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Author Topic: WOMEN’S ORDINATION:AN ORTHODOX RESPONSE  (Read 11129 times) Average Rating: 0
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Keble
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« Reply #45 on: June 17, 2003, 08:19:39 AM »

Serge brings up an interesting point about feminism. Every single clergywomen I've met (ELCA and ECUSA) with one glaring exception has been a middle aged feminist without an ounce of orthodoxy.

Well, as far as the "middle-aged" part is concerned: if we're talking about Episcopalians, the reason why they're all middle-aged is because, as a rule, ALL Episcopal priests are middle-aged or older. Ordination has become a second career for lawyers and the like because the Process has been turned into an expensive time trial which requires a certain wealth simply to endure. Of course, being married to a lawyer works too.

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.
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Keble
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« Reply #46 on: June 17, 2003, 09:16:31 AM »

Do you really think that if God was calling women to serve as priests, that men would have been able to stand in His way for almost 2000 years?  Do you really think that the whole Church has been that blind to the Holy Spirit?  If so how does Christ's promise to always be with us apply?

Um, mystically?

This is about to dive deep into some extremely basic theology, and I just don't have enough time for that.  It will have to suffice to say that the world does not, as a rule, show God exerting his will so inexorably.

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Not ordaining females is not disqualifying them... it's not a matter of a rite that every human has to be considered for ordination, it's a matter of calling.

But there's more to it than that. Calling is a complicated business, not merely the hierarchy descending from the heavens with the latest list of candidates from on high. It would not surprise me to learn that most commonly it is the potential candidate who first approaches his priest. Priests are rather commonly oblivious to the spiritual resources that lurk about their parishes, not necessarily because they are stupid or spiritually blind, but because they are preoccupied. And so a man one day approaches his priest, tentatively or confidently, and with grace, the priest works through this with the candidate, and perhaps by grace, one day the bishop's hands are lain upon his head.

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.

As it happens, I know the circumstances of Jane Dixon's calling. She did not approach a priest at all. The issue of her son being ordained arose, and a theologian approached her and told her to seek ordination and quit worrying about her son.

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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.

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.

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. 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.

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. 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. 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. 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.

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.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2003, 01:45:33 PM by Keble » Logged
Linus7
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« Reply #47 on: June 18, 2003, 11:25:38 PM »

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

You won't?

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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

« Last Edit: June 19, 2003, 12:56:09 AM by Linus7 » Logged

The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith and in no way to deviate from the established doctrine of the Fathers.
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Keble
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« Reply #48 on: June 19, 2003, 01:18:43 AM »

I have to bail out of this discussion. It is taking too much of my time to craft responses to this, and it's cuting into my sleep.
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Linus7
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« Reply #49 on: June 19, 2003, 01:22:46 AM »

I have to bail out of this discussion. It is taking too much of my time to craft responses to this, and it's cuting into my sleep.


Understood, and I appreciate the kindness!  Grin

When I saw that you had responded, I was afraid you had responded and that I would also have to respond!

I do enjoy arguing with you, Keble (may God have mercy on my soul!).

You are an extremely bright guy and really not a bad sort.

May God bless and guide you!
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The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith and in no way to deviate from the established doctrine of the Fathers.
- Pope St. Hormisdas
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