Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church

montalban

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minasoliman said:
What evidence are you talking about?  I asked a question.
Well your question was answered by those trying cultural relativity. Not by me, but by another

I didn't note who showed it, but they showed...
“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”
http://campus.houghton.edu/webs/employees/tpaige/Construct.html
 

ozgeorge

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minasoliman said:
When one participates in the Liturgy, a lot of the prayers do become a re-enactment. When we say "Take eat of it all of you, for this is My body," or "take drink of it all of you, for this is My blood of the new covenant," we are re-enacting the Last Supper, and not merely remembering Him.
If we were re-enacting the Last Supper in the Eucharist, then these words of Christ should be suffient to consecrate the Holy Gifts. But this is not the Orthodox understanding of the Eucharist. The gifts are consecrated by the priest's prayer of the Epiclesis, not by repeating Christ's words of institution. We are not re-enacting the Last Supper in the Eucharist. To re-enact the Last Supper, we would have to have only 13 people present, be sitting reclined, the Priest should wash everyone's feet first, we should eat a meal during which we break the bread, and we should drink the wine after the conclusion of the meal, and one of the people present should betray the Priest to the local authorities.

minasoliman said:
When we have something as real as the Body and Blood of Christ, mere memory is not enough according to St. Paul, but the way we practice is how we should remember, and the way we practice IS TRULY INDEED re-enactment. I don't see how re-enactment makes something merely "represented." You "re-present" it when you re-enact as well.
But in the "re-enactment theory" of the Eucharist, the Priest is the "Icon of Christ"- so doesn't that make the Bread and Wine the "Icon of the Body and Blood of Christ" rather than the prototype?

minasoliman said:
You seem to forget that there is a "theatre." What's the point of icons or the Church structure if we don't "re-enact"? What's the point of incense, if it's nothing but what happens in heaven? Or the praise of "Holy, Holy, Holy"? How are all of these not "re-enactments"? When something is "amnesis," not only is it memorial, but we LIVE in the memorial, we LIVE in the roleplaying.
My dear friend, you see, you used the word clearly here: "roleplaying". This makes the "Eucharist as re-enactment" no different to the animist rituals of shamans who put on masks and "roleplay" the gods and spirits and totems which the masks represent.

minasoliman said:
As for your question, when the priest eats and drinks, not only is it for His own good, but clearly, as a conclusion to the thought of Him being the icon of Christ (or even the icon of the Father, which all the more proves the point), he represents Christ who said to "sup" with us.
Nope, you missed the point again.
The Eucharist is the Sacrifice of Golgotha. If the Priest is the :"Icon of Christ", then the "Icon of Christ" offers the Sacrifice on behalf of himself as well as the people. It is the fact that the "Icon of Christ" offers the Sacrifice of Christ on behalf of the "Icon of Christ" which is incongruous.

minasoliman said:
It is only different when roleplaying and re-enacting, we imitate things divine for the grace that is provided for us, and that goes for both priesthood and marriage.
So the Eucharist is not the Divine Liturgy, but the imitation of the Divine Liturgy? Not in the Church in which I worship it isn't. It is The Divine Liturgy in my Church. I think a big part of your problem with this is a confusion of an Icon with it's prototype. I repeat again: the Eucharist is a Prototype, it is not an "Icon" of anything.

minasoliman said:
It was a logical outcome for the Anglican Church to go from female priesthood to the acceptance of homosexuality as a way of life because of merely practicing a memory, and not a true re-enactment.
Same illogical argument: "womanhood leads to sin". This is nonsense. If anything, homosexual transvestites would be most at home at your "re-enactment Eucharist"- they would love dressing up in embroidered vestments and roleplaying!
 

montalban

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Pedro said:
Pensateomnia,

You make a good point. TO repeat my question, though, why, then, DO you think that the male priesthood is something that will and SHOULD remain in the Church, if not for the priest-as-icon thing?
At last, someone wanting to return this thread to the OP! :D

Still there has been no good reason put forward for change.
 

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montalban said:
Well your question was answered by those trying cultural relativity. Not by me, but by another

I didn't note who showed it, but they showed...
“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”
http://campus.houghton.edu/webs/employees/tpaige/Construct.html
Thanks for repeating that one, Montalban. Scholarship beats speculation and unfounded presuppositions any time of the day. At least now I know that the advocates of female priesthood on this board are fond of making things up. I am positive that readers can distinguish fact from fiction.

Let's just hope that the admins do their job and close this thread. Any agument that is solely SPECULATIVE is never a good thing, especially to the Orthodox Church.
 

ozgeorge

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Theognosis said:
Let's just hope that the admins do their job and close this thread. Any agument that is solely SPECULATIVE is never a good thing, especially to the Orthodox Church.
Firstly, this is a forum, not the Orthodox Church.
Secondly, the Admins are doing their job in providing a moderated forum.
Thirdly I don't see anything "speculative" except in the statement quoted by montalban which says in part:
"and there is little doubt that at least some of these roles involved ....."
The words "and there is little doubt" means that there is some doubt- in other words, it is speculation.
 

montalban

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Theognosis said:
Thanks for repeating that one, Montalban. Scholarship beats speculation and unfounded presuppositions any time of the day. At least now I know that the advocates of female priesthood on this board are fond of making things up. I am positive that readers can distinguish fact from fiction.
Some can. Some are too proud to admit that they as individuals might be in error.
Theognosis said:
Let's just hope that the admins do their job and close this thread. Any argument that is solely SPECULATIVE is never a good thing, especially to the Orthodox Church.
Indeed. Odd that some in the 'opposition' posits nothing but opinion, whilst graphically down-playing evidence that is in fact presented AND at the same time refusing to provide any good reasons for change.

Maybe we're seeing the birth of Protestant Orthodoxy. Orthodox driven away from tradition because of modernism. I would not mind if they did close it, because we've gone for days with out any 'real' discussion of fact.
 

montalban

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ozgeorge said:
Firstly, this is a forum, not the Orthodox Church.
A truism. But it's good to discuss the mind of the Orthodox Church to defend it against those who need to attack it due to modernist opinion. I can't wait for your posting of some evidence other than repeating your own opinion.
ozgeorge said:
Thirdly I don't see anything "speculative" except in the statement quoted by Montalban which says in part: The words "and there is little doubt" means that there is some doubt- in other words, it is speculation.
Almost there!

1st statement:
I am certain of Orthodoxy.
2nd statement:
There are a few who doubt Orthodox truth.

The second statement saying that there is doubt is not speculative that there is doubt. It is stating a fact. It might be considered speculative on the amount of doubt; that there is little doubt, as opposed to a 'great deal of doubt'. Now in the context of the whole quote, if you believe that they are wrong in stating that there is little doubt, and instead there is a great deal of doubt, you're yet to show any proofs that their choice of words is speculative. (Granted they have not offered any proofs as to numbers of people polled, etc.)

Now as to your statements being speculative, they are a whole heap of opinion that women might be priests based on the opinion that they can possibly be priests. That is speculation, or maybe more accurately presumption.
 

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minasoliman said:
However, to make things mere memorial is also weak on your part, if not weaker.
It is not a mere memorial. Re-read ozgeorge's and my comments. It is a making present a past or future reality. There is a difference in re-enactment and making present. In re-enacting we are watching something that previously happened. In making present, we participate in the actual event, not a re-enactment. As the church sings on major holy days, "Today He is hung upon a tree", "The Virgin gives birth today", etc.
minasoliman said:
When we say "Take eat of it all of you, for this is My body," or "take drink of it all of you, for this is My blood of the new covenant," we are re-enacting the Last Supper, and not merely remembering Him.
The prayer continues, "Do this in memory of me!" Do what in memory of me? The answer, "Take eat...Take drink", not re-enact the Last Supper.
 

Anastasios

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Let's just hope that the admins do their job and close this thread. Any agument that is solely SPECULATIVE is never a good thing, especially to the Orthodox Church.
Why exactly would it be our job to close it?

Anastasios
 

ozgeorge

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Carpatho Russian said:
It is not a mere memorial. Re-read ozgeorge's and my comments. It is a making present a past or future reality. There is a difference in re-enactment and making present. In re-enacting we are watching something that previously happened. In making present, we participate in the actual
Exasperating, isn't it? Welcome to my world. :D
The problem I think is that some people on this thread assume I am pushing for women's ordination, so rather than looking at what is said, it is immediately dismissed and assumed that the opposite must be true.
I've said from the start: I know that the Church from the beginning to the present has not ordained women to the Priesthood or Episcopy. However, I don't know whether a male-only priesthood is dogma or not. And the arguments that people use to say it is dogma I find questionable, not because they are a hinderance to women's ordination, but because I think they are a distortion of Orthodox doctrine.
 

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ozgeorge said:
Firstly, this is a forum, not the Orthodox Church.
Secondly, the Admins are doing their job in providing a moderated forum.
Thirdly I don't see anything "speculative" except in the statement quoted by montalban which says in part: The words "and there is little doubt" means that there is some doubt- in other words, it is speculation.
Interesting that there were some in the thread who at least wanted to examine whys and whats and all, kind of like "refining" thoughts and arguements and not just "X? No! end of story". Isn't that one of the reasons that a forum might exist? To at least get some understanding of other positions?

I agree with you OzGeorge. The Admins are doing their job.

One wonders *whY* someone would want the thread closed. What is it doing by being here?

Ebor
 

Ebor

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ozgeorge said:
Exasperating, isn't it? Welcome to my world.  :D
The problem I think is that some people on this thread assume I am pushing for women's ordination, so rather than looking at what is said, it is immediately dismissed and assumed that the opposite must be true.
I'd noticed that you had never said anything about pushing it; you were looking at the subject. It was interesting to see the jumping to conclusions/assumptions. "You bring up Z? You must want Z."

Sigh

Ebor
 

minasoliman

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If we were re-enacting the Last Supper in the Eucharist, then these words of Christ should be suffient to consecrate the Holy Gifts. But this is not the Orthodox understanding of the Eucharist. The gifts are consecrated by the priest's prayer of the Epiclesis, not by repeating Christ's words of institution. We are not re-enacting the Last Supper in the Eucharist. To re-enact the Last Supper, we would have to have only 13 people present, be sitting reclined, the Priest should wash everyone's feet first, we should eat a meal during which we break the bread, and we should drink the wine after the conclusion of the meal, and one of the people present should betray the Priest to the local authorities.
There is no mere re-enacting, but also prayer. I don't say take everything to the extremes, and I agree that the priest consecrates by the Epiclesis, but what is so necessary about repeating Christ's words if it was just memorial? We have the icon of the Last Supper showing 11 Apostles and Judas the betrayer leaving in the background. We have 12 icons of the 12 Apostles, six on each side. In some churches (especially the Coptic Church), the east altar includes Christ sitting on his throne with the 24 priests. Confession and repentance is always the spiritual re-enacting of the washing of feet, and we celebrate the literal washing of feet on Holy Thursday of Pascha Week, where the Priest girds himself and washes all the people's feet. Some churches offer an agape meal after the Eucharist, which only re-enacts or imitates the Last Supper, and I don't mind the drinking of wine.

The icons of the Church we have do most of the re-enacting for us; there is no need to take it to the extremes and have a "Judas." We are doing things considered as God's desire or will, and we do them to imitate Him and the good things. In Palm Sunday, we raise palms in the air and sing "Hosanna to the highest, hosanna to the Son of David, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord." In the Coptic Church, starting Holy Wednesday of Pascha (Coptic tradition), since it was the day of betrayal, we do not shake one another's hands to commemorate the evil Judas did up until Joyous Saturday.

The church building itself is a stage of the heavens, the altar being represented as the Holy of holies, where the throne of Christ is, which is why it is elevated above the rest of the Kingdom of Heaven.

How in all this do you not see some re-enactments? I'm not saying to take it to extremes where we do a full-pledged Broadway play, but I'm saying that re-enactments are very clear by the structure of the Church, iconagraphy, and (tadadada) the roles of laity and priests, men and women, while also having the element of praying.

But in the "re-enactment theory" of the Eucharist, the Priest is the "Icon of Christ"- so doesn't that make the Bread and Wine the "Icon of the Body and Blood of Christ" rather than the prototype?
I already implicitly answered this. Who else but Christ Himself who broke bread and blessed the wine? Unless you want to tell me that when Christ says "He will drink and eat with us," He meant He will eat the prototype because He's already there. It's only a weak attempt on your behalf to belittle my idea of what I learned as Orthodox tradition.

Like I said, a re-enactment means we live the role. So, if the priest is the icon of Christ, He is truly in the priest by the special grace of the Spirit in him. Don't we say to the bishops, "you are a high priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek?" This echoes the same words said to Christ.

My dear friend, you see, you used the word clearly here: "roleplaying". This makes the "Eucharist as re-enactment" no different to the animist rituals of shamans who put on masks and "roleplay" the gods and spirits and totems which the masks represent.
I could say the same about "memorial," which makes it nothing more than a memorial stone full of names of veterans, who we believe are truly present in the names. Where is the argument you made here?

Nope, you missed the point again.
The Eucharist is the Sacrifice of Golgotha. If the Priest is the :"Icon of Christ", then the "Icon of Christ" offers the Sacrifice on behalf of himself as well as the people. It is the fact that the "Icon of Christ" offers the Sacrifice of Christ on behalf of the "Icon of Christ" which is incongruous.
The priest takes two roles. It is the fact that the "Icon of Christ" offers the Sacrifice of Christ on behalf of his own human weakness and all other human weakness, while re-enacting the role of Christ drinking it with us. We commemorate all aspects of the Eucharist, Golgotha being the most important.

St. Paul writes in Hebrews 5 the qualifications of priests and mentioning their weaknesses, then attests that their priesthood comes from Christ, quoting the Psalmist concerning the "priesthood forever according to the order of Melchizedek." Christ did not glorify Himself for the priesthood, but the Father did to Him, so also we are called to the priesthood, but we do not choose this honor for ourselves. So this chapter alone proves that priests represent and become icons and images of Christ's priesthood. And get this, priests are weak because they're human persons, but Christ was never weak, but took others' weaknesses, for our sake. So while St. Paul says priests should have compassion to the weak because they're weak, and analogizing our priesthood to Christ's, is he saying Christ is naturally weak?

So the Eucharist is not the Divine Liturgy, but the imitation of the Divine Liturgy? Not in the Church in which I worship it isn't. It is The Divine Liturgy in my Church. I think a big part of your problem with this is a confusion of an Icon with it's prototype. I repeat again: the Eucharist is a Prototype, it is not an "Icon" of anything.
It seems that you missed the point as well. When Christ blesses the Eucharist, where is Christ's body, in the Eucharist or in Him? If both, you have no right to think of the body and blood not present but merely symbolized by bread and wine, since we are not only playing roles, but LIVING it, and when living it, lo and behold, the True Body and True Divine Blood is before us, and we all worship. The Eucharist is not an icon, it is real. We are all icons re-enacting what is real.

It is also not in the Church I worship too. :) The Body and Blood is real.

Same illogical argument: "womanhood leads to sin". This is nonsense. If anything, homosexual transvestites would be most at home at your "re-enactment Eucharist"- they would love dressing up in embroidered vestments and roleplaying!
In the Bible, you can't escape St. Paul's teaching about women's role in submission to men, and how he connects it to things divine. If you want to call someone "anti-womanhood", you would have to go through St. Paul first.

You also can't escape the logical outcomes that came about the Anglican Church. I'm not accusing you of endorsing anything; I'm only showing where your argument produces faults. You misconstrued before and thought I called you Protestant, while I was only alluding to your arguments.

Dear Carpatho,

It is not a mere memorial. Re-read ozgeorge's and my comments. It is a making present a past or future reality. There is a difference in re-enactment and making present. In re-enacting we are watching something that previously happened. In making present, we participate in the actual event, not a re-enactment. As the church sings on major holy days, "Today He is hung upon a tree", "The Virgin gives birth today", etc.
I've also explained that "re-enacting" means "to live whatever is present," or as you put it "to participate in the actual event." Yes, we sing "Today." We have icons to see this, and for the Eucharistic role, the priest would say the same words Christ says "Take, eat/drink all of you..." To me "memorial" does not mean "making present and participating in it." The word "memorial" in English is a weak word, not like amnesis. That is why we have Protestants who confuse this verse.

Maybe you and I are saying the same thing, but when it comes to the debate concerning female priesthood, there seems to be a slight difference even though both leads to true Eucharistic presence of body and blood.

The prayer continues, "Do this in memory of me!" Do what in memory of me? The answer, "Take eat...Take drink", not re-enact the Last Supper.
The fact that the priest says "Do this in memory of me," is he not repeating Christ's words to himself? Whatever "Do this in memory of me" means does not disprove the re-enactment that's being done.

God bless.

Mina
 

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minasoliman said:
I've also explained that "re-enacting" means "to live whatever is present," or as you put it "to participate in the actual event."  Yes, we sing "Today."  We have icons to see this, and for the Eucharistic role, the priest would say the same words Christ says "Take, eat/drink all of you..."
You can't compare icons to the Eucharist. Icons are representations of the proto-type. The Eucharist is the proto-type
minasoliman said:
 To me "memorial" does not mean "making present and participating in it."  The word "memorial" in English is a weak word, not like amnesis.  That is why we have Protestants who confuse this verse.
As for the word memory (memorial, rememrance, etc), answer this question, what do we mean when we sing "Memory Eternal" at the end of the funeral service, parastas, or lity for the dead?
minasoliman said:
Maybe you and I are saying the same thing...
We probably are!
 

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ozgeorge said:
To re-enact the Last Supper, we would have to have only 13 people present, be sitting reclined, the Priest should wash everyone's feet first, we should eat a meal during which we break the bread, and we should drink the wine after the conclusion of the meal, and one of the people present should betray the Priest to the local authorities.
Other than the mass chaos that betraying your priest would cause, this would be the most hilarious scenario EVER! ;D

Sorry I couldn't pass this one up! :D
 

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ozgeorge said:
The problem I think is that some people on this thread assume I am pushing for women's ordination, so rather than looking at what is said, it is immediately dismissed and assumed that the opposite must be true.
Well, I would hope that I hadn't been that "jumpy," but perhaps I was. If I was, George, forgive me. I did catch all those times when you said, "Let's just LOOK at it."

I've said from the start: I know that the Church from the beginning to the present has not ordained women to the Priesthood or Episcopy. However, I don't know whether a male-only priesthood is dogma or not. And the arguments that people use to say it is dogma I find questionable, not because they are a hinderance to women's ordination, but because I think they are a distortion of Orthodox doctrine.
Well, this, I think, will be my last post on this subject (unless the dialogue takes a different turn of sorts), but the issues for me seem to be this:

1) St. Paul states explicitly that women are not to teach or hold authority over men within the Church, and gives theological reasons for it: The Father as the head of Christ, Christ as the head of man, man as the head of woman. To discount the theological reasonings of an Apostle as cultural bias (as some have done, both within and without the Orthodox Church) is to open the door for discounting any and all other such theological reasonings.

2) Fathers since the beginning, have maintained this tradition (for one reason or another). As has been mentioned, St. Ignatius said (I'm obviously paraphrasing) that a parish's willingness to obey the bishop was the same as obeying Christ...the bishop's office as parish president quickly evolved into one of diocese president, with "presbyter" becoming a separate term for those clergy under him. This equalling the bishop and/or those there in his stead as "Christ" shows a very real parallel between the presbyter and Christ; the idea of priest as icon of Christ as well as icon of Ecclesia, it seems, is not that unknown.

3) The role of the presbyter, as icon of Christ, is to re-enact and thereby participate in both the act of the initial Mystic Supper and the reality of Golgotha as a true amnesis memorial. This, of course, means the presbyter offers the sacrifice of Him of Whom he is an icon for his own sins as well as those of the parish, but since he stands as a sort of dual icon, this is to be expected. It is, however, my understanding (as well as that of the majority of the Church at this time) that, as Christ is also the representative of Christ to the people as well as that of the people to Christ in the liturgy, he needs to be male, as has always been the case in Church history.

4) The only reason I can see for the bishops to decide on ordaining women--and thus make it a valid part of our tradition--would be because society today demands it. To me, this is no reason to change, especially when the scriptures, the fathers, and the current role of the presbyter as understood by many (though not all, of course) in the Church goes against this trend, as they do against many other societal trends.
 

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serb1389 said:
Yah what if society finds out that monkeys actually are human beings?  Are we going to accept that and start ordaining them?  ;)
Nah. Don't worry, you are safe! :D ;D
 

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ozgeorge said:
Exasperating, isn't it? Welcome to my world.  :D
Tell me about it...it's why I haven't been keeping up with the conversation like I would want to...some of these 'google scholars' have too much free time on their hands, and I really have neither the time nor energy nor desire to teach Roman/Greek Civ 101. So I've decided not to bother disproving the absurd.

But I believe that I can safely say that anyone who has an open mind and looks at this thread will come to support the ordination of women out of the pure absurdity of the arguments that have here been presented against it. I personally don't know whether to laugh or cry.

The problem I think is that some people on this thread assume I am pushing for women's ordination, so rather than looking at what is said, it is immediately dismissed and assumed that the opposite must be true.
I've said from the start: I know that the Church from the beginning to the present has not ordained women to the Priesthood or Episcopy. However, I don't know whether a male-only priesthood is dogma or not. And the arguments that people use to say it is dogma I find questionable, not  because they are a hinderance to women's ordination, but because I think they are a distortion of Orthodox doctrine.
Reasonable discussion and academic debate? NEVER, did the fathers debate theology? ok, bad example...but you get the point. The zealot is to blinded by emotion to discuss a matter with an open mind. They are right because they believe they're right, and they'll proof text to prove it ;) (at least they haven't brought up so-called monastic elder such-and-such yet...but I'm sure it's comming).
 
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