Author Topic: The role of women in the Church  (Read 953 times)

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Offline Raafat

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The role of women in the Church
« on: April 08, 2018, 07:48:23 AM »
1d
Hello,

I was reading the New Testament, specifically Paul’s letter to Corinthians the first one. It stopped me because in chapter 11 that he orders women to cover their heads so as to show submission to men. Aren’t women our equal partners? Equal in dignity and value and capabilities? Why should they submit to men?

In 1 Corinthians chapter 14 verses 34:36
It tells women to be silent in the Church because it is indecent for them to do so, even if she had some questions she ought to ask her husband at home.
Why tell them to remain silent and submit, men are not better than women. They have full mental capacities.
Their input is rather helpful. Why would Paul say such things regarding women even though he himself there’s neither man nor woman in Christ. Why can't they teach? Give a sermon or anything like that?

One of the reasons I left Islam because it didn't treat women fairly. Sure they had it better than Jahalya women but still it us very unfair.

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Re: The role of women in the Church
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2018, 08:07:29 AM »
The teaching environment of the early church was like nothing most women of the time had experienced. Instructions to listen attentively and not interrupt the preacher were actually necessary. Both Jewish and Hellenic men were likely to have experience with sacred text study and debate already. It would take time for women to catch up.
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Offline Raafat

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Re: The role of women in the Church
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2018, 08:41:30 AM »
What about now then?

Offline Arachne

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Re: The role of women in the Church
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2018, 08:53:39 AM »
Now most of us know proper etiquette for services and teaching sessions (most of which include Q&A time ☺). We are also literate and have access to a lot more resources to aid our understanding.

Still, none of all this actually defines the role of women in the church, which is to pray and worship and grow in spirit, just like men.
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Offline Raafat

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Re: The role of women in the Church
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2018, 06:47:47 PM »
Can a woman lead study groups?!
Can a woman give a sermon or a homily,  even as a guest speaker?

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Re: The role of women in the Church
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2018, 07:02:04 PM »
Can a woman lead study groups?!
Can a woman give a sermon or a homily,  even as a guest speaker?

They can teach classes and give lectures. There's lots of prominent Orthodox women educators, eg. Dr. Jeannie Constantinou and the nun Sister Vassa Lerrin. Women reading Scripture to the congregation during the service seems to depend on how conservative the parish is.

I don't think I've ever heard of a woman giving a sermon from the pulpit, though. I could be wrong.
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Offline Raafat

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Re: The role of women in the Church
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2018, 11:10:43 AM »
Can they really teach classes for adult males or is it viewed as inappropriate?
Can they give sermons from the altar during the worship service?
What does it mean that women are to subordinate to men?

Offline Agabus

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Re: The role of women in the Church
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2018, 11:32:18 AM »
Can they really teach classes for adult males or is it viewed as inappropriate?
Yes.

Quote
Can they give sermons from the altar during the worship service?
Technically, most men aren't allowed to give sermons from the altar during worship, either.

Quote
What does it mean that women are to subordinate to men?

I will bite my tongue somewhat, but I believe the answer most people are going to give is "different from does not mean subordinate to."
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Offline Raafat

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Re: The role of women in the Church
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2018, 12:07:38 PM »
Can they really teach classes for adult males or is it viewed as inappropriate?
Yes.

Yes what?

quote author=Agabus link=topic=73540.msg1512885#msg1512885 date=1525966338]
Quote
Can they give sermons from the altar during the worship service?
Technically, most men aren't allowed to give sermons from the altar during worship, either.
[/quote]
Because they have nothing to say. But if she has something to say why forbid her only because she is a woman.
If they are allowed, what did Paul mean then? Why should he say anything that sexist in the first place?

quote author=Agabus link=topic=73540.msg1512885#msg1512885 date=1525966338]
Quote
What does it mean that women are to subordinate to men?

I will bite my tongue somewhat, but I believe the answer most people are going to give is "different from does not mean subordinate to."
[/quote]
It stated clearly in Paul's letters that they're subordinate to men.

Offline RaphaCam

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Re: The role of women in the Church
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2018, 12:16:32 PM »
Women reading Scripture to the congregation during the service seems to depend on how conservative the parish is.
My parish is very conservative and women often read post-communion prayers. Reading scripture would be totally unnecessary since we have an abundance of priests, subdeacons and servers.
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Re: The role of women in the Church
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2018, 12:31:14 PM »
I will bite my tongue somewhat, but I believe the answer most people are going to give is "different from does not mean subordinate to."
It stated clearly in Paul's letters that they're subordinate to men.

It says they are to be in submission. They are to yield the floor, so to speak, for the reasons Arachne mentioned above. Yielding does not necessarily mean admitting subordination.

I am not necessarily arguing the modern Orthodox reading. And I am not arguing that specific letters, written to specific congregations at a specific time in history, are necessary instruction manuals for all operations of Christians in all times and all places.
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Take a breath, read Ecclesiastes 1:9.

Offline Raafat

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Re: The role of women in the Church
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2018, 12:37:27 PM »
Women reading Scripture to the congregation during the service seems to depend on how conservative the parish is.
My parish is very conservative and women often read post-communion prayers. Reading scripture would be totally unnecessary since we have an abundance of priests, subdeacons and servers.

What about the Sermon? If they have an insight are they in principle prohibited from taking the place of the priest for that given portion of the service?

Offline Raafat

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Re: The role of women in the Church
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2018, 12:39:31 PM »
I will bite my tongue somewhat, but I believe the answer most people are going to give is "different from does not mean subordinate to."
It stated clearly in Paul's letters that they're subordinate to men.

It says they are to be in submission. They are to yield the floor, so to speak, for the reasons Arachne mentioned above. Yielding does not necessarily mean admitting subordination.

I am not necessarily arguing the modern Orthodox reading. And I am not arguing that specific letters, written to specific congregations at a specific time in history, are necessary instruction manuals for all operations of Christians in all times and all places.

Why are they to be in submission? If you are submitting to someone at a particular time, then you are admitting subordination at that particular time.

What determines what applies and what doesn't?

Offline RaphaCam

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Re: The role of women in the Church
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2018, 12:41:52 PM »
What about the Sermon? If they have an insight are they in principle prohibited from taking the place of the priest for that given portion of the service?
Well, everybody is prohibited from taking the place of the priest in the sermon. There's a man in my church that has gone through seven years of formal study in a seminary abroad. He's a subdeacon, so he never gave any sermon.

I used to go occasionally to a parish that had only one priest and one deacon, so the same priest would give all sermons. After the service, however, the deacon would always give catechesis classes. Once, a couple who owns an Orthodox publisher went there and gave a lecture on the Prologue of Ohrid before the service. On the following day, the woman went alone to another parish and gave the same lecture after the service. You see where this is going?
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Re: The role of women in the Church
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2018, 02:06:58 PM »
I will bite my tongue somewhat, but I believe the answer most people are going to give is "different from does not mean subordinate to."
It stated clearly in Paul's letters that they're subordinate to men.

It says they are to be in submission. They are to yield the floor, so to speak, for the reasons Arachne mentioned above. Yielding does not necessarily mean admitting subordination.

I am not necessarily arguing the modern Orthodox reading. And I am not arguing that specific letters, written to specific congregations at a specific time in history, are necessary instruction manuals for all operations of Christians in all times and all places.

Why are they to be in submission? If you are submitting to someone at a particular time, then you are admitting subordination at that particular time.

What determines what applies and what doesn't?

Hierarchy.

We submit to people of higher rank all the time. Teachers, bosses, specialists of all sorts. Do you find that demeaning as well?
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Offline IreneOlinyk

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Re: The role of women in the Church
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2018, 06:57:09 PM »

My parish is very conservative and women often read post-communion prayers. Reading scripture would be totally unnecessary since we have an abundance of priests, subdeacons and servers.

Ever been to Russia, Ukraine or Belarus?  Women cantors are common.  Many are graduates of the cantor & choir directors programmes at the seminary.

The Russian Orthodox Church Council of 1917 gave its approval to women cantors.

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Re: The role of women in the Church
« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2018, 07:02:42 PM »

My parish is very conservative and women often read post-communion prayers. Reading scripture would be totally unnecessary since we have an abundance of priests, subdeacons and servers.

Ever been to Russia, Ukraine or Belarus?  Women cantors are common.  Many are graduates of the cantor & choir directors programmes at the seminary.

The Russian Orthodox Church Council of 1917 gave its approval to women cantors.

Good to know.
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: The role of women in the Church
« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2018, 07:05:08 PM »
I will bite my tongue somewhat, but I believe the answer most people are going to give is "different from does not mean subordinate to."
It stated clearly in Paul's letters that they're subordinate to men.

It says they are to be in submission. They are to yield the floor, so to speak, for the reasons Arachne mentioned above. Yielding does not necessarily mean admitting subordination.

I am not necessarily arguing the modern Orthodox reading. And I am not arguing that specific letters, written to specific congregations at a specific time in history, are necessary instruction manuals for all operations of Christians in all times and all places.

Why are they to be in submission? If you are submitting to someone at a particular time, then you are admitting subordination at that particular time.

What determines what applies and what doesn't?

Hierarchy.

We submit to people of higher rank all the time. Teachers, bosses, specialists of all sorts. Do you find that demeaning as well?

Building off of this point, I think it's important when talking about these issues to mentally separate the question of women's participation in Church with the question of why the priesthood is all-male.

The women submit to the the priest just like the men of the congregation do... it just so happens that the priest is always a man. It doesn't have to be for the exact same reasons, either.
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Re: The role of women in the Church
« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2018, 11:33:47 PM »
Ever been to Russia, Ukraine or Belarus?  Women cantors are common.  Many are graduates of the cantor & choir directors programmes at the seminary.

The Russian Orthodox Church Council of 1917 gave its approval to women cantors.
I imagined, but interesting to know about the council. My poin was: women reading in the Church has nothing to do with conservatism or lack thereof.
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Re: The role of women in the Church
« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2018, 11:52:16 PM »
Ever been to Russia, Ukraine or Belarus?  Women cantors are common.  Many are graduates of the cantor & choir directors programmes at the seminary.

The Russian Orthodox Church Council of 1917 gave its approval to women cantors.
I imagined, but interesting to know about the council. My poin was: women reading in the Church has nothing to do with conservatism or lack thereof.

I guess I was just generalizing based on Ctec :-[
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Re: The role of women in the Church
« Reply #20 on: May 11, 2018, 06:33:28 AM »
Ever been to Russia, Ukraine or Belarus?  Women cantors are common.  Many are graduates of the cantor & choir directors programmes at the seminary.

The Russian Orthodox Church Council of 1917 gave its approval to women cantors.
I imagined, but interesting to know about the council. My poin was: women reading in the Church has nothing to do with conservatism or lack thereof.

Exactly. It's rather about skills and knowdledge of potential cantors, psalmists and readers of both sexes at the parish/occassion.
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Offline IreneOlinyk

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Re: The role of women in the Church
« Reply #21 on: May 11, 2018, 11:58:16 AM »


They can teach classes and give lectures. There's lots of prominent Orthodox women educators, eg. Dr. Jeannie Constantinou and the nun Sister Vassa Lerrin. Women reading Scripture to the congregation during the service seems to depend on how conservative the parish is.


And we also professional Orthodox women who are theologians and teach men in seminaries.  And women who have completed seminary and the professional CPE programmes employed in hospitals as chaplains.

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Re: The role of women in the Church
« Reply #22 on: May 11, 2018, 12:10:51 PM »
They can teach classes and give lectures. There's lots of prominent Orthodox women educators, eg. Dr. Jeannie Constantinou and the nun Sister Vassa Lerrin. Women reading Scripture to the congregation during the service seems to depend on how conservative the parish is. 

And we also professional Orthodox women who are theologians and teach men in seminaries.  And women who have completed seminary and the professional CPE programmes employed in hospitals as chaplains.

I've worked with one of the first women to graduate from Holy Cross (GOA), my sister is a graduate (and working as a hospital chaplain), I've learned a great many theological lessons from the women who have the gift to study and teach theology.

IMO: men and women who don't have the gifts to teach shouldn't, and those who have, should.
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Offline IreneOlinyk

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Re: The role of women in the Church
« Reply #23 on: May 11, 2018, 07:28:46 PM »
They can teach classes and give lectures. There's lots of prominent Orthodox women educators, eg. Dr. Jeannie Constantinou and the nun Sister Vassa Lerrin. Women reading Scripture to the congregation during the service seems to depend on how conservative the parish is. 

And we also professional Orthodox women who are theologians and teach men in seminaries.  And women who have completed seminary and the professional CPE programmes employed in hospitals as chaplains.

I've worked with one of the first women to graduate from Holy Cross (GOA), my sister is a graduate (and working as a hospital chaplain), I've learned a great many theological lessons from the women who have the gift to study and teach theology.

IMO: men and women who don't have the gifts to teach shouldn't, and those who have, should.

Thanks you so much for posting Father.  I am so glad to read your post about your sister and GOA chaplains.
Also you are so right: teaching is a real gift. 

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Re: The role of women in the Church
« Reply #24 on: May 11, 2018, 08:24:16 PM »
Now most of us know proper etiquette for services and teaching sessions (most of which include Q&A time ☺).

Are you kidding?!
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