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Author Topic: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church  (Read 177494 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #360 on: May 05, 2006, 11:28:11 AM »

It is my belief that the Church has already done so and that no possible good can come from revisting the topic.
This is your belief, and I know that it is many other people in the Church's belief- but can you show me where the Church has irrefutably and unequivocally said what is her belief about it? Does she mean "Never" or just "Not now"?
That's what my problem is.
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« Reply #361 on: May 05, 2006, 01:16:24 PM »

I'm going to make an attempt to defend Pedro because I assumed that he read my previous posts concerning the interpretation of this Pauline verse, as well as you and anyone else.  What Arian said can be used as an element of truth, but he erred on two points:

1.  Christ being created and unequal to the Father.
2.  Woman being inferior to and unequal to men.

We can use the same line of reasoning of Arius however to prove male-only priesthood and at the same time prove that priests are equal to the laity and men to women.  St. John Chrysostom tells us that in marriage, man and woman are united as the Father is to the Son.  If one believes that the Father is equal to the Son, it is impossible to bring out a chauvinistic interpretation into that verse in 1 Cor. 11, and it certainly is impossible to call someone an Arian.

Ah, but you're ignoring part of the pericope: 'But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.' Yet this ignored part is the essence of the argument against the ordination of women, and the implications, if taken theologically, are clearly Arian...asserting that God is to Christ as Christ is to Man, thus subjugating Christ to God...that is unless you're asserting that Christ is Equal to man, which is Ebionitism. You see why this verse is problematic to interpret theologically. It is essentially a pastoral text that makes some (very poor) theological references as support, but is most dangerous if used as a theological basis, implying either Arian or Ebionite thought.

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Earlier I said we are all priests and kings, but the priesthood of Melchizedek doesn't come except by a special calling, with this "special" priest having a special role.

Therefore, all men and women are icons of Christ are made in the image of Christ.  The Melchizedek priest has a special role, being the special icon of Christ.

Which tells me nothing about why the priest must be male, as I said state that a male is 'more in the image of Christ' or 'in the image of Christ in a way that a female is not' is to deny the Image of Christ that is equally present in Male and Female, it is blasphemy against the Creative Energies of God.

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WOW!  That is the most interesting thing I've ever heard.  You Chalcedonians got some tradition there.  In the Coptic Church, we do second and third marriages, but there is no crowning like the first marriage, and marriages after a first marriage (that is if the first marriage was only "anulled" by means of a death of a spouse), is treated as inferior and solemn compared to the first.  As for the situation of marrying between Christians and non-Christians, while I've heard stories, the OO Church (don't know about EO's) do not in any way endorse even a marriage outside the OO (and nowadays, EO's are allowed as well).

That is what we started doing in the 9th Century, but now we tend to even crown second marriages. However, the introduction of a service for a second or third nature, even the initial penitential one, was an introduction that is at odds with our fundamental theology of marriage that opposes any marriage after the first...but we did what we did because it was a realistic necessity, and the pastoral concerns took precedence even over the theology (which is the same reason we often crown second or third marriages today).

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Finally, to all, concerning "pastoral concerns."  I wouldn't think a pastoral concern would lead to someone making a statement like "man is the head of woman, Christ is the head of man, Father is the head of Christ."  That wouldn't be for the sake of pastoral, but for the sake of deception.  His plea "not to change the traditions" both before and after the head covering issue seems to be much more than just pastoral.

Personally, I'd attribute it to a degree of theological ignorance on the part of Paul, with the pastoral situation, which was his expertise, being his primary concern. As I said, if you take this verse as a theological maxim, you must logically adopt either Arianism or Ebionitism, which, ulike women's ordination, are serious and formally condemend heresies.
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« Reply #362 on: May 05, 2006, 01:16:55 PM »

Thinking too much can be sinful, too. That is not said in reply to anyone in specific.

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« Reply #363 on: May 05, 2006, 01:56:44 PM »

WOW!  That is the most interesting thing I've ever heard.  You Chalcedonians got some tradition there.  In the Coptic Church, we do second and third marriages, but there is no crowning like the first marriage, and marriages after a first marriage (that is if the first marriage was only "anulled" by means of a death of a spouse), is treated as inferior and solemn compared to the first.
AFAIK, second and third marriages in the Chalcedonian churches are really much more similar in their penitential nature to your Coptic experience than one post may have led you to believe.
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« Reply #364 on: May 05, 2006, 02:06:40 PM »

That's not quite what I said. First, I said long ago to GiC that an Orthodox Christian should not declare himself in favor of female priests (for reasons obvious below). This is quite important for us all to consider. Second, I said that I personally do not think the canonical Orthodox Church will have or should have female priests. The reasons I hold these two positions are as follows:

And as I submitted before, I again submit that it woule be no more inappropriate for me to support the Ordination of Women than for me to oppose the same. For logic dictates that in the absence of a proof, either positive or negative, the logically appropriate posistion is neutral, neither affirming nor denying the proposistion in the absence of a positive or negative proof.  Any affirmation or denial is a deviation from the logical posistion of neutrality.

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1) My Bishop says so.
2) Many, many, many other Bishops, priests

This is merely their private opinion until it is proclaimed in an authorative synod.

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and holy elders have said so.

Should I go into the other kooky things the 'holy elders' have said as well? I'd stick to arguing from the private opinions of bishops.

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Really, these two reasons should be more than enough for any Orthodox Christian to refrain from calling for or supporting female priests, especially in public. Unless one has talked to one's Bishop and to one's Synod about the matter and received their blessing, one should never publicly argue for a complete novelty in liturgy, practice, morals or doctrine. To do otherwise is insubordinate, and it misrepresents Orthodoxy's historical and present-day consensus. Now, calling for or supporting discussion and examination of what, exactly, is the theological motivation behind the Church's practice is another matter.

It's not insubordinate unless there is an authoritive decree explicitly condemning it. The Episcopacy may be, when together in Synod, the authorative and ruling body of the Church, and as a whole honour is due to them on this account, but they are not Popes and their Private Opinions are not Infallible Decrees on Faith and Morals...nor even authorative apart from their synod. For as the 34th Apostolic Canons states:

'It behoves the Bishops of every nation to know the one among them who is the premier or chief, and to recognise him as their head, and to refrain from doing anything superfluous without his advice and approval: but, instead, each of them should do only whatever is necessitated by his own parish and by the territories under him. But let not even such a one do anything without the advice and consent and approval of all. For thus will there be concord, and God will be glorified through the Lord in Holy Spirit, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.'

Thus, it would be uncanonical for a bishop to pontificate such a doctrinal decree independent from his Synod. Furthermore, even the rulings of Synods, while authorative, are not infallible...as witnessed by the large number that have been overruled by later synods.

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3) Scripture, the Fathers and the canons do not speak or approve of female priests (argument ex traditione), except when detailing the calumny of heretics and pagans.

Which, again, places us in a posistion of logical neutrality on the issue.

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4) While the canons do not FORBID female priests, they also don't forbid standing on one's head and squawking like a chicken. The absence of a clear, Ecumenically-authored canonical prohibition does not give license for innovation.

What it does do is leave the decision to individual bishops, to do whatever they think is best on the matter with the consent of their synod.

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5) Furthermore, the canons DO contain many requirements for the priesthood, all of which speak only of men. Thus, the canons do not tell us what would be the process, requirements or specific impediments for female ordinands (Would they have to be of an age even older than the deaconesses of yore? Would they have to be celibate like deaconesses?). In other words, we have no canonical, liturgical or historical method for determining which woman should be ordained or how the process should take place. While all this could be theoretically developed in a major Synod, the complete absence of such tradition shows the extremity of the innovation and the lack of historical precedent.

Of course these canons are pastoral in issue, dealing with the pastoral demands and requirements of a given culture, society, and time. They are applied where still appropriate and economia is used where they are not. For example, the Canons say none should be ordained a priest under 30, yet under the guidelines given out by Archbishop Iakovos, 21 was the minimum age. Do you really believe we enforce the canon that forbids anyone who has ever committed fornication after baptism from being ordained? The fact that these are pastoral canons and applied accordingly today should make the use of masculine pronouns (which is the norm for refering to both genders in Greek anyway) irrelevant. I propose using the same standards for men and women, with one simple statement the problem could be solved.

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Thus, my argument is first and foremost argumentum ad verecundiam, which I consider valid within the context of the Church, because (a) I am deferring to the "the competent ecclesiastical authority," to wax canon law-like, (b) the aforementioned authority is charismatic and Apostolic and (c) I have willing submitted myself to the aforementioned authority. It is also an argumentum ex traditione, which I also consider quite valid in the context of the Church, especially when determining if one should SUPPORT this or that novelty (versus examine the theology that underpins established practice).

Ultimately we're all 'deferring to the "competent ecclesiastical authority"' since none of us can actually ordain anyone, male or female. What we can do is act in the role of a theologian, offering our arguments in favour of or in opposistion to the issue, so that if and when it does come before a synod to be decided, the issue will have been discussed, the opinion of the people can be weighed, and the opponents and proponents can present their case...thus allowing the Synod to make an informed decision. What you propose is that we treat the argument as though it has already been decided, looking not for the truth but for excuses to maintain the status quo, which I will not do because I believe the status quo to be wrong. Now, contrary to popular opinion, I am not infallible and may infact be incorrect on this issue, but until the Synod of the Great Church of Christ so rules it is within my rights to maintain and present this posistion; in the absence of such a ruling the faithful are not compelled by ecclesiastical law to take one posistion or the other.

Of course, on the flip side, if the Synod of the Great Church of Christ rules in favour of or allows the ordination of women, as the Synod under Patriarch Meletios of Most Blessed Memory did on the Calendar issue to the surprise of many, then it would be those who continue to oppose the Ordination of Women, and thus defy the Synod, who would be professing a faith contrary to that of the Orthodox and subject to canonical penalties.
 
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Oh, and one last reason!

6) Because GiC supports it.

That's as good a reason as any other I've heard.
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« Reply #365 on: May 05, 2006, 02:22:43 PM »

If you want to discuss the accuracy of my claims of facts, you're welcome to dissect them. One of the things that sustains my faith in my own argument is the lack of argument from any opposition.
  • Maybe people just don't like arguing with you.
  • Maybe you should say "the lack of any argument that I find convincing from any opposition."

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When I posit facts, I'm wrongfully accused of 'googling' them, as opposed to actually looking up John Chrysostomon's talk about the priesthood, and reading through a few chapters. That highly dismissive (to the point of flippancy) style shows me that there is no real argument.
Well, I wonder why people think your quoting of the Fathers to be mere proof-texting.

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It is conceivable I am wrong. I am but an individual. You're welcome to try to convince me.
I never thought the purpose of this forum was to prove myself right and/or to prove you or anyone else wrong.

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* * * *
I believe some of the things you say are wrong. You posit your own mistaken assumptions, such as the mere fact that Mary Magdalene is instructed to tell the Apostles that Christ has risen, makes her an Apostle too. How you come to that conclusion I am yet to understand.

The role of Apostle was given to 12, they are named. Mary was not one of the named. We have no evidence from Holy Tradition of women priests, ergo there's a reason for this.

No, Mary Magdalene was never given the actual title of Apostle, such office as was given only to each of the Twelve and to St. Paul--I never asserted that she had been granted this office, so my statement was not a mistaken assumption.  Follow the definition of the term apostle, "one who is sent on a mission" (Merriam-Webster), however, and you can see clearly that this describes Mary Magdalene, for Christ did send her to proclaim the Resurrection to the Apostles.  Hence, some of our hymnography actually calls Mary Magdalene the apostle to the Apostles.  But again, this is purely honorific, whereas we do agree that only the twelve disciples of Christ were given the actual office of Apostle.
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« Reply #366 on: May 05, 2006, 03:19:15 PM »

If the movement for women's ordination was to come entirely from within the Church and was perfectly consistent with Holy Tradition, then I might consider opening my mind to the idea, seeing in its churchly nature the work of the Holy Spirit.  This is not what I see happening right now.
And I fully disagree with this. The Church should not ordain women simply in response to a "movement for women's ordination", even if that movement comes from within the Church itself. Arianism was a movement that came from within the Church, so was Iconoclasm, so were countless other heresies.
Maybe I need to reiterate what I said, because you seem to be reacting to only part of my statement.
If the movement for women's ordination was to come entirely from within the Church and was perfectly consistent with Holy Tradition, then I might consider opening my mind to the idea, seeing in its churchly nature the work of the Holy Spirit.  This is not what I see happening right now.
The examples you use, Arianism, Iconoclasm, and so many other heresies, may indeed have been movements that started from within the Church, but they were not perfectly consistent with Holy Tradition.  In fact, they weren't even close to being consistent with Holy Tradition.

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What we need is to frankly, honestly, prayerfully and concilliarly/synodically examine and discuss the theology and doctrine about the question. We need to, above all, avoid substituting doctrine with our passionate feelings about the issue- whether they are for or against it. The issue is Orthodoxy and correct doctrine. And this works both ways, because as far as I can see, the supposed "doctrinal arguments" against womens ordination are a far greater threat to Orthodoxy, particularly our Christology and Soteriology, than the prospect of an open dialogue about women's ordination spurred on by the secular feminist movement will ever be.
I agree fully with everything you say in this assessment.
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« Reply #367 on: May 05, 2006, 11:03:50 PM »

Montalban,
The former, with the qualification (in order to make it the same as what I said) that it is not the "outside forces" which reveal truths to the Church, but the Church herself discerns them. Or to put it another way: "What we need is to frankly, honestly, prayerfully and concilliarly/synodically examine and discuss the theology and doctrine about the question. We need to, above all, avoid substituting doctrine with our passionate feelings about the issue- whether they are for or against it. The issue is Orthodoxy and correct doctrine." Which is exactly what I said in the same post you quoted from.
What truths are being revealed within the Church as a reaction too, or being prodded by outside forces?

What are these outside forces?
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« Reply #368 on: May 05, 2006, 11:04:58 PM »

Thinking too much can be sinful, too. That is not said in reply to anyone in specific.

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We have been given the truth of Christ, some we don't understand, but we accept.
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« Reply #369 on: May 05, 2006, 11:13:27 PM »

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Thinking too much can be sinful, too

In what way?
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« Reply #370 on: May 05, 2006, 11:23:06 PM »

What truths are being revealed within the Church as a reaction too, or being prodded by outside forces?
Take the Seventh Oecumenical Council for example.
The Iconoclasm was at least partially the result of the rise of Islam. This prodded the Church to seek the truth and define her Dogma about Icons.
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« Reply #371 on: May 06, 2006, 01:11:59 AM »

In what way?

Ignorance is Strength!!!
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« Reply #372 on: May 06, 2006, 01:18:24 AM »

Ignorance is Strength!!!
What would anyone know of ignorance?  Wink
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« Reply #373 on: May 06, 2006, 01:34:16 AM »

Take the Seventh Oecumenical Council for example.
The Iconoclasm was at least partially the result of the rise of Islam. This prodded the Church to seek the truth and define her Dogma about Icons.
My understanding is that the church has always defined the truth by what it has always believed. Therefore the 'truth' of icons was always understood; such as the fact that Jesus was a living icon. That a heresy came into being and challenged this does not mean that 'the truth' needed to be prodded out of the Church... because the church always had that truth. It's rather silly that someone would suggest that the church coasting along minding its own business, teaching what it teaches, needs to be upset by heresy, in order to more formally defne what it believes.

So we come now to the topic at hand. The ordination of women. The church has always had the ordination of men only. It doesn't 'need' an outside source/force to come along start questioning 'why?' so as to make it need to justify what it's always held to believe.
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« Reply #374 on: May 06, 2006, 01:35:08 AM »

What would anyone know of ignorance?  Wink
Persoanlly, I couldn't care.

No, wait! That's apathy Smiley
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« Reply #375 on: May 06, 2006, 01:42:32 AM »

My understanding is that the church has always defined the truth by what it has always believed. Therefore the 'truth' of icons was always understood;
So, we didn't need an Oecumenical Council to define what the truth was then? "The Seven Useless Councils".... Roll Eyes

such as the fact that Jesus was a living icon.
And such as the fact that both men and women are Icons of God?

So we come now to the topic at hand. The ordination of women. The church has always had the ordination of men only. It doesn't 'need' an outside source/force to come along start questioning 'why?' so as to make it need to justify what it's always held to believe.
If this is how truth is determined, I suggest you remove the pews from your Church and return to the pre-revised Julian Calendar, otherwise you are living a lie.
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« Reply #376 on: May 06, 2006, 01:47:14 AM »

It's rather silly that someone would suggest that the church coasting along minding its own business, teaching what it teaches, needs to be upset by heresy, in order to more formally defne what it believes.
Yet this is the very thing that forced the Council of Nicea to articulate the Church's belief in the Trinity into an official dogma.  The most important task of virtually every one of the Ecumenical Councils was in fact to articulate the beliefs of the Church in opposition to heresies.  Without these heresies, the Councils would have never been needed.  Without these Councils, the heresies might have destroyed the Orthodox Faith.  (Yes, even though Christians had always worshipped the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Arianism was such a threat to longstanding belief in the Trinity that the Church would very likely have died if she hadn't defined this belief.)

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So we come now to the topic at hand. The ordination of women. The church has always had the ordination of men only. It doesn't 'need' an outside source/force to come along start questioning 'why?' so as to make it need to justify what it's always held to believe.
Yet, in light of what I said above, maybe the Church does need to articulate in detail her reasons for excluding women from the priesthood.  The key concept in both this statement and the one I make above is clarity--clarity of witness to the Truth.
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« Reply #377 on: May 06, 2006, 01:59:57 AM »

So, we didn't need an Odecumenical (sic) Council to define what the truth was then? "The Seven Useless Councils"....
Almost cute! Your remarks seem to be a product of looking at things from the wrong end of history. It is true that they defined them in reaction to attacks (usually from within). However they were unnecessary only insofar as the Church didn't need to be attacked in the first place.

And so we have it here. The truth was always know, and taught. That is the 'ideal'. That is 'good'. That there were attacks upon that truth is not 'good'. That there were ecumenical councils who resoundly defeated these attacks, is good, but were 'unnecessary only insofar as the truth shouldn't have been attacked in the first place.

You seem to praise these attacks just so the church can 'strive' to reassert the truth, as if it needs to be constantly tested, or something.

And such as the fact that both men and women are Icons of God?
Indeed. What is your point?

If this is how truth is determined, I suggest you remove the pews from your Church and return to the pre-revised Julian Calendar, otherwise you are living a lie.
What have these to do with dogma? I'm unsure that Jesus ever taught about pews in churches.

Your 'logic' here would be to look at a battered woman who has survived, praised her survival (which itself is a 'triumph') but then to also suggest that the battering (in this case as a 'test') was necessary in order to show that she could survive. Ideally she shouldn't have been put through that in the first place. You seem to think that the church should be 'tested'. If it takes a battering from 'outside forces' and survives, that's great. But it doesn't need to be tested.

Matthew 22:18
But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, “Why do you test Me, you hypocrites?
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« Reply #378 on: May 06, 2006, 02:04:32 AM »

Yet this is the very thing that forced the Council of Nicea to articulate the Church's belief in the Trinity into an official dogma.  The most important task of virtually every one of the Ecumenical Councils was in fact to articulate the beliefs of the Church in opposition to heresies.  Without these heresies, the Councils would have never been needed.  Without these Councils, the heresies might have destroyed the Orthodox Faith.  (Yes, even though Christians had always worshipped the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Arianism was such a threat to longstanding belief in the Trinity that the Church would very likely have died if she hadn't defined this belief.)
Yes, the key factor here is that the heresies caused the Councils, so had we not had the heresies, we'd not have need of the councils, and the church would have gone on teaching the truth.
Yet, in light of what I said above, maybe the Church does need to articulate in detail her reasons for excluding women from the priesthood.  The key concept in both this statement and the one I make above is clarity--clarity of witness to the Truth.
That seems a might like having the church made to continually justify itself. Also, here I would prefer to see a 'good reason' why women should be ordained
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« Reply #379 on: May 06, 2006, 02:15:44 AM »

Your remarks seem to be a product of looking at things from the wrong end of history. It is true that they defined them in reaction to attacks (usually from within). However they were unnecessary only insofar as the Church didn't need to be attacked in the first place.
Montalban, calm down and listen.
Those who develop what turn out to be heretical teachings also believe they are defending the Truth of the Church's doctrine. No one ever developed an heresy with the direct intention of "attacking the Church". Everyone on both sides of a doctrinal dispute argues that they are supported by Holy Tradition. Heresarchs believed that the Church had slipped into error (eg. just as Nestorius thought that the title "Theotokos" was heresy.) The Church needs heresy in order to clarify the truth apophatically. And what's more, your teaching that heresy is not required for the Church to clarify the truthis itself a heresy which contradicts Apostolic teaching:"For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you." (1 Corinthians 11:19)
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« Reply #380 on: May 06, 2006, 02:24:32 AM »

Montalban, calm down and listen.
Those who develop what turn out to be heretical teachings also believe they are defending the Truth of the Church's doctrine. No one ever developed an heresy with the direct intention of "attacking the Church". Everyone on both sides of a doctrinal dispute argues that they are supported by Holy Tradition. Heresarchs believed that the Church had slipped into error (eg. just as Nestorius thought that the title "Theotokos" was heresy.) The Church needs heresy in order to clarify the truth apophatically.

It is true that some of the heretics may believe in what they are doing, but as you also said, they believe "that the Church had slipped into error." So, we may identify people quite easily this way: are they teaching what the Church has always taught (Orthodox) or are they saying the Church is wrong, somehow in error (Heretics)? When it is put that way, I think it is quite clear.
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« Reply #381 on: May 06, 2006, 02:32:12 AM »

So, we may identify people quite easily this way: are they teaching what the Church has always taught (Orthodox) or are they saying the Church is wrong, somehow in error (Heretics)? When it is put that way, I think it is quite clear.
I'd be careful about saying that "we may identify people quite easily this way". In our time, some Old Calendarists believe that New Calandarists are "heretics easily identified"- and schisms have resulted.
It is not "quite easy"- it is very difficult. Which is why we have Oecumenical Synods.
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« Reply #382 on: May 06, 2006, 02:41:19 AM »

I'd be careful about saying that "we may identify people quite easily this way". In our time, some Old Calendarists believe that New Calandarists are "heretics easily identified"- and schisms have resulted.
It is not "quite easy"- it is very difficult. Which is why we have Oecumenical Synods.

But with calendars, the Julian wasn't even the standard in some lands until relatively recently. Since this was not something standard throughout the Church, but varied throughout history and location, it is clearly a local custom. Can the same be said of women's ordination?
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« Reply #383 on: May 06, 2006, 02:52:39 AM »

But with calendars, the Julian wasn't even the standard in some lands until relatively recently. Since this was not something standard throughout the Church, but varied throughout history and location, it is clearly a local custom. Can the same be said of women's ordination?
Up until the end of the fourth century, Deaconesses baptised catechumens until the Apostolic Constitutions made this a function of the Priest only. So it cannot be said that women have never celebrated the Mysteria (Sacraments) of the Church. Should we take this to be an argument in favour of women's ordination, since women have not always been excluded from administering a Sacrament of the Church? According to her hagiography, St. Paraskevi of Rome was not only a great missionary preacher, she baptised the Emperor Antoninus Pius. Have we somehow forgotten this tradition? Or rather is the Church teaching "not now" rather than "never"?
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« Reply #384 on: May 06, 2006, 03:09:42 AM »

Up until the end of the fourth century, Deaconesses baptised catechumens until the Apostolic Constitutions made this a function of the Priest only. So it cannot be said that women have never celebrated the Mysteria (Sacraments) of the Church. Should we take this to be an argument in favour of women's ordination, since women have not always been excluded from administering a Sacrament of the Church?

Deaconesses assisted in the baptism of female parishoners for obvious reasons, not performed theSacrament in it's entirety. If this function is restored, that is quite fine, but anything beyond that is not what the Church has taught from the beginning.
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« Reply #385 on: May 06, 2006, 03:19:07 AM »

Deaconesses assisted in the baptism of female parishoners for obvious reasons, not performed the entire Sacrament in it's entirety. If this function is restored, that is quite fine, but anything beyond that is not what the Church has taught from the beginning.
An Australian Greek Orthodox Theologian (who, by the way, actually opposes women's ordination) disagrees with your view of history:
Quote from: ANGELO NICOLAIDES
"By the end of the fourth century the Apostolic Constitutions dictated that women no longer baptize as this was now considered the function of a priest. Deaconesses would serve as a go-between, intermediating between other women and officials of the Ekklesia. " Source (emphasis added).
So if even the history of the Church's position on this is disputed by those who oppose women's ordination, why should I accept any one's personal opinion of what the Holy Tradition of the Church actually is?
See, not so "easy" is it? Wink
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« Reply #386 on: May 06, 2006, 03:37:21 AM »

An Australian Greek Orthodox Theologian (who, by the way, actually opposes women's ordination) disagrees with your view of history:
So if even the history of the Church's position on this is disputed by those who oppose women's ordination, why should I accept any one's personal opinion of what the Holy Tradition of the Church actually is?
See, not so "easy" is it? Wink

I was speaking mainly of the third century, hence why he spoke of the change at the time of the fourth. But did you notice that at neither time were women ordained? There are indeed some complex issues here, but the Church's stance on women's ordination never changed.
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« Reply #387 on: May 06, 2006, 04:01:35 AM »

but the Church's stance on women's ordination never changed.
Assuming it is a "stance" intended to teach a dogma.
No evidence of women's ordination is not evidence against women's ordination.
Edit: and I think we should clarify that we mean "women's ordination to the priesthood" since Deaconesses were ordained by cheirotonia.
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« Reply #388 on: May 06, 2006, 04:17:50 AM »

Assuming it is a "stance" intended to teach a dogma.
No evidence of women's ordination is not evidence against women's ordination.
Edit: and I think we should clarify that we mean "women's ordination to the priesthood" since Deaconesses were ordained by cheirotonia.

It is evidence, because it was not part of the Gospel delivered to the Church, or a related doctrine.

Of course, I think we know what we mean Tongue
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« Reply #389 on: May 06, 2006, 05:12:41 AM »

Montalban, calm down and listen.
How about giving the advice a bit of a rest (I know that makes for irony, advising you to knock off the advice)
Those who develop what turn out to be heretical teachings also believe they are defending the Truth of the Church's doctrine.No one ever developed an heresy with the direct intention of "attacking the Church". Everyone on both sides of a doctrinal dispute argues that they are supported by Holy Tradition. Heresarchs believed that the Church had slipped into error (eg. just as Nestorius thought that the title "Theotokos" was heresy.) The Church needs heresy in order to clarify the truth apophatically. And what's more, your teaching that heresy is not required for the Church to clarify the truthis itself a heresy which contradicts Apostolic teaching:"For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you." (1 Corinthians 11:19)
Ah, so you're providing a service for the church. By speculating, and raising questions that no one else is, about women's ordination; by creating issues where there are none, you hope that the church might categorically rule one way or the other and thus be strengthened! You're doing a great service.

I again thank you.
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« Reply #390 on: May 06, 2006, 05:20:01 AM »

Up until the end of the fourth century, Deaconesses baptised catechumens until the Apostolic Constitutions made this a function of the Priest only. So it cannot be said that women have never celebrated the Mysteria (Sacraments) of the Church. Should we take this to be an argument in favour of women's ordination, since women have not always been excluded from administering a Sacrament of the Church? According to her hagiography, St. Paraskevi of Rome was not only a great missionary preacher, she baptised the Emperor Antoninus Pius. Have we somehow forgotten this tradition? Or rather is the Church teaching "not now" rather than "never"?

In the Book of Acts , a deacon, Philip baptises an Ethiopian BUT he does not lay hands on him. The laying on of hands is done by Apostles. They are clearly different roles right at the beginning of the church. Few here have questioned women acting as a deaconess. You simply shift from the OP which is about ordination of priests to 'ordination' per se.
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« Reply #391 on: May 06, 2006, 05:29:46 AM »

So in summary OzGeorge is on an heroic quest to strengthen the Orthodox Church by raising questions about ordaining women as priests. His evidence for this is that some women might have served in other roles. Great! There's no connection there.

When offered evidence about the fact only men have acted as priests there's a number of counter-arguments;
a) too busy to assess the evidence
b) the evidence might be true, but it was just got at by web-searching
c) attempts to develop other arguments in order to add to speculation (because we now know that speculation has only made the church stronger)
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« Reply #392 on: May 06, 2006, 05:32:48 AM »

It is evidence, because it was not part of the Gospel delivered to the Church, or a related doctrine.
Some have trouble separating Holy Tradition from traditions; by continually referring back to the fact that 'traditions' have changed (e.g. the inclusion of pews in churches, etc.)
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« Reply #393 on: May 06, 2006, 05:43:09 AM »

I was speaking mainly of the third century, hence why he spoke of the change at the time of the fourth. But did you notice that at neither time were women ordained? There are indeed some complex issues here, but the Church's stance on women's ordination never changed.

A small goal-shift has happened. It happened so gradually I didn't even notice it till now.

The OP is about the ordination of women as priests. I took this as read. So too, it seems most people here have discussed the 'ordination of women' in that light, NOT the ordination of women into any office ('per se'). OzGeorge has now blurred the issue by shifting from 'priests' to 'in general' and no one's caught up with this and so he is able to present evidence for one, in order to discuss the other.

So the statement 'the Church's stance on women's ordination never changed' is correct in relation to the OP.

When asked for evidence on this issue, he's now presented evidence on the other. This is the second series of goal-shifts that he's attempted.

The first was to discuss changes in 'traditions' to prove changes in 'Holy Tradition'. When people have discussed that the institution of the priesthood is a part of Holy Tradition, and therefore never changed, he's discussed the fact churches now have pews.

This seems to be the 'best' argument I can see for change - when I've asked why Orthodoxy should in fact change, to have women priests.

So in dealing with this topic, the best evidences for changing the strictures on one thing we've got arguments about changes in others. And the reason for this it seems, is because by raising this as an 'issue' where it wasn't before, that perhaps it might strengthen the church! Huh
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« Reply #394 on: May 06, 2006, 08:37:06 AM »

It is evidence, because it was not part of the Gospel delivered to the Church, or a related doctrine.
Neither was the depiction of Icons until the Seventh Oecumenical Council- was that evidence which should have led to a triumph of Iconoclasm?
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« Reply #395 on: May 06, 2006, 08:57:19 AM »

Neither was the depiction of Icons until the Seventh Oecumenical Council- was that evidence which should have led to a triumph of Iconoclasm?
Iconaclasm, as you already noted, only became an issue because of the influence of an outside force; Islam.

So, given that there was no 'problem' in the church until caused by such, I don't see what your point here is.
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« Reply #396 on: May 06, 2006, 10:05:08 AM »

So, given that there was no 'problem' in the church until caused by such, I don't see what your point here is.
If you follow the discussion between Bizzelbin and myself, you will note that the sequence of thought is as follows:
1) I agreed with Bizzelbin's position that the Church has never changed it's stance on the ordination of women to the priesthood, but said that this does not constitute evidence that a male only priesthood is a dogma. I said "No evidence of women's ordination is not evidence against women's ordination."
2) Bizzelbin said that there are no records in the Gospels or related documents of women's ordination to the priesthood.
3) I replied that there is no evidence in the Gospels or related documents in favour of depicting Icons.

So the "point" is that the dogmas about Icons were clarified despite the silence in "the Gospels and related documents" about the use of Holy Images; so therefore, a silence in "the Gospels and related documents" about the ordination of women to the priesthood cannot be construed as being clear evidence against it.
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« Reply #397 on: May 06, 2006, 10:23:47 AM »

If you follow the discussion between Bizzelbin and myself, you will note that the sequence of thought is as follows:
1) I agreed with Bizzelbin's position that the Church has never changed it's stance on the ordination of women to the priesthood, but said that this does not constitute evidence that a male only priesthood is a dogma. I said "No evidence of women's ordination is not evidence against women's ordination."
2) Bizzelbin said that there are no records in the Gospels or related documents of women's ordination to the priesthood.
3) I replied that there is no evidence in the Gospels or related documents in favour of depicting Icons.

So the "point" is that the dogmas about Icons were clarified despite the silence in "the Gospels and related documents" about the use of Holy Images; so therefore, a silence in "the Gospels and related documents" about the ordination of women to the priesthood cannot be construed as being clear evidence against it.

When did something have to be written "in the Gospels or related documents" for it to be a practice of the Orthodox Church?
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« Reply #398 on: May 06, 2006, 10:27:31 AM »

When did something have to be written "in the Gospels or related documents" for it to be a practice of the Orthodox Church?
I don't know.Ask Bizzelbin. Wink
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« Reply #399 on: May 06, 2006, 10:36:55 AM »

So we come now to the topic at hand. The ordination of women. The church has always had the ordination of men only. It doesn't 'need' an outside source/force to come along start questioning 'why?' so as to make it need to justify what it's always held to believe.

The Church has never existed in a vacuum, it has long interacted with the world and has been challenged by the world, Paul in his evangelism welcomed these challenges...why don't we? If we are concerned about truth, the source of the challenge is irrelevant, we will give it an objective theological evaluation regardless. The Church is certainly the source of much revelation from God, but it is not the only one, Creation itself is also a revelation and science is the uncovering of this revelation, such things deserve to be heeded for they too can reveal to us cosmology, ontology, and theology.
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« Reply #400 on: May 06, 2006, 12:12:01 PM »

I quess, I should have phrased my question differently.  Is the "Memory Eternal" a command to us, or, is it a prayer to God?  If it is a prayer to God, then, we are asking God to keep the departed ever (eternally) in His presence.  God doesn't need to re-enact the person's life.  The person's life is eternally present to God.
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I would go on in this whole re-enactment issue, and I still didn't change my mind, but I'll say it:

"UNCLE!!!"

Only because I don't think we're going anywhere.  You do make a good point on your own side that you have little liturgies that don't say these same words Christ said, but in the Coptic Church, no such liturgy exists.  So not only are we not going anywhere, but both you and I come from different worlds in this issue.

God bless.

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« Reply #401 on: May 06, 2006, 12:14:24 PM »

What you just described is almost exactly the theological position and canonical practice of the EO Chalcedonian Church, but that position and canonical tradition did not come about until the time (and in the controversy) that GiC described. When the Copts and the Greeks were united (and following the ancient canons) no such second and third marriage were actually blessed in the Church. Thus, how did the Copts develop the SAME tradition that the Greeks did in the 8th and 9th century? Very interesting (seriously, I'm not being sarcastic!). For that matter, what exactly is the rite of Coptic marriage? Are there crowns and a "Dance of Isaiah"? Because all of these things -- indeed, the entire rite of ecclesiastical marriage -- did not develop until a very late date. Was the rite itself borrowed from the Imperial Church centuries after Chalcedon? For that matter, are the Holy Week services similar, because these too date from the Middle Ages — some even from later?

These are fascinating questions, especially b/c my thesis is on the textual reception and memory of Chalcedon. Despite the polemics on both sides at various times, there seems to have been many, many points of contact and influence.

I don't know or think there's a "Dance of Isaiah."  There's a procession at the beginning, and then in the middle of prayers, there's a crowning, and only the husband receives a robe, the same robe a priest wears as a sign of the man being the priest of the family.

Interesting questions though, to which I honestly haven't given much thought or study.

God bless.

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« Reply #402 on: May 06, 2006, 12:30:36 PM »

Dear GiC,

Quote
It is essentially a pastoral text that makes some (very poor) theological references as support, but is most dangerous if used as a theological basis, implying either Arian or Ebionite thought.

Well, we tend to forget the dual nature of Christ, humanity and divinity.  In humanity, He is equal to us, and "His Father is greater than Him" so to speak.  In divinity, "He and the Father are one," and thus "equal with Him" and "greater than us."

So, this text, taken in correct Christological interpretation, cannot be poor.  Christ became the mediator by taking humanity as Himself, and made the two into one.  While we can't become gods in essence, He gave us the Divine Grace to become Gods, and by this, He elevates us, we who are worthless.  That's why you see some sort of heirarchy, from woman to man to Christ to God.  Woman is equal to man who is equal to Christ in humanity who is equal to God in divinity.  Let's also not forget Christ willingly submitted Himself to the Father even though He was equal.  Arius misinterpreted this and said Christ must have not been consubstantial with the Father.  Ebionites must have taken this further to say Christ is above all mankind, but nowhere near like the Father.  But proper Christology disproves both and makes this verse, to me, neither merely pastorial, nor weak in a theological sense.  One only needs Christological clarification to understand what St. Paul meant (not to mention he still did write "neither male or female").

Quote
Which tells me nothing about why the priest must be male, as I said state that a male is 'more in the image of Christ' or 'in the image of Christ in a way that a female is not' is to deny the Image of Christ that is equally present in Male and Female, it is blasphemy against the Creative Energies of God.

And as I said, it does not deny the female the Image of God in her as much as man does.  What I am saying is that this verse in Revelations makes all people, including laity, "priests and kings."  Protestants misinterpret this verse, which is why they don't have the Melchizedek priesthood heirarchy of the Church.  We do, and this does not deny the laity of their role as "priests and kings."  It only gives the "special calling" to men.

So, when we say that men only can be the icon of Christ via priesthood, that does not exclude women from being icons of Christ in the same fashion that "special callings" excluded from the laity do not deny the laity's role as "kings and priests."

Unless, there's a new argument to the table, I'll have to say "UNCLE!"

God bless.

Mina
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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.
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« Reply #403 on: May 06, 2006, 12:45:00 PM »

Dear Pensateomnia,

I found something for you Smiley

http://www.copticchurch.net/topics/thecopticchurch/sacraments/6_matrimony.html

God bless.

Mina
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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.
Justin Kissel
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A metal babble! Kill it quick!


« Reply #404 on: May 06, 2006, 06:15:49 PM »

Montalban

Quote
Some have trouble separating Holy Tradition from traditions

Speaking of which, have you dug up any actual quotes from Church Fathers that articulate this? I mean, if it's such an obvious and necessary distinction, then surely someone in Church history must have mentioned it! Someone? Anyone? Grin


GIC,

Hey, I would know if I was ignorant!  Tongue  I've been reading a book on the history of paradoxes through the centuries, that one would be an enjoyable one to read about...
« Last Edit: May 06, 2006, 06:19:13 PM by Asteriktos » Logged

That is not the teaching of Fr. Seraphim Rose.
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