Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church

Mor Ephrem

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Orest said:
Stavro said:
minasoliman said:
Mother Irini, who is well on her way to be canonized one day in the Coptic Church, also preached even to presbyters who came to hear her even though she wished for the presbyters to be the one to preach and to sit in a higher seat in her presence.
A cliche, empty of any content. Not even remotely related to the heresy of women's ordination to priesthood, should it be as chanters, readers, prophets or presbyter.

Apostles also came to St.Mary to seek her blessings. Yet, the Holy Theotokos was never considered for priesthood. She never stood at the front pews as chanter, never preached and never led as a deacon or entered the altar in any capacity. Far be it from her to be connected to this heresy. 

Well, unless you consider the status of the late Tamav Iriny and her likes worthy of more consideration for priesthood than the Theotokos, which I would not be surprised if you do.
Which Orthodox Church do you belong to?  Even in apostolic times there were deaconesses. And we already have women choir directors, cantors and theologians. This is not heresy so try learning something.
You should wait for Stavro to answer the questions you have asked him before implying he is ignorant.  You're not exactly Basil the Great.   
 

Stavro

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How do you know so much about what the Theotokos did or did not do in church? Where is all this documented?
I cannot prove a negative.

Do you have proof that the holy Theotokos was a priestess, or performing any duties of the clergy?   
 

minasoliman

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Stavro said:
minasoliman said:
Mother Irini, who is well on her way to be canonized one day in the Coptic Church, also preached even to presbyters who came to hear her even though she wished for the presbyters to be the one to preach and to sit in a higher seat in her presence.
A cliche, empty of any content. Not even remotely related to the heresy of women's ordination to priesthood, should it be as chanters, readers, prophets or presbyter.

Apostles also came to St.Mary to seek her blessings. Yet, the Holy Theotokos was never considered for priesthood. She never stood at the front pews as chanter, never preached and never led as a deacon or entered the altar in any capacity. Far be it from her to be connected to this heresy. 

Well, unless you consider the status of the late Tamav Iriny and her likes worthy of more consideration for priesthood than the Theotokos, which I would not be surprised if you do.
Where did you get the idea that I was rooting for female priesthood?

And a female "chanter" is not a heresy.  It is an ancient Church tradition.  But it's not the first time you got theology wrong Stavro.  It's okay, like the issue with Fr. Matta al Maskeen, I have faith you'll learn from your mistakes.
 

Stavro

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Where did you get the idea that I was rooting for female priesthood?
You are defending female ordination to the rank of chanters in the Coptic Church. Chanters are among the ranks of priesthood in the Coptic Church and you actually get ordained to it. You do not get ordained to a service.

Your reference to Tamav Iriny is forgivable because you have no understanding of the Egyptian culture, the crowd she is talking to, the type of visitors who come to the monastery. Your total lack of knowledge about Egyptian culture and Arabic always leads you to wrong inferences about "preaching" in front of bishops and "teaching" while priests are sitting, while she is merely telling some miracles of St. Mercurious. It seems that the person you rely on for interpretation is equally ignorant.

I was correcting you as I usually do. I hope you are not offended.

It's okay, like the issue with Fr. Matta al Maskeen, I have faith you'll learn from your mistakes.
Thank you, brother, of reminding me with the example of Fr. Matta El-Meskeen, an act which needed integrity, courage and a spine. I hope you can one time do the same, grow a spine and admit your mistake and be a pioneer among your family.   
 

Stavro

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Basil the Great,

Which Orthodox Church do you belong to?
The Coptic Orthodox Church. You?

Even in apostolic times there were deaconesses.
Thank you for the valuable information that were hidden from all of us. Did they perform priesthood duties?

And we already have women choir directors, cantors and theologians.
Are these priesthood offices in your church?

This is not heresy so try learning something.
Reading your posts is not particularly helpful in learning anything. 
 

TheTrisagion

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Stavro's posts fascinate me. He is clearly an intelligent guy, yet he has the most monstrous chip on his shoulder. I feel like I could learn a lot from him if he toned down the rhetoric to a tolerable level.
 

minasoliman

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Stavro said:
Where did you get the idea that I was rooting for female priesthood?
You are defending female ordination to the rank of chanters in the Coptic Church. Chanters are among the ranks of priesthood in the Coptic Church and you actually get ordained to it. You do not get ordained to a service.
Actually Stavro, if you really need to get technical, the Church fathers teach that we are all "priests and kings" from the moment of our chrismation.  We become "Christs".  All people are both "laymen" and "priests", from the lowest of the ranks to the patriarch.  Only presbyters and bishops are to be male.  That much I made clear.

Chanters are not given the authority to bless over the Eucharist, nor even to enter the altar, nor the authority to chant the gospel.  The "first order of priesthood" is the Christian; the first order of those serving in the altar is the deacon; the first order of those who preside over the Eucharist is the presvyteros.  This is proper Orthodox ecclesiology, and being a "chanter" is not something that is "male-only", and does not apply or make sense in your argument.  You've been corrected by this before, and the whole of Oriental Orthodoxy contradicts your position.

Your reference to Tamav Iriny is forgivable because you have no understanding of the Egyptian culture, the crowd she is talking to, the type of visitors who come to the monastery. Your total lack of knowledge about Egyptian culture and Arabic always leads you to wrong inferences about "preaching" in front of bishops and "teaching" while priests are sitting, while she is merely telling some miracles of St. Mercurious. It seems that the person you rely on for interpretation is equally ignorant.

I was correcting you as I usually do. I hope you are not offended.
No, not at all.  I'm happy to be corrected by you when I do mistakes.  Correct me if I'm wrong though.  She's in a church, sharing miracles of the saint.  Sharing miracles is a form of preaching, is it not?  This is done all the time from the Synexarium, to testify of the holiness of a saint and seeking that saint's prayers and example.
 

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Stavro said:
How do you know so much about what the Theotokos did or did not do in church? Where is all this documented?
I cannot prove a negative.
Then don't assert it.

Stavro said:
Do you have proof that the holy Theotokos was a priestess, or performing any duties of the clergy? 
I never asserted any such thing.
 

Salpy

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It was mentioned a couple of years ago in this thread that the Armenian Church has an ancient tradition of ordaining deaconesses, but it's restricted to nuns.  Here's a picture from before the Genocide:




 

podkarpatska

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PeterTheAleut said:
Stavro said:
minasoliman said:
Mother Irini, who is well on her way to be canonized one day in the Coptic Church, also preached even to presbyters who came to hear her even though she wished for the presbyters to be the one to preach and to sit in a higher seat in her presence.
A cliche, empty of any content. Not even remotely related to the heresy of women's ordination to priesthood, should it be as chanters, readers, prophets or presbyter.

Apostles also came to St.Mary to seek her blessings. Yet, the Holy Theotokos was never considered for priesthood. She never stood at the front pews as chanter, never preached and never led as a deacon or entered the altar in any capacity. Far be it from her to be connected to this heresy. 

Well, unless you consider the status of the late Tamav Iriny and her likes worthy of more consideration for priesthood than the Theotokos, which I would not be surprised if you do.
How do you know so much about what the Theotokos did or did not do in church? Where is all this documented?
Indeed, I was surprised to learn here that there were apparently pews, chanters and altars as we know them today in the immediate early Apostolic era. We know there were deacons from the Acts of the Apostles and obviously Paul and others were preachers but really?

Seriously, I have been at Sunday of Orthodoxy services where a talk was given in the Church by an Orthodox nun at least twice over the years...She had no notion of being anything more than a nun..in fact one talk was about why there are no female deacons or priests in our Tradition.
 

Orest

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Seriously, I have been at Sunday of Orthodoxy services where a talk was given in the Church by an Orthodox nun at least twice over the years...She had no notion of being anything more than a nun..in fact one talk was about why there are no female deacons or priests in our Tradition.
Where have you been living that you missed all the news going back to 1976 about the Pan-Orthodox Conferences on the restoration of deaconesses, the icons of deaconesses of the early church, all the books and articles since 1976 about deaconesses and women's ministry.  The restoration of deaconesses by the Orthodox Church of Greece.  And the big conference in New York this year too.
 

podkarpatska

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Orest said:
Seriously, I have been at Sunday of Orthodoxy services where a talk was given in the Church by an Orthodox nun at least twice over the years...She had no notion of being anything more than a nun..in fact one talk was about why there are no female deacons or priests in our Tradition.
Where have you been living that you missed all the news going back to 1976 about the Pan-Orthodox Conferences on the restoration of deaconesses, the icons of deaconesses of the early church, all the books and articles since 1976 about deaconesses and women's ministry.  The restoration of deaconesses by the Orthodox Church of Greece.  And the big conference in New York this year too.
A lot of talk, sure...but as Shakespeare observed in Macbeth(but for the part about the idiot) it is a tale full of sound and fury, but in the end signifying nothing. In other words, all of that talk is not a path to the diaconate and priesthood as known in the contemporary Orthodox Church. At least that is how I see it. Woman will not be presiding over the chalice at the altar or anywhere.
 

Stavro

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Quote from: Stavro on July 13, 2015, 08:40:19 PM
Quote
How do you know so much about what the Theotokos did or did not do in church? Where is all this documented?

I cannot prove a negative.
Then don't assert it.
Are you aware of the concept that one cannot prove a negative?

Consider this:

+ The church history does not include any individual liturgical role for women, and it is totally absent.
+ The scripture explicitly forbids women to preach in the church, and offers a strong theological reason to for this command.
+ Praxis does not include any traces of individual and special roles for women in church worship. They are part of the congregation as much as laymen are, not to occupy special places in chanting, reading or offering.
+ The the canons clearly seal this issue, confirming Tradition, Scripture and Praxis with preventing any special .
+ This heresy appears only in an age of liberalism and increasing feminism, aided by ecclesiastical confusion and lack of courage by clergy to proclaim the truth.
     
To further confirm the nature of this teaching as heretical, the role of St. Mary in the church was not one of leadership. If the audacious breach of Tradition in allowing women to preach or lead is warranted, it would have been breached first by the Theotokos and we would have had some indication, even one hint.

If the above is contested, the burden of proof is on you.

Quote from: Stavro on July 13, 2015, 08:40:19 PM
Do you have proof that the holy Theotokos was a priestess, or performing any duties of the clergy? 
I never asserted any such thing.
Good. That is enough for me.
 

Stavro

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You've been corrected by this before, and the whole of Oriental Orthodoxy contradicts your position.
More accurately, the truth I proclaimed regarding women ordination has been ignorantly attacked by others liberals, on an internet forum.

There is a decision by the Coptic Holy Synod to forbid having ladies chanting in the choir or dressing up like deacons and sitting the front pews as a separate choir. The bishop of LA, the author of confusion and innovation, is in clear breach of a synod decision. As much is clear.

Rather than making grandiose statements like "whole of Oriental Orthodox", look first within the established Tradition, reflected in a decision like the one above.

At any point of history, can you prove that such female liturgical choir existed? Ever?

Actually Stavro, if you really need to get technical, the Church fathers teach that we are all "priests and kings" from the moment of our chrismation.  We become "Christs".  All people are both "laymen" and "priests", from the lowest of the ranks to the patriarch.  Only presbyters and bishops are to be male.  That much I made clear.
And that much is wrong, because you arbitrary stop at the level of presbyter without offering a valid reason, nor is your argument supported by Tradition and praxis.

Deacons are among priesthood, as much should be clear from Tradition and from praxis. The rank of deacon includes chanters and readers. If you ever happen to accidentally attend a liturgy, and you luck out and you have an ordination of chanters, pay attention to the words that are being recited if a full consecration rite is performed. If it is too much to endure, just pay attention to the change of name part, which is associated with priesthood and the descent of the Holy Spirit for separation from the rest.

Chanters are not given the authority to bless over the Eucharist
Nor do readers or subdeacon distribute the Eucharist, and they are among the priesthood.

She's in a church, sharing miracles of the saint.  Sharing miracles is a form of preaching, is it not?  This is done all the time from the Synexarium, to testify of the holiness of a saint and seeking that saint's prayers and example.
But she did not read the Synexarium in a liturgy, nor did she preach in a liturgy, nor does telling a story constitute preaching.

Telling a story to the Pope Tawadros for example, about the true miracle of a Coptic patriarch stricken by the Lord on the night before he united with Rome, is not a form of liturgical preaching. 

You're not going to get off that easy with me.  You know the rules for proper titles.  Don't play games with the forum rules Stavro.

--Mina
 

PeterTheAleut

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Stavro said:
Quote from: Stavro on July 13, 2015, 08:40:19 PM
Quote
How do you know so much about what the Theotokos did or did not do in church? Where is all this documented?

I cannot prove a negative.
Then don't assert it.
Are you aware of the concept that one cannot prove a negative?
Yes, I am aware of that concept. You assert a negative then afterward tell me that you can't prove it. If you know that you can't prove a claim, then don't make the claim. It's really that simple.

Stavro said:
Consider this:

+ The church history does not include any individual liturgical role for women, and it is totally absent.
+ The scripture explicitly forbids women to preach in the church, and offers a strong theological reason to for this command.
+ Praxis does not include any traces of individual and special roles for women in church worship. They are part of the congregation as much as laymen are, not to occupy special places in chanting, reading or offering.
+ The the canons clearly seal this issue, confirming Tradition, Scripture and Praxis with preventing any special .
+ This heresy appears only in an age of liberalism and increasing feminism, aided by ecclesiastical confusion and lack of courage by clergy to proclaim the truth.
This doesn't prove your claim, though.
     
Stavro said:
To further confirm the nature of this teaching as heretical, the role of St. Mary in the church was not one of leadership. If the audacious breach of Tradition in allowing women to preach or lead is warranted, it would have been breached first by the Theotokos and we would have had some indication, even one hint.
Ho hum. Just the same unprovable, negative claim you made earlier, only in different words.

Stavro said:
If the above is contested, the burden of proof is on you.
If I was asserting that you're wrong, then yes, the burden of proof would be on me. However, I'm not claiming that you're wrong. I'm just pointing out that you don't have any proof that you're right--you even admit that you can't prove that you're right.

Stavro said:
Quote from: Stavro on July 13, 2015, 08:40:19 PM
Do you have proof that the holy Theotokos was a priestess, or performing any duties of the clergy? 
I never asserted any such thing.
Good. That is enough for me.
And yet you won't stop asserting the negative truth claim you admit you can't prove.
 

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podkarpatska said:
Orest said:
Seriously, I have been at Sunday of Orthodoxy services where a talk was given in the Church by an Orthodox nun at least twice over the years...She had no notion of being anything more than a nun..in fact one talk was about why there are no female deacons or priests in our Tradition.
Where have you been living that you missed all the news going back to 1976 about the Pan-Orthodox Conferences on the restoration of deaconesses, the icons of deaconesses of the early church, all the books and articles since 1976 about deaconesses and women's ministry.  The restoration of deaconesses by the Orthodox Church of Greece.  And the big conference in New York this year too.
A lot of talk, sure...but as Shakespeare observed in Macbeth(but for the part about the idiot) it is a tale full of sound and fury, but in the end signifying nothing. In other words, all of that talk is not a path to the diaconate and priesthood as known in the contemporary Orthodox Church. At least that is how I see it. Woman will not be presiding over the chalice at the altar or anywhere.
I hear you about seeing ordained deaconesses here in North America.
But we cannot deny the historical reality and facts of ordained deaconesses in the past: it is only the long time it is taking to restore this.
Also I see around me more and more involvement of women in the ministry and activity in the Orthodox Church.  I have posted in this group that in the countries of the former USSR there are a multitude of women cantors and choir directors in Orthodox churches and that special seminary programmes of up to 3 years especially for women cantors and choir directors existed and had many students in the classes.  That to me is an important ministry and way for women to use their gifts.  Then there is the fact of more women involved in church governance attending sobors as delegates, getting elected to parish councils and to church committees.  Next is education  not just at the Sunday School or parish level but women with doctorates in theology writing and publishing. 
And how about women chaplains in hospitals:
Our church for example has a woman chaplain
http://www.infoukes.com/newpathway/47-2005_Page-6.htm

and I read that there are more Orthodox women chaplains in the USA. 
 

Salpy

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The chaplaincy is different from the priesthood, though.  From the linked interview:

NP:“Chaplain” usually refers to male clergy, yet, you are a non-ordained female in the Orthodox Church. Can you explain this term?

LMS: The term “chaplain” does not at all apply to me within the Orthodox Church. As a female, I am not ordained in any kind of clergy ranks for this hospital ministry, nor do I have the calling, interest, or desire to be ordained to the priesthood. I have always strongly emphasized this. The term “chaplain” is a hospital designation. Neither Orthodox nor Catholics acknowledge this term for females, so using the term has been controversial to say the least.  Recently, however, our spiritual care staff “chaplains” have been renamed “Spiritual Care Specialists,” a change of title which may serve to alleviate at least some of the controversy.
 

Salpy

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I agree with Stavro that St. Mary did not formally preach or have a leadership position in the Church.  Something like that would have been written about, if not in the canonical New Testament than at least in some of the other writings that have survived from the early Church. 

Of course I would imagine that she often spoke when the Apostles or other Christians were gathered with her, and her words would have been treasured by anyone who heard them.  Otherwise, how would we know about the events surrounding the Nativity of Christ, or the incident in the temple when He was young?  That sort of thing would be different, however, from the preaching that St. Paul and other Apostles did, and which was recorded in the New Testament.  It would be strange if the Holy Mother did that sort of preaching and there were no record of it anywhere. 


What I don't understand is Stavro's assertion that the deaconate is the same as the priesthood.  I know they are both major orders, but I thought that they were not the same thing.  Maybe I misunderstood.
 

minasoliman

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He's saying that the chapters and readers are "orders of the diaconate".  He's wrong, and I'll explain later.  He is also of the theology that "priesthood" and "clergy" are synonyms.  It's a common mistake, where it is not realized that the priesthood actually begins at chrismation.  But when I say that, he misconstrues this to mean that I am advocating for female presbytery and episcopacy.  And when I mentioned the preaching of a nun, once again, a miscontruing of the idea that I am advocating a woman took up some sort of higher clerical role.  He's building a straw man not realizing how wrong he is.

Also, if anyone knows anything about St. Ephrem the Syrian, one would know he established the female choir at his time, which the Syriac Church to this day tonsures.
 

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Stavro said:
Quote from: Stavro on July 13, 2015, 08:40:19 PM
Quote
How do you know so much about what the Theotokos did or did not do in church? Where is all this documented?

I cannot prove a negative.
Then don't assert it.
Are you aware of the concept that one cannot prove a negative?

Consider this:

+ The church history does not include any individual liturgical role for women, and it is totally absent.
+ The scripture explicitly forbids women to preach in the church, and offers a strong theological reason to for this command.
+ Praxis does not include any traces of individual and special roles for women in church worship. They are part of the congregation as much as laymen are, not to occupy special places in chanting, reading or offering.
+ The the canons clearly seal this issue, confirming Tradition, Scripture and Praxis with preventing any special .
+ This heresy appears only in an age of liberalism and increasing feminism, aided by ecclesiastical confusion and lack of courage by clergy to proclaim the truth.
     
To further confirm the nature of this teaching as heretical, the role of St. Mary in the church was not one of leadership. If the audacious breach of Tradition in allowing women to preach or lead is warranted, it would have been breached first by the Theotokos and we would have had some indication, even one hint.

If the above is contested, the burden of proof is on you.

Quote from: Stavro on July 13, 2015, 08:40:19 PM
Do you have proof that the holy Theotokos was a priestess, or performing any duties of the clergy? 
I never asserted any such thing.
Good. That is enough for me.
You wrote: "The scripture explicitly forbids women to preach in the church, and offers a strong theological reason to for this command."

I strongly recommend reading an excellent book on this subject: Feminism and Tradition: Quiet Reflections on Ordination and Communion by Fr. Lawrence R. Farley, an Orthodox priest and Biblical scholar. His research of those verses that you are alluding to refer to the need for the pastor of a NT church to ensure that Apostolic teaching is preserved intact; specifically, to decide whether the prophesy uttered by a man or woman is according to the received Tradition (teachings).

I will say a general word about any of our services, particularly the Divine Liturgy. According to Father Alexander of thrice blessed memory,prayers are not completed until a response is given: Amen, Lord have mercy, to Thee O Lord, etc. Thus, all of the people of God have a liturgical function: men, women, old, young--it does not matter.
 

Mor Ephrem

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minasoliman said:
He's saying that the chapters and readers are "orders of the diaconate".  He's wrong, and I'll explain later. 
Actually, I would argue that he's right about that but wrong about categorising "diaconate" under "priesthood", as in:

He is also of the theology that "priesthood" and "clergy" are synonyms. 
All priests are clerics, but not all clerics are priests.

It's a common mistake, where it is not realized that the priesthood actually begins at chrismation.  But when I say that, he misconstrues this to mean that I am advocating for female presbytery and episcopacy.  And when I mentioned the preaching of a nun, once again, a miscontruing of the idea that I am advocating a woman took up some sort of higher clerical role.  He's building a straw man not realizing how wrong he is.
I'm not willing to criticise Stavro over this.  He's hardly the only Copt who uses terms differently.  There seems to be a lot of confusion out there.

Also, if anyone knows anything about St. Ephrem the Syrian, one would know he established the female choir at his time, which the Syriac Church to this day tonsures.
+1
 

minasoliman

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Mor Ephrem said:
I'm not willing to criticise Stavro over this.  He's hardly the only Copt who uses terms differently.  There seems to be a lot of confusion out there.
I sympathize.  Based on this discussion we had a while ago, I forgot about the certain points you made.  Nevertheless, I am in general theological agreement with the thoughts of Jonathan in that thread.  My main focus is that we are all priests and we are all la-os, including the Pope.  And it's amazing, I debunked the strawman in that thread that I am for the ordination of women to the presbyterate and episcopacy, and I still get the same accusation. 

Just a question:  did you mean that all clergy are priests but not all priests are clergy?

In the Gregorian Liturgy we pray for all the orders of the Church, and the orders of the Church are listed in three particular prayers by the celebrant of the liturgy, first the episcopacy, then from the hegumen to the subdiaconate, then the rest of the orders of the Church:

Priest: This which exists from one end of the world to the other. And those in it who divide the word of truth in uprightness.  And most of all our honoured father the Patriarch Abba (...), and for his brothers in the apostolic ministry, (...), and for his partner in the apostolic ministry, our father the Metropolitan (or Bishop) Abba (...).

Deacon: Pray for our high-priest, Pope Abba (...) Pope, Patriarch and Archbishop of the great city of Alexandria, and for his brothers in the apostolic ministry, (...), and for his partner in the apostolic ministry, our father the Metropolitan (or Bishop) Abba (...), and for our Orthodox Bishops.

People: Lord have mercy.

Priest: And for those who dwell in this place and for those who have fallen asleep. The bishops, the hegumens, the presbyters, the deacons and the subdeacons.

Deacon: Pray for the hegumens, the presbyters, the deacons and the subdeacons, and the seven orders of the Church of God.

People: Lord have mercy.

Priest: The readers, the cantors, the exorcists, the monks, the virgins, the widows, the orphans, the hermits, the laity and all the
fullness of Your holy Church, O God of the faithful.

People: Lord have mercy.


If there needs to be some consistency, it seems to me that even the laity can be considered "an order of the priesthood".

I find it interesting that the same Holy Synod lead by the same Pope who used to be a general bishop is the same authority Stavro is appealing to despite his derision of the present Coptic Papacy because of the fact these men were general bishops before they became Popes.
 

minasoliman

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Stavro said:
But she did not read the Synexarium in a liturgy, nor did she preach in a liturgy, nor does telling a story constitute preaching.

Telling a story to the Pope Tawadros for example, about the true miracle of a Coptic patriarch stricken by the Lord on the night before he united with Rome, is not a form of liturgical preaching. 

You're not going to get off that easy with me.  You know the rules for proper titles.  Don't play games with the forum rules Stavro.

--Mina
No she did not.  You and I seem to disagree on what the word "preach" means.  You look at it more in a liturgical setting.  I am broadening the definition.  I did not say she read the Synexarium or read anything during the liturgy.  I am saying, in the broadest sense, she is preaching the virtues and miracles of the saints, similar to what we hear from the Synexarium.  Even if it is telling the story about the Pope who died before uniting with Rome, it would be a form of preaching (and perhaps a needed reminder).  I never said anything about "liturgical preaching", which you seem to equate with giving sermons.
 

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minasoliman said:
Just a question:  did you mean that all clergy are priests but not all priests are clergy?
No, I meant that all priests are clerics but not all clerics are priests. 

In terms of baptism, we can speak of the laos as a kingdom of priests, but we should be able to take it for granted that this is something different from the ordained ministries and avoid muddling things. 

All priests (presbyters) are clerics.  But not all clerics are priests (presbyters).  Some are archdeacons, others are deacons, others are subdeacons, others are readers, others are chanters, etc. 

In the Gregorian Liturgy we pray for all the orders of the Church, and the orders of the Church are listed in three particular prayers by the celebrant of the liturgy, first the episcopacy, then from the hegumen to the subdiaconate, then the rest of the orders of the Church:

...

If there needs to be some consistency, it seems to me that even the laity can be considered "an order of the priesthood".
It's interesting that the passage you quoted doesn't talk about "orders of the priesthood" but about "orders of the Church of God".  There is no denying that "baptised" is an order of the Church.  So is "deacon".  But only one of those is a cleric, and I wouldn't really categorise either as "priesthood" without some further qualification.

It's also interesting that the deacon's invocation refers to "seven orders" but the priest's prayer lists nine orders.  :p
 

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Okay, so here is the way I have been defining the terms.  I have been avoiding equating "priest" with "presbyter" for the Biblical reason that the term "priest" was a more general baptismal term.

The more interesting thing is that the first 6 the "priest" reply mentions is part of that seven, and the last three is not.  I have been taught that the "seventh" order was "doorkeeper" and for some reason, it is not listed.
 

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minasoliman said:
Okay, so here is the way I have been defining the terms.  I have been avoiding equating "priest" with "presbyter" for the Biblical reason that the term "priest" was a more general baptismal term.
Well, I don't mind using this distinction for the purpose of discussion here, but I'm not willing to dogmatise such a distinction.  We have plenty of experience with using the term "priest" as the English word we use for "presbyter", experience we don't really have with calling your newly baptised niece "priest".  :p

The more interesting thing is that the first 6 the "priest" reply mentions is part of that seven, and the last three is not.  I have been taught that the "seventh" order was "doorkeeper" and for some reason, it is not listed.
Interesting.  "Virgins", "widows", and "orphans" are almost certainly traditional "orders" (we read about them in the NT), with "monks" and "hermits" being later additions that, IMO, ought not to be numbered with the seven.  But numbering the seven orders has always varied by tradition.

In our tradition, the "seven orders" are

1.  Baptised (laity)
2.  Confessors (which is more like "catechist" than "someone who suffered for confessing the faith")
3.  Chanters
4.  Readers
5.  Subdeacons
6.  Deacons
7.  Presbyters

Bishops, for whatever reason, are not explicitly mentioned in this list, and I suspect it is a holdover from a time when "bishops" and "presbyters" were not so different.  There are other orders, of course, but these are considered either to be outside the "seven order" structure or "sub-orders" of one of the seven. 

For us, "doorkeeper" is combined with "subdeacon". 
 

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I find it interesting that the same Holy Synod lead by the same Pope who used to be a general bishop is the same authority Stavro is appealing to despite his derision of the present Coptic Papacy because of the fact these men were general bishops before they became Popes.
I have nothing personal against the synod. Their share of Orthodox decisions, maybe despite the wish of their superior, is to be praised, and the condemnation of the heresy of female priesthood and choirs is Orthodox.

You used to criticize Pope Shenouda and Anba Bishoy on Theosis but always used the unity agreements signed by both as your Bible. And as far as I remember, you weren't too happy with the general bishop promotion either.

I find it more interesting that you have no reference in the whole history of the church for a female choir, and you refer to a single tradition of a foreign church to validate your theories.

Even if it is telling the story about the Pope who died before uniting with Rome, it would be a form of preaching (and perhaps a needed reminder).
She didn't say this particular story. It was hypothetical, but in your effort to justify a warning you edited my post and screwed up the context of this part of my post. 

You wrote: "The scripture explicitly forbids women to preach in the church, and offers a strong theological reason to for this command."

I strongly recommend reading an excellent book on this subject: Feminism and Tradition: Quiet Reflections on Ordination and Communion by Fr. Lawrence R. Farley, an Orthodox priest and Biblical scholar. His research of those verses that you are alluding to refer to the need for the pastor of a NT church to ensure that Apostolic teaching is preserved intact; specifically, to decide whether the prophesy uttered by a man or woman is according to the received Tradition (teachings).

I will say a general word about any of our services, particularly the Divine Liturgy. According to Father Alexander of thrice blessed memory,prayers are not completed until a response is given: Amen, Lord have mercy, to Thee O Lord, etc. Thus, all of the people of God have a liturgical function: men, women, old, young--it does not matter.
Thank you for the reference. I will look it up.
 

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I'm just trying to understand what is being discussed here.  Has the Holy Synod of the Coptic Church condemned having choir ladies?
 

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Stavro said:
She didn't say this particular story. It was hypothetical, but in your effort to justify a warning you edited my post and screwed up the context of this part of my post. 
If you like to discuss why I penalized you, you should do so only with PM.  I'm letting you off the hook on this one Stavro.  You are not allowed to challenge or question mod directives publicly.

Mina
 

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Salpy said:
I'm just trying to understand what is being discussed here.  Has the Holy Synod of the Coptic Church condemned having choir ladies?
Yes and No...HH Pope Shenouda brought back the order of female chantresses, but the Synod disallowed the use of the same "white robe" male chanters wear, and frowned upon the idea.  Nevertheless, HG Bishop Serapion of LA seemed to have gotten permission from HH Pope Shenouda as he stated in his article to start female choirs, but not to wear the same thing as chanters do.  I am not sure whether that means the Synod changed the decree later or not.
 

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minasoliman said:
Salpy said:
I'm just trying to understand what is being discussed here.  Has the Holy Synod of the Coptic Church condemned having choir ladies?
Yes and No...HH Pope Shenouda brought back the order of female chantresses, but the Synod disallowed the use of the same "white robe" male chanters wear, and frowned upon the idea.  Nevertheless, HG Bishop Serapion of LA seemed to have gotten permission from HH Pope Shenouda as he stated in his article to start female choirs, but not to wear the same thing as chanters do.  I am not sure whether that means the Synod changed the decree later or not.
Yes, the Synod did make an additional anti-Anba Serapion decree later (in 2010):
http://www.metroplit-bishoy.org/files/female%20choir.docx
 

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minasoliman said:
Stavro said:
She didn't say this particular story. It was hypothetical, but in your effort to justify a warning you edited my post and screwed up the context of this part of my post. 
If you like to discuss why I penalized you, you should do so only with PM.  I'm letting you off the hook on this one Stavro.  You are not allowed to challenge or question mod directives publicly.

Mina
I did not challenge the warning. I would not give you this testosterone shot you crave for. In addition, the warning you sent to me was not signed by you but by some oc.net team with no option to reply, so I let it go.

Read my latest post again. Your editing screwed the post and it seemed that Tamav is saying a story about John 14th , 96th Pope of Alexandria, which she is not. The Lord spared Tamav from our evil time , reposed 2006, and she had no reason to suspect a unity with Rome and criticize it openly. It was not on the table during the Papacy of Anba Shenouda. I needed to clarify and explain the source of confusion.

 

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I warned you not to challenge my mod actions and directives publicly.  Suit yourself.  You can pretend you're not challenging the warning, but don't kid yourself.  I gave you a chance to PM me and you wish to keep it public.  You are now on post-moderation.

Mina
 

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Okay, rather than leaving the discussion unanswered, since there are some questions, perhaps I should explain some of the other issues that I am being challenged on:

1.  The Coptic Synod:  Already the Synod has advocated general bishops and has even struggled, not merely shut down easily, but struggle to keep diocesan bishops away from the papacy.  My allusion to the irony of supporting the Synod is the irony that one would seem to support the Synod's supposed ecclesiological suppositions on what a chanter is, which is NOT a deacon, and yet inconsistently go against their idea of general bishops.

2. When it came to theosis, it is correctly remembered that I stood against the decisions made against theosis, and I stood against decisions and ideas of the general episcopacy and the use of the general bishop to the Papacy.  But what is done is done.  I can only share my ideas and my feelings, and hope for the best.  The problem is when I used to go against some heirarchs for their anti-theosis stand, I was accused of being a heretic and an innovator.  The same attacks are now used against me when I share the fact that having female chanters is not against the faith of the Church.  The reminder that perhaps one's over-ignorance in supporting the ironic Synodal decrees that one now admits is wrong is not a "spineless act", but a reminder to show that I do have backing, and that perhaps this reminder might help understand a pattern of behavior that might avoid to continue the same idea that someone is an innovating heretic in the Church.

3.  The use of the historical evidence of St. Ephrem is called a "foreign church."  The question is what is "foreign" and does that make everything St. Ephrem did (as well as the Syriac Church) a heresy and everything a Coptic person does Orthodoxy?  Or is one having a hard time admitting one's ignorance that I can find a historical precedent that one is shutting one's eyes to?
 

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genesisone said:
This article entitled "Rethinking 'Biblical Equality'" helped me understand better the role of a priest as well as why the priesthood is open only to men.
I just read this, and read about the author, Alice Linsley.  Very interesting!  Does anyone know if she has written any books on the subject, or only blogs?
 
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