Bishop Kallistos' gave an interview with the Antiochian Women's auxillary, The Order of St. Nina, where some items regarding the role of women were discussed:
Link to Interview with St. Nina's.
Unless one happens to be a lay youth adviser, I would say no.
If we are to believe that Christ fulfilled the Old Testament Prophecies and that nothing is to be added or subtracted from the Orthodox praxis, then changing how women are treated in the Church would be a deviation from the Orthodox praxis. In the above interview, Bishop Kallistos comments about why men aren't purified at the 40 Day Blessing along with the woman. In the context of those words, one has a difficult time discerning if Bishop Kallistos was being serious or sarcastic.
Back to Orthodox praxis, Christ was baptized in water and the Holy Spirit descended on Him in the form of a Dove. The Church has made some modifications out of Economia like allowing Baptism with sand if there's no source of water or oil nearby only if the person is near death and is expected to die. Revelations refers to all righteous people being "priests and kings" in the presence of the Lamb, Christ Himself. We are not "priests and kings" in this secular world at this moment.
I Read this interview.
It made me see how far we have come in the Orthodox Church and the life of "orthodoxy" over the last 2000 or so years.
It is strictly my opinion that the interview was inappropriate and disrespectful to Bishop Kallistos. In a few areas he seemed rather uncomfortable as if on the defensive. He even used 'ignorance' as his reason for not having an answer in a few cases.
The interviewer noted the judaic or hebraic elements that may be behind certain 'orthodox christian traditions. Bishop Kallistos as should most orthodox christians know that the Church of Christ is first Holy, then Universal (catholic if you like), and Apostolic in the Lord Jesus the true Messiah or as we say "Christ". This basic fact of orthodoxy reads plainly that we are certainly keeping with many so-called "judaic" and "hebraic" elements since we know that the Apostle preached the Gosple of Christ using the Torah (or old testament). They did not have the benefit of what we call the new testament today in book form to use as a reference. The very words they used to teach with at the time were being inpired by God through the Holy Spirit and became the books of the new Testament. Thus the words of the new Testament are older than the book itself. Bishop Kallistos seemed rather agreable when the interviewer noted these elements as if the point she was making may be a point to consider.
...A point to consider?
I feel very sad for us orthodox today.
The issue of women not having enough to do in "the church" is to me more secular and socio-economic than real spiritual need, denial or lack thereof. Seems the idea is that "if women can be president of the USA (which they may) than why not have this hope be real in their religious faith....maybe they can also be bishops and archbishops"?
Women have a full plate already in Gods true Church.
The Alter is not a place to 'thirst to be' it is holy and rightious. We are called by God to stand in its midst. There is no tradtion of women serving God in the Holies or the Holy of Holies. Women are very prominant in 'serving' God and and His Church on earth in very important ways. All aspects of our lives are "in-the -church". What part of our lives are outside the church? I hope the answer is 'no part'.
Women are given full blessing by God to serve in her 'nature'. Women are allowed to pray with their heads covered just by virtue of her being a women. A man MUST be ordained at the highest level for deacon and beyond before he is allowed to pray with his head covered. A man is not granted this by virtue but by strict order; as we say 'holy order'. I often watched my wife prepare for prayer. I used to wonder what her ritual must be like. I finally learned once I became a deacon.
The orthodox women is a symbol of the new Eve; the mother of us all.
The orthodox women is the symbol of the mother of God who served the Lord first by bearing all things and interceding as a faithful mother to Him for us all.
The orthodox women is the pride of the Lord Christ the center, protector and keeper of His most important act and gift to mankind which is true love. He kept her (not him) for himself. She is thus pre-ordained and crowned with Glory. She is the blessed alter which holds the blessed sacraments...she is 'The Church'. Christ spoke the truth with regard to her..." I am the Groom and the Church is my bride".
A bride is taken. She has her place.
The Orthodox women is the true symbol of Gods completed work. She is the Sabath day. In the women there is order, descency and rest. Completeness!
Christ while suffering for us all on the cross spoke 'The Seven Words on the Cross'. The Seventh being "It is finished". This is a powerful message to mankind that that He who lives forever died assuring us the comfort of His grace. The women is the finsiher. Adam was not complete without Eve. it was not due to creation but so that it can be manifested in US that we have women. This is not the nature of Adam who was created by God from the soil and breath of life. But the women who became a by product of Adam the first born of the flesh.
There is so much more to this point.
Women are mothers...NOT fathers. This is Gods plan; NOT the plan of men to subvert women. The idea that men are subverting women in the holy church is a trick of satan the devil that this assumption is testing our holy fathers and the holy church in this age.
I hope it is clearer that the women is not less but more for not being required to bare the blessed body and blood. She is part of that which is holy. She is the true mother of us all. The church. The Church is thus served by us through the priest order. The man is 'given' this glorification and it can also be taken away. He gets it since men have no other place by which to serve the church. It is the last positon. She (the church, our mother) is high position; higher than all the holy orders which were established by God to confine the service she (the Church) requires to those who are called and made ready. A bridge that only some men will cross which provides the means of our holy bond with that which is our mother the holy church since she can not serve herself. This does not include all men symbolically or otherwise.
Thus it is an important symbolism regarding women serving in her nature and men serving by permission only (and then only certain men NOT ALL men) through ordaination. This is also represented in Holy Matrimony where the couple become ONE flesh. For us each orthodox marriage is a symbol of the Holy Church which can not be defeated.
I am not explaining this that well but I want us to understand the power of the Holy Church which is mystical but is in perfect order. WE are not always going to know the justification so clearly.
Women has, is and will always be a central element in Gods church. It is not an issue as to whether we should have ordained women. The issue really is that it is not necessary at all. Each grape has a distinct color and flavor but all work together to form a perfect bouque. The grape is not credited with this perfection. The vine is.
I am saying that the Church whole and orthodox in peace is what matters. At the end of the day let us have strived with each other so that we leave our fathers house in order when he returns just the way He left it. He is the vine.
It is sad that we are confused today.
Our lives, our thinking and perspective is not holy and orthodox anymore. Thus is why many may not see my point.
Many of our most important representation of the Holy Church 'our women' read Cosmo. These programs are symbols of life in the world today particularly in America and much of the west.
The examples I shared can not be truely understood by persons who are in ways liberal, mainstream or secular in thier thinking and views. My points are trying to encourage us to think 'holy' orthodoxy. We can not do this with our minds out of sinct with the holy way of life lived by the generations long gone before us.
Women have so much to do in the holy church and always have. Women have to want to keep and preseve the great gifts and talents bestowed on her. Wear your crown proudly with joy. That is what the head covering is. Not some degrading act of dismissal or contempt for you. This view is a bad joke, a trick. Live Holy and keep to prayer. Be an example of the the great and holy church in all your ways which come to you by nature. This will be hard wearing see through pants and leaving lip stick on the consecrated Icon, bibles etc not to mention adding 'llipstick' and other facial make-up to the Holy Qurban while partaking. I am not saying this is the case with all women but so many keep a very loose appearance and way of life (missing the greatness she pocesses). As well as men of course. But the issue here is the women who I already stated are the blessed among the blessed in a matter of speaking. This should follow in lifestyle. Orthodox women are dignified by her holy nature and love of God.
Orthodox women are not fashioon models niether walk around in provocative clothing. But modest servants of the church. Intelligent, edcuated, strong, holy, virtuous, humble, set aside from the frivilousness of this world.
Aquiring the above noted is work indeed. Especailly in American and the west. But this is good work that will help to increase the glow of the light of holy church and add salt to its flavor.
Let us not let the world trick us orthodox into thinking that we are lost and have not the way.
WE have the way....Thank God!