Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church

ozgeorge

Hoplitarches
Site Supporter
Joined
Mar 2, 2004
Messages
16,379
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
54
Location
Australia
Website
www.greekorthodox.org.au
Pedro said:
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......"
Pedro said:
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?
 

ozgeorge

Hoplitarches
Site Supporter
Joined
Mar 2, 2004
Messages
16,379
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
54
Location
Australia
Website
www.greekorthodox.org.au
Pedro said:
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.
 

ozgeorge

Hoplitarches
Site Supporter
Joined
Mar 2, 2004
Messages
16,379
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
54
Location
Australia
Website
www.greekorthodox.org.au
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".
 

greekischristian

Merarches
Site Supporter
Joined
Feb 4, 2005
Messages
9,487
Reaction score
0
Points
36
Pedro said:
Wow.  What a thread...
Wouldn't it be boring here without me around ;D ;D ;D

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.

"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.

...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.

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.

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. ;)

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.

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?

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...

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...

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 ;D 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 ;)
 

greekischristian

Merarches
Site Supporter
Joined
Feb 4, 2005
Messages
9,487
Reaction score
0
Points
36
ozgeorge said:
"'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 ;)

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)
 

Theognosis

Sr. Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
248
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
48
she reacted to the culture of the day in her interaction with it,
There you go again with that totally unsupported assertion.  Time and again we have shown that the gender of priesthood and the position of women in society are INDEPENDENT of each other in Greek culture (and even Latin). This alone demolishes your entire argument.  The teachings of Paul about the exclusivity of priesthood to men were not motivated by social or cultural factors at all!

even though these actions were not consonant the fullness of the truth given to the Church
What's even worse is that you are accusing Paul of not having "the fullness of the truth!" ÂÂ

Amazing.  Did Jesus Christ reveal something to you that He didn't tell St. Paul?  Do you claim to have the fullness of the truth?

 

minasoliman

Stratopedarches
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
May 24, 2004
Messages
20,198
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
NJ
Let's take this one question at a time.

When St. Paul says something like this:

But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.
What does this mean to us? Is it a theological verse or a customary verse ruled by cultural prejudices?

God bless.

Mina
 

ozgeorge

Hoplitarches
Site Supporter
Joined
Mar 2, 2004
Messages
16,379
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
54
Location
Australia
Website
www.greekorthodox.org.au
minasoliman said:
What does this mean to us? Is it a theological verse or a customary verse ruled by cultural prejudices?
I don't think it's theological. Our own theology doesn't allow us to say that it is a dogma.
Who is the head of the Theotokos, she who is "more honourable than the cherubim and more glorious beyond compare than the seraphim"? Was St. Joseph her head? If so, in what sense do we mean this if they were not married, nor "one flesh"? If this is a theological statement, wouldn't it mean that a woman must not be an Orthodox Empress- a position recognised by the Church and annointed by the Church? Are not men subject to the Empress? What about St. Helen, St. Catherine the Great, St. Irene the Empress- who not only opposed Iconoclasm, but opposed her own son taking the throne from her and was supported by the Church in this...?
 

minasoliman

Stratopedarches
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
May 24, 2004
Messages
20,198
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
NJ
Like I said before, I frown at the fact that Kings, let alone Empresses, entered the altar because of the dangerous mixture of government and church. I truly oppose such things, and it is one thing that makes me attached to the OO Church.

Therefore, issues concerning women in politics have nothing to do with teaching in Church. To "consecrate" an empress is nothing but a Church kissing the feet of the world, and not being above the world.

So, if we disagree on these issues concerning the empress, it shows how different traditions can interpret that same verse differently, and why it has become a theological issue. Render to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's. If one truly understands this, then we can proceed to the issue of female priesthood, as St. John Chrysostom also believed to be non-existent in the Church (who is also an opponent of the government).

I wanted to add something else concerning deaconesses:

While there is consecration or ordination of a deacon, the role of a deacon is certainly not like that of a priest or bishop. For the priest and bishop is just like the role of the husband in the household, to be the leader or head of a house, and for the priest and bishop's cases, the church.

Now, what is a deacon's role? To help serve those directly in need as well as help serve the priest with certain duties. The word "deacon" means "servant," and while a male deacon in the epistle to St. Timothy should be a man of one wife and ruling his household well, the deacons' first roles were to serve widows and tables and other issues that allow more flexibility than the priest or bishop. This is why female deacons existed. In addition, deacons did come out not because it was always there, but because of a necessity as Acts 6 shows. The increasing role of females in the Church also lead to the formation of female deaconesses. Therefore, the role was "unnecessary" and became necessary to make more efficient service to the needy.

At the same time, I don't deny that the deacon is also an ordained role, part of the threefold orders of priesthood, but that doesn't mean that deacons ruled the church like priests and bishops do. In fact, I would also venture to say that the role of both deacons and deaconesses shows also a prophetic role of the state of the Heavenly Jerusalem, where I believe no distinction would be made since we are all "priests and kings" and of the one Church having communion with our bridegroom Christ.

Just as we are the "body of Christ," so was a deaconess necessarily the body of priests and bishops in very important issues as well, but certainly women were taught to be submissive to men, just as the Church is to Christ, or Christ is to the Father. This is sufficient reason, I believe, why male priesthood is preferred, and it seems to me a very good theological reason.

There are other Bible verses that may seem harsh, like those that forbid women to have authority over or to teach men. A female deacon does not have authority over men, and certainly not over priests and bishops. However a priest and bishop will have authority over male deacons, and this is something St. Paul would object to, not because of cultural reasons, but because of a theological reason, that Adam was formed first.

St. Paul seemed very serious when asking those not to change traditions and that those contentious with customs do not exist in the church.

God bless.
 

ozgeorge

Hoplitarches
Site Supporter
Joined
Mar 2, 2004
Messages
16,379
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
54
Location
Australia
Website
www.greekorthodox.org.au
minasoliman said:
Like I said before, I frown at the fact that Kings, let alone Empresses, entered the altar because of the dangerous mixture of government and church. I truly oppose such things, and it is one thing that makes me attached to the OO Church.
What you and I "frown on" is immaterial- unless we want to rewrite the history of the Church, which, unfortunately, it seems many people wish to. And from this personal prefrerence of yours to "frown on" Kings and Emperesses "entering the altar" you conclude that:
minasoliman said:
Therefore, issues concerning women in politics have nothing to do with teaching in Church.
"I feel [fill in the blank], therefore the teaching of the Church is [fill in the blank]."

This is not discussion, it is just more "bloody opinion" which is going nowhere fast. It is substituting dispassionate fact gathering with illogical syllogisms based on no premise other than "I feel".

I'm not idiotic, I know that people "feel" certain ways about women as priests. I feel certain ways about it myself, but I would never base Church dogma simply on how "I feel".


 

montalban

OC.Net Guru
Joined
Mar 4, 2006
Messages
1,823
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
53
Location
Sydney
minasoliman said:
Let's take this one question at a time.

When St. Paul says something like this:

What does this mean to us?  Is it a theological verse or a customary verse ruled by cultural prejudices?
What evidence do you provide for this? Nothing.

The evidence for the opposite assumption is that the church didn't ordain female priests. As someone else earlier pointed it out before a cradle Orthodox objected to them being zealous for Orthodoxy*, there's nothing in Tradition for women to be ordained.

That should be the end of it, but people here insist on personal speculation based on modernity driven notions.


*-itself a problematical stand-point to take
 

montalban

OC.Net Guru
Joined
Mar 4, 2006
Messages
1,823
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
53
Location
Sydney
ozgeorge said:
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".
I didn't know you had a sense of irony.

When someone suggested earlier about leaving this up to the hands of church tradition you didn't like the fact that they, a convert to Orthodoxy, would be zealous in defending the Traditions of the church.

You offer no alternative proofs, yourself.
 

montalban

OC.Net Guru
Joined
Mar 4, 2006
Messages
1,823
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
53
Location
Sydney
I've still not seen any good argument for change other than those that are suggesting that it's possible (by not classing it as a matter of dogma). That in itself is not a good reason.
 

Theognosis

Sr. Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
248
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
48
minasoliman said:
Let's take this one question at a time.

When St. Paul says something like this:

What does this mean to us?  Is it a theological verse or a customary verse ruled by cultural prejudices?
Not again. Greek civilization was accustomed to having women priests. The alleged cultural prejudices have been ruled out already by virtue of this historical fact.

http://campus.houghton.edu/webs/employees/tpaige/Construct.html
The practice of women prophesying at the church in Corinth would have had no negative reaction from Greek culture, at least not for being done by females. On the contrary, two of the most famous oracles of the Greek world had at their heart women who were used as vehicles to medate the message of the god. Women played key roles in the public celebrations of many cults, and there is little doubt that at least some of these roles involved speaking: prayers, words of consecration of the sacrifice, perhaps instruction in the mysteries or words of assurance or warning to initiates. The only trouble Christian prophetesses would have caused the surrounding culture would have been due to the fact that the religion was foreign and denounced traditional faiths as false. But this has nothing to do with women's roles.

Those who assert that the women can be priests do the ff: (1) ignore the facts of history, (2) deny 2,000 years of Tradition and (3) provide personal interpretation of Scripture as they see fit at the expense of the credibility of the apostles.

Quite frankly, these GUYS remind of me of Martin Luther who did exactly the same things. Didn't he ignore history when he preached Sola Scriptura? Didn't he reject the Tradition of the fathers? Didn't he interpret Scripture to his liking to the point of calling the epistle of James the epistle of straw?

Even so, Martin Luther wasn't so critical of St. Paul!

 

Pedro

Archon
Joined
Apr 28, 2004
Messages
2,833
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
40
Location
Greenville, SC
ozgeorge said:
Who is the head of the Theotokos, she who is "more honourable than the cherubim and more glorious beyond compare than the seraphim"? Was St. Joseph her head? If so, in what sense do we mean this if they were not married, nor "one flesh"?
Had they been married, then yes, he would have been. Since they were not, then no, he was not. Not even the Theotokos, however, was elevated in her lifetime (as far as has been recorded) to any kind of teaching or sacramental ministry within the Church--highly revered and dearly loved by all who received her, according to Ignatius, iirc, but not an ordained anything.

If this is a theological statement, wouldn't it mean that a woman must not be an Orthodox Empress- a position recognised by the Church and annointed by the Church? Are not men subject to the Empress? What about St. Helen, St. Catherine the Great, St. Irene the Empress- who not only opposed Iconoclasm, but opposed her own son taking the throne from her and was supported by the Church in this...?
I'm afraid I fail to see your point here, George. How is being the civil head of the government comprable to being an ordained priest or bishop? I understand that they entered a church through the altar, but did they concelebrate with the actual, ordained clergy? I don't think so; it seems this honor was given to them due to their helping the church in matters of secular life--protection of the Church from enemies of the Empire and so on. Yet, even though they were granted access to the altar area, are there any examples within history of an empress standing before the holy table and proclaiming "Blessed is the Kingdom..." and proceeding to celebrate the liturgy in the place of (or even with) a priest or bishop? Any examples of an empress giving absolution to a penitent? Any examples of an empress baptizing anyone, at any time? I just don't see how saying that an empress (or even an emperor) has authority over men in a civil way is the same as saying that she is therefore eligible for the sacramental priesthood.

greekischristian said:
...Paul...in his first epistle to Timothy...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.
Right...having HIS children in subjection and ruling HIS own house, for otherwise HE can't take care of the Church of God. These are not neuter pronouns. To ignore the gender is dishonest. I agree it's about presbyters (who were all called either bishops or presbyters in the NT time but whose office separated into celibate bishops and married priests (in the East), as you know) being able to handle smaller responsibilities, but the gender in the verses leaves no room for matriarchal rule.

Acknowledged, supported, you may use whatever word you like, but the institution was enforced by Scripture, Canons, and Tradition.
The two words are worlds apart. I can acknowledge something exists and seek to be a Christian within this framework as best I can, but I do not have to support it and call it good. There is, however, a difference between the issue of slavery and that of women's ordination. Never in the history of the Church has the Church demanded that slaves be slaves within the Church; they all approach the altar as equals with non-slaves and, when slavery is abolished, they rejoice with them in their freedom, as in Philemon. IOW, it was always seen as evil yet not resisted (nor "supported"). Women's exclusion from the priesthood, otoh, was, as has been stated elsewhere, not only something the NT authors and Fathers often saw as compatible with their culture, but also something that was a part of their orthodoxy even in situations when the positions of authority held by pagan women were greater than those of women within the Church.

So when you say something like this:

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.
I say, we never reversed our position on slavery (I refer to the American version; the version in ancient times was incredibly different, as you know); we just found ourselves in a position where we didn't have to deal with it anymore. Yet now that society has changed their views on women, we are not at all beholden to society to change that which we have never seen to be at odds with our morality, as was the case with slavery.

montalban said:
I've still not seen any good argument for change other than those that are suggesting that it's possible (by not classing it as a matter of dogma). That in itself is not a good reason.
Right on.
 

ozgeorge

Hoplitarches
Site Supporter
Joined
Mar 2, 2004
Messages
16,379
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
54
Location
Australia
Website
www.greekorthodox.org.au
Theognosis said:
Those who assert that the women can be priests do the ff: (1) ignore the facts of history, (2) deny 2,000 years of Tradition and (3) provide personal interpretation of Scripture as they see fit at the expense of the credibility of the apostles.

Quite frankly, these GUYS remind of me of Martin Luther who did exactly the same things. Didn't he ignore history when he preached Sola Scriptura? Didn't he reject the Tradition of the fathers? Didn't he interpret Scripture to his liking to the point of calling the epistle of James the epistle of straw?
Theognosis,
Firstly, isn't refusing to examine the Holy Tradition of Deaconesses an attempt to "ignore history ...(and).... reject the Tradition of the fathers?
Secondly, precisely who is being "sola scriptura" on this issue? The only appeals made for documented evidence that the Church Dogmas forbid women to be Priests are ever made to St. Paul's writings. So let's examine them to see how well we have maintained this Holy Apostle's Tradition:
How many women cover their heads in accordance with the same Apostle's command in your Church?
And if they don't cover their heads, why are they not shorn?
Why is this tradition no longer observed? Is it not an Apostolic Tradition, even though an Apostle wrote it and taught it?
Why is women covering their heads a dispensible Apostolic Tradition, but women speaking in Church (which they do in the Oecumenical Patriarchate anyway) absolutely indispensible? Why is it that we can disobey the Apostle's instruction to "observe every tradition whether in writing or spoken by the Apostles" in the case of women covering their heads?
Also, St. Paul forbade women to "prophesy" in Church with their heads uncovered. Didn't these women speak their prophesies, and thereby instruct the People of God in the Church. How can this be that St. Paul forbids women to teach but allows them to prophesy in Church?
Why is one Apostolic Tradition more important than others?

Let me tell you something you may not know. The Church, and only the Church is the sole interpreter of Holy Tradition. No individual, no matter how great, how holy, much they have attained theosis, can ever interpret alone what the Holy Tradition is. So no matter what, this question can only be answered by the Church.
We cannot simply, as someone else suggested, place this question "in the hands of holy tradition", because the Church still needs to interpret that Tradition.
 

montalban

OC.Net Guru
Joined
Mar 4, 2006
Messages
1,823
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
53
Location
Sydney
Theognosis said:
Not again.  Greek civilization was accustomed to having women priests.  The alleged cultural prejudices have been ruled out already by virtue of this historical fact. ÂÂ

http://campus.houghton.edu/webs/employees/tpaige/Construct.html

Those who assert that the women can be priests do the ff: (1) ignore the facts of history,  (2) deny 2,000 years of Tradition and (3) provide personal interpretation of Scripture as they see fit at the expense of the credibility of the apostles.

Quite frankly, these GUYS remind of me of Martin Luther who did exactly the same things.  Didn't he ignore history when he preached Sola Scriptura?  Didn't he reject the Tradition of the fathers?  Didn't he interpret Scripture to his liking to the point of calling the epistle of James the epistle of straw? ÂÂ

Even so, Martin Luther wasn't so critical of St. Paul!
Your words ring true with me.

So far this thread has not produced a good reason for change, other than it might be possible. One person, a convert to Orthodoxy like myself was criticised for coming to Orthodoxy and being zealous for it's great and Holy Tradition! I found that argument astounding.*

Jesus knew what He was doing when He picked 12 men. The Apostles knew what they were doing too, after Pentecost.

All of this for the sake of those who feel pressures from modern notions of what is right or wrong and seek to change the church to suit these fleeting ideals.



* Why one shouldn't be allowed to be zealous for their new faith is beyond me. There seems to be some snobbery here - that a cradle-orthodox would resent someone who holds the Orthodox traditions more dear than he.
 

ozgeorge

Hoplitarches
Site Supporter
Joined
Mar 2, 2004
Messages
16,379
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
54
Location
Australia
Website
www.greekorthodox.org.au
Pedro said:
Had they been married, then yes, he would have been. Since they were not, then no, he was not.
So then, who was the head of the Theotokos, because if St. Paul's words are dogma and not mere custom, she who is "more honourable than the Cherubim" must have had a human male as her head. So who was it?

Pedro said:
I'm afraid I fail to see your point here, George.
I can see that by the rest of what you wrote. The point is that the Emperor was a position both in the State and the Church. And when the Emperor was a female, men in the Church even bishops were subject to her. The Seventh Oecumenical Council was convened by a woman- St. Irene the Emperess. This woman summoned 367 bishops of the Orthodox Church to a Synod. So the point is that if St. Paul's instruction meant that women could not have authority over men, that's not what the Fathers of the Seventh Oecumenical Council thought.
 

montalban

OC.Net Guru
Joined
Mar 4, 2006
Messages
1,823
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
53
Location
Sydney
ozgeorge said:
Firstly, isn't refusing to examine the Holy Tradition of Deaconesses an attempt to "ignore history ...(and).... reject the Tradition of the fathers?
How so?
ozgeorge said:
Secondly, precisely who is being "sola scriptura" on this issue? The only appeals made for documented evidence that the Church Dogmas forbid women to be Priests are ever made to St. Paul's writings.
That is false. I have cited John Chrysostomon in post #145
Clement of Rome #148. Sorry that you wish to go down the path of ignoring such evidence as has been presented. I include both at bottom of this to save you or any other reader time.
ozgeorge said:
How many women cover their heads in accordance with the same Apostle's command in your Church?
And if they don't cover their heads, why are they not shorn?
Firstly, women in my church cover their heads.
Secondly, there's biblical injunctions not to bear false witness. People do do that. That doesn't mean that the injunction is thrown-out because people aren't following it. That's your 'logic' here, cite examples of people not following a calling by St. Paul

John Chrysostomon says, in part...
For if any one will consider how great a thing it is for one, being a man, and compassed with flesh and blood, to be enabled to draw nigh to that blessed and pure nature, he will then clearly see what great honor the grace of the Spirit has vouchsafed to priests; since by their agency these rites are celebrated, and others nowise inferior to these both in respect of our dignity and our salvation.
Book III.5
TREATISE ON THE PRIESTHOOD
http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF1-09/npnf1-09-08.htm#TopOfPage

Our apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and there would be strife on account of the office of the episcopate. For this reason, therefore, inasmuch as they had obtained a perfect fore-knowledge of this, they appointed those [ministers] already mentioned, and afterwards gave instructions, that when these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed them in their ministry. We are of opinion, therefore, that those appointed by them, or afterwards by other eminent men, with the consent of the whole Church, and who have blame-lessly served the flock of Christ in a humble, peaceable, and disinterested spirit, and have for a long time possessed the good opinion of all, cannot be justly dismissed from the ministry. For our sin will not be small, if we eject from the episcopate those who have blamelessly and holily fulfilled its duties. Blessed are those presbyters who, having finished their course before now, have obtained a fruitful and perfect departure [from this world]; for they have no fear lest any one deprive them of the place now appointed them. But we see that ye have removed some men of excellent behaviour from the ministry, which they fulfilled blamelessly and with honour.
Clement of Rome Chapter XLIV.-The Ordinances of the Apostles, that There Might Be No Contention Respecting the Priestly Office. "Epistle to the Corinthians"
http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-01/anf01-05.htm#P171_20841
 

montalban

OC.Net Guru
Joined
Mar 4, 2006
Messages
1,823
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
53
Location
Sydney
ozgeorge said:
The Church, and only the Church is the sole interpreter of Holy Tradition. No individual, no matter how great, how holy, much they have attained theosis, can ever interpret alone what the Holy Tradition is. So no matter what, this question can only be answered by the Church.
We cannot simply, as someone else suggested, place this question "in the hands of holy tradition", because the Church still needs to interpret that Tradition.
You do interpret that yourself, in light of modernity, and then argue from there, ah irony! (Having provided NO evidence for a change yourself) *

The church can't change Holy Tradition; the teachings of the church. I've already asked this question, perhaps I'm on some people's 'ignore list'; what is to be understood more properly about having women priests?


*And, worse still is claiming that the opposition has provided less evidence than they have. So in balance we have

one side providing evidence -v- one side producing none.
one side providing reasons for staying the same -v- one side producing no reason for change (other than you 'can').
 
Top