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Author Topic: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church  (Read 187256 times) Average Rating: 0
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lubeltri
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« Reply #990 on: January 27, 2007, 01:06:29 PM »

Your arrogance, name-calling, and condescension directed at those who disagree with you is tiresome. I've had quite my fill of such contempt and disrespect. Keep your secular fundamentalism. I will ignore your posts from now on, which should matter little to you, considering how backward, bigoted, uncultured, and uneducated a peasant I am.
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« Reply #991 on: January 27, 2007, 01:13:37 PM »

Your arrogance, name-calling, and condescension directed at those who disagree with you is tiresome. I've had quite my fill of such contempt and disrespect. Keep your secular fundamentalism. I will ignore your posts from now on, which should matter little to you, considering how backward, bigoted, uncultured, and uneducated a peasant I am.

I have yet to call anyone any name...I have merely pointed out that certain characteristics correspond with certain ideologies and that said ideologies are often associated with a certain class of people. The other side of the debate has done the same, heck, I've been lumped together with those who support gay marriage...I am simply not phased by the lables they apply to me and find reason only for amusement, not offence.
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« Reply #992 on: January 27, 2007, 01:55:37 PM »

I love this pretending that Christainity invented it's own new culture and social system, though no objective scholar would dare question that Christian theology and practice were derived from 1st century jewish and greco-roman culture and philosophical thought. It's like living every day at disneyland isn't it? Lots of fun, but no substance.

I particulary enjoyed the "Nationalist polemicists" claim.  Cheesy  I was going to respond, but gic has done it with an economy of words I probably wouldn't have managed.

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« Reply #993 on: January 27, 2007, 02:15:12 PM »

I particulary enjoyed the "Nationalist polemicists" claim.  Cheesy  I was going to respond, but gic has done it with an economy of words I probably wouldn't have managed.

I think that's the first time I've ever been acused of using words economically Wink Grin
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« Reply #994 on: January 27, 2007, 02:39:51 PM »

I think that's the first time I've ever been acused of using words economically Wink Grin

LOL

GIC,

Before reading this thread, I merely suspected that my own reservations were correct, and that the denial of women ordination was indeed based on ancient Patriarchal prejudices. Now, I am far more confident that my suspicions were accurate and soundly grounded in historical reality. 

I would like to thank all who have contributed to this subject, you in particular GIC, for helping to clarify my own thoughts on this matter. 

Unless the Church can produce more adequate theological reasons for its position, I will continue to question her motives. Fortunately, no matter that there are those who would wish to prevent it, the Orthodox Church allows her members that privilege.   Grin
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« Reply #995 on: January 27, 2007, 03:09:16 PM »

Christianity derived from pagan philosophical thought? No! The Church Fathers used philosophy to convey the message.  They did not agree with Platonic thought about pre-existence of souls and other non-Christian themes.  Yet we owe a lot to these holy pagans, perhaps with the exception of Aristotle, a favorite with RCs.
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« Reply #996 on: January 27, 2007, 03:16:20 PM »

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...my argument is essentially that this is a purely cultural issue, so when the bishops do begin ordaining woman, which they will in time, if you oppose it you're outside the Church.

It is no 'monophysite approach' - but there is a spiritual elements to the priesthood as well as physical. To call it a purely cultural issue though is entirely materialistic. Holy Orders are not a social construct of human society. The way you have stated it, the test of Orthodoxy will be women's ordination as *dogma* - women's ordination as a test for Orthodoxy, for being the Church. Still, as others have pointed out - no theological position has been presented *for* women's ordination, only name-calling (and, not very good either - it works best if the labels have some truth to them.) A more likely example of outcomes for what you are suggesting comes with the Molokhans of Russia - if the matter of WO is merely 'cultural' as the Molokhans held of fasting from dairy, if (and when) supporters of WO withdraw from those who maintain the normative praxis, those with WO will be the new sect (and, at current rates - a sect of small size also unlikely to grow.)

Quote
I love this pretending that Christainity invented it's own new culture and social system, though no objective scholar would dare question that Christian theology and practice were derived from 1st century jewish and greco-roman culture and philosophical thought.

Pretty neat trick - reading what others write, but never understanding it. You might be pretending, but nothing I wrote suggested that Christianity 'invented it's own new culture and social system'. Jesus Christ *did* change the law, and correct Jewish society as it had developed, as the Prophet Ezekiel had promised. The role of women in the New Testament is world's apart from that in the Mishnah, or the Talmud, or of the centuries previous within Jewish society. This change in women's status and roles in the New Testament does not derive from 'greco-roman' models nor from contemporary Judaism - there is a distinction with the Christ's rulings on the law (as regards divorce, the Sabbath, whether woman can be saved, resurrected, etc. Contemporary 1st c. Judaism commonly held woman to have no soul.) With Christ, that changes - but, again the scandal of Christian women is their mingling with men in the first few centuries, their treatment as humans with souls who can be saved, sexual ownership of themselves by chastity. However, and again (and you have not refuted this) it would have been far less of a scandal for Christ to institute priestesses as well - they were common in the pagan world of the time. However, he didn't - do you claim he erred?

Note to Riddikulus: touch it, you made the claim about Celtic society. GiC didn't refute it, and can't - he nor you seem familiar with Brehon law to begin with. Come back when you've done the research on property and kinship as it relates to women in Celtic societies.
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« Reply #997 on: January 27, 2007, 03:37:13 PM »

It is no 'monophysite approach' - but there is a spiritual elements to the priesthood as well as physical. To call it a purely cultural issue though is entirely materialistic. Holy Orders are not a social construct of human society. The way you have stated it, the test of Orthodoxy will be women's ordination as *dogma* - women's ordination as a test for Orthodoxy, for being the Church. Still, as others have pointed out - no theological position has been presented *for* women's ordination, only name-calling (and, not very good either - it works best if the labels have some truth to them.) A more likely example of outcomes for what you are suggesting comes with the Molokhans of Russia - if the matter of WO is merely 'cultural' as the Molokhans held of fasting from dairy, if (and when) supporters of WO withdraw from those who maintain the normative praxis, those with WO will be the new sect (and, at current rates - a sect of small size also unlikely to grow.)

Ah, but I have espoused a theological position, and one far stronger than any brought to bear against the ordination of women. It's a rather simple and straightforward argument as well, a specific interpretation of abstract symbolism and allegory is not required. There is no male or female in Christ, thus to deny one a ministerial role in the Church based on a non-existant distinction is a direct affront to the ministry and salvific work of Christ. By extension, it is a denying of the work of the Holy Spirit in said individual...it is a saying to the Holy Spirit that He chose poorly, and that we will not Accept His grace as offered through this individual. The refusal to ordain for mere reasons of gender, a non-existant distinction in Christ, is to openly dismiss and ridicule the work and grace of the Holy Spirit.

Quote
Pretty neat trick - reading what others write, but never understanding it. You might be pretending, but nothing I wrote suggested that Christianity 'invented it's own new culture and social system'. Jesus Christ *did* change the law, and correct Jewish society as it had developed, as the Prophet Ezekiel had promised. The role of women in the New Testament is world's apart from that in the Mishnah, or the Talmud, or of the centuries previous within Jewish society. This change in women's status and roles in the New Testament does not derive from 'greco-roman' models nor from contemporary Judaism - there is a distinction with the Christ's rulings on the law (as regards divorce, the Sabbath, whether woman can be saved, resurrected, etc. Contemporary 1st c. Judaism commonly held woman to have no soul.) With Christ, that changes - but, again the scandal of Christian women is their mingling with men in the first few centuries, their treatment as humans with souls who can be saved, sexual ownership of themselves by chastity. However, and again (and you have not refuted this) it would have been far less of a scandal for Christ to institute priestesses as well - they were common in the pagan world of the time. However, he didn't - do you claim he erred?

Glad you liked the trick, but I like yours better, claim innocence to an accusation then later, in the very same paragraph, prove the accusation true. Are you suggesting that the culture and society that Christian women found themselves in differed substantially from the culture and society of those around them? Because that's simply not the case, they suffered under the same oppressive patriarchal structure that all the women of that era suffered under. The culture and society in which they lived were, in fact, the same culture and society in which the pagans lived. Furthermore, I fail to understand the reason in the rest of your paragraph above...how is citing past injustices a justification for continuing current one?
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« Reply #998 on: January 27, 2007, 03:39:50 PM »

Christianity derived from pagan philosophical thought? No! The Church Fathers used philosophy to convey the message.  They did not agree with Platonic thought about pre-existence of souls and other non-Christian themes.  Yet we owe a lot to these holy pagans, perhaps with the exception of Aristotle, a favorite with RCs.

Though most the high theology came from pagan thought, it was ultimately a merger of pagan and jewish thought...thus resistance to the pre-existance of souls came to jewish influence, though many of the philosophical principles that surround the pre-existance of souls in pagan thought were adopted.
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« Reply #999 on: January 27, 2007, 03:54:39 PM »

Note to Riddikulus: touch it, you made the claim about Celtic society. GiC didn't refute it, and can't - he nor you seem familiar with Brehon law to begin with. Come back when you've done the research on property and kinship as it relates to women in Celtic societies.

"touch it" is terminology I am unfamiliar with, so I will refrain from assuming any disparagement is involved.

Interesting though your response is, it is presumptuous; as you lack any knowledge of what I am or am not familiar with. Yet, your attitude is one I can appreciate. Truly, I do realise how frustrating it must be to find that others refuse to fit into one's own paradigm. Fortunately, I am blessed with the ability to allow others to form their own opinions; without feeling any threat to my own views or beliefs. 

If you had wished a discussion on Brehon Law, rather than assume that I was unfamiliar with it, we could have continued quite cordially. However, I do not respond favourably to such tactics as you have displayed and you have curtailed any chance of that. Continue to believe what you will, I have no control over your thoughts; nor do I wish to. Confident in my own knowledge, I feel no need to prove anything to you or anyone else for that matter.

God be with you.
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« Reply #1000 on: January 27, 2007, 04:05:35 PM »

I have yet to call anyone any name...

Denial.

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I have merely pointed out that certain characteristics correspond with certain ideologies and that said ideologies are often associated with a certain class of people.

Meaning - arbitrarily applied random offensive labels to matters not of the nature you claim them to be. "Certain class of people" - that says it all ... 'you people'.

Quote
The other side of the debate has done the same, heck,

Actually there is no 'other side' - but multiple sides, and you haven't debated - just randomly thrown out inflammatory terms in an attempt to instigate heated responses. I've given points for debate - they've been ignored or dismissed with political polemics "patriarchal", "misogynist", "Popish", "fundamentalist", "radical" (the odd Right-wing epithet in the mix), "reactionary", "disneyland", etc. Which to my mind suggests that you find the material unfamiliar, and so do not have a vocabulary for it?

Again, much of your argument seems to rest on outdated Feminist political polemic of the pre-Womanist era (understanding that Womanist thought has gone far itself beyond an initially ethocentric beginning to a full-flowering that unlike Feminism that is not misanthropic - meaning, no charged terms like 'Patriarchal', but expecting men to be real men). The idea that woman and man are interchangeable and not different is not current, and in fact disrespectful of Women and Men alike. Such an approach simply creates an imbalance in the other direction - women keep their private female society, roles which biology retains alone to their sex, but men lose all private male society, any distinctive role complimentary to women - in a word, men become useless. In situations where it has been applied to religious groups, one ends up with what has become the norm in religious groups where women dominate religious leadership - men don't participate (and, that has nothing to do with misognyny on their part, and everything to do with male biology and the psychology of their sex - the need for responsibility, to be active, to have stewardship, etc.) There are other reasons that has happened of course, and those religions that adopted women's ordination to make up for the men not showing up have continued the downward spiral of attrition. There is nothing progressive about that.

Quote
There is no male or female in Christ, thus to deny one a ministerial role in the Church based on a non-existant distinction is a direct affront to the ministry and salvific work of Christ.
 

Okay - but the context of that scripture has nothing to do with roles in society, the governance of the Church, or the administration of the sacraments - but salvation.

Quote
By extension, it is a denying of the work of the Holy Spirit in said individual... The refusal to ordain for mere reasons of gender, a non-existant distinction in Christ, is to openly dismiss and ridicule the work and grace of the Holy Spirit.


As above - it isn't denying the work of the Holy Spirit if it *isn't* the work of the Holy Spirit. Part of the issue I see above is seeing it in terms of individualism - the Holy Spirit's work is in community. So, you have a shaky purely theoretical claim that the Holy Spirit *is* calling for women's ordination - on what basis? Do you have proof of such or just a 'burning in the bosom'?

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... claim innocence to an accusation then later, in the very same paragraph, prove the accusation true.

That has yet to happen - I think you are seeing evil where there is none.

Quote
Are you suggesting that the culture and society that Christian women found themselves in differed substantially from the culture and society of those around them?


Yes - Christianity was a subculture. Off-hand, Fr. Alexander Schmemann in "Introduction to Liturgical Theology" quotes K. Heussi in regards to the 'monastic' nature of Christian life during the first centuries. They lived in the world, but separated - separate from public life and its celebrations, business, political life, entertainment, and much else. "Narrow confines" is how I believe he describes it - we have the witness of their pagan contemporaries to know that Christians were on the fringe, considered strange and scandalous for their departure from the 'norms' of society. The rumors of orgies were centered around the fact that Christian women attended the meetings of the Christians in the same room as the men (what would become the nave.)

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Because that's simply not the case, they suffered under the same oppressive patriarchal structure that all the women of that era suffered under. The culture and society in which they lived were, in fact, the same culture and society in which the pagans lived.

That only applies in the case of mixed marriages, for which the Church had special rules - same as those who lived under the hand of a pagan master. The situation changed some with the emancipation of St. Constantine, but the monastic movement that followed was the preservation of the Apostolic life of the age of persecution.

As for women 'suffering an injustice' for not being ordained - that is *nothing* like a real injustice. You have continued to call it an injustice, but have not illustrated how it can be - I'm guessing the attempt is in the hypothesis that the Holy Spirit is trying to make the Church ordain women, but we're (of course) quenching the Holy Spirit? There are also men who are called and capable that are not ordained - do you fight for that 'injustice'?

Riddikulus
Quote
If you had wished a discussion on Brehon Law, rather than assume that I was unfamiliar with it,

Yes, and I spoke with you as we oft do in academic circles - your claim illustrates your unfamiliarity, so you make pretense of offense rather than engage. Go ahead, answer - I'm a graduate student in the UWL Celtic Christianity programme. Iron sharpens iron. I recognized your claims as being out of literature such as Peter Berresford Ellis - if you have it from another source, let's discuss it. Otherwise, the fact is I 'threw down' to your challenge, and you've run.
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« Reply #1001 on: January 27, 2007, 04:10:10 PM »

Riddikulus
Yes, and I spoke with you as we oft do in academic circles - your claim illustrates your unfamiliarity, so you make pretense of offense rather than engage. Go ahead, answer - I'm a graduate student in the UWL Celtic Christianity programme. Iron sharpens iron. I recognized your claims as being out of literature such as Peter Berresford Ellis - if you have it from another source, let's discuss it. Otherwise, the fact is I 'threw down' to your challenge, and you've run.

My dear sir. I'm not in the slightest offended. Again you presume to know more than you actually do. Please feel free to continue. Grin
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« Reply #1002 on: January 27, 2007, 04:15:20 PM »

I'm assuming the reply I posted a couple of hours ago did not go through.  I can't reconstruct it right now, but take a look at the OCN newsletter (there is a link on this site).
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« Reply #1003 on: January 27, 2007, 04:22:12 PM »

My dear sir. I'm not in the slightest offended. Again you presume to know more than you actually do. Please feel free to continue. Grin

Still running? It isn't a presumption - it doesn't matter that you have pretense to some hidden authority (logical fallacies multiplying on this thread - I could go back on guilt by association and a few others). I again call into question your statement:

Quote
What I do find particularly interesting is that the Judeaic/Graeco/Roman Christian Church was so instrumental in striping away women's rights within the Celtic world.

I know this isn't true because there is no evidence for a *loss* of women's rights during the historical period in Celtic civilization due to Christianity. Brehon law defines kinship in the tribe as being only the males within kinship groups from the smallest (fine) to the largest (inn-fine) - all males. Brehon law also states all property belongs to the tribe. Thus in Celtic society women were not 'family' in a legal sense, and did not own property. Brehon law was maintained with some additions overtime until it was replaced by the English under Queen Elizabeth I in the 17th c. with English law (then and only then did women's status change drastically.) The only documented change that occurred during the 17 centuries previous was the Irish Synodal decision to free women from the horrors of battle (not a loss of rights.) The Roman Church itself had *no role* in any such 'striping away' (sic).

Some more smilies for you:  :'(  Undecided  Tongue  Roll Eyes  Huh  Grin

What I don't know about you (and what you don't know about me) has no bearing on the argument. I have stated I am a student, meaning that I am willing to debate the issue that you have made claims about.
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« Reply #1004 on: January 27, 2007, 04:33:03 PM »

Still running? It isn't a presumption - it doesn't matter that you have pretense to some hidden authority (logical fallacies multiplying on this thread - I could go back on guilt by association and a few others). I again call into question your statement:

I know this isn't true because there is no evidence for a *loss* of women's rights during the historical period in Celtic civilization due to Christianity. Brehon law defines kinship in the tribe as being only the males within kinship groups from the smallest (fine) to the largest (inn-fine) - all males. Brehon law also states all property belongs to the tribe. Thus in Celtic society women were not 'family' in a legal sense, and did not own property. Brehon law was maintained with some additions overtime until it was replaced by the English under Queen Elizabeth I in the 17th c. with English law (then and only then did women's status change drastically.) The only documented change that occurred during the 17 centuries previous was the Irish Synodal decision to free women from the horrors of battle (not a loss of rights.) The Roman Church itself had *no role* in any such 'striping away' (sic).

Some more smilies for you:  :'(  Undecided  Tongue  Roll Eyes  Huh  Grin

What I don't know about you (and what you don't know about me) has no bearing on the argument. I have stated I am a student, meaning that I am willing to debate the issue that you have made claims about.

Willingness to debate is one thing, but you didn't show any such thing.

I repeat: If you had wished a discussion on Brehon Law, rather than assume that I was unfamiliar with it, we could have continued quite cordially. However, I do not respond favourably to such tactics as you have displayed and you have curtailed any chance of that. Continue to believe what you will, I have no control over your thoughts; nor do I wish to. Confident in my own knowledge, I feel no need to prove anything to you or anyone else for that matter.

Please understand I will remain stubborn on this; so any goading on your part is fruitless. Assume what you will. Assume I have run. Assume you are victorious in a debate we will never have. In fact, let me be the first to congratulate you. It honestly matters very little to me.
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« Reply #1005 on: January 27, 2007, 05:02:39 PM »

Actually there is no 'other side' - but multiple sides, and you haven't debated - just randomly thrown out inflammatory terms in an attempt to instigate heated responses. I've given points for debate - they've been ignored or dismissed with political polemics "patriarchal", "misogynist", "Popish", "fundamentalist", "radical" (the odd Right-wing epithet in the mix), "reactionary", "disneyland", etc. Which to my mind suggests that you find the material unfamiliar, and so do not have a vocabulary for it?

Because if you had actually read the previous 60 pages of this thread before posting you woudl see that all the arguments have already been addressed in detail, primarily by myself, and are simply being rehashed. Your main argument is we have done this for x number of years, and my response is simple...so what? There is no binding synodal legal document which mandates the current practice therefore there is no reason that any given bishop must continue the current practice until said document is promulgated by an authoritive synod. Prior to the 20th Century no priest ever rode in an automobile, does that mean we can never allow priests to ride in automobiles? And just as a certain degree of technological advancement was required for automobiles a certain degree of cultural advancement was required for equality amongst the sexes. The main reason I haven't engaged in any real debate is because I have yet to be confronted with any real points that warrent serious consideration. As I mentioned in a previous post, the sword has been blunted and we simply need to wear your side down with time.

Quote
Again, much of your argument seems to rest on outdated Feminist political polemic of the pre-Womanist era (understanding that Womanist thought has gone far itself beyond an initially ethocentric beginning to a full-flowering that unlike Feminism that is not misanthropic - meaning, no charged terms like 'Patriarchal', but expecting men to be real men).

Forgive me for not being up on the current feminist lingo (according to you, anyway, I've read many modern feminist articles that use quite similar language to mine...but I guess it's all in the journal you read), but I dont particularly care if I have the support of modern feminists. My concern is for justice and righteousness and insofar as the feminist movement supports that, I support them, insofar as they do not I do not.

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The idea that woman and man are interchangeable and not different is not current, and in fact disrespectful of Women and Men alike.

It might not be hip, but it's biblically and philosophically sound. I fear I've never been the cool one and am not about to change my position not in order to be in the 'in crowd.'

Quote
Such an approach simply creates an imbalance in the other direction - women keep their private female society, roles which biology retains alone to their sex, but men lose all private male society, any distinctive role complimentary to women - in a word, men become useless.

WOW...ever see a psychologist about this problem? Face it, men have thousands of years of cultural prejudice and support to boost their social position, do men really need some support group to help them cope with God knows what? But what you have here done is confirm my previous suspicions that the church is viewed as some's men's club and needs to be preserved as such, no matter such an institution is becoming irrelevant to modern women and modern men alike.

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In situations where it has been applied to religious groups, one ends up with what has become the norm in religious groups where women dominate religious leadership - men don't participate

Has is? I dont have the statistics for most denominations, but I know that only 1/4 the priests in the Episcopal church are women, far below the 1/2 that equal representation would entail...and certainly not a 'dominat[ing of] religious leadership.'

Quote
(and, that has nothing to do with misognyny on their part, and everything to do with male biology and the psychology of their sex - the need for responsibility, to be active, to have stewardship, etc.)

Sounds to me like these men need humility more than responsibility. Basically, you're arguing that we're not doing enough to stroke their pride, well they can just get over it. But that's a new one that I have to admit I haven't heard yet...men alone should be priests because they're more prideful than women.

Quote
There are other reasons that has happened of course, and those religions that adopted women's ordination to make up for the men not showing up have continued the downward spiral of attrition. There is nothing progressive about that.

As opposed to the Orthodox Church, where the youth of Greece and Eastern Europe have simply ceased attending and make a mockery out of those who do.

Quote
Okay - but the context of that scripture has nothing to do with roles in society, the governance of the Church, or the administration of the sacraments - but salvation.

And the governance and sacraments of our Church are unrelated to our salvation? If our salvation is an integral part of the life of the Church than it should permeate all elements of the Church including the sacraments and administration...and in most cases it does, though I guess we get to declare a special exception here, otherwise we might have to end the men's club mentality. Roll Eyes

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As above - it isn't denying the work of the Holy Spirit if it *isn't* the work of the Holy Spirit. Part of the issue I see above is seeing it in terms of individualism - the Holy Spirit's work is in community. So, you have a shaky purely theoretical claim that the Holy Spirit *is* calling for women's ordination - on what basis? Do you have proof of such or just a 'burning in the bosom'?

Prove it's the calling of the Holy Spirit, nothing like giving a reasonable demand...and no, I can't do that. But what I can state is that the same calling to the service of the Church can be observed in both men and women; thus we are left with two possibilities either women, like men, are given the grace of the Holy Spirit and called to the priesthood or, neither men nor women are given any grace by the Holy Spirit and neither are called to the preisthood making it an entirely human endeavour...you pick which option you prefer.

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Yes - Christianity was a subculture. Off-hand, Fr. Alexander Schmemann in "Introduction to Liturgical Theology" quotes K. Heussi in regards to the 'monastic' nature of Christian life during the first centuries. They lived in the world, but separated - separate from public life and its celebrations, business, political life, entertainment, and much else. "Narrow confines" is how I believe he describes it - we have the witness of their pagan contemporaries to know that Christians were on the fringe, considered strange and scandalous for their departure from the 'norms' of society. The rumors of orgies were centered around the fact that Christian women attended the meetings of the Christians in the same room as the men (what would become the nave.)

Nice theory about living in a separate world, but the records of the numbers of Christians in the military, royal courts, government, etc. would tend to dismiss this thesis. Furthermore, as we observe in later centuries the apologists were not isolated and cut off from the world but were very much a part of the academic and philosophical elite of the time, engaged in full discourse with their peers. Of course their religious rites differed, and they probably made most their acquaintances out of fellow Christians, but their day to day life was very much intertwined with the life of the rest of the Empire.

As for monasticism, that is a cute little theory about it being a continuation of the life of the early Church...first time I've actually heard that one. In actuality it arose out of the pagan stoic communities and jewish stoic communities that had been similarly influenced by such philosophers as Philo of Alexandria, though I disagree with him in a few places The Origins of the Christian Mystical Tradition: From Plato to Denys by Andrew Louth lays this out fairly well.

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As for women 'suffering an injustice' for not being ordained - that is *nothing* like a real injustice. You have continued to call it an injustice, but have not illustrated how it can be - I'm guessing the attempt is in the hypothesis that the Holy Spirit is trying to make the Church ordain women, but we're (of course) quenching the Holy Spirit? There are also men who are called and capable that are not ordained - do you fight for that 'injustice'?

Oh, make no mistake, I have witnessed first handed injustices perpetrated against men seeking ordination as well...of course, the injustice of which I seek above is not that everyone is not qualified to be ordained, it is that people who are more qualified than many who are ordained are not even considered for ordination because of gender alone. It is that some people are, for genetic reasons alone, denied the opportunity to even be considered for ordination. Regardless of how much grace is given to them by the Holy Spirit, they are dismissed because they do not meet someone's understanding of the genetic ideal.
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« Reply #1006 on: January 27, 2007, 05:13:41 PM »

The only documented change that occurred during the 17 centuries previous was the Irish Synodal decision to free women from the horrors of battle (not a loss of rights.)

LMAO...I love your wording, 'free women from teh horrors of battle,' it's so 1984ish...Freedom is Slavery. Infact, the 'liberation' proclaimed by the Synod of Druim Ceat proved so well received that it wasn't even immediately enforcable as the women warriors refused to lay down their arms. Disarming a people and denying them the means for self-defence as a means of liberation...LOL. Goes to show you, the philosophy of Mein Kampf can be just as well received today as it was in the 1930's, just so long as we dress it in slightly different clothes. Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy
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« Reply #1007 on: January 27, 2007, 05:19:10 PM »

Rather than grapple with GiC's condescension about "certain classes of people" over dozens of pages, why not read this book by an Episcopal bishop who shares his secular world-view and prescription for Christianity's "new reformation"?

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« Reply #1008 on: January 27, 2007, 05:24:13 PM »

lubeltri

Why would the Orthodox need to read Bishop Spong, when Orthodox Bishops are discussing the matter?
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« Reply #1009 on: January 27, 2007, 07:25:29 PM »

Just a few points.

1) The idea that the ordination of women to the priesthood is "not up for discussion" in the Orthodox Church is clearly erroneous. As Riddikulus points out, Orthodox Bishops are discussing it, including some notable ones such as Bishop Kallistos Ware. To therefore attempt to use the claim that it is a "non issue" can be very frustrating.

2) Frustrating as this can be, we need to keep sticking to sound arguments and avoid suggesting that people's point of view is wrong by suggesting that either they are "liberal", "innovators", "backward" or "in need of a psychologist". None of these adds any weight to our argument, but rather, do damage to it's credibility. Cool heads will always prevail in a debate.

3) This is a long thread, and as GiC points out, many arguments have already been discussed. If a previously discussed argument on this thread is rehashed and no one responds, it cannot be automatically assumed that people agree with it. So, time consuming as it may be, I think people need to read through what has already been debated on this thread if they really think they have something new to offer. They owe this to themselves if they wish to make their argument credible.

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« Reply #1010 on: January 27, 2007, 07:44:29 PM »

2) Frustrating as this can be, we need to keep sticking to sound arguments and avoid suggesting that people's point of view is wrong by suggesting that...they are..."in need of a psychologist". None of these adds any weight to our argument, but rather, do damage to it's credibility. Cool heads will always prevail in a debate.

Ok, I'll admit that statement was probably going a bit far in the context of debate...but you do see where I'm coming from I hope...and that my opinion was not totally out of line with modern psychology. Wink

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3) This is a long thread, and as GiC points out, many arguments have already been discussed. If a previously discussed argument on this thread is rehashed and no one responds, it cannot be automatically assumed that people agree with it. So, time consuming as it may be, I think people need to read through what has already been debated on this thread if they really think they have something new to offer. They owe this to themselves if they wish to make their argument credible.

I think that this is the real problem, the thread is too long for those not involved from the beginning to read it (and no, a new thread wouldn't solve this problem, the stuff's still been discussed), and, as you can imagine, in 60 pages we hashed out just about every argument out there, viable and otherwise. And, quite frankly, no new arguments of any quality have been invented in the past six months, so it's unlikely anything new will be added. Thus the 'debate' (or more accurately stated, bickering) you see currently being put forth.
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« Reply #1011 on: January 27, 2007, 07:56:52 PM »

I spent a few days reading the thread. As I still haven't completely recovered from the resulting headache, donations of pain-killers would be gratefully received. Tongue
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« Reply #1012 on: January 27, 2007, 08:00:11 PM »

Just a few points.

1) The idea that the ordination of women to the priesthood is "not up for discussion" in the Orthodox Church is clearly erroneous. As Riddikulus points out, Orthodox Bishops are discussing it, including some notable ones such as Bishop Kallistos Ware. To therefore attempt to use the claim that it is a "non issue" can be very frustrating.

Thanks George. Though I didn't bother to comment on that line of reasoning, I did think it was rather an odd claim, considering that Orthodox Bishops are discussing the issue.
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« Reply #1013 on: January 27, 2007, 08:55:38 PM »

My thoughts on the issue of female ordination, in summary.

There is no history of such ordinations in the history of the Orthodox Church.  It is certainly observant to say (as GiC does) that prior to the 20th century, no Priest ever drove in an automobile either.  However, I don't think this is a valid comparison in that there was no possibility of a Priest driving a car before the automobile was invented, but there certainly was the possibility of ordaining women to the Presbyterate and the Epsicopate, even from the very beginning.  To say there was a cultural bias against this amongst the Romans is absurd - many important cults were headed by women, not to mention the little fact that many of the important deities were characterized as females who demand worship and service (actually, kind of like all of the women I know... [drum roll please]).

Now, I see the criticism that the Jews (who constituted the bulk of the Church's membership in it's infancy) would have had deep cultural bias against priestesses to be a slightly more persuasive argument.  I don't think it holds water in this case though, since it would seem there were a great many things essential to the New Covenant which those same early Jewish Christians were going to have to wrestle with - namely, the realization that the logical consequence of Christ's work is that the cult of the Law of Moses becomes a relic of a past age; indeed, clinging to it could even pose a stumbling block for salvation (whether of ourselves as individuals, or for the universal mission of the Church.)  As such, even if it were deemed highly controversial amongst the more hard-line Hebrew Christians, if your position were correct, you'd think we'd have seen women Priests and Bishops at least amongst the "Gentile" Christians of the first century.  Yet, this never happened - despite the fact that there would have been cultural acceptance of it. Indeed, this seemed to be especially accepted from the "exotic" oriental cults which had become popular throughout the Empire.

Rather, I think the reason this never happened is because Christianity has always had something to say about different callings of men and women.  This is pretty clear in the Scriptures themselves.  To deny this, would seem to be an assault upon legitimate authority, or put less polemically, an attempt to re-define just what that authority is.  However, this in itself does not seem to be a legitimately Orthodox enterprise - since it would imply a fundamentally different understanding of just what our faith is than was held by previous generations.  It would be  cutting the cord of the "four marks" which links us to Pentecost.  It would be the tacit admission that our is "another" Christianity.

Now, if one still thinks that this is what reason and conscience demands of them, fair enough.  But let's not pretend that nothing has happened, that no one holding such a perspective has not moved beyond the boundaries of Orthodox discourse into something truly alien.

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« Reply #1014 on: January 27, 2007, 09:21:12 PM »

As I mentioned in a previous post, the sword has been blunted and we simply need to wear your side down with time.

My concern is for justice and righteousness and insofar as the feminist movement supports that, I support them, insofar as they do not I do not.

Well, I think this sums up the entire thread.  Are you really so concerned about justice and righteousness as you say or are you simply wanting to win a debate?  Like lubeltri, I've grown weary of these word games.
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« Reply #1015 on: January 27, 2007, 09:48:40 PM »

Well, I think this sums up the entire thread.
No it doesn't.
This thread has some interesting discussions from all sides of the debate. Just because some people can't be bothered reading them doesn't mean they don't exist. And just because people are getting frustrated because old arguments are being rehashed and have to be debated all over again because people won't read the thread.
You can't just come in to a thread 65 pages later and write off everything everyone ever said in it in the previous 65 pages without even bothering to read it.
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« Reply #1016 on: January 27, 2007, 09:58:03 PM »

Neither can you.  I've been involved in this discussion from the beginning.  Seems like an apology from you is in order.

I was not commenting on the validity of anyone's posts.  What I meant by what you quoted is that from what I quoted him on, it seems like GIC is more interested in winning an argument.  Word games are just that, games.  When someone engages in them, I have a hard time taking him/her seriously.

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« Reply #1017 on: January 27, 2007, 10:12:58 PM »

Sarah, I know you've been involved from the beginning....I was there, remember? Wink
I'm talking about those who present their arguments as though they were new and irrefutable, when they have been refuted before.

I was not commenting on the validity of anyone's posts.  What I meant by what you quoted is that from what I quoted him on, it seems like GIC is more interested in winning an argument.  Word games are just that, games.  When someone engages in them, I have a hard time taking him/her seriously.
Then rather than summarizing "the whole thread" as a word game, perhaps your comment should have been directed at GiC. Sorry for misunderstanding, but all we can go on here is the face value of what people say. I'm guilty of the same thing by using the word "you" in my previous post. This is why I much prefer formal British/Australian English where one uses the word "one" as a pronoun instead of "I" or"you" or "they". My fault for trying to sound American I guess. Wink
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« Reply #1018 on: January 27, 2007, 10:48:18 PM »

Sarah, I know you've been involved from the beginning....I was there, remember? Wink
I'm talking about those who present their arguments as though they were new and irrefutable, when they have been refuted before.
 Then rather than summarizing "the whole thread" as a word game, perhaps your comment should have been directed at GiC. Sorry for misunderstanding, but all we can go on here is the face value of what people say. I'm guilty of the same thing by using the word "you" in my previous post. This is why I much prefer formal British/Australian English where one uses the word "one" as a pronoun instead of "I" or"you" or "they". My fault for trying to sound American I guess. Wink

Clearly one makes a grave mistake when one attempts to sound American, doesn't one?  Wink
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« Reply #1019 on: January 27, 2007, 11:08:34 PM »

I have the solution!

Women can be Orthodox priestesses, but they can't go behind the iconostasis.

The traditionalists will be mad because there are priestesses and the feminists will be mad because it won't mean much.  So everybody loses.  Let's chop that baby right down the middle.
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« Reply #1020 on: January 27, 2007, 11:11:03 PM »

btw, if anyone can help me make this thread more ridiculously long, please let me know.

You know, I had a son in February of 2006.  I just had another son last week.  So for the duration of most of this thread, I've had two kids.  What have y'all got to show for all this talking? 

What y'all need is more kids.  You wouldn't have time to worry about the ordination of women.  If anybody asked you, "hey, what do you think about women priests," you'd just say, "Hold this while I change this one's pants."

Idle hands, man, idle hands.

Please excuse me, I have some kids with dirty teeth, pants, faces, hair . . . .
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« Reply #1021 on: January 27, 2007, 11:28:43 PM »

Let's chop that baby right down the middle.
Good to see you again ciznec (AKA Solomon)!

Unfortunately, though, your solution already exists- they're called Deaconesses. Wink
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« Reply #1022 on: January 27, 2007, 11:50:12 PM »

I thought I had directed my comments at GIC or at least about him when responding to others.  What we say on these threads can easily be misunderstood, so I'm sorry for my part in the confusion as well.
 
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« Reply #1023 on: January 28, 2007, 09:41:06 AM »

Because if you had actually read the previous 60 pages of this thread before posting ...


I've followed it from the beginning and have only seen your unfounded propositions and invectives against those who disagree - but nothing else. You still misrepresent my position as well - the main argument is not 'it is simply done this way', but in fact that the priestly office as a male office is theological in origin (see Book 45, esp. title 20 of the Collection canonum hibernensis for binding Scriptural, Conciliar, Patriarchal, Patristic and other decisions for the Christian theological basis of why "women of any kind are not to receive any male or priestly office."

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The main reason I haven't engaged in any real debate is because I have yet to be confronted with any real points that warrent serious consideration.


Or rather, you've set your face and won't consider anything further.

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My concern is for justice and righteousness ...

But appararently only for some and not all.

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But what you have here done is confirm my previous suspicions that the church is viewed as some's men's club and needs to be preserved as such, no matter such an institution is becoming irrelevant to modern women and modern men alike.


You didn't get confirmation from me - again, you are already looking for it in everything. I'll give you a hint though: it isn't there. "Men's club" is a far cry for any description of Christianity as a whole (males simply don't go in most Christian groups) - Orthodoxy is one of the few that has maintained some equity of the sexes as to participation.

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...men alone should be priests because they're more prideful than women.

Another example of this deconstructionist tendency to import the reader's own prejudices into the text rather than receive the message the author intends to communicate.

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As opposed to the Orthodox Church, where the youth of Greece and Eastern Europe have simply ceased attending and make a mockery out of those who do.

Things are just as bad where there is women's ordination - and women's ordination would do *nothing* to improve that situation.

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And the governance and sacraments of our Church are unrelated to our salvation?

Of course not, but not all are called to the various offices. The fact is that our sex is not an accident, but derives from the will of God. The calling to holy orders is "before the foundation of the world" - like it or not, our sex is also not a chance happening.

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But what I can state is that the same calling to the service of the Church can be observed in both men and women;


You can state it, like saying 'fairies can be observed' - but it isn't obvious as you claim it is.

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...  thus we are left with two possibilities ...

No, there are more possibilities - such as 'grace' does not derive from the calling. Or, that the calling includes the facts of birth (our biology being willed by God according to what he would have of us.)

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Nice theory about living in a separate world, but the records of the numbers of Christians in the military, royal courts, government, etc. would tend to dismiss this thesis.


More than a theory - we know that it was quite the standard, as the Church had lists of professions for which one could not be admitted to communion while they continued in them.

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... isolated and cut off from the world ...

Again, a flawed view of that matter - "in the world, but not of the world" is not 'isolated' or 'cut off' (nor is monasticism 'isolated' or 'cut off'.) 

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As for monasticism, that is a cute little theory about it being a continuation of the life of the early Church...first time I've actually heard that one.

Really. It is quite the standard pov in the field of Monastic Studies - I would suggest Dr. Janet Burton (Vice-President of the Royal Historical Society, Reader in Medieval History at the University of Wales, Lampeter.) Even Fr. Alexander Schmemann echoes it in "Introduction to Liturgical Theology" see "The Role of Monasticism" in chapter 3. St. John Cassian as a contemporary witness describes the origins of monasticism in his Conferences: "Those who still maintained the fervour of the apostles ... left their cities and association with those who thought that carelessness and a laxer life were permissible to themselves and to the church of God; and they began to live in rural and more sequestered spots, and there, in private and on their own account, to practise those things which they had learnt to have been ordered by the apostles... so that the whole system of which we have spoken originated with those disciples who had distanced themselves from the evil that was spreading." from the translation by Boniface Ramsey (New York, Newman Press, Ancient Christian Writers, 1997.) See also Owen Chadwick "Western Asceticism" (1958), Derwas Chitty "The Desert a City" (1966), D. Knowles "Christian Monasticism" (1969) particularly chapter 1. That view, of monasticism continuing what was the Apostolic life of the Church is also explicit in much of monastic writing.

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  In actuality it arose out of the pagan stoic communities and jewish stoic communities .... The Origins of the Christian Mystical Tradition: From Plato to Denys by Andrew Louth lays this out fairly well.

The new edition isn't due out for another month, if I'm not mistaken - and I think that is quite a misreading to see his thesis which was about the *Platonic* influences on the Christian mystical tradition.

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... I have witnessed first handed injustices perpetrated against men seeking ordination as well...

The question is how a matter of 'ordination' could be unjust - again, ordination for *anyone* is not amongst the Rights of Man. The great majority of us will attain salvation without so much as being tonsured to any minor order. It only need be that some continue in Holy Orders (ie, those whom God has chosen and called before the foundation of the world) for us to receive the grace of the sacraments.

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...of course, the injustice of which I seek ...  it is that people who are more qualified than many who are ordained are not even considered for ordination because of gender alone.

I call into question what you consider 'qualified'. The epistles are Scripture as well, and dealt with the manner in the 1st c. as to both qualifications for holy orders as well as the roles of women (and men.)

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It is that some people are, for genetic reasons alone, denied the opportunity to even be considered for ordination. Regardless of how much grace is given to them by the Holy Spirit, they are dismissed because they do not meet someone's understanding of the genetic ideal.

Ordination is not an opportunity, award, or any type of affirmation of human qualities. Still, your claim that some are given 'grace...by the Holy Spirit' who does not meet the qualifications of the Tradition is an assertion that you have yet to produce any evidence for.

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LMAO...I love your wording, 'free women from teh horrors of battle,' it's so 1984ish...Freedom is Slavery. Infact, the 'liberation' proclaimed by the Synod of Druim Ceat proved so well received that it wasn't even immediately enforcable as the women warriors refused to lay down their arms. Disarming a people and denying them the means for self-defence as a means of liberation...LOL. Goes to show you, the philosophy of Mein Kampf can be just as well received today as it was in the 1930's, just so long as we dress it in slightly different clothes.

Okay - more invectives - invoking images of Fascism, Nazism. Godwin's law *could* be invoked. Again, you've missed what I was talking about - the Cain Adamnain (Lex Innocentium) of 697. To call the Lex Innocentium as 'slavery' is contrary to both its text and motives. A few quotes from the 1905 translation by Kuno Meyer:

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Cumalach (slave, chattel) was a name for women till Adamnan came to free them. And this was the cumalach, a woman for whom a hole was dug at the end of the door so that it came over her nakedness. The end of the great spit was placed upon her till the cooking of the portion was ended. After she had come out of that earth-pit she had to dip a candle four man's hands in length in a plate of butter or lard; that candle to be on her palm until division of food and distribution of liquor and making of beds, in the houses of kings and cheiftains, had ended. That women had no share in bag or in basket, nor in the company of the house-master; but she dwelt in a hut outside the enclosure, lest bane from sea or land should come to her chief.

 The work which the best women had to do, was to go to battle and battlefield, encounter and camping, fighting and hosting, wounding and slaying. On one side of her she would carry her bag of provisions, on the other her babe. Her wooden pole upon her back. Thirty feet long it was, and had on one end an iron hook, which she would thrust into the tress of some woman in the opposite battalion. Her husband behind her, carrying a fence-stake in his hand, and flogging her on to battle. For at that time it was the head of a woman, or her two breasts, which were taken as trophies.

 Now after the coming of Adamnan no woman is deprived of her testimony, if it be bound in righteous deeds. For a mother is a venerable treasure, a mother is a goodly treasure, the mother of saints and bishops and righteous men, an increase in the Kingdom of Heaven, a propagation on earth.

 Adamnan suffered much hardship for your sake, O women, so that ever since Adomnan's time one half of your house is yours, and there is a place for your chair in the other half; so that your contract and your safeguard are free; and the first law made in Heaven and on earth for women is Adamnan's Law.

So - what did Christianity free Celtic women from? Being treated superstitiously as 'tainted', real slavery, lack of property, coercion to fight, ritual misogynistic maiming, disenfranchisement, being used as sexual property, rape without punishment, imputation of adultery without recourse, denial of their offspring, and much else. Read further here: http://members.aol.com/michellezi/translations/CainAdamnan.html Even the Synod of Druim ceat (a little more than a century earlier) you have misrepresented - it was not to keep women from self-defense or to cloister them, but as 'innocents' to be released from the cycle of Male dominated ritual violence and slavery to which they had truly been *victims*. 
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« Reply #1024 on: January 28, 2007, 10:50:00 PM »

I spent a few days reading the thread. As I still haven't completely recovered from the resulting headache, donations of pain-killers would be gratefully received. Tongue

If others want to avoid such pain, here's a summary I wrote several months ago. Feel free to augment the summary if you notice any oversights. (I think the final sentence is the most important.)

Just for clarity's sake, allow me to summarize some of the main arguments of this thread. I'm sure I'm missing some, but these seem to be the six major areas that require further study/proof on both sides. Some of these arguments are strong, some are weak, some are simply a priori statements, while other are strongly a posteriori.

Against Female Priests

1) Ain't never happened. There is no Scriptural, Patristic or canonical text in the entire corpus of venerated Orthodox literature that speaks favorably of female priests. There are, however, various texts in this corpus that speak against it.

2) St. Paul forbids women to teach and to hold authority over men.

3) Most Orthodox Bishops who have spoken in public on the issue have spoken against it.

4) The modern Elders of Greece, Romania, Serbia, etc. have spoken against it.

5) The priest is an Icon of Christ, who was male, and therefore the priest acts "in persona Christi."

6) Christ and the early Church were not afraid to go against social norms. Thus, one cannot claim that the Church's practice was motivated by cultural bias.

For Female Priests

1) The early Church's female diaconate entailed a full-fledged ordination (cheirotonia). The canons dealing with female deacons use the term cheirotonia, as does the actual prayer of female-diaconal ordination. While no text explains in detail the liturgical and/or ministerial role of female deacons, there are a number of texts that show that the deaconesses were numbered among the clergy (see, for example, the work of Evangelos Theodorou, et al.) Cheirotonia is a major ordination, and the diaconate is considered to be the "first level" of the ordained priesthood. Thus, there is precedent for women sharing in one of the levels of priesthood.

2) There are many examples in Church history of women teaching men (even clergymen!) about theology, spirituality and prayer. There are, for example, various women who are called isaapostolos, equal to the apostles, in the Church's hagiography and hymnography, e.g. St. Thekla, various Empresses and St. Nina of Georgia, who evangelized and taught thousands.

2) The Fathers emphasize that Christ became human, not that he became male (cf. the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, etc.). Our shared human nature is what allows us to imitate, represent and even become Christ -- not our particular gender. Furthermore, all genders are one in Christ; they are equal in the eyes of God. Thus, the gender of the individual, theologically speaking, is irrelevant.

3) At the most important priestly moment, the epiklesis, the Orthodox priest does NOT act as an Icon of Christ for the people (qua Roman Catholic ideas of the priest being in persona Christi at the words of Institution); rather, he acts in persona Ecclesiae, as a representative not of Christ, but of the Church, which is portrayed in feminine terms as the Bride of Christ. Thus, the argument that the priest is a physical Icon of Christ and therefore must be male holds no water.

4) Bishop Kallistos Ware, of course, has said the issue deserves to be examined (not that it is settled), and, perhaps, other Bishops can be construed to support looking at the evidence, since they have sponsored official theological dialogues on related topics, e.g. women and authority in the Church, and female deacons.

5) The Church has often changed practices and introduced novelties in liturgy, theological expression and cultural traditions.

6) Matters of Dogma and morals are unchangeable, but liturgy, practice and organization do change according to the Spirit and the needs of the Church. There is no dogmatic decree against female priests.

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

Now, have at it!...and feel free to fill in the blanks. If we're going to talk about this -- despite the fact that it isn't going to happen!! -- then we might as well have some sort of idea of what each side is saying.
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« Reply #1025 on: January 28, 2007, 11:42:48 PM »

(I think the final sentence is the most important.)
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...
Now, have at it!...and feel free to fill in the blanks. If we're going to talk about this -- despite the fact that it isn't going to happen!! -- then we might as well have some sort of idea of what each side is saying.

Well, there we will disagree, for I believe it to be inevitable...it's not a matter of if but when. Though it will take some time as it will be a battle of exhaustion, rather than of annihilation, no side has the means to deliver a decisive blow.
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« Reply #1026 on: January 29, 2007, 12:54:08 AM »

You make it seem as if it is an evenly divided debate. It isn't.
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« Reply #1027 on: January 29, 2007, 05:22:06 AM »

As opposed to the Orthodox Church, where the youth of Greece and Eastern Europe have simply ceased attending and make a mockery out of those who do.

Weird experience you seem to have of eastern Europe. Have you ever actually visited? You see, I can vividly recall being unable to get into a weekday vespers in Romania, and a heck of a lot of people there were teenagers and young adults. In fact that situation is not at all unusual - the youth are most certainly attending church and I've never yet heard a single Romanian of any age mock another for doing so. Here, on the other hand, where the Anglican church has ordained women, which you seem to favour us doing too, I see parishes shrinking rapidly and rarely see anyone younger than 60 or so attending. Is that what you mean by youth? Personally, my experience would be that the churches that do ordain women currently are liable to fizzle out and die as their membership ages - because very few youngsters are going, unlike in our parishes.

James
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« Reply #1028 on: January 29, 2007, 08:16:09 AM »

If others want to avoid such pain, here's a summary I wrote several months ago. Feel free to augment the summary if you notice any oversights. (I think the final sentence is the most important.)
Thank you pensateomnia! I'd forgotten about your summary! I wish there was some way of making it a sticky at the start of the thread! It's a very good summary! (Of course, as you know, I'm not sure I agree with the last sentence that "it's never gonna happen" since I recognise many of the arguments I put forward in the "For Female Priests" side!)
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« Reply #1029 on: January 30, 2007, 08:49:47 PM »

I've been following somewhat the resurrection of this thread.  Frankly, I've expressed my views and ideas and I thought this was a very well-thought out and good thought-provoking discussion despite a few issues here and there.  When I personally like to reread the thread, I kinda skip over a few posts and read certain others that really got into the argument in a respectful manner.

However, I think though, what GiC wrote concerning the "African and the priesthood" has lost respect, and on top of that, he was well aware.  But I don't believe one needs to be shocked in that manner.  I think you were perfect before.  And frankly, it's not even a fair argument, and you could have argued without being so offensive and at the same time equally shocking. 

Anyways, to me, racism (and sexism) was an issue that I believe Christ overcame.  While we may disagree quite a bit the reason behind Christ choosing men (where I don't feel he did it to avoid controversy, since I feel He was the Master of Controversy, bringing "son against his father, and daughter against her mother," "bring a sword instead of peace.")

So for the issue of the African, I give you St. Paul's theological explanation of how the African is no longer African, but a rightful descendant of Abraham, not living under the curse of Canaan any more (Romans chapters 4 and 11).

So in a sense, Christ lifted that curse.  I think if there need be an analogy, yours was not a good one.  I get the point, but it can be easily refuted using St. Paul's theology here while equally qualifying the same St. Paul's "misogynistic" verses as having theological purposes too.

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #1030 on: January 31, 2007, 10:58:11 AM »

However, I think though, what GiC wrote concerning the "African and the priesthood" has lost respect, and on top of that, he was well aware.  But I don't believe one needs to be shocked in that manner.  I think you were perfect before.  And frankly, it's not even a fair argument, and you could have argued without being so offensive and at the same time equally shocking. 

You are, of course, welcome to that opinion, but I am quite happy with that post. For I personally find it no less offensive than arguments against the ordination of women, and I believe that if you are offended by it, but not by the arguments against the ordination of women you are being hypocritical. Furthermore, it points out the danger of using poor theology as the basis of your ecclesiastical discipline...if the theological standards that have been used to argue against the ordination of women were universally applied the argument I presented, and even more absurd arguments and practices, would be commonplace in the Church. Perhaps my post at least made some aware of the offensive nature of their arguments were, even if they disagree.

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Anyways, to me, racism (and sexism) was an issue that I believe Christ overcame.  While we may disagree quite a bit the reason behind Christ choosing men (where I don't feel he did it to avoid controversy, since I feel He was the Master of Controversy, bringing "son against his father, and daughter against her mother," "bring a sword instead of peace.")

Yes, Christ did overcome both, he said that there is no male or female, no Greek or Jew, in Christ...today our culture has also made great strides in overcoming both...but the church is a bit behind, though she has made great progress in overcoming racism, she has done very little to overcome sexism, it is necessary that we make efforts to overcome as much.
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« Reply #1031 on: January 31, 2007, 03:14:02 PM »

The case against women's ordination as I see it has two parts.

Some who want to do that tear down so much of the faith to reach that goal - 'Jesus didn't found a church', 'orders are man-made for the good order of the church and not divinely instituted' - that it's self-refuting. If that's all Jesus and the church are, says the modern person, then who cares what sex its clergy are? I'll do something else on Sunday.

The better argument, that it's a matter of discipline that can be changed, falls because the larger church including the past > everything else. It's never been done.

If you accept all that then the stuff about equality but complementarity of the sexes slots into place.
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« Reply #1032 on: January 31, 2007, 08:55:23 PM »

Yes, Christ did overcome both, he said that there is no male or female, no Greek or Jew, in Christ...today our culture has also made great strides in overcoming both...
(emphasis is mine)

If you define the Church as not overcoming sexism or chauvism by providing women equal opportunity to be priests as much as Africans can, then I don't think Christ overcame it either.  Ya, sure He overcame ill treatment of women, but to allow woman to still be "demoted" after His sacrifice into no more than the deaconate would mean that the Church through Christ has failed Her mission, and Christ failed His mission.

It's still not convincing enough.  How do I know Christ intended for there to be female priests?  You and I define sexual discrimination quite differently it seems.  I feel that Christ did overcome sexism, but I don't know how you can feel Christ did, and yet we still continue disallowing women to become any higher than a deaconess.

What I understand the early Apostles would do (and Christ) is that their theology depended on their actions (at least according to Fr. John Behr).  If Christ talked with a Samaritan woman, forgave the adulteress, allowed the [apparently very bad] woman to wash His feet with her tears in the presence of the Pharisees, and condemned divorce except in cases of adultery, and not to mention His conversing and dining with sinners and taxcollectors and defying the Jewish laws in the name of "fulfilling them," wouldn't it make sense that Christ would institute female priests at that very moment not worrying about another's opinion or shock?

I mean if uncircumcised people were allowed the priesthood, even at the expense of dividing a Christian community and reprimanding the Jewish Christians to force Jewish practices, wouldn't it make sense also not just to have women in the deaconate, but elevate their ordinations to priesthood and episcopacy at the time?

What exactly kept Christ from establishing this while doing everything else that Jewish practice stood against?

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #1033 on: January 31, 2007, 11:33:41 PM »

If you define the Church as not overcoming sexism or chauvism by providing women equal opportunity to be priests as much as Africans can, then I don't think Christ overcame it either.  Ya, sure He overcame ill treatment of women, but to allow woman to still be "demoted" after His sacrifice into no more than the deaconate would mean that the Church through Christ has failed Her mission, and Christ failed His mission.

Christ choose all Jewish Males for his ministry...do note he didn't choose any Africans...or any other non-Jews for that matter. This is the problem with using the 'What Would Jesus Do' argument...the bottom line is that Jesus did not live in the 21st Century, he lived in the 1st Century, and he reacted to the Culture of the Time. I can make many arguments from the actions of Christ, using your logic, including that Africans should not be priests. Yes, you are presenting one manner of doing theology...but are you really happy with ALL the implications? It would seem not.

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It's still not convincing enough.  How do I know Christ intended for there to be female priests?  You and I define sexual discrimination quite differently it seems.  I feel that Christ did overcome sexism, but I don't know how you can feel Christ did, and yet we still continue disallowing women to become any higher than a deaconess.

No, I dont believe Christ overcame sexism, nor did he overcome racism, he chose his apostles of Jewish males...but of course, Christ did not come as a political revolutionary...that's what the Jews were looking for at the time and he failed to impress. He came with a mission of salvation, of eternal, not earthly, justice.

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What I understand the early Apostles would do (and Christ) is that their theology depended on their actions (at least according to Fr. John Behr).

Then I guess it's a done deal...women and non-ethnic jews can't become priests.

Quote
If Christ talked with a Samaritan woman, forgave the adulteress, allowed the [apparently very bad] woman to wash His feet with her tears in the presence of the Pharisees, and condemned divorce except in cases of adultery, and not to mention His conversing and dining with sinners and taxcollectors and defying the Jewish laws in the name of "fulfilling them," wouldn't it make sense that Christ would institute female priests at that very moment not worrying about another's opinion or shock?

So he brought a message of love and forgiveness...this isn't revolutionary. Yeah, he pissed off the pharisees, but it didn't go against the grain of the Culture of the time...every generation suffers from the pious, we have our own pharisees today, but just because they are offended does not mean that someone is being culturally revolutionary. Heck, I piss off the pious on a regular basis, since they need it more than everyone else, hardly makes me a cultural revolutionary...I'm acutally quite in line with the culture of the day.

Quote
I mean if uncircumcised people were allowed the priesthood, even at the expense of dividing a Christian community and reprimanding the Jewish Christians to force Jewish practices, wouldn't it make sense also not just to have women in the deaconate, but elevate their ordinations to priesthood and episcopacy at the time?

Because allowing non-jews into the priesthood was hardly a culturally revolutionary act, rather it gave the new religion credibility. At the time, ordaining women would have done just the opposite. And before you bring up pagan priestesses...they're not comprable, the Christian cleric was given a degree of authority within the community, this was not the case with pagan priests, espeically in the case of pagan priestesses. In fact, the Christians copied the pagan practice almost perfectly with the office of the deaconess...let women have a role in religious ritual, but deny them any real authority. The Christians did what they did because, just as in matters of Theology, they copied the pagans.
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« Reply #1034 on: February 01, 2007, 01:38:45 AM »

okay...suppose your argument is true...

So, when St. Paul was saying that man is the head of woman and gave some allegory to it, he was hoping that doesn't fool us future Christians when it came to the issue of priesthood for women?  Are we to disregard what seems to be a theological explanation by St. Paul?
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