Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church

Bizzlebin

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ozgeorge said:
Montalban, calm down and listen.
Those who develop what turn out to be heretical teachings also believe they are defending the Truth of the Church's doctrine. No one ever developed an heresy with the direct intention of "attacking the Church". Everyone on both sides of a doctrinal dispute argues that they are supported by Holy Tradition. Heresarchs believed that the Church had slipped into error (eg. just as Nestorius thought that the title "Theotokos" was heresy.) The Church needs heresy in order to clarify the truth apophatically.
It is true that some of the heretics may believe in what they are doing, but as you also said, they believe "that the Church had slipped into error." So, we may identify people quite easily this way: are they teaching what the Church has always taught (Orthodox) or are they saying the Church is wrong, somehow in error (Heretics)? When it is put that way, I think it is quite clear.
 

ozgeorge

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Bizzlebin said:
So, we may identify people quite easily this way: are they teaching what the Church has always taught (Orthodox) or are they saying the Church is wrong, somehow in error (Heretics)? When it is put that way, I think it is quite clear.
I'd be careful about saying that "we may identify people quite easily this way". In our time, some Old Calendarists believe that New Calandarists are "heretics easily identified"- and schisms have resulted.
It is not "quite easy"- it is very difficult. Which is why we have Oecumenical Synods.
 

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ozgeorge said:
I'd be careful about saying that "we may identify people quite easily this way". In our time, some Old Calendarists believe that New Calandarists are "heretics easily identified"- and schisms have resulted.
It is not "quite easy"- it is very difficult. Which is why we have Oecumenical Synods.
But with calendars, the Julian wasn't even the standard in some lands until relatively recently. Since this was not something standard throughout the Church, but varied throughout history and location, it is clearly a local custom. Can the same be said of women's ordination?
 

ozgeorge

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Bizzlebin said:
But with calendars, the Julian wasn't even the standard in some lands until relatively recently. Since this was not something standard throughout the Church, but varied throughout history and location, it is clearly a local custom. Can the same be said of women's ordination?
Up until the end of the fourth century, Deaconesses baptised catechumens until the Apostolic Constitutions made this a function of the Priest only. So it cannot be said that women have never celebrated the Mysteria (Sacraments) of the Church. Should we take this to be an argument in favour of women's ordination, since women have not always been excluded from administering a Sacrament of the Church? According to her hagiography, St. Paraskevi of Rome was not only a great missionary preacher, she baptised the Emperor Antoninus Pius. Have we somehow forgotten this tradition? Or rather is the Church teaching "not now" rather than "never"?
 

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ozgeorge said:
Up until the end of the fourth century, Deaconesses baptised catechumens until the Apostolic Constitutions made this a function of the Priest only. So it cannot be said that women have never celebrated the Mysteria (Sacraments) of the Church. Should we take this to be an argument in favour of women's ordination, since women have not always been excluded from administering a Sacrament of the Church?
Deaconesses assisted in the baptism of female parishoners for obvious reasons, not performed theSacrament in it's entirety. If this function is restored, that is quite fine, but anything beyond that is not what the Church has taught from the beginning.
 

ozgeorge

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Bizzlebin said:
Deaconesses assisted in the baptism of female parishoners for obvious reasons, not performed the entire Sacrament in it's entirety. If this function is restored, that is quite fine, but anything beyond that is not what the Church has taught from the beginning.
An Australian Greek Orthodox Theologian (who, by the way, actually opposes women's ordination) disagrees with your view of history:
ANGELO NICOLAIDES said:
"By the end of the fourth century the Apostolic Constitutions dictated that women no longer baptize as this was now considered the function of a priest. Deaconesses would serve as a go-between, intermediating between other women and officials of the Ekklesia. " Source (emphasis added).
So if even the history of the Church's position on this is disputed by those who oppose women's ordination, why should I accept any one's personal opinion of what the Holy Tradition of the Church actually is?
See, not so "easy" is it? ;)
 

Bizzlebin

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ozgeorge said:
An Australian Greek Orthodox Theologian (who, by the way, actually opposes women's ordination) disagrees with your view of history:
So if even the history of the Church's position on this is disputed by those who oppose women's ordination, why should I accept any one's personal opinion of what the Holy Tradition of the Church actually is?
See, not so "easy" is it? ;)
I was speaking mainly of the third century, hence why he spoke of the change at the time of the fourth. But did you notice that at neither time were women ordained? There are indeed some complex issues here, but the Church's stance on women's ordination never changed.
 

ozgeorge

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Bizzlebin said:
but the Church's stance on women's ordination never changed.
Assuming it is a "stance" intended to teach a dogma.
No evidence of women's ordination is not evidence against women's ordination.
Edit: and I think we should clarify that we mean "women's ordination to the priesthood" since Deaconesses were ordained by cheirotonia.
 

Bizzlebin

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ozgeorge said:
Assuming it is a "stance" intended to teach a dogma.
No evidence of women's ordination is not evidence against women's ordination.
Edit: and I think we should clarify that we mean "women's ordination to the priesthood" since Deaconesses were ordained by cheirotonia.
It is evidence, because it was not part of the Gospel delivered to the Church, or a related doctrine.

Of course, I think we know what we mean :p
 

montalban

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ozgeorge said:
Montalban, calm down and listen.
How about giving the advice a bit of a rest (I know that makes for irony, advising you to knock off the advice)
ozgeorge said:
Those who develop what turn out to be heretical teachings also believe they are defending the Truth of the Church's doctrine.No one ever developed an heresy with the direct intention of "attacking the Church". Everyone on both sides of a doctrinal dispute argues that they are supported by Holy Tradition. Heresarchs believed that the Church had slipped into error (eg. just as Nestorius thought that the title "Theotokos" was heresy.) The Church needs heresy in order to clarify the truth apophatically. And what's more, your teaching that heresy is not required for the Church to clarify the truthis itself a heresy which contradicts Apostolic teaching:"For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you." (1 Corinthians 11:19)
Ah, so you're providing a service for the church. By speculating, and raising questions that no one else is, about women's ordination; by creating issues where there are none, you hope that the church might categorically rule one way or the other and thus be strengthened! You're doing a great service.

I again thank you.
 

montalban

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ozgeorge said:
Up until the end of the fourth century, Deaconesses baptised catechumens until the Apostolic Constitutions made this a function of the Priest only. So it cannot be said that women have never celebrated the Mysteria (Sacraments) of the Church. Should we take this to be an argument in favour of women's ordination, since women have not always been excluded from administering a Sacrament of the Church? According to her hagiography, St. Paraskevi of Rome was not only a great missionary preacher, she baptised the Emperor Antoninus Pius. Have we somehow forgotten this tradition? Or rather is the Church teaching "not now" rather than "never"?
In the Book of Acts , a deacon, Philip baptises an Ethiopian BUT he does not lay hands on him. The laying on of hands is done by Apostles. They are clearly different roles right at the beginning of the church. Few here have questioned women acting as a deaconess. You simply shift from the OP which is about ordination of priests to 'ordination' per se.
 

montalban

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So in summary OzGeorge is on an heroic quest to strengthen the Orthodox Church by raising questions about ordaining women as priests. His evidence for this is that some women might have served in other roles. Great! There's no connection there.

When offered evidence about the fact only men have acted as priests there's a number of counter-arguments;
a) too busy to assess the evidence
b) the evidence might be true, but it was just got at by web-searching
c) attempts to develop other arguments in order to add to speculation (because we now know that speculation has only made the church stronger)
 

montalban

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Bizzlebin said:
It is evidence, because it was not part of the Gospel delivered to the Church, or a related doctrine.
Some have trouble separating Holy Tradition from traditions; by continually referring back to the fact that 'traditions' have changed (e.g. the inclusion of pews in churches, etc.)
 

montalban

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Bizzlebin said:
I was speaking mainly of the third century, hence why he spoke of the change at the time of the fourth. But did you notice that at neither time were women ordained? There are indeed some complex issues here, but the Church's stance on women's ordination never changed.
A small goal-shift has happened. It happened so gradually I didn't even notice it till now.

The OP is about the ordination of women as priests. I took this as read. So too, it seems most people here have discussed the 'ordination of women' in that light, NOT the ordination of women into any office ('per se'). OzGeorge has now blurred the issue by shifting from 'priests' to 'in general' and no one's caught up with this and so he is able to present evidence for one, in order to discuss the other.

So the statement 'the Church's stance on women's ordination never changed' is correct in relation to the OP.

When asked for evidence on this issue, he's now presented evidence on the other. This is the second series of goal-shifts that he's attempted.

The first was to discuss changes in 'traditions' to prove changes in 'Holy Tradition'. When people have discussed that the institution of the priesthood is a part of Holy Tradition, and therefore never changed, he's discussed the fact churches now have pews.

This seems to be the 'best' argument I can see for change - when I've asked why Orthodoxy should in fact change, to have women priests.

So in dealing with this topic, the best evidences for changing the strictures on one thing we've got arguments about changes in others. And the reason for this it seems, is because by raising this as an 'issue' where it wasn't before, that perhaps it might strengthen the church! ???
 

ozgeorge

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Bizzlebin said:
It is evidence, because it was not part of the Gospel delivered to the Church, or a related doctrine.
Neither was the depiction of Icons until the Seventh Oecumenical Council- was that evidence which should have led to a triumph of Iconoclasm?
 

montalban

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ozgeorge said:
Neither was the depiction of Icons until the Seventh Oecumenical Council- was that evidence which should have led to a triumph of Iconoclasm?
Iconaclasm, as you already noted, only became an issue because of the influence of an outside force; Islam.

So, given that there was no 'problem' in the church until caused by such, I don't see what your point here is.
 

ozgeorge

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montalban said:
So, given that there was no 'problem' in the church until caused by such, I don't see what your point here is.
If you follow the discussion between Bizzelbin and myself, you will note that the sequence of thought is as follows:
1) I agreed with Bizzelbin's position that the Church has never changed it's stance on the ordination of women to the priesthood, but said that this does not constitute evidence that a male only priesthood is a dogma. I said "No evidence of women's ordination is not evidence against women's ordination."
2) Bizzelbin said that there are no records in the Gospels or related documents of women's ordination to the priesthood.
3) I replied that there is no evidence in the Gospels or related documents in favour of depicting Icons.

So the "point" is that the dogmas about Icons were clarified despite the silence in "the Gospels and related documents" about the use of Holy Images; so therefore, a silence in "the Gospels and related documents" about the ordination of women to the priesthood cannot be construed as being clear evidence against it.
 

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ozgeorge said:
If you follow the discussion between Bizzelbin and myself, you will note that the sequence of thought is as follows:
1) I agreed with Bizzelbin's position that the Church has never changed it's stance on the ordination of women to the priesthood, but said that this does not constitute evidence that a male only priesthood is a dogma. I said "No evidence of women's ordination is not evidence against women's ordination."
2) Bizzelbin said that there are no records in the Gospels or related documents of women's ordination to the priesthood.
3) I replied that there is no evidence in the Gospels or related documents in favour of depicting Icons.

So the "point" is that the dogmas about Icons were clarified despite the silence in "the Gospels and related documents" about the use of Holy Images; so therefore, a silence in "the Gospels and related documents" about the ordination of women to the priesthood cannot be construed as being clear evidence against it.
When did something have to be written "in the Gospels or related documents" for it to be a practice of the Orthodox Church?
 

greekischristian

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montalban said:
So we come now to the topic at hand. The ordination of women. The church has always had the ordination of men only. It doesn't 'need' an outside source/force to come along start questioning 'why?' so as to make it need to justify what it's always held to believe.
The Church has never existed in a vacuum, it has long interacted with the world and has been challenged by the world, Paul in his evangelism welcomed these challenges...why don't we? If we are concerned about truth, the source of the challenge is irrelevant, we will give it an objective theological evaluation regardless. The Church is certainly the source of much revelation from God, but it is not the only one, Creation itself is also a revelation and science is the uncovering of this revelation, such things deserve to be heeded for they too can reveal to us cosmology, ontology, and theology.
 
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