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Author Topic: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church  (Read 181334 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #180 on: April 30, 2006, 08:33:15 PM »

Bizzlebin

I don't quite understand in what way Gal. 1 :6-9 can be said to express the same idea as "universality, antiquity, consent," though certainly the interpretation of St. Vincent of this passage (Commonitory, 8-9) is quite sobering (if, that is, you believe his words).

It's both everywhere (though specifically written to Galatia), to all Christians (the Apostles, and the Chistians with them, approved the teachings: consent) because it is the Gospel that was first preached (antiquity, though in a slightly different sense: originality).

Good quote from St. Vincent!
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« Reply #181 on: April 30, 2006, 08:40:49 PM »

"universality, antiquity, consent,"

Now in the Catholic Church itself we take the greatest care to hold that which has been believed everywhere, always, and by all. That is truly and properly 'Catholic,' as is shown by the very force and meaning of the word, which comprehends everything almost universally. We shall hold to this rule if we follow universality [i.e. oecumenicity], antiquity, and consent. We shall follow universality if we acknowledge that one Faith to be true which the whole Church throughout the world confesses; antiquity if we in no wise depart from those interpretations which it is clear that our ancestors and fathers proclaimed; consent, if in antiquity itself we keep following the definitions and opinions of all, or certainly nearly all, bishops and doctors alike.

St. Vincent of Lerins: Commonitorium Chapter 4, Clause 3

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« Reply #182 on: April 30, 2006, 08:59:04 PM »

Since you seem to have overlooked my question to you, I will repeat it.

I answered it by refering to a previous post I recently made...in case you missed it it's this one:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=8747.msg117545#msg117545

Quote
Please explain why you think the "ordination" of women would be "pastorally beneficial" for the Orthodox Church, when it has been proven to be anything but that in the other Christian communities where it has been introduced.

As for my reasons see the post linked to above, concerning other Christian communities and the problems they have had, I believe this to be a post hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy; these Churches have undergone innumerable changes as a result from enlightenment to modernist to postmodernist fault, to attribute their problems to the ordination of women is a statement that needs much more support...in many cases the ordination of women was simply viewed as a symptom of greater problems by reformation thinkers reacting to post-enlightenment philosophy. I am not suggesting that we need to abandon the whole of our tradition and fundamentally alter our world view to fit in with post-modernist western culture. But I am suggesting that just as in the 19th century when western cultures evolved to such a point as to reject slavery we enjoyed the luxury of abandoning our ancient support for this institution and to embrace the cause of social justice without substantially compromising the salvific mission of the church; now, in the wake of the liberation of women, we have the opportunity to do the same in regard to another social injustice, namely the marginalization of women in society. And in doing so, we gain the added bonus of ultimately advance the viability of the Church in the 21st Century.

Seriously, we may have got away with supporting slavery in 1906...but how about now in 2006? Similiarly we may get away with marginalizing and demeaning women in 2006...but will we in 2106? Actually considering the impact of modern communications I doubt we'll be able to get away with it in 2036...especially in a modern EU state like Greece.
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« Reply #183 on: April 30, 2006, 09:02:50 PM »

Seriously, we may have got away with supporting slavery in 1906...but how about now in 2006? Similiarly we may get away with marginalizing and demeaning women in 2006...but will we in 2106? Actually considering the impact of modern communications I doubt we'll be able to get away with it in 2036...especially in a modern EU state like Greece.

And we definately can't go against society and be, *gasp*, persecuted for our Faith!
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« Reply #184 on: April 30, 2006, 09:13:33 PM »

Similiarly we may get away with marginalizing and demeaning women in 2006...but will we in 2106?

I see that the Church probably should rethink its oft-demeaning attitude toward women and see how this fits our Tradition, a Tradition that praises a Woman above all other mere humans.  But with the theological, ecclesiological, and liturgical significance that the priesthood has within the Church, I don't see how consideration of the ordination of women can be seen as merely part of this process of rethinking our general treatment of women.
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« Reply #185 on: April 30, 2006, 09:16:57 PM »

I am a convert to Orthodoxy, after being a protestant my whole life, and a protestant minister for a number of years.  I have one question:

What in the world is happening to Orthodoxy that those in the Church want to become like protestants?

Well, to be equally frank...if you think that a male priesthood is what separates us from the protestants you have no idea what it means to be Orthodox...do you? Do you really think that if we ordained women we would all the sudden be protestants? There was a time when we had deaconesses and women in prominent places in the Church. A female priesthood would simply be resurrecting and expanding upon ancient roles for women, ancient roles that were limited not by sound theology but by the culture and society of the day.

It is said that the Church is the pillar and foundation of the truth...not that truth is the pillar and foundation of the Church. If the Church were to adopt women's ordination, by virtue of the Church adopting it we could know that it is truth. But as it is not, the Church has not spoken, the Church has not ruled on the issue. And until the Church rules on the issue, either by her actions in ordaining women or decrees against doing so, an appeal to her authority on the matter is an invalid argument.

Quote
Now, lest some of you want to use the protestant argument that the "times were different and women were not respected", let me point out that the Apostle gives theological reasons as to why women cannot have authority over a man (which cancels out the priesthood, now doesn't it?) which transend "the times". ÂÂ

Well the authority based argument is pretty much nullified by the Coronation of Roman Empresses as Augusti, who were vice-regents of Christ on Earth and held temporal authority over ALL Christians. 'They convoked the ecumenical councils and confirmed and decreed the acceptance of the pronouncements of the divine and holy canons regarding the correct doctrines and the government of Christians...The basileus is anointed with the great myrrh and is appointed basileus and autokrator of the Romans, and indeed of all Christians.' (Patriarch Anthony of Constantinople)
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« Reply #186 on: April 30, 2006, 09:20:19 PM »

No need to worry over much. I can't imagine any Synod allowing the ordination of women to the priesthood (a) before the topic was discussed and settled favorably at a Pan-Orthodox Synod and (b) before the female diaconate were already broadly established and accepted.

Now, I would be willing to bet my entire library that option A will never happen before the Second Coming, if only for the simple fact that the various Orthodox communions evinced little consensus on the many issues discussed at the Pre-Conciliar meetings over the last few decades and have thus basically decided to chuck the idea of having a Pan-Orthodox Synod (it would obviously lead to major schism).

Heck, for much the same reason I'm willing to wager my library that option B will never happen before the Second Coming either! (As silly as that is, considering the ample evidence we have for such an office in Scripture, canon law and Church history).

Don't bet too much, how many in 1800...or 1900 for that matter...would have guessed that we would abandon the Old Calendar in the early 20's?
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« Reply #187 on: April 30, 2006, 09:56:15 PM »


I agree, but sometimes things are not as simple as that.  We have been called to be the living breath of the church and that means that we need to
look at things in a context Christ could not have.

Dear Brother,  you are implying that He is Not the Alpha and the Omega, the Eternal, Omniscient One,  that He is limited by His own creation, time and space??   That He did not foresee ALL things?
I do not agree, He knows all things in time and eternity, and He knew precisely what He was doing.
 

That's why we have the HS to guide us, cuz Christ isn't here.

I agree that the Holy Spirit is here guiding us, but not to the contradiction of the Second Person of the Holy Trinity.

Also, how are you a Deaconess?  Is this an official title?  Were you ordained to this position?


Yes I am an ordained Deaconess.
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« Reply #188 on: April 30, 2006, 10:04:34 PM »


That's why we have the HS to guide us, cuz Christ isn't here.

I guess I'm just being a nitpick.

I understand what you're trying to say, that Christ is not here physically as He was during His sojourn on earth, but He is truly here with us even today.  "Behold, I AM with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:20)
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« Reply #189 on: April 30, 2006, 10:44:25 PM »

I agree, but sometimes things are not as simple as that.  We have been called to be the living breath of the church and that means that we need to look at things in a context Christ could not have.  That's why we have the HS to guide us, cuz Christ isn't here. ÂÂ
Are you saying Christ (who is God) could not foresee possible problems down the track?
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« Reply #190 on: April 30, 2006, 11:38:45 PM »

I guess I'm just being a nitpick.

I understand what you're trying to say, that Christ is not here physically as He was during His sojourn on earth, but He is truly here with us even today.  "Behold, I AM with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:20)

Amen.  Thank you.
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« Reply #191 on: April 30, 2006, 11:41:37 PM »

Quote
Don't be too quick to prophesy...that which is static will die -- it's an evolutionary imperative.

You cannot change the very structure of the Church.  Down to its most basic component, the Church is the assembly of the PEOPLE; it is composed of bishops, priests, deacons, prophets, saints, laypersons, etc.  The Church itself does not evolve.  It is static.  It cannot die.  

Quote
Two things to consider here; first, until the mid-second century the (overwhelmingly) primary cultural influence was Judaic, especially amongst the leadership of the Church (who were all circumcised Jews). By the mid-second century the norms and institutions were already established.

The second, and more significant, point is about the nature of female involvement in Roman Religion, while they were allowed an official presence in most cults by the end of the first century A.D., they were not given leadership roles (or anything close to it) in these cults which were almost entirely ruled by men (the one notable exception being Bona Dea, which was very suspect in Rome, and even there the leader was chosen by virtue of being the wife of the Flamen Dialis).

This pagan model that is here mentioned is the one the Church would eventually adopt, creating minor orders for women up through the deaconess (which, even though eventually an ordained posistion was still generally considered to be below a deacon), but depriving them from any higher (and therefore ruling) office in the Church.

You are grasping at straws here, and it displays how contradictory your thoughts are on this matter.  First you say that the influence was Jewish, and then on the second point you say that the Church adopted the pagan model.  You can't have it both ways, my friend.  Of course, the latter statement is unacceptable, because the example you cited still had women priests (regardless of rank).  Moreover, by saying that women didn’t have "leadership roles," you are changing the subject from women becoming priests to women becoming bishops.  This is nothing but a subtle reminder to all about the dangers of protestant converts who want women priests on board, because eventually, they would want to have a female bishop in Constantinople.

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But Christianity, while having a staunchly male priesthood, did adopt the customs of the pagans in allowing women to hold lower religious posistions, but the posistions of power were reserved for the men, as in the pagan cults.

Position of power?  Is the priesthood all about power?  Is that your perception?

Women attaining POWER is nothing but a feminist agenda.

Quote
The clearly culturally biased family structure mentioned by Paul aside, what of a celibate or widowed woman...would they not be the 'spiritual head' of their 'family,' while this 'family' may consist only of themselves this can also be said of the 'family' of the celibate male priests, who were the ones to hold the highest posistions in the Church (in the east the episcopacy, in the west ideally all sacerdotal posistions by the six century (it took several centuries to make this ideal universal, but it was the ideal before the sixth century)).

You've already failed to prove that the tradition of male-only priesthood was culturally biased.  Feeding us with your personal interpretation of Scripture will not help you in any way.

Quote
Though a relationship between family leadership and Church leadership may have been envisioned by Paul, the fact that the leaders of the Church were generally (and are) celibate and not family men tends to undermine the analogy between one's family role and one's official ecclesiastical role.

A red herring.  Celibacy can never undermine the words of the blessed apostle.

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« Reply #192 on: May 01, 2006, 01:09:23 AM »

You cannot change the very structure of the Church.  Down to its most basic component, the Church is the assembly of the PEOPLE; it is composed of bishops, priests, deacons, prophets, saints, laypersons, etc.  The Church itself does not evolve.  It is static.  It cannot die. ÂÂ

The church does and has evolved to meet the cultural demands of the people...consider the difference between Slavic and Greek Christianity, there are substantial differences and changes dependent on culture. So also has the Church changed and adopted with time. We started as a small Jewish Community, became primarially Greek in thought, we went from a persecuted minority to the Imperial Religion and in doing so integrated the Empire into the Church (Imperial law had the same force of canon law within the Church, the Emperor would enter the Altar through the Royal Doors, the Emperor summoned Oecumenical Synods, etc.). Again, with the establishment of the Church outside the Empire different structures arose, when the Empire fell yet new adjustments were made...The Church has always evolved and adapted...that is the way it both expanded and survived.

Quote
You are grasping at straws here, and it displays how contradictory your thoughts are on this matter.  First you say that the influence was Jewish, and then on the second point you say that the Church adopted the pagan model.  You can't have it both ways, my friend.  Of course, the latter statement is unacceptable, because the example you cited still had women priests (regardless of rank).

Actually, you can have it both ways...Imagine Jewish people brought up in a Greco-Roman Society had BOTH Jewish and Greco-Roman influences!!! WOW, who would have thought. Thus, I addressed the influence of the two primary influences. The Jewish culture would exclude women from religion, whereas the Greco-Roman would include them, but in lesser roles.

Furthermore, looking at the history of the Church we can see a tendency towards the Jewish model at first, evolving towards the Greco-Roman model. Thus, while at the time of the Council of Nicea we know from the text of one of the canons that deaconesses were not ordained posistions; by the time of the Council of Chalcedon the canonical texts clearly demonstrate that they were ordained by the laying on of hands. An evolution from the Jewish system with a rather informal role for women to the Greco-Roman system with an Ordained office for women, just like for men, but a lower office than those available for men.

Quote
Moreover, by saying that women didn’t have "leadership roles," you are changing the subject from women becoming priests to women becoming bishops. ÂÂ This is nothing but a subtle reminder to all about the dangers of protestant converts who want women priests on board,

If it makes you feel any better, when I was a protestant I was part of the ultra-conservative German Reformed Church...I quite regularly attacked groups that would advocate such things as the ordination of women. It's the Orthodox Church and the study of Orthodox Theology (and I'm talking about a real and genuine study of theology, not patristic proof-texting) that brought me to the posistions I now maintain.

Quote
because eventually, they would want to have a female bishop in Constantinople.

I want whoever is the most qualified and capable to be the Patriarch of Constantinople.

Quote
Position of power?  Is the priesthood all about power?  Is that your perception?

No, that is not my perception or at least not it in it's entirety; but it is the posistion of many throughout history...and many on this board who would argue against the ordination of women based on a fear of women having any authority or power; thus pragmatism demands we address that point

Quote
Women attaining POWER is nothing but a feminist agenda.

Men trying to prevent women from getting power is nothing but a misogynistic chauvinist agenda. (how's that for a few words, since you seem to belive that the prefered method of debate is to throw catch-phrases around...btw, I consider myself a feminist, so my response is pretty much, so what?)

Quote
You've already failed to prove that the tradition of male-only priesthood was culturally biased.  Feeding us with your personal interpretation of Scripture will not help you in any way.

One can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

Quote
A red herring.  Celibacy can never undermine the words of the blessed apostle.

But what this celibacy does demonstrate is that the Church, in her practice, has not interpreted Paul's teachings in the manner you suggested...if she had, then we would have not only maintained a married episcopacy, but would have established marriage as a pre-requisite for the episcopacy.
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« Reply #193 on: May 01, 2006, 01:10:58 AM »

Are you saying Christ (who is God) could not foresee possible problems down the track?

Christ reacted to the social situation of His time; He gave us the Church and His Holy Spirit to guide us through the ages and address future issues that were not concerns in the first century Greco-Roman world.
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« Reply #194 on: May 01, 2006, 01:17:45 AM »

I'm glad to see that the hour that I spent typing that in did not go to waste. Ignored (or leastwise not commented on) by everyone, except for one person who totally misses that the excerpt I typed in was supporting and giving theological justifications for the exclusion of females from the priesthood. Grin ÂÂ

I fear I cannot find the post you're refering to...it must have been drowned out, perhpas you could give a link if you want me to comment on it. I seem to have stirred up a hornet's nest of irrational emotion; perhaps I should boldface my signature line Grin

FYI, you're making a terrible agnostic...you ever consider going back to one of the traditionalist movements Wink
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« Reply #195 on: May 01, 2006, 01:22:56 AM »

And we definately can't go against society and be, *gasp*, persecuted for our Faith!

Don't kid yourself...it's not time to get out the martyr complex. The Church won't be persecuted, it will simply be ignored. If it becomes irrelevant it will simply whither on the vine, become ineffectual, become a museum, become 'the tombs and sepulchers of God'...ever read Nietzsche's Parable of the Madman? It's happening to the western Church, don't fool yourself into thinking we're immune.
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« Reply #196 on: May 01, 2006, 03:42:11 AM »

And that was a point I was making too: they changed it because they were heretics. They were the ones that originally subverted Holy Tradition. So again, the Vincentian Canon stands, and proved they were heretics. The Ecumenical Councils didn't make it up, rather, the restated what Holy Tradition was for those who were unwilling to accept it from any less of an authority.

You seem to think that before an Oecumenical Council is called, it's decisions are already known. That is not how it works. An Oecumenical Synod is convoked to settle disputes, not with the idea that the dispute is settled already. In the example of the dispute about the Iconoclasm, the Iconoclasts were equally cock-sure that they not only had Tradition on their side, but that God Himself had already decreed in their favour on Mount Sinai in the Second Commandment of the Decalogue. Both sides of the Iconoclasm dispute argued from Tradition, both sides were sure they were correct.
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« Reply #197 on: May 01, 2006, 04:47:15 AM »

Don't kid yourself...it's not time to get out the martyr complex. The Church won't be persecuted, it will simply be ignored. If it becomes irrelevant it will simply whither on the vine, become ineffectual, become a museum, become 'the tombs and sepulchers of God'...ever read Nietzsche's Parable of the Madman? It's happening to the western Church, don't fool yourself into thinking we're immune.
Attempting to be 'relevant' is what lead the Romans to err with Vatican II, and we are seeing the results with people moving to the Orthodox Church (like myself).
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« Reply #198 on: May 01, 2006, 04:48:56 AM »

You cannot change the very structure of the Church.  Down to its most basic component, the Church is the assembly of the PEOPLE; it is composed of bishops, priests, deacons, prophets, saints, laypersons, etc.  The Church itself does not evolve.  It is static.  It cannot die. ÂÂ
Amen! The truths of the church don't change to the whim of man. That is what some here want to do, put man above God. To suggest that the church (God's truth) should bow down to man's desires.

What next? Practicing homosexual priests?
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« Reply #199 on: May 01, 2006, 04:50:18 AM »

As regards the so-called "feminist" position (of which we hear so much today), there are certain issues on which the Orthodox Christian (if not, perhaps, the rational individual) cannot yield. We do affirm and recognize an order, meaning, and functional differentiation in created things. Thus our Faith teaches us that the female is endowed by God with certain characteristics and tendencies that differ from those of men. (And this, rather than detracting from her, elevates her as part of the divine scheme. By no means does this teaching suggest. or tolerate the relegating of women to some lowly status.) Moreover, our intellects and senses teach us that women and men differ. We border on the insane (not an unusual thing in these bizarre times) if we deny the biological roles of men and women in procreation. These roles are verified by the external, physical distinctions of gender. And even the most radical psychological portrayals of men and women readily admit to fundamental differences between the sexes in cognitive style and mental functioning. (Paradoxically enough, it is part of the feminist movement itself that psychological profiles and categories standardized on males are not appropriate in the assessment of female behavior.)
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/general/women.aspx
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« Reply #200 on: May 01, 2006, 06:51:46 AM »

You seem to think that before an Oecumenical Council is called, it's decisions are already known. That is not how it works. An Oecumenical Synod is convoked to settle disputes, not with the idea that the dispute is settled already. In the example of the dispute about the Iconoclasm, the Iconoclasts were equally cock-sure that they not only had Tradition on their side, but that God Himself had already decreed in their favour on Mount Sinai in the Second Commandment of the Decalogue. Both sides of the Iconoclasm dispute argued from Tradition, both sides were sure they were correct.

What could be the role of the Holy Spirit in the decision of the Ecumenical Council?  Was the decision of the Ecumenical council a well considered but nevertheless a rational decision . In that case it is no more than a historical accident, is it not.

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« Reply #201 on: May 01, 2006, 06:55:14 AM »

What could be the role of the Holy Spirit in the decision of the Ecumenical Council?  Was the decision of the Ecumenical council a well considered but nevertheless a rational decision . In that case it is no more than a historical accident, is it not.
Rather than repeat myself with what I have just spent an hour typing on another thread, can I just direct you there:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=8926.msg118369#msg118369
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« Reply #202 on: May 01, 2006, 07:37:53 AM »

You seem to think that before an Oecumenical Council is called, it's decisions are already known. That is not how it works. An Oecumenical Synod is convoked to settle disputes, not with the idea that the dispute is settled already. In the example of the dispute about the Iconoclasm, the Iconoclasts were equally cock-sure that they not only had Tradition on their side, but that God Himself had already decreed in their favour on Mount Sinai in the Second Commandment of the Decalogue. Both sides of the Iconoclasm dispute argued from Tradition, both sides were sure they were correct.
It was indeed called to settle a dispute, but that's because some were teaching with 'authority' what wasn't tradition. The opposition in such cases tries to show through reworking of tradition that their beliefs were always 'traditional'. The members of council gather together and say "This is what was always taught".
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« Reply #203 on: May 01, 2006, 07:39:04 AM »

Rather than repeat myself with what I have just spent an hour typing on another thread, can I just direct you there:
That took you an hour? Do you use more than two fingers?  Wink
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« Reply #204 on: May 01, 2006, 07:44:31 AM »

Rather than repeat myself with what I have just spent an hour typing on another thread, can I just direct you there:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=8926.msg118369#msg118369


Looking at that which you typed I note the following...
The doctrines can be made clearer and clearer.
I agree. What can be made more clearer about accepting women as priests? Your defence of this 'progression' implies something is (as it is currently understood) not clear.
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« Reply #205 on: May 01, 2006, 08:07:20 AM »

Quote
The church does and has evolved to meet the cultural demands of the people...consider the difference between Slavic and Greek Christianity, there are substantial differences and changes dependent on culture. So also has the Church changed and adopted with time. We started as a small Jewish Community, became primarially Greek in thought, we went from a persecuted minority to the Imperial Religion and in doing so integrated the Empire into the Church (Imperial law had the same force of canon law within the Church, the Emperor would enter the Altar through the Royal Doors, the Emperor summoned Oecumenical Synods, etc.). Again, with the establishment of the Church outside the Empire different structures arose, when the Empire fell yet new adjustments were made...The Church has always evolved and adapted...that is the way it both expanded and survived.

Political and ceremonial issues?  You missed my point completely.  I was referring to the constituency of the Church, i.e. its PEOPLE. ÂÂ

Church = People

I say it again, the very structure of the Church does not change.

Quote
Actually, you can have it both ways...Imagine Jewish people brought up in a Greco-Roman Society had BOTH Jewish and Greco-Roman influences!!! WOW, who would have thought. Thus, I addressed the influence of the two primary influences.

One has no women priests.  The other has women priests.  Hence, they are mutually exclusive.  Either you have it, or you don't.

Quote
The Jewish culture would exclude women from religion, whereas the Greco-Roman would include them, but in lesser roles.

Your argument about "lesser roles" is a clever yet desperate attempt to defend your untenable position.  By itself, it is already an admission that women were appointed as priests in ancient times.

Quote
I want whoever is the most qualified and capable to be the Patriarch of Constantinople.

Fortunately, what you "want" doesn't matter.  The Church after all, is not a democracy.

Quote
No, that is not my perception or at least not it in it's entirety; but it is the posistion of many throughout history...and many on this board who would argue against the ordination of women based on a fear of women having any authority or power; thus pragmatism demands we address that point

The priesthood is about serving people.  It is a sacrifice.

Quote
Men trying to prevent women from getting power is nothing but a misogynistic chauvinist agenda.

I beg your pardon.  Are you accusing the Church of having a misogynistic chauvinist agenda?

Quote
btw, I consider myself a feminist, so my response is pretty much, so what?

That's quite obvious.

Quote
But what this celibacy does demonstrate is that the Church, in her practice, has not interpreted Paul's teachings in the manner you suggested...if she had, then we would have not only maintained a married episcopacy, but would have established marriage as a pre-requisite for the episcopacy.

That argument is based on the assumption that marriage is a prerequisite to priesthood. ÂÂ Where did you get that idea? ÂÂ  That's absurd. ÂÂ What Paul was concerned about was polygamy and disorder within the family; he was not advocating priests to marry at all!
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« Reply #206 on: May 01, 2006, 08:20:32 AM »

Let's look at another example which actually happened. A bishop stood up in Constantinople and told his congregation that Christ was actually two persons and the Virgin Mary was only the Mother of the human one of them. Half the congregation got up and walked out because they didn't recognise the Voice of the True Shepherd in the bishop. Christ's sheep know His voice, not by defined, inscribed dogmas, but by the Holy Spirit. The dogma of the One Hypostasis had not been defined yet, but the traditional hymns of the Church already praised the Virgin as "Theotokos" and her "in whom the Word was wholly circumscribed." This bishop, they understood, was introducing a "new" revelation which the Apostles had not received.
And it is not erroneous to say that nothing can be newly revealed to the Church simply because of the fact that it may be newly revealed to individuals within the Church. The fact that all the dogmas are not known to an individual at their baptism doesn't lessen the fact that the Church catholic knows them.
And we also need to look at what we mean by "knowing". We cannot speak of "knowing" in the Church only in terms of cognition. St Paul was "caught up to the Third Heaven" (whatever that means) and "heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter" (2Cor. 12:2-4). There is a "knowing" in the Church of things which cannot be expressed in words.

 Two men see a bush in the dark and one imagines it to be a distant city, while the other (whose night vision is sharper) thinks it is just a bush. The imagination of the first man doesn't make the bush a city. If they light a lamp and look, they'll find it was always a bush, and the second man's opinion was correct. In the same way as the lamp, the Holy Spirit enlightens the People of God in the Church to see what was already there more clearly. And the second man with the sharper night vision who saw the bush for what it was from the beginning, could be said to have developed an "indwelling lamp" which aids his vision- as is the case with the Fathers of the Church, who, through prayer, ascesis, good works and diligent study have "aquired the Holy Spirit" Who enlightens us.

I absolutely agree with you, but does not the above example only bolster those ( like me) who believe that the idea of the ordination of women is an innovation . Now I have read GIC's long defenses on the above .
Still to me the duties of ordianed deaconesses were very different from those which are being expounded today. The roles women played then are different from those being demanded today .
Bp. Tikhon of the OCA(Diocese of the West) wrote this:
=======================================================
What the Reader describes here was done at some time and in some places,
but it was never part of the Holy Tradition or What is passed on to us. At
best we could say that it is a dead tradition, as opposed to Living Tradition.
There have always been those who wish to do something or teach something
outside the Living Tradition, and they dig and delve into ancient
manuscripts, travel diaries, historical anecdotes, back shelves of
libraries etc., and Lo! and Behold! Voila! Eureka1 They find it and when
someone firmly adhering to the Living Tradition questions it, they say,
"Well, this is a Tradition of.....century" or "This is a tradition of the
Church of Carthage (or the like). Only that Tradition Which lives and is
passed on to us, is Tradition. For how can there be such a thing as "that
which was passed on which was not passed on?"

Recently Elaine Pagels (sp?) has mined the rich lode of Gnostic literature
and found there all kinds of "forgotten" or "lost" traditions, or even
"suppressed" traditions on which to base the destruction of the Living, the
True Tradition, so that it even effected Roman Catholic nuns, once the
epitome of service, now much attenuated, and competing with quasi-monastic
women who have built up a Woman Church out of such excavated dead
traditions! This is impossible. Tradition is alive, not dead, not suppressed.
=======================================================


What do you think of it ?
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« Reply #207 on: May 01, 2006, 08:51:36 AM »

What do you think of it ?
I think it has many valid points (but I would have preferred if he had not cast apersions on Roman Catholic monastics).
The problem is: "what is the Tradition we are dealing with here?"  For example, one thing which is claimed to be a Tradition (?dogma) is that the Priest is the icon of Christ and Christ is male therefore the Priest must be male. This may be a traditional theologumen, but I'm not sure if it is a Tradition, let alone a Dogma. If the Priest is dogmatically the Icon of Christ, then why does he offer the Sacrifice on behalf of himself also? And doesn't the notion of the Priest being the Icon of Christ make the Eucharist a re-enactment (which it isn't) rather than a memorial (which it is)? The theologumen of the Priest being the Icon of Christ in itself raises dogmatic questions. And if this premise of the Priest being the Icon of Christ needs to be questioned, then the premise that follows (that only men can be priests) needs to be questioned also.

For nearly two thousand years, Orthodox Churches traditionally had no pews- shouldn't we have assumed from this that it was against Tradition to sit in Church during Services? It is certainly against Holy Tradition to kneel on Sundays, this is in the Canons of our Oecumenical Councils. But if a tradition existed for 1900 years that we didn't sit during Services, shouldn't we have assumed that it is uncanonical to do so in anticipation of a decree on this by an Oecumenical Council? The same argument as was used to exclude pews from Churches- the argument of: "it has never been done before"- is being used to say that women should be excluded from the Priesthood. And yet, we now have pews. Clearly "Holy Tradition" does not simply mean "customary practice". It means the doctrinal teachings of the Holy Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #208 on: May 01, 2006, 08:59:11 AM »

Quote
An evolution from the Jewish system with a rather informal role for women to the Greco-Roman system with an Ordained office for women, just like for men, but a lower office than those available for men.

Is it true that the women priests held a "lower office?"  

The answer is NO.

http://campus.houghton.edu/webs/employees/tpaige/Construct.html
When we turn from the profane to the realm of the sacred, it is striking what a difference is to be seen. Even in the Greek world during the classical era--in general a more restrictive time for women everywhere than the first century A.D.--women are found participating and officiating at every level in religious cults, both private and public. "Whereas inequality between the sexes was the rule in the political sphere, it appears that honors and responsibilities in the religious sphere were divided according to some other principle. Priestesses seem to have had the same rights and duties as priests religion offered the only sphere in which Greek women could be treated as citizens." Though excluded from some shrines, cults, or festivals (just as men are also banned from some), women and virgin maidens make up processions, serve as hierophants, priestesses, and other functionaries elsewhere. And this is not only in all-woman events such as the Thesmophoria, but in mixed-gender settings as well.

I'd like to add that it is important to study priesthood as it relates to Greek culture only, not the multi-cultural Greco-Roman world.

 
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« Reply #209 on: May 01, 2006, 10:07:40 AM »

As regards the so-called "feminist" position (of which we hear so much today), there are certain issues on which the Orthodox Christian (if not, perhaps, the rational individual) cannot yield. We do affirm and recognize an order, meaning, and functional differentiation in created things. Thus our Faith teaches us that the female is endowed by God with certain characteristics and tendencies that differ from those of men. (And this, rather than detracting from her, elevates her as part of the divine scheme. By no means does this teaching suggest. or tolerate the relegating of women to some lowly status.) Moreover, our intellects and senses teach us that women and men differ. We border on the insane (not an unusual thing in these bizarre times) if we deny the biological roles of men and women in procreation. These roles are verified by the external, physical distinctions of gender. And even the most radical psychological portrayals of men and women readily admit to fundamental differences between the sexes in cognitive style and mental functioning. (Paradoxically enough, it is part of the feminist movement itself that psychological profiles and categories standardized on males are not appropriate in the assessment of female behavior.)
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/general/women.aspx

orthodoxinfo.com eh? The mere fact it's something they publish on that BS site is just about sufficient grounds to reject it as absurd.

What we see here is someone spending an excessive amount of time trying to express a very simple concept. George Orwell expressed it far better and more eloquently, so I thought I'd post his more eloquent words so that we can better understand your posistion:

Freedom is Slavery.
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« Reply #210 on: May 01, 2006, 10:52:33 AM »

I guess I'm just being a nitpick.

I understand what you're trying to say, that Christ is not here physically as He was during His sojourn on earth, but He is truly here with us even today.  "Behold, I AM with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:20)

I agree with this, and that is what I was trying to say.  Sorry I was dealing with other things when I was writing.  thanks for the help!  

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« Reply #211 on: May 01, 2006, 10:56:34 AM »


I agree, but sometimes things are not as simple as that.  We have been called to be the living breath of the church and that means that we need to
look at things in a context Christ could not have.

Dear Brother, ÂÂ you are implying that He is Not the Alpha and the Omega, the Eternal, Omniscient One, ÂÂ that He is limited by His own creation, time and space?? ÂÂ  That He did not foresee ALL things?
I do not agree, He knows all things in time and eternity, and He knew precisely what He was doing.

Also, how are you a Deaconess?  Is this an official title?  Were you ordained to this position?
[/color]

Yes I am an ordained Deaconess.

I did not mean it that way.  What I meant was that Christ did not leave us a clear understanding of how to address every issue that would befall us after his Ascension.  He left us the Holy Spirit and his presence as our Lord and Savior. ÂÂ

So I agree with what your assesment but we have no standardized answer from God or the HS about this issue, so that's what I was trying to get to...eventally

Would you mind telling us more about your ordination?  Like who ordained you?  What church?  How it happened = the liturgical experience.  Your role in the church...etc. ÂÂ
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« Reply #212 on: May 01, 2006, 11:22:29 AM »

The reference to Rc monastics must be to those activist nuns running around . Well if they are not obedient to their magestirium, how could they expect any quarter from the Orthodox Smiley

I agree Holy Tradition does not equal customary practise, but WO is different from  using pews is it not.  Today most Orthodox churches, have a choir with musical instruments. That was not the practise for atleast 1500 years .  Though I have reservations re the unrestrained use of keyboards and the like, WO is a different issue altogether . If am not wrong Greek priests use stoles inscribed with IC and XC. Even if it were a theologuemenon ; it seems to be a deeply ingrained one.

A women celebrating the eucharist to me seems to violate the symolic nature of the Eucharist.  I hear Behr-Siegel had critiqued that view.  Must confess I am not convinced.  The reasons  demands for WO are being made has nothing to do with the reasons for which  deaconesses or myrrh bearers existed.
IMO todays demands stem from a relativistic view of Scripture and Tradition.
If St Paul was merely giving into cultural biases with respect to WO, could not the same apply to Homosexuality.  And if St Paul could be behind todays times, how could SS Peter Mathew and John be protected from the same.
I have read from too many Anglo Catholics who were  Pro WO in the seventies and today with the benefit of hindsight call it the beginning of the end.

Should'nt the singular failure of the liberal Protestant experience with WO, cause us to take a pause. Even if today clear cut knock down arguments against WO seem lacking.


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« Reply #213 on: May 01, 2006, 12:07:59 PM »

I agree Holy Tradition does not equal customary practise, but WO is different from  using pews is it not.
I'm assuming "WO" stands for something to do with the ordination of women. The points I was making are, firstly that "it has never been done before" does not mean "not doing it is a teaching of the Church"- this cannot be used as a basis of dogma; and secondly, that everyone is so sure that they know the dogmas about the Priesthood, and that these include that women should be excluded from it. What I'm saying is that our understanding of the Priesthood may be wrong to begin with. If a belief can be questioned as to it's doctrinal soundness, should it not be questioned?
 
If am not wrong Greek priests use stoles inscribed with IC and XC. Even if it were a theologuemenon ; it seems to be a deeply ingrained one.
My priest doesn't- and he's an Athonite monk.

A women celebrating the eucharist to me seems to violate the symolic nature of the Eucharist.  
"Seems to"? So you aren't certain? Well neither am I. So perhaps some dialogue is needed about it? Perhaps we both would like clarification about this? So rather than scream "heretic" or "reactionary" or  "liberal" at each other, and accuse one another of being "modernist" (as though that actually means anything in the Church), let's talk about it, pray about it, study about it. Just don't try and tell me "it is dogma, the case is closed" before an Oecumenical Synod has decreed that to be the case or not.

The reasons  demands for WO are being made has nothing to do with the reasons for which  deaconesses or myrrh bearers existed.
Who is demanding anything? Can you tell me where anyone in the Orthodox Church has "demanded" ordination for women? Why is a request for dialogue on theological grounds assumed to be a "demand"?

If St Paul was merely giving into cultural biases with respect to WO, could not the same apply to Homosexuality.  
The same old illogical, emotional argument...
Tell me, what has homosexuality (which is a sin) have to do with womanhood? Do you consider it a sin to be born a woman? Are women not Icons of God? The old argument of "first it's women, and then it's homosexuals" makes as much logical sense as saying that infant baptism leads to murder.

Should'nt the singular failure of the liberal Protestant experience with WO, cause us to take a pause.
Absolutely. We should, as you yourself say,  "take pause" and be circumspect. But "take pause" does not mean "press the stop button and eject". If for nothing else than the fact that the Archbishop of Canterbury is not the head of the Orthodox Church, and hence the teachings of the Orthodox Church cannot be soley determined by the experiences of those you call "liberal protestants".
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« Reply #214 on: May 01, 2006, 02:13:56 PM »

"Seems to"? So you aren't certain? Well neither am I. So perhaps some dialogue is needed about it? Perhaps we both would like clarification about this? So rather than scream "heretic" or "reactionary" or  "liberal" at each other, and accuse one another of being "modernist" (as though that actually means anything in the Church), let's talk about it, pray about it, study about it. Just don't try and tell me "it is dogma, the case is closed" before an Oecumenical Synod has decreed that to be the case or not.

Being radical again and asking for thoughtful and charitable discussion, OzGeorge.? Wink  It would certainly be different for there to be defined terms and concepts (like what is meant and how is this assertion backed up that "men and women are different in things like "cognitive style and mental functioning""? maths abilities?  Logic?) or to have discussions that don't toss off labels and don't really think about what other people might be saying. (or that don't slag off on other Churches)

Ebor

 
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« Reply #215 on: May 01, 2006, 02:37:26 PM »

Being radical again and asking for thoughtful and charitable discussion, OzGeorge.? Wink  It would certainly be different for there to be defined terms and concepts (like what is meant and how is this assertion backed up that "men and women are different in things like "cognitive style and mental functioning""? maths abilities?  Logic?) or to have discussions that don't toss off labels and don't really think about what other people might be saying. (or that don't slag off on other Churches)

Come, come now Ebor...dont you know that the primary reason we dont ordain women is because those modernist anglican heretics do? Wink
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« Reply #216 on: May 01, 2006, 05:03:51 PM »

Wow.  What a thread...

First, to the guys...

Though a relationship between family leadership and Church leadership may have been envisioned by Paul, the fact that the leaders of the Church were generally (and are) celibate and not family men tends to undermine the analogy between one's family role and one's official ecclesiastical role.

Not sure I buy this argument...just as the man, being the physical patriarch of the family unit knit together by a common bloodline, is the head of said unit, so is the priest the head of the "spiritual family" of the parish which is knit together by the common Blood and Body of Christ.  St. Paul declared that the heads of both families would be male.

Quote from: greekischristian
...in the 19th century when western cultures evolved to such a point as to reject slavery we enjoyed the luxury of abandoning our ancient support for this institution...

"Ancient support"?  How about "long-standing acknowledgement"?  It seems that, as you're fond of saying, there was neither slave nor free in regards to salvation in Christ, but they did acknowledge that, within the secular world at that time, slavery did exist, for better or for worse, and that slaves should submit to their masters as good witnesses rather than engage in violent uprisings, which would not be Christian.  Acknowledged, yes, but I can hardly see how such a thing would be supported.

On the issue of the ordination of women I would say that just as there is no Greek or Jew in Christ, neither is there Male or Female; all are created in the image and likeness of God. Thus, what is important is not the race or gender, but rather the fact that the person is human and, thus, in the image and likeness of Christ.

...and, thus, is just as much a candidate for theosis as any other human.  This does not mean he or she is by default a candidate for the priesthood.  You stated elsewhere (I lost the link) that St. Paul states this quote you mention often in a "moment of clarity," or something like that, for he realizes deep down that his other statements prohibiting women from teaching were faulty, so the "neither male nor female" comment is a sort of, "well, yeah, okay, BUT" moment of backpaddling.  The lack of faith placed in St. Paul's ability to articulate truth aside, do you also think that he was merely having social friction within his own mind about whether or not slaves would be suitable to teach the Church?  Certainly it would make no sense to say St. Paul was so confused as to give equality to slaves to the extent that they, who were bound to their master in an apparently "anciently supported" institution, would be suitable for the presbytery.

I remember a few years back there was an uproar on Orthodox forums because the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America tonsured a woman as a Reader. The reason for the uproar was because this is the first step toward Priesthood (as even the prayers for tonsuring a Reader say). If that is the case with merely tonsuring Readers, how much more the case actually ordaining a Deacon by cheirotonia?

Being tonsured a reader IS the first step of the priesthood.  That's why there are no female readers in the OCA.  That aside, isn't it true that the female deacons didn't even serve liturgical purposes like the deacons did back when the female deaconate even existed?

And having read through the last posts as well as many other threads, I find a total lack of patristic support for Communing with a Spoon.....yet we now do. Wink
There is no patristic support for the use of the "Epitaphio" on Holy Friday either- it is not found in the rubrics of any typicon. Yet we began to use it.

As has been mentioned, the problem was not with distribution with instruments, but with reception through instruments.  THe quote-throwing shows that there were multiple customs within the Church re: reception of the Eucharist as well as re: many other things.  Women's ordination was consistently rejected.  Even if it is "mere theologoumena" and not defined by a council, the consistent, until-recently unquestioned theologoumenon of male-only priesthood should stand in contrast to the contested ones concerning communion and the epitaphio.

And now, for the ladies...

I know, I sound nuts, but what I mean to say is, I've heard women say "I'm called to celebrate the sacraments" but wretches that we are, how fortunate are we just to *partake*??  I want to hear an argument in favor that is characterized by humility and self-effacement of Christ.  I just don't see that.  I see more of a "having it all" mentality, which will never be the way of Orthodoxy.

Right on.  Met a fellow this Pascha who, due to the fact that he'd gotten in trouble with the law earlier in life, was rejected by all Orthodox seminaries (and apparently can't be ordained), so he's solved that problem by coming to SW Theological Seminary (the Baptist one in Dallas) and is working his way towards being a Baptist minister, simply because he feels "called to preach."  I see those who run after women's ordination in much the same way; unwilling to accept that perhaps they are mishearing God, they push after this out of pride.  God knows, ultimately, but the women I've talked to who are in Protestant seminaries to become ministers are often very vocal about this "entitlement" of being in the clergy...

Since Christ did everything by way of example, to instruct us, how can we miss the significance of His exclusion of women from the priesthood? ÂÂ  This is not any bias towards women, since He set so many precedences by choosing women to be first, His Mother, the woman at the well and Mary Magdalene. ÂÂ This too He did as an example for the male dominated society. ÂÂ He must have had a VERY good reason for excluding women from the priesthood, and I believe the answer (at least in part) is well explained here.

Like I said to GiC, and like you said so well, the Theotokos and the myrrhbearing women are some of our greatest saints.  It may be to the benefit of women that they're excluded from the priesthood; it may actually save their souls...

Anyone else notice that the Orthodox WOMEN here are against women's ordination and that it's only a couple of GUYS who are attempting to make room for it?
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« Reply #217 on: May 01, 2006, 05:20:56 PM »

One can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

OH, YES YOU CAN!  Just put salt in its oats.   Cheesy
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« Reply #218 on: May 01, 2006, 05:23:45 PM »

Pedro

I have been peaking at this thread from time to time.....

I hear you!!...

Hold your breadth since if you note some of the comments some of the people here make they will argue you down (With biblical support) that for example: ...A mother should not be relegated to a second class motherhood status; but that women should also have the right to be men and fathers with the same rights and powers endowed to men...

It is a lost cause for people like you considering the level of thinking you seem to be at.

Oh!
Regarding slavery and uprising being non-Christian as it relates to slavery. I think you are right. But remember the master has to be bound by the same honor which is Christ. If he is truly a believer and following Christ commands he will no longer own his slaves since Christ owns him thus his slaves belong to Christ.
Christ did not leave any room for justifying slavery in any of its forms.

I think you know that; I thought that I would just make an emphasis on this issue.
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« Reply #219 on: May 01, 2006, 05:30:56 PM »

Pedro

I noticed that a few days ago. So did another poster.

These guys are in my opinion trying to feed the full.

"MetroOrthodoxual"

Hmmm.....
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« Reply #220 on: May 01, 2006, 06:39:11 PM »

Being tonsured a reader IS the first step of the priesthood.  That's why there are no female readers in the OCA.
See, I have a problem with that. This is like saying "XYZ is a dogma of the Ecumenical Church because it is the practice of my Synod."
"'Taint necessarily so......"
That aside, isn't it true that the female deacons didn't even serve liturgical purposes like the deacons did back when the female deaconate even existed?
Depends who you ask. Ask a "traditionalist-with-agenda" and they'll tell you they just assisted the Priest in the baptism of women. Yet even the Subdeaconesses ordained by St. Nektarios of Pentapolis less than 120 years ago administered Holy Communion according to his own accounts. The "traditionalists-with-agenda" will also tell you that Deaconesses weren't ordained by cheirotonia even though the Apostolic Constitutions gives the rubrics for doing so:

"Concerning a deaconess, I, Bartholomew enjoin O Bishop, thou shalt lay thy hands upon her with all the Presbytery and the Deacons and the Deaconesses and thou shalt say: Eternal God, the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the creator of man and woman, that didst fill with the Spirit Mary and Deborah, and Anna and Huldah, that didst not disdain that thine only begotten Son should be born of a woman; Thou that in the tabernacle of witness and in the temple didst appoint women guardians of thy holy gates: Do thou now look on this thy handmaid, who is appointed unto the office of a Deaconess and grant unto her the Holy Spirit, and cleanse her from all pollution of the flesh and of the spirit, that she may worthily accomplish the work committed unto her, to thy glory and the praise of thy Christ. " ( Source)

My point is that we haven't even done the groundwork on this issue yet, and yet some have already decided what is and isn't dogma. Since when has obscuring facts been considered "Orthodoxy"? Is it really too much to ask that both sides of the debate go to the primary sources and dispationately gather facts and dialogue about them instead of re-writing history to fit with their argument?
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« Reply #221 on: May 01, 2006, 06:43:59 PM »

 Women's ordination was consistently rejected.
Really? Could you point out where this issue came up in the Church before and was "consitently  rejected."? If indeed, as you say, it was "consistently rejected" there must be some documents to this effect.
The fact that the Church has been silent on this issue may simply mean the issue hasn't come up, not necessarily that she "consistently rejects" it.
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« Reply #222 on: May 01, 2006, 06:53:20 PM »

What is needed is genuine scholarly study and dialogue, not assumptions based on "bloody opinion".
Unfortunately, "bloody opinion" seems to be easily mistaken for "Orthodoxy".
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« Reply #223 on: May 01, 2006, 07:55:21 PM »

Wow.  What a thread...

Wouldn't it be boring here without me around Grin Grin Grin

Quote
Not sure I buy this argument...just as the man, being the physical patriarch of the family unit knit together by a common bloodline, is the head of said unit, so is the priest the head of the "spiritual family" of the parish which is knit together by the common Blood and Body of Christ.  St. Paul declared that the heads of both families would be male.

But that's not what Paul, at least, is saying in his first epistle to Timothy, rather he says, 'One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)' The consideration here is not one of male authority, but rather of choosing proven people for the office of bishop who were first entrusted with lesser responsibilities and have proven themselves there before being given the greater reponsibility of ruling within the Church.

Quote
"Ancient support"?  How about "long-standing acknowledgement"?  It seems that, as you're fond of saying, there was neither slave nor free in regards to salvation in Christ, but they did acknowledge that, within the secular world at that time, slavery did exist, for better or for worse, and that slaves should submit to their masters as good witnesses rather than engage in violent uprisings, which would not be Christian.  Acknowledged, yes, but I can hardly see how such a thing would be supported.

Acknowledged, supported, you may use whatever word you like, but the institution was enforced by Scripture, Canons, and Tradition. However, don't belive the Church can be criticized for this, her mission is primarially a salvific one, not one of social justice; thus, she reacted to the culture of the day in her interaction with it, even though these actions were not consonant the fullness of the truth given to the Church. Likewise, I submit, with the Ordination of Women. Just as until the last couple centuries it would have been socially disastrous to openly oppose slavery so also would it have been a social problem to place women in posistions of authority in the Church until the latter part of the 20th Century. Furthermore, I suggest that as we reversed our posistion on slavery when society allowed such a stance, we should today reevaluate the posistion of women in the Church since society now, like it did with slavery, not only will allow us to do so, but it demands it. Just as once our asserting of this social posistion could have undermined the salvific mission of the Church, so also today our failure to do so could undermine the salvific mission of the Church.

Quote
...and, thus, is just as much a candidate for theosis as any other human.  This does not mean he or she is by default a candidate for the priesthood.  You stated elsewhere (I lost the link) that St. Paul states this quote you mention often in a "moment of clarity," or something like that, for he realizes deep down that his other statements prohibiting women from teaching were faulty, so the "neither male nor female" comment is a sort of, "well, yeah, okay, BUT" moment of backpaddling.

Actually, I articulated the point slightly better than that for which you are giving me credit. St. Paul had revealed to him the fullness of Christian Anthropology on this issue when he manifested that there is no Male or Female in Christ. However, his Epistles are also pastoral letters and must be understood in that context. He is not writing dogmatic treatises to the several Church, but is rather addressing real and specific problems that are occurring within a given society and place, and thus he makes allowances for the culture when solving real pastoral issues. Later we would come to call this economia, but at the time it was simply good pastoral sense. Today the pastoral demands are different and we must make allowances for the time, cultures, and societies in which the Church finds herself.

Quote
The lack of faith placed in St. Paul's ability to articulate truth aside, do you also think that he was merely having social friction within his own mind about whether or not slaves would be suitable to teach the Church?  Certainly it would make no sense to say St. Paul was so confused as to give equality to slaves to the extent that they, who were bound to their master in an apparently "anciently supported" institution, would be suitable for the presbytery.

Again, I believe he was putting aside the theological ideal which he gave to deal with a real pastoral problem, in which he did not enjoy the luxury of pontificating about Christian Anthropology, as it would been contrary to his salvific mission.

Quote
Being tonsured a reader IS the first step of the priesthood.  That's why there are no female readers in the OCA.  That aside, isn't it true that the female deacons didn't even serve liturgical purposes like the deacons did back when the female deaconate even existed?

Well, within the GOA there are female readers, so perhaps progress is being made afterall. Wink

As has been mentioned, the problem was not with distribution with instruments, but with reception through instruments.  THe quote-throwing shows that there were multiple customs within the Church re: reception of the Eucharist as well as re: many other things.  Women's ordination was consistently rejected.  Even if it is "mere theologoumena" and not defined by a council, the consistent, until-recently unquestioned theologoumenon of male-only priesthood should stand in contrast to the contested ones concerning communion and the epitaphio.

Quote
Right on.  Met a fellow this Pascha who, due to the fact that he'd gotten in trouble with the law earlier in life, was rejected by all Orthodox seminaries (and apparently can't be ordained), so he's solved that problem by coming to SW Theological Seminary (the Baptist one in Dallas) and is working his way towards being a Baptist minister, simply because he feels "called to preach."

How could someone leaving the Church to get what they want be comprable to someone working within the Church to make their case before our Theologians and Bishops?

Quote
I see those who run after women's ordination in much the same way; unwilling to accept that perhaps they are mishearing God, they push after this out of pride.  God knows, ultimately, but the women I've talked to who are in Protestant seminaries to become ministers are often very vocal about this "entitlement" of being in the clergy...

O.K....let's save this quote for a second...

Quote
Anyone else notice that the Orthodox WOMEN here are against women's ordination and that it's only a couple of GUYS who are attempting to make room for it?

Now let's bring that quote back...

Quote
I see those who run after women's ordination in much the same way; unwilling to accept that perhaps they are mishearing God, they push after this out of pride.  God knows, ultimately, but the women I've talked to who are in Protestant seminaries to become ministers are often very vocal about this "entitlement" of being in the clergy...

Why do you think that women don't want to step up on this issue? When they do speak up you get accusations of pride, arrogance, and excessive ambition. While I may be accused of being a modernist (a title that I take upon myself with pride anyway) or question my 'manhood' based on some archaic cultural paradigm (but I'm secure enough in that to not be concerned about the opinion of a few online reactionaries) but no one can make a viable accusation of ambition or having an agenda against me. So until ad homines and bullying cease to be part of the so-called 'traditionalist's' rhetorical methodology many women who might have genuine callings will be unwilling to enter into this discussion...it is a great tragedy and loss to this world that everyone doesn't enjoy argument, rhetoric, and conflict as much as I Grin But dont get your hopes up too quickly, there are enough of us who thrive on such things to prevent this issue from ever going away until it is finally determined one way or the other Wink
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« Reply #224 on: May 01, 2006, 08:17:16 PM »

"'Taint necessarily so......"Depends who you ask. Ask a "traditionalist-with-agenda" and they'll tell you they just assisted the Priest in the baptism of women. Yet even the Subdeaconesses ordained by St. Nektarios of Pentapolis less than 120 years ago administered Holy Communion according to his own accounts. The "traditionalists-with-agenda" will also tell you that Deaconesses weren't ordained by cheirotonia even though the Apostolic Constitutions gives the rubrics for doing so:

"Concerning a deaconess, I, Bartholomew enjoin O Bishop, thou shalt lay thy hands upon her with all the Presbytery and the Deacons and the Deaconesses and thou shalt say: Eternal God, the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the creator of man and woman, that didst fill with the Spirit Mary and Deborah, and Anna and Huldah, that didst not disdain that thine only begotten Son should be born of a woman; Thou that in the tabernacle of witness and in the temple didst appoint women guardians of thy holy gates: Do thou now look on this thy handmaid, who is appointed unto the office of a Deaconess and grant unto her the Holy Spirit, and cleanse her from all pollution of the flesh and of the spirit, that she may worthily accomplish the work committed unto her, to thy glory and the praise of thy Christ. " ( Source)

My point is that we haven't even done the groundwork on this issue yet, and yet some have already decided what is and isn't dogma. Since when has obscuring facts been considered "Orthodoxy"? Is it really too much to ask that both sides of the debate go to the primary sources and dispationately gather facts and dialogue about them instead of re-writing history to fit with their argument?

Well, in the spirit of academic dialogue I will post a couple primary sources about the role of the deaconess...but I dont expect scholarly and honest discussion to go to far here Wink

Concerning ordination of deaconesses by the laying on of hands, as a supporting document to what you above posted I submit the 15th Canon of Chalcedon:

'Let no woman be ordained (χειροντονείσθα) a deaconess before the age of forty, and even then after a strict test. But if she, after receiving the gift of chirothesy (χειροθεσία) and remaining for some time in the ministry, proceeds to give herself in marriage, thus insulting the grace of God, let any such actress be anathematized together with the man who has joined himself with her in marriage.'

We see that the Greek word used to refer to the Ordination of a Deaconess is the same one used when refering to the Ordination of a Male Priest or Deacon.

Also of potential interest, in the First Collection, Title VI, Chapter 6, Paragraph 1 it is written in the Constitutions of Justinian (italics added):

'We do not permit women who have contracted a second marriage, or who (as We have already stated), have led a vicious life, to be ordained, but they must be free from all suspicion in order to be admitted into the holy service of the Church, to be present in baptism, and assist in the celebration of the mysterious and sacred rites which form part of their duties.' (S. P. Scott's Translation)

Unfortunately, I have been unable unable to come across the Original Greek of Justinian's Novels (not that I've tried too hard, but it's not readily available; though the Latin Digests, Intitutes, and Code of Justinian are widely available, even online) thus am unable to confirm what word was used for 'ordained,' though it is the same word the translator uses in reference to Deacons, Priests, and Bishops. However, the primary reason I posted this paragraph that I found buried in the middle of Justinian's Novels is because of what I italicized, which clearly states that assisting in the 'celebration of the mysterious and sacred rites' (note the use of the plural) is part of the duties of the deaconess. Though it doesn't give details this quite clearly implies that the deaconess did have a broader liturgical role than many today would like to admit.

(If anyone has the Greek text of the above law, posting it would be most appreciated)
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