From Keble: One does encounter "orthodox" women-- that is, those that aren't enlisted in the Great Army of Liberal Activism. In this area they are surely rare because Maryland is a liberal diocese and Washignton is an aggressively liberal diocese. But they are out there.
One may encounter orthodox women in the ECUSA, but not as priestesses. It is decidedly heterodox
to be a priestess or even to believe that women may be ordained as such.
But a woman cannot even bother, because if she were to approach, she would be dismissed-- not as an individual person, but just as a woman. "No Women Need Apply." And now, not only are her hopes dashed, but she is somehow defective for whatever impulse led her to seek this.
Atheists and pagans need not apply either. They are dismissed - not as individual persons, but just as atheists or pagans. I am not likening women to atheists or pagans. I am simply saying that there are whole classes of persons who are excluded from the priesthood, or should be.
God has spoken in Scripture and through the Church: "no women priests or bishops."
Some folks may not like that limitation or restriction, but there it is.
From Jonathan: If you think it's unfair that woman are denied this cross, don't take it up with the Church, take it up with God who hasn't called them.
From Keble: But you have now painted this in the color of the church calling priests in the name of God. So to take it up with God, it must be taken up with the church.
I agree with you there. That is why St. Paul called the Church "the pillar and ground of the truth" (1 Tim. 3:15).
Thankfully, the Church has
dealt with this issue: no female priests or bishops.
Also, we are still stuck in the same problem. People are continuing to try and engage me as an advocate of ordaining women. I won't take that position.
What have you been doing, then?
I realize you have couched much of it in phrases like "feminists would argue," but you have acted as their advocate.
From Keble: I simply do not have the time, and I don't think it's my place to do so either here or for that matter in my own church. It is easy enough to tell me, over the internet, that other people won't be ordained, to state a will of God that, well, doesn't affect them anyway for the most part. There's no risk in not engaging my humanity because, after all, I am not a woman.
Well, debating on the internet hardly requires a lot of courage, no matter what position one takes.
I will tell women they should not be priests or bishops. But Orthodox women know that already.
They also know that this is not demeaning to women. After all, God made the greatest human being who ever lived, aside from the Son of God Himself, a woman: the Blessed Mother of God.
How could the saintliest priest of bishop who ever lived ever hope to equal her?
From Keble: And thus it becomes easy enough to slide right into the sin of characterizing these women as "man-haters and lesbians". You are wrong, Linus-- I did not characterize male priests as mysogynists.
You obviously misunderstood what I wrote.
I did not say that all
Episcopal priestesses are lesbians and manhaters. You characterized the males-only clergy as having a history of promoting misogyny. I merely asked if the goal of ordaining female clergy was to balance the scale with a few lesbians and man-haters.
You took issue with my question, so I wrote, "If
all male clerics are misogynists, then all female clerics are lesbians and man-haters."
Obviously, "lesbians and man-haters" was part of the dependent clause. It could only be true (in the sentence I wrote) if
all male clerics are misogynists.
No, I don't believe all priestesses are lesbians and man-haters (although it would not surprise me if a significant proportion of them were); but they are heterodox.
Indeed, I would not want to characterize the opposition in such sweeping terms at all. That is not engaging them as people. And if I did, it would not excuse your language.
Well, as I explained above, you misunderstood my language.
And I think you have characterized the opposition in sweeping terms by associating us with misogynism and misogynist clerics and likening us to those who opposed, first, the abolition of slavery and, second, black civil rights.
Your arguments have been phrased in the familiar liberal terms of rights and grievances and power.
And the last of those, power
, is the key to the whole issue of the ordination of women.
I've twice used a strange word to describe this, and not a single person has remarked upon that I've noticed. And it is a very terrible word indeed.
Sorry. Missed it.
From Keble: What I sense is that I am being used simply to trot out the Standard Arguments. Yes, plenty of feminists have a power problem, Serge-- I've complained about that myself, and I think that's exactly what went wrong with Jane Dixon's abbreviated bishopric. But that's again reducing women to slogans.
Would new arguments make you happy?
The arguments are pretty standard because they are based on a very old Tradition.
I don't know what Hopko has actually done in engaging real women about this. From what little I see I have some hope that he's doing a better job than is happening in this discussion.
I don't think a lot of Orthodox women are interested in the priesthood, so it is quite likely that Fr. Hopko only addressed the issue because of the very publicized cases within the Episcopal communion and because he was asked.
Really, if it were not for the presence of an Anglican or two on this web site, this thread would have died an early death. The ordination of women is just not a hot issue among the Orthodox.