Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church

lubeltri

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greekischristian said:
No, a denial of social roles to someone based on biology has nothing to do with inequality...neither does enslaving an inferior race. It's just the natural order of things and how God intended it to be. ::)
First of all, stop conflating sex with race. They are not interchangeable.

Secondly, the sacerdotal ministry is NOT a "social role" but a divinely appointed spiritual role. It is not even a "role" but a calling. It is not to be defined and shaped by social convention.

I don't think we can have a worthwhile discussion because you view everything with secular, pragmatic eyes. We are on very different planes here.
 

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augustin717 said:
I've grown up and lived most of my life in a traditionally Orthodox country and have never come across with any Orthodox woman desiring to become
a "priestess". For those that want that, it's rather simple: they marry a priest and they will be called "priestesses" (Rom. "preotese").
They wouldn't be a priestess - they would be a priest. The entire Church is a priesthood, male and female. Every baptised Orthodox woman is already a priest, but not one ordained.

1Peter 2:5 and 9
 

greekischristian

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lubeltri said:
First of all, stop conflating sex with race. They are not interchangeable.
St. Paul lumped them together in his letter to the Galatians, so I see no reason not to. Of course, you choose to dismiss that there is no male or female in Christ, just as there is no Greek or Jew...and the logical implication of making the distinction between male and female in the service of Christ is to also imply that there are different roles for greeks and jews or for slaves and freemen. I fear that the issues are linked, regardless of how much you would protest. And forbidding women to be priests is no different than forbidding blacks from the priesthood.

Secondly, the sacerdotal ministry is NOT a "social role" but a divinely appointed spiritual role. It is not even a "role" but a calling. It is not to be defined and shaped by social convention.
And yet, we have known that there are no gender distinctions in Christ since the first century...your position is becomming less and less defensible with each post.

I don't think we can have a worthwhile discussion because you view everything with secular, pragmatic eyes. We are on very different planes here.
Yet I quote scripture and present theological arguments...but they must be secular, why? Because they are different than yours? ::)
 

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lubeltri said:
No, your arguments are about "equality" and "cultural prejudice." Those are secular arguments.
I'm not clear on what the quotation marks signify. But shouldn't equality and cultural prejudice be a concern of Christ's Church?
 

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Riddikulus said:
I'm not clear on what the quotation marks signify. But shouldn't equality and cultural prejudice be a concern of Christ's Church?
The quotation marks mean just what they are supposed to mean---they are quoting the words used by you and GiC.

The problem is that you both have markedly different conceptions of equality and cultural prejudice than the Church at large has and has had since time immemorial. I would venture to say that these conceptions are those held by modernist secularist society.

And with that I really have to stop. I feel funny trying to defend Orthodox teaching to Orthodox Christians on an Orthodox forum, considering that I am not Orthodox. I deal with enough modernist Catholics already. Obviously the orthodox Orthodox members of this forum have already spoken on this thread in the dozens of pages before this one. I will defer my comments to them.

 
 

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lubeltri said:
The quotation marks mean just what they are supposed to mean---they are quoting the words used by you and GiC.

The problem is that you both have markedly different conceptions of equality and cultural prejudice than the Church at large has and has had since time immemorial. I would venture to say that these conceptions are those held by modernist secularist society.
And, of course, the same claim was levelled at those who stood against the continuation of slavery, the withholding of the vote for women and the unequal rights of Blacks; to name just a few injustices that went unquestioned for centuries. Perhaps the time has come for the Church to lay aside her "time immemorial" laurels and look to the social and human concerns that are right under her nose.

 

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I don't know if I'd consider ordination for males only as an injustice to females.  Not all men who want to become priests (or any other ordained position) are allowed to either--is that an injustice to them?  I don't think so.  God chooses, not us.  Anything else involves pride.
 

greekischristian

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lubeltri said:
The problem is that you both have markedly different conceptions of equality and cultural prejudice than the Church at large has and has had since time immemorial. I would venture to say that these conceptions are those held by modernist secularist society.
Or, more accurately, the Church has tolerated inequality and prejudice for centuries because that is the context in which it found itself, and its mission is a salvific, not political, one. Today there is no longer any need to tolerate an inequality and prejudice that no longer exists in society...I'm just insisting that if something looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, we call it a duck...you seem to want to call it a dove.

Sarah said:
I don't know if I'd consider ordination for males only as an injustice to females.  Not all men who want to become priests (or any other ordained position) are allowed to either--is that an injustice to them?  I don't think so.  God chooses, not us.  Anything else involves pride.
A large degree of individual consideration should be taken into account when anyone is ordained, no doubt about that...but to automatically exclude half (well, actually slightly more than half) the population for biological reasons is simply unacceptable.
 

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greekischristian said:
A large degree of individual consideration should be taken into account when anyone is ordained, no doubt about that...but to automatically exclude half (well, actually slightly more than half) the population for biological reasons is simply unacceptable.
Unacceptable, why?  Because it's something that we want?  There again, pride comes into play, our thinking that we know better than God.  Pride has no place at the altar--the priest needs to have the attitude of a servant, not a prima donna (no pun intended regarding the gender thing!)
 

greekischristian

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Sarah said:
Unacceptable, why?
Because it's unjust and a sinful form of discrimination.

Because it's something that we want?  There again, pride comes into play, our thinking that we know better than God.  Pride has no place at the altar--the priest needs to have the attitude of a servant, not a prima donna (no pun intended regarding the gender thing!)
It has nothing to do with pride and everything to do with Justice and Righteousness. To exclude someone from the priesthood based on gender is simply wrong, just as it is wrong to exclude someone based on race. Certain women have callings to serve God just as certain men have these callings...and many of these women are more qualified for the priesthood than many of the men who feel similarly called...and while some of these women are probably not good candidates for the priesthood, the same is true of some of the men who feel called. Thus personalization in the process is important...the injustice is in saying that because someone is a woman they cannot be priests, it is not in saying that a certain man or a certain woman should not be a priest. When we discriminate against people for no other reason than biology, that is simply wrong and sinful...there are no two ways about it. What is most disturbing is that you would label EVERY woman who is called to serve God and His Church as a 'prima donna'...it's simply not true. Sure, there may be a few, but I know more than my fair share of male priests who fit that description as well.
 

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Deaconate yes. The priesthood..ha ha thats a funny one
 

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Sarah said "God chooses not us" precisely. Jesus choose men as apostles they in turn ordained men as priests their were women deacons though. The early apostles were guided by the holy spirit who are we to change things because the 1960-1980's womens lib movement made it fashionable to question all gender roles including sadly the priesthood. Thank god this isn't really that big of an issue in orthodoxy (to my understanding) like it is in the RC and thank God it is even dying away among the hierachy in the RC.
 

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Edmund said:
thank God it is even dying away among the hierachy in the RC.
Indeed, the cause has been pushed to the fringes, especially since John Paul II's 1994 apostolic letter, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, which concluded with this statement:

Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church's divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful.

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_22051994_ordinatio-sacerdotalis_en.html

John Paul II was known for his diplomatic language, but he pulled no punches here.

I sometimes ask a gay, liberal Catholic friend of mine why he remains in a Church the majority of whose teachings he flatly rejects. His rejection began with homosexuality and women's ordination and now runs the gamut of other moral issues like abortion all the way to fundamentals like the Real Presence in the Eucharist and the veracity of Paul's epistles as the Word of God. He's also a universalist and a full-fledged Pelagian and admits the Church could be wrong about the Resurrection.

One of his big issues is female ordination. I ask him what keeps him from jumping to the Episcopal Church, where he would fit right in and get his pretty liturgy too. He says he stays because he's confident that the Church will change its teachings, beginning with female ordination and homosexuality, within 20 years. I tell him that if ever there was a time that Rome would turn into the ECUSA clone he wants it to become, it was the 1970s. Since then, the Church hierarchy has moved further and further away from these proposed innovations. I tell him that he will die an embittered Catholic, because the revolution was defeated and has begun to die with the generation that flirted with it. There was no better time than 35 years ago to "modernize" the Church, and it failed. The modernizers will not be getting another chance anytime soon.
 

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Yep and Cardinal Ratzinger head of the CDF Now the Pope said in many statements that this Ordinatio Sacerdatolis document was to be considerd not only infallible but a belief held by all the churches faithfull. So technically in the RC to support womens ordination is the same as supporting Martin Luther's theology its pretty serious stuff but it's still ignored by a lot of the old non habit wearing nuns and pro-abortion feminists other then that it's really a non issue. In third world countries its not an issue at all.
 

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Holy cow how the heck is it that people support female ordination and call themselves Orthodox? Go be Episcopalian if you think it's God-willed and that the Church somehow missed that for the last two millenia.
 

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With the risk of sounding like I am shouting out at a southern baptist revival AMEN AMEN  ;D
 

Asteriktos

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It was asked on the other thread "Do you think that women will be ordained?"

Eventually, yes, but probably not for a very long time. First, those who hold to the practice of only ordaining men would have to become a very small minority. Not a minority among Christians, since as long as the Catholics and Orthodox don't ordain women, that wouldn't happen. I mean a minority in whichever culture/country the Orthodox/Catholic Churches find themselves. Then, the culture in which the Church finds itself would have to become so outraged that anyone who didn't go along with majority would be stigmatized as backward and discriminatory. At that point, those who would not ordain women would be viewed as a cult (using the modern American sense of the term), or worse. IMO it is only under such circumstances that the Orthodox or Catholic Church would change their practice (for the Catholics I think allowing would-be priests to marry would come first).

I actually think that this change would be easier for the Catholics, since 1) (the practical side) they already change stuff and they are comfortable contradicting earlier beliefs (e.g., papal infallibility), since they can just claim that something was never really, really, really authoritively taught by Rome, and 2) (the doctrinal side) thanks to Newman they already have a specific and explored theological basis for changing. Orthodoxy hasn't even faced the fact that they can, have, and will have to change practices (e.g., allowing contraception), so I think a development of doctrine (which is what most Orthodox would consider this subject) is still a ways off.

Another reason that Catholics would probably find the change easier is that they are more interested in adapting to modern culture (e.g., the attempts of Popes in the 20th century to authoritatively, formally reconcile evolution and creation). Orthodoxy doesn't seem to much care what people think, and have largely forgotten that their mission is to transform the culture in which they find themselves. Tradition is no longer the passing on of information, such that people's lives are changed in a meaningful way, but for many have now become a museum-like preservation of information. Put another way, people will usually take proof texts over actual reality when looking at John Chrysostom or Paul (it's just human nature, people want answers, they don't want to be told that people often times contradicted in practice their own statements in print... it's just that the Orthodox settle for old proof texts, and Catholics sometimes are willing to invent new proof texts).

Any estimates are of course arbitrary and would be based on more factors than I could probably consider, but fwiw I doubt that the Catholics or Orthodox would ordain a woman in the next two centuries.. It was only recently that Orthodox theologians (e.g,. Bp. Kallistos) started to have serious discussions on this topic, and both Churches usually move at a snail's pace. There will also have to be various answers found for questions about why they didn't ordain women before, whether they were wrong in their previous arguments, whether this means that other doctrines might change, etc. As I said before, things will only change once the weight of human society begins to pressure the Church(es) to change.
 

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Asteriktos said:
It was asked on the other thread "Do you think that women will be ordained?"

Eventually, yes, but probably not for a very long time. First, those who hold to the practice of only ordaining men would have to become a very small minority. Not a minority among Christians, since as long as the Catholics and Orthodox don't ordain women, that wouldn't happen. I mean a minority in whichever culture/country the Orthodox/Catholic Churches find themselves. Then, the culture in which the Church finds itself would have to become so outraged that anyone who didn't go along with majority would be stigmatized as backward and discriminatory. At that point, those who would not ordain women would be viewed as a cult (using the modern American sense of the term), or worse. IMO it is only under such circumstances that the Orthodox or Catholic Church would change their practice (for the Catholics I think allowing would-be priests to marry would come first).

I actually think that this change would be easier for the Catholics, since 1) (the practical side) they already change stuff and they are comfortable contradicting earlier beliefs (e.g., papal infallibility), since they can just claim that something was never really, really, really authoritively taught by Rome, and 2) (the doctrinal side) thanks to Newman they already have a specific and explored theological basis for changing. Orthodoxy hasn't even faced the fact that they can, have, and will have to change practices (e.g., allowing contraception), so I think a development of doctrine (which is what most Orthodox would consider this subject) is still a ways off.

Another reason that Catholics would probably find the change easier is that they are more interested in adapting to modern culture (e.g., the attempts of Popes in the 20th century to authoritatively, formally reconcile evolution and creation). Orthodoxy doesn't seem to much care what people think, and have largely forgotten that their mission is to transform the culture in which they find themselves. Tradition is no longer the passing on of information, such that people's lives are changed in a meaningful way, but for many have now become a museum-like preservation of information. Put another way, people will usually take proof texts over actual reality when looking at John Chrysostom or Paul (it's just human nature, people want answers, they don't want to be told that people often times contradicted in practice their own statements in print... it's just that the Orthodox settle for old proof texts, and Catholics sometimes are willing to invent new proof texts).

Any estimates are of course arbitrary and would be based on more factors than I could probably consider, but fwiw I doubt that the Catholics or Orthodox would ordain a woman in the next two centuries.. It was only recently that Orthodox theologians (e.g,. Bp. Kallistos) started to have serious discussions on this topic, and both Churches usually move at a snail's pace. There will also have to be various answers found for questions about why they didn't ordain women before, whether they were wrong in their previous arguments, whether this means that other doctrines might change, etc. As I said before, things will only change once the weight of human society begins to pressure the Church(es) to change.
Asteriktos

Seeing how issues have escalated over the past few decades, I had estimated about a hundred years before the ordination of women became a reality. Of course, that was just my own estimate.

Basically, the thrust of my posts has been that if the Church doesn't willingly change, the change will be forced on her. Once that occurs, the Church will have lost the upper hand, and (as happened in the Anglican church) the agendum of those imposing the changes will take over. Orthodoxy will be seen as the last bastion of male supremacy and under the attack of powerful political forces she won't have any choice but to surrender under the weight of public demand; because the attack will come from within as well as without. And unless the Church can produce some stronger theological arguments than it has already against the ordination of women, it will, I believe, gradually lose the support of Orthodox women. Once it becomes an issue of human/women's rights, any refusal to accept any woman candidate - suitable or not - for the priesthood will be seen as discrimination.

Perhaps, if the Church changed willingly, she wouldn't be a target (well, not so much, at least) and would retain the authority to ordain only those she considered were responding to a calling.

Unless there are some powerful theological reasons for continuing to deny women ordination, a pragmatic approach seems the most obvious. However, I honestly don't expect such an attitude to prevail. History shows us that humanity always seems to go for the "throwing the baby out with the bath-water" approach, rather than considering what is sensible; or what action serves a greater good.
 

greekischristian

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Edmund said:
Yep and Cardinal Ratzinger head of the CDF Now the Pope said in many statements that this Ordinatio Sacerdatolis document was to be considerd not only infallible but a belief held by all the churches faithfull. So technically in the RC to support womens ordination is the same as supporting Martin Luther's theology its pretty serious stuff but it's still ignored by a lot of the old non habit wearing nuns and pro-abortion feminists other then that it's really a non issue. In third world countries its not an issue at all.


Popish posturing is not my concern...ultimately it's no one's concern...all that has to happen is one pope, symphathetic to the Ordination of Women, must take office and countless dogmatic decrees will be declared invalid and the ordiation of women instituted overnight. Of course, so long as rome refuses to do this, it's her loss...she faces diminishing influence in countries that were traditionally catholic strongholds, in france, spain, and even italy the opinion of the Church is losing more and more force with each passing year...and Rome is foolish enough to blame this on the people...it's not the people, the people are as people always were, the problem with the Church, it is making itself irrelevant and a such it is being abandoned, as, surely, no religion at all is preferable to some of this nonsense being spouted off by Rome. Rome can claim dogmatic infallibility all she wants, but it will fall on deaf ears within enlightened civilizations...and those more backwards people who still cling on her every word as though they held some truth can only be kept in the dark for so long...globalization is the order of the day.
 

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I'll think that if it does happen, those that do it will create schism needlessly. The pro-WO position seems to have no ultimate basis but modern political philosopy (ie 'Gender Politics'.) There is simply no good reason for women's ordination in the Church. Will it happen? Likely - but my prediction is that it would only create another sect apart from Orthodoxy. Deaconesses (not 'Women Deacons') is another matter entirely, and I feel that the existence of Orthodox deaconesses is being misrepresented by some polemicists as a 'victory' for proponents of women's ordination. (Yay - opinions.  :p )
 

greekischristian

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Asteriktos said:
Eventually, yes, but probably not for a very long time. First, those who hold to the practice of only ordaining men would have to become a very small minority. Not a minority among Christians, since as long as the Catholics and Orthodox don't ordain women, that wouldn't happen. I mean a minority in whichever culture/country the Orthodox/Catholic Churches find themselves. Then, the culture in which the Church finds itself would have to become so outraged that anyone who didn't go along with majority would be stigmatized as backward and discriminatory. At that point, those who would not ordain women would be viewed as a cult (using the modern American sense of the term), or worse. IMO it is only under such circumstances that the Orthodox or Catholic Church would change their practice (for the Catholics I think allowing would-be priests to marry would come first).
Well, I think a realistic model that we can look towards is the episcopal church, it took roughly 125 years since the first deaconesses were ordained (I think for our purposes emphasis should be placed on the importance of ordaining 'secular deaconesses' since monastic influence is greatly diminished from the past) before the first women priests were ordained. Of course, it must be understand that this time period is so long because of the cultural accomplishments that had to be achieved between the 1850's and 1970's. Thus, since much of this work has been done for us, I do not believe such a long time will be required. However, the point is that once the office of the female deaconate was opened up...and there can be no viable resistance to this occuring...the progression towards ordination to the priesthood is all but assured. It will only take so long as is required for the populace to become accustom to women in clerical orders...ultimately, for the masses, the question will be one of liturgical aesthetics, not dogmatics. And familiarity begets aesthetics.

I actually think that this change would be easier for the Catholics, since 1) (the practical side) they already change stuff and they are comfortable contradicting earlier beliefs (e.g., papal infallibility), since they can just claim that something was never really, really, really authoritively taught by Rome, and 2) (the doctrinal side) thanks to Newman they already have a specific and explored theological basis for changing. Orthodoxy hasn't even faced the fact that they can, have, and will have to change practices (e.g., allowing contraception), so I think a development of doctrine (which is what most Orthodox would consider this subject) is still a ways off.
We have the advantage of not having made any foolish statements in a binding context on the issue as Rome has...and if we can avoid making any such foolish statements for the next 50 years, it will save us difficulity in the future, as those who oppose the ordination of women won't even have a synod with which they can claim solidarity. Of course, Rome can dismiss past 'dogmatic' statements with ease as it's ultimately a personality cult centered around the current pontif. I think the difference is that with Rome, the ordination of women is more likely to be revolutionary, as where with the Orthodox it will be evolutionary. Thus, while we are further along than Rome, Rome does have the potential of moving faster than we do. But, in either case, once one Church makes the move, it will be nearly impossible for the other to maintain the status quo for long...and the time that they can buy will be purchased at a great price.

Another reason that Catholics would probably find the change easier is that they are more interested in adapting to modern culture (e.g., the attempts of Popes in the 20th century to authoritatively, formally reconcile evolution and creation). Orthodoxy doesn't seem to much care what people think, and have largely forgotten that their mission is to transform the culture in which they find themselves. Tradition is no longer the passing on of information, such that people's lives are changed in a meaningful way, but for many have now become a museum-like preservation of information. Put another way, people will usually take proof texts over actual reality when looking at John Chrysostom or Paul (it's just human nature, people want answers, they don't want to be told that people often times contradicted in practice their own statements in print... it's just that the Orthodox settle for old proof texts, and Catholics sometimes are willing to invent new proof texts).
While this is certainly true of the uneducated peasant and ultra-pietistic layman...I dont think this accurately characterizes our Bishops, they tend to be more cultured and in tune with modern society...and, in America, supporitve of liberal politics. Sure, there are some bishops who are also ultra-conservative, but I think that most, at least within the Oecumenical Patriarchate with which I am most familiar and which I believe will be the biggest player in this issue, are simply cautious. Ultimately, it's not a dogmatic issue, the theological reasons against the ordination of women have been destroyed, or more accurately they have destroyed themselves, it's now a cultural issue, we must simply win the hearts and minds of the people.

Any estimates are of course arbitrary and would be based on more factors than I could probably consider, but fwiw I doubt that the Catholics or Orthodox would ordain a woman in the next two centuries.. It was only recently that Orthodox theologians (e.g,. Bp. Kallistos) started to have serious discussions on this topic, and both Churches usually move at a snail's pace. There will also have to be various answers found for questions about why they didn't ordain women before, whether they were wrong in their previous arguments, whether this means that other doctrines might change, etc. As I said before, things will only change once the weight of human society begins to pressure the Church(es) to change.
Well, there you are more pessimistic than I...I believe that far sooner than you suggest the entry of women into the deaconate will occur in the west in an organic manner, with the response in Constantinople being notable only in its silence. The Church of Greece will follow (or maybe even precede) by plebiscite, not coming through the Church proper but being imposed (or, shall we say, very strongly encouraged) by the State. The rest of the jurisdictoin of the Oecumenical Throne will soon follow, the Ancient patriarchates will fall in line behind Constantinople, starting with her most loyal of supporters, Alexandria. Russia will resist for purely political reasons, taking with her a few satellite states, after a few excommunications an agreement similar to the calendar issue will be made. But before too long, cultural developments will catch up with Russia as well, and when resistance is no longer politically expedient, she will conform. I see the first women priests being ordained around the turn of the next century.

Of course, this is all highly hypothetical, but I believe soundly based on the cultural and political realities currently existing within the Church. The movement will, indeed has, began in the west and in Greece...and in Greece it will be embraced because state funding is valued above all else...they may resist at first, but it is impossible to underestimate the power of the purse. Furthermore, the fact that the 'theological' arguments against the ordination of women have already become a joke in nearly all educated circles, and thus a retreat to arguments based on non-codified custom, demonstrates that they have already lost the dogmatic and canonical battle, their attacks have been blunted. They have retreated to their Masada of culturally ingrained prejudice, but from there they cannot counter-attack, it is only a matter of time before the siege walls are built, the ramp is constructed, and the fortress is carried by superior arms.
 

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Aristibule said:
I'll think that if it does happen, those that do it will create schism needlessly. The pro-WO position seems to have no ultimate basis but modern political philosopy (ie 'Gender Politics'.) There is simply no good reason for women's ordination in the Church. Will it happen? Likely - but my prediction is that it would only create another sect apart from Orthodoxy. Deaconesses (not 'Women Deacons') is another matter entirely, and I feel that the existence of Orthodox deaconesses is being misrepresented by some polemicists as a 'victory' for proponents of women's ordination. (Yay - opinions.  :p )
There are casualties in every war. If a radical sect of fundamentalists wish to schism and go their own way, I say we issue them with Anathemas as they walk out the door and wish them a good riddance. Of course, the Anglicans also predicted the same mass exodus...it didn't happen and I don't suspect we'd be any different; most people have things other than ecclesiastical politics to busy their days with, we here on this board are the exception, not the rule.

Oh, and any way you look at it, like it or not, the restoration of the female deaconate, regardless of what you call it, is a victory...it is a great victory since the battle is now for the hearts and minds of the masses, and as I mentioned in my post above, familiarity is the first step. It's like the beginning of the presidential primary, more important than your stance on the issues is name recognition, get your name out there, worry about your political opinions later.
 

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I disagree - the schism would not be on the part of opponents of women's ordination. It is a mischaracterization to label such opponents as 'fundamentalist'. Conservative would be a better term (conservative in the sense of the conservation of what has served well enough, and will still serve in the future.) Ironically, by any definition of fundamentalism, proponents of women's ordination are more fundamentalist - they hold a women's right to Holy Orders as a fundamental principle which is to be rigidly adhered to, are are entirely intolerant of those opposed to their sectarian idea. Often the idea is also married to the opposition to the 'Patriarchal male' secular society. The situation in the Anglican Communion illustrates this - women's ordination has been treated as a fundamental principle, especially in TEC, and those not adhering to the idea have been punished severely. In the COE the fundamentalism has some balance in that toleration was extended in the form of the PEVs, though even there they are still under attack from Fundamentalist WOers.
 

greekischristian

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Aristibule said:
I disagree - the schism would not be on the part of opponents of women's ordination. It is a mischaracterization to label such opponents as 'fundamentalist'. Conservative would be a better term (conservative in the sense of the conservation of what has served well enough, and will still serve in the future.)
Conservative does not accurately describe them, perhaps the term 'reactionary.' Which is most appropriate considering they did not believe this to be an issue worth even discussing in synod until progressives started to question the indefensible practice, at which point they felt threatened and violently reacted.

Ironically, by any definition of fundamentalism, proponents of women's ordination are more fundamentalist - they hold a women's right to Holy Orders as a fundamental principle which is to be rigidly adhered to, are are entirely intolerant of those opposed to their sectarian idea.
Ah, I was going to make the distinction but then I see that you made it for me...you're right, the opponents to the ordination of women are not fundamentalists in the proper sense of the term, for they are not concerned with fundamental Christian truths, rather they are concerned with maintaining the status quo...however, the term fundamentalist as it has evolved in use in this country is most appropriate, they are a group which claims to be upholding the fundamentals of the faith, but in reality they are really doing nothing more than using ancient texts to justify intolerance and oppression in the modern world.

Often the idea is also married to the opposition to the 'Patriarchal male' secular society. The situation in the Anglican Communion illustrates this - women's ordination has been treated as a fundamental principle, especially in TEC, and those not adhering to the idea have been punished severely. In the COE the fundamentalism has some balance in that toleration was extended in the form of the PEVs, though even there they are still under attack from Fundamentalist WOers.
If you dont wish to espouse these ideas, fine, they're not dogmatic in nature; however, while you are free to form your own opinions on no dogmatic matters...you are not free to restrict opportunities to others based on these opinions.
 

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...perhaps the term 'reactionary.'
Not really - there has been no 'violent reaction', and 'threatened' is a little extreme for what anyone feels by the issue. Conservative in the sense of conservation is still the best term. Reactionary would be wildly inappropriate, as 'women's ordination' does not represent progress. For an idea to be progress it has to produce good - women's ordination has had an inverse production of good relative to the promises of its proponents. Women's ordination rather has weakened every Christian group that has adopted it as a norm. This is particularly true for Christian bodies who make a claim to Tradition as a guide for faith, practice and morals. 

...for they are not concerned with fundamental Christian truths, rather they are concerned with maintaining the status quo...
To the contrary, opposition to women's ordination is entirely about Christian Truth, though again not with 'fundamentals'. Strange that you use the term 'status quo' as if it is a negative. Conservation understands the 'status quo' as the habitat of Life, the way contrary to destruction, radicalism, forgetfulness, etc.

...in reality they are really doing nothing more than using ancient texts to justify intolerance and oppression in the modern world.
It is not oppression that women and most men are not ordained to Holy Orders. It is not intolerance either - if one holds to such fundamental principles that it is intolerance and oppression not to give women Holy Orders then one should be consistent and insist that every human being be given full Holy Orders (even the episcopate) lest any be oppressed.

If you dont wish to espouse these ideas, fine, they're not dogmatic in nature; however, while you are free to form your own opinions on no dogmatic matters...you are not free to restrict opportunities to others based on these opinions.
Yet Holy Orders is a dogmatic matter - they were instituted by Christ our God. However, the use of polemical radical political terminology to alienate the faithful of Orthodoxy for not accepting women's ordination shows that it is being treated as a fundamental dogmatic matter by it's proponents. The idea of 'you are not free to restrict opportunities to others' is inconsistent - again, it is restriction of opportunities not to make everyone a bishop regardless of age, sex, impediments, marital condition, faith held, etc. So, the Church is absolutely free to restrict opportunities - they restrict mine, as they have since the beginning. If I wanted it otherwise, there is always the Friends or Church of Christ where all are equal. (I note your ironic use of the seal of our government? ;) ) If I agreed with you, then I would expect your full enthusiastic support to remove the intolerance and oppression of restricting me from being the Oecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople - if you don't, then I could understand that you have other motives than Christian truth, freedom from oppression and removal of restrictions for wanting women's ordination but not for everyone else.  ;D
 

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What was it who brought this thread back from the dead? Shame on them!! This monster had been thoroughly beat into the ground.
 

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No kidding - but since someone started posting to it again, I'm interested to hear greekischristian's 'conversion story' due to his flip on the purported conviction of being against women's ordination of 18 months ago or so.  :D


I am a little mortified though by the idea of the priesthood being a 'role'. Also with the idea that one who is not in the position to select or ordain candidates for ordination can claim to know that there are indeed women who are both called and equipped for such service. Both seem to suggest a view of Christianity that is entirely materialistic and political. Most disturbing is the tacit accusation against Our Lord Jesus Christ towards being injust and unrighteous in that he overturned the rules of his day, particularly as towards women in the Empire, but his exclusion of women from the ministries that he ordained as being an 'evil'.

What I do find particularly interesting is that the Judeaic/Graeco/Roman Christian Church was so instrumental in striping away women's rights within the Celtic world.
This one I just found funny - some Nationalist polemicists have made this claim, but the evidence is not particularly strong for women having more 'rights' in the Celtic world. They had some differences in the legal sense, but still were every much bit chattel (in fact, being a sort of 'living titles' to property which men acquired by marriage.) Pagan Celtic women had harsh lives. Their 'equality' consisted only in being allowed to have an education. In fact, modern claims about Celtic women owning property is a falsehood - the tribe owned all property, and by ancient law every degree of kinship from fine to inn-fine (the smallest legal entity of relation to the point beyond which there is no relation/strangers) is entirely male. Which means all property was owned collectively in Celtic society by the combined males of a given tribe. Females only had use of the property of whichever tribe acquired them in turn as property of the tribe. It was not til the coming of Christianity that women were freed from the barbarities of Celtic warfare and its murder, maiming, tortures, etc. To blame the overturning of Celtic law and culture on Christianity, the Jews, the Romans, the Greeks - all an absurdity. It survived until the 17th c. in those parts still Celtic in culture and was only overturned by *Protestants* (the defining characteristic of their invaders over any other identifier.)

In fact, pagan women had harsh lives - Christianity was the only true improvement. (Consider that all evidence of female leaders are a vast minority compared to male leaders in every society.)  That being said, female clergy were quite common in pagan cultures. Christianity (beginning with Jesus Christ) overturned the exploitation of women and recognized them as human beings with souls, however it was not an act of ommission that women were not amongst the priesthood or episcopate of the Christians from the time of the Great Commission. That is not a slight to women.
 

greekischristian

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Aristibule said:
No kidding - but since someone started posting to it again, I'm interested to hear greekischristian's 'conversion story' due to his flip on the purported conviction of being against women's ordination of 18 months ago or so.  :D
The question was already asked and answered in another thread: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,8747.msg117545.html#msg117545

I am a little mortified though by the idea of the priesthood being a 'role'. Also with the idea that one who is not in the position to select or ordain candidates for ordination can claim to know that there are indeed women who are both called and equipped for such service. Both seem to suggest a view of Christianity that is entirely materialistic and political. Most disturbing is the tacit accusation against Our Lord Jesus Christ towards being injust and unrighteous in that he overturned the rules of his day, particularly as towards women in the Empire, but his exclusion of women from the ministries that he ordained as being an 'evil'.
I'm a bit concerned about the monophysite approach to ordination that seems to be presented here...as there were no human elements to the priesthood and as though the bishop was required to perform some spiritual ritual to determine those who should be ordained, rather than being able to rely on the human properties given to them by God. Of course, we all know what a bishop looks for and considers when ordaining someone, we all understand the pragmatic reality; we simply pretend to apply metaphysical principles to obstruct the truth. But, fortunately for you, I'm not planning on ordaining anyone, of either gender, in the near future...my argument is essentially that this is a purely cultural issue, so when the bishops do begin ordaining woman, which they will in time, if you oppose it you're outside the Church. I dont believe I have yet suggested that anyone should be ordained by anyone other than the episcopacy.

In fact, pagan women had harsh lives - Christianity was the only true improvement. (Consider that all evidence of female leaders are a vast minority compared to male leaders in every society.)  That being said, female clergy were quite common in pagan cultures. Christianity (beginning with Jesus Christ) overturned the exploitation of women and recognized them as human beings with souls, however it was not an act of ommission that women were not amongst the priesthood or episcopate of the Christians from the time of the Great Commission. That is not a slight to women.
I love this pretending that Christainity invented it's own new culture and social system, though no objective scholar would dare question that Christian theology and practice were derived from 1st century jewish and greco-roman culture and philosophical thought. It's like living every day at disneyland isn't it? Lots of fun, but no substance.
 

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pensateomnia said:
What was it who brought this thread back from the dead? Shame on them!! This monster had been thoroughly beat into the ground.
I didn't really feel like getting back into the issue either...as my arguments probably evidence. But, I dont intend to let this misogynistic nonsense go unchallenged. ;)
 

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Your arrogance, name-calling, and condescension directed at those who disagree with you is tiresome. I've had quite my fill of such contempt and disrespect. Keep your secular fundamentalism. I will ignore your posts from now on, which should matter little to you, considering how backward, bigoted, uncultured, and uneducated a peasant I am.
 

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lubeltri said:
Your arrogance, name-calling, and condescension directed at those who disagree with you is tiresome. I've had quite my fill of such contempt and disrespect. Keep your secular fundamentalism. I will ignore your posts from now on, which should matter little to you, considering how backward, bigoted, uncultured, and uneducated a peasant I am.
I have yet to call anyone any name...I have merely pointed out that certain characteristics correspond with certain ideologies and that said ideologies are often associated with a certain class of people. The other side of the debate has done the same, heck, I've been lumped together with those who support gay marriage...I am simply not phased by the lables they apply to me and find reason only for amusement, not offence.
 

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greekischristian said:
I love this pretending that Christainity invented it's own new culture and social system, though no objective scholar would dare question that Christian theology and practice were derived from 1st century jewish and greco-roman culture and philosophical thought. It's like living every day at disneyland isn't it? Lots of fun, but no substance.
I particulary enjoyed the "Nationalist polemicists" claim.  :D  I was going to respond, but gic has done it with an economy of words I probably wouldn't have managed.

 

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Riddikulus said:
I particulary enjoyed the "Nationalist polemicists" claim.  :D  I was going to respond, but gic has done it with an economy of words I probably wouldn't have managed.
I think that's the first time I've ever been acused of using words economically ;) ;D
 

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greekischristian said:
I think that's the first time I've ever been acused of using words economically ;) ;D
LOL

GIC,

Before reading this thread, I merely suspected that my own reservations were correct, and that the denial of women ordination was indeed based on ancient Patriarchal prejudices. Now, I am far more confident that my suspicions were accurate and soundly grounded in historical reality. 

I would like to thank all who have contributed to this subject, you in particular GIC, for helping to clarify my own thoughts on this matter. 

Unless the Church can produce more adequate theological reasons for its position, I will continue to question her motives. Fortunately, no matter that there are those who would wish to prevent it, the Orthodox Church allows her members that privilege.   ;D
 

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Christianity derived from pagan philosophical thought? No! The Church Fathers used philosophy to convey the message.  They did not agree with Platonic thought about pre-existence of souls and other non-Christian themes.  Yet we owe a lot to these holy pagans, perhaps with the exception of Aristotle, a favorite with RCs.
 

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...my argument is essentially that this is a purely cultural issue, so when the bishops do begin ordaining woman, which they will in time, if you oppose it you're outside the Church.
It is no 'monophysite approach' - but there is a spiritual elements to the priesthood as well as physical. To call it a purely cultural issue though is entirely materialistic. Holy Orders are not a social construct of human society. The way you have stated it, the test of Orthodoxy will be women's ordination as *dogma* - women's ordination as a test for Orthodoxy, for being the Church. Still, as others have pointed out - no theological position has been presented *for* women's ordination, only name-calling (and, not very good either - it works best if the labels have some truth to them.) A more likely example of outcomes for what you are suggesting comes with the Molokhans of Russia - if the matter of WO is merely 'cultural' as the Molokhans held of fasting from dairy, if (and when) supporters of WO withdraw from those who maintain the normative praxis, those with WO will be the new sect (and, at current rates - a sect of small size also unlikely to grow.)

I love this pretending that Christainity invented it's own new culture and social system, though no objective scholar would dare question that Christian theology and practice were derived from 1st century jewish and greco-roman culture and philosophical thought.
Pretty neat trick - reading what others write, but never understanding it. You might be pretending, but nothing I wrote suggested that Christianity 'invented it's own new culture and social system'. Jesus Christ *did* change the law, and correct Jewish society as it had developed, as the Prophet Ezekiel had promised. The role of women in the New Testament is world's apart from that in the Mishnah, or the Talmud, or of the centuries previous within Jewish society. This change in women's status and roles in the New Testament does not derive from 'greco-roman' models nor from contemporary Judaism - there is a distinction with the Christ's rulings on the law (as regards divorce, the Sabbath, whether woman can be saved, resurrected, etc. Contemporary 1st c. Judaism commonly held woman to have no soul.) With Christ, that changes - but, again the scandal of Christian women is their mingling with men in the first few centuries, their treatment as humans with souls who can be saved, sexual ownership of themselves by chastity. However, and again (and you have not refuted this) it would have been far less of a scandal for Christ to institute priestesses as well - they were common in the pagan world of the time. However, he didn't - do you claim he erred?

Note to Riddikulus: touch it, you made the claim about Celtic society. GiC didn't refute it, and can't - he nor you seem familiar with Brehon law to begin with. Come back when you've done the research on property and kinship as it relates to women in Celtic societies.
 

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Aristibule said:
It is no 'monophysite approach' - but there is a spiritual elements to the priesthood as well as physical. To call it a purely cultural issue though is entirely materialistic. Holy Orders are not a social construct of human society. The way you have stated it, the test of Orthodoxy will be women's ordination as *dogma* - women's ordination as a test for Orthodoxy, for being the Church. Still, as others have pointed out - no theological position has been presented *for* women's ordination, only name-calling (and, not very good either - it works best if the labels have some truth to them.) A more likely example of outcomes for what you are suggesting comes with the Molokhans of Russia - if the matter of WO is merely 'cultural' as the Molokhans held of fasting from dairy, if (and when) supporters of WO withdraw from those who maintain the normative praxis, those with WO will be the new sect (and, at current rates - a sect of small size also unlikely to grow.)
Ah, but I have espoused a theological position, and one far stronger than any brought to bear against the ordination of women. It's a rather simple and straightforward argument as well, a specific interpretation of abstract symbolism and allegory is not required. There is no male or female in Christ, thus to deny one a ministerial role in the Church based on a non-existant distinction is a direct affront to the ministry and salvific work of Christ. By extension, it is a denying of the work of the Holy Spirit in said individual...it is a saying to the Holy Spirit that He chose poorly, and that we will not Accept His grace as offered through this individual. The refusal to ordain for mere reasons of gender, a non-existant distinction in Christ, is to openly dismiss and ridicule the work and grace of the Holy Spirit.

Pretty neat trick - reading what others write, but never understanding it. You might be pretending, but nothing I wrote suggested that Christianity 'invented it's own new culture and social system'. Jesus Christ *did* change the law, and correct Jewish society as it had developed, as the Prophet Ezekiel had promised. The role of women in the New Testament is world's apart from that in the Mishnah, or the Talmud, or of the centuries previous within Jewish society. This change in women's status and roles in the New Testament does not derive from 'greco-roman' models nor from contemporary Judaism - there is a distinction with the Christ's rulings on the law (as regards divorce, the Sabbath, whether woman can be saved, resurrected, etc. Contemporary 1st c. Judaism commonly held woman to have no soul.) With Christ, that changes - but, again the scandal of Christian women is their mingling with men in the first few centuries, their treatment as humans with souls who can be saved, sexual ownership of themselves by chastity. However, and again (and you have not refuted this) it would have been far less of a scandal for Christ to institute priestesses as well - they were common in the pagan world of the time. However, he didn't - do you claim he erred?
Glad you liked the trick, but I like yours better, claim innocence to an accusation then later, in the very same paragraph, prove the accusation true. Are you suggesting that the culture and society that Christian women found themselves in differed substantially from the culture and society of those around them? Because that's simply not the case, they suffered under the same oppressive patriarchal structure that all the women of that era suffered under. The culture and society in which they lived were, in fact, the same culture and society in which the pagans lived. Furthermore, I fail to understand the reason in the rest of your paragraph above...how is citing past injustices a justification for continuing current one?
 

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observer said:
Christianity derived from pagan philosophical thought? No! The Church Fathers used philosophy to convey the message.  They did not agree with Platonic thought about pre-existence of souls and other non-Christian themes.  Yet we owe a lot to these holy pagans, perhaps with the exception of Aristotle, a favorite with RCs.
Though most the high theology came from pagan thought, it was ultimately a merger of pagan and jewish thought...thus resistance to the pre-existance of souls came to jewish influence, though many of the philosophical principles that surround the pre-existance of souls in pagan thought were adopted.
 

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Aristibule said:
Note to Riddikulus: touch it, you made the claim about Celtic society. GiC didn't refute it, and can't - he nor you seem familiar with Brehon law to begin with. Come back when you've done the research on property and kinship as it relates to women in Celtic societies.
"touch it" is terminology I am unfamiliar with, so I will refrain from assuming any disparagement is involved.

Interesting though your response is, it is presumptuous; as you lack any knowledge of what I am or am not familiar with. Yet, your attitude is one I can appreciate. Truly, I do realise how frustrating it must be to find that others refuse to fit into one's own paradigm. Fortunately, I am blessed with the ability to allow others to form their own opinions; without feeling any threat to my own views or beliefs. 

If you had wished a discussion on Brehon Law, rather than assume that I was unfamiliar with it, we could have continued quite cordially. However, I do not respond favourably to such tactics as you have displayed and you have curtailed any chance of that. Continue to believe what you will, I have no control over your thoughts; nor do I wish to. Confident in my own knowledge, I feel no need to prove anything to you or anyone else for that matter.

God be with you.
 
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