Oecumenical Council. I'd hardly call the 1666 Council "Great"- it was hardly a "Great" point in the history of the Orthodox Church.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on May 08, 2006, 08:45:03 AM
The two objections I recall being put to this was
a) that men refers to all humanity (ignoring the first reference, and the mere fact that the priests of the time of the two quotes were men)
and
b) that I has 'simply googled it' (which is a rather odd rejection, and a false one)

First, even if these references were gender specific, it would be irrelevant, it would be a reaction to existing norms and not an establishment thereof. Secondly, if you want someone to comment, post them in Greek, because I'm willing to bet that the boldfaced words are gender neutral. The reason I haven't commented before is because this is amongst the most absurd (non) 'scholarship' that I've ever seen. ::)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: PeterTheAleut on May 08, 2006, 02:26:18 PM
I used to be a fan of Rublev myself.

http://www.traditionaliconography.com/hospitality.asp
To summarize this work we have an excerpt from the Seventh Ecumenical Council in regards to what may be depicted in icons. Read in the context of what the Fathers have said, the meaning of the following paragraph is clear: the Father, the Holy Spirit or Trinity may not be painted:

"We therefore, following the royal pathway and the divinely inspired authority of our Holy Fathers and the traditions of the Catholic Church, define with all certitude and accuracy that just as the figure of the precious and life-giving cross, so also the venerable and holy images should be set forth...the figure of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ, of our Lady, the Mother of God, of the honorable Angels, of all Saints and of all pious people." Nowhere does it mention God the Father or Holy Spirit.

"For by so much more frequently as they are seen in artistic representation, by so much more readily are men lifted up to the memory of their prototypes, and to a longing after them and to these should be given due salutation and honorable reverence...." [The Decree of The Holy, Great, Ecumenical Synod, The Second of Nice. Pg. 550]

Centuries later, the Trinity portraitures infiltrated the Church everywhere, especially in Russia. This kind of religious art was condemned by two Councils: the Great Council of Moscow in 1666 an the Council of Constantinople [1780]. To quote from the decree of the Russian Synod:

"We synodically declare that the so-called icon of the Holy Trinity, a recent [my emphasis] invention, is alien and unacceptable to the Apostolic and Catholic Orthodox Church. It was transmitted to the Orthodox Church from the Latins."

According to the Council of 1666 and the council of Constantinople of 1780 the "icon" of the Trinity is referred to as "improper", "ignorant", "unbefitting" "unacceptable", and "base". It would seem contradictory to reverence such an icon so described. What sense does it make? Even if the "icon" has not been officially declared a heresy it seems by these words to be nothing else. If these words do not mean heresy then what do they mean?

Maybe I need to reiterate what I said.

I may be wrong, but I never knew that icons of the Three Angels (a.k.a. the Hospitality of Abraham) were ever considered actual depictions of the Holy Trinity.  I always believed that these icons depicted an event in biblical history that is seen to represent the Holy Trinity, but that the angels themselves are not necessarily the Holy Trinity.  If this is so, then such icons as the Hospitality of Abraham would indeed not violate canons against iconographic depictions of the Holy Trinity.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: pensateomnia on May 08, 2006, 03:05:45 PM
Maybe I need to reiterate what I said.

I may be wrong, but I never knew that icons of the Three Angels (a.k.a. the Hospitality of Abraham) were ever considered actual depictions of the Holy Trinity.ÂÂ  I always believed that these icons depicted an event in biblical history that is seen to represent the Holy Trinity, but that the angels themselves are not necessarily the Holy Trinity.ÂÂ  If this is so, then such icons as the Hospitality of Abraham would indeed not violate canons against iconographic depictions of the Holy Trinity.

Well, according to some theologians (e.g. George Gabriel), the icon of the Hospitality of Abraham, SHOULD NOT be considered an actual depiction of the Holy Trinity (his very detailed and interesting work, mind you, got him condemned by certain "traditionalists," including Athonite monks, as a heretic). However, at some point after this Icon became popular, the "proper" theological distinctions got confused. Thus, one can find many, many old versions of the Hospitality which are titled "The Holy Trinity" (whereas, the oldest extant ones always actually say, "The Hospitality of Abraham").

Thus, the Hospitality quickly became more depiction than typology and, some time after that, even the Hospitality re-interpreted lost ground to the quite popular Holy Trinity Icon with God the Father, God the Son and The Bird, as one of my former priests used to say. And this Icon, of course, always says: "The Holy Trinity." (Just a personal observation: Every Russian, Romanian and Greek Church that I have attended that was built in the early to mid 20th century has at least one copy of the Holy Trinity with the Father as Enthroned Ancient of Days, the Son, and the Spirit as a dove).

So, who is "canonical" and who is "right"?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 09, 2006, 03:11:04 AM
First, even if these references were gender specific, it would be irrelevant, it would be a reaction to existing norms and not an establishment thereof.
That's the point. It was 'the norm' to have male priests. From Jesus through to now. All you have to do is show when it wasn't the case.
Secondly, if you want someone to comment, post them in Greek, because I'm willing to bet that the boldfaced words are gender neutral. The reason I haven't commented before is because this is amongst the most absurd (non) 'scholarship' that I've ever seen.
You're contradicting yourself. No wonder you haven't posted before. First you accept that it refers to a normative state; relating to men, then you doubt that it refers to men.  ;D
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 09, 2006, 03:12:10 AM
I think he meant to say "The Strange Council of Moscow of 1666" or perhaps "The Council  of 1666 Contirved by the Tsar to Imprison His Former Friend, the Patriarch, Because of Jealousy". This was the notorious "council" which deposed Patriarch Nikon- after the same Council had just finished adopting all of the Patriarch's reforms and anathemising those who refused to accept them. And the Patriarch was deposed without appealing to an Oecumenical Council. I'd hardly call the 1666 Council "Great"- it was hardly a "Great" point in the history of the Orthodox Church.
Yes, I don't know which he refers, and in fact I've never heard of them before. Maybe it should have been called the Okay Council?  :-\
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: pensateomnia on May 09, 2006, 08:57:00 AM
That's the point. It was 'the norm' to have male priests. From Jesus through to now. All you have to do is show when it wasn't the case.You're contradicting yourself. No wonder you haven't posted before. First you accept that it refers to a normative state; relating to men, then you doubt that it refers to men.ÂÂ  ;D

Ummm...You seem to have misread GiC's post. His point is that even if the Greek uses the word "anir" (male), which is unlikely, since the Fathers speak of Christ becoming "anthropos" (human), such would not actually constitute a conscious establishment of male priesthood as a necessary or theologically-based policy; it would only show that the Church simply took male priesthood for granted (perhaps because only males would be "above reproach," as the canons and Scripture require, because such was the reality of social -- not theological! -- expectations).

Or, to phrase it differently, the quotes you used do not offer any theological reason, nor, in fact, any prescription on the matter, but simply an observation of historical fact (which is not the issue at hand).
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Fr. George on May 09, 2006, 03:22:32 PM
Is there any way to put a time-lock on this thread, with people given the directive "research this topic well, and on MON/DAY the thread will automatically re-open for debate more founded on theology, historical perspective, the fathers, sociology, and a sound understanding of tradition?

Some people have put more effort or research into the matter, and it shows, and as a result much of the discussion has become a volley and return of uselessness - for one side disregards the other because they haven't studied, and the other disregards the first because they don't agree with tradition.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: serb1389 on May 09, 2006, 03:30:41 PM
But not everyone has that option.  Research is not everyone's strong point either.  To put a stall on the topic would make it limiting in terms of who could participate, and therefore it would go into only higher enchelons of people and thinking.  Does the forum want to be limiting?  I mean, it is only one topic, and having people research for 3-4 days wouldn't be a bad idea.  I just wanted to bring up my issues   ;)   :P
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: BoredMeeting on May 09, 2006, 04:07:43 PM
It certainly has been shown that female priestesses were common in the pagan world, meaning that it wouldn't have been that difficult for Jesus to challenge the practice if He had wanted to.

I believe it is proper for the Orthodox Church to continue with the practice instituted by Christ Himself.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: pensateomnia on May 09, 2006, 04:28:26 PM
Is there any way to put a time-lock on this thread, with people given the directive "research this topic well, and on MON/DAY the thread will automatically re-open for debate more founded on theology, historical perspective, the fathers, sociology, and a sound understanding of tradition?

Some people have put more effort or research into the matter, and it shows, and as a result much of the discussion has become a volley and return of uselessness - for one side disregards the other because they haven't studied, and the other disregards the first because they don't agree with tradition.

Well, the whole topic is rather speculative anyway, since ordination of women to the priesthood is not actually going to happen in the Orthodox Church. Not only is there not enough support for it among the laity, clergy and hierarchy (in fact, I don't know ANY clergymen who are in favor of it!), there also is very little chance that we'll ever have a Great and Holy Synod capable of addressing the issue in a conciliar way. Without such support and with such a Synod, this discussion is little more omphaloskepsis.

(One more indication that, perhaps, the mess in the diaspora may be part of God's will...)
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Fr. George on May 09, 2006, 06:17:16 PM
But not everyone has that option.  Research is not everyone's strong point either.  To put a stall on the topic would make it limiting in terms of who could participate, and therefore it would go into only higher enchelons of people and thinking.  Does the forum want to be limiting?  I mean, it is only one topic, and having people research for 3-4 days wouldn't be a bad idea.  I just wanted to bring up my issues   ;)   :P

I don't want to squash discussion per se, but people are bringing up theological and sociological points, and others are responding with nothing that can answer the points - and so the discussion does not progress anywhere.  Anyway - putting a temporary time lock on the thread doesn't squash anyone's opinion, either - all it does is delay it.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 09, 2006, 10:38:57 PM
It certainly has been shown that female priestesses were common in the pagan world, meaning that it wouldn't have been that difficult for Jesus to challenge the practice if He had wanted to.

I believe it is proper for the Orthodox Church to continue with the practice instituted by Christ Himself.

That's it exactly. The Christian world could have very easily adopted that pagan practice. The reason they didn't is because the nature of the role of men is, in this instance is fundamentally different from women
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 09, 2006, 10:47:15 PM
Ummm...You seem to have misread GiC's post. His point is that even if the Greek uses the word "anir" (male), which is unlikely, since the Fathers speak of Christ becoming "anthropos" (human), such would not actually constitute a conscious establishment of male priesthood as a necessary or theologically-based policy; it would only show that the Church simply took male priesthood for granted (perhaps because only males would be "above reproach," as the canons and Scripture require, because such was the reality of social -- not theological! -- expectations).

Or, to phrase it differently, the quotes you used do not offer any theological reason, nor, in fact, any prescription on the matter, but simply an observation of historical fact (which is not the issue at hand).
What I’ve read him saying is that he accepts that there was a ‘normative’ state of having male priests; there-by instantly undermining his argument about the ‘gender’ of the word. The whole point of having male priests is that it is and was always that state. As I posted reference also to the fact that there were female priests in the pagan ancient world, but no record of them in the ancient Christian world. Thus when a Church Father uses the word ‘man’ in relation to a priest, it refers to ‘man’. His supposition (he might well be right regarding the original Greek) is that the word ‘man’ might not refer to a gender, even though he recognises that the priesthood was synonymous with the male gender.

So its not about ‘social expectations’ (perhaps if you’d read all of my post that he was responding to you’d have picked up on this)

So in summary we have knowledge of female priests in one religious community. We have none in the other; Christianity in that sense went against the ‘reality of social expectations’ (not just in this field, Christians went against pagan social norms). Even if the word was gender neutral the fact would still remain that there’s always been an exclusively male priesthood. The word, if it was neutral would still be known to be, in the context of priests, be referring to men.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: PeterTheAleut on May 09, 2006, 11:20:20 PM
What I’ve read him saying is that he accepts that there was a ‘normative’ state of having male priests; there-by instantly undermining his argument about the ‘gender’ of the word. The whole point of having male priests is that it is and was always that state. As I posted reference also to the fact that there were female priests in the pagan ancient world, but no record of them in the ancient Christian world. Thus when a Church Father uses the word ‘man’ in relation to a priest, it refers to ‘man’. His supposition (he might well be right regarding the original Greek) is that the word ‘man’ might not refer to a gender, even though he recognises that the priesthood was synonymous with the male gender.

So its not about ‘social expectations’ (perhaps if you’d read all of my post that he was responding to you’d have picked up on this)

So in summary we have knowledge of female priests in one religious community. We have none in the other; Christianity in that sense went against the ‘reality of social expectations’ (not just in this field, Christians went against pagan social norms). Even if the word was gender neutral the fact would still remain that there’s always been an exclusively male priesthood. The word, if it was neutral would still be known to be, in the context of priests, be referring to men.
But what are the theological reasons why the Church has always insisted on an all-male priesthood?  Many have been provided on this thread, but no one has yet made a cogent case for any of these reasons offered.  Not even your argument, "we've always done it this way; therefore, we must always continue to do it this way," is all that convincing to most.

The practice of honoring the validity of schismatic baptism is more ancient yet than our Orthodox practice of "re"baptizing "schismatics" and "heretics," yet the Orthodox Church adopted St. Cyprian's practice of "re"baptizing the non-Orthodox because the practice is built on a much more developed theological/ecclesiological foundation.  Am I bringing this up to argue around the point of this thread because I have no stronger arguments to provide?  No, I'm just hoping to give you an example of why we really need to articulate sound theological reasons for excluding women from the priesthood.  It's just not enough anymore to say, "this is what we've always done," when people within the Church are asking why.

I'm seeing some movement to lock this thread for a few days to allow for some more in-depth research of this issue before we resume our discussion.  I hope you can do some more research of your own and come back ready to provide more convincing reasons than you have provided so far.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Ivan on May 10, 2006, 12:03:52 AM
Women play an important role in the Church. All we were born through woman, but spiritualy we are born by the man - Priest. Women have priesthood in the Othodox Church, she can pray and taking Communion.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: Fr. David on May 10, 2006, 12:12:20 AM
Hmmm...Arian...that's a new one.   :P

All right, so perhaps a proper Christology wasn't St. Paul's primary concern when dealing with gender here, but he still seems to be pretty theologically insistent when he says "that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God" (1 Cor. 11:3).  What's he saying?  Is he saying that the Father is superior in nature to Christ, Christ superior in nature to man, and man superior in nature to woman?  Not at all, I don't believe...rather, there is a hierarchy of order among those with common natures.  The Father is "greater" than the Son, and the Son only does what the Father tells Him to, not what He Himself wills, yet they share a common nature.  Likewise, Christ shares in a human nature equal to ours in every way; His human nature is in no way different from ours, yet we are, in fact, subordinate to Him who is a sharer of our nature yet is God.

So, likewise, is it in the Church concerning men and women; we share in an absolutely common human nature, yet it's been declared repeatedly by the apostles and the fathers that men would be the ones who would teach and lead the Church.  This is not due to any superiority we would have over women, but simply through the setup that Christ and St. Paul themselves started.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: GiC on May 10, 2006, 12:35:08 AM
Pedro, you're using that Christ is to the Father as Woman is to Man argument again, without considering the Christ is to Man part. Using the same logic why not say that Christ is to the Father as Man is to Christ? You're selectively using what you want out of the verse to fit your preconceived notion. Look at the verse objectively, it's clear that if it is taken theologically Arianism is the logical conclusion. Therefore, unless we are to regard Paul as an Arian, it must be taken pastorally, and not theologically.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: PeterTheAleut on May 10, 2006, 01:39:35 AM
Pedro, you're using that Christ is to the Father as Woman is to Man argument again, without considering the Christ is to Man part. Using the same logic why not say that Christ is to the Father as Man is to Christ? You're selectively using what you want out of the verse to fit your preconceived notion. Look at the verse objectively, it's clear that if it is taken theologically Arianism is the logical conclusion. Therefore, unless we are to regard Paul as an Arian, it must be taken pastorally, and not theologically.
How are you so sure of all this except to be certain of the accuracy of your own logic?  What if that is flawed?

I suggest another approach:  Don't separate interpretation of this passage in St. Paul's writings from the rest of the Holy Scriptures, particularly the Gospel of St. John, nor from the whole of our Sacred Tradition.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 10, 2006, 03:23:56 AM
But what are the theological reasons why the Church has always insisted on an all-male priesthood?ÂÂ  Many have been provided on this thread, but no one has yet made a cogent case for any of these reasons offered.ÂÂ  Not even your argument, "we've always done it this way; therefore, we must always continue to do it this way," is all that convincing to most.
Why would I question Jesus' decision?
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 10, 2006, 03:25:48 AM
How are you so sure of all this except to be certain of the accuracy of your own logic?ÂÂ  What if that is flawed?

I suggest another approach:ÂÂ  Don't separate interpretation of this passage in St. Paul's writings from the rest of the Holy Scriptures, particularly the Gospel of St. John, nor from the whole of our Sacred Tradition.
Yet you think 'tradition' is not enough
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 10, 2006, 06:25:59 AM
I suggest another approach:  Don't separate interpretation of this passage in St. Paul's writings from the rest of the Holy Scriptures, particularly the Gospel of St. John, nor from the whole of our Sacred Tradition.
I'm not sure I understand. How are St. Paul's Epistles being "seperated" from Scripture? The only question being raised is whether this particular passage is pastoral or theological- not whether it is Scripture or not. As Asteriktos has pointed out before, in the Gospel, Christ forbids divorce except in the case of adultery, yet His Church permits divorce for other reasons. So was this a pastoral or dogmatic command of Christ? And if theological, why does the Church not adhere to it? To question whether a passage of Scripture should be understood as a theological statement about dogma or simply a pastoral messsage for a particular group in a particular time is not treating the passage as something different from the rest of Scripture.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: montalban on May 10, 2006, 07:15:40 AM
I'm not sure I understand. How are St. Paul's Epistles being "separated" from Scripture? The only question being raised is whether this particular passage is pastoral or theological- not whether it is Scripture or not. As Asteriktos has pointed out before, in the Gospel, Christ forbids divorce except in the case of adultery, yet His Church permits divorce for other reasons. So was this a pastoral or dogmatic command of Christ? And if theological, why does the Church not adhere to it? To question whether a passage of Scripture should be understood as a theological statement about dogma or simply a pastoral message for a particular group in a particular time is not treating the passage as something different from the rest of Scripture.
John 21:25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written

We know that the Church does not teach that which is contradictory to the teachings of Jesus Christ. If we accept this, and going by the fact that not everything Jesus said or did was written in the Bible than I would conclude that Jesus made His meaning more clear to the Apostles/Church which allowed for these things (re: divorce in some circumstances).

For instance, JesusÂÂ  (as far as I know) never specifically condemns incest. This does not mean that we 'accept' it by its omission from His biblical teachings. The shortfall in the Bible in this case is made up for by Holy Tradition.

With women priests; when Jesus picked 12 men, and commissioned them to be the Apostles, and they in turn picked men to act in conferring the gifts, then I see no break here at all. It is more clear to me.


Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: ozgeorge on May 10, 2006, 07:54:36 AM
We know that the Church does not teach that which is contradictory to the teachings of Jesus Christ. If we accept this, and going by the fact that not everything Jesus said or did was written in the Bible than I would conclude that Jesus made His meaning more clear to the Apostles/Church which allowed for these things (re: divorce in some circumstances).
What you are asking me to do then, is to believe that even though Christ clearly says in the Gospel that divorce is forbidden except in the case of adultery, He secretly told His Apostles something else which contradicted this teaching, and told them that this secret teaching was to be the practice of the Church, but to keep a record of His public teaching in the Gospel.....What would be the purpose of that? Was it just to confuse everyone?.....

For instance, Jesus  (as far as I know) never specifically condemns incest.
He indirectly does. He praised St. John the Baptist as the "greatest of men" who was imprisoned and beheaded for condeming Herod's incestuous marriage.

With women priests; when Jesus picked 12 men, and commissioned them to be the Apostles, and they in turn picked men to act in conferring the gifts, then I see no break here at all. It is more clear to me.
The praxis is not the point. The point is: was the praxis meant to be to be a pastoral teaching meant for a particular time and place or was the praxis meant to teach some theological doctrine about a difference between how males and females relate to God.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: minasoliman on May 10, 2006, 08:12:33 AM
I don't understand how "Christ is the head of man, man is the head of woman, God is the head of Christ" be NOT theological.  I've already explained that its theology is valid with proper Christology before.

Arius also used Christ's "the Father is greater than I" to prove his point.  Does that mean Christ's statement was theologically deficient and pastoral, or can it interpreted theologically correct?

A further clarification of the Pauline verse can be interpreted by another famous Pauline passage:

Quote
5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
(Philippians 2:5-11)

Arians and Nestorians misinterpret this verse, but a Cyrillian interpretation will confirm the meaning behind not only this one, but the one in 1 Corinthians 11.

God bless.

Mina
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: PeterTheAleut on May 10, 2006, 02:24:01 PM
I'm not sure I understand. How are St. Paul's Epistles being "seperated" from Scripture? The only question being raised is whether this particular passage is pastoral or theological- not whether it is Scripture or not. As Asteriktos has pointed out before, in the Gospel, Christ forbids divorce except in the case of adultery, yet His Church permits divorce for other reasons. So was this a pastoral or dogmatic command of Christ? And if theological, why does the Church not adhere to it? To question whether a passage of Scripture should be understood as a theological statement about dogma or simply a pastoral messsage for a particular group in a particular time is not treating the passage as something different from the rest of Scripture.
I was actually responding to GiC's allegation that such posters as Pedro were misinterpreting St. Paul's theology to fit preconceived notions.  GiC spoke against what he perceived to be the irrationality of interpreting St. Paul in a way that could (and according to GiC did) lead to Arianism.  Within the context of the conversation between GiC and Pedro, I offered another way to understand St. Paul's theological statements so as to avoid the logic of Arianism, a way that does not fit St. Paul into preconceived notions yet still understands his theology within the larger context of Apostolic theology. I don't believe that anyone here is taking St. Paul's theology out of context.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: PeterTheAleut on May 10, 2006, 02:25:47 PM
Yet you think 'tradition' is not enough
No, this accusation is not correct.  I don't think your overly simplistic presentation of Tradition is enough.
Title: Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
Post by: PeterTheAleut on May 11, 2006, 12:24:59 A