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Author Topic: Church of England votes No on women bishops  (Read 2121 times) Average Rating: 0
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minasoliman
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« Reply #45 on: November 21, 2012, 04:57:48 PM »

and not to mention the temporal head of the CofE is a woman.
Well that's the problem with the Church of England, and any other Church that identifies a political head as a head of the Church.  Perhaps the beginning of her downfall was her establishment from the start.

Except they are at times correct.
I don't think it's ever correct to make a political figure a spiritual head.  Neither do I think a spiritual figure should take political office either for that matter.

Of course, the easy counter example to this is someone bringing up Casesar/Tzar/Byz Emperor.

True, very true.  That's why I didn't want to restrict my statement to the CofE alone.

and not to mention the temporal head of the CofE is a woman.
Well that's the problem with the Church of England, and any other Church that identifies a political head as a head of the Church.  Perhaps the beginning of her downfall was her establishment from the start.

Except they are at times correct.
I don't think it's ever correct to make a political figure a spiritual head.  Neither do I think a spiritual figure should take political office either for that matter.

I agree. But that doesn't make them wrong all the time.

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« Reply #46 on: November 21, 2012, 05:42:59 PM »

I say good for them.  

Someone forgot to send you the memo about the proper Orthodoxical response. Anything to do with Anglicans/Episcopalians is bad. If they do something bad then it's bad and should be treated with disgusted condescension. If they do something good then it's just a delay or mistake that will be made bad in due time.

If they're already in communion with women bishops, and have women priests, it really is delaying the inevitable, and incoherent as well.

The incoherent is every argument I read against women in the priesthood and episcopate.

The only decent argument is one for pastoral reasons: to suffer the weak's need, in the manner St. Paul counseled those in Romans.

Nothing to schism over, but nothing against it.

Do I have to source hearsay? Cause Fr. Alexander Schmemann (who every one in the OCA and those Orthodox celebrating American Thanksgiving must think of this time of year) has nice quip regarding this issue, but I've only heard it from a couple of his students.

And Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh make some rather pointed and sourced statements on the matter himself.

Truth be told, my problems with women's ordination have less to do with theology and ecclesiology and more to do with guilt-by-association and anecdotal evidence. Simply put: I have never seen an example of an ordained woman who was truly "called to the ministry". Every single example I have ever seen has become a priest, not from love of God and a desire to share His Word, but (a) because now they can and they're going to show that old boys club a thing or two, feminist politics becomes the evangelistic talking point, Christ Resurrected is completely ignored; and (b) to advance a wishy-washy syncretic religion where Buddhism and Islam are just as valid expressions of Divine Revelation as the Christian faith.

Could the Church someday allow the ordination of women? Perhaps, I'm certainly not qualified to say one way or the other. Should it, so long as the main drive behind said ordination is "women are just as good as men" and not "does this particular woman exhibit the Christian nature and pastoral gifts we expect in a priest"? Absolutely not. Of course, the main problem is that the same woman who exhibits a Christian nature will have the humility to adhere to Tradition and not seek advancement.

I think these are great points. But from day one people have had to stand up to "tradition" to show the Church the truth.

These are terribly difficult things. And I get your point and am sympathetic to it, although I think you put too much on the accepting "tradition" aspect, when truth at times arises from discord, if you believe St. Paul, who did a lot of things against "tradition".

Great post, especially your candor.



Like the discussion - let's keep it going!

When I hear people scoff at Met. KALLISTOS's statement of women's ordination still "an open question", I think those scoffing just don't understand why he says it.  It is similar to the reasoning for arguments against homosexual activity.  Unfortunately for us (the Church), there really hasn't been well-explained, concise arguments against these issues from a theological/ecleisiological/etc. point of view.  When someone questions why, there should be a cogent (and somewhat concise) answer that can be easily put forth to "close" the question.  With our various languages/cultures and (dis-)organized religion, there is a real challenge to answer the "Why can't/not/isn't/etc ...?" difficult questions.  Too often we just get the scoffing, "well that's icky/unnatural/wrong/unbiblicaletc" and just gives room for the one who asks the question to give an easy counter example.

On Amazon, a reviewer (A very balanced and grounded approach... March 9, 2011 By Justin R. Cannon) made the following comments on The Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church by Elisabeth Behr-Sigel and +Kallistos.

"In Metropolitan Kallistos' section, he rightly points out two crucial facts: 1) The apostolic order of `deaconess' has not been abolished, but has simply fallen into disuse. All that would be needed is a revival of this order with regard to female deacons. 2) As he writes, "On the subject of women and the priesthood, there exists as of yet no pan-Orthodox statement, possessing definitive ecumenical authority" (p51).

He argues, throughout his essay, therefore, that the possibility of ordaining women to the priesthood in the Orthodox Church remains an open question, not to be decided either way with haste. Concerning the female diaconate, he draws our attention to, amongst other things, the conclusions that came out of the 1998 inter-Orthodox symposium in Rhodes which expressed: "The apostolic order of deaconess should be revived...Such a revival would represent a positive response to many of the needs and demands of the contemporary world in many spheres" (p59).

In exploring the issue of ordination of women to the priesthood in the Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Kallistos argues that the issue must be looked at not as a question of gender, but a question of gifts and charisms (i.e. spiritual graces). As such, he writes, "No woman, so it could be argued, should be excluded from the ordained priesthood simply because she is a woman; like a man, she should be judged by the Church on her personal suitability for this particular ministry" (p77). The question should not focus on her being a woman, but on whether or not women share the same suitability for this particular ministry." (my emphasis)
http://www.amazon.com/The-Ordination-Women-Orthodox-Church/dp/2825413364

I do have a problem with Metropolitan Kallistos' words as quoted (I will need to read the book in order to arrive at a better opinion). It seems to me that the Church must have a brand new revelation from the Lord to affirm his statement because neither the Holy Scriptures, nor the Church Fathers nor praxis to date would back him up. I just do not know (based strictly on the quotation above) how he can justify his position. Has anybody read the book and can shed some light on this question?
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« Reply #47 on: November 21, 2012, 05:50:00 PM »

I say good for them. 

Someone forgot to send you the memo about the proper Orthodoxical response. Anything to do with Anglicans/Episcopalians is bad. If they do something bad then it's bad and should be treated with disgusted condescension. If they do something good then it's just a delay or mistake that will be made bad in due time.

If they're already in communion with women bishops, and have women priests, it really is delaying the inevitable, and incoherent as well.

The incoherent is every argument I read against women in the priesthood and episcopate.

The only decent argument is one for pastoral reasons: to suffer the weak's need, in the manner St. Paul counseled those in Romans.

Nothing to schism over, but nothing against it.

Do I have to source hearsay? Cause Fr. Alexander Schmemann (who every one in the OCA and those Orthodox celebrating American Thanksgiving must think of this time of year) has nice quip regarding this issue, but I've only heard it from a couple of his students.

And Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh make some rather pointed and sourced statements on the matter himself.

Truth be told, my problems with women's ordination have less to do with theology and ecclesiology and more to do with guilt-by-association and anecdotal evidence. Simply put: I have never seen an example of an ordained woman who was truly "called to the ministry". Every single example I have ever seen has become a priest, not from love of God and a desire to share His Word, but (a) because now they can and they're going to show that old boys club a thing or two, feminist politics becomes the evangelistic talking point, Christ Resurrected is completely ignored; and (b) to advance a wishy-washy syncretic religion where Buddhism and Islam are just as valid expressions of Divine Revelation as the Christian faith.

Could the Church someday allow the ordination of women? Perhaps, I'm certainly not qualified to say one way or the other. Should it, so long as the main drive behind said ordination is "women are just as good as men" and not "does this particular woman exhibit the Christian nature and pastoral gifts we expect in a priest"? Absolutely not. Of course, the main problem is that the same woman who exhibits a Christian nature will have the humility to adhere to Tradition and not seek advancement.

I think these are great points. But from day one people have had to stand up to "tradition" to show the Church the truth.

These are terribly difficult things. And I get your point and am sympathetic to it, although I think you put too much on the accepting "tradition" aspect, when truth at times arises from discord, if you believe St. Paul, who did a lot of things against "tradition".

Great post, especially your candor.



Like the discussion - let's keep it going!

When I hear people scoff at Met. KALLISTOS's statement of women's ordination still "an open question", I think those scoffing just don't understand why he says it.  It is similar to the reasoning for arguments against homosexual activity.  Unfortunately for us (the Church), there really hasn't been well-explained, concise arguments against these issues from a theological/ecleisiological/etc. point of view.  When someone questions why, there should be a cogent (and somewhat concise) answer that can be easily put forth to "close" the question.  With our various languages/cultures and (dis-)organized religion, there is a real challenge to answer the "Why can't/not/isn't/etc ...?" difficult questions.  Too often we just get the scoffing, "well that's icky/unnatural/wrong/unbiblicaletc" and just gives room for the one who asks the question to give an easy counter example.

I think part of the reason that there isn't a concise argument is because all the problems you have mentioned are tied so deeply into the Orthodox theology of "image" as to make the pro-positions unthinkable. In a way it is like attacking basic arithmetic (but why does two plus two equal four?) when the Church involved has been so busy doing calculus that it has forgotten there was ever a problem at the arithmetic level.

The culture that is bringing these questions to the forefront is one that is incapable of understanding that not ordaining women has nothing to do with women not being made in the image of God or "in Christ there is no male and female" but rather in the very concept that the distinction between men and women IS part of the image of God. Of course, sometimes some of those asking the question DO get this, and so they start advancing theories such as the Divine Feminine (note how many denominations that support women's ordination are also those denominations pushing this theory the hardest). The funniest part to me is that this desire to claim a Divine Feminine is Humanism in it's truest form- the maleness of God is in direct relation to the femaleness of Man. If we start from this position, and from the idea of Christian behavior being that which conforms as closely as possible to the image of God, then these questions can be answered.  

In short, the Church needs to start teaching remedial math.
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« Reply #48 on: November 21, 2012, 06:10:26 PM »

The problem is there is no good theological reason for it.

Or I haven't seen one.

I've heard great apologetics about women being kept outside the priesthood, but never anything the approached it from a truly theological manner.

The reasons why many women might want to serve might be suspect, but that doesn't mean it is theologically incorrect.

Again, to beat a live horse, this all comes back to an Orthodox understanding of personhood.

Some have used that a little to argue for the exclusion of women (my beloved Fr. Thom) but in an utterly naive manner.

To me the onus is on the those who are against it as it can be easily argued this merely a cultural tradition.

The question concisely put:

Why is being male a necessary, albeit not sufficient condition, for the priesthood? (People love to harp, including my beloved Fr. Thom, on the insufficiency of being male, but they never adequately address the necessity other than: we don't know of it being done before.)

Which raises the much more difficult question even if the previous one can be addressed in some serious manner:

In virtue of what is someone a man?

Like all other questions in our time which turn to science, the answer is more confusing than ever and grows more so.

And if Fr. Thom took his own thought more seriously, he would have arrived at a different answer than his his own on whether women and men can serve as priest. Fr. Thom argues  within the Church men and women are the same. His argument is more than St. Paul's famous neither male nor female statement, but rather we ALL through entry into the Church become SONS of God because of own literal incorporation into the body of HIS ONLY SON.

Women and men both have the status of being SONS of God. Even that of the first born son with all its cultural notions and the like throughout the history of the Hebrews.

Ontologically we are all sons, so if you ontologically come to the point that only men can serve as priests, everyone is ontologically a male in the Church (in the nature of their relationship as a person to the Father).

Providentially, we have sex and gender which are quite confused and baffling things.

I am not sure if I buy Fr. Thom's argument, I am just using it as an example of how people even if they try to take this issue up in a theological manner don't take their own view seriously enough.

FWIW.



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« Reply #49 on: November 21, 2012, 06:11:48 PM »

In short, the Church needs to start teaching remedial math.

BAM said the lady!
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« Reply #50 on: November 21, 2012, 06:18:47 PM »

The problem is there is no good theological reason for it.

Or I haven't seen one.

I've heard great apologetics about women being kept outside the priesthood, but never anything the approached it from a truly theological manner.

The reasons why many women might want to serve might be suspect, but that doesn't mean it is theologically incorrect.

Again, to beat a live horse, this all comes back to an Orthodox understanding of personhood.

Some have used that a little to argue for the exclusion of women (my beloved Fr. Thom) but in an utterly naive manner.

To me the onus is on the those who are against it as it can be easily argued this merely a cultural tradition.

The question concisely put:

Why is being male a necessary, albeit not sufficient condition, for the priesthood? (People love to harp, including my beloved Fr. Thom, on the insufficiency of being male, but they never adequately address the necessity other than: we don't know of it being done before.)

Which raises the much more difficult question even if that one can be addressed in some serious manner:

In virtue of what is someone a man?

Like all other questions in our which turn to science, the answer is more confusing than ever and grows more so.

And if Fr. Thom took his own thought more seriously, he would have arrived at a different answer than his his own on whether women and men can serve as priest. Fr. Thom argues  within the Church men and women are the same. His argument is more than St. Paul's famous neither male nor female statement, but rather we ALL through entry into the Church become SONS of God because of own literal incorporation into the body of HIS ONLY SON.

Women and men both have the status of being SONS of God. Even that of the first born son with all its cultural notions and the like throughout the history of the Hebrews.

Ontologically we are all sons, so if you ontologically come to the point that only men can serve as priests, everyone is ontologically a male in the Church (in the nature of their relationship as a person to the Father).


Providentially, we have sex and gender which are quite confused and baffling things.

I am not sure if I buy Fr. Thom's argument, I am just using it as an example of how people even if they try to take this issue up in a theological manner don't take their own view seriously enough.

FWIW.





While on the one hand we are all (in Christ) Sons of God, on the other hand we are all the Bride of Christ. The male/female distinction, and the basis for all relations in relation to the Church are based on this. Husbands submit to the priest, wives submit to their husbands, children obey their parents; and going down the list all those in authority are required to serve and love those under their authority as Christ loves the Church. The maleness of the priesthood is based on the maleness of Christ, the priest stands in place of Christ for the Church and serves as his Icon. To ordain women is to mess about with this revelation. It is not so much theologically incorrect to do so, as iconically incorrect.
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« Reply #51 on: November 21, 2012, 06:27:35 PM »

While on the one hand we are all (in Christ) Sons of God, on the other hand we are all the Bride of Christ. The male/female distinction, and the basis for all relations in relation to the Church are based on this. Husbands submit to the priest, wives submit to their husbands, children obey their parents; and going down the list all those in authority are required to serve and love those under their authority as Christ loves the Church. The maleness of the priesthood is based on the maleness of Christ, the priest stands in place of Christ for the Church and serves as his Icon. To ordain women is to mess about with this revelation. It is not so much theologically incorrect to do so, as iconically incorrect.

A nice thought, although I have a lot of trouble with hierarchical language you believe to be theological founded within the household.

Nevertheless a solid point to point out.

Again, let me say I don't necessarily follow Fr. Thom's view, I was just taking it to its conclusion.

I think you aptly put your argument well by calling it one via the icon.

However to put that into some opposition (not saying you really think there is an opposition there, but nevetheless you do use that structure and I such structures are telling) the iconical and theological I think is problematic.

And you would have to still give an account of what makes a man a man. This is not a simple question.

For me, it gets back to the question of personhood. And I should get back to that thread on it.

Seriously, thanks for the thoughts. Very well put!
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« Reply #52 on: November 21, 2012, 06:47:04 PM »

We had another thread where these issues were talked about endlessly.  Some of the topics covered were:

1.  The roles of the Theotokos and the Forerunner in comparison to this subject
2.  The roles of women in the Church and in the household according to the Scriptures
3.  The roles of deaconesses in the ancient Church and the cultural context
4.  The cultural context of the roles of pagan priests as compared to the Christian presbyters
5.  The role of the Liturgy and the differences between the Liturgy celebrating the holy sacraments vs. the secular living outside a Liturgical setting
6.  The "Icon of Christ" question, and the debate on whether it should be confined to gender, or to extend to race if possible (shouldn't a priest be from the tribe of Judah for instance?)

These are all I can think of off the top of my head.  Quite a lengthy discussion and certainly a very important way of approaching this issue is to study these points I laid out above.

One of the other things that a friend suggested a loooong time ago to me as we were conversing on this issue was studying the ecclesiological theology of St. Ignatius, which convinced him why women cannot be ordained to the priesthood.  I've personally taken a more nuanced stand like HE Metropolitan Kalllistos.  That is not to say I support female priesthood.  But as I understand some of the historical restrictions to the priesthood in the ancient world, not merely just gender, but also marriage history, history of reasons for possible castration, history of being involved in wars or killing, etc.  In addition, many of the things we do in liturgy, the choice of the elements for the Eucharist, the choice of chrism, the proper form of praying, perhaps even proper form of writing icons, all of which can be put in the "restrictions" category of which none has been theologically explained fully or defended.  Therefore, the restriction of priesthood along with other sacramental venues need to be discussed further as well.  Why just female priesthood when we can also discuss a veteran?  Why weren't veterans allowed to be priests?  Why aren't those who voluntarily castrated themselves but repented later on can't be priests.  Why should we restrict ourselves to just wine to be the blood of Christ?

Also, another issue.  Why did the married episcopacy die down?  And for married priests, what does it mean that a married man, who both him and his wife make up "one body, soul, and spirit", become a priest in the context of his undying unity with his wife?

And I suppose the role of laity and clergy, and how both work together is also another point to address in this matter.

I guess, at this moment of the Church's stage in knowledge, we stand ignorant for the most part on these issues on a full theological level.  So until then, I probably would stand on the side of "humble mystery" to keep the "status quo" for the Orthodox Church, and I pray and fast so that the Holy Spirit can guide me, without jumping to conclusions for the sake of "human rights/equality."
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« Reply #53 on: November 21, 2012, 06:56:51 PM »

May I add that in the case of the CofE, the proverbial elephant in the room that needs to be discussed hand-in-hand with female priesthood is homosexuality.  While on the surface, they don't look like they have anything to do with each other, yet the theological arguments made to support female priesthood seem to also have an effect on the support of homosexual behavior.  Whether we like it or not, homosexuality will get dragged into this discussion as a polemic.
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« Reply #54 on: November 21, 2012, 07:17:42 PM »

Again, really nice to have you back mina.

Gotta link for that thread?
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« Reply #55 on: November 21, 2012, 07:27:50 PM »

Again, really nice to have you back mina.

Gotta link for that thread?

Yes:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,8894.0.html

My views have evolved from what they were then.
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« Reply #56 on: November 21, 2012, 07:33:28 PM »

Again, really nice to have you back mina.

Gotta link for that thread?

Yes:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,8894.0.html

My views have evolved from what they were then.

How apropos!
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« Reply #57 on: November 21, 2012, 08:21:46 PM »

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« Reply #58 on: November 21, 2012, 08:21:59 PM »

Oh I give up
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« Reply #59 on: November 21, 2012, 08:41:13 PM »

I love it when these giant quote boxes get several layers thick. Then it looks like some kind of geometric art.
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« Reply #60 on: November 21, 2012, 09:56:21 PM »

It is like the top down view of a Mayan temple. I find it relaxing.
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« Reply #61 on: November 21, 2012, 11:44:45 PM »

We are an apostolic church, meaning that we cannot willy-nilly reinvent our beliefs and praxis. THe Apostolic Church is reflected most authoritatively in the Holy Scriptures as understood/interpreted by the Early Church fathers. Folks keep throwing out terms like theological justifications; I want them to point out some source (any source) from the Apostolic Age that points even to a possibility of female priesthood. To bring this question up as if Holy Tradition does not matter is simply the wrong approach. Too many folks are hanging their hat on Metropolitan Kallistos' views, particularly his statement that the issue is not settled. Of course not; As long he says it is not settled, it is not! I am not fond of argumentation by tautology. I invite all those who agree with the Metropolitan to come forward with real arguments.
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« Reply #62 on: November 22, 2012, 12:46:51 AM »

It is like the top down view of a Mayan temple. I find it relaxing.

nighty-nite!
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« Reply #63 on: November 22, 2012, 01:01:43 AM »

I say good for them. 

Someone forgot to send you the memo about the proper Orthodoxical response. Anything to do with Anglicans/Episcopalians is bad. If they do something bad then it's bad and should be treated with disgusted condescension. If they do something good then it's just a delay or mistake that will be made bad in due time.

If they're already in communion with women bishops, and have women priests, it really is delaying the inevitable, and incoherent as well.

The incoherent is every argument I read against women in the priesthood and episcopate.

The only decent argument is one for pastoral reasons: to suffer the weak's need, in the manner St. Paul counseled those in Romans.

Nothing to schism over, but nothing against it.

Do I have to source hearsay? Cause Fr. Alexander Schmemann (who every one in the OCA and those Orthodox celebrating American Thanksgiving must think of this time of year) has nice quip regarding this issue, but I've only heard it from a couple of his students.

And Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh make some rather pointed and sourced statements on the matter himself.

Truth be told, my problems with women's ordination have less to do with theology and ecclesiology and more to do with guilt-by-association and anecdotal evidence. Simply put: I have never seen an example of an ordained woman who was truly "called to the ministry". Every single example I have ever seen has become a priest, not from love of God and a desire to share His Word, but (a) because now they can and they're going to show that old boys club a thing or two, feminist politics becomes the evangelistic talking point, Christ Resurrected is completely ignored; and (b) to advance a wishy-washy syncretic religion where Buddhism and Islam are just as valid expressions of Divine Revelation as the Christian faith.

Could the Church someday allow the ordination of women? Perhaps, I'm certainly not qualified to say one way or the other. Should it, so long as the main drive behind said ordination is "women are just as good as men" and not "does this particular woman exhibit the Christian nature and pastoral gifts we expect in a priest"? Absolutely not. Of course, the main problem is that the same woman who exhibits a Christian nature will have the humility to adhere to Tradition and not seek advancement.

Wonderful observation!

Anyways, what is the difference whether the bishop is male or female, in a country where Christianity is no more celebrated, and Christians barely exist!?

I would be curious to know the opinion of 'Hiwot', our sister. Where is she?
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« Reply #64 on: November 22, 2012, 01:05:36 AM »

I say good for them. 

Someone forgot to send you the memo about the proper Orthodoxical response. Anything to do with Anglicans/Episcopalians is bad. If they do something bad then it's bad and should be treated with disgusted condescension. If they do something good then it's just a delay or mistake that will be made bad in due time.

The proposal failed because it did not receive two/thirds vote in each of its three separate "houses", not because it was not supported by a healthy majority. Here were the votes:

House of Bishops: 44 for/3 against or 94% for women bishops.

House of Clergy: 148 for/45 against or 77% for women bishops.

House of Laity: 132 for/74 against (just six votes short of two thirds) or  64% for women bishops.

Overall, the combined votes amounted to 324 for (or 73%) and 122 against (or 27%).

Delaying the inevitable, indeed.
The not doing it now is good. Apart from that, Lord have mercy...
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« Reply #65 on: November 22, 2012, 03:18:50 AM »

We are an apostolic church, meaning that we cannot willy-nilly reinvent our beliefs and praxis. THe Apostolic Church is reflected most authoritatively in the Holy Scriptures as understood/interpreted by the Early Church fathers. Folks keep throwing out terms like theological justifications; I want them to point out some source (any source) from the Apostolic Age that points even to a possibility of female priesthood. To bring this question up as if Holy Tradition does not matter is simply the wrong approach. Too many folks are hanging their hat on Metropolitan Kallistos' views, particularly his statement that the issue is not settled. Of course not; As long he says it is not settled, it is not! I am not fond of argumentation by tautology. I invite all those who agree with the Metropolitan to come forward with real arguments.

BRAVO!!! Some sanity at last!
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« Reply #66 on: November 22, 2012, 03:46:46 AM »

We are an apostolic church, meaning that we cannot willy-nilly reinvent our beliefs and praxis. THe Apostolic Church is reflected most authoritatively in the Holy Scriptures as understood/interpreted by the Early Church fathers. Folks keep throwing out terms like theological justifications; I want them to point out some source (any source) from the Apostolic Age that points even to a possibility of female priesthood. To bring this question up as if Holy Tradition does not matter is simply the wrong approach. Too many folks are hanging their hat on Metropolitan Kallistos' views, particularly his statement that the issue is not settled. Of course not; As long he says it is not settled, it is not! I am not fond of argumentation by tautology. I invite all those who agree with the Metropolitan to come forward with real arguments.

BRAVO!!! Some sanity at last!

Not really. It is rather reactionary and triumphal. But that is what people tend to like when they are on the same team.

Thought goes out the window.

Weird that Carl says he is not found of argument via tautology, but really that is what he is doing along with begging the question.

But I am going to go back to that profitable thread where some folks had some interesting thoughts and source material.
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« Reply #67 on: November 22, 2012, 03:07:07 PM »

May I add that in the case of the CofE, the proverbial elephant in the room that needs to be discussed hand-in-hand with female priesthood is homosexuality.  While on the surface, they don't look like they have anything to do with each other, yet the theological arguments made to support female priesthood seem to also have an effect on the support of homosexual behavior.  Whether we like it or not, homosexuality will get dragged into this discussion as a polemic.

I was writing up a long response to this yesterday and then lost it, so here's a retry.  Suffice to say, this is a very good observation.  It was not lost on me when in a wannabe "affirmation" mode of my homosexuality, the all-around progressivity of the mainstream Anglican Communion in North America (I exclude the groups in the Continuum which broke off from at least the Episcopal Church, particularly the Anglican Catholics and the Anglican Province of Christ the King.)  First, it seems, there were women priests, then women bishops, then celibate "out" gay clergy (to my own thinking, discard it if it doesn't sound correct can't defend it), and finally "out" partnered/sexually active gay clergy.

Since backing away from that progressiveness (as much because at heart, I am more of a knee-jerk fundamentalist than a capable, reasoned apologist for articulated tradition) those Anglo-Catholics who broke from the mainstream Communion at the first ordinations of women in the 1970s look very appealing.  In a way, moreso than the Eastern Orthodox Church which has never ordained female priests/bishops, because this "One True Church" for its part, seems to toy with the idea of women's ordination (and is affirmation of same-sex relations to eventually follow? not right away of course) intellectually.  Does the actual longstanding practice of the Church, and what direct pronouncements exist in the Scriptures for easy reference (I Corinthians 14:34, I Timothy 2:11-12 come to mind - I looked them up, not committed to memory) not suffice to the question of women's role as clergy?  Then I believe it's clear enough that nothing will stop the eventuality of women's ordination.  And as far as the question of homosexual relations can be connected with it as it seems very much to be in the mainline "liberal" Protestant milieu *as well as* among the most "liberal"/progressive Catholic or Orthodox minds, then the tradition stands to eventually lose on that conviction, too.

A schism on principle (like in the Anglican Continuum) is tempting to be more persuasive to me than a taken-for-granted "we have always done THIS" sort of dismissive/defensive position enjoyed by very many Orthodox.  What happens if the Holy Spirit informs the Orthodox Church in council, say, 50 years that is good to ordain women as clergy and in, say, 100 that is right to affirm same-sex relationships (for which I want us to assume that the *sexual* part of relations will be included in the relationship - in my sometimes still-tempted-to-waffle mind on the question, I'd certainly want them to be even if I would cleverly never outright state it.)  I am being facetious, and hopefully not blasphemous, but it's a serious musing.

I apologize if this is offenisve on the whole, and perhaps in particular for this section.  Moderators, should this rather go (be moved to) Orthodox-Protestant dicussion?
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« Reply #68 on: November 22, 2012, 04:23:00 PM »

May I add that in the case of the CofE, the proverbial elephant in the room that needs to be discussed hand-in-hand with female priesthood is homosexuality.  While on the surface, they don't look like they have anything to do with each other, yet the theological arguments made to support female priesthood seem to also have an effect on the support of homosexual behavior.  Whether we like it or not, homosexuality will get dragged into this discussion as a polemic.

I was writing up a long response to this yesterday and then lost it, so here's a retry.  Suffice to say, this is a very good observation.  It was not lost on me when in a wannabe "affirmation" mode of my homosexuality, the all-around progressivity of the mainstream Anglican Communion in North America (I exclude the groups in the Continuum which broke off from at least the Episcopal Church, particularly the Anglican Catholics and the Anglican Province of Christ the King.)  First, it seems, there were women priests, then women bishops, then celibate "out" gay clergy (to my own thinking, discard it if it doesn't sound correct can't defend it), and finally "out" partnered/sexually active gay clergy.

Since backing away from that progressiveness (as much because at heart, I am more of a knee-jerk fundamentalist than a capable, reasoned apologist for articulated tradition) those Anglo-Catholics who broke from the mainstream Communion at the first ordinations of women in the 1970s look very appealing.  In a way, moreso than the Eastern Orthodox Church which has never ordained female priests/bishops, because this "One True Church" for its part, seems to toy with the idea of women's ordination (and is affirmation of same-sex relations to eventually follow? not right away of course) intellectually.  Does the actual longstanding practice of the Church, and what direct pronouncements exist in the Scriptures for easy reference (I Corinthians 14:34, I Timothy 2:11-12 come to mind - I looked them up, not committed to memory) not suffice to the question of women's role as clergy?  Then I believe it's clear enough that nothing will stop the eventuality of women's ordination.  And as far as the question of homosexual relations can be connected with it as it seems very much to be in the mainline "liberal" Protestant milieu *as well as* among the most "liberal"/progressive Catholic or Orthodox minds, then the tradition stands to eventually lose on that conviction, too.

A schism on principle (like in the Anglican Continuum) is tempting to be more persuasive to me than a taken-for-granted "we have always done THIS" sort of dismissive/defensive position enjoyed by very many Orthodox.  What happens if the Holy Spirit informs the Orthodox Church in council, say, 50 years that is good to ordain women as clergy and in, say, 100 that is right to affirm same-sex relationships (for which I want us to assume that the *sexual* part of relations will be included in the relationship - in my sometimes still-tempted-to-waffle mind on the question, I'd certainly want them to be even if I would cleverly never outright state it.)  I am being facetious, and hopefully not blasphemous, but it's a serious musing.

I apologize if this is offenisve on the whole, and perhaps in particular for this section.  Moderators, should this rather go (be moved to) Orthodox-Protestant dicussion?
Im not sure where you see this current to be open to female priesthood.  There's a difference between open to discussion and open to acceptance.  The Orthodox Church is not anywhere near even considering the possibility of female priesthood. It's discussed because of the highly charged atmosphere the Anglican church provided.
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« Reply #69 on: November 22, 2012, 04:33:50 PM »

Exactly. As usual, it is the heretics who force the rest of us to declare what before had been more-or-less taken for granted: We do this, and not this. It doesn't matter if we're talking about women bishops or homosexual priests, or any other thing. It's tempting to see this as a really unique challenge to the Church and not just the reinvigoration of the same old impulse that led to the spread of heresies such as Arianism (namely, that something is very popular, and therefore we should support it even though it's wrong), which is transparently not related to today's "hot button" issues. But it's because people won't take no for an answer (as true today as it was for our fathers!) that it appears by some accounts that there is more openness today, because look at what this bishop said, or this priest, or whatever. They had to say those things because they have to say something to people who are confused by this issue, so they give their opinion. But that shouldn't be mistaken for intellectual assent to things that are wrong.
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« Reply #70 on: November 22, 2012, 07:42:08 PM »

What about the problem of progressive revelation?

I think the bottom line we should discuss is the iconic role of Christ.  Christ revealed himself as the high priest. If we want to participate in his priesthood it has to be through his image.  This is the way he revealed the priesthood to us & left it to his disciples.

Why do we not just go to confession to god himself?  Because god gave his apostles the authority to loose & bind.  That is how he chose to reveal himself & reveal the mystery of confession.  He could have revealed to us another way, but he did not. 
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« Reply #71 on: November 26, 2012, 12:09:01 PM »


My name ...
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« Reply #72 on: November 26, 2012, 12:09:34 PM »

... well, you know.

The only good thing that has come from the Anglican church has been the Tracts for the Times and the Fathers of the Church series. Sad thing that the Tractarian movement was so anti-EO.

It was?
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« Reply #73 on: November 26, 2012, 12:29:09 PM »

Suddenly I just thought of something FM-G said during the last Orientale Lumen conference. She was talking about an un-named church that sounded a lot like the EC-USA, and said something like (I don't remember exactly): When those who wanted to change things were in the minority, the story was Everybody-has-to-respect-views-that-you-disagree-with; but when those who wanted to change things became the majority, the story changed to ... The Church Has Spoken!
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« Reply #74 on: November 26, 2012, 01:06:48 PM »

and not to mention the temporal head of the CofE is a woman.
Would you oppose having a woman as president of the parish council?

***not trying to start another discussion here - just trying to clarify that Tallitot distinguishes between temporal and spiritual authority
no. i was remarking about the british monarch's role in the CofE and that the current monarch is a woman. i see nothing wrong with female clergy.

That may be because in Judaism the Clergy are teachers and not Priests (these days) Christian Priests are living icons of the incarnate God who has consistently reveled himself as a Man.  Here , see for yourself:



 



All human beings are living icons of the Incarnate God, or did ROCOR throw out Genesis?
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« Reply #75 on: November 26, 2012, 03:35:00 PM »

I say good for them.  

Someone forgot to send you the memo about the proper Orthodoxical response. Anything to do with Anglicans/Episcopalians is bad. If they do something bad then it's bad and should be treated with disgusted condescension. If they do something good then it's just a delay or mistake that will be made bad in due time.

If they're already in communion with women bishops, and have women priests, it really is delaying the inevitable, and incoherent as well.

The incoherent is every argument I read against women in the priesthood and episcopate.

The only decent argument is one for pastoral reasons: to suffer the weak's need, in the manner St. Paul counseled those in Romans.

Nothing to schism over, but nothing against it.

Do I have to source hearsay? Cause Fr. Alexander Schmemann (who every one in the OCA and those Orthodox celebrating American Thanksgiving must think of this time of year) has nice quip regarding this issue, but I've only heard it from a couple of his students.

And Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh make some rather pointed and sourced statements on the matter himself.

Truth be told, my problems with women's ordination have less to do with theology and ecclesiology and more to do with guilt-by-association and anecdotal evidence. Simply put: I have never seen an example of an ordained woman who was truly "called to the ministry". Every single example I have ever seen has become a priest, not from love of God and a desire to share His Word, but (a) because now they can and they're going to show that old boys club a thing or two, feminist politics becomes the evangelistic talking point, Christ Resurrected is completely ignored; and (b) to advance a wishy-washy syncretic religion where Buddhism and Islam are just as valid expressions of Divine Revelation as the Christian faith.

Could the Church someday allow the ordination of women? Perhaps, I'm certainly not qualified to say one way or the other. Should it, so long as the main drive behind said ordination is "women are just as good as men" and not "does this particular woman exhibit the Christian nature and pastoral gifts we expect in a priest"? Absolutely not. Of course, the main problem is that the same woman who exhibits a Christian nature will have the humility to adhere to Tradition and not seek advancement.

I think these are great points. But from day one people have had to stand up to "tradition" to show the Church the truth.

These are terribly difficult things. And I get your point and am sympathetic to it, although I think you put too much on the accepting "tradition" aspect, when truth at times arises from discord, if you believe St. Paul, who did a lot of things against "tradition".

Great post, especially your candor.



Like the discussion - let's keep it going!

When I hear people scoff at Met. KALLISTOS's statement of women's ordination still "an open question", I think those scoffing just don't understand why he says it.  It is similar to the reasoning for arguments against homosexual activity.  Unfortunately for us (the Church), there really hasn't been well-explained, concise arguments against these issues from a theological/ecleisiological/etc. point of view.  When someone questions why, there should be a cogent (and somewhat concise) answer that can be easily put forth to "close" the question.  With our various languages/cultures and (dis-)organized religion, there is a real challenge to answer the "Why can't/not/isn't/etc ...?" difficult questions.  Too often we just get the scoffing, "well that's icky/unnatural/wrong/unbiblicaletc" and just gives room for the one who asks the question to give an easy counter example.

On Amazon, a reviewer (A very balanced and grounded approach... March 9, 2011 By Justin R. Cannon) made the following comments on The Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church by Elisabeth Behr-Sigel and +Kallistos.

"In Metropolitan Kallistos' section, he rightly points out two crucial facts: 1) The apostolic order of `deaconess' has not been abolished, but has simply fallen into disuse. All that would be needed is a revival of this order with regard to female deacons. 2) As he writes, "On the subject of women and the priesthood, there exists as of yet no pan-Orthodox statement, possessing definitive ecumenical authority" (p51).

He argues, throughout his essay, therefore, that the possibility of ordaining women to the priesthood in the Orthodox Church remains an open question, not to be decided either way with haste. Concerning the female diaconate, he draws our attention to, amongst other things, the conclusions that came out of the 1998 inter-Orthodox symposium in Rhodes which expressed: "The apostolic order of deaconess should be revived...Such a revival would represent a positive response to many of the needs and demands of the contemporary world in many spheres" (p59).

In exploring the issue of ordination of women to the priesthood in the Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Kallistos argues that the issue must be looked at not as a question of gender, but a question of gifts and charisms (i.e. spiritual graces). As such, he writes, "No woman, so it could be argued, should be excluded from the ordained priesthood simply because she is a woman; like a man, she should be judged by the Church on her personal suitability for this particular ministry" (p77). The question should not focus on her being a woman, but on whether or not women share the same suitability for this particular ministry." (my emphasis)
http://www.amazon.com/The-Ordination-Women-Orthodox-Church/dp/2825413364

I do have a problem with Metropolitan Kallistos' words as quoted (I will need to read the book in order to arrive at a better opinion). It seems to me that the Church must have a brand new revelation from the Lord to affirm his statement because neither the Holy Scriptures, nor the Church Fathers nor praxis to date would back him up. I just do not know (based strictly on the quotation above) how he can justify his position. Has anybody read the book and can shed some light on this question?

It isn't easy to disagree with a " ... so it could be argued ... " statement.
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