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Author Topic: women should not speak in church  (Read 18777 times) Average Rating: 0
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GiC
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« Reply #45 on: November 29, 2007, 02:31:21 AM »

Dr. Karras often raises some legitimate points in her work.  Unfortunately, partly through the testimony and argument of other scholars I have found her to be one who has an "axe to grind" in ways that make it difficult for me to trust her objectivity.

Everyone has an axe to grind, the only question is whether or not they are supporting your preconceived notions, apparently in this case the good Doctor isn't. But, to be fair, I'll also attack someone's credentials if they publish something I disagree with.
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« Reply #46 on: November 29, 2007, 02:32:47 AM »

I wouldn't be congradulating yourselves so soon, the immortal idea of liberté, égalité, ou la mort is here to stay. And while we may suffer setbacks from time to time, the ideal itself will not be defeated and will continue to threaten your social order.
I don't understand the post.
My remark was a simple observation that women priests have been ruled out in Catholicism, and I thought that it was the same for the E. Orthodox Churches.
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« Reply #47 on: November 29, 2007, 02:36:07 AM »

I'm uncomfortable with women reading the epistle...

So am I.  And I am perfectly happy with having a female boss, a female church warden, etc.  I have written quite a bit about this stuff in other threads and I don't really want to re-invent my wheel here, so to speak.
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« Reply #48 on: November 29, 2007, 02:38:49 AM »

I don't understand the post.
My remark was a simple observation that women priests have been ruled out in Catholicism, and I thought that it was the same for the E. Orthodox Churches.

I don't know what you don't understand, the essence of my post was liberté, égalité, ou la mort...liberty, equality, or death.

This ideal is here to stay, neither your nor the pope can undermine the foundational ideals of western society with a simple proclamation, the pressure exerted by the cause of truth and justice will forever remain. Basically, the war is not over, in either Constantinople or Rome; the proponents of social justice will not surrender and will not rest.
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« Reply #49 on: November 29, 2007, 02:39:35 AM »

No, you don't have to...and what exactly makes you think I really want you to? Every time you refuse to answer the reasonable questions directed at you you simply aid my cause and weaken your own. Even though I'm sure cleveland would rather engage you in honest dialogue than be party to my propaganda. Wink

Go your way buddy
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« Reply #50 on: November 29, 2007, 02:43:57 AM »

Go your way buddy

Ah, I get it now, you actually agree with me and were playing the devil's advocate inorder to defeat the other side by reductio ad absurdum...I like it, but next time send me a PM first and we'll put on a good show for everyone. Wink
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« Reply #51 on: November 29, 2007, 02:46:47 AM »

I don't understand the post.
My remark was a simple observation that women priests have been ruled out in Catholicism, and I thought that it was the same for the E. Orthodox Churches.

GiC is just trying to test Mae West's famous belief that "those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often."  Don't encourage him, and he'll let up a little.  Maybe. Wink

Regarding your question: Unlike in the Catholic Church, where I believe debate around the issue is forbidden, it is perfectly okay for Orthodox theologians (and those of the armchair variety Wink) to debate and ponder the possibility of female ordination to the priesthood.  However, it is extremely unlikely that this will ever happen, no matter what GiC tells you.  Tamara is correct when she says that very few Orthodox favour female ordination to the priesthood.  The diaconate, however, is another matter entirely, as there is a good deal of credible evidence to show that a female diaconate thrived in the Eastern Church in part of the first millenium, and survived well into the second.
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« Reply #52 on: November 29, 2007, 03:14:35 AM »

Ah, I get it now, you actually agree with me and were playing the devil's advocate inorder to defeat the other side by reductio ad absurdum...I like it, but next time send me a PM first and we'll put on a good show for everyone. Wink

I dont have to agree with you because your greek and the superior race of mankind and because you are butting in with something between me and Cleveland and why are you asking me if i will reply ?are not you encouraging me to reply which must mean you would like me to reply.

Is there not Hypocrasy in Cleveland firmly telling me not to answer with questions when in fact he did the same thing before me.

Why should i answer for Cleveland if he did not answer me firstly?
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« Reply #53 on: November 29, 2007, 03:36:52 AM »

I dont have to agree with you because your greek and the superior race of mankind

Yeah, that's it...LOL Cheesy

Quote
Why should i answer for Cleveland if he did not answer me firstly?

Because you asked general questions to everyone, he specifically asked you questions.
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« Reply #54 on: November 29, 2007, 03:50:40 AM »

GiC is just trying to test Mae West's famous belief that "those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often."  Don't encourage him, and he'll let up a little.  Maybe. Wink

Regarding your question: Unlike in the Catholic Church, where I believe debate around the issue is forbidden, it is perfectly okay for Orthodox theologians (and those of the armchair variety Wink) to debate and ponder the possibility of female ordination to the priesthood.  However, it is extremely unlikely that this will ever happen, no matter what GiC tells you.  Tamara is correct when she says that very few Orthodox favour female ordination to the priesthood.  The diaconate, however, is another matter entirely, as there is a good deal of credible evidence to show that a female diaconate thrived in the Eastern Church in part of the first millenium, and survived well into the second.
Thank you.
In RC, while there is no female diaconate, there are female Eucharistic servers and there are female readers.
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« Reply #55 on: November 29, 2007, 04:03:25 AM »

Yeah, that's it...LOL Cheesy

Because you asked general questions to everyone, he specifically asked you questions.

the word is Gentiles,not greeks

So do all the people who reply to my first post form an ecumenical council where they all are enlightened by the Holy Spirit and form one opinion and decision?

or is it possible that each person who replies has his own view and seperate personal response?

Am i not asking questions or a question directed to a human being,

Does Cleveland not qualify to being a human being which can respond to my question with this thing called personal communication.

This form of a human being called Cleveland personally answered to my Original post with questions ,not answers etc etc etc you know the rest
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« Reply #56 on: November 29, 2007, 04:13:46 AM »

Thank you.
In RC, while there is no female diaconate, there are female Eucharistic servers and there are female readers.

No problem.  
I'd just like to be clear on a couple of points.  (This is partly for the benefit of those posters who might not be aware of some issues surrounding RC practice.)  A Eucharistic server does a few tasks that an RC deacon might do, to be sure.  But it is not an ordained position.  And since the order of lector and subdeacon were supressed in the Latin Church about 1970, the position of reader is not an ordained one either.  

FYI, the great majority (all?) of the female readers in the Orthodox Church are not  ordained (what we call "tonsured readers"), however some bishops do bless women to read in a manner that has some characteristics of ordination to a "minor" order.

The most compelling evidence indicates that female deacons were ordained at the altar in a manner closely resembling the ordination of male deacons.  However, their liturgical functions appear to have been limited to assisting in the baptism of women and a few other tasks.  This is not to say that these female deacons were not full deacons.  IMHO, the diaconate is one, not separate male and female orders.
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« Reply #57 on: November 29, 2007, 04:20:46 AM »

FYI, the great majority (all?) of the female readers in the Orthodox Church are not  ordained (what we call "tonsured readers"), however some bishops do bless women to read in a manner that has some characteristics of ordination to a "minor" order.

As a point of clarification, His Eminence Met. Anthony of San Francisco, of blessed memory, did tonsure a few women readers. I've heard that other Bishops have done so as well, though I don't know other specific situations.
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« Reply #58 on: November 29, 2007, 04:36:38 AM »

FYI, the great majority (all?) of the female readers in the Orthodox Church are not  ordained (what we call "tonsured readers"), however some bishops do bless women to read in a manner that has some characteristics of ordination to a "minor" order.

The most compelling evidence indicates that female deacons were ordained at the altar in a manner closely resembling the ordination of male deacons.  However, their liturgical functions appear to have been limited to assisting in the baptism of women and a few other tasks.  This is not to say that these female deacons were not full deacons.  IMHO, the diaconate is one, not separate male and female orders.
There is also the question concerning whether or not women and in particular women readers should have their heads covered while in Church. Before Vatican II in the RC Church, women covered their heads in Church, but this is no longer generally observed, at least in the USA, except by those members of a small Traditional group of the Church, where the old Latin Mass is celebrated. However, I noticed that at an  Old Calendar Orthodox Church in our locality, all of the women do wear headcovering. 
I guess, then that generally, in the USA, women, even if they are readers, and even if they were tonsured as someone as mentioned has happened, they would not be required to wear headcovering in an Orthodox Church?
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« Reply #59 on: November 29, 2007, 09:02:53 AM »

yes ,your majesty

Looking back to the top ,it seems i wasnt the first one to answer a question with a question.

If you look back to my original questions ,and then look at Clevelands first post,you will see that he does not answer my questions,but ASKS ME questions.

So then in his last post ,he tells me not to answer his question with a question.

Come on mate,

So let him answer my original questions.

So was Clevelands first post a reply to me or to George?

I believe it was to me.

He directs me to answer his questions,while before hand he responds to me with two questions,doesnt matter what the others have said,i respect their replies.

The point is Cleveland responded to me with Questions first,and then he gives it to me for doing the same.
 
My questions have been asked and i have read the responses and i like some of them and agree.

But I may ask again ,"When in fact is it a Disgrace ,as St Paul says ,for women to speak in the Church.?

Maybe its been answered ,"for those Prostitutes of Corinth to speak"

HuhHuhHuhHuhHuh

i dont have to do anything for you buddy,

your pushing me to answer questions for somebody who originally didnt directly answer my questions. 

*Sigh*

What is obvious from the context in which I posted my questions is that they are questions seeking clarification of your understanding of the basic document you put forth in the OP.  My questions were honest, not seeking to dodge the original question, but rather seeking a way of better understanding your position in order to allow me to answer the question you posed.  One thing that I've learned during my time on OC.net is that it is best to know the presuppositions of the person you are speaking to, in order to ascertain how the question(s) should be answered.  If one doesn't take these factors into account, then the presentation of my answer may either fall on (a) deaf ears, or (b) waiting claws, which shred the answer for reasons other than its logical or theological content.  In the re-reading of my first post, it should be obvious that I am not attempting to dodge the original question, but am rather seeking more information in order to make an informed response.

Now, as to your question you posed of me: you make an absurd statement which you imply is my position in order to dodge answering my questions.  Doing so gives the appearance that you are avoiding the questions because you have no pertinent response to them, and so instead you seek to attack my position (which you don't know about).  The problem is that your implication has no foundation, neither in this thread, nor in any other on this site, especially if it is directed at me.  I've got 5,800+ posts - go ahead and check them all out and tell me where I ever imply or state what you've said.

Instead, your argument is (a) a straw man, and (b) a poor attempt at reductio ad absurdum.  When anyone who is serious about the discussion at hand sees these kinds of tactics, they immediately seek to either call out the person using them (as I did), or they avoid the conversation, since the person in question doesn't seem interested in honest dialogue.

Now, since you don't appear to understand these principles, I should (in good conscience) withdraw from the conversation since no honest dialogue is occurring.  However, since I do really want to hear your answers to my questions, I will persist, and once my questions are answered, I will have all the information necessary to formulate my answer to your original question.
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« Reply #60 on: November 29, 2007, 10:56:00 AM »

Just an observation ...

This could have been a really interesting thread.  Except for the juvenile "Lalalalala I'm not listening.  I don't have to answer you.  You're not the boss of me." behaviour exhibited.  Sorry to see such an interesting discussion derailed by childish tantrums.
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« Reply #61 on: November 29, 2007, 11:41:48 AM »

As a point of clarification, His Eminence Met. Anthony of San Francisco, of blessed memory, did tonsure a few women readers. I've heard that other Bishops have done so as well, though I don't know other specific situations.

For which he was criticized by more than just Internet forum folks.
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« Reply #62 on: November 29, 2007, 11:53:15 AM »

For which he was criticized by more than just Internet forum folks.
We are talking about the Orthodox Church here....Bishops are criticised no matter what they do.
We even remove Bishops who are Saints from their positions as Bishops!
And if I recall correctly, St. Nektarios also faced criticism from the Archbishop of Athens for tonsuring two female subdeacons.
I don't think I know of one single Bishop who hasn't been criticized for a decision at one time or another!
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« Reply #63 on: November 29, 2007, 12:31:43 PM »

There is also the question concerning whether or not women and in particular women readers should have their heads covered while in Church. Before Vatican II in the RC Church, women covered their heads in Church, but this is no longer generally observed, at least in the USA, except by those members of a small Traditional group of the Church, where the old Latin Mass is celebrated. However, I noticed that at an  Old Calendar Orthodox Church in our locality, all of the women do wear headcovering. 
I guess, then that generally, in the USA, women, even if they are readers, and even if they were tonsured as someone as mentioned has happened, they would not be required to wear headcovering in an Orthodox Church?

Yes. There is no requirement for a woman to cover her head in church. Most Orthodox jurisdictions leave it to the conscience of the woman to decide if she wants to cover her head.
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« Reply #64 on: November 29, 2007, 12:34:54 PM »

So am I.  And I am perfectly happy with having a female boss, a female church warden, etc.  I have written quite a bit about this stuff in other threads and I don't really want to re-invent my wheel here, so to speak.

I have no problems with female readers.  In some cases a small mission parish may not have the choice.  However, I do have problems with female Eucharistic ministers.  This I feel is more of a problem than readers.  Only Priests and Deacons should be handling the Body and Blood of Christ.  In the RCC, are female Eucharistic ministers allowed to give out communion if they are in their period?   Its a "blood" issue. Even altar boys who may cut their finger prior to Liturgy are not allowed to serve on the altar.
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« Reply #65 on: November 29, 2007, 12:38:24 PM »

We are talking about the Orthodox Church here....Bishops are criticised no matter what they do.
We even remove Bishops who are Saints from their positions as Bishops!
And if I recall correctly, St. Nektarios also faced criticism from the Archbishop of Athens for tonsuring two female subdeacons.
I don't think I know of one single Bishop who hasn't been criticized for a decision at one time or another!

Yep. How else to keep to the path? Can't call a synod for everything.
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« Reply #66 on: November 29, 2007, 12:41:09 PM »

However, I do have problems with female Eucharistic ministers.

Just a nit-pick about terminology.  The proper term for the laity who assist in the distribution of the Holy Eucharist is, Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. 

Eucharistic Ministers, are technically speaking, priests, who are the "Ordinary Ministers" of the Eucharist.
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« Reply #67 on: November 29, 2007, 12:48:10 PM »

Just a nit-pick about terminology.  The proper term for the laity who assist in the distribution of the Holy Eucharist is, Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. 

Eucharistic Ministers, are technically speaking, priests, who are the "Ordinary Ministers" of the Eucharist.

The results are the same in spite of what names you attach to them.
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« Reply #68 on: November 29, 2007, 12:57:58 PM »

Yes. There is no requirement for a woman to cover her head in church. Most Orthodox jurisdictions leave it to the conscience of the woman to decide if she wants to cover her head.
Many modern Churches today don't follow the word of God as given in  1 Corinthians 11:2-16
 where headcovering is mandated for women. However, I see that the Old Calendar Orthodox and the Traditional group of Catholics do follow the Bible in this regard.
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« Reply #69 on: November 29, 2007, 12:59:40 PM »

The results are the same in spite of what names you attach to them.

I was just clarifying (for those who are not Roman Catholic) what names the Church attaches to them.  I'm sorry that bothered you.  I do not disagree with your assessment of why women should not be an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion.  I am, in fact, opposed to all but the most judicious and sparing use of any EMHC.   

But when we confuse the terminology we can seriously compromise and confuse the issue.
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« Reply #70 on: November 29, 2007, 01:02:38 PM »

I was just clarifying (for those who are not Roman Catholic) what names the Church attaches to them.  I'm sorry that bothered you.  I do not disagree with your assessment of why women should not be an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion.  I am, in fact, opposed to all but the most judicious and sparing use of any EMHC.   

But when we confuse the terminology we can seriously compromise and confuse the issue.

No, Im sorry I came across so short. I should have explained my answer more. Anyway,  we both agree that the dispensing of Eucharist should remain the sole propriety of the Priest.
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« Reply #71 on: November 29, 2007, 01:07:21 PM »

Anyway,  we both agree that the dispensing of Eucharist should remain the sole propriety of the Priest.
Would you say then that the Catholic Church and Pope Benedict are wrong when they allow women to dispense the Eucharist and even more to conduct the Communion service? And women perform these functions in the Catholic Church with no headcovering as mandated by 1 Corinthians 11:2-16.
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« Reply #72 on: November 29, 2007, 01:12:58 PM »

Would you say then that the Catholic Church and Pope Benedict are wrong when they allow women to dispense the Eucharist and even more to conduct the Communion service? And women perform these functions in the Catholic Church with no headcovering as mandated by 1 Corinthians 11:2-16.


I am not JoeS (obviously) but I would say that very human people (priests and laity alike) make a grave error when they over use (and abuse) the permission granted by the Holy See to use Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.
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« Reply #73 on: November 29, 2007, 01:15:56 PM »

Would you say then that the Catholic Church and Pope Benedict are wrong when they allow women to dispense the Eucharist and even more to conduct the Communion service?


Excuse my shortness, but my answer is a resounding YES.
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« Reply #74 on: November 29, 2007, 01:18:17 PM »

Many modern Churches today don't follow the word of God as given in  1 Corinthians 11:2-16
 where headcovering is mandated for women. However, I see that the Old Calendar Orthodox and the Traditional group of Catholics do follow the Bible in this regard.

I believe it is best to leave it to the conscience of a woman and not mandate it. It is ironic but a group of women who wore headcoverings in one of our Antiochian parishes were a part of the group who rebelled against the authority of my bishop. And this group rebelled due to pride in their extreme praxis. Headcoverings do not guarantee a woman will submit to her bishop's authority.
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« Reply #75 on: November 29, 2007, 01:46:41 PM »

As a point of clarification, His Eminence Met. Anthony of San Francisco, of blessed memory, did tonsure a few women readers. I've heard that other Bishops have done so as well, though I don't know other specific situations.

Ah yes, you are quite right.  Thanks for refreshing my memory.
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« Reply #76 on: November 29, 2007, 01:48:32 PM »

Not to get off subject here but I have never heard of women tonsured as readers.  That really blew me away.  I'm in the Diocese of the South OCA and Archbishop Dimitri is pretty darn strict and traditional (thank goodness).  I and other women have read informally in church during Vespers but I've never ever seen a woman reading the Epistles during Divine Liturgy.  

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« Reply #77 on: November 29, 2007, 01:52:24 PM »

And if I recall correctly, St. Nektarios also faced criticism from the Archbishop of Athens for tonsuring two female subdeacons.

Right, I remember this, now that you bring it up.  Was this blessing of two female subdeacons St. Nektarios' way of trying to re-introduce what he saw at the time as the female diaconate?
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« Reply #78 on: November 29, 2007, 02:04:05 PM »

I have no problems with female readers.

I won't go on about my reasons for having grave reservations about this, becasue I would be repeating the arguments I've made in previous threads. 

Quote
 In some cases a small mission parish may not have the choice.

I would at least partly agree with this.

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 However, I do have problems with female Eucharistic ministers.  This I feel is more of a problem than readers.  Only Priests and Deacons should be handling the Body and Blood of Christ.  In the RCC, are female Eucharistic ministers allowed to give out communion if they are in their period?   Its a "blood" issue. Even altar boys who may cut their finger prior to Liturgy are not allowed to serve on the altar.

Suffice it to say that I have also discussed an issue very similar to this one at great length on at least one other thread.  I don't mean to be uncharitible, but I believe your position on the "blood" issue, though certainly one held in more than a few circles, is a dangerously judaising distortion of Holy Tradition.  Moreover, there is quite good evidence to suggest that female deacons in the first millenium brought Communion to sick women.  Having said this, in the context of the Divine Liturgy there is no precedent for women distributing Holy Communion to the faithful, and in this context, this is one reason why I would oppose it in that setting.
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« Reply #79 on: November 29, 2007, 02:04:58 PM »

I believe it is best to leave it to the conscience of a woman and not mandate it. It is ironic but a group of women who wore headcoverings in one of our Antiochian parishes were a part of the group who rebelled against the authority of my bishop. And this group rebelled due to pride in their extreme praxis. Headcoverings do not guarantee a woman will submit to her bishop's authority.

It was an incident like this that disabused me of being a "traditionalist."  For the sake of a few external devotions people were willing to lie and deceive a bishop.  And really it become moral to do almost anything for the cause.  Somehow the actual traditional message of the Gospel and the basics of Orthodox ecclesiology seem to have gotten lost in the traditionalist movement. 
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« Reply #80 on: November 29, 2007, 02:19:53 PM »

It was an incident like this that disabused me of being a "traditionalist."  For the sake of a few external devotions people were willing to lie and deceive a bishop.  And really it become moral to do almost anything for the cause.  Somehow the actual traditional message of the Gospel and the basics of Orthodox ecclesiology seem to have gotten lost in the traditionalist movement. 

I agree with your thoughts on how they had lost the message of the Gospel and  ecclesiology. It is so sad because many of them started out as evangelicals who treasured the Gospel. Moderation is so important. Walking the fine line of balance is crucial.
Well, they may want to think of themselves as "traditionalists" but in reality they are still Protestants in their heart. And that is the real irony of some who take a hard "traditionalist" stance.

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« Reply #81 on: November 29, 2007, 03:15:02 PM »

I have no problems with female readers.  In some cases a small mission parish may not have the choice.  However, I do have problems with female Eucharistic ministers.  This I feel is more of a problem than readers.  Only Priests and Deacons should be handling the Body and Blood of Christ.  In the RCC, are female Eucharistic ministers allowed to give out communion if they are in their period?   Its a "blood" issue. Even altar boys who may cut their finger prior to Liturgy are not allowed to serve on the altar.

I am not quite sure what this thread is about; I have not read through the posts. I wnat to say that hwta you are saying here is absolutely true.

As a Deacon myself cuts or opened wounds on the body will keep any priest or deacon from the communion.

Also; it seems to me that 'orthodox' women (I mean women who do not think or have interests in modern idiology or feminism in its many forms which has blanketed over the whole western world especially where these issues will does or may impact the purity of the holy orthodox church....visa-ve "Todays Women") have nay interest with not wearing head covering or not speaking in the sancturary.

In the world I am in orthodox women are the ones who are the strongest in keeping the traditions holy and unchanged. We have "orthodox" women on the other hand who are feminist minded and akin to the "Todays Women" thinking. These are very few and usually leave the church to hang out with the protestants since their is little to no audience for their "movement" among the orthodox memebers.

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« Reply #82 on: November 29, 2007, 03:29:45 PM »


Suffice it to say that I have also discussed an issue very similar to this one at great length on at least one other thread.  I don't mean to be uncharitible, but I believe your position on the "blood" issue, though certainly one held in more than a few circles, is a dangerously judaising distortion of Holy Tradition.  Moreover, there is quite good evidence to suggest that female deacons in the first millenium brought Communion to sick women.  Having said this, in the context of the Divine Liturgy there is no precedent for women distributing Holy Communion to the faithful, and in this context, this is one reason why I would oppose it in that setting.

The Issue of Blood is important and yes it does have something to do with the "archaich" Jewish tradition.  It is an Orthodox Tradition (large T) as well.

Why do new mothers need to be churched after having a baby?  Why cant she come to church right after having the child?  Why, the issue of Blood.  Now, I will admit that I am not familiar with all the parameters of why the Blood issue is so important but it is Orthodox and I feel all should comply with it.  Unless I am in error, which I believe I am not, the blood issue will even prevent a wounded priest from celebrating Liturgy.

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« Reply #83 on: November 29, 2007, 03:44:58 PM »

God bless !

Women should cover the head and should be dressed proper but men too, often I read how women should be dressed but seldom about men. Proper dressing of both is needed !

When a women is reading in church or chanting - she should be dresses as it is proper for that rank.

Perhpas it is a bit off topic but I liked it:

St. Kosmas Aitolos:

God Created Women Equal to Men

WHEN GOD MADE MAN, he took a rib from him and made woman and he gave her to him as a companion. God created her equal with man and not inferior.

"How do you regard your women here?"

"Inferior."

"My brethren, if you want to be better than women, you must do better works than they, otherwise what does it profit us if women do better works and go to paradise while we go to hell?"

We are men and we act worse. I see that wherever I travel and teach and speak a word about women, they immediately listen to me and discard their earrings and rings as superfluous. I see them rush to confession.


In CHRIST
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« Reply #84 on: November 30, 2007, 12:42:14 AM »

For the record (I'm not going to do any quoting because this is just my response to the ongoing topics):

I have a degree from the seminary as well as training in both Byzantine music and Western music.  I am often at the chantstand and have read the Epistle more times than I can count, at the Seminary, no less, as directed by not only my spiritual father and the other priests, but the chanter (who happens to be the archon protopsalti for the entire Archdiocese of America- arguably the greatest chanter alive in the world today-- can I get an amen, Cleveland??!!) Smiley  I'm not saying all this to establish myself as an authority, rather to just point out that there are different interpretations of the issue of women readers.  Obviously those instructing our priests today believe that women should be allowed to read.  And both another woman chanter and I have been complemented on several occasions on our chanting of the Epistles by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America.  I have not been tonsured, nor do I expect or wish to be.  But I do know well trained (properly dressed) women who are tonsured, and I personally have no problem with it.  I DON'T wish to see women ordained to any rank of clergy, and would be shocked and appalled if it happened.  I do believe that through my experience, as related here, I have answered the two questions that Cleveland posed, which I think are an appropriate response to the OP.

As far as headcoverings...
St. Paul was writing to the Corinthians, a specific community with a specific problem- namely that the women in that community were doing something that was disturbing and unconventional with their head covering (by the way, it is debated among NT scholars as to whether this passage refers to a head covering or the way they actually wore their hair).  What they were doing was not a Jewish custom, more likely a Gentile custom.  St. Paul was doing nothing more than setting THAT PARTICULAR GROUP OF WOMEN straight.  I do believe in leaving it to the women to decide whether they are comfortable covering their heads.  I personally wear my hair appropriately for church, and do not feel that a head covering is needed to be pious and to pray.  I know women who cover their heads and wear pants to church.  What sense does that make?  St. Paul was writing in the context of a specific time, and I think to say that a woman is damned if she doesn't wear a scarf over her head is seriously underestimating the love and mercy of God, and taking St. Paul out of context. 

As far as the "issue of blood," which I know is covered thoroughly in another thread... but I'm new to this forum and since it was brought up here...
I'm always shocked by the discussion of this issue.  We so obviously know more about the female body than they did when the canons were written (as in, the blood from a woman's menstration was in utero before being flushed out!! This is not the same as an altar boy with a paper cut).  And it always floors me when people pass blanket judgements like "no woman should receive the Eucharist when on her period" or "all women should cover their heads."  My personal belief is twofold:
1. I can't imagine why anyone would want women to abstain from the Holy Eucharist because of their body's natural functions, as though those functions are something bad, rather than God's perfect creation.
2.  It is SO TOTALLY between me and my spiritual father!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As always, I pray I'm not offending...  Please forgive me if I am.
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« Reply #85 on: November 30, 2007, 01:04:26 AM »

The Issue of Blood is important and yes it does have something to do with the "archaich" Jewish tradition.  It is an Orthodox Tradition (large T) as well.

Why do new mothers need to be churched after having a baby?  Why cant she come to church right after having the child?  Why, the issue of Blood.  Now, I will admit that I am not familiar with all the parameters of why the Blood issue is so important but it is Orthodox and I feel all should comply with it.  Unless I am in error, which I believe I am not, the blood issue will even prevent a wounded priest from celebrating Liturgy.

For God's sake, are we talking about menstruation AGAIN?

In all these years of debating this issue on this forum I have yet to get a half way (or even 1/100th of the way) intelligeble answer from you traditionalists on one question I have on the matter (go figure), perhaps I'll get one now (though I doubt it):

How long does it take the body and blood of Christ to be sufficiently deluded so that it's ok for one to bleed? Good theology would insist that it sanctifies everything it touches, so if you consume the Eucharist and prick your finger 80 years later, it should be no different than than consuming it while bleeding on the ground (on, I don't know, say a battlefield, yes Priests will give communion to the dying in war, and a fair number of those deaths are pretty bloody).

The theology of this argument is abhorent (heretical?) and the reasoning is ridiculous, so why are people still making it? I guess as Christians we do have a history of people advocating absurd theology, but couldn't you find a better way to be a traditionalist?
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« Reply #86 on: November 30, 2007, 01:15:35 AM »

The Issue of Blood is important and yes it does have something to do with the "archaich" Jewish tradition. 

I see. So as far as you are concerned, we should still be circumcising our baby boys, we should never eat pork, we should never do any work beginning Friday evening....oh, and especially, I would presume, keep women in a separate room while they are menstruating so you are not defiled by having contact with them, etc., etc..... Funny, I thought that on Great and Holy Friday the Church paraphrases St. Paul and proclaims "by your precious blood you have redeemed us from the curse of the law."   The point is that the coming of Christ in the flesh has fulfilled the law, but it has also completely supplanted it.  He has "brought us up to heaven, and has endowed us with (his) Kingdom which is yet to come." (From the anaphora of the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.)  Christ brings a radical newness in proclaiming the advent of the Kingdom.  We live in that same apostolic age when people marvelled at Christ healing and casting out demons and responded in astonishment:  "What is this?  A new teaching!  Even the unclean spirits are subject to him!.....We have never seen anything like this before!"  Jewish custom has nothing to do with Holy Tradition, which is the life of the Holy Spirit in the Church, and not "custom" at all.

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It is an Orthodox Tradition (large T) as well.

No, it isn't, for reasons given above.  Who told you this, if I might ask?

Quote
Why do new mothers need to be churched after having a baby?  Why cant she come to church right after having the child?  Why, the issue of Blood.

I don't know where this service of "re-admittance" to the Church comes from.  I am, however, willing to bet that it was at least indirectly inspired by a period of dangerous judaisation in the 11th century that has obscured the meaning of Tradition in the Church.  I believe that the Church is inerrant in her essence, but I have seen quite a few examples of degenerate liturgical practices that do not effect the overall inerrancy of the Church that endure to the present day (please don't get me started on that Wink) and I would posit that this is one of them.  Don't take my word for it.  How about this prayer from the Book of Needs? (Abridged version.  St. Tikhon's Seminary Press, 2002.)   It basically blames the woman to whom the misfortune happened for having a miscarriage!!!:

"O Master, Lord our God, Who was born of the Holy Theotokos and Ever-virgin Mary, and Who, as an infant, lay in the manger: According to Your great mercy, be merciful to Your servant, N., who is in sin, having been involved in the loss of a life, whether voluntary or involuntary, for she has miscarried that which was conceived in her.  Forgive her transgressions, both voluntary and involuntary, and protect her from every snare of the Devil.  Cleanse her stain and heal her infirmities.  And grant to her, O Lover of Mankind, health and strength of soul and body.  Guard her with a shining Angel from all assaults of the unseen demons; Yea, O Lord, from sickness and infirmity.  Purify her from bodily uncleanness and the various troubles within her womb.  By Your many mercies lead her up in humbled body from the bed on which she lies.  For we all have been born in sins and transgressions, and all of us are defiled in Your sight, O Lord.  Therefore, with fear we cry out and say: look down from heaven and behold the feebleness of us who are condemned.  Forgive this, Your servant, N., who is in sin, having been involved in the loss of a life, whether voluntary or involuntary, for she has miscarried that which was conceived in her.  And, according to Your great mercy as the Good God Who loves mankind, be merciful and forgive all those who are here present and who have touched her.  For You alone have the power to remit sins and transgressions, through the prayers of Your Most-pure Mother and of all the Saints.  
     For to You is due all glory, honour and worship, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.  Amen."

Would you feel comfortable having this prayer read over your wife after the two of you had endured the terrible tragedy of having lost a child?  To me, this smacks of misogyny and borders on abuse.  But according to some, since it is a current part of our service books, it must be okay, because nothing degenerate or wrong could ever possibly enter the liturgical life of the Church.  No doubt you noted the reference to "cleansing" the woman of her "uncleanness", similar to what one finds in the churching prayers.  In additon there are prayers for "forgiveness" for those who have "touched" the woman in question, as if we still live in times when touching menstruating women or injured people or corpses etc. renders us ritually impure!  I submit that both the churching prayers and this prayer are inspired by the same judaising tendency that waxes and wanes in the Church periodically, but is completely foreign to Holy Tradition.  

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....the blood issue will even prevent a wounded priest from celebrating Liturgy.

I reject this argument for the same reasons I gave above.  
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« Reply #87 on: November 30, 2007, 01:22:42 AM »

The issue is being respectful to the body and blood of Christ, not trying to legalistically define how long it remains in the bloodstream.  I would say that one should be careful the day they commune; if that day they cut themselves, they should wipe the blood and burn that rag. After a day, then it's not an issue. The point of a day is simply to allow some time to have passed. Whether some particle is there in the blood still or not is not the point of the discussion.

As far as the 80 years example, while I am sure that sounds good to GisC as he is writing it, I hate to say it but it doesn't sound so great and convincing to me as I read it. Sorry buddy.  The Eucharist I would say dissipates into the natural elements when it is no longer recognizable as such, because it has moved outside of its function. One of course does not dispense of the water that is used to clean the vessels on a place where people walk, out of respect, but to say it is "in" that area of ground more than "other" areas is a bit absurd and again, missing the point.

As someone so immersed in secular notions of respect and culture, you should be amenable to these rituals of respect. Smiley
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« Reply #88 on: November 30, 2007, 01:25:19 AM »

I would urge posters not to discuss menstruation. I mean come on.
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« Reply #89 on: November 30, 2007, 01:37:59 AM »

I am simply not going to argue in detail with my friend Pravoslavbob since we have very different presumptions.  However, I would like to ask you a general question about your methodology if you don't mind.  Don't you think that perhaps you are creating a position, namely, that anything that has to do with blood is a Judaizing tendency, and as you say, "completely foreign to Holy Tradition" and then rejecting anything in history contrary to your position in a blanket fashion?

I would submit that the evidence that there is a canon against eating blood in meat, along with the fact that priests are not supposed to celebrate liturgy while bleeding (whether you reject the idea or not does not change the fact that this has been the understanding of just about every priest I know including my own bishop) or the fact that we are not the only "apostolic" church where one might hear of the rule concerning communing while menstruating (which, I am simply not going to get into the rights or wrongs of, again, I mean that is not really a topic for the forum since it's a pastoral issue, but I am just pointing out we are not solo in having that idea), leads me to believe that you might just be ignoring some of the very evidence that contradicts your position. Would you therefore say that all of the above is just judaizing stuff that crept in and got past all those Holy Fathers? And is there any historical evidence (I am not demanding a citation, I'll take your word for it) or modern scholarly work (I would be quite interested in that) that addresses this judaizing tendency hypothesis?
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