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Author Topic: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church  (Read 178922 times) Average Rating: 0
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ialmisry
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« Reply #1215 on: August 05, 2009, 12:43:37 PM »

A response similar in its simplicity to Pope Jean Paul's response:  I cannot ordain a woman since I don't have the authority.

Again this raises the question of "the authority of what or whom" in light of the fact that Christ gave the Apostles the authority that: "what you bind on Earth will be bound in Heaven and what you loose of Earth will be loosed in Heaven". I fully agree that no Bishop of the Orthodox Church to the present has the authority to ordain a woman to the Priesthood, but can we rule out that a future Synod has the authority to "loosen on Earth" this practice and thereby loosen it in Heaven? The Church's Bishops could marry once- it was even Commanded in Scripture that they should be "the husband of one wife" (1 Timothy 3:2), yet this was "bound on Earth and in Heaven" by the Bishops Church so that Bishops could no longer marry. Again, Christ Himself forbade divorce in the Gospel, yet this was "loosed on Earth and in Heaven" by the Bishops of the Church so that Ecclesiastical divorces were permitted. So if even what Christ and the Apostles permitted and forbade can be over-ruled by the Church, how can we be "certain" that a future Synod does not have the authority to permit the ordination of women to the Priesthood?

Even the Vatican makes the distinction between dogma and discipline.  The question is, which is the male priesthood.  Yes we had married bishops (following the example of the Apostle Peter Shocked), but we always had unmarried as well. The canon on excluding married bishops itself admits it is an innovation and has to explain itself.  It can also be removed, as later canons have replaced earlier ones before.
So do I understand from this that you hold that a future Synod has the can have the authority to permit the ordination of women to the Priesthood?

Only if it is a matter of discipline, and not dogma, now.

Remarriage of the divorced (there is doctrinally no such think as an ecclesiastical divorce) innocent party happened in the early Church.
There is such a thing as an ecclesiastical divorce, and it is a requirement if either party wishes to remarry: http://www.greekorthodox.org.au/general/livinganorthodoxlife/lawsandregulations/divorce . If there were no such thing as an ecclesiastical divorce, then all who remarry in the Church would be bigamists.

The ecclesiastical divorce is a creation from when the state abolished civil marriage (in most cases, by the Emperor Leo I believe.  In the case of Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem, it happened with the imposition (and creation) of Islamic law), leaving the Church in charge of marital matters.  The OCA's Statue sums up the Traditional Orthodox attitude of the matter:
Quote
Special Procedure for Marital Problems
Whenever the parish priest is unable, through pastoral counseling, to prevent the dissolution of a marriage and the conflict results in a civil divorce and if the interested persons themselves seek from the Church a definition of their status as divorcees, a petition is filed with the Diocesan Court, which examines the documents and makes a new attempt at reconciling the parties.
If the reconciliation fails, the court shall come to a final decision. In issuing its opinion, the court may recommend that penance be imposed by the bishop upon the guilty party/-ies. On the basis of this court decision, the bishop issues the following statement:

"Having heard the conclusion of the Diocesan Court of the _____ Diocese concerning the judgment of divorce rendered by the _____ Court of _____ dissolving the marriage between (Name) _____ and (Name) _____ celebrated at _____ on _____, I,_____, Bishop of _____ hereby acknowledge the conclusion of the civil court as final. [Invoking God's mercy and compassion, I allow (Name) _____ to enter into a new marital union with (Name) _____ and receive the sacraments of the Church starting on _____."

Remarriage is the only time when this becomes an issue at which time the Church has to render a definitive answer.  A vestige of this is that the Vatican's corban factory, otherwise known as the Marriage Tribunal, won't hear a case until a civil divorce has been issued, although they don't "recognize divorce."

Present day abuse of that economy does not void the dogma, just reveal a lack of discipline.
Economy is the "way in which the Canons are applied or relaxed", however, the permitting of second and third marriages in the Orthodox Church are based on Canon IV of St. Basil the Great in Epistle 188 (aka "First Canonical Epistle to Amphilochius") which was ratified at the Fourth, Sixth and Seventh Ecumenical Councils:
"In the case of those who marry a third time they laid down the same guide, in proportion, as in the case of marrying a second time; namely one year for the second marriage; for a third marriage men are separated for three and often for four years; but this is no longer described as marriage at all, but as polygamy; nay rather as limited fornication. It is for this reason that the Lord said to the Samaritan woman who had five husbands, "he whom thou now hast is not thy husband." He does not reckon those who had exceeded the limits of a second marriage as worthy of the title of husband or wife. In cases of a third marriage we have accepted a seclusion of five years, not by the canons, but following the precept of our predecessors. Such offenders ought not to be altogether prohibited from the privileges of the Church; they should be considered deserving of hearing after two or three years, and afterwards of being permitted to stand in their place; but they must be kept from the communion of the good gift, and only restored to the place of communion after showing some fruit of repentance."
So the permitting of remarriage is not an "Economy", but is Canonical.

Economia has to do with application of the Canons, as does stictness (akrivia), the Canons themselves codifyng dogma.
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« Reply #1216 on: August 05, 2009, 12:48:25 PM »

Wow, that first photo lubeltri posted is really troubling to me in a way. The way they are dressed is horrifying and it really makes Christianity out to look like a big joke and spectacle and that it must not be taken very seriously in those circles.
Lets hope that if an Orthodox Synod permits the ordination of women Priests that they have better dress and furniture sense.



I really don't think a Synod will permit it. If it does, then the Church will face so many more problems I think. More schisms most likely. May God not permit it.
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« Reply #1217 on: August 05, 2009, 12:49:42 PM »

Those that desire to be "ordained" tend to be bitter post-menopausal women.

What do you mean? Are all post menopausal women "bitter"?

Some are bitter before. And many men are bitter from birth.

One woman who wasn't bitter was the Khouriyeh of our first priest: she was the only candidate for ordination the impressed our present priest when he served on the review board at the Episocapal seminary.  But she converted to Orthodoxy while studying for the priesthood, and our present priest, who had by then already become (self-described) "recovering Episcopalian" with the cure of Orthodoxy introduced her to our first priest who was pastoring a Bible study at Wheaton College into Orthodoxy (now All Saints). Memory eternal to Khouriyeh April!
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« Reply #1218 on: August 05, 2009, 12:50:24 PM »

Those that desire to be "ordained" tend to be bitter post-menopausal women.

What do you mean? Are all post menopausal women "bitter"?

No. Most aren't. The old women whining about not being allowed to become "priests" tend to be, though. They could easily become Episcopalians and get their "ordinations," but they would rather stay and complain.
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« Reply #1219 on: August 05, 2009, 12:59:15 PM »

Wow, that first photo lubeltri posted is really troubling to me in a way. The way they are dressed is horrifying and it really makes Christianity out to look like a big joke and spectacle and that it must not be taken very seriously in those circles.


Why is their dress horrifying to you? I don't see any rainbows. Wink
I understand where you're coming from, though---these Catholic(?) women have carried on doing priestly things while ignoring their Church's commands to stop. They might disagree with the whole "no ordination of women", but to go ahead and disobey seems like throwing the baby out with the bathwater on the issue. Why tear down something you supposedly love just to have your own way? I would think the Holy Spirit would eventually persuade those in charge towards their cause if it had God's blessing.
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« Reply #1220 on: August 05, 2009, 01:02:49 PM »

Further on the "Episcopa Theodora" issue: I just checked the Liber Pontificalis ("Book of the Popes"), and Pope Paschal I's father's name is recorded in there as being "Bonosus" with no honorific or title, therefore it is unlikely that he was a Bishop and that "Espicopa Theodora" had the title as a result of being a Bishop's wife.
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« Reply #1221 on: August 05, 2009, 01:03:14 PM »

Wow, that first photo lubeltri posted is really troubling to me in a way. The way they are dressed is horrifying and it really makes Christianity out to look like a big joke and spectacle and that it must not be taken very seriously in those circles.


Why is their dress horrifying to you? I don't see any rainbows. Wink
I understand where you're coming from, though---these Catholic(?) women have carried on doing priestly things while ignoring their Church's commands to stop. They might disagree with the whole "no ordination of women", but to go ahead and disobey seems like throwing the baby out with the bathwater on the issue. Why tear down something you supposively love just to have your own way? I would think the Holy Spirit would eventually pursuade those in charge towards their cause if it had God's blessing.

You don't see any rainbows? What color do you call that around their necks?  Shocked
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« Reply #1222 on: August 05, 2009, 01:06:27 PM »

Wow, that first photo lubeltri posted is really troubling to me in a way. The way they are dressed is horrifying and it really makes Christianity out to look like a big joke and spectacle and that it must not be taken very seriously in those circles.


Why is their dress horrifying to you? I don't see any rainbows. Wink
I understand where you're coming from, though---these Catholic(?) women have carried on doing priestly things while ignoring their Church's commands to stop. They might disagree with the whole "no ordination of women", but to go ahead and disobey seems like throwing the baby out with the bathwater on the issue. Why tear down something you supposively love just to have your own way? I would think the Holy Spirit would eventually pursuade those in charge towards their cause if it had God's blessing.

You don't see any rainbows? What color do you call that around their necks?  Shocked

The person holding up the something in the first pic is a woman?? I thought it was Gerard Depardieu! Undecided 
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« Reply #1223 on: August 05, 2009, 01:07:47 PM »

Oh great, the "OMG! Look at these pictures!" mob has arrived essentially marking the end of intelligent discussion.
I'm outta here.
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« Reply #1224 on: August 05, 2009, 01:11:48 PM »

Oh great, the "OMG! Look at these pictures!" mob has arrived essentially marking the end of intelligent discussion.
I'm outta here.


LOL! It's the stress from another go-around of discussing women priests, OzG! We need our Nelson moments to keep from fainting in horror about the encroachment of modernity! Wink

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« Reply #1225 on: August 05, 2009, 01:12:22 PM »

Forgive me.

Let's get back to the topic at hand. Shall we?
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« Reply #1226 on: August 05, 2009, 01:25:11 PM »

Correct me if im wrong ,But im beginning to think ,the ones that are against woman being ordained ever to the deaconate are converts to orthodoxy ,Its seems cradle orthodox majority don't mind that much ,,but welcome its, return to it ancient tradition of woman deaconesses....
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« Reply #1227 on: August 05, 2009, 01:27:57 PM »

Oh great, the "OMG! Look at these pictures!" mob has arrived essentially marking the end of intelligent discussion.
I'm outta here.


I actually went to google images to find a more dignified group of women "priests."  The selection, however, was more of the same and disappointing.
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« Reply #1228 on: August 05, 2009, 01:45:50 PM »


Correct me if im wrong ,But im beginning to think ,the ones that are against woman being ordained ever to the deaconate are converts to orthodoxy ,Its seems cradle orthodox majority don't mind that much ,,but welcome its, return to it ancient tradition of woman deaconesses....

Well, I am cradle Orthodox - and if I may be bold enough to express my personal opinion, I am against anything that might rock the foundations of the Church.

Like I said before, what would be the benefit of having women serve as priests?

There are many, many other things women can do within the Church.



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« Reply #1229 on: August 05, 2009, 01:49:49 PM »

Lets hope that if an Orthodox Synod permits the ordination of women Priests that they have better dress and furniture sense.

Not a fan of surfboard decor, eh?  Wink

I will say that among all priestesses I've seen, your own Rt. Rev. Kay Goldsworthy has probably the best taste.
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« Reply #1230 on: August 05, 2009, 01:50:08 PM »

stashko, I think the opposition is to female priestesses, not deaconesses. I haven't seen anyone on here argue against ordaining women as deacons.
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« Reply #1231 on: August 05, 2009, 01:52:15 PM »


Why is their dress horrifying to you? I don't see any rainbows. Wink
I understand where you're coming from, though---these Catholic(?) women have carried on doing priestly things while ignoring their Church's commands to stop. They might disagree with the whole "no ordination of women", but to go ahead and disobey seems like throwing the baby out with the bathwater on the issue. Why tear down something you supposedly love just to have your own way? I would think the Holy Spirit would eventually persuade those in charge towards their cause if it had God's blessing.

They might as well be drowning in that ocean behind them because they are excommunicated.
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« Reply #1232 on: August 05, 2009, 02:01:52 PM »


Why is their dress horrifying to you? I don't see any rainbows. Wink
I understand where you're coming from, though---these Catholic(?) women have carried on doing priestly things while ignoring their Church's commands to stop. They might disagree with the whole "no ordination of women", but to go ahead and disobey seems like throwing the baby out with the bathwater on the issue. Why tear down something you supposedly love just to have your own way? I would think the Holy Spirit would eventually persuade those in charge towards their cause if it had God's blessing.

They might as well be drowning in that ocean behind them because they are excommunicated.

No, because if they drown there is no chance to repent.
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« Reply #1233 on: August 05, 2009, 02:07:00 PM »

Consecration of Bishops by one Bishop alone in the early Church of the British Isles

This has taken place in the history of the Russian Church Abroad, even within the last few decades, although the details have slipped into the irretrievable section of my memory banks.  If ROCORthodox is reading this he may have details.

That would be interesting, as the first bishop of America, Joasaph, was consecrated by the bishop of Irkutsk alone, under the direct instruction and blessing of the Holy Governing Synod. It is supposedly the only recorded time the Russian Church ordained a bishop with less than three bishops physically ordaining.

Quote
In reviewing the situation of the mission, in 1796, the Holy Synod created an auxiliary see in Alaska and elected Fr. Joasaph as Bishop of Kodiak. It was 1798 before news and instructions for his elevation reached him. For his elevation to bishop, Fr. Joasaph needed to return to Irkutsk, where he was consecrated on April 10, 1799. Bp. Joasaph's consecration was unusual in that, due to the isolation of Irkutsk from the Holy Synod, the Holy Synod provided instructions for Benjamin, Bishop of Irkutsk, to perform the consecration of Fr. Joasaph alone. Thus was recorded the only known situation in the history of the Church of Russia where an episcopal consecration was conducted by a single bishop.
http://orthodoxwiki.org/Joasaph_(Bolotov)_of_Kodiak

The letter of the Pope of Rome to St. Augustine would be akin to the orders of the Holy Synod.

And Fr. (to some St.) Joasaph never actually set foot in his diocese, as he died at sea.  I'm sure some would use this as Divine Intervention, because only 1 Bishop consecrated him.
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« Reply #1234 on: August 05, 2009, 02:10:33 PM »

Oh great, the "OMG! Look at these pictures!" mob has arrived essentially marking the end of intelligent discussion.
I'm outta here.


Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words!
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« Reply #1235 on: August 05, 2009, 02:25:35 PM »

I am against anything that might rock the foundations of the Church.
So am I. But I think we have different views on what the foundations of the Church are.
The Foundation of the Church is Christ. Ordaining Deaconesses did not shake that Foundation. Receiving Communion via intinction and with a Spoon contrary to the Canons didn't shake that Foundation. Even permitting divorce and second and third marriages didn't shake that Foundation. And the reason they don't shake that foundation is because He said "What you bind on Earth will be bound in Heaven and what you loose on Earth will be loosed in Heaven."

LOL! It's the stress from another go-around of discussing women priests, OzG!
You clearly haven't been reading the thread. This isn't just about women Priests. It's about Church history, facts, hagiographies, documents, church art, the concept of binding and loosing and authority in the Church. But that's gone by the wayside now because people who think the sky is falling whenever a discussion takes place that presses a button in them causes them to react in ways to end the discussion. Why not discuss the points raised in the thread? What do you think of the accounts of St. Brigid in her 9th century hagiography? What do you think of the single-handed cheirotonia of Bishops? Do you think an Ecumenical Council has the authority to change Canons?
If you want to have fun, then Random Postings is a good place to go, but why do you have to disrupt threads where people are having discussions just because you are not interested in the discussion?
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« Reply #1236 on: August 05, 2009, 02:35:11 PM »

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.

Pope Parthenios is dead.Θεὸς δὲ οὐκ ἔστι νεκρῶν, ἀλλὰ ζώντων·  Cheesy
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« Reply #1237 on: August 05, 2009, 02:36:02 PM »

I still don't see a reason why the Orthodox Church should ordain women priests.  

As for the foundation, yes, it is Christ.

However, you start splitting up the faithful, for whatever reason, the Church will weaken.

Why bother taking that chance?

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« Reply #1238 on: August 05, 2009, 02:45:01 PM »

ozgeorge, are you supporting women priestesses? I don't get it, who here is supporting what? I'm so confused!
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« Reply #1239 on: August 05, 2009, 02:59:35 PM »

I still don't see a reason why the Orthodox Church should ordain women priests.  

As for the foundation, yes, it is Christ.

However, you start splitting up the faithful, for whatever reason, the Church will weaken.

Why bother taking that chance?


Lisa, I'm talking about a future Synod (as in about 300 years time) examining the issue of women's ordination. You and I and your children and grandchildren will be long dead. How can you be sure that the issue will "split up the faithful" in that time? Did Deaconesses split the Church? Did removing Deaconesses split the Church? Did reinstating Deaconesses split the Church? Did forbidding Bishops to marry even though Scripture permits them to marry split the Church? Different times, different mentalities in the Church.
What I'm really interested in though is not "should they?" but "can they?" and "has it happened before?". There is no assurance of "safety" in not asking questions and examining the answers- even if we don't like them. But statements such as "I think..." or "In my opinion..." or "I agree...." or "I disagree...." do not constitute answers- they are just bloody opinion, and everyone has one- including me. So what? Where have we got to if a thread consists of:
"I agree"
"I disagree"
"I agree"
"So do I"
"I disagree"
Who cares? Do you honestly care what I "feel" about any issue? Do you think that I'm the slightest bit interested in what anyone "feels" about an issue?  What I'm interested in is the issue. I'm sensitive to people's feelings, for sure, and I try not to hurt people's feelings, but if examining issues hurts people's feelings then I think those feelings need to be challenged.
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« Reply #1240 on: August 05, 2009, 03:06:29 PM »

ozgeorge, are you supporting women priestesses? I don't get it, who here is supporting what? I'm so confused!
Why is that important? Have you actually read the thread?
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« Reply #1241 on: August 05, 2009, 03:12:49 PM »



Who cares? Do you honestly care what I "feel" about any issue? Do you think that I'm the slightest bit interested in what anyone "feels" about an issue?  What I'm interested in is the issue. I'm sensitive to people's feelings, for sure, and I try not to hurt people's feelings, but if examining issues hurts people's feelings then I think those feelings need to be challenged.

Actually, yes, I do care what you think.  I learn a lot from the folks on this forum and from what they "think".

I cannot say what will happen 100's of years hence...however, my original question (again, if I dare ask one) is WHY ordain women as priests?  To what end?
Deacons is one thing, priests is another.

That's a valid question in search of a reason...that's not an opinion or a "feeling".

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« Reply #1242 on: August 05, 2009, 03:27:08 PM »

I say if you let one Protestant invention in the Church (women priests) then others will follow. Why should the Church change to conform with worldly views of political correctness?
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« Reply #1243 on: August 05, 2009, 03:36:57 PM »

I say if you let one Protestant invention in the Church (women priests) then others will follow. Why should the Church change to conform with worldly views of political correctness?

If the Church were to change its view on ordaining women as priests (or something similar), I can guarantee it would not be to "conform with worldly views of political correctness" or to "let one Protestant invention in the Church."  It's a large enough issue that there would be an intrinsic reason for its implementation.  Would you be opposed to that reason without hearing it first?

(No, I'm not advocating ordaining women as priests; I never have advocated such a thing.)
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« Reply #1244 on: August 05, 2009, 03:37:14 PM »



Who cares? Do you honestly care what I "feel" about any issue? Do you think that I'm the slightest bit interested in what anyone "feels" about an issue?  What I'm interested in is the issue. I'm sensitive to people's feelings, for sure, and I try not to hurt people's feelings, but if examining issues hurts people's feelings then I think those feelings need to be challenged.
Actually, yes, I do care what you think.  I learn a lot from the folks on this forum and from what they "think".
Why did you read "think" when I wrote "feel"?
What I feel and what I think are completely different things.
And the confusion of the two are the cause of many problems.
My feelings are not my thoughts....and neither are yours.

I cannot say what will happen 100's of years hence...however, my original question (again, if I dare ask one) is WHY ordain women as priests?  To what end?
Perhaps a future shortage of Priests? Perhaps a series of future scandals of male priests in convents requiring women to serve there? Most likely though, a future change in attitude and culture in the Church which finds the idea of women Priests more acceptable than we do.

Deacons is one thing, priests is another.
I'm not sure what the point here is.
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« Reply #1245 on: August 05, 2009, 03:38:10 PM »

stashko, I think the opposition is to female priestesses, not deaconesses. I haven't seen anyone on here argue against ordaining women as deacons.

Orthodoxy will never go for woman priests ,,,but deaconesses are ordained holy orders like a male deacon so they are considered clergy but not priests....And im sure orthodox woman wouldn't look at being ordained as deaconess as a stepping stone to the priesthood...Orthodox woman are smarter than that, we should give them more credit...

It seems the catholic woman are pushing more into becoming priests but that has nothing to do with us or does it...

African Hierarch proposes to re-discuss ordination of women maybe not as priests or bishops but only as female deacons like in the ancient church....has anyone actually found out what he really meant by this...
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« Reply #1246 on: August 05, 2009, 03:43:35 PM »

ozgeorge, I'm at work, I can't read every post that is on here.
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« Reply #1247 on: August 05, 2009, 04:36:53 PM »


Why did you read "think" when I wrote "feel"?
What I feel and what I think are completely different things.
And the confusion of the two are the cause of many problems.
My feelings are not my thoughts....and neither are yours.


I care for what it is you "feel", as well as what you "think".

 Wink

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« Reply #1248 on: August 05, 2009, 04:41:57 PM »

I still don't see a reason why the Orthodox Church should ordain women priests.  

As for the foundation, yes, it is Christ.

However, you start splitting up the faithful, for whatever reason, the Church will weaken.

Why bother taking that chance?


Lisa, I'm talking about a future Synod (as in about 300 years time) examining the issue of women's ordination. You and I and your children and grandchildren will be long dead. How can you be sure that the issue will "split up the faithful" in that time? Did Deaconesses split the Church? Did removing Deaconesses split the Church? Did reinstating Deaconesses split the Church? Did forbidding Bishops to marry even though Scripture permits them to marry split the Church? Different times, different mentalities in the Church.
What I'm really interested in though is not "should they?" but "can they?" and "has it happened before?". There is no assurance of "safety" in not asking questions and examining the answers- even if we don't like them. But statements such as "I think..." or "In my opinion..." or "I agree...." or "I disagree...." do not constitute answers- they are just bloody opinion, and everyone has one- including me. So what? Where have we got to if a thread consists of:
"I agree"
"I disagree"
"I agree"
"So do I"
"I disagree"
Who cares? Do you honestly care what I "feel" about any issue? Do you think that I'm the slightest bit interested in what anyone "feels" about an issue?  What I'm interested in is the issue. I'm sensitive to people's feelings, for sure, and I try not to hurt people's feelings, but if examining issues hurts people's feelings then I think those feelings need to be challenged.
Interesting.  Here we have an issue where the Latins are apparently more conservative since the Latin church has authoritatively said that women cannot be priests (obviously there is dissent, but that's another issue).  The conservative east - as represented on this forum - seem to be saying it's still an open issue.  Will wonders ever cease!
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« Reply #1249 on: August 05, 2009, 04:47:12 PM »

I am against anything that might rock the foundations of the Church.
So am I. But I think we have different views on what the foundations of the Church are.
The Foundation of the Church is Christ. Ordaining Deaconesses did not shake that Foundation. Receiving Communion via intinction and with a Spoon contrary to the Canons didn't shake that Foundation. Even permitting divorce and second and third marriages didn't shake that Foundation. And the reason they don't shake that foundation is because He said "What you bind on Earth will be bound in Heaven and what you loose on Earth will be loosed in Heaven."

LOL! It's the stress from another go-around of discussing women priests, OzG!
You clearly haven't been reading the thread. This isn't just about women Priests. It's about Church history, facts, hagiographies, documents, church art, the concept of binding and loosing and authority in the Church. But that's gone by the wayside now because people who think the sky is falling whenever a discussion takes place that presses a button in them causes them to react in ways to end the discussion. Why not discuss the points raised in the thread? What do you think of the accounts of St. Brigid in her 9th century hagiography? What do you think of the single-handed cheirotonia of Bishops? Do you think an Ecumenical Council has the authority to change Canons?
If you want to have fun, then Random Postings is a good place to go, but why do you have to disrupt threads where people are having discussions just because you are not interested in the discussion?

My apologies! I meant no aggravation! I do understand where you're coming from, and I thank you for the discipline.
As for what I think, even though I am a Catechuman and have not read a whole lot concerning church history or church law, I personally think that we should keep to Tradition. It's what seems to have made the Orthodox Church the place to get away from the influence of the world, yet at the same time preparing disciples to handle the world in order to spread the Gospel. I'm not sure how commonplace it has become, but I think the Orthodox Church should take a hint from those leaving churches where Tradition has changed in favor of what the world wants for those religious institutions that have managed to keep to Tradition. I'm not sure if an Ecumenical Council has the authority to change Canons, but the idea is interesting. Has this ever happened before? Truly, I'd appreciate your patience with my question. Smiley
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« Reply #1250 on: August 05, 2009, 05:41:10 PM »

Is this an "open question" with us today being "ignorant" of its future application?  Only if the Church has been mired in ignorance for two thousand years.  The means of receiving the sacraments (hand/spoon), the ordering of our prayers withing offices of the Church, or the colors of our vestments may change ever so slowly (or even at  times in rapid fashion due to things such as invasion or the like); but humanity does not change- "Male and Female He created them".
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« Reply #1251 on: August 05, 2009, 07:00:35 PM »

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 #1252 on: August 05, 2009, 07:27:38 PM »

This isn't just about women Priests. It's about Church history, facts, hagiographies, documents, church art, the concept of binding and loosing and authority in the Church.

My dear ozgeorge, please do not denigrate iconography by calling it mere "church art".
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« Reply #1253 on: August 05, 2009, 08:18:12 PM »

This isn't just about women Priests. It's about Church history, facts, hagiographies, documents, church art, the concept of binding and loosing and authority in the Church.

My dear ozgeorge, please do not denigrate iconography by calling it mere "church art".

He may have used the term to include both proper Iconography and other non-Iconographic pictorial depictions.
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« Reply #1254 on: August 05, 2009, 08:19:54 PM »

This isn't just about women Priests. It's about Church history, facts, hagiographies, documents, church art, the concept of binding and loosing and authority in the Church.

My dear ozgeorge, please do not denigrate iconography by calling it mere "church art".

He may have used the term to include both proper Iconography and other non-Iconographic pictorial depictions.

To be fair, let ozgeorge answer that, lest he accuse either of us of putting words in his mouth.  Wink
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« Reply #1255 on: August 05, 2009, 09:00:03 PM »

but humanity does not change- "Male and Female He created them".
Actually, in Christ, Humanity does change:
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:28)


My dear ozgeorge, please do not denigrate iconography by calling it mere "church art".
Interesting, considering that the mosaic in question on this thread depicts a person who was alive when it was completed. I seem to recall you have quite a strict view of what constitutes an Icon- apparently it now includes depictions of living women with square haloes and the inscribed title "Episcopa" ("Bishopess"). Congratulations on broadening your horizons. LOL! Cheesy
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« Reply #1256 on: August 05, 2009, 09:44:54 PM »

I'm not sure if an Ecumenical Council has the authority to change Canons, but the idea is interesting. Has this ever happened before? Truly, I'd appreciate your patience with my question. Smiley
These are some of the same questions I am asking on this thread, so I don't have any definitive answers yet, but I think the answer is a "yes, but". Canons can be (and have been) changed and revoked, but they cannot be changed if they deal with Christian Dogma. For example, the Nicene-Constantinoplian Symbol of Faith (Creed) cannot be changed even by an Ecumenical Council since it is a statement of Dogma. Similarly, the Canons dealing with the Two Natures, Two Wills etc cannot be changed because they are also Dogmatic (however I think there may be a question whether the Canonical anathemas related to these Dogmas can be lifted, since it does not affect the Dogma). So I think the question we need to examine is whether the exclusion of women from the Priesthood and Episcopate is a matter of Dogma or not. For example, as we saw in this thread, it has been suggested that the Priest at the Altar is the image of God the Father or God the Son (which I and others disagreed with), but if this was correct, one could argue that a woman cannot be a Priest according to Dogma since a woman cannot be a Father or a Son and therefore cannot be the image of God the Father or Christ. But as pointed out, if the Priest is offering Christ to God at the Altar, how can he represent either Christ or the Father?
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« Reply #1257 on: August 05, 2009, 09:47:02 PM »

I'm not sure if an Ecumenical Council has the authority to change Canons, but the idea is interesting. Has this ever happened before? Truly, I'd appreciate your patience with my question. Smiley
These are some of the same questions I am asking on this thread, so I don't have any definitive answers yet, but I think the answer is a "yes, but". Canons can be (and have been) changed and revoked, but they cannot be changed if they deal with Christian Dogma. For example, the Nicene-Constantinoplian Symbol of Faith (Creed) cannot be changed even by an Ecumenical Council since it is a statement of Dogma. Similarly, the Canons dealing with the Two Nature, Two Wills etc cannot be changed because they are also Dogmatic (however I think there may be a question whether the Canonical anathemas related to these Dogmas can be lifted, since it does not affect the Dogma). So I think the question we need to examine is whether the exclusion of women from the Priesthood and Episcopate is a matter of Dogma or not. For example, as we saw in this thread, it has been suggested that the Priest at the Altar is the image of God the Father or God the Son (which I and others disagreed with), but if this was correct, one could argue that a woman cannot be a Priest according to Dogma since a woman cannot be a Father or a Son and therefore cannot be the image of God the Father or Christ. But as pointed out, if the Priest is offering Christ to the God at the Altar, how can he represent either Christ or the Father?

I should add that even if a Canon does not yet exist giving a dogmatic reason for the exclusion of women from the Priesthood and Episcopate, doesn't mean the Dogma does not exist.
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« Reply #1258 on: August 05, 2009, 10:00:09 PM »

I don't believe we Orthodox should think of the priest or anyone else as playing the role of Christ at the altar, as we are to call no man our Father, according to the Bible. I've always thought Orthodoxy saw the priest as a leader towards Christ, a kind of intercessor, as the Mother interceded in the Wedding at Cana. It's Roman Catholicism that views the priest as standing in the stead of Christ at the altar, hence their argument why women can't be priests. As for the Apostles being men and not women, I've always thought the reason for that was because of the patriarchal societies that Jesus dealt with on a daily basis, although there were female prophets in the OT, so.... Huh
I said no to female priests because I like how preserved the Orthodox Church is. I don't want it to lose that. I think many of us here see the pearl of great price that the Orthodox Church is, so that's why many of us immediately panic when these types of discussions arise, although panicking shares the same face as worrying--it will not add another minute to our lives.
Since we are all suppose to be of one priesthood, I wonder what more women could do in the Church? After all, wasn't the Mother of God present at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit ascended on Her and the Apostles? Perhaps our roles are not limited just to motherhood?

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« Reply #1259 on: August 05, 2009, 10:24:50 PM »

I said no to female priests because I like how preserved the Orthodox Church is. I don't want it to lose that. I think many of us here see the pearl of great price that the Orthodox Church is, so that's why many of us immediately panic when these types of discussions arise, although panicking shares the same face as worrying--it will not add another minute to our lives.
I understand reactions like that, but this is why I think we need to separate feelings and thinking. My feelings on an issue are dictated by my subjective experiences and learned behaviour. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with feelings, but feelings are not thoughts and they certainly are not dogmas. So let's look at the concept of the Church being "preserved"- what does this mean? Is it "preserved" the way an an Egyptian corpse is mummified? Is it "preserved" like a fossil or a petrified tree? Is it preserved the way a pickle is preserved? Or is it "preserved" in the same way that a old living tree or vine preserves the same DNA from the same Seed while growing towards the Sun and spreading it's branches for the birds to nest in, producing fragrant blossoms and fruit for the benefit of the Cosmos, shedding it's leaves when it needs to protect itself and sprouting new ones when the conditions are right....? 
I think the latter. Our beautiful Liturgies did not descend from heaven on a parachute, they developed over time and history and in particular circumstances. Would there be an Akathist Hymn if there had been no Constantinople? Would there have been an Elevation of the Cross had St. Helen not found it? The Church grows and develops and continues to do so. The unchanging thing about the Church is her sure Foundation on Christ, and its this sure Foundation which allows her to grow.
 
Since we are all suppose to be of one priesthood, I wonder what more women could do in the Church? After all, wasn't the Mother of God present at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit ascended on Her and the Apostles? Perhaps our roles are not limited just to motherhood?
The Church has never restricted the role of women to marriage and motherhood. One need only look at the examples of some of the valiant women of the Church- St. Paraskevi of Rome, St. Irene Chrysovolantu, St. Thekla, St. Nina, St. Philothei of Athens to name only a few. We also have the examples of contemporary Eldresses like Gerontissa Gavrielia. Gerontissa Dorothea. None of these women were married or had children.
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