Christ is Risen!
Indeed He is Risen!!
Oh, where to begin?
First it should be evidently clear by the way this post is digressing that the Church does need to discuss this issue. There is no Orthodox consensus on what it is that bars women to the major orders. While it appears to be true that the prayers are the same for both the Deacon and Deaconess it appears to me that they were/are NOT the same. There are those who are more knowledgeable than me who are not convinced that the prayers used were not the same and thus that the same Charisms were NOT received by both.
You state that it is speculated that that they did not serve in a liturgical function. Are there any writings that suggest that they did? The only mention of female clergy that I've ever read about, are clergy of heretical sects during the first five to six hundred years of Christianity(maybe the Gnostics??).
While I have no problem with women cantors I would like to see the prayer(s) used by his Grace Bishop Nicholas (GOA-Detroit). The prayers used from the Hapgood service book, used during my being set aside as Reader, include an exhortation about the office of Reader being the first step towards the Priesthood. I don't know if the prayer is different in the Greek church than the Russian but clearly the prayers in the Russian church (which the OCA uses) either cannot be used or must be modified.
As an aside, my parish has women readers, none set aside by the Bishop, who receive their blessing from the priest by going up to the Ambo during Holy God. Father then comes out of the Altar and gives the blessing to read. There always seems to be a question on how the women Readers receive the blessing from the priest.
Chill out! If we believe that the Church is the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church founded by our Lord, God, and Saviour Jesus Christ then it should not matter who the new Florovsky is.
It should be pointed out that Father Schmemann, in his Journals published by SVS Press a couple of years ago, says that, intuitively, women cannot be priests but that it can only be known by those that are within the Church.
While I'm not happy with everything that some folks have to say at St. Vlad's, often what is reported to have been said or being taught is out right wrong. St. Vlad's may very widely known to us in America but American Orthodoxy in all of her flavors, OCA, ROCOR, GOA, Antiochian is but a "drop in the bucket". To my knowledge there is NO sane group that questions the Seminary's Orthodoxy. E.g. Father John Behr of St. Vlad's gave a lecture at Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville (ROCOR) during Great Lent.
Remember the Church is here to save us, we are not to here to save the Church.
You have been Orthodox for about 2-3 years if I'm not mistaken. Could it be that in your exposure to Orthodoxy you have not seen any male chauvinism? I no longer consider myself a convert due to my conversion taking place almost 25 years ago (I'll be 43 this year). I attended Orthodox services for two years prior to my chrismation on the Feast of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos in 1978. 27 out of my 43 years have been in an Orthodox environment. I have been around enough to know that it does exist. I believe you over reacted to Hypo-Ortho. I'm familiar with him through his posts and believe him to be of sober judgement and a traditional, wholesome Orthodox mindset. I don't see anywhere in Hypo's post where he calls you a chauvinist. He is speaking in general.
Matushki deserve the respect they get. In a married priesthood we do receive the package - Priest and their spouse. They should be the example of Christian marriage set before the parish. This is why not only a man being considered for Ordination but his wife too is to "be of one spouse".
On a personal note:
I know find myself explaining all kinds of things to my seven year old daughter. She is getting to the point, I can just feel it, where she will ask why girls cannot serve in the Altar. This will of course lead us to the question of why we do not have women priests. My daughter is a bright, average girl who will analyze all answers she is given. I believe I will explain that the idea of equality (which is what it always seems to boil down to whether I like it or not) is not to be confused with SAMENESS. Only women can be mothers and only men can be fathers but yet all women are not called to bear children and not all men are called to be fathers. It does not matter that science says we don't need the other sex for procreation or that one day men will be able to carry children. The fact remains that only women can be mothers and men, fathers.
So it is in the Holy Church regarding the Holy Priesthood. Only men can be Priests, yet not every male is called.
javamama is right about appeasement. Too often the call for women priests seems to be tied to empowerment and power sharing. I find these concepts foreign to the Priesthood. No one is entitled to or has a right to Ordination.
Please forgive the ramblings of another down sized American with too much time on my hands.
I pray I did not offend anyone.