Author Topic: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church  (Read 383147 times)

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Offline minasoliman

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Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
« Reply #1665 on: July 15, 2015, 08:43:47 PM »
But she did not read the Synexarium in a liturgy, nor did she preach in a liturgy, nor does telling a story constitute preaching.

Telling a story to the Pope Tawadros for example, about the true miracle of a Coptic patriarch stricken by the Lord on the night before he united with Rome, is not a form of liturgical preaching.   

You're not going to get off that easy with me.  You know the rules for proper titles.  Don't play games with the forum rules Stavro.

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No she did not.  You and I seem to disagree on what the word "preach" means.  You look at it more in a liturgical setting.  I am broadening the definition.  I did not say she read the Synexarium or read anything during the liturgy.  I am saying, in the broadest sense, she is preaching the virtues and miracles of the saints, similar to what we hear from the Synexarium.  Even if it is telling the story about the Pope who died before uniting with Rome, it would be a form of preaching (and perhaps a needed reminder).  I never said anything about "liturgical preaching", which you seem to equate with giving sermons.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2015, 08:44:41 PM by minasoliman »
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Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
« Reply #1666 on: July 15, 2015, 11:08:36 PM »
Just a question:  did you mean that all clergy are priests but not all priests are clergy?

No, I meant that all priests are clerics but not all clerics are priests. 

In terms of baptism, we can speak of the laos as a kingdom of priests, but we should be able to take it for granted that this is something different from the ordained ministries and avoid muddling things. 

All priests (presbyters) are clerics.  But not all clerics are priests (presbyters).  Some are archdeacons, others are deacons, others are subdeacons, others are readers, others are chanters, etc. 

Quote
In the Gregorian Liturgy we pray for all the orders of the Church, and the orders of the Church are listed in three particular prayers by the celebrant of the liturgy, first the episcopacy, then from the hegumen to the subdiaconate, then the rest of the orders of the Church:

...

If there needs to be some consistency, it seems to me that even the laity can be considered "an order of the priesthood".

It's interesting that the passage you quoted doesn't talk about "orders of the priesthood" but about "orders of the Church of God".  There is no denying that "baptised" is an order of the Church.  So is "deacon".  But only one of those is a cleric, and I wouldn't really categorise either as "priesthood" without some further qualification.

It's also interesting that the deacon's invocation refers to "seven orders" but the priest's prayer lists nine orders.  :P
How this relates to the coming Antichrist? I don't know...

Quote
The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
« Reply #1667 on: July 15, 2015, 11:17:23 PM »
Okay, so here is the way I have been defining the terms.  I have been avoiding equating "priest" with "presbyter" for the Biblical reason that the term "priest" was a more general baptismal term.

The more interesting thing is that the first 6 the "priest" reply mentions is part of that seven, and the last three is not.  I have been taught that the "seventh" order was "doorkeeper" and for some reason, it is not listed.
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Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
« Reply #1668 on: July 15, 2015, 11:33:48 PM »
Okay, so here is the way I have been defining the terms.  I have been avoiding equating "priest" with "presbyter" for the Biblical reason that the term "priest" was a more general baptismal term.

Well, I don't mind using this distinction for the purpose of discussion here, but I'm not willing to dogmatise such a distinction.  We have plenty of experience with using the term "priest" as the English word we use for "presbyter", experience we don't really have with calling your newly baptised niece "priest".  :P

Quote
The more interesting thing is that the first 6 the "priest" reply mentions is part of that seven, and the last three is not.  I have been taught that the "seventh" order was "doorkeeper" and for some reason, it is not listed.

Interesting.  "Virgins", "widows", and "orphans" are almost certainly traditional "orders" (we read about them in the NT), with "monks" and "hermits" being later additions that, IMO, ought not to be numbered with the seven.  But numbering the seven orders has always varied by tradition.

In our tradition, the "seven orders" are

1.  Baptised (laity)
2.  Confessors (which is more like "catechist" than "someone who suffered for confessing the faith")
3.  Chanters
4.  Readers
5.  Subdeacons
6.  Deacons
7.  Presbyters

Bishops, for whatever reason, are not explicitly mentioned in this list, and I suspect it is a holdover from a time when "bishops" and "presbyters" were not so different.  There are other orders, of course, but these are considered either to be outside the "seven order" structure or "sub-orders" of one of the seven. 

For us, "doorkeeper" is combined with "subdeacon". 
How this relates to the coming Antichrist? I don't know...

Quote
The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

Offline Stavro

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Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
« Reply #1669 on: July 15, 2015, 11:58:49 PM »
Quote
I find it interesting that the same Holy Synod lead by the same Pope who used to be a general bishop is the same authority Stavro is appealing to despite his derision of the present Coptic Papacy because of the fact these men were general bishops before they became Popes.

I have nothing personal against the synod. Their share of Orthodox decisions, maybe despite the wish of their superior, is to be praised, and the condemnation of the heresy of female priesthood and choirs is Orthodox.

You used to criticize Pope Shenouda and Anba Bishoy on Theosis but always used the unity agreements signed by both as your Bible. And as far as I remember, you weren't too happy with the general bishop promotion either.

I find it more interesting that you have no reference in the whole history of the church for a female choir, and you refer to a single tradition of a foreign church to validate your theories.

Quote
Even if it is telling the story about the Pope who died before uniting with Rome, it would be a form of preaching (and perhaps a needed reminder).

She didn't say this particular story. It was hypothetical, but in your effort to justify a warning you edited my post and screwed up the context of this part of my post. 

Quote
You wrote: "The scripture explicitly forbids women to preach in the church, and offers a strong theological reason to for this command."

I strongly recommend reading an excellent book on this subject: Feminism and Tradition: Quiet Reflections on Ordination and Communion by Fr. Lawrence R. Farley, an Orthodox priest and Biblical scholar. His research of those verses that you are alluding to refer to the need for the pastor of a NT church to ensure that Apostolic teaching is preserved intact; specifically, to decide whether the prophesy uttered by a man or woman is according to the received Tradition (teachings).

I will say a general word about any of our services, particularly the Divine Liturgy. According to Father Alexander of thrice blessed memory,prayers are not completed until a response is given: Amen, Lord have mercy, to Thee O Lord, etc. Thus, all of the people of God have a liturgical function: men, women, old, young--it does not matter.

Thank you for the reference. I will look it up.
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Offline Salpy

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Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
« Reply #1670 on: July 16, 2015, 12:01:18 AM »
I'm just trying to understand what is being discussed here.  Has the Holy Synod of the Coptic Church condemned having choir ladies?

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
« Reply #1671 on: July 16, 2015, 12:03:41 AM »
She didn't say this particular story. It was hypothetical, but in your effort to justify a warning you edited my post and screwed up the context of this part of my post. 

If you like to discuss why I penalized you, you should do so only with PM.  I'm letting you off the hook on this one Stavro.  You are not allowed to challenge or question mod directives publicly.

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Offline minasoliman

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Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
« Reply #1672 on: July 16, 2015, 12:06:12 AM »
I'm just trying to understand what is being discussed here.  Has the Holy Synod of the Coptic Church condemned having choir ladies?

Yes and No...HH Pope Shenouda brought back the order of female chantresses, but the Synod disallowed the use of the same "white robe" male chanters wear, and frowned upon the idea.  Nevertheless, HG Bishop Serapion of LA seemed to have gotten permission from HH Pope Shenouda as he stated in his article to start female choirs, but not to wear the same thing as chanters do.  I am not sure whether that means the Synod changed the decree later or not.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2015, 12:09:00 AM by minasoliman »
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Offline qawe

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Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
« Reply #1673 on: July 16, 2015, 02:13:03 AM »
I'm just trying to understand what is being discussed here.  Has the Holy Synod of the Coptic Church condemned having choir ladies?

Yes and No...HH Pope Shenouda brought back the order of female chantresses, but the Synod disallowed the use of the same "white robe" male chanters wear, and frowned upon the idea.  Nevertheless, HG Bishop Serapion of LA seemed to have gotten permission from HH Pope Shenouda as he stated in his article to start female choirs, but not to wear the same thing as chanters do.  I am not sure whether that means the Synod changed the decree later or not.

Yes, the Synod did make an additional anti-Anba Serapion decree later (in 2010):
http://www.metroplit-bishoy.org/files/female%20choir.docx
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Offline Stavro

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Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
« Reply #1674 on: July 16, 2015, 03:54:14 PM »
She didn't say this particular story. It was hypothetical, but in your effort to justify a warning you edited my post and screwed up the context of this part of my post. 

If you like to discuss why I penalized you, you should do so only with PM.  I'm letting you off the hook on this one Stavro.  You are not allowed to challenge or question mod directives publicly.

Mina


I did not challenge the warning. I would not give you this testosterone shot you crave for. In addition, the warning you sent to me was not signed by you but by some oc.net team with no option to reply, so I let it go.

Read my latest post again. Your editing screwed the post and it seemed that Tamav is saying a story about John 14th , 96th Pope of Alexandria, which she is not. The Lord spared Tamav from our evil time , reposed 2006, and she had no reason to suspect a unity with Rome and criticize it openly. It was not on the table during the Papacy of Anba Shenouda. I needed to clarify and explain the source of confusion.

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Offline minasoliman

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Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
« Reply #1675 on: July 16, 2015, 04:23:50 PM »
I warned you not to challenge my mod actions and directives publicly.  Suit yourself.  You can pretend you're not challenging the warning, but don't kid yourself.  I gave you a chance to PM me and you wish to keep it public.  You are now on post-moderation.

Mina
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Offline minasoliman

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Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
« Reply #1676 on: July 16, 2015, 05:01:24 PM »
Okay, rather than leaving the discussion unanswered, since there are some questions, perhaps I should explain some of the other issues that I am being challenged on:

1.  The Coptic Synod:  Already the Synod has advocated general bishops and has even struggled, not merely shut down easily, but struggle to keep diocesan bishops away from the papacy.  My allusion to the irony of supporting the Synod is the irony that one would seem to support the Synod's supposed ecclesiological suppositions on what a chanter is, which is NOT a deacon, and yet inconsistently go against their idea of general bishops.

2. When it came to theosis, it is correctly remembered that I stood against the decisions made against theosis, and I stood against decisions and ideas of the general episcopacy and the use of the general bishop to the Papacy.  But what is done is done.  I can only share my ideas and my feelings, and hope for the best.  The problem is when I used to go against some heirarchs for their anti-theosis stand, I was accused of being a heretic and an innovator.  The same attacks are now used against me when I share the fact that having female chanters is not against the faith of the Church.  The reminder that perhaps one's over-ignorance in supporting the ironic Synodal decrees that one now admits is wrong is not a "spineless act", but a reminder to show that I do have backing, and that perhaps this reminder might help understand a pattern of behavior that might avoid to continue the same idea that someone is an innovating heretic in the Church.

3.  The use of the historical evidence of St. Ephrem is called a "foreign church."  The question is what is "foreign" and does that make everything St. Ephrem did (as well as the Syriac Church) a heresy and everything a Coptic person does Orthodoxy?  Or is one having a hard time admitting one's ignorance that I can find a historical precedent that one is shutting one's eyes to?
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Offline minasoliman

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Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
« Reply #1677 on: July 16, 2015, 10:14:51 PM »
This article entitled "Rethinking 'Biblical Equality'" helped me understand better the role of a priest as well as why the priesthood is open only to men.

I just read this, and read about the author, Alice Linsley.  Very interesting!  Does anyone know if she has written any books on the subject, or only blogs?
« Last Edit: July 16, 2015, 10:15:26 PM by minasoliman »
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline seekeroftruth777

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Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
« Reply #1678 on: July 16, 2015, 10:32:14 PM »
whew 38 page :o, where should I start guys?

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
« Reply #1679 on: July 17, 2015, 09:37:01 AM »
whew 38 page :o, where should I start guys?
People usually start at the beginning. ;)
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Offline Orest

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Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
« Reply #1680 on: August 04, 2015, 11:20:08 AM »
Okay, so here is the way I have been defining the terms.  I have been avoiding equating "priest" with "presbyter" for the Biblical reason that the term "priest" was a more general baptismal term.

Well, I don't mind using this distinction for the purpose of discussion here, but I'm not willing to dogmatise such a distinction.  We have plenty of experience with using the term "priest" as the English word we use for "presbyter", experience we don't really have with calling your newly baptised niece "priest".  :P

Quote
The more interesting thing is that the first 6 the "priest" reply mentions is part of that seven, and the last three is not.  I have been taught that the "seventh" order was "doorkeeper" and for some reason, it is not listed.

Interesting.  "Virgins", "widows", and "orphans" are almost certainly traditional "orders" (we read about them in the NT), with "monks" and "hermits" being later additions that, IMO, ought not to be numbered with the seven.  But numbering the seven orders has always varied by tradition.

In our tradition, the "seven orders" are

1.  Baptised (laity)
2.  Confessors (which is more like "catechist" than "someone who suffered for confessing the faith")
3.  Chanters
4.  Readers
5.  Subdeacons
6.  Deacons
7.  Presbyters

Bishops, for whatever reason, are not explicitly mentioned in this list, and I suspect it is a holdover from a time when "bishops" and "presbyters" were not so different.  There are other orders, of course, but these are considered either to be outside the "seven order" structure or "sub-orders" of one of the seven. 

For us, "doorkeeper" is combined with "subdeacon".

Where do those 400 deaconesses of the Coptic Church fit in on that list?

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Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
« Reply #1681 on: August 04, 2015, 12:23:57 PM »
Where do those 400 deaconesses of the Coptic Church fit in on that list?

You'll have to ask the Coptic Orthodox Church.  My post reflected my understanding of the tradition of the Syriac Orthodox tradition. 
How this relates to the coming Antichrist? I don't know...

Quote
The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

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Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
« Reply #1682 on: August 04, 2015, 01:21:19 PM »
Where do those 400 deaconesses of the Coptic Church fit in on that list?

You'll have to ask the Coptic Orthodox Church.  My post reflected my understanding of the tradition of the Syriac Orthodox tradition.
Sorry, I think I made a mistake in loosing the train of thought because I thought you were talking about the Coptic Orthodox Church.
I haven't been able to find much in English on the Syriac Orthodox tradition.
This article by a scholar in India is very brief:
http://www.academia.edu/4343910/The_Office_of_the_Deaconess_in_Orthodox_Churches1_-A_Historical_Analysis
Quote
Canon 34 of the Syriac Orthodox Church and the Orthodox Syrian Church also indicates that these two churches exercised the Female Deaconate in their tradition. Patriarch Severious records that, ‘in the East, i.e., at Antioch, deaconesses have the right to become abbot of a monastery’35. Hudaya Canon explains about the ordination, rights and duties of a deaconess as: 1) there is not ordination for deaconess
but some special prayers to install a women as deaconess, 2) She have the right to sit at the frond row of the seats, 3) She have the right to give Holy Communion to women and the children those who are underthe age of five, 4) She can enter in to the Altar for lighting the lamps and for cleaning, 5) She have the right to take Holy communion from the Sculpture and to give it to women in case of emergency and she have the
right to smear Holy Chrisom in the time of adult baptism for women.36 In India, the position of deaconess prevailed in the periods of Mor Osthatios Sleeba37. He elected some baskyomos as deaconess and they 6assisted him in the time of adult female baptism.

Offline Opus118

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Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
« Reply #1683 on: August 19, 2015, 12:21:41 AM »
Because if women are just as fit to be priests as men are, then there is no good reason to deny them the priesthood. "Just because God says so," isn't good enough.
What is the nature of the ordained priesthood that women are just as fit for it as men?

Are women capable of leading and guiding? Are they capable of performing sacraments (Orthodoxy says they can baptize in extremis)? Are they capable of teaching? Are they capable of praying for others and loving them?
Speaking in statements, please define the nature of the ordained priesthood in the Orthodox Church as you understand it.

The head of the local congregation who serves in the bishop's stead ministering the sacraments, pastoring and teaching, ensuring order in the community, and representing the congregation before God.
And is this priesthood to be defined in purely utilitarian terms?

So you think that a priest is a different being than a layman?
Ya know, you might debate a lot more effectively if you wouldn't answer every question with a question that only reveals the straw man you just created of the logic behind the question to which you're responding.

I'm just trying to understand your position.
Sometimes it's better for you to explain your position than deflect questions by inquiring into someone else's.

You claimed that I see the priesthood in merely utilitarian terms.
No, I didn't. I just responded to a statement that defined the priesthood purely in utilitarian terms.

That seems to imply in the context of this discussion that you think there is something about ordination that inherently changes the man ordained and that this change could never properly apply to a woman.
I think you're reading way too much into my questions. You might try actually answering them for a change.

Stop with the straw men. OK? They only make you look foolish.

That's not a strawman, it's a reducio ad absurdum of the making too much of the "maleness of God."
It's a straw man in that it shows absolutely no understanding of what I'm really trying to do here. For one, I've said nothing about the "maleness of God".

For what ever reason, I started reading this thread. So far Volnutt is winning this debate. Biro's comments also seemed clear to me.

Hopefully Mor clarified his above post below. I did not understand what he wrote above (of course it is late, and it could be me).
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
« Reply #1684 on: August 20, 2015, 01:28:05 AM »
Because if women are just as fit to be priests as men are, then there is no good reason to deny them the priesthood. "Just because God says so," isn't good enough.
What is the nature of the ordained priesthood that women are just as fit for it as men?

Are women capable of leading and guiding? Are they capable of performing sacraments (Orthodoxy says they can baptize in extremis)? Are they capable of teaching? Are they capable of praying for others and loving them?
Speaking in statements, please define the nature of the ordained priesthood in the Orthodox Church as you understand it.

The head of the local congregation who serves in the bishop's stead ministering the sacraments, pastoring and teaching, ensuring order in the community, and representing the congregation before God.
And is this priesthood to be defined in purely utilitarian terms?

So you think that a priest is a different being than a layman?
Ya know, you might debate a lot more effectively if you wouldn't answer every question with a question that only reveals the straw man you just created of the logic behind the question to which you're responding.

I'm just trying to understand your position.
Sometimes it's better for you to explain your position than deflect questions by inquiring into someone else's.

You claimed that I see the priesthood in merely utilitarian terms.
No, I didn't. I just responded to a statement that defined the priesthood purely in utilitarian terms.

That seems to imply in the context of this discussion that you think there is something about ordination that inherently changes the man ordained and that this change could never properly apply to a woman.
I think you're reading way too much into my questions. You might try actually answering them for a change.

Stop with the straw men. OK? They only make you look foolish.

That's not a strawman, it's a reducio ad absurdum of the making too much of the "maleness of God."
It's a straw man in that it shows absolutely no understanding of what I'm really trying to do here. For one, I've said nothing about the "maleness of God".

For what ever reason, I started reading this thread. So far Volnutt is winning this debate. Biro's comments also seemed clear to me.

Hopefully Mor clarified his above post below. I did not understand what he wrote above (of course it is late, and it could be me).
So, do you have anything of substance to add to this discussion?
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Offline Opus118

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Re: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church
« Reply #1685 on: August 20, 2015, 10:21:06 AM »

For what ever reason, I started reading this thread. So far Volnutt is winning this debate. Biro's comments also seemed clear to me.

Hopefully Mor clarified his above post below. I did not understand what he wrote above (of course it is late, and it could be me).
So, do you have anything of substance to add to this discussion?

I do not know yet. My statement is the equivalent of Severian's "subscribed" with a reminder note as to why I subscribed.
"Mi tío es enfermo, pero la carretera es verde!" - old Chilean saying