Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church

montalban

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ozgeorge said:
Again with the homosexual thing! What on earth does that have to do with the question of women's ordination? You are talking about a sin here. You do realise that being born a woman is not a sin, nor is it any less human or holy than being born a man, don't you?..... You do realise that you are comparing a consequence of the Fall (homosexuality) with something God has created in His own Image (womankind)......or do you?
You raise your own side issues (see post above).
 

montalban

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ozgeorge said:
I fully agree with you here. But as pointed out, what you and others seem to be doing on this thread is taking St. Pauls words in isolation from what we know to be ontologically true about men and women in Christ.
Post #753
montalban said:
Oh, and they're given again...
Post #151
Yet every couple of days someone will pop up and say "Where's the evidence?" ???
I was wrong. It wasn't a matter of days before you made the same call for evidence to be presented.
 

montalban

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Pedro said:
People have said that these are not the same issues, and they're right. They then say (I'm not saying that ozgeorge or anyone else is) that people are always playing the "gay card" in conversations about women's ordination, and they consider this a "low blow" or strawman. Yet, the common reason given for inquiry into these issues--that culture has changed and thus we should reexamine and dialogue about these issues--makes them very much related, though they be not identical.
In principle that is the nature of OzGeorge's speculation-in-light-of-modernity.
 

ozgeorge

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Montablan,
Multiple posts do not make what you say true. In fact- it closely resembles "spamming"....hmmmmm.
montalban said:
So in summary of OzGeorge's argument is that he's here simply to ask a question because it's an issue that needs to be resolved. Although he's the only one here raising it as an issue; so that's self-fulfilling prophecy.
Umm.  I'm only one? Not only am I not the "only one" on this thread, I am not the "only one" in the Church. Do Rhodes 1988 and Constantinople 1997 ring a bell? It was mentioned on this thread, perhaps you missed that.
 

montalban

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ozgeorge said:
No, they will probably ask again: "Why does the Church permit divorce for reasons other than adultery?"
If Christ's words are not "evidence" that divorce is only permissible in cases of adultery, why are St. Paul's words evidence that women should not be priests? You were asked this before. The validity of your evidence was challenged before- and yet you still harp on it.
I should point out for others that are interested (you seem not to notice evidence when it's put forward) that one Orthodox church I cited on divorce is 'liberal' enough in its interpretation to deem that unfaithfulness can be in matters non-sexual; say for e.g. a man who leaves his wife to go to the bet on the greyhounds every night. He is showing his love for something other than her, despite the Bible saying that a husband should love his wife as Christ loved us
 

montalban

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ozgeorge said:
Montablan,
Multiple posts do not make what you say true. In fact- it closely resembles "spamming"....hmmmmm.
Given that every couple of days you re-work other people's arguments you're heading deep into irony country re: spam.
 

montalban

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Firstly, did they meet to discuss women priests? This suggests that they met to discuss the diaconate

In doing so they reaffirmed the role of men and women so as to allay fears of a modernist movement.
Let's look at the findings...
"The consultation reaffirmed the "male character of the ‘sacramental’ priesthood", citing "these ecclesiastically rooted positions":
on the example of our Lord Jesus Christ, who did not select any women as one of His Apostles;

on the example of the Theotokos, who did not exercise the sacramental priestly function in the Church, even though she was made worthy to become the Mother of the Incarnate Son and the Word of God;

on the Apostolic Tradition, according to which the Apostles, following the example of the Lord, never ordained any women to this special priesthood in the Church;

on some Pauline teachings concerning the place of women in the Church, and

on the criterion of analogy, according to which, if the exercise of the sacramental priesthood by women were permitted, then it should have been exercised by the Theotokos (IV,14)"
http://www.wcc-coe.org/wcc/who/vilemov-08-e.html
It's very interesting you mention them as you seem intent on arguing against yourself.
 

montalban

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I can play devil's advocate too! If I were into speculation like you I'd have raised the issue of Romans 16:7
Greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=romans%2016;&version=9;
Junia is a woman name (as recognised in http://www.antiochian.org/wordhtml/200403_12.html) *

However in a newer translation (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=romans%2016;&version=31;) the name is given as Junias. And OrthodoxWiki (http://www2.orthodoxwiki.org/Apostles) states that they were all men.

(and the term is deemed to be a lesser term...
The word Apostle has also in the New Testament a larger meaning, and denotes some inferior disciples who, under the direction of the Apostles, preached the Gospel, or contributed to its diffusion; thus Barnabas (Acts 14:4, 14), probably Andronicus and Junias (Romans 16:7), Epaphroditus (Phil., ii, 25), two unknown Christians who were delegated for the collection in Corinth (2 Corinthians 7:23). We know not why the honourable name of Apostle is not given to such illustrious missionaries as Timothy, Titus, and others who would equally merit it.
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01626c.htm


* - This site doesn't help OzGeorge on women's ordination as they recognise the male-only nature of the role.
 

ozgeorge

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montalban said:
This site doesn't help OzGeorge on women's ordination as they recognise the male-only nature of the role.
Why are you talking about me in third person, rather than addressing me directly? I find it quite rude. It's almost as if it is not the issue of the Ordination of Women that you wish to oppose, but rather, you simply wish to oppose me. I'm not the problem montablan.
And despite your multiple posts and all this verbosity, you have still failed to answer the question posed to you three pages ago:
PeterTheAleut said:
That may be true, but it doesn't answer my question, the question I believe Ozgeorge is also asking you.  Why is our traditional practice in itself a statement of dogma such that we can excommunicate those who disagree?
Because your only response- again - was that "it is tradition". Well, like everyone has pointed out to you, this is a circular argument. "It is tradition" only means "it is tradition"- it doesn't mean "it is dogma".
 

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ozgeorge said:
Again with the homosexual thing! What on earth does that have to do with the question of women's ordination? You are talking about a sin here. You do realise that being born a woman is not a sin, nor is it any less human or holy than being born a man, don't you?..... You do realise that you are comparing a consequence of the Fall (homosexuality) with something God has created in His own Image (womankind)......or do you?
Of course I do.  And I (apparently correctly) guessed that you would react the way that you just did when I stated folks complain "that people are always playing the 'gay card' in conversations about women's ordination, and they consider this a 'low blow' or strawman."  You ask if I know that they are, in fact, two different issues--homosexuality being a sin and femaleness being something God has called good.  As I said, of course I do.  I do.  But can you at least concede that not all Christians out there consider homosexuality to be a sin, and that the reason many dismiss the Pauline (and patristic) prohibitions against homosexuality is precisely because they perceive them to be culturally motivated, and so call for a reexamination of the practice based on this reason

IOW, if we can raise the charge that the idea, "Women must be excluded from the priesthood based on their gender" is primarily motivated by apostolic and patristic misogynism, it is only fair to raise the charge that the idea "The homosexual orientation and lifestyle is sinful" is primarily motivated by apostolic and patristic homophobia.

(NOTE: I did not say that womanness is wrong; merely women in the priesthood)

Both of these issues are raised repeatedly by St. Paul, he speaks fairly clearly about them to several different congregations, and the fathers have, on both issues, been very consistent regarding the Church's stance on both issues throughout history--so the idea that these issues are mere regional pastoralism (to coin a phrase) seems rather weak to me. 

I concede, sir, that a synod would be beneficial (though not necessary) to put the matters to rest officially, but I would question the need to bring the matters up in the first place.  We could always fall back on the way St. Paul ended an issue: "If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice—nor do the churches of God."
 

ozgeorge

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Pedro said:
But can you at least concede that not all Christians out there consider homosexuality to be a sin, and that the reason many dismiss the Pauline (and patristic) prohibitions against homosexuality is precisely because they perceive them to be culturally motivated, and so call for a reexamination of the practice based on this reason?
Absolutely, I can concede that. But Pedro, I am undecided on the issue of women priests, and yet I am decided on the sinfulness of homosexuality. And it's not because I have only been exposed to one type of culture and not the other. My position on both issues is based on what I know theologically, not culturally. I believe homosexuality is a result of the Fall because of what I know ontologically, not culturally, so what difference does it make that others may come to different conclusions because of culture?

 

ozgeorge

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Pedro said:
Both of these issues are raised repeatedly by St. Paul, he speaks fairly clearly about them to several different congregations,...
I concede, sir....
I haven't been knighted (yet), so you don't have to call me "sir" (yet). ;)
If the Church has not contradicted the very clear teaching of Christ by permitting divorce for reasons other than adultery, why is this rather strange and nebulous reference by St. Paul to women covering their heads and not talking in Church (and yet, they are permitted to prophesy in Church) taken as "clear evidence" against women priests? I just don't get it.
 

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ozgeorge said:
PeterTheAleut said:
montalban said:
Jesus chose men for a reason. He only chose men for a reason. I don't believe that Jesus acted without intent
That may be true, but it doesn't answer my question, the question I believe Ozgeorge is also asking you.  Why is our traditional practice in itself a statement of dogma such that we can excommunicate those who disagree?
And despite your multiple posts and all this verbosity, you have still failed to answer the question posed to you three pages ago:Because your only response- again - was that "it is tradition". Well, like everyone has pointed out to you, this is a circular argument. "It is tradition" only means "it is tradition"- it doesn't mean "it is dogma".
EXACTLY.  This is what I've been trying to bring out.


Montalban,

With all due respect, it appears to me that the reason 2000 years of traditional practice of an all-male priesthood is dogma per se is that you interpret it this way.  In your desire to make a dogmatic proclamation on this issue, you just can't see the tradition as anything less than the dogma you seek to proclaim.  It's all about you, not the evidence.  Ozgeorge and I can look at the same exact evidence that you see yet draw a different conclusion from the evidence.  Are we wrong to disagree with you in our final interpretations of the evidence?

Now let me rephrase the question Ozgeorge and I have been asking you.  Why do you see our 2000-year tradition of excluding women from the priesthood as an actual dogma in and of itself when other people do not?


(As an aside, I think the above explains very well your continued assertion that you have provided evidence for your dogmatic position many times in answer to Ozgeorge's and others' repeated requests for evidence.  You sincerely believe that you are answering their questions, yet they find your answers unsatisfactory and unconvincing, so you appear to them to not be answering their questions.  They see the evidence you provide, but what they really want is evidence that proves correct your interpretation of the evidence.  I know what I'm talking about, because I am one of them.)
 

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ozgeorge said:
why is this rather strange and nebulous reference by St. Paul to women covering their heads and not talking in Church (and yet, they are permitted to prophesy in Church) taken as "clear evidence" against women priests? I just don't get it.
Actually, the two things I said St. Paul spoke equally clearly against was women teaching in Church--which is not the same as prophecy, since the former was a permanent ministry of the Church and the latter temporary--and homosexuality.

For me, I suppose it boils down to this: either women in the pastoral role of the Church is meant to be for males as per apostolic and patristic witness for an uninterrupted 2000 years, or the entire Church was caught preaching error during that whole time, up until this enlightened age of so-called "gender equality."  This smacks of reformation ideals--that the Church went off the rails and needed to be corrected hundreds of years later by the reformers--which claim the Church did NOT receive the fullness of truth.  If the whole Church can teach this--and the whole Church has taught this since the beginning, w/ or w/out an Ecumenical Council to elevate it to "official doctrinal status,"--from the beginning of the faith, to call it into question now questions the wisdom and revelation experienced by the apostles and early fathers.

If St. Paul speaks so strongly about this issue--as strongly as he does re: homosexuality and other errant practices, to feel justified in calling for a reexamination of a clearly apostolic doctrine opens up the floodgates for anything ancient to be questioned just because "we don't see it that way anymore."
 

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montalban said:
Specifically, you've avoided mine AND gone back to repeating the claim that you can't know the difference between Tradition and traditions.
Not all Orthodox make this distinction.  In fact, a good number of our traditionalists (i.e., Fr. Seraphim Rose) consider this distinction to be a product of modernism.  To many traditionalists, it's all Tradition.  Try to make a distinction between Tradition and traditions, and you run the risk of throwing out all of Tradition.  (Personally, I don't hold to this mindset, but I respect it.)

Now you've said that you yourself don't believe in the Ordination of Women (to the priesthood). I've asked you twice now why you don't. If you could provide an answer it might help people understand your position on this subject. (this makes it now the third time I've asked you).
In Ozgeorge's defense, he has admitted to not being an advocate of women's ordination.  This does not mean that he does not believe in or that he opposes women's ordination.  It's possible for Ozgeorge in his current ambivalence to not be an advocate of women's ordination yet at the same time not be an opponent of women's ordination, either.  (Again, it comes down to how you interpret his words.)  He hasn't made up his mind one way or the other what he believes on the issue, so he has chosen wisely to not advocate one side or the other.
 

ozgeorge

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Pedro said:
I said St. Paul spoke equally clearly against was women teaching in Church--which is not the same as prophecy, since the former was a permanent ministry of the Church and the latter temporary.....
But that means that this "clear" teaching of St. Paul was actually meant to say:
"I forbid a woman to speak in the Church in the future after the gift of prophesy is no longer a ministry, but for now I permit women to prophesy in Church, but not to speak....."
....It's still clear as mud to me.
 

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Pedro said:
to feel justified in calling for a reexamination of a clearly apostolic doctrine opens up the floodgates for anything ancient to be questioned just because "we don't see it that way anymore."
I can see your concern, but why are you not as concerned that the Apostolic teaching of Deaconesses has been abandoned for the time being by the Church? ;)
So even if St. Paul's teaching was "clear", as far as the Church goes, "not now" does not mean "never", and "now" does not mean "always"- as is the case with Deaconesses.
The only things in the Church which are "now and forever" are the Dogmas which are the same "yesterday and today" and in eternity. So, like montablan, I'm afraid you have to show that a male-only priesthood is a dogma.
 

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ozgeorge said:
The only things in the Church which are "now and forever" are the Dogmas which are the same "yesterday and today" and in eternity. So, like montablan, I'm afraid you have to show that a male-only priesthood is a dogma.
Ozgeorge,

Since you and I are both following this same line of questioning why some here seem to view our traditional practice as bearing the weight of dogma, let me take a crack at providing a definition of dogma that encapsulates both your and my questions.  Please let me know if you agree with this.

A dogma is a supremely authoritative proclamation of eternal truth that is binding upon all Christians.  As such, a dogma is infallible, beyond further question, non-negotiable, and irrevocable.  A proclamation of dogma also requires that corresponding anathemas be proclaimed against those who teach conflicting doctrines or even follow those who teach these conflicting doctrines.  Such teachers and their followers are branded as heretics. 

Now, George, is this faithful to the definition of dogma as you use the term in your questions?
 

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To that definition, I would add that one can still be an Orthodox Christian and hold a contrary opinion than that traditional stance on women's ordination to priesthood.  In fact Bishop Kallistos Ware and others have opened up the question; I don't see anyone condemning then as heretics.  On the other hand, a person could NOT continue to be an Orthodox Christian if they refuse to venerate icons.
 

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ozgeorge said:
But that means that this "clear" teaching of St. Paul was actually meant to say:
"I forbid a woman to speak in the Church in the future after the gift of prophesy is no longer a ministry, but for now I permit women to prophesy in Church, but not to speak....."
....It's still clear as mud to me.
Well, you yourself said that there were prophetesses mentioned in Scripture, so through this particular ministry, certain women were speaking in the Holy Spirit.  But prophesies will pass away, as St. Paul says in I Cor. 13, and indeed, the gift of prophecy is barely mentioned (if at all; I can't remember exactly) in the early Fathers.  This is not the same office as "pastor and teacher" (Eph. 4:11), an office which St. Paul exhorted St. Timothy to continue (I Tim. 4:13) and which he specifically stated was to be held exclusively by males.

ozgeorge said:
I can see your concern, but why are you not as concerned that the Apostolic teaching of Deaconesses has been abandoned for the time being by the Church? ;)
You might mean the apostolic office of deaconness, but I get the point.  ;) ;D  Hey, I am all for the revival of the office of deaconness as it was practiced in the early Church--which is not the same, as has been noted previously in this unbelieveably massive thread, as the sacramental, male deaconate--since there is obvious precedent for it within the Church, then it's perfectly within our scope to reinstate...and might actually benefit the increased role of women within other parachurch activities that truly help a parish run.  I would love to see "St. Xenia's Women's Group, led by Dns. Nina" on Church newsletters.  I think it'd be a great thing.

ozgeorge said:
So even if St. Paul's teaching was "clear", as far as the Church goes, "not now" does not mean "never", and "now" does not mean "always"- as is the case with Deaconesses.  The only things in the Church which are "now and forever" are the Dogmas which are the same "yesterday and today" and in eternity. So, like montablan, I'm afraid you have to show that a male-only priesthood is a dogma.
Which, I admit, I obviously cannot do, since the requirement w/in this thread (as I understand it) is that a belief must be declared dogma by an Ecumenical Council/Pan-Orthodox Synod, and such is not the case with gender roles w/in the priesthood.  I'd just remind everyone, however, that, as has been mentioned before, the feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos was never declared a dogma or a part of our "official," Pan-Orthodox tradition by any such council or synod, yet I don't know of anyone who would consider that feast or event as "up for debate" within the Church.  The liturgical tradition of the Church is itself a kind of "sealer of the deal" which, for us, makes a law of faith out of that which is prayed.  The same could be said (and often is) for the gender of the priests/bishops, the prayers of consecration for which always address the one being ordained/consecrated as a male.

Νεκτάριος said:
To that definition, I would add that one can still be an Orthodox Christian and hold a contrary opinion than that traditional stance on women's ordination to priesthood.  In fact Bishop Kallistos Ware and others have opened up the question; I don't see anyone condemning then as heretics.  On the other hand, a person could NOT continue to be an Orthodox Christian if they refuse to venerate icons.
True; so our stance on women's ordination is not dogma, per se, but while Orthodox Christians are free to hold to this non-traditional theologoumenon, I would consider such a desire to question such an original, truly apostolic, and uninterrupted tradition to be...unwise, at best.
 

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ozgeorge said:
Why are you talking about me in third person, rather than addressing me directly? I find it quite rude. It's almost as if it is not the issue of the Ordination of Women that you wish to oppose, but rather, you simply wish to oppose me. I'm not the problem montablan.
Rudeness: pot calling kettle black? Some people are intent to continually demand evidences that have already been presented.

ozgeorge said:
And despite your multiple posts and all this verbosity, you have still failed to answer the question posed to you three pages ago:Because your only response- again - was that "it is tradition". Well, like everyone has pointed out to you, this is a circular argument. "It is tradition" only means "it is tradition"- it doesn't mean "it is dogma".
Given that I’ve posted evidences from the Bible, church fathers and so on then the claim made here about a lack of evidence is false.

To continually say that I’ve only said “It’s tradition” is in light of the fact I’ve posted links to where I’ve said more quite amazing to this writer.
 

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PeterTheAleut said:
That may be true, but it doesn't answer my question, the question I believe Ozgeorge is also asking you.  Why is our traditional practice in itself a statement of dogma such that we can excommunicate those who disagree?
I’ve already stated that the fullness of teaching was given to the Apostles. When the church argued in Council the preannouncement was always “This is what we’ve always taught” (they didn’t always evidence earlier councils, but rather pointed to the long history of what has been taught). This is

PeterTheAleut said:
And despite your multiple posts and all this verbosity, you have still failed to answer the question posed to you three pages ago: Because your only response- again - was that "it is tradition". Well, like everyone has pointed out to you, this is a circular argument. "It is tradition" only means "it is tradition"- it doesn't mean "it is dogma".

EXACTLY.  This is what I've been trying to bring out.
This is simply a false claim. I’ve cited Church Fathers on the issue. So have others. Another cited the Apostolic Constitution. I’ve no idea why you and he would continue to pretend that this has not been done. It is deemed dogma, because it’s always been taught, and it’s not contradictory to the Bible/teachings of Christ, and it’s known that the Apostles taught only after they had the fullness of knowledge of the truth.

I’m still considered new to this forum and perhaps that this is the accepted way of debate. Ignoring evidences and trying all arguments at once.

As recently as post #752 I’ve re-cited evidence from Scripture. Post #747 I’ve re-cited evidence to show that the idea of female priests was not foreign to the ancients which was originally re-cited by another poster. Post #748 I re-cited evidence from the Apostolic Constitutions, which was originally cited by another poster. And all this evidence has been cited several times in light of OzGeorge continuing mantra “Where’s the evidence?”

I guess this too will fall on deaf ears. Perhaps it’s the intent to simply out-post others by repeating obviously false claims.

To this you and he simply say that
a) this is all my interpretation of history
and
b) I’ve cited no evidence but my claim that it’s a tradition (which you say is based only on my interpretation).

So in short you’ve attempted an emotional argument; that it’s lone-wolf Montalban against a number of posters here. You’ve tried here an horrendously inaccurate re-working of my argument.

I’ve also been called rude. I think that reworking of one’s argument is totally not warranted.
 

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Pedro said:
I concede, sir, that a synod would be beneficial (though not necessary) to put the matters to rest officially, but I would question the need to bring the matters up in the first place.  We could always fall back on the way St. Paul ended an issue: "If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice—nor do the churches of God."
Quite right that this does not need to be raised. Even when I cite information about meetings held where it has been raised (Post #766; see below) he ignores that they simply confirm the position taken by traditionalists.

I note too that OzGeorge has nothing further to say when I quote him stating that everything is subject to change (in Orthodoxy)

It will be only a short time before my argument is re-worked into ‘just tradition’.


Appendix….
"The consultation reaffirmed the "male character of the ‘sacramental’ priesthood", citing "these ecclesiastically rooted positions":
on the example of our Lord Jesus Christ, who did not select any women as one of His Apostles;

on the example of the Theotokos, who did not exercise the sacramental priestly function in the Church, even though she was made worthy to become the Mother of the Incarnate Son and the Word of God;

on the Apostolic Tradition, according to which the Apostles, following the example of the Lord, never ordained any women to this special priesthood in the Church;

on some Pauline teachings concerning the place of women in the Church, and

on the criterion of analogy, according to which, if the exercise of the sacramental priesthood by women were permitted, then it should have been exercised by the Theotokos (IV,14)"
http://www.wcc-coe.org/wcc/who/vilemov-08-e.html
 

PeterTheAleut

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montalban said:
I’ve already stated that the fullness of teaching was given to the Apostles. When the church argued in Council the preannouncement was always “This is what we’ve always taught” (they didn’t always evidence earlier councils, but rather pointed to the long history of what has been taught).
And this is why I do consider our traditional practice authoritative.  I just won't go so far as to judge as heretics those who believe otherwise, which to me is the essence of dogmaticism.  You see traditional practice as dogma per se; I see it as an authoritative foundation for the proclamation of dogma if such becomes necessary in the future.  Fine distinction though this may be, I think this is an important distinction that needs to be explored.

This is simply a false claim. I’ve cited Church Fathers on the issue. So have others. Another cited the Apostolic Constitution. I’ve no idea why you and he would continue to pretend that this has not been done. It is deemed dogma, because it’s always been taught, and it’s not contradictory to the Bible/teachings of Christ, and it’s known that the Apostles taught only after they had the fullness of knowledge of the truth.
Speaking only for myself, I am not one of those who denies that you have provided evidence for your position.  You've provided an overwhelming amount of evidence, as far as I can see.  I don't know that I consider some of the evidence you've provided as satisfactory in answering my questions, but I do commend you for at least providing an answer.

But you say, "it is deemed dogma."  I still wonder, even in light of all the evidence you've given us, if this is not just you "deeming it dogma."  I will reiterate that many of us will read the same evidence that you have before you and still come to different conclusions based on the evidence--this is inevitable.

I’m still considered new to this forum and perhaps that this is the accepted way of debate. Ignoring evidences and trying all arguments at once.
Despite what my posts may indicate, I do not ignore your evidence.  I may disagree with your conclusions based on the evidence, but I certainly don't ignore it.

As recently as post #752 I’ve re-cited evidence from Scripture. Post #747 I’ve re-cited evidence to show that the idea of female priests was not foreign to the ancients which was originally re-cited by another poster. Post #748 I re-cited evidence from the Apostolic Constitutions, which was originally cited by another poster. And all this evidence has been cited several times in light of OzGeorge continuing mantra “Where’s the evidence?”
Maybe Ozgeorge doesn't know exactly how to say he finds the evidence you provide unsatisfactory.  I can't speak for him, though, since I can't read his mind.

I guess this too will fall on deaf ears. Perhaps it’s the intent to simply out-post others by repeating obviously false claims.

To this you and he simply say that
a) this is all my interpretation of history
and
b) I’ve cited no evidence but my claim that it’s a tradition (which you say is based only on my interpretation).
In light of my intent behind my questions, which is really difficult to communicate on an internet forum, your initial answers to my question seemed like no more than circular reasoning.  I'm beginning to see now that you are not arguing solely from 2000 years of "we've always done it this way."  I consider the evidence from the Scriptures and Apostolic Fathers that you've included in your most recent posts to be valid evidence that breaks the circular reasoning you showed earlier, even if I don't elevate their tradition to the level of dogma as you do.

So in short you’ve attempted an emotional argument; that it’s lone-wolf Montalban against a number of posters here. You’ve tried here an horrendously inaccurate re-working of my argument.

I’ve also been called rude. I think that reworking of one’s argument is totally not warranted.
No, I've not attempted an emotional argument.  No, I've not reworked your argument, because I agree that doing so is not warranted.  In this instance there are just two of us questioning how you came to the conclusions you've stated.  You scrutinize the logic of other posters like no other; your reasoning should be able to withstand this same amount of scrutiny when it comes back around to you.
 

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True; so our stance on women's ordination is not dogma, per se, but while Orthodox Christians are free to hold to this non-traditional theologoumenon, I would consider such a desire to question such an original, truly apostolic, and uninterrupted tradition to be...unwise, at best.
My personal position is that the ordination of women to the priesthood is not possible - should it occur, I believe the pan-Orthodox response would be to condemn it. ÂÂ

That being said, I think there is a danger in being too rigid about that which has not clearly defined.  Furthermore there were no preemptive ecumenical councils; they were a response to an heresy that had already arisen.  While this is a popular topic for some academics to bring up, Orthodox parishes don't even have famale altar servers.  If I had to bet (and I'm not entirely sure where to place bets on ecclesiastical matters!) this trend among some pushing for female ordination will die out before it makes an serious inroads in the Church - and if that isn't the case, a pan-Orthodox synod can still remedy the situation. ÂÂ
 

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PeterTheAleut said:
And this is why I do consider our traditional practice authoritative.  I just won't go so far as to judge as heretics those who believe otherwise, which to me is the essence of dogmaticism.  You see traditional practice as dogma per se; I see it as an authoritative foundation for the proclamation of dogma if such becomes necessary in the future.  Fine distinction though this may be, I think this is an important distinction that needs to be explored.
Speaking only for myself, I am not one of those who denies that you have provided evidence for your position.  You've provided an overwhelming amount of evidence, as far as I can see.  I don't know that I consider some of the evidence you've provided as satisfactory in answering my questions, but I do commend you for at least providing an answer.
This is a commendable approach. It doesn't matter in one sense that we might disagree on an issue or two, but it's a vastly different response you give here than another's claim that no evidence has been put forward.
PeterTheAleut said:
But you say, "it is deemed dogma."  I still wonder, even in light of all the evidence you've given us, if this is not just you "deeming it dogma."  I will reiterate that many of us will read the same evidence that you have before you and still come to different conclusions based on the evidence--this is inevitable.
Despite what my posts may indicate, I do not ignore your evidence.  I may disagree with your conclusions based on the evidence, but I certainly don't ignore it.
I believe that dogma is not just a formal statement by Ecumenical Council. I noted this earlier too. Holy Tradition is dogma, if not 'defined' well in one all conclusive statement. With this approach (I've mentioned in post #628 which no one addressed)
montalban said:
If it is the case that dogma in the Orthodox Church has only been defined by Ecumenical Council when there's been a challenge by heresy, then when there's no challenge, and the teaching is accepted, and has always been accepted, it's not going to be subject of 'definition' by Council.

So, the 'lack of evidence' (as far as formalized*** dogma is concerned) is simply because this has never been an issue (except by people such as yourself who choose to raise it and declare it's an issue; and this is done in the face of evidence that has been presented; you simply do one of your now trademark goal-shifts and now introduce 'dogmatic evidence' as opposed to 'evidence).

What I find most remarkable is your tendency to ignore evidences presented to you, then several days later declare none has been brought forward.

However, I don't believe only the councils define dogma anyway. Dogma is the truth as lived by the Orthodox church. This can be known through the teachings of the Fathers AND The Canons of the Church (http://www.goarch.org/en/ourfaith/articles/article8038.asp) and the experience of the Church as a whole (http://www.holytrinitymission.org/books/english/eastern_orthodox_church_e_benz.htm#_Toc49321360)

As has been presented to you numerous times there's Church Fathers who believe that men should be priests. You've had evidence from the Apostolic canons too!

I expect in a few days you'll simply repeat your claims that it's hard to define between dogma and custom* and claim no evidence is forthcoming


*twice already (at least) I've addressed you on this issue, using the terms "tradition" -v- "Holy Tradition". Still, the cyclical nature of your posts is itself highly intriguing. I've yet to determine if these pop up on a twelve day cycle, or not.
***word added by me now
I also added two posts later...
"... the faith held by the Church is that which was handed by Christ to the apostles. Nothing is added to or subtracted from that deposit of faith which was "handed once for all to the saints" (Jude 3)
http://www2.orthodoxwiki.org/Orthodox_Church

Given that the Scriptures evoke it, that the Church has always practiced it, Church Fathers have commented on it, even recent gatherings have confirmed it, then I think that it is at the status of dogma, even if not 'formalized' in one all encompassing statement by an Ecumenical Council. I didn't just come to this conclusion one day on a whim.
PeterTheAleut said:
Maybe Ozgeorge doesn't know exactly how to say he finds the evidence you provide unsatisfactory.
He has attempted to refute the Scripture by
a) dealing with it in isolation
or
b) claiming that it's already been refuted (when it hasn't)/trying a side argument about divorce (which itself was an argument never concluded). So claims of victories past ring hollow.

He has attempted to refute the Church Father's evidence by summarily dismissing it because he believed it was googled.
PeterTheAleut said:
In light of my intent behind my questions, which is really difficult to communicate on an internet forum, your initial answers to my question seemed like no more than circular reasoning.  I'm beginning to see now that you are not arguing solely from 2000 years of "we've always done it this way."  I consider the evidence from the Scriptures and Apostolic Fathers that you've included in your most recent posts to be valid evidence that breaks the circular reasoning you showed earlier, even if I don't elevate their tradition to the level of dogma as you do.
No, I've not attempted an emotional argument.  No, I've not reworked your argument, because I agree that doing so is not warranted.  In this instance there are just two of us questioning how you came to the conclusions you've stated.  You scrutinize the logic of other posters like no other; your reasoning should be able to withstand this same amount of scrutiny when it comes back around to you.
If the scrutiny is logical it warrants scrutiny. I appreciate your wording here for us to come to a better understanding of each other's approach. I apologise for putting you in the same category as OzGeorge. You present a rational counter argument here.

The simplest way I can think of in explaining this is that the whole church is the experience of living Christ. I think that all these things work together; Scripture, Church Council, Holy Fathers, Holy Tradition, other councils, Orthodox opinion. All of this together says "Men alone should be priests."
 

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Νεκτάριος said:
My personal position is that the ordination of women to the priesthood is not possible - should it occur, I believe the pan-Orthodox response would be to condemn it. ÂÂ

That being said, I think there is a danger in being too rigid about that which has not clearly defined.  Furthermore there were no preemptive ecumenical councils; they were a response to an heresy that had already arisen.  While this is a popular topic for some academics to bring up, Orthodox parishes don't even have famale altar servers.  If I had to bet (and I'm not entirely sure where to place bets on ecclesiastical matters!) this trend among some pushing for female ordination will die out before it makes an serious inroads in the Church - and if that isn't the case, a pan-Orthodox synod can still remedy the situation. ÂÂ
Some opinion from the modern church I present (again) here; one from an Orthodox web-site, and the other referring to an Orthodox meeting in Rhodes in 1988



And from Post #199

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

From post #766
"The consultation reaffirmed the "male character of the ‘sacramental’ priesthood", citing "these ecclesiastically rooted positions":
on the example of our Lord Jesus Christ, who did not select any women as one of His Apostles;

on the example of the Theotokos, who did not exercise the sacramental priestly function in the Church, even though she was made worthy to become the Mother of the Incarnate Son and the Word of God;

on the Apostolic Tradition, according to which the Apostles, following the example of the Lord, never ordained any women to this special priesthood in the Church;

on some Pauline teachings concerning the place of women in the Church, and

on the criterion of analogy, according to which, if the exercise of the sacramental priesthood by women were permitted, then it should have been exercised by the Theotokos (IV,14)"
http://www.wcc-coe.org/wcc/who/vilemov-08-e.html
 

ozgeorge

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PeterTheAleut said:
A dogma is a supremely authoritative proclamation of eternal truth that is binding upon all Christians.  As such, a dogma is infallible, beyond further question, non-negotiable, and irrevocable.  A proclamation of dogma also requires that corresponding anathemas be proclaimed against those who teach conflicting doctrines or even follow those who teach these conflicting doctrines.  Such teachers and their followers are branded as heretics. 
That's a fair summary I think. And as nektarios pointed out, this encapsulates things other than "pure" Christology, for example, things like the veneration of Icons, which is not an "option", but an imperative on Christians in that one cannot be an Orthodox Christian and an iconoclast, nor even question the veneration of icons- all of which would constitute heresy, since this is no longer up for discussion.
 

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Pedro said:
The liturgical tradition of the Church is itself a kind of "sealer of the deal" which, for us, makes a law of faith out of that which is prayed.  The same could be said (and often is) for the gender of the priests/bishops, the prayers of consecration for which always address the one being ordained/consecrated as a male.
That's because they are male.
There is no precedent in the Orthodox Church for a female Priest. But there was once no precedent in the Orthodox Church for female Readers being tonured either, but here is Eve Tibbs being tonsured a Reader for St. Pauls Orthodox Church (Irvine, CA) by Metropolitan Anthony on June 8, 2003. The prayers for the tonsuring of a Reader also refer to a male, so "lex orandi, lex credendi" doesn't seem to mean that women cannot be tonsured Readers simply because the prayers refer to men.


http://www.stpaulsirvine.org/html/parishhistoryx.htm
 

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I see one poster is bringing up another of his old tactics; don't argue the point directly, argue it by raising something else.

This bag is getting well-worn.

Post #113 about ONE MONTH AGO he was arguing about women readers.

The posts are, as I've noted, cyclical.
 

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montalban said:
I see one poster is bringing up another of his old tactics; don't argue the point directly, argue it by raising something else.
Clearly, montalban, you do not understand what Pedro is arguing. Otherwise, you would have understood that I have just directly challenged what he said...

I'm just going to ignore you now. Perhaps when you have something of substance to say, perhaps I may respond, but this is obviously going over your head at the moment.
 

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:'(

More irony from someone claiming that they're going to ignore me now when they've been largely dismissive for more than a month; unwilling to really engage evidence that's presented by either stating it was merely googled, or being dismissive of evidence that's presented by new converts by not addressing the evidence, but commenting on the person making the statement in what appears to be an un-Orthodox snobbery towards those that display a zeal for the truths of Orthodoxy that he himself doesn't seem to share. It's very easy to be dismissive of passions one doesn't experience.



Even when I cited that person directly saying that everything in Orthodoxy is up for change he doesn't respond.



For the record I don't agree with everything even Pedro says (#779 re: dogma). But I do agree that speculation as doggedly pursued by some here is unhelpful
 

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Also for the record that a female is tonsured a reader (which is still a debateable practice) simply does not prove that women should be. And it certainly doesn't show why a woman should be a priest. It's quite an odd argument to make. However it is one that was made by the same poster about one month ago.

It's akin to finding something wrong and by saying "Hey, look, if they can do that, then maybe we can do this" Several sites are critical of this practice.

directly...
"The very fact that these modernist Orthodox are involved in liturgical reform and modernization-which often means drastically shortening or even completely eliminating some of the services (and it also now means abolishing fasts and the churching of women after childbirth, it means the use of girl acolytes, and the tonsuring of female readers)-all of this is already a very serious and dangerous attack on our holy Faith"
http://www.roca.org/oa/163-164/163r.htm

indirectly...
A-ethnic Orthodoxy becomes just another bourgeois, western denomination, complete with female readers, pews and plenty of Volvos in the parking lot.
http://www.rusjournal.com/sbii.html

 

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The Bible can been used to show that the very early church had deaconesses...
Romans 16:1 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church in Cenchrea. 2 I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been a great help to many people, including me.

However the role of women deaconesses is not the same as a deacon.

"A deaconess does not bless, nor perform anything belonging to the office of presbyters or deacons, but only is to keep the doors, and to minister to the presbyters in the baptizing of women, on account of decency. A deacon separates a sub-deacon, a reader, a singer, and a deaconess, if there be any occasion, in the absence of a presbyter. It is not lawful for a sub-deacon to separate either one of the clergy or laity; nor for a reader, nor for a singer, nor for a deaconess, for they are the ministers to the deacons.
Apostolic Constitutions
Book VIII, Chapter XXXVIII
http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-07/anf07-49.htm#P6996_2348693

Some also argue that she would only be tonsured, but not ordained.
 

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ozgeorge said:
There is no precedent in the Orthodox Church for a female Priest. But there was once no precedent in the Orthodox Church for female Readers being tonured either, but here is Eve Tibbs...
Seen that...well, then that's the "first step" to a pan-Orthodox synod.  My Archbishop (+DMITRI, OCA) mentioned this very event (hence my looking it up) unfavorably, stating that, as the priesthood was exclusively male (iho), women shouldn't be strung along by hearing that being tonsured a reader is the "first step" towards the priesthood if the Church has no real intention of ordaining them as such.  Hence the absence of female readers in the OCA...and all other slavic churches that I'm aware of...

So, yeah, now there's a precedent.  Granted.  It's already been challenged, though, so whether or not this trend continues or dies out remains to be seen.  I'm w/Nektarios, though; I don't think it'll increase in frequency, and if it does escalate to a female reader seeking ordination to the sacramental deaconate, I can quickly see schism as the result.
 

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I'm impressed at how active this topic has been. Very interesting.

The Southern Baptist Convention recently voted on this matter and made the statement:

"While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture."

This is a change from their older statement:

"Southern Baptists, by practice as well as conviction, believe leadership is male."

Although this is still a debate within liberal circles within the SBC it's largely academic and not one based on Scripture.

 

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montalban said:
I see one poster is bringing up another of his old tactics; don't argue the point directly, argue it by raising something else.
Actually, this is a valid tactic, as I think the poster in question (Ozgeorge, I believe) has tried to explain in bringing up the side issues of divorce, reception of Communion in the hand, the specifics of how we cross ourselves, etc. You are right in recognizing that these issues have little to do with women's ordination, but in a way the reasoning we apply to one issue can also apply to another. This is what I see Ozgeorge trying to prove.

I think Ozgeorge is trying to show us how inconsistent our approach to traditional practices appears to him by showing us specific examples of how some of our traditions have changed over the centuries. Why is it that we have changed our approach to such central issues as divorce or the reception of Communion or women readers, yet we are so unwilling to change our stance on the ordination of women? He sees these disparate issues as united in showing us the consistencies or inconsistencies of our reverence for Tradition. I agree with Ozgeorge that this apparent inconsistency is something we need to address.

You've implied that Ozgeorge needs to make a distinction between Tradition and traditions. I agree with you, but I also recognize that not all people are able to make this distinction, and many even see this distinction as intrinsically un-Orthodox. I can't speak for Ozgeorge, but it appears to me as if he isn't able to see the distinction between Tradition and traditions as clearly as you or I can. His posts read as if he sees all our practices as Tradition or thinks that we all see things that way. Even if he does think in terms of the distinction between Tradition and traditions as you and I do, we still have to define what counts as unchanging Tradition and what counts as the traditions that do change over time. You think just seeing a distinction between Tradition and traditions is hard. Defining that distinction has to be a hundred times harder!
 

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montalban said:
I believe that dogma is not just a formal statement by Ecumenical Council. I noted this earlier too.
Montalban,
Here is the problem...
You begin a statement with the words "I believe that dogma is..."  Unless you are the Pope of Rome and your words are infallible, by saying "I believe that dogma is..." you are stating nothing more than what you believe.  You may back it up with proof texts but by the way you phrased the statement, at that point, it is nothing more then your belief.  And, your belief is open to debate.
To prove your point, you need to say "The Church has defined dogma as..." and then list the points/proof texts.  Then, you will need to show how a male-only priesthood fits into the Church's definition of dogma.
Until you do that, 1) you may believe that a male-only priesthood is dogma, but,
                        2) someone else may believe that a male-only priesthood is not dogma.
And the debate continues...
 

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Carpatho Russian said:
Montalban,
Here is the problem...
You begin a statement with the words "I believe that dogma is..."  Unless you are the Pope of Rome and your words are infallible, by saying "I believe that dogma is..." you are stating nothing more than what you believe.  You may back it up with proof texts but by the way you phrased the statement, at that point, it is nothing more then your belief.  And, your belief is open to debate.
To prove your point, you need to say "The Church has defined dogma as..." and then list the points/proof texts.  Then, you will need to show how a male-only priesthood fits into the Church's definition of dogma.
Until you do that, 1) you may believe that a male-only priesthood is dogma, but,
                        2) someone else may believe that a male-only priesthood is not dogma.
And the debate continues...
If only it were that simple.

I can't say "I believe it is dogma" to mean what myself and only myself believes, when in fact I've evidenced opinion as to what dogma is as well. You could argue that it is just 'us' (whether it is a few, or thousands) but it certainly isn't just 'me'; I find that annoying, that someone would reduce the argument I present to merely the opinion of little old me, the rude lone-wolf Montalban —v- the rest of the world.

I recognise that there’s a problem in defining dogma dogmatically. I am not aware of a Church Council that ruled what dogma is defined as (though they may have). However I note that those that are opposed to women priests also state, as I have ‘what has always been taught’. Given that there’s no variation here, Holy Tradition is dogmatic, as it’s always been taught. Even if its not defined dogmatically. Thus (as I’ve noted now several times), when arguments arose in the Christalogical controversy of the 300s it was stated emphatically “This is what we’ve always taught”. It was true before it was a teaching ‘defined’ as dogma, and thus was dogma, even if not stated “This is dogma…!”

Thus in post #766 I cited one meeting held in Rhodes…
montalban said:
"The consultation reaffirmed the "male character of the ‘sacramental’ priesthood", citing "these ecclesiastically rooted positions":  on the example of our Lord Jesus Christ, who did not select any women as one of His Apostles;

on the example of the Theotokos, who did not exercise the sacramental priestly function in the Church, even though she was made worthy to become the Mother of the Incarnate Son and the Word of God;

on the Apostolic Tradition, according to which the Apostles, following the example of the Lord, never ordained any women to this special priesthood in the Church;

on some Pauline teachings concerning the place of women in the Church, and

on the criterion of analogy, according to which, if the exercise of the sacramental priesthood by women were permitted, then it should have been exercised by the Theotokos (IV,14)"
http://www.wcc-coe.org/wcc/who/vilemov-08-e.html
If it were only a matter of opinion then what are the reasons the church has not ordained women? (if not dogmatic reasons). Why is the church holding out? Very early on I asked OzGeorge what are the reasons for change. He never answered. You could argue that if there were valid reasons for changing, they’d have been stated. One might, if they believe that there was a case here. I asked this as early as post #159.
OzGeorge said
ozgeorge said:
The doctrines can be made clearer and clearer.
To which I asked
montalban said:
I agree. What can be made more clearer about accepting women as priests?
No response.

So against this he’s offered NO evidence for change! I asked for evidence in many posts (#204, #231, #232, #348). I am not the only one to ask him to provide argument for change.

So in summary he’s avoided all questions to prove that women should be made priests. Granted he later claimed not to be wishing to do this, but to merely ask questions on the issue (thus absolving him of the need to have any particular point to defend) but in light of the fact that
a) he’s been recorded saying everything is up for change
and
b) he’s only argued against/questioned the status quo
I am not convinced of that claim to motives, especially in light of the fact that direct questions to him (seeking proofs for change) aren’t answered. Speculation for it’s own sake is all I see.

I also note that you address the ‘opinion’ idea to me alone. Surely you’d make this a general statement towards everyone; as you believe we’re all equally operating on opinion. You do not. A fairer approach would be to address this ‘concern’ to all those you believe doing such things.

So, if you feel that this is a matter of opinion, then what ‘opinion’ can you show for change? If this were a case of opinion —v- opinion then please forward the Church Fathers that support you ‘opinion’ on women’s ordination.
 

montalban

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PeterTheAleut said:
Actually, this is a valid tactic, as I think the poster in question (Ozgeorge, I believe) has tried to explain in bringing up the side issues of divorce, reception of Communion in the hand, the specifics of how we cross ourselves, etc.  You are right in recognizing that these issues have little to do with women's ordination, but in a way the reasoning we apply to one issue can also apply to another.  This is what I see Ozgeorge trying to prove.
Post #123 I argued against this approach when he tried to show how ‘traditions’ have changed in order to argue that HOLY TRADITION should change (and I’ve quoted him earlier saying that all is up for change).
As I said in post #140
montalban said:
Deacons aren't priests
Post #448 I’ve objected to him doing this. It’s not valid to simply repeat that type of argument when he can’t show any connection between the two.

I cited only a day ago the differences even between a deacon, and a deaconess
 
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