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Author Topic: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church  (Read 178993 times) Average Rating: 0
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Theognosis
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« Reply #585 on: May 18, 2006, 01:27:44 AM »

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Ok, I'm going to say this again, and very carefully this time, to make sure you get it.

I know what you're trying to say.  How about sharing some evidence?
 
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The history of Christianity is the History of the Marriage of Greek and Jewish Culture, the unity of Philosophy and Law. We began very Jewish and ended up with strong Pagan and Jewish influences. The inital basis for our customs, theology, law, etc. was Jewish law, adapted for missionary work.

The New Testament is not the continuation of the Mosaic Covenant. 
 
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As the Church spread the Greeco-Roman Influence increase, considerably influencing the evolution of our theology, traditions, and customs.

Let's be specific.  The problem for you is that Christianity NEVER adopted the Greco-Roman custom and tradition of ordaining women to the priesthood. 

Not in the second century.  Not in the third century.  And not after 2,000 years.

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Thus, the primary influence on Christianity until about AD 150, give or take a few decades, would have been Jewish, thereafter pagan (non-Jewish) influence would begin to increase, so while we still had that base the future evolution of that base would be based on pagan culture.

The evolution of Christianity is dependent on pagan culture?  If paganism is dead (as it is today), how does the church supposedly evolve?
 
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That's why BOTH are factors, it's not either or; we must consider the initial influences on the Church and Evolution of the Church, dependent on the social realities it encountered.

Of course they are factors, but you have to be specific.

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Well, no one has yet given me anything even approaching a viable theological explanation, so I would say that my initial hypothesis (by now Theory) is pretty well grounded.

Grounded on what? 

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However, what is somewhat sickening is that people are giving (essentially heretical), poorly developed, off-the-cuff, 'theological' explanations, trying to theologically defend (and, presumably, thereby justify???) this great atrocity.

To a certain extent, I agree with you here.  It's not that I find the theological arguments poorly developed, but I don’t find it necessary to defend tradition by quoting the Bible like what the Protestants practice.  After all, we're not fundamentalists.  As you can see, I never quoted the Bible and shared my personal interpretation of it.

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And, frankly, in the absence of an EXCELLENT and IMPREGNABLE theological argument to the Contrary, one which is beyond reproach, I believe that the rational mind can only accept the reasonable sociological conclusion that I have drawn.

You're suggesting a false dichotomy between the theological and the cultural causes.  Concerning the gender of the priesthood, please present historical evidence that culture and religion are related.

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Of course, being finals week and all I dont have the time to devote to the proper research (as though I'm going to do substantial research for an internet message board anyway), but some things are rather self-evident.

Good luck to your exam, man.

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A culture was misogynistic, therefore when this culture developed religion men had greater influence than women...I fail to see the circular reasoning of that argument. The conclusion may be so obvious to be called a corollary, but that's hardly circular by any stretch of the imagination.

I think you fail to understand my point that historically, culture does not influence religion, at least in the gender of the priesthood.

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Or are you refering to the Church being influenced by the Jews who initially formed it being circular?

No, it's about you allegation that the Jewish religion is misogynistic, i.e. that its priesthood was culturally constructed.  You use this as a premise to your conclusion.

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I fear that unless you're doing some very strange (yet fun) things with the general theory of relativity, timelines are not circular.

Fix your logic, and maybe we can talk about relativity.

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Theognosis
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« Reply #586 on: May 18, 2006, 01:45:55 AM »

What ad hominem? He didn't attack you, he attacked your so-called authority figure...attacking the authority in an 'appeal to authority' argument is not an ad hominem. Roll Eyes

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem
An ad hominem fallacy consists of asserting that someone's argument is wrong and/or they are wrong to argue at all purely because of something discreditable/not-authoritative about the person or those persons cited by them rather than addressing the soundness of the argument itself. The implication is that the person's argument and/or ability to argue correctly lacks authority. Merely insulting another person in the middle of otherwise rational discourse does not necessarily constitute an ad hominem fallacy. It must be clear that the purpose of the characterization is to discredit the person offering the argument, and, specifically, to invite others to discount his arguments. In the past, the term ad hominem was sometimes used more literally, to describe an argument that was based on an individual, or to describe any personal attack. But this is not how the meaning of the term is typically introduced in modern logic and rhetoric textbooks, and logicians and rhetoricians are widely agreed that this use is incorrect.
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« Reply #587 on: May 18, 2006, 02:31:45 AM »

Well, no one has yet given me anything even approaching a viable theological explanation, so I would say that my initial hypothesis (by now Theory) is pretty well grounded.
I've never thought that the absence of opposing argument by itself was ever evidence of the truth of any hypothesis.  Can you actually prove that your hypothesis is true on its own merit without appealing to the silence of the opposition?

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However, what is somewhat sickening is that people are giving (essentially heretical), poorly developed, off-the-cuff, 'theological' explanations, trying to theologically defend (and, presumably, thereby justify???) this great atrocity.
I think I've already shown that St. Paul's theological hierarchy can be interpreted in such a way as to oppose women's ordination WITHOUT leading to Arianism.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=8894.msg120327#msg120327

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And, frankly, in the absence of an EXCELLENT and IMPREGNABLE theological argument to the Contrary, one which is beyond reproach, I believe that the rational mind can only accept the reasonable sociological conclusion that I have drawn.
I have a pretty rational mind, and I don't accept the sociological conclusion that you have drawn.  In fact, to change the status quo, you need to provide us the EXCELLENT and IMPREGNABLE theological and sociological reasons for your position that we should change our practice.  So far, your reasoning is no more convincing than the reasoning of any other person I've read here.

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Of course, being finals week and all I dont have the time to devote to the proper research (as though I'm going to do substantial research for an internet message board anyway), but some things are rather self-evident.
Self-evident to whom?


In summary:
So, let me get this straight.  You think the Church needs to adapt to cultural norms by ordaining women to the priesthood, and until we formulate what you would consider an airtight reason for continuing the "atrocious" practice of excluding women from the priesthood we should abolish this exclusion.  I think this is totally the wrong approach.  Considering the major and potentially irreparable damage such a change as women's ordination would cause, we should seek rather to maintain the status quo until we can formulate an airtight reason why we should actively ordain women.  So far, your argument that we should adapt to cultural norms reeks of conformity with the mindset of this world, which the Apostle Paul warned us to avoid.
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« Reply #588 on: May 18, 2006, 02:45:59 AM »

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem
An ad hominem fallacy consists of asserting that someone's argument is wrong and/or they are wrong to argue at all purely because of something discreditable/not-authoritative about the person or those persons cited by them rather than addressing the soundness of the argument itself. The implication is that the person's argument and/or ability to argue correctly lacks authority. Merely insulting another person in the middle of otherwise rational discourse does not necessarily constitute an ad hominem fallacy. It must be clear that the purpose of the characterization is to discredit the person offering the argument, and, specifically, to invite others to discount his arguments. In the past, the term ad hominem was sometimes used more literally, to describe an argument that was based on an individual, or to describe any personal attack. But this is not how the meaning of the term is typically introduced in modern logic and rhetoric textbooks, and logicians and rhetoricians are widely agreed that this use is incorrect.


I think you've got to come up with a better source than Wiki.  I'm not going to comment on your characterization of the definition of ad hominem, but at the same time you're inviting an attack on the foundation of your sources when you use ones as dubious as Wiki.  (Of course, I think this is the point pensateomnia was making in his comment - i.e. you're appealing to someone as an authority that may not be so, as indicated by his relative lack of status within his own community as evidenced by his status within the community - being at a small school.  Most of those guys who are good end up at more prestigious institutions, or have critically peer-acclaimed works to their credit.)
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« Reply #589 on: May 18, 2006, 03:35:02 AM »

I think you've got to come up with a better source than Wiki.ÂÂ  I'm not going to comment on your characterization of the definition of ad hominem, but at the same time you're inviting an attack on the foundation of your sources when you use ones as dubious as Wiki.ÂÂ

That's a red herring.ÂÂ  You can look it up in the dictionary.

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(Of course, I think this is the point pensateomnia was making in his comment - i.e. you're appealing to someone as an authority that may not be so, as indicated by his relative lack of status within his own community as evidenced by his status within the community - being at a small school.ÂÂ  Most of those guys who are good end up at more prestigious institutions, or have critically peer-acclaimed works to their credit.)

If pensateoma has problems with the material, then let him (or her) criticize the content.ÂÂ  The things I cited were simply a matter of fact, and it does not involve a modicum of subjectivity on the part of the author which would otherwise require an authoritative source.ÂÂ  

For instance, do you need the blessings of the Patriarch of Constantinople to approve the historical fact that in the early times, women were appointed priestesses in the face of a male-dominated society?

No.  Because religious affiliation is irrelevant in matters of ancient history.

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« Reply #590 on: May 18, 2006, 03:48:52 AM »

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I've never thought that the absence of opposing argument by itself was ever evidence of the truth of any hypothesis.  Can you actually prove that your hypothesis is true on its own merit without appealing to the silence of the opposition?

Amen.

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I have a pretty rational mind, and I don't accept the sociological conclusion that you have drawn.  In fact, to change the status quo, you need to provide us the EXCELLENT and IMPREGNABLE theological and sociological reasons for your position that we should change our practice.  So far, your reasoning is no more convincing than the reasoning of any other person I've read here.

Amen.

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Self-evident to whom?

To GiC alone.

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In summary:
So, let me get this straight.  You think the Church needs to adapt to cultural norms by ordaining women to the priesthood, and until we formulate what you would consider an airtight reason for continuing the "atrocious" practice of excluding women from the priesthood we should abolish this exclusion.  I think this is totally the wrong approach.

Amen. 

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Considering the major and potentially irreparable damage such a change as women's ordination would cause, we should seek rather to maintain the status quo until we can formulate an airtight reason why we should actively ordain women.

Exactly.  GiC needs to present EXCELLENT and IMPREGNABLE theological and sociological reasons for ordaining women.
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« Reply #591 on: May 18, 2006, 04:18:39 AM »

Okay. That's good. In other words, you misspoke/miswrote when you said:
<snip>
I have never said He made for secret teachings. I said He made them more clear. So I didn't miswrite anything.
Because if Jesus, in fact, made His meaning "more clear" on divorce -- and this "more clear" meaning is at odds with what is contained in the Scripture -- then such would be a secret teaching, wouldn't it? Just like he made himself "more clear" about the real nature of women at the end of the Sayings Gospel of Thomas.
I've already dealt with the 'objections' that heretics/gnostics might level. I've even quoted one of the earliest works against them. If you wish to continue to ignore that, and suppose that this lets the door in for gnosticism, then I don't really have any wish to deal further with someone continually ignoring what I write.
Huh There's the same logic again. JESUS HIMSELF secretly taught the Apostles a truth about divorce that was at odds with what he taught in public.
That's you assuming that it's at odds. In your 'defence' against Gnosticism, you simply charge the entire church with making things up
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« Reply #592 on: May 18, 2006, 04:22:01 AM »


Exactly.ÂÂ  GiC needs to present EXCELLENT and IMPREGNABLE theological and sociological reasons for ordaining women.

An interesting choice of words. Smiley

So far the opposition who have no evidence to put forward seem now intent on speculating that the church also teaches the opposite of what Jesus taught (see side-issue on divorce).

What evidence do they have for that? More speculation.
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« Reply #593 on: May 18, 2006, 08:59:12 AM »

I think you've got to come up with a better source than Wiki.ÂÂ  I'm not going to comment on your characterization of the definition of ad hominem, but at the same time you're inviting an attack on the foundation of your sources when you use ones as dubious as Wiki.ÂÂ  (Of course, I think this is the point pensateomnia was making in his comment - i.e. you're appealing to someone as an authority that may not be so, as indicated by his relative lack of status within his own community as evidenced by his status within the community - being at a small school.ÂÂ  Most of those guys who are good end up at more prestigious institutions, or have critically peer-acclaimed works to their credit.)

No, no...let's go with this one. Wink

Over at http://www.womenpriests.org/traditio/prej_gen.asp Fr. John Wijngaards says that the failure to ordain women was culturally biased. And don't you dare attack Fr. John as an absolute and unquestionable authority on the matter...THAT would be an ad hominem. Grin
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« Reply #594 on: May 18, 2006, 09:11:39 AM »

An interesting choice of words. Smiley

So far the opposition who have no evidence to put forward seem now intent on speculating that the church also teaches the opposite of what Jesus taught (see side-issue on divorce).

What evidence do they have for that? More speculation.

Yeah! Right on! How dare St. Theodore the Studite "speculate" about such things!
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« Reply #595 on: May 18, 2006, 09:31:35 AM »

I think I've already shown that St. Paul's theological hierarchy can be interpreted in such a way as to oppose women's ordination WITHOUT leading to Arianism.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=8894.msg120327#msg120327

I'm sorry, I missed that one in the flood of posts this topic has generated.

Here's an example of what I mean by this approach:

St. John the Theologian tells us repeatedly that Christ is God, a truth the Church defended (against Arius) by formulating the Nicene Creed.  In His Essential unity with the Father and the Holy Spirit, Christ is indeed the head of man, for in submitting to Christ we submit to God.

St. John also tells us that Christ is Man, a truth the Church defended repeatedly in the Third through Seventh Ecumenical Councils.  In His essential unity with all Mankind, Christ submits to the will of the Father as we do.  Seeing this, St. Paul can teach that the head of Christ is God.

In His Divinity, Christ is the head of man.  In His humanity, Christ submits to the Father, making God the head of Christ.  And, very importantly, we have not separated the embryonic theology of St. Paul from the more-developed Christology of St. John the Theologian, thereby avoiding the path of Arianism.

Yes, you have avoided both Arianism and Ebionitism, unfortunately you're now advocating Nestorianism. When discussing the 'two-ness' of Christ defined by the fourth through sixth synods, we can't forget the 'one-ness' of Christ as defined by the third. In Paul's comparison, you can't compare natures, we are ontologically identified by our personhood, not our nature, for if we were identified by the latter then we could say that there are 'two Christs.' And that only the human Christ was born to Mary the 'Christotokos.' No, it is the one Person of Christ, the Divine Son of God, that must be considered, so are you saying that the person of Christ is not consubstantial with the Father? Or are you saying that there are two Christs, and only one of them is consubstantial with the Father?

Furthermore, against the decrees of the Synod of Ephesus, assume this is a comparison of natures. Are you suggesting that there is a difference in nature between men and women (who the Church has always taught shared a common human nature) that is akin to the difference between the divine nature and the human nature? For if the comparison between God and Christ is between Divine and Human, and the comparison between Christ and man is between God and Human, are you really implying that the difference between men and women is the difference between some (demi-)gods and humans...or between humans and some creature that is as far below you as you are below God???

Quote
In summary:
So, let me get this straight.ÂÂ  You think the Church needs to adapt to cultural norms by ordaining women to the priesthood, and until we formulate what you would consider an airtight reason for continuing the "atrocious" practice of excluding women from the priesthood we should abolish this exclusion.ÂÂ  I think this is totally the wrong approach.ÂÂ  Considering the major and potentially irreparable damage such a change as women's ordination would cause, we should seek rather to maintain the status quo until we can formulate an airtight reason why we should actively ordain women.ÂÂ  So far, your argument that we should adapt to cultural norms reeks of conformity with the mindset of this world, which the Apostle Paul warned us to avoid.

Corrections:

First, while I do believe that the Church has helped society perpetrate a social injustice, there is nothing inherently wrong with that, the primary mission of the Church is a salvific ministry, not a social ministry.

Secondly, I have said that I believe the ordination of women would be beneficial to the Church, not that it is required of the Church.

Finally, the only doctrinal/ecclesiological point that I have insisted upon is that, due to the lack of decrees to the contrary, it is entirely within the rights and authority of the local synod to ordain or not ordain women as they see fit and that nobody (save a superior synod and perhaps the Imperial Authority if it still existed) has the right to force their opinion, whatever it may be, on the said synod.
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« Reply #596 on: May 18, 2006, 10:01:35 AM »

Dear GiC,

I've also twice appealed to the dual nature of Christ to refute Arianism and Ebionism, and certainly did not seem to have any Nestorian ring to it.  No one I believe is splitting the natures, and I don't think Ephesus would have condemned anyone who interpreted 1 Cor. 11:3 in that manner.  In fact, what they or anyone else would have condemned is saying that that the "man Jesus" is below the Father, but the "Logos who indwelt the Son of Man" is equal to the Father and above the man.  What we are saying is that Christ through His humanity is "lower than the Father" and through His divinity is "greater than man, equal to the Father."  In many other places, you find St. Paul repeating this, that Christ did not find it robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of low reputation and learned obedience, even unto the Cross.  And Christ said of Himself, "The Father is greater than I," all of which, I believe St. Cyril interpreted as, the humanity and divinity of Christ.  If St. Cyril would have interpreted 1 Cor. 11:3, he would have probably said the same as PetertheAleut or I did.

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #597 on: May 18, 2006, 10:08:07 AM »

No, no...let's go with this one. Wink

Over at http://www.womenpriests.org/traditio/prej_gen.asp Fr. John Wijngaards says that the failure to ordain women was culturally biased. And don't you dare attack Fr. John as an absolute and unquestionable authority on the matter...THAT would be an ad hominem. Grin

What about other cultures?  Let say Egypt Grin

This website seems to tell me that if we were to spread Christianity in Egypt, women's ordination may not have been much of a stumbling block to pagan conversions:

http://www.crystalinks.com/egyptianwomen.html

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #598 on: May 18, 2006, 10:24:38 AM »

You seem to be an expert on the subject.  How about sharing with us--without resorting to logical fallacy--their views on the roles of women in RELIGION in the Roman Empire and how it supposedly influenced Christianity, particularly in the gender of the priesthood?

Ah, yes. So you can appeal to one professor's exegesis of a particular pericope in the Pauline epistles as infallible proof that you have established your point about pagan women and religion in general, but when I point out that this interpretation of his article may not, in fact, be the end-all-be-all (based on many primary sources and several top-rate scholars), I have resorted to "logical fallacy." Unfortunately, if you have not already read the relevant and well-known sources before making up your mind, I cannot summarize them on this forum today. I will try to do so in the next week, but I fear such would really just be a waste of my time, since certain people on this forum appear to prefer whatever evidence they can find on the issue that fits their existing argument, and, on the other hand, to label all evidence that does not conform to these pre-conceived ideas as "speculative."

[Addition: If we, as theologians or lay people, want to actually understand why the Church has never ordained women and be able to articulate these reasons in a cogent and comprehensive manner, then we need to make sure that our assumptions and desires conform to the available evidence. The point of this thread -- at least as I understand it -- is not to immediately silence discussion by means of textbook mantras and easy answers, but to delve deeply into the world of the early Church, so that we might better understand the nature of early Christian ordained ministry and the role of women in the Church.]

To move things toward more Christian sources, I have already started the discussion on Patristic views of women with specific references from St. John Chrysostom's many statements on the subject; but you, in response to my question about how you view these statements, said:   

Quote
I will not speculate as others do.  And neither will I re-interpret the words he wrote.

If you will not even pay heed to what the Fathers say, if you consider actually reading them "speculation," how can the discussion proceed?

I wonder, have members of this board actually read more than a dozen works of the early Fathers? My summary of Chrysostom's thoughts on Corinthians and women in general is obvious to anyone who has read any of his relevant homilies on Genesis or the Pauline corpus.

Why is reading the Fathers and quoting their frequent and straight-forward statements on the nature and role of women "speculative"?
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« Reply #599 on: May 18, 2006, 10:28:51 AM »

That's a red herring.  You can look it up in the dictionary.

You're not getting it. 

A) Pensateomnia did not attack the validity of the statement through his comment of the source, so his comment doesn't even fit the definition of ad hominem you provided.  In fact, he stated that he agreed with the position of the source, and he objected to your characterization of his position being in opposition to it as being ignorant of his true position that he expounded here in the thread.  His source criticism was, as GiC pointed out, only flying in the face of your "appeal to authority" and not to the validity of the argument.

B) I am not attacking your definition of ad hominem by discrediting the source, but rather stated that you invite any criticism of your sources in general when you appeal to one that has as many factual errors in general as Wiki does.  It's version of the ad hominem definition is fairly thorough and quite well-done; but it doesn't mean that it has been applied correctly in this case.
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« Reply #600 on: May 18, 2006, 10:30:53 AM »

Why is reading the Fathers and quoting their frequent and straight-forward statements on the nature and role of women "speculative"? 

Silly rabbit.  Reading is for kids!
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« Reply #601 on: May 18, 2006, 05:11:03 PM »

GiC,

Are you reading Nestorianism into my exegesis just because you're itching for a fight?  Otherwise, I don't know how you can accuse me of advocating Nestorianism by interpreting St. Paul in the light of St. John.  AISI, the context provided by the Gospel of St. John and by Holy Tradition also makes impossible a Nestorian interpretation of St. Paul's theological hierarchy.  It appears to me that you're just overanxious to shoot down any theological argument that we could provide to support an all-male priesthood.  I'll bet that if we could give you a perfectly airtight theological reason for excluding women from the priesthood, you would probably still try to shoot it full of holes.  Maybe that's the very definition of "devil's advocate."  My question is this: would your arguments against a theological reason pass the same scrutiny you use to criticize the reason?

Don't think too much about this.  I would want you to wear your brain out with finals this week.  Wink
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« Reply #602 on: May 18, 2006, 09:30:54 PM »

No, no...let's go with this one. Wink

Over at http://www.womenpriests.org/traditio/prej_gen.asp Fr. John Wijngaards says that the failure to ordain women was culturally biased. And don't you dare attack Fr. John as an absolute and unquestionable authority on the matter...THAT would be an ad hominem. Grin

Good, I'll attack his methodology (not his qualifications). First, he employs the same circular reasoning as you do. That is, he presupposes that the ordination of men was culturally biased, and then comes to the conclusion that the ordination of men is culturally biased. Second, he employs sola sciptura when he said that the tradition wasn't scriptural.

Both these points are explicitly stated by the author:

http://www.womenpriests.org/traditio/prej_gen.asp
From all this it follows that the socalled ‘tradition’ against the ordination of women is invalid. Because:

- The reasons for the socalled ‘tradition’ were inspired by social and cultural misunderstandings. This ‘tradition’ was not informed.

- The scriptural texts used to support the prejudices rested on misinterpretations of the inspired meaning. The ‘tradition’ of not-ordaining women also fails because it was not scriptural.


I hope this is not your idea of an "EXCELLENT" and "IMPREGNABLE" reason for ordaining women.
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« Reply #603 on: May 18, 2006, 09:53:45 PM »

Quote
A) Pensateomnia did not attack the validity of the statement through his comment of the source, so his comment doesn't even fit the definition of ad hominem you provided.  In fact, he stated that he agreed with the position of the source, and he objected to your characterization of his position being in opposition to it as being ignorant of his true position that he expounded here in the thread.

I will review Pensa's position and see if I made a mistake.

Quote
His source criticism was, as GiC pointed out, only flying in the face of your "appeal to authority" and not to the validity of the argument.

The allegation of an appeal to authority is invalid because I never quoted the author's subjective views, nor did I elevate him to the status of an infallible source; all of the things I said with reference to the work were plain historical facts, facts which fit rather nicely in our discussion.

Quote
B) I am not attacking your definition of ad hominem by discrediting the source, but rather stated that you invite any criticism of your sources in general when you appeal to one that has as many factual errors in general as Wiki does.  It's version of the ad hominem definition is fairly thorough and quite well-done; but it doesn't mean that it has been applied correctly in this case.

Point taken.
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« Reply #604 on: May 18, 2006, 10:29:51 PM »

Quote
Ah, yes. So you can appeal to one professor's exegesis of a particular pericope in the Pauline epistles as infallible proof that you have established your point about pagan women and religion in general,

I never quoted the professor's exegesis in the Pauline epistle.ÂÂ  In fact, I'm not interested in his SUBJECTIVE views at all.ÂÂ  What is relevant is his OBJECTIVE survey of Greek and Roman culture and religion.
 
Quote
but when I point out that this interpretation of his article may not, in fact, be the end-all-be-all (based on many primary sources and several top-rate scholars), I have resorted to "logical fallacy."

I was referring to GiC's line of argument.ÂÂ  Let me repeat what I said there:
 
"In general?"ÂÂ  That is the problem with that line of argument, actually.ÂÂ  To illustrate:
 
1. Women are "inferior" in Greco-Roman society in general.
2. Therefore, women are "inferior" in religion in particular.
 
The argument above is a logical fallacy, and history proves that it is wrong. One cannot generalize the status of women in society and apply it to religion.

 
Quote
Unfortunately, if you have not already read the relevant and well-known sources before making up your mind, I cannot summarize them on this forum today. I will try to do so in the next week, but I fear such would really just be a waste of my time, since certain people on this forum appear to prefer whatever evidence they can find on the issue that fits their existing argument, and, on the other hand, to label all evidence that does not conform to these pre-conceived ideas as "speculative."

It's prefectly valid to quote the Church Fathers as long as one does not impose his/her personal presuppositions and biases.ÂÂ  However...

Quote
To move things toward more Christian sources, I have already started the discussion on Patristic views of women with specific references from St. John Chrysostom's many statements on the subject; but you, in response to my question about how you view these statements, said:

I find theological discussion on this matter as unnecessary.ÂÂ  After all, GiC's argument is exclusively on the cultural aspect, and I must strike at the heart of his hypothesis.ÂÂ  Like what Peter said, GiC must prove his theory on its own merit without appealing to the alleged silence of Tradition.

If GiC claims that the all-male priesthood was a cultural construct, then he must show evidence in history that supports it. Unfortunately for him, history contradicts all his speculations.ÂÂ  In his failure to present historical evidence, he has opted to formulate a false dichotomy, which is as follows:

Option A (exclusive): The all-male priesthood is theological
Option B (exclusive): The all-male priesthood is cultural


GiC is trying to convince people that Option A is not true, so he concludes that Option B is true.ÂÂ  On the other hand, what is really required of him is to prove Option B on its own merits.
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« Reply #605 on: May 18, 2006, 11:08:22 PM »

Good, I'll attack his methodology (not his qualifications). First, he employs the same circular reasoning as you do. That is, he presupposes that the ordination of men was culturally biased, and then comes to the conclusion that the ordination of men is culturally biased. Second, he employs sola sciptura when he said that the tradition wasn't scriptural.
Theognosis,

You might have to teach me what circular reasoning is and how to recognize it, because I don't see this in Fr. Wijngaard's article.  He presupposes that the exclusion of women from ordination is based on cultural prejudices, and goes from here to conclude that the tradition of excluding women from ordination is invalid.  To me, Fr. Wijngaard's logic falls apart not because of circular reasoning but because he gives absolutely no evidence to substantiate his initial premise of cultural prejudice.  Destroy the premise of his logic, and his reasoning crumbles into dust.


GiC,

You really need to substantiate your claim that the exclusion of women from ordination is based on cultural and societal prejudices.  You keep on asserting this as the foundation of your logic, but I've not seen you provide any real evidence for the truth of this fundamental assertion except for the silence of your opposition.  What INCONTROVERTIBLE evidence can you provide that the Church's refusal to ordain women is based on cultural biases?
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« Reply #606 on: May 18, 2006, 11:43:41 PM »

The allegation of an appeal to authority is invalid because I never quoted the author's subjective views, nor did I elevate him to the status of an infallible source; all of the things I said with reference to the work were plain historical facts, facts which fit rather nicely in our discussion. 

I'm sorry- I had completely missed that in my zeal at the moment.  Forgive me.
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« Reply #607 on: May 18, 2006, 11:57:37 PM »


I never quoted the professor's exegesis in the Pauline epistle.  In fact, I'm not interested in his SUBJECTIVE views at all.  What is relevant is his OBJECTIVE survey of Greek and Roman culture and religion.

His survey of Greek and Roman culture and religions is certainly interesting, but by no means definitive proof that cultural biases against women did not influence their religious life. In fact, his survey did not definitively prove any such astoundingly broad assertion (and why should it, since that was not the purpose of his article?).

Anyway, as I have thought about it, I think the whole "pagan priesthood" line of research is largely a red herring. Yes, women did hold significant priestly roles in various cultic rites (but not, as GiC has correctly pointed out, at the highest levels). But WHY did they hold such offices? What was the "theological" meaning of the office? In other words, was this "priesthood" really analogous to what we, as Christians, consider priesthood? Of course, most female priests performed religious rites, but what kind of authority of administration or teaching did they have over the "body of pagans"? ... if we can even call it that (which we can't!)!

That's the problem: The only "priestly" positions that are really even remotely comparable to the duties of the Christian priest are the state-sponsored male priests, e.g. flamines (liturgist, teacher, public authority with power to influence the community's understanding of theology and religious practice, etc.). Sure, the Vestal Virgins were important, everyone wanted a good auger and, later, mystery cults loved to initiate women, but all of these positions are either common-place (not leadership) or are specialized (almost like a deaconess or, perhaps, a prophetic elder).

Did women hold the same number of offices, with the same degree of authority, as men? If not, why? If so, were these offices even analogous to Christian offices?

Assuming we have proven that pagan women did hold substantial and equal positions of authority that were analogous to Christian offices, we then have to ask: Would this fact encourage or discourage the early Church to adopt female priesthood? If female priesthood was, in fact, so widespread and women so liberated in matters religious, then (a) what was so revolutionary about Christianity's supposedly unprecedented view of women, and (b) would this not indicate that, perhaps, the Christian Church's choice to spurn female priests was motivated by anti-pagan sentiment instead of exclusively sui generis reasons? (Cultural influence from the other side!)

I think we have to be careful about arguing that pagan religious culture was pro-women. Not only would it take much more proof than what has been provided, I fear it would lead to some nasty places.

Quote
ÂÂ
It's prefectly valid to quote the Church Fathers as long as one does not impose his/her personal presuppositions and biases.  However...
 
I find theological discussion on this matter as unnecessary.  After all, GiC's argument is exclusively on the cultural aspect, and I must strike at the heart of his hypothesis.

I think the most effective way to strike at the heart of the matter would be to examine the actual Christian sources. Even if you have proven everything you think you have about pagan religion, you still haven't shown that the same applies to the Church. What do the Fathers say about women? If we find their words on the matter to be free from cultural influence, then the matter is truly settled.
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« Reply #608 on: May 19, 2006, 12:17:18 AM »

GiC,

You really need to substantiate your claim that the exclusion of women from ordination is based on cultural and societal prejudices.  You keep on asserting this as the foundation of your logic, but I've not seen you provide any real evidence for the truth of this fundamental assertion except for the silence of your opposition.  What INCONTROVERTIBLE evidence can you provide that the Church's refusal to ordain women is based on cultural biases?

What do you want him to do? Produce some authentic, oft-ignored manuscript from an Ecumenical Council that contains Protocols of Zion-like minutes, in which we find a discussion on how to keep women out of the Church's major orders?   Wink  That's the stuff of a multi-million dollar book deal (a la Dan Brown).

Obviously, his argument has to rest on broad reading of the sources and, in the end, on inductive reasoning. If, for example, we were to do comprehensive TLG searches and look at every time the early Fathers speak about women, we would begin to identify patterns in their attitudes. If we discovered a pattern of negative speech, dismissal and reproach, this would certainly be telling, wouldn't it? (Although not INCONTROVERTIBLE...few things are).
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« Reply #609 on: May 19, 2006, 01:31:32 AM »

Go ahead and call me lazy.  I have read bits and pieces of this thread but I am not reading all 41 pages.  My view on this is going to be differnet as I am crossing over from Protestantism into Orthodoxy.

My personal, private opinion is that I am uncomfortable with but not opposed to women as ordained.  St Zosimos asked St Mary of Egypt for a blessing.  The women first spoke (taught/dare I say, preached) of the resurrected Christ, not the men.  It must be noted here that St Mary initially refused saying it was not proper of her to bestow a blessing; not her place; not her role.  She did eventually give a blessing.  Thus my position.  We see an acknowledged establisment of a role(s) and that there can be an exception to the rule.  In previous pages there was a good post I thought about the roles of men and women in the Church, that the man is the revelation of Christ and the woman the revelation of the Church.  That we have seen throughout the history and Tradition of the Church these roles encouraged and nurtured.  This model has served the Church well for its entirety.  These roles should not be crossed and confused.  That said, I feel I place God in a corner if I say unto Him that He can never use a woman in a priestly manner especially when I understand there have been exceptions to this rule using the two examples above.  But it must be noted the examples are rare and were under extraordinary circumstances.  While I would argue (and I am) against wholesale ordination of women into the priesthood, it is possible for us to be blessed with another St Mary at some point.  And I think it is best to add here that not all males are automatically eligible for the priesthood, either.  Going back into Jewish tradition, only the tribe of Levi and only select members therein were priests.  The priesthood is a very special, select calling of service for God that only few can do.  Now, if we should talk about women as deacons, or as some role of Church "Mother", I believe that is a very necessary discussion to have.  I do believe there is a historical basis for women as deacons.

Here in the US, over the past 40 plus years we have seen major upheaval in the roles of men and women in society, the home and religion.  Everything has been and is being challenged.  Some of this has been good.  Women earning the right to vote, fighting for the right to have equal opportunity for career advancement and equal pay for equal work.  Some of this is having disastrous consequences.  Such as the outright elimination of gender differences in the home and in some careers.  Firefighters being a great example of this.  We have witnessed women suing to have their chance at this career and some places dumbing down standards for everyone, or creating a separate standard for men and women.  Firefighters have to carry very heavy equipment that only few men can do, much less women, often in a hostile environment.  There are women who can do it, but they are the exception, not the rule.  Standards have been dropped in some places and the consequences of this are unknown to me, but it seems to set a stage for tragic consequences.  This is not an insult against women.  This is simply an acknowledgment that physical differences exist between the two.  Also, we are now seeing the advancement of the career woman.  As much good as this has brought us, it has also brought confusion as women (and men) are being taught that career comes before family.  That women have to forsake their natural tendency for mercy and compassion for ruthlessness and cold calculation of the business world.

Enter in the Protestant church.  Few Protestant churches have roots much past the time of their eldest member.  Most now cling to a very contemporary view of life on earth.  They see a dynamic and changing society and reckon the Gospel must adapt to an ever changing world if people are still going to attend church.  The Protestant church has also been losing memberships for a couple decades now as people have grown tired of the early 20th century model of fire and brimstone preaching.  The number shifts we are seeing today is simply a realignment of the numbers but still seeing an overall decline in the Protestant numbers.  We have a changing society here in the US that is confusing the roles of men and women and a Protestant church(es) who is desperate to keep people in the building willing to compromise and change and themselves confuse the roles of men and women within the church itself in order to keep up with the changing times.

Thus the idea of ordination of women in the Orthodox Church being more Western than Eastern.  Eastern Christianity has ironed out roles that it has nurtured and developed for 2000 years.  This idea of blending and confusing the roles is foreign to her and she is having to confront something that she may not be quite prepared for here in the West.  However, this appeal to Tradition is very strong.

And this is the appeal of Orthodoxy.

Life and society are chaotic enough.  It is bad enough when churches follow suit and feel that have to sell the latest "fad" in order to keep up.  To constantly repackage and compromise the Gospel in order to keep people coming.  There are a growing number of people like me who want to rest assured in something constant and consistent.  No offense to Rome, but it cannot claim this.  Only Orthodoxy can claim a consistent history, Tradition and teaching of beliefs.  This is among the reasons why Orthodoxy is seeing an explosion in numbers in recent years.  However, I fear we are coming in such numbers with such zeal, thirst for knowledge, seeking questions and not having fully "unlearned all that we have learned" (thanks Yoda), that we are bombarding Orthodoxy here in the West with things she is not quite ready for at this time.

   

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« Reply #610 on: May 19, 2006, 02:11:26 AM »

Quote
You might have to teach me what circular reasoning is and how to recognize it, because I don't see this in Fr. Wijngaard's article.  He presupposes that the exclusion of women from ordination is based on cultural prejudices, and goes from here to conclude that the tradition of excluding women from ordination is invalid.

It is circular because he is presupposing something which is unproven that leaves no room for an alternative conclusion.  In other words, the conclusion is implied at the very beginning.

Quote
Destroy the premise of his logic, and his reasoning crumbles into dust.

Destroying the premise of prejudice in religion brought about by social factors is exactly what I'm doing.  The link is also pro-sola scriptura.  Worse, the author is ignorant of what the "real Tradition of the Church" is, because there was no instance in the 1st century when the Church ordained women.  The author, despite caliming to be Catholic, obviously has no respect for Tradition.
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« Reply #611 on: May 19, 2006, 02:29:43 AM »

What do you want him to do? Produce some authentic, oft-ignored manuscript from an Ecumenical Council that contains Protocols of Zion-like minutes, in which we find a discussion on how to keep women out of the Church's major orders?  ÃƒÆ’‚ Wink <http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/Smileys/default/wink.gif>  ÃƒÆ’‚ That's the stuff of a multi-million dollar book deal (a la Dan Brown).

That was actually GiC's idea.
 
Quote
Obviously, his argument has to rest on broad reading of the sources and, in the end, on inductive reasoning.

Ahh, the Problem of Induction.ÂÂ  
 
Quote
If, for example, we were to do comprehensive TLG searches and look at every time the early Fathers speak about women, we would begin to identify patterns in their attitudes. If we discovered a pattern of negative speech, dismissal and reproach, this would certainly be telling, wouldn't it? (Although not INCONTROVERTIBLE...few things are).

That's speculation.ÂÂ  What you have to look for is a definitive statement, something like:
 
"I am Father XXX.ÂÂ  It's not theological, really.ÂÂ  It's not Tradition either.ÂÂ  The Church is simply following the social norms, that's why we don't ordain women to the priesthood at this moment in time.ÂÂ  I hope you understand.  Don't worry, 2000 years into the future, I'm sure something will come up in the West."
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« Reply #612 on: May 19, 2006, 02:56:19 AM »

Quote
His survey of Greek and Roman culture and religions is certainly interesting, but by no means definitive proof that cultural biases against women did not influence their religious life. In fact, his survey did not definitively prove any such astoundingly broad assertion (and why should it, since that was not the purpose of his article?).

A broad assertion is made when one presupposes that cultural prejudices influenced Christianity's priesthood without showing any evidence.

Quote
Anyway, as I have thought about it, I think the whole "pagan priesthood" line of research is largely a red herring. Yes, women did hold significant priestly roles in various cultic rites (but not, as GiC has correctly pointed out, at the highest levels).

It is the Bishop, not the Priest, who holds the highest level.ÂÂ  Since we're specific about the priesthood, the subject of persons occupying the "highest level" is irrelevant.

Quote
Did women hold the same number of offices, with the same degree of authority, as men? If not, why? If so, were these offices even analogous to Christian offices?

I don't want to sound like a broken record.

Quote
Assuming we have proven that pagan women did hold substantial and equal positions of authority that were analogous to Christian offices, we then have to ask: Would this fact encourage or discourage the early Church to adopt female priesthood? If female priesthood was, in fact, so widespread and women so liberated in matters religious, then (a) what was so revolutionary about Christianity's supposedly unprecedented view of women, and (b) would this not indicate that, perhaps, the Christian Church's choice to spurn female priests was motivated by anti-pagan sentiment instead of exclusively sui generis reasons? (Cultural influence from the other side!)

Perhaps this.ÂÂ  Or perhaps that.ÂÂ  The fact remians that in the early years of Christianity when the Holy Spirit was actively present in the apostolic church, no woman was ordained as priest in her lifetime.ÂÂ  Not one woman was excempted from this rule--not even the Most Holy Theotokos.

Quote
I think we have to be careful about arguing that pagan religious culture was pro-women. Not only would it take much more proof than what has been provided, I fear it would lead to some nasty places.

Are you suggesting that we just ignore them?



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« Reply #613 on: May 19, 2006, 03:56:29 AM »

Go ahead and call me lazy.ÂÂ  I have read bits and pieces of this thread but I am not reading all 41 pages.ÂÂ  My view on this is going to be differnet as I am crossing over from Protestantism into Orthodoxy.

My personal, private opinion is that I am uncomfortable with but not opposed to women as ordained.ÂÂ  St Zosimos asked St Mary of Egypt for a blessing.ÂÂ  The women first spoke (taught/dare I say, preached) of the resurrected Christ, not the men.ÂÂ  It must be noted here that St Mary initially refused saying it was not proper of her to bestow a blessing; not her place; not her role.ÂÂ  She did eventually give a blessing.ÂÂ  Thus my position.ÂÂ  We see an acknowledged establisment of a role(s) and that there can be an exception to the rule.ÂÂ  In previous pages there was a good post I thought about the roles of men and women in the Church, that the man is the revelation of Christ and the woman the revelation of the Church.ÂÂ  That we have seen throughout the history and Tradition of the Church these roles encouraged and nurtured.ÂÂ  This model has served the Church well for its entirety.ÂÂ  These roles should not be crossed and confused.ÂÂ  That said, I feel I place God in a corner if I say unto Him that He can never use a woman in a priestly manner especially when I understand there have been exceptions to this rule using the two examples above.ÂÂ  But it must be noted the examples are rare and were under extraordinary circumstances.ÂÂ  While I would argue (and I am) against wholesale ordination of women into the priesthood, it is possible for us to be blessed with another St Mary at some point.ÂÂ  And I think it is best to add here that not all males are automatically eligible for the priesthood, either.ÂÂ  Going back into Jewish tradition, only the tribe of Levi and only select members therein were priests.ÂÂ  The priesthood is a very special, select calling of service for God that only few can do.ÂÂ  Now, if we should talk about women as deacons, or as some role of Church "Mother", I believe that is a very necessary discussion to have.ÂÂ  I do believe there is a historical basis for women as deacons.

Here in the US, over the past 40 plus years we have seen major upheaval in the roles of men and women in society, the home and religion.ÂÂ  Everything has been and is being challenged.ÂÂ  Some of this has been good.ÂÂ  Women earning the right to vote, fighting for the right to have equal opportunity for career advancement and equal pay for equal work.ÂÂ  Some of this is having disastrous consequences.ÂÂ  Such as the outright elimination of gender differences in the home and in some careers.ÂÂ  Firefighters being a great example of this.ÂÂ  We have witnessed women suing to have their chance at this career and some places dumbing down standards for everyone, or creating a separate standard for men and women.ÂÂ  Firefighters have to carry very heavy equipment that only few men can do, much less women, often in a hostile environment.ÂÂ  There are women who can do it, but they are the exception, not the rule.ÂÂ  Standards have been dropped in some places and the consequences of this are unknown to me, but it seems to set a stage for tragic consequences.ÂÂ  This is not an insult against women.ÂÂ  This is simply an acknowledgment that physical differences exist between the two.ÂÂ  Also, we are now seeing the advancement of the career woman.ÂÂ  As much good as this has brought us, it has also brought confusion as women (and men) are being taught that career comes before family.ÂÂ  That women have to forsake their natural tendency for mercy and compassion for ruthlessness and cold calculation of the business world.

Enter in the Protestant church.ÂÂ  Few Protestant churches have roots much past the time of their eldest member.ÂÂ  Most now cling to a very contemporary view of life on earth.ÂÂ  They see a dynamic and changing society and reckon the Gospel must adapt to an ever changing world if people are still going to attend church.ÂÂ  The Protestant church has also been losing memberships for a couple decades now as people have grown tired of the early 20th century model of fire and brimstone preaching.ÂÂ  The number shifts we are seeing today is simply a realignment of the numbers but still seeing an overall decline in the Protestant numbers.ÂÂ  We have a changing society here in the US that is confusing the roles of men and women and a Protestant church(es) who is desperate to keep people in the building willing to compromise and change and themselves confuse the roles of men and women within the church itself in order to keep up with the changing times.

Thus the idea of ordination of women in the Orthodox Church being more Western than Eastern.ÂÂ  Eastern Christianity has ironed out roles that it has nurtured and developed for 2000 years.ÂÂ  This idea of blending and confusing the roles is foreign to her and she is having to confront something that she may not be quite prepared for here in the West.ÂÂ  However, this appeal to Tradition is very strong.

And this is the appeal of Orthodoxy.

Life and society are chaotic enough.ÂÂ  It is bad enough when churches follow suit and feel that have to sell the latest "fad" in order to keep up.ÂÂ  To constantly repackage and compromise the Gospel in order to keep people coming.ÂÂ  There are a growing number of people like me who want to rest assured in something constant and consistent.ÂÂ  No offense to Rome, but it cannot claim this.ÂÂ  Only Orthodoxy can claim a consistent history, Tradition and teaching of beliefs.ÂÂ  This is among the reasons why Orthodoxy is seeing an explosion in numbers in recent years.ÂÂ  However, I fear we are coming in such numbers with such zeal, thirst for knowledge, seeking questions and not having fully "unlearned all that we have learned" (thanks Yoda), that we are bombarding Orthodoxy here in the West with things she is not quite ready for at this time.

  ÃƒÆ’‚Â


Very well stated post.
ÂÂ  Been following this thread for a while. Somewhat shocked that my traditionalist friend GIC(man, I really think you are growing soft on me Tongue) is at the other end of this arguement.
  ÃƒÆ’‚ I am far less articulate than most who post on this forum. I will simply say that I ( as a recent convert) am against Ordaining women. I also believe that this is concensus amoungst most converts. To be frank, if a person feels the need to push the Church into such a liberal stance , perhaps a protestant demonination would better suit their needs.
ÂÂ  As Scooter said , in so many words, this is not a Church of fads .
The Church of Christ is guided by the Holy Spirit and cannot err.

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« Reply #614 on: May 19, 2006, 05:32:12 AM »

To be frank, if a person feels the need to push the Church into such a liberal stance , perhaps a protestant demonination would better suit their needs.

Amen. This is one of the best comments I've heard in this thread. "The Church has been mistaken about _______ for 2000 years" is heresy, pure and simple.
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« Reply #615 on: May 19, 2006, 06:12:44 AM »

Amen. This is one of the best comments I've heard in this thread. "The Church has been mistaken about _______ for 2000 years" is heresy, pure and simple. 

{sarcasm}
You're obviously un-enlightened{/sarcasm}
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« Reply #616 on: May 19, 2006, 07:25:19 AM »

Yeah! Right on! How dare St. Theodore the Studite "speculate" about such things!
Did he advocate women priests based on his speculation? Please provide evidence.
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« Reply #617 on: May 19, 2006, 07:28:49 AM »

"The Church has been mistaken about _______ for 2000 years" is heresy, pure and simple.
This accusation does not apply, because the Church has not made any declaration one way or another- so she can't possibly be "mistaken" on this issue. And this goes back to the same issue raised about 30 pages back on this thread (and again 3 pages later, and again 5 pages later.....), and that is: what evidence can anyone produce that the exclusion of women from the priesthood is a DOGMA (which you imply is the case by your claim that it is "heresy" to question it) rather than simply a CUSTOM which has developed in the Church- like not having pews and Communing in the hand which have both since been changed?
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« Reply #618 on: May 19, 2006, 07:46:50 AM »

This accusation does not apply, because the Church has not made any declaration one way or another- so she can't possibly be "mistaken" on this issue.

And this goes back to the same issue raised about 30 pages back on this thread (and again 3 pages later, and again 5 pages later.....), and that is: what evidence can anyone produce that the exclusion of women from the priesthood is a DOGMA (which you imply is the case by your claim that it is "heresy" to question it) rather than simply a CUSTOM which has developed in the Church- like not having pews and Communing in the hand which have both since been changed?

The Church's actions are what later lead to declarations. No statement is needed, we have the unchanged Tradition of the Church.

There is an easy way to see what is custom and what is not: look at what changes from culture to culture. Does women's ordination change? Nope. But as for communing in the hand, we already saw that taking it by the mouth with the arms crossed was the canonical practice, as opposed to what you are saying. And as for pews, your parish may have changed, not the entire Church (though this has indeed varied throughout history).

Again, a very reasonable case for the universal position on women's ordination has been provided. Either start providing patristic support for it being a matter of culture, or accept the fact that you stand completely against 2000 years of patristic tradition and the Church itself.
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« Reply #619 on: May 19, 2006, 07:55:03 AM »

No statement is needed, we have the unchanged Tradition of the Church.
We said that about receiving Communion in the hand. In fact, an Oecumenical Council decreed on it.
There is an easy way to see what is custom and what is not: look at what changes from culture to culture.
If only it were that "easy".
Receiving Communion in the hand was an Oecumenical custom, then it changed. Not ordaining priests under 35 years of age was a universal custom, then it changed. Deacoonesses were a universal custom, then it changed. Male only Priesthood is currently a universal custom.......
Crossing oneself with three fingers was not a universal custom. It became the practice in the Byzantine Empire, but not in Russia, where they crossed themselves with two fingers until Patriarch Nikon's reforms in the 17th century.. So is crossing oneself with three fingers therefore not a Tradition of the Orthodox Church by the criteria you suggested since it was not universally observed?
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« Reply #620 on: May 19, 2006, 08:54:10 AM »

First: I note -- once again -- that NO ONE has made any comment of any sort (agreement, support, defense -- anything!) on St. John Chrysostom's various statements about the "inferiority" of women, e.g. that God made women inferior (elattotai). I wonder if anyone will (or if the various people who are very willing to proclaim that they know that the early Church believed X in all places at all times have ever actually read much of what the Fathers wrote?).

Second: After I pointed out that St. Theodore the Studite himself called the Church's practice of granting ecclesiastical divorce for extra-Scriptural reasons "heresy" and "heretical impiety" (as did other Orthodox Christians when this innovation was introduced in the 9th century), Montalban said:

So far the opposition who have no evidence to put forward seem now intent on speculating that the church also teaches the opposite of what Jesus taught (see side-issue on divorce).

What evidence do they have for that? More speculation.

After pointing out that it was St. Theodore who made this "speculation" about ecclesiastical divorce and re-marriage, Montalban asked:
 
Did he advocate women priests based on his speculation? Please provide evidence.

Of course not! I was responding to your statement that people were "speculating that the church also teaches the opposite of what Jesus taught (see side-issue on divorce)." Indeed, how dare St. Theodore so "speculate"! What a liberal!

Third: Let me rephrase my warning about the danger of using Theognosis' argument about ancient women's status in religion against the likes of GiC. IF Theognosis' claims are true (which they aren't), then (a) Christianity actually had a dimmer view of women than did paganism; Christianity's view was so negative that it went AGAINST the predominate culture's understanding; and (b) this would just provide advocates for female priests ANOTHER line of attack, i.e. that the Christian Church's choice to spurn female priests was motivated by anti-pagan sentiment (a thesis that could, in fact, be supported by quoting the many times that the Fathers speak negatively of female priests specifically because the pagans have them). Don't give advocates for female priests that chance!
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« Reply #621 on: May 19, 2006, 09:26:07 AM »

Don't give advocates for female priests that chance!
I'm not an advocate for female priesthood, but something has just occured to me. Couldn't it be argued that the Christian Church chose to spurn female priests specifically because the pagans had them, which makes it a cultural rather than doctrinal issue?.......Let me quote some Fathers who specifically say that this is the reason for excluding women.......Cheesy
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« Reply #622 on: May 19, 2006, 09:44:12 AM »

I'm not an advocate for female priesthood, but something has just occured to me. Couldn't it be argued that the Christian Church chose to spurn female priests specifically because the pagans had them, which makes it a cultural rather than doctrinal issue?.......Let me quote some Fathers who specifically say that this is the reason for excluding women.......Cheesy

Hey, if we, speaking for the Church, cite false, weak or simply ineffective explanations for the Church's practice, then this could mislead many -- possibly even lead certain people to reject the Church's practice because they reject our explanation.

(This is one of Eve's mistakes, remember? To make up explanations for why she couldn't eat the fruit, instead of just using the exact reason God gave.)
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« Reply #623 on: May 19, 2006, 10:03:18 AM »

As soon as I can have a baby.....
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« Reply #624 on: May 19, 2006, 10:09:40 AM »

As soon as I can have a baby.....

Right. It's a good thing God created men with special biological traits in order to allow them to serve as priests.
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« Reply #625 on: May 19, 2006, 10:14:35 AM »

This is one of Eve's mistakes, remember?
And one of Adam's mistakes was to try to shift the blame for his disobedience onto Eve. Wink
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« Reply #626 on: May 19, 2006, 10:17:26 AM »

And one of Adam's mistakes was to try to shift the blame for his disobedience onto Eve. Wink

OK. I won't post another thing.
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« Reply #627 on: May 19, 2006, 10:22:55 AM »

OK. I won't post another thing.
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« Reply #628 on: May 19, 2006, 10:25:51 AM »

This accusation does not apply, because the Church has not made any declaration one way or another- so she can't possibly be "mistaken" on this issue. And this goes back to the same issue raised about 30 pages back on this thread (and again 3 pages later, and again 5 pages later.....), and that is: what evidence can anyone produce that the exclusion of women from the priesthood is a DOGMA (which you imply is the case by your claim that it is "heresy" to question it) rather than simply a CUSTOM which has developed in the Church- like not having pews and Communing in the hand which have both since been changed?

If it is the case that dogma in the Orthodox Church has only been defined by Ecumenical Council when there's been a challenge by heresy, then when there's no challenge, and the teaching is accepted, and has always been accepted, it's not going to be subject of 'definition' by Council.

So, the 'lack of evidence' (as far as dogma is concerned) is simply because this has never been an issue (except by people such as yourself who choose to raise it and declare it's an issue; and this is done in the face of evidence that has been presented; you simply do one of your now trademark goal-shifts and now introduce 'dogmatic evidence' as opposed to 'evidence).

What I find most remarkable is your tendency to ignore evidences presented to you, then several days later declare none has been brought forward.

However, I don't believe only the councils define dogma anyway. Dogma is the truth as lived by the Orthodox church. This can be known through the teachings of the Fathers AND The Canons of the Church (http://www.goarch.org/en/ourfaith/articles/article8038.asp) and the experience of the Church as a whole (http://www.holytrinitymission.org/books/english/eastern_orthodox_church_e_benz.htm#_Toc49321360)

As has been presented to you numerous times there's Church Fathers who believe that men should be priests. You've had evidence from the Apostolic canons too!

I expect in a few days you'll simply repeat your claims that it's hard to define between dogma and custom* and claim no evidence is forthcoming


*twice already (at least) I've addressed you on this issue, using the terms "tradition" -v- "Holy Tradition". Still, the cyclical nature of your posts is itself highly intriguing. I've yet to determine if these pop up on a twelve day cycle, or not.
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« Reply #629 on: May 19, 2006, 10:29:31 AM »

I'm not an advocate for female priesthood,
Why aren't you? Answer that and you don't need to speculate anymore on this thread.
(edited to add a question mark to the end of the question. Doh!)
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