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Author Topic: Female Sub-Deacons and Readers  (Read 26314 times) Average Rating: 5
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Mor Ephrem
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« Reply #315 on: December 21, 2013, 03:44:11 PM »

Ah, Armenian deaconesses: the exception that proves the rule.

Salpy, do you know where I can get one of those deaconess dolls?!  Smiley
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« Reply #316 on: December 21, 2013, 03:49:51 PM »

However, there is no doubt that deaconesses never played the same liturgical role as a male deacon.

Not really.

I do not know why you continue to argue against the consensus of those who have produced scholarly studies of the role of deaconesses in the Eastern Orthodox Church. However, the fact is that every serious scholarly study of this issue that I have read makes it clear that an Eastern Orthodox deaconess is not simply a female deacon, but has a very different and non-liturgical ministry.

Fr. John W. Morris

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« Reply #317 on: December 21, 2013, 05:39:49 PM »

A few more resources:

Another Armenian article.

H.H. Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas of Antioch's take on the subject.

An Eastern Orthodox article which identifies the reinstitution of the order of the deaconess as a part of the feminist agenda.

A google book called The Deaconess Movement in the Russian Orthodox Church, 1860-1917 by Elizabeth N. Grygo.

And finally a report by H.G. Dr. Yuhanon Mar Meletius (presently of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church) after ordaining deaconesses in what he describes as the Antiochian Church of the USA.  Just to clear up any confusion, I believe that at the time he wrote the article, His Grace was still under obedience to H.H. Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka, and so by "Antiochian" here he intends the Oriental Orthodox Syriac Church in the USA.  (Mor or someone else please correct me if I'm wrong).

Finally, I have an excellent and scholarly audio lecture on the subject by Elaine Hanna of the (EO) Antiochian Orthodox Church, but it's on cassette (yes, I'm getting up there) and I can't run it down on youtube or anywhere at present.  If anyone is interested, the details on this piece are:

Hanna, Elaine (recorded lecture), "Women and the Diaconate" (St Vladimir's Seminary Press, Crestwood, NY, 1991)
« Last Edit: December 21, 2013, 05:41:13 PM by Antonious Nikolas » Logged

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« Reply #318 on: December 21, 2013, 06:44:25 PM »

A few more resources:

Another Armenian article.

H.H. Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas of Antioch's take on the subject.

An Eastern Orthodox article which identifies the reinstitution of the order of the deaconess as a part of the feminist agenda.

A google book called The Deaconess Movement in the Russian Orthodox Church, 1860-1917 by Elizabeth N. Grygo.

And finally a report by H.G. Dr. Yuhanon Mar Meletius (presently of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church) after ordaining deaconesses in what he describes as the Antiochian Church of the USA.  Just to clear up any confusion, I believe that at the time he wrote the article, His Grace was still under obedience to H.H. Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka, and so by "Antiochian" here he intends the Oriental Orthodox Syriac Church in the USA.  (Mor or someone else please correct me if I'm wrong).

Finally, I have an excellent and scholarly audio lecture on the subject by Elaine Hanna of the (EO) Antiochian Orthodox Church, but it's on cassette (yes, I'm getting up there) and I can't run it down on youtube or anywhere at present.  If anyone is interested, the details on this piece are:

Hanna, Elaine (recorded lecture), "Women and the Diaconate" (St Vladimir's Seminary Press, Crestwood, NY, 1991)

I am certain that no deaconesses have been ordained in the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America during the last 35 years and I doubt that any were ordained before that.
We have to be very careful that we make the distinction between a deaconess and a deacon. A deaconess is not a female deacon and does not play the same liturgical role as a male deacon. That is very important because we do not want to open the way for the feminist to do to our Church what they have done to every mainline American Protestant denomination.

Fr. John W. Morris
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« Reply #319 on: December 21, 2013, 07:56:20 PM »


I am certain that no deaconesses have been ordained in the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America during the last 35 years and I doubt that any were ordained before that.
We have to be very careful that we make the distinction between a deaconess and a deacon. A deaconess is not a female deacon and does not play the same liturgical role as a male deacon. That is very important because we do not want to open the way for the feminist to do to our Church what they have done to every mainline American Protestant denomination.

Fr. John W. Morris

I agree, Father.  I have no problem with the historical order of the deaconess as it has always existed in the Orthodox Tradition.  To endeavor to turn it into something it is not and never was in order to suit the spirit of the times would be a mistake.  The only instances in which I've ever heard of EO or OO deaconesses serving a liturgical function has been in women's monasteries, and even this is left to the discretion of the bishop.

Another interesting article by Valerie A. Karras.
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« Reply #320 on: December 25, 2013, 02:21:02 AM »


I am certain that no deaconesses have been ordained in the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America during the last 35 years and I doubt that any were ordained before that.
We have to be very careful that we make the distinction between a deaconess and a deacon. A deaconess is not a female deacon and does not play the same liturgical role as a male deacon. That is very important because we do not want to open the way for the feminist to do to our Church what they have done to every mainline American Protestant denomination.

Fr. John W. Morris

I agree, Father.  I have no problem with the historical order of the deaconess as it has always existed in the Orthodox Tradition.  To endeavor to turn it into something it is not and never was in order to suit the spirit of the times would be a mistake.  The only instances in which I've ever heard of EO or OO deaconesses serving a liturgical function has been in women's monasteries, and even this is left to the discretion of the bishop.

Another interesting article by Valerie A. Karras.

Perhaps the myrophoroi mentioned in Dr FitzGerald's article has survived in the Greek custom that the girls of the congregation come forward and spread rose petals on the Epitaphios after the priest puts it in the bier during the Unnailing Vespers of Great and Holy Friday. Before that women receive the icon of the crucified Christ in a white sheet after the priest takes it off of the Cross.

Fr. John W. Morris
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« Reply #321 on: December 25, 2013, 03:07:18 AM »

Ah, Armenian deaconesses: the exception that proves the rule.

Salpy, do you know where I can get one of those deaconess dolls?!  Smiley

I just saw this.  Yikes!  I never saw the deaconess doll before.  It's a bit weird, if you ask me.  Deaconesses in the Armenian tradition are supposed to be nuns, and the doll is wearing lipstick.   Shocked
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« Reply #322 on: December 25, 2013, 03:24:33 AM »

The doll may have been modeled after this old picture of an Armenian nun/deaconess:



http://www.armenianweekly.com/2013/07/06/a-nearly-forgotten-history-women-deacons-in-the-armenian-church/

The article it came from is discussed briefly here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,52352.0.html

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« Reply #323 on: March 08, 2014, 05:26:20 PM »

This is all nonsense. As an Orthodox Christian, you should never want to tamper with the Traditions of the Church. The Church Fathers have establish Orthodox the way it is for a reason. Yes, women do have every right to participate in Parish activities and what not, but there is a certain boundary that should NOT BE CROSSED! Leave what is for men to men and what is for women to women. This is a Biblical way of thinking.

Lastly, as a member of the Oriental Orthodox branch, I must say that your claim about the "female sub-deacons" is false. I have never seen such a thing and I have to been to many OO Perishes. Women are allowed  to play a large role within the Perish, but never to actually formally become a  Sub-Deacon or Reader.
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« Reply #324 on: March 08, 2014, 05:53:41 PM »

Lastly, as a member of the Oriental Orthodox branch, I must say that your claim about the "female sub-deacons" is false. I have never seen such a thing and I have to been to many OO Perishes. Women are allowed  to play a large role within the Perish, but never to actually formally become a  Sub-Deacon or Reader.

Whose claim?
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« Reply #325 on: March 08, 2014, 09:36:48 PM »

What do you mean "Whose claim?"

If a women was to ever be ordained as a sub-deacon, whether in the EO or OO branches, history would be made! That would surely be one for the text books.
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« Reply #326 on: March 09, 2014, 12:00:24 AM »

What do you mean "Whose claim?"

You said that someone made a claim about "female sub-deacons", so I wanted to know to whom you directed that remark.

Quote
If a women was to ever be ordained as a sub-deacon, whether in the EO or OO branches, history would be made! That would surely be one for the text books.

I've never met a female subdeacon (like you, I'm not sure they exist or ever did), but one of my friends is a female reader, and I've seen deaconesses.  Since you said you've been to many OO parishes and "haven't seen such a thing", allow me to suggest that you haven't really been around as much as you think.     
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« Reply #327 on: March 09, 2014, 12:53:44 AM »

So the Orthodox churches have been going on and on about restoring deaconesses and so on and so forth, and the church of Greece gave official approval to this about a year ago.........but with very few tangible results. I have been thinking, and it seems that the problem in the EO is that there are no female sub-deacons. I mean, for males one is normally a sub-deacons before becoming a full deacon, yet people seem to have the idea that female deacons don't need this "leg-up" and should just be jumped into being a full deacon without any problems....and then we sit around wondering why we don't see any. Now I know that some OO have a female sub-diaconate of sorts going on (see http://www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2003/03-133.shtml) and I am wondering about the possibilites, on a real tangible level, of having something like this in the EO churches.


In the very last sentence, she is implying that the OO branch has female sub-deacons an even posted an article saying so.


What do you mean "Whose claim?"

You said that someone made a claim about "female sub-deacons", so I wanted to know to whom you directed that remark.

Quote
If a women was to ever be ordained as a sub-deacon, whether in the EO or OO branches, history would be made! That would surely be one for the text books.

I've never met a female subdeacon (like you, I'm not sure they exist or ever did), but one of my friends is a female reader, and I've seen deaconesses.  Since you said you've been to many OO parishes and "haven't seen such a thing", allow me to suggest that you haven't really been around as much as you think.     


There is no need to get a little rude here. This should not be a debate either. And yes, like you, I have seen women that read and I have seen deaconesses, BUT you must take into consideration the following:

1. Although women may read, they are not actually readers. There is often confusion on that. Hypothetically speaking, you should only considered someone a reader after they have been tonsured as one. Because women are not tonsured as readers, neither in the EO nor OO branches, women can not truly be readers but, may be allowed to do the readings within the Church.

2. As I have said before, women are allowed to have a large amount of participation with the Church. This is simply the role of the deaconess. To compare the role deaconess to that of a Sub-Deacon or a Deacon would be absurd. The ranks vary greatly and deaconesses play a much minor role within the Orthodox Church. You must remember that the role of Deaconesses began hundreds of years ago due to the fact that male Deacons were not allowed to touch or even anoint nuns, and in some cases female laymen, within the Church. So, to allow women to have full participation in worship and to be anointed, the Church created the deaconess, women whose ORIGINAL PURPOSE was to solely anoint the women of the Church and sometimes help lead them into ministry, assist with baptisms, and assist with chrismation. The role of the deaconess was never an equivalent or "female-substitute" for the role as that of a sub-deacon or deacon.
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« Reply #328 on: March 11, 2014, 11:11:03 AM »

Quote
A deaconess is not a female deacon and does not play the same liturgical role as a male deacon. That is very important because we do not want to open the way for the feminist to do to our Church what they have done to every mainline American Protestant denomination.


Sounds like overkill to prevent the restoration of the deaconess in Orthodoxy.


Ecumenical Patriarchate
Conclusions of the Inter-Orthodox Theological Consultation
THE PLACE OF THE WOMAN IN THE ORTHODOX CHURCH
AND THE QUESTION OF THE ORDINATION OF WOMEN
Rhodes, Greece
November 1988
http://members.iinet.net.au/~mmjournl/public_html/MaryMartha/CONSULTATIONS%20and%20REPORTS/RHODES%20consultation.html

Quote
VIII. The Diaconate and "Minor Orders"
32. The apostolic order of deaconesses should be revived. It was never altogether abandoned in the Orthodox Church though it has tended to fall into disuse. There is ample evidence, from apostolic times, from the patristic, canonical and liturgical tradition, well into the Byzantine period (and even in our own day) that this order was held in high honour. The deaconess was ordained within the sanctuary during the Divine Liturgy with two prayers, she received the Orarion (the deacon's stole) and received Holy Communion at the Altar.
33. The revival of this ancient order should be envisaged on the basis of the ancient prototypes testified to in many sources (cf, the reference quoted in the works on this subject of modern Orthodox scholars) and with the prayers found in the Apostolic Constitutions and the ancient Byzantine liturgical books.
34. Such a revival would represent a positive response to many of the needs and demands of the contemporary world in many spheres. This would be all the more true if the Diaconate in general (male as well as female) were restored in all places in its original, manifold services (diakoniai), with extension in the social sphere, in the spirit of ancient tradition and in response to the increasing specific needs of our time. It should not be solely restricted to a purely liturgical role or considered to be a mere step on the way to higher "ranks" of clergy.
35. The revival of women deacons in the Orthodox Church would emphasize in a special way the dignity of woman and give recognition to her contribution to the work of the Church as a whole.
36. Furthermore, would it not be possible and desirable to allow women to enter into the "lower orders" through a blessing of the Church (Cheirothesia): sub-deacon, reader, cantor, teacher ... without excluding new orders that the Church might consider to be necessary? This matter deserves further study since there is no definite tradition of this sort.
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« Reply #329 on: March 11, 2014, 11:48:34 AM »

Quote
A deaconess is not a female deacon and does not play the same liturgical role as a male deacon. That is very important because we do not want to open the way for the feminist to do to our Church what they have done to every mainline American Protestant denomination.


Sounds like overkill to prevent the restoration of the deaconess in Orthodoxy.


Ecumenical Patriarchate
Conclusions of the Inter-Orthodox Theological Consultation
THE PLACE OF THE WOMAN IN THE ORTHODOX CHURCH
AND THE QUESTION OF THE ORDINATION OF WOMEN
Rhodes, Greece
November 1988
http://members.iinet.net.au/~mmjournl/public_html/MaryMartha/CONSULTATIONS%20and%20REPORTS/RHODES%20consultation.html

Quote
VIII. The Diaconate and "Minor Orders"
32. The apostolic order of deaconesses should be revived. It was never altogether abandoned in the Orthodox Church though it has tended to fall into disuse. There is ample evidence, from apostolic times, from the patristic, canonical and liturgical tradition, well into the Byzantine period (and even in our own day) that this order was held in high honour. The deaconess was ordained within the sanctuary during the Divine Liturgy with two prayers, she received the Orarion (the deacon's stole) and received Holy Communion at the Altar.
33. The revival of this ancient order should be envisaged on the basis of the ancient prototypes testified to in many sources (cf, the reference quoted in the works on this subject of modern Orthodox scholars) and with the prayers found in the Apostolic Constitutions and the ancient Byzantine liturgical books.
34. Such a revival would represent a positive response to many of the needs and demands of the contemporary world in many spheres. This would be all the more true if the Diaconate in general (male as well as female) were restored in all places in its original, manifold services (diakoniai), with extension in the social sphere, in the spirit of ancient tradition and in response to the increasing specific needs of our time. It should not be solely restricted to a purely liturgical role or considered to be a mere step on the way to higher "ranks" of clergy.
35. The revival of women deacons in the Orthodox Church would emphasize in a special way the dignity of woman and give recognition to her contribution to the work of the Church as a whole.
36. Furthermore, would it not be possible and desirable to allow women to enter into the "lower orders" through a blessing of the Church (Cheirothesia): sub-deacon, reader, cantor, teacher ... without excluding new orders that the Church might consider to be necessary? This matter deserves further study since there is no definite tradition of this sort.

I fully support the Rhodes conclusions above. However, there are many problems with implementing the common-sense recommendations of Rhodes.

- In many churches, the diaconate is merely a temporary stepping stone to the priesthood.
- In many churches, the deacons' role is confined to liturgical service.
- In some countries, there is a great fear of accommodation with modern feminism and consequently a push back against such recommendations.
- In some countries, particularly in the West, the roles of men and women are in transition and causes deep unease.

I think that the best thing to do would be for each local church to run some pilot projects, so to speak, to demonstrate that the Rhodes recommendations are not a danger to our families, congregations and Church.
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« Reply #330 on: March 11, 2014, 12:11:37 PM »

In the very last sentence, she is implying that the OO branch has female sub-deacons an even posted an article saying so.

I don't think it useful to comment on a post which contained, IMO, sufficient qualification ("some...of sorts...I am wondering"), made no concrete assertions, and is based on an article which I can't access.  

Quote
There is no need to get a little rude here. This should not be a debate either. And yes, like you, I have seen women that read and I have seen deaconesses, BUT you must take into consideration the following:

1. Although women may read, they are not actually readers. There is often confusion on that. Hypothetically speaking, you should only considered someone a reader after they have been tonsured as one. Because women are not tonsured as readers, neither in the EO nor OO branches, women can not truly be readers but, may be allowed to do the readings within the Church.

I'm quite aware of the difference, and I repeat: I have met (and in some cases served with) female readers and deaconesses.      

Quote
2. As I have said before, women are allowed to have a large amount of participation with the Church. This is simply the role of the deaconess.

If the role of a deaconess is "a large amount of participation with the Church", then the president of the parish council, even if he is a man, is a deaconess.  That's silly, of course, and so are all oversimplifications.  

Quote
To compare the role deaconess to that of a Sub-Deacon or a Deacon would be absurd. The ranks vary greatly and deaconesses play a much minor role within the Orthodox Church. You must remember that the role of Deaconesses began hundreds of years ago due to the fact that male Deacons were not allowed to touch or even anoint nuns, and in some cases female laymen, within the Church. So, to allow women to have full participation in worship and to be anointed, the Church created the deaconess, women whose ORIGINAL PURPOSE was to solely anoint the women of the Church and sometimes help lead them into ministry, assist with baptisms, and assist with chrismation. The role of the deaconess was never an equivalent or "female-substitute" for the role as that of a sub-deacon or deacon.

Since deacons could never anoint, this explanation is already wrong.  But that's not the only problem with it, even though I agree with you that the role of a deaconess is different from that of a subdeacon or even a deacon.  
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« Reply #331 on: March 22, 2014, 12:48:27 AM »

Thank you for standing up for the truth about female deaconesses and avoiding any reinstitution of them for the sake of feminist innovation. If a women wants dress like or be a nun and help other adult convert women be baptised and be deaconess I don't mind, otherwise the idea would be heterodox.

 Grin
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« Reply #332 on: March 23, 2014, 01:43:46 PM »

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« Reply #333 on: March 23, 2014, 01:44:19 PM »

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« Reply #334 on: March 23, 2014, 01:56:57 PM »

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« Reply #335 on: March 23, 2014, 02:00:43 PM »

In the very last sentence, she is implying that the OO branch has female sub-deacons an even posted an article saying so.

I don't think it useful to comment on a post which contained, IMO, sufficient qualification ("some...of sorts...I am wondering"), made no concrete assertions, and is based on an article which I can't access. 

Quote
There is no need to get a little rude here. This should not be a debate either. And yes, like you, I have seen women that read and I have seen deaconesses, BUT you must take into consideration the following:

1. Although women may read, they are not actually readers. There is often confusion on that. Hypothetically speaking, you should only considered someone a reader after they have been tonsured as one. Because women are not tonsured as readers, neither in the EO nor OO branches, women can not truly be readers but, may be allowed to do the readings within the Church.

I'm quite aware of the difference, and I repeat: I have met (and in some cases served with) female readers and deaconesses.     

Quote
2. As I have said before, women are allowed to have a large amount of participation with the Church. This is simply the role of the deaconess.

If the role of a deaconess is "a large amount of participation with the Church", then the president of the parish council, even if he is a man, is a deaconess.  That's silly, of course, and so are all oversimplifications. 

Quote
To compare the role deaconess to that of a Sub-Deacon or a Deacon would be absurd. The ranks vary greatly and deaconesses play a much minor role within the Orthodox Church. You must remember that the role of Deaconesses began hundreds of years ago due to the fact that male Deacons were not allowed to touch or even anoint nuns, and in some cases female laymen, within the Church. So, to allow women to have full participation in worship and to be anointed, the Church created the deaconess, women whose ORIGINAL PURPOSE was to solely anoint the women of the Church and sometimes help lead them into ministry, assist with baptisms, and assist with chrismation. The role of the deaconess was never an equivalent or "female-substitute" for the role as that of a sub-deacon or deacon.

Since deacons could never anoint, this explanation is already wrong.  But that's not the only problem with it, even though I agree with you that the role of a deaconess is different from that of a subdeacon or even a deacon. 



Yes, Thank you for correcting me. I mean to say Priest, not deacon (all this talk about deacons and deaconesses most likely caused the mix up). But, everything else I have stated is beyond correct. the role of the deaconesses did indeed begin because of the lack of clergy members that could anoint women. I have many resources to back up my claim. Please research brother.
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« Reply #336 on: March 23, 2014, 02:20:00 PM »

But, everything else I have stated is beyond correct. the role of the deaconesses did indeed begin because of the lack of clergy members that could anoint women. I have many resources to back up my claim. Please research brother.

What are your sources? 
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« Reply #337 on: March 23, 2014, 02:33:20 PM »

But, everything else I have stated is beyond correct. the role of the deaconesses did indeed begin because of the lack of clergy members that could anoint women. I have many resources to back up my claim. Please research brother.

What are your sources? 

My Priest (as well as other clergy members at my Parish) as well as few lessons and lectures about the Roles of the Clergy. There's even a few books and articles on the topic. Here's a website URL of an article that provides information on the history and the role of the Deaconess from Orthodoxwiki: http://orthodoxwiki.org/Deaconess   Smiley
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« Reply #338 on: March 23, 2014, 04:27:52 PM »

But, everything else I have stated is beyond correct. the role of the deaconesses did indeed begin because of the lack of clergy members that could anoint women. I have many resources to back up my claim. Please research brother.

What are your sources? 

My Priest (as well as other clergy members at my Parish) as well as few lessons and lectures about the Roles of the Clergy. There's even a few books and articles on the topic. Here's a website URL of an article that provides information on the history and the role of the Deaconess from Orthodoxwiki: http://orthodoxwiki.org/Deaconess   Smiley

I have a graduate theological degree.  Wiki is not enough (or authoritative).

Anyway, what you said--that a lack of clergy who could anoint women resulted in the creation of deaconesses--is not what that Wiki page says. 
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« Reply #339 on: March 23, 2014, 04:54:58 PM »

But, everything else I have stated is beyond correct. the role of the deaconesses did indeed begin because of the lack of clergy members that could anoint women. I have many resources to back up my claim. Please research brother.

What are your sources? 

My Priest (as well as other clergy members at my Parish) as well as few lessons and lectures about the Roles of the Clergy. There's even a few books and articles on the topic. Here's a website URL of an article that provides information on the history and the role of the Deaconess from Orthodoxwiki: http://orthodoxwiki.org/Deaconess   Smiley

I have a graduate theological degree.  Wiki is not enough (or authoritative).

Anyway, what you said--that a lack of clergy who could anoint women resulted in the creation of deaconesses--is not what that Wiki page says. 

Actually, it very much does. Read and ponder carefully:

"It being improper for males to be physically handling women, deaconesses were commissioned to assist especially in baptism and chrismation."

"In the early Church it is highly likely that deaconesses performed the same liturgical role as deacons, and quite likely more, because of the taboo on (male) priests touching female neophytes, or touching females requiring the sacrament of holy oil for the sick. It is likely that the actual application of the holy oil onto the body of the women being chrismated was done by the deaconess, and not the priest."

Those are direct quotes from the article. It clearly says that the roles of the Deaconesses were performed because Priest touching females and anointing them with Holy Oil was not allowed and considered taboo. So, what are you talking about? That is very much what it is saying!

And OrthodoxWiki may not be the most reliable source of information in your opinion, but the facts are all there. I have spoken with my Priest, Deacon, and even a couple of Readers at my Parish on this subjects matter and I can assure you that your stance on this subject matter is far from correct. You may this degree in theology which I do not have (which I can easily say in an uninitiated and unashamed manner). But as an Orthodox Christian, I will definitely trust and adhere to the words of my Church Father before I bend to the words of some proclaimed theologian.
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« Reply #340 on: March 23, 2014, 06:00:01 PM »

Anyway, what you said--that a lack of clergy who could anoint women resulted in the creation of deaconesses--is not what that Wiki page says. 

Actually, it very much does. Read and ponder carefully:

"It being improper for males to be physically handling women, deaconesses were commissioned to assist especially in baptism and chrismation."

"In the early Church it is highly likely that deaconesses performed the same liturgical role as deacons, and quite likely more, because of the taboo on (male) priests touching female neophytes, or touching females requiring the sacrament of holy oil for the sick. It is likely that the actual application of the holy oil onto the body of the women being chrismated was done by the deaconess, and not the priest."

Those are direct quotes from the article. It clearly says that the roles of the Deaconesses were performed because Priest touching females and anointing them with Holy Oil was not allowed and considered taboo. So, what are you talking about? That is very much what it is saying!

What you said was that a "lack of clergy" is what brought on the creation of the role of deaconess.  What OrthodoxWiki says is that the "impropriety" of male clerics having that type of contact with female believers is what brought on the creation of the role of deaconess.  "Lack of clergy" means "not enough clergy".  "Impropriety" doesn't mean there was a shortage of clergy, it indicates an entirely different problem.  I agree with OrthodoxWiki, I just didn't agree with you. 

Moreover, OrthodoxWiki makes a claim that, IIRC, both you and I would not make: that "it is highly likely that deaconesses performed the same liturgical role as deacons, and quite likely more". 

Quote
And OrthodoxWiki may not be the most reliable source of information in your opinion, but the facts are all there. I have spoken with my Priest, Deacon, and even a couple of Readers at my Parish on this subjects matter and I can assure you that your stance on this subject matter is far from correct. You may this degree in theology which I do not have (which I can easily say in an uninitiated and unashamed manner). But as an Orthodox Christian, I will definitely trust and adhere to the words of my Church Father before I bend to the words of some proclaimed theologian.

I never proclaimed myself to be a theologian.  I provided the information I did because it means I've done at least as much research in this area as you have, so we should be able to work with better sources than Wiki and your interpretation of what your clergy are teaching you (and since you've misinterpreted Wiki, I can't take for granted the accuracy of your interpretation of the oral teaching delivered to you).
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« Reply #341 on: March 23, 2014, 07:21:33 PM »

Anyway, what you said--that a lack of clergy who could anoint women resulted in the creation of deaconesses--is not what that Wiki page says. 

Actually, it very much does. Read and ponder carefully:

"It being improper for males to be physically handling women, deaconesses were commissioned to assist especially in baptism and chrismation."

"In the early Church it is highly likely that deaconesses performed the same liturgical role as deacons, and quite likely more, because of the taboo on (male) priests touching female neophytes, or touching females requiring the sacrament of holy oil for the sick. It is likely that the actual application of the holy oil onto the body of the women being chrismated was done by the deaconess, and not the priest."

Those are direct quotes from the article. It clearly says that the roles of the Deaconesses were performed because Priest touching females and anointing them with Holy Oil was not allowed and considered taboo. So, what are you talking about? That is very much what it is saying!

What you said was that a "lack of clergy" is what brought on the creation of the role of deaconess.  What OrthodoxWiki says is that the "impropriety" of male clerics having that type of contact with female believers is what brought on the creation of the role of deaconess.  "Lack of clergy" means "not enough clergy".  "Impropriety" doesn't mean there was a shortage of clergy, it indicates an entirely different problem.  I agree with OrthodoxWiki, I just didn't agree with you. 

Moreover, OrthodoxWiki makes a claim that, IIRC, both you and I would not make: that "it is highly likely that deaconesses performed the same liturgical role as deacons, and quite likely more". 

Quote
And OrthodoxWiki may not be the most reliable source of information in your opinion, but the facts are all there. I have spoken with my Priest, Deacon, and even a couple of Readers at my Parish on this subjects matter and I can assure you that your stance on this subject matter is far from correct. You may this degree in theology which I do not have (which I can easily say in an uninitiated and unashamed manner). But as an Orthodox Christian, I will definitely trust and adhere to the words of my Church Father before I bend to the words of some proclaimed theologian.

I never proclaimed myself to be a theologian.  I provided the information I did because it means I've done at least as much research in this area as you have, so we should be able to work with better sources than Wiki and your interpretation of what your clergy are teaching you (and since you've misinterpreted Wiki, I can't take for granted the accuracy of your interpretation of the oral teaching delivered to you).

1. With this whole "lack of the clergy" business, that was incorrect wording. It would have been better if I had said "there were no clergy members at all who could anoint women" (Male clergy to be even more exact).

3. Yes, you are correct on the Wiki claim that we both disagree on

2.  I very much understood and interpret what Wiki has said, as well as I very much understood my priest and the others I have talked to. I am not dumb, this is not rocket science, and I can speak, understand, hear, and read clear English. I know what my priest has said and it is exactly what I'm telling you.

3. "we should be able to work with better sources than Wiki and your interpretation of what your clergy are teaching you"
And sir, if you cannot trust the words of the clergy, then I don't know you you can trust my friend.

4. This is definitely an endless agreement and this is just beyond the point of immaturity to continue to bicker about it.

At the end of the day, the point is the Deaconess was never and will never play the same role of the Deacon. I'm pretty sure the Church Fathers excluded women from playing such a role in the Clergy for this reason alone: It's a controversial topic and it causes causes confusion, disagreements, and pointless arguments, as proved here!
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« Reply #342 on: March 23, 2014, 11:05:23 PM »

1. With this whole "lack of the clergy" business, that was incorrect wording. It would have been better if I had said "there were no clergy members at all who could anoint women" (Male clergy to be even more exact).

But that's wrong.  There were clerics who could anoint women: bishops and priests.  They could do it because they were physically able to apply oil to women's bodies and they could do it because they had the power of holy orders to bless and sanctify.  Even today, bishops and priests anoint with chrism the entire naked bodies of female (infant) baptizands in some traditions. 

The issue was impropriety, not inability. 

Quote
2.  I very much understood and interpret what Wiki has said, as well as I very much understood my priest and the others I have talked to. I am not dumb, this is not rocket science, and I can speak, understand, hear, and read clear English. I know what my priest has said and it is exactly what I'm telling you.

I'm not suggesting you are dumb or that this is beyond you in any way.  But your recent posts on this topic are more reactionary than anything else.  So yes, I have a suspicion that something is being lost along the way. 

Quote
3. "we should be able to work with better sources than Wiki and your interpretation of what your clergy are teaching you"
And sir, if you cannot trust the words of the clergy, then I don't know you you can trust my friend.

I didn't say anything about trusting the words of the clergy, I said something about trusting your interpretation of what they are telling you.  If I make these distinctions so clear in my posts and you still don't get it, what would you like me to think is the problem? 

Quote
4. This is definitely an endless agreement and this is just beyond the point of immaturity to continue to bicker about it.

At the end of the day, the point is the Deaconess was never and will never play the same role of the Deacon. I'm pretty sure the Church Fathers excluded women from playing such a role in the Clergy for this reason alone: It's a controversial topic and it causes causes confusion, disagreements, and pointless arguments, as proved here!

I think you and I agree on some major points, but if we go about it by making the wrong distinctions, the whole argument suffers.  That's why I don't think it's a waste of time to discuss these things even if you think it's pointless.  But if all you want to ensure is that you never have to receive Communion from a woman or have her rub you with chrism, I think you are safe for at least the next hundred years. 
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