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Author Topic: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church  (Read 181458 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #1125 on: July 05, 2008, 03:21:02 AM »


If you read the article by HE Metropolitan Kallistos Ware that I showed you, he doesn't necessarily advocate a position, but he does prepare you for the questions that may come in the future if it plagues the Orthodox Church one day.  And these questions are very thought-provoking.

And I am personally not advocating a position either (actually I tend to advocate a male-only priesthood, but there are questions I wish I can address and be answered).  I'm simply extending the discussion to a certain level that I don't think was discussed before.  Sorry for those who feel I've resurrected something they're personally tired of (truthfully, this comes up again with me because of a recent debate I had with my sister).

minasoliman,

I agree with you. Metropolitan Ware has approached the topic in a thoughtful and mature manner, IMO. It's not a question of advocating the ordination of women as much as having an open discussion - about this or any other matter that Orthodox Christians wish to discuss. The whole concept to clamping a lid on a topic seems draconian and somewhat foreign to Orthodoxy, more in keeping with the fear tactics of a cult. If we believe that the Holy Spirit guides the Church in all truth, what is there to fear in honest dialogue? 
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« Reply #1126 on: July 05, 2008, 03:39:00 AM »

minasoliman,

I agree with you. Metropolitan Ware has approached the topic in a thoughtful and mature manner, IMO. It's not a question of advocating the ordination of women as much as having an open discussion - about this or any other matter that Orthodox Christians wish to discuss. The whole concept to clamping a lid on a topic seems draconian and somewhat foreign to Orthodoxy, more in keeping with the fear tactics of a cult. If we believe that the Holy Spirit guides the Church in all truth, what is there to fear in honest dialogue? 

I think somebody already mentioned this to someone else, but I'll go ahead and repeat the word of protocol.  Technically, a bishop gives up his family name when he makes his monastic vows, so we never refer to a bishop by his title and last name alone (e.g., Metropolitan Ware).  We customarily refer to a bishop by his title and first name alone, however, which leads us to speak of Metropolitan Kallistos.  If we mention the bishop's last name, we do so in parentheses--i.e., Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware).

Okay, okay, enough of my nitpicking. Tongue
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« Reply #1127 on: July 05, 2008, 04:41:32 AM »

Oh, duh! I knew that!  Embarrassed
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« Reply #1128 on: July 05, 2008, 11:13:58 AM »

I think somebody already mentioned this to someone else, but I'll go ahead and repeat the word of protocol.  Technically, a bishop gives up his family name when he makes his monastic vows, so we never refer to a bishop by his title and last name alone (e.g., Metropolitan Ware).  We customarily refer to a bishop by his title and first name alone, however, which leads us to speak of Metropolitan Kallistos.  If we mention the bishop's last name, we do so in parentheses--i.e., Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware).

Okay, okay, enough of my nitpicking. Tongue

I knew someone mentioned it before, but I forgot and and when I forget, then there are websites like amazon and the St. Nina Quarterly that forget to do just that as well.  So it just confused me.

I'll try to remember this time.  This is something actually that I shouldn't forget now, since this is also a Coptic tradition.  Wasn't sure if the same held for the EO's.
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« Reply #1129 on: May 20, 2009, 08:26:53 PM »

All the push to do it, both in the Roman and Orthodox churches, comes from a small minority living in Protestant countries. It's obviously not from the life and heart of the church. So I wish Episcopal priests (such as a woman in my blogroll who was born Episcopal) the best and like an ethnic born parishioner don't worry about it too much.

P.S. Doing it didn't reverse the decline of the mainline denominations such as the Episcopalians.
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« Reply #1130 on: May 20, 2009, 08:54:36 PM »

P.S. Doing it didn't reverse the decline of the mainline denominations such as the Episcopalians.

Women's ordination is too new to know whether it will stem the decline. Wake me up in 200 years. Grin
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« Reply #1131 on: May 20, 2009, 09:07:12 PM »

Tom,
Would you want to be the priest's husband?
laugh  Intriguing!
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« Reply #1132 on: May 21, 2009, 04:18:51 PM »

I guess I'll just copy my post over to here...

"Women are called to the priesthood—we know this, we see this. Women leave churches that don't ordain women if they must have that call fulfilled."

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Ordination_of_women

Now this seems to be a ridiculous argument to me. So, you're called to the priesthood, but if the church won't ordain you, you leave? It might just be me, but I don't think the Lord would move you to leave His True church. Personally, I don't think we should allow females to serve. It's not our Holy Tradition, and it's not needed. The biggest need for deaconesses was because it was improper for priests to touch women. That's not really an issue anymore. Nobody gasps in shock when a priest baptizes a little naked female baby.
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« Reply #1133 on: May 21, 2009, 04:30:53 PM »


"Women are called to the priesthood—we know this, we see this. Women leave churches that don't ordain women if they must have that call fulfilled."


It's best these women, who leave the Church because they can't get what they want, NOT become priests.  It seems they are more interested in their own ambitions.  You can have a "calling" to be an active part of Christ's Church, and not be an ordained priest.  The priest alone, cannot make his parish prosper and grow.  He is but one.  It is the duty, the calling, of each member to do their part, to encourage their brethren, to spread the Word.

If we bother to take a moment, we would all realize that we are all called to be fishers of men! 

Let's be creative and find ways, other than priesthood, to do just that!

Watch out....I am baiting my hook! 

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« Reply #1134 on: July 30, 2009, 09:33:19 AM »

Nektarios, I have to thank you for bringing this silly post to my attention in the Banning of Homosexuality in Ethiopia thread.
Ok, I dont know that I'm getting through so I'm going to respond with a similar argument about race being an impediemnt to the priesthood. Yes, it is offensive, and it is intended to be offensive to get my point across...but it is no less offensive than your arguments. So without further ado...

On the issue; The Holy Church has to obey the theological and spiritual roots of the fathers back our lord Jesus Christ on earth. Ordination is something that we except on the terms given us from the holy fathers the apostles. All sacraments are soemthing we are given by God not soemthing we create. Eve came out of Adams body she was not created seperately from the dust of the earth and the spirit of God like Adam was. The Church came out of Christs body, 'she' was not created seprately from earthy flesh and the spirit of God which Christ is.

The Negro is, by tradition,

Not Orthodox tradition, but the day before yesterday tradition from the Age of Enlightenment (ever read Jefferson's comments on the negro race?)

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the decendent of Canaan the son of Ham, a servant race,

Not according the Bible the Orthodox use:Genesis 10:6 names the sons of Ham as Cush (modern Sudan), Mizraim (Egypt), Put (Modern Libya) and Canaan.  The African peoples mentioned all are from Cush and Mizraim.  The text plainly states (v. 19) that "the borders of the Canaanites was from Sidon as you go toward Gerar, as far as Gaza (i.e. the border with Mizraim/Egypt and Africa): then you go toward Sodom and Gomorrah (how apropos, seeing where I learned of this thread), Admah and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha (i.e. modern Jordan).  Not exactly the Cradle of the Negro.  http://www.apostoliki-diakonia.gr/bible/bible.asp?contents=old_testament/contents_Genesis.asp&main=genesis&file=1.10.htm
(the non-Greeks can look at the Orthodox Study Bible).

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not blessed as are the decendents of Shem and Japheth. He is commanded by God to serve the other races of men,

Btw, your Enlightenment Protestants couldn't read it seems: the curse of Noah is plainly on Canaan, not Ham nor his other sons.  But then, reading what you want into things is an Enlightenment specialty.

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to place him in a place of authority such as the priesthood would be a violation of the word of God.

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Matthew 20:25Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve

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Furthermore, is this not seen in the body and build of the negro, he is built for labour and work as the ox, to take him from that position and place him in a position of intellectual authority is unnatural and contrary to God's will.

Ah, that Enlightenment assessment of the negro.

If you read the qualifications of priesthood in the OT, physical ability etc. was a requirement. An infirm priest was not allowed to serve.  I don't recall any intellectual criteria. The physical requirements have come into the canons (someone I know told of his fellow seminarian who was told he couldn't be ordained because of his club foot).  So you are arguing for the negro priesthood, since he is well suited physically?

So the Church is symbolic of these biblical truths which is the re-birth of Adam in Christ and the saving through grace of Adams generations till Christs second return.

So the Church is symbolic of these biblical truths in which Christ, from the line of Shem, and the saving through grace of Shem's descendents till Christs second return.
Ah, but Shem had to use the daughters of Canaan Tamar and Rahab (Mat. 1:3-4) to beget those descendants (you do recall the Halakhah on Jewish descent, no?), and called His Son out of Mizraim/Egypt (Mat. 1:15), and a man of Put helped carry His Cross to the Sacrifice (Mat. 27:32).

The Church is women 'in' man. One flesh; which is Christs flesh. Christ taught "I am the Church and the Church is my bride".

The negro is a servant, servant to the descendents of Shem and Japheth. As scripture proclaims 'And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.'

Note: "Canaan." Not "Ham." Not "Cush." Not "Mizraim." Not "Put."

AS such marriage is Holy among us, sacred. This sacrament like all other is the 'tone' of the fulfillment of Christ relationship in the Church of His body...His people. The sacrament can not change. As with all the remaining 6 because they are the 'tone' of Christ among us.

As such the relationship between master and slave is sacred, it is commanded by God and cannot change.

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Phillipians 2:5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Ordination is not a men's club as our new age contemporary minds see it. It is order in the Church established by Christ with the Holy Spirit. The apostles taught "A Deacon or Bishop shall be the husband of one wife" (read First and second Timothy). This means a few things one of which is a married man can not address but one women as his wife; he can't have a "first wife" or "second wife" or "ex-wife". He can not have had a divorce and re-married if so he can not be a deacon or anything else in the Holy CHurch. A lay person in this situation can not take communion in some orthodox churches until very extensive penance or repair of the matter is completed.

Ordination is not a white man's club as our new age contemporary minds see it.

No, but it took the Enlightenment to read its own racism into the Scriptures to form the silly tradition you are basing your "arguement" on.

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It is order in the Church established by God with the Holy Spirit. The scriptures teach 'And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.' This means a few things one of which is a wite man cannot address but the negro as slave; he can't have 'white slave' or 'black slave' or 'ex-slave.' He cannot emancipate and, if he takes as slave one other than the Negro, should not be a deacon or anything else in the Holy Church.

And it is evident you, and your Enlightenment buddies, cannot read. C-A-N-A-A-N. Not C-U-S-H, M-I-Z-R-A-I-M, P-U-T, nor H-A-M.

Btw, St. Paul doesn't seem to have a "negro exception" in I Corinthians 7:21.

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Anyone who opposes this slavery is also Anathematized by the canons of the Holy Synod of Gangra.

Would anyone care to quote the canon?

This also teaches that a women are not to be "ordained" Deacon since she can not have a "wife" but has a husband. In many orthodox societies from the days of the apostles to now the wife of a clergy man was respected and treated with reverence and respect within the church. She was given much duty especially when her husband was away. Today in Ethiopia and I know also in Greece a Deacons wife OR priest wife has a special title. Her hand is not kissed but she is bowed to and asked "pray for me". This is a great honor. Her life must be like a deacon or priest...not a women of liesure and fashion, not a gossip or wearer of much jewlry and make-up. She is a women of natural beauty adorned on her by God. She is not loud but becoming; a strong support for the work of the church. I have found some deacon wives more beautiful in the faith than than some deacons.

Timothy also teaches that those who oppose this institution are "proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words,' 'whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.' But this is not to say that the negro is less well respected in society, it is simply that his role is different. He is allowed to work in the field in the role of a servant, in this way he may approach Christ, though it is given only to the white man to approach Christ through the office of the Priesthood. Also the Negro slave should be poor, humble, obedient, and loving towards his Master.

Timothy is speaking of the priesthood. What are you talking about? There is no reference to slavery (negro or otherwise) in Timothy, except this:
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I Timothy 1:8We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. 9We also know that lawa is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.

You do know that the slave trade went up astronomically with the Age of Enlightenment.  I think I've brought that up.
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,14700.msg211846/topicseen.html#msg211846
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,14700.msg211770/topicseen.html#msg211770

People look at her and know immediately "her husband is clergy man"

People look at him and know immediately, 'he is a good Negro.'

I have to admit when I see Ethiopian Orthodox, that is what I know.  Or rather "Good Christian man/woman."

These are just two point of Holy tradition which is the Orthodox Church.

These are just a few points from Holy tradition and sacred scripture which is the Orthodox Church.

No, just a few points from the Secular Tradition perverting the Sacred Scripture of the Orthdoox Church according to the Enlightenment.

Their is no biblical bases fro ordaining women.

There is no biblical basis for ordaining negros.

Acts 8.  Otherwise, there is no biblical basis for ordaining Greeks.

This is not discrimination. This is the rule of God in His church. People outside the Church can do what they want to do. But us orthodox do not have that choice.

This is not discrimination. This is the rule of God in His church. People outside the Church can do what they want to do. But us orthodox do not have that choice.

And we choose not to corrupt the Faith with practical economics and "enlightened" philosophy.
What we see in Jefferson is not a condoning of slavery by enlightenment ideology, but rather the epitome of the traditional conflict between philosophical ideals and practical economics.

The left hand serves the body as well as the right hand, but only the head of the body decides for the whole body. That is not discrimination that is the rule of Nature.

The left hand serves the body as well as the right hand, but only the Master race can decide for humanity and for the Church. That is not discrimination that is the rule of Nature.

Do we know our left hand from our right?

Slavery is one will suppressing another 'will'. This is dysfunctional, in-organic, un-natural and is at the root of hate in the world today. The History and heritage of and entire nation of people were destroyed to build Americas so-called "free country" America is the symbol of racial hatred in the world to this day due to her bazaar and wicked 400 year industry of land grabbing and slavery.

Opposition to the equality of women is one will suppressing another 'will'. This is dysfunctional, in-organic, un-natural and is at the root of hate in the world today. The dignity and humanity of half the population of the wolrd was destroyed to fulfill the sinful desires and lust for power of insecure males. Patriarchal institutions are the symbol of mysogany misogyny in the world to this day due to it's wicked imposition upon the humanity and dignity of half the human race.

Ah, the femocentric line.  The same cheerleaders for those who see women as sex toys, as long as they toe the party line.


The Head rules the whole body because the hand and all other body parts are designed to look for such rule as an example.

The white man rules the negro and all other races are designed to look for such rule as an example.

Another example of your Enlightenment mangling of what the text says: it should be the SEMITE rules...not the White Anglo-Saxon.  You are refering to Shem, remember?

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It is easy to question or challenge what we believe or believed. But is is a gross lack of faith to question what is the way of the Lord.

It is easy to question or challenge what we believe or believed. But is is a gross lack of faith to question what is the way of the Lord.

As I posted before we will never see a women deacon and therefore neither priest in the Holy Orthodox Church as long as true orthodoxy is held.

A negro is of a servant race, he can never be a valid deacon and therefore neither a priest in the Holy Orthodox Church as long as true orthodoxy is held.

Here you do have Amdetsion: we have seen women deacons in the Early Church, and we see them again.  We have never, nor do I expect to, seen a woman priest though.  I've seen plenty of negro deacons, priests and bishops.  And so has the Church.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Was that offensive?

No, far too amusing (and pathic) to offend.

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I hope so because it was intended to be...of course, I made no argument you didn't, I simply replaced race for gender.


Fill in the blanks.  Yeah, that's about right.

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My theological arguments are just as sound as yours (by which I, of course, mean a bunch of nonsense); so, logically speaking, if your arguments are adequate to deny ordination to women, mine are adequate to deny ordination to non-whites.

You flatter yourself.  No suprise there....
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« Reply #1135 on: July 30, 2009, 09:34:40 AM »

I guess I'll just copy my post over to here...

"Women are called to the priesthood—we know this, we see this. Women leave churches that don't ordain women if they must have that call fulfilled."

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Ordination_of_women

Now this seems to be a ridiculous argument to me. So, you're called to the priesthood, but if the church won't ordain you, you leave? It might just be me, but I don't think the Lord would move you to leave His True church. Personally, I don't think we should allow females to serve. It's not our Holy Tradition, and it's not needed. The biggest need for deaconesses was because it was improper for priests to touch women. That's not really an issue anymore. Nobody gasps in shock when a priest baptizes a little naked female baby.

Many are called but few are chosen.
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« Reply #1136 on: July 30, 2009, 10:12:52 AM »


As a woman, I can tell you...it's hard sometimes.  One really, truly wants to serve!  If I were a man I can only imagine what path my life would have taken.

However, God chose not to make me a man, and I am stuck as a female...and have to search out various ways to serve within the Church. 

Sometimes it is challenging, but, when one finds a "way" to be of even the slightest benefit to the Church...it is ooohhhh so rewarding!
Maybe, as a female, I even appreciate it more....because I cannot serve in the more "common" fashion.

However, I would never, ever go against the laws of the Church and push the issue of female deacons or clergy.

I would be first to say it should remain the way it is.  It would be huge mess otherwise.  I put my trust in Christ and Church Elders.  They knew what they were doing...and out of a search for some personal sense of accomplishment one should not rock the foundations of the Church.

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« Reply #1137 on: July 30, 2009, 11:09:39 PM »

Ialmisry,

I'll second your recent post to this thread, but don't forget to put scorn quotes around the word "Enlightenment" when you apply it to the 18th Century clouding of the Western mind by rationalism.

True Enlightenment is granted in Holy Baptism.

(Sorry to be crumudgeonly, but we should not concede rhetorical ground to secularism or heresy by carelessly adopting their terminology.)
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« Reply #1138 on: July 30, 2009, 11:28:17 PM »


As a woman, I can tell you...it's hard sometimes.  One really, truly wants to serve!  If I were a man I can only imagine what path my life would have taken.

However, God chose not to make me a man, and I am stuck as a female...and have to search out various ways to serve within the Church. 

Sometimes it is challenging, but, when one finds a "way" to be of even the slightest benefit to the Church...it is ooohhhh so rewarding!
Maybe, as a female, I even appreciate it more....because I cannot serve in the more "common" fashion.

However, I would never, ever go against the laws of the Church and push the issue of female deacons or clergy.

I would be first to say it should remain the way it is.  It would be huge mess otherwise.  I put my trust in Christ and Church Elders.  They knew what they were doing...and out of a search for some personal sense of accomplishment one should not rock the foundations of the Church.



A very interesting post given from a female viewpoint.  It's interesting to me, because so many women in my parish are very influential in its affairs on many levels. 
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« Reply #1139 on: July 31, 2009, 04:47:35 AM »

Well, being new to Orthodoxy, I will say only this for now (and I confess that I have not read all of the previous posts, so forgive me if I am repeating some points that have already been mentioned):

1. I think it is acceptable to ordain women deacons. There is a biblical precedent for this, for example Phoebe. (Romans 16:1)

2. Any Christian that truly wants to serve Christ and His Church can do so, whether as a lay person or as an ordained person.

3. The Divine Liturgy should only be led by males. This is not because women are inferior to men, but because God has established a hierarchy of order that must not be confused with a hierarchy of being. Women are not less than men. In fact they possess certain qualities and abilities that men will never possess, for example child bearing. But men are to be the leaders in the Church, and the Bible lays out specific and difficult guidelines to which these male leaders should always adhere.

4. The complaint from women who want to be Priests has nothing to do with service. Service by definition means humility, selflessness, sacrifice, and denying one's self for the benefit of others. The Church has never prohibited women from serving. The Chucrh encourages all of us to serve. And if we are humble and submissive, then we will easily find ways to serve in an authentic Christian manner. Whenever I hear women demanding to be ordained to the Priesthood by the Church, then I know immediately that these women want nothing to do with service. What they want is vain glory and the praise of men, and there are plenty of religions that are willing to accommodate them. But the Orthodox Church should not be one of them.

Selam
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« Reply #1140 on: July 31, 2009, 08:53:08 AM »

Nektarios, I have to thank you for bringing this silly post to my attention in the Banning of Homosexuality in Ethiopia thread....

And it is evident you, and your Enlightenment buddies, cannot read. C-A-N-A-A-N. Not C-U-S-H, M-I-Z-R-A-I-M, P-U-T, nor H-A-M.
Wow, good spelling. But apparently, you missed one: P-A-R-O-D-Y.
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« Reply #1141 on: July 31, 2009, 09:19:50 AM »

Nektarios, I have to thank you for bringing this silly post to my attention in the Banning of Homosexuality in Ethiopia thread....

And it is evident you, and your Enlightenment buddies, cannot read. C-A-N-A-A-N. Not C-U-S-H, M-I-Z-R-A-I-M, P-U-T, nor H-A-M.
Wow, good spelling. But apparently, you missed one: P-A-R-O-D-Y.
A-T-T-E-M-P-T A-T
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« Reply #1142 on: July 31, 2009, 09:36:18 AM »

1 Corinthians 13:34
Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.

That's a misinterpretation/mistranslation. The original verb used (laleō/λαλέω) doesn't just mean to speak; it means to preach. Anyone can see that all passages that use this verb are about speaking with the Holy Spirit, or in tongues, or prophecisizing, or preaching.
Since church attendance had not been officially established yet and everything was a bit of casual, people would stand up and preach often. Saint Paul forbid women to preach during the ritual and when in the church.
Today, instead of preachers, we have deacons/priests.
Thus the non-ordination of women.

Just thought of sharing this. Sorry if someone had already mentioned it before.
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« Reply #1143 on: July 31, 2009, 09:55:21 AM »


See, this statement confuses me.
Why aren't women aloud to "preach"?

What if I, as a woman, encounter an opportunity to tell someone about Christ?  What if I see a perfect chance to slip in the Good Word?  Does this mean, I should just shut up and not give that person an opportunity to know the Truth?

If this statement is strictly meant as preaching as a "priest"...then fine.

Otherwise,....not fine.

I am honored and humbled for being able to teach religion to kids at our Saturday school.  That is a form of preaching.

I always speak about my Faith at work.  I have yet to convert anyone, but, not due to lack of trying...I am just not good at it!   Wink

I cannot believe that God would want all women to simply shut-up, when we have something good to say.

....yet that precise statement - "for it is not permitted unto them to speak" has been thrown in my face a number of times.



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« Reply #1144 on: July 31, 2009, 10:01:33 AM »


See, this statement confuses me.
Why aren't women aloud to "preach"?

What if I, as a woman, encounter an opportunity to tell someone about Christ?  What if I see a perfect chance to slip in the Good Word?  Does this mean, I should just shut up and not give that person an opportunity to know the Truth?

If this statement is strictly meant as preaching as a "priest"...then fine.

Otherwise,....not fine.

I am honored and humbled for being able to teach religion to kids at our Saturday school.  That is a form of preaching.

I always speak about my Faith at work.  I have yet to convert anyone, but, not due to lack of trying...I am just not good at it!   Wink

I cannot believe that God would want all women to simply shut-up, when we have something good to say.

....yet that precise statement - "for it is not permitted unto them to speak" has been thrown in my face a number of times.





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« Reply #1145 on: July 31, 2009, 10:05:40 AM »

What if I, as a woman, encounter an opportunity to tell someone about Christ?  What if I see a perfect chance to slip in the Good Word?  Does this mean, I should just shut up and not give that person an opportunity to know the Truth?
You repeat the Jesus Prayer and then full speed ahead!

Quote
If this statement is strictly meant as preaching as a "priest"...then fine.
Exactly. In the very early churches, it was about peaching in the church. There were many female Apostles outside the liturgies. Today, it's about becoming a priest.

Quote
I am honored and humbled for being able to teach religion to kids at our Saturday school.  That is a form of preaching.
Which all Orthodox highly encourage.

Quote
I cannot believe that God would want all women to simply shut-up, when we have something good to say.
I'm with you.

Quote
....yet that precise statement - "for it is not permitted unto them to speak" has been thrown in my face a number of times.
Now you know how to reply. Wink
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« Reply #1146 on: August 03, 2009, 10:32:29 AM »

CONTEXT NOTE:  The following article and subsequent discussion was originally posted on Christian News, but seeing how the thread so quickly became yet another debate on women's ordination, I deemed it wise to merge this into the already existing thread on the subject.

- PtA




Archbishop Seraphim of Johannesburg and Pretoria (Church of Alexandria) said that on the forthcoming pan-Orthodox Synaxis case of ordination of women should be discussed. He asked whether there are any theological reasons against it and insisted on the Synaxis to make final decision. The Patriarchate issued a statement that it's Hierarch's personal opinion.

The newsreport I've read does not precise whether he was talking about Deaconate only or maybe about something more.

more in Polish
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« Reply #1147 on: August 03, 2009, 10:38:54 AM »

Archbishop Seraphim of Johannesburg and Pretoria (Church of Alexandria) said that on the forthcoming pan-Orthodox Synaxis case of ordination of women should be discussed. He asked whether there are any theological reasons against it and insisted on the Synaxis to make final decision. The Patriarchate issued a statement that it's Hierarch's personal opinion.

The newsreport I've read does not precise whether he was talking about Deaconate only or maybe about something more.

more in Polish

The late Pope Parthenios had made comments in favor of ordaining women as priests. That fact that the Archbishop "insists of the Synaxis to make a final decision" should indicate that it is a bad idea.  We have enough problems with the calendar.
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« Reply #1148 on: August 03, 2009, 10:42:30 AM »

Archbishop Seraphim of Johannesburg and Pretoria (Church of Alexandria) said that on the forthcoming pan-Orthodox Synaxis case of ordination of women should be discussed. He asked whether there are any theological reasons against it and insisted on the Synaxis to make final decision.
Based on the make up of world Orthodoxy I think the "final decision" will be something like this... "NO!"
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« Reply #1149 on: August 03, 2009, 10:48:12 AM »

Why would they want to ordain women. It has never been done in the Church and how can it now? I hope they make the right decision or we will have even more problems within the Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #1150 on: August 03, 2009, 10:50:26 AM »

Quote
A letter written by Orthodox priest, Fr. Alexander Schmemann:

 

Dear Friend:

 

When you asked me to outline the Orthodox reaction to the idea of ordination of women to the priesthood, I thought at first that to do so would not be too difficult. It is not difficult, indeed, simply to state that the Orthodox Church is against women”s priesthood and to enumerate as fully as possible the dogmatical, canonical, and spiritual reasons for that opposition.

 

On second thought, however, I became convinced that such an answer would be not only useless, but even harmful. Useless, because all such “formal reasons” – scriptural, traditional, canonical – are well known to the advocates of ordination of women, as is also well known our general ecclesiological stand which, depending on their mood and current priorities, our Western Brothers either hail as Orthodoxy”s “main” ecumenical contribution or dismiss as archaic, narrow-minded, and irrelevant. Harmful, because true formally, this answer would still vitiate the real Orthodox position by reducing it to a theological context and perspective, alien to the Orthodox mind. For the Orthodox Church has never faced this question, it is for us totally extrinsic, a casus irrealis for which we find no basis, no terms of reference in our Tradition, in the very experience of the Church, and for the discussion of which we are therefore simply not prepared.

But to what will they listen? Our amazement – and the Orthodox reaction is above all that of amazement – is precisely about the change and, to us, incomprehensible hastiness with which the question of ordination of women was, first, accepted as an issue, then quickly reduced to the level of a disciplinary “matter” and finally identified as an issue of policy to be dealt with by a vote! In this strange situation all I can do is to try to convey to you this amazement by briefly enumerating its main “components” as I see and understand them.

It is well known that the advocates of ordination of women explain the Scriptural and the traditional exclusion of women from ministry by “cultural conditioning”. If Christ did not include women into the Twelve, if the Church for centuries did not include them into priesthood, it is because of “culture” which would have made it impossible and unthinkable then. It is not my purpose to discuss here the theological and exegetical implications of this view as well as its purely historical basis, which incidentally seems to me extremely weak and shaky; what is truly amazing is that while absolutely convinced that they understand past “cultures”, the advocates of ordination of women seem to be totally unaware of their own cultural “conditioning” of their own surrender to culture.
http://www.australianorthodox.org.au/ordination-of-women-by-father-alexander-schmemann
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« Reply #1151 on: August 03, 2009, 11:01:46 AM »

Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) does not see any theological reason against women being ordained.  And if the Church is to keep up with the 'spirit of the times' (Bishop Ignaty Brianchaninov) then why not?
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« Reply #1152 on: August 03, 2009, 11:05:04 AM »

He (Metropolitan Kallistos) see's no reason against their ordination to the deaconate. Women historically were ordained as deacons, but never as Priests.

If MetropolitanKallistos has said otherwise, then I fear for his future positions on dogmatic and important issues. Please use the appropriate clerical title when posting.  You had no problem doing this in the first sentence which follows a correct form when speaking of Orthodox Clergy -username! section moderator
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« Reply #1153 on: August 03, 2009, 11:15:59 AM »

Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) does not see any theological reason against women being ordained.  And if the Church is to keep up with the 'spirit of the times' (Bishop Ignaty Brianchaninov) then why not?

Keep up with the spirit of the times? Then I guess we should just get rid of traditional Orthodox Church music and get ourselves some praise bands instead since nobody wants to hear rusty old music anymore these days or maybe we should get rid of the boring old vestments that our priests wear and get them some rainbow colored vestments and maybe we should not put so many icons in the church since they make certain people feel weird when they visit the church. Really, where are we going to draw the line? This is really another thing that doesn't have to be done and it seems like another pursuit to modernize the Church.
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« Reply #1154 on: August 03, 2009, 11:23:38 AM »

I'd say the church is fine, no need to modernize it or make it more "hip"... Just ask those that have come out of Protestant backgrounds, I'm sure many of us will tell you that no matter how many women you ordain, no matter how many instruments you introduce, no matter how much modern music, no matter how many pews you install, it isn't going to make the worship any "better".

If the argument is a lack of Priests, then ask yourself, why don't we have young men becoming Priests? Fix THAT before you even discuss allowing Priestesses in the Church.

In fact, the type of worship seen in the West does not fill the huge hole in the sinners heart. Why do you think Protestantism is collapsing so fast? People are looking for something more. Many are going to paganism or to Islam. Do we want to let the rest of the world fall to Islam because we feel we have to follow our Western brothers & sisters?

_________________________________________________

Also, please keep in mind, I am not hostile to things like pews, but there must be a reason the Church hasn't ever implemented these things. Why should it do so just because the rest of the world (which is fallen & corrupted) sees these things as vital to worship?
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« Reply #1155 on: August 03, 2009, 11:42:21 AM »

I'd say the church is fine, no need to modernize it or make it more "hip"... Just ask those that have come out of Protestant backgrounds, I'm sure many of us will tell you that no matter how many women you ordain, no matter how many instruments you introduce, no matter how much modern music, no matter how many pews you install, it isn't going to make the worship any "better".

If the argument is a lack of Priests, then ask yourself, why don't we have young men becoming Priests? Fix THAT before you even discuss allowing Priestesses in the Church.

In fact, the type of worship seen in the West does not fill the huge hole in the sinners heart. Why do you think Protestantism is collapsing so fast? People are looking for something more. Many are going to paganism or to Islam. Do we want to let the rest of the world fall to Islam because we feel we have to follow our Western brothers & sisters?

Exactly! We have to stay what we are and what we have been. We cannot adopt Western ideas because with their ideas will come their heresies as well. Protestantism is collapsing and so is the Catholic Church. One of the reason why my mother left the Catholic Church was because it was becoming so modernized. After Vat. II, music in the church changed, vestments changed, worship changed, and many religious art (statues and icons) were taken out of a lot of churches. I don't want to see the same happen in Orthodoxy. Having pews and organs in the Church are bad enough, why do we want to introduce more Protestant inventions?

You are right, you see many people these days leaving Christianity for Islam and that is because the loosy goosy feeling that a lot of Christian churches have. It's not taken seriously so people leave Christ toward Islam which on the surface is taken more seriously by the adherents.
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« Reply #1156 on: August 03, 2009, 12:52:19 PM »

Also, please keep in mind, I am not hostile to things like pews, but there must be a reason the Church hasn't ever implemented these things. Why should it do so just because the rest of the world (which is fallen & corrupted) sees these things as vital to worship?

Or there is from a practical point that to make long strong benches, one needs large tall trees from which to get the lumber and the technology to cut and process the wood and then to build the furniture.  The history of the development of furniture is another aspect of human life that can be quite interesting. It's important to keep in mind that what in common today in many places often did not exist or was exceedingly rare  in centuries and eras past.  As a side note, such tall trees were one of the very important resources of North America for (among other things) the masts of ships. 

Then there's the focus on the sermon the came about over time and particularly with the Reformation as the instruction and education of the faithful in theology and morals became an important part of weekly worship. 

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« Reply #1157 on: August 03, 2009, 01:12:13 PM »

He ... insisted on the Synaxis to make final decision.

Really a non-starter. Hasn't been included in the pre-conciliar meetings/agendas over the last three decades, so it won't be discussed.
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« Reply #1158 on: August 03, 2009, 01:12:40 PM »


Orthodoxy can rightfully claim to be the True Church.  Unchanged.  Handed down from the Apostles.

If Christ, deemed to select only men as His disciples, why would we, mere mortals, choose to override His decision and wisdom?

As a woman, I vote NO to a female priesthood.

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« Reply #1159 on: August 03, 2009, 01:18:10 PM »

I vote yes for womens Ordination as Deaconesses....Да Да Да
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« Reply #1160 on: August 03, 2009, 01:20:16 PM »

Well, and the other fact that in the West, pews were adopted because worship was seen more and more as an entertainment, with the faithful as the audience. This, coupled with the sermon gaining a more important role over communion is why many of these things were adopted in the West.

Pews are immovable, heavy & restrictive. I am much more ok with seats which can be moved around and even moved out. The parish I'm currently attending has seats setup similarly to pews, but many are removed when high attendance is anticipated. I also heard that the chairs are still an object of debate.

Even in more traditional churches, there are chairs, but as we know, they line the walls of the churches, and are for those that are physically unable to stand for the whole service.

______________________________________

As for women Priests, we need to answer the feminism movement of the West, as well as the machoism movements that also occur. There are reasons that women aren't allowed to be certain things in the Church. There are also reasons why men cannot do certain things. Women already have important roles to play in their Churches. Their roles cannot be filled by men in the same way that male roles cannot be filled by females.

Women can even preach (given a blessing by the Priest of course) the sermon/homily. They can (or could) serve as deaconesses.

Look at  Ss. Mary Magdalene, Mary of Egypt and others. Especially we see the Theotokos. Women fill a roll that us men could NEVER fill. So it is (in my opinion) with the Priesthood. We are all a part of the royal priesthood, but only a few are called to be ordained Priests.
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« Reply #1161 on: August 03, 2009, 02:49:25 PM »

I vote yes for womens Ordination as Deaconesses....Да Да Да

A very important use of words.  Earlier in this thread the masculine word "deacon" was used in connection to the female diakonia.  We must not give way to gender neutrality.  English is not blessed with masculine/feminine distinctives in its noun endings and definite articles.  Therefore, we should be extra careful to dinstinguish as best as we can such concepts as male deacons who have specific liturgical and other roles in the church vis a vi possible future female deaconesses whose role liturgically was limited to assisting with baptisms, chrismations of the entire body (when this was practised) and visitation of women.  I am concerned that in this gender neutral society, the devil was use a female diaconate to further erode male fathership at home and in the Church.  But this is a concern only.

Regarding women "preaching", I believe that the practise of a women speaking a message normally occurs after the Liturgy is over.  Although it would not surprise me if somewhere a woman is allowed to speak immediately after the reading of the Gospel, this would be an innovation from the last two thousand years, would it not?
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« Reply #1162 on: August 03, 2009, 02:58:48 PM »

I vote yes for womens Ordination as Deaconesses....Да Да Да

A very important use of words.  Earlier in this thread the masculine word "deacon" was used in connection to the female diakonia.  We must not give way to gender neutrality.  English is not blessed with masculine/feminine distinctives in its noun endings and definite articles.  Therefore, we should be extra careful to dinstinguish as best as we can such concepts as male deacons who have specific liturgical and other roles in the church vis a vi possible future female deaconesses whose role liturgically was limited to assisting with baptisms, chrismations of the entire body (when this was practised) and visitation of women.  I am concerned that in this gender neutral society, the devil was use a female diaconate to further erode male fathership at home and in the Church.  But this is a concern only.


Grammatical gender is not always indicative of social gender/sex.  They are mutually exclusive concepts and never have a one to one relationship. 
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« Reply #1163 on: August 03, 2009, 03:03:38 PM »

Quote
Although it would not surprise me if somewhere a woman is allowed to speak immediately after the reading of the Gospel, this would be an innovation from the last two thousand years, would it not?
Again, I think it is only allowed upon the blessing of a Priest. But don't quote me on that Wink
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« Reply #1164 on: August 03, 2009, 06:49:39 PM »

I vote yes for womens Ordination as Deaconesses....Да Да Да

A very important use of words.  Earlier in this thread the masculine word "deacon" was used in connection to the female diakonia.  We must not give way to gender neutrality.  English is not blessed with masculine/feminine distinctives in its noun endings and definite articles.  Therefore, we should be extra careful to dinstinguish as best as we can such concepts as male deacons who have specific liturgical and other roles in the church vis a vi possible future female deaconesses whose role liturgically was limited to assisting with baptisms, chrismations of the entire body (when this was practised) and visitation of women.  I am concerned that in this gender neutral society, the devil was use a female diaconate to further erode male fathership at home and in the Church.  But this is a concern only.


Grammatical gender is not always indicative of social gender/sex.  They are mutually exclusive concepts and never have a one to one relationship. 

German men depend on it:Fraeulein is neuter. Shocked
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« Reply #1165 on: August 04, 2009, 10:31:06 PM »

Women deaconesses have already been ordained in Greece.  Granted, is for women's monasteries, but is no longer "liturgical archaeology plus St. Nectarios."    The highest ranking Saint in the Church is the highest ranking Saint (the Theotokos), but she was never made priest.   Isapostoli such as St. Nina and St. Helena--isapostoli are commemmorate before Holy Hierarchs, but nonetheless, were not priests.   Many deacons (female) yes, but no priests.   
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« Reply #1166 on: August 04, 2009, 11:55:03 PM »

If Christ, deemed to select only men as His disciples,
I'm not sure that this is correct. The Holy Myrrhbearers were women disciples, and one of them (Mary Magdalene) is even given the title  "Equal-to-the Apostles" by our Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #1167 on: August 05, 2009, 12:08:03 AM »

If Christ, deemed to select only men as His disciples,
I'm not sure that this is correct. The Holy Myrrhbearers were women disciples, and one of them (Mary Magdalene) is even given the title  "Equal-to-the Apostles" by our Orthodox Church.


Yes, the Lord had female disciples, something not usual. All the more reason, since He conferred the priesthood on none of them, and the Church hasn't ordained any woman, following His example, for two millenia,  that the Church shouldn't start now.
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« Reply #1168 on: August 05, 2009, 12:23:35 AM »

the Church hasn't ordained any woman
That is not correct either. Deaconesses were, and are ordained members of the Clergy. They receive their office through the cheirotonia of the Bishop.
A good resource for information about this this is the work of Dr. Valerie A. Karras, in particular, her paper: "Female Deacons in the Byzantine Church," published in Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture published quarterly by the American Society of Church History; volume 73:2 (June 2004): pp272-316 .  Smiley
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« Reply #1169 on: August 05, 2009, 12:26:22 AM »

the Church hasn't ordained any woman
That is not correct either. Deaconesses were, and are ordained members of the Clergy. They receive their office through the cheirotonia of the Bishop.
A good resource for information about this this is the work of Dr. Valerie A. Karras, in particular, her paper: "Female Deacons in the Byzantine Church," published in Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture published quarterly by the American Society of Church History; volume 73:2 (June 2004): pp272-316 .  Smiley

Not to get into the debate on whether the deaconesses were ordained or not (I tend to the affirmative, btw), as it is moot: no woman was ordained bishop, and consequently none was ever ordained priest.
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