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Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church

surajiype

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ozgeorge said:
You seem to think that before an Oecumenical Council is called, it's decisions are already known. That is not how it works. An Oecumenical Synod is convoked to settle disputes, not with the idea that the dispute is settled already. In the example of the dispute about the Iconoclasm, the Iconoclasts were equally cock-sure that they not only had Tradition on their side, but that God Himself had already decreed in their favour on Mount Sinai in the Second Commandment of the Decalogue. Both sides of the Iconoclasm dispute argued from Tradition, both sides were sure they were correct.
What could be the role of the Holy Spirit in the decision of the Ecumenical Council? Was the decision of the Ecumenical council a well considered but nevertheless a rational decision . In that case it is no more than a historical accident, is it not.

 

ozgeorge

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montalban

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ozgeorge said:
You seem to think that before an Oecumenical Council is called, it's decisions are already known. That is not how it works. An Oecumenical Synod is convoked to settle disputes, not with the idea that the dispute is settled already. In the example of the dispute about the Iconoclasm, the Iconoclasts were equally cock-sure that they not only had Tradition on their side, but that God Himself had already decreed in their favour on Mount Sinai in the Second Commandment of the Decalogue. Both sides of the Iconoclasm dispute argued from Tradition, both sides were sure they were correct.
It was indeed called to settle a dispute, but that's because some were teaching with 'authority' what wasn't tradition. The opposition in such cases tries to show through reworking of tradition that their beliefs were always 'traditional'. The members of council gather together and say "This is what was always taught".
 

montalban

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ozgeorge said:
Rather than repeat myself with what I have just spent an hour typing on another thread, can I just direct you there:
That took you an hour? Do you use more than two fingers? ;)
 

montalban

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ozgeorge said:
Rather than repeat myself with what I have just spent an hour typing on another thread, can I just direct you there:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=8926.msg118369#msg118369
Looking at that which you typed I note the following...
ozgeorge said:
The doctrines can be made clearer and clearer.
I agree. What can be made more clearer about accepting women as priests? Your defence of this 'progression' implies something is (as it is currently understood) not clear.
 

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The church does and has evolved to meet the cultural demands of the people...consider the difference between Slavic and Greek Christianity, there are substantial differences and changes dependent on culture. So also has the Church changed and adopted with time. We started as a small Jewish Community, became primarially Greek in thought, we went from a persecuted minority to the Imperial Religion and in doing so integrated the Empire into the Church (Imperial law had the same force of canon law within the Church, the Emperor would enter the Altar through the Royal Doors, the Emperor summoned Oecumenical Synods, etc.). Again, with the establishment of the Church outside the Empire different structures arose, when the Empire fell yet new adjustments were made...The Church has always evolved and adapted...that is the way it both expanded and survived.
Political and ceremonial issues?  You missed my point completely.  I was referring to the constituency of the Church, i.e. its PEOPLE. ÂÂ

Church = People

I say it again, the very structure of the Church does not change.

Actually, you can have it both ways...Imagine Jewish people brought up in a Greco-Roman Society had BOTH Jewish and Greco-Roman influences!!! WOW, who would have thought. Thus, I addressed the influence of the two primary influences.
One has no women priests.  The other has women priests.  Hence, they are mutually exclusive.  Either you have it, or you don't.

The Jewish culture would exclude women from religion, whereas the Greco-Roman would include them, but in lesser roles.
Your argument about "lesser roles" is a clever yet desperate attempt to defend your untenable position.  By itself, it is already an admission that women were appointed as priests in ancient times.

I want whoever is the most qualified and capable to be the Patriarch of Constantinople.
Fortunately, what you "want" doesn't matter.  The Church after all, is not a democracy.

No, that is not my perception or at least not it in it's entirety; but it is the posistion of many throughout history...and many on this board who would argue against the ordination of women based on a fear of women having any authority or power; thus pragmatism demands we address that point
The priesthood is about serving people.  It is a sacrifice.

Men trying to prevent women from getting power is nothing but a misogynistic chauvinist agenda.
I beg your pardon.  Are you accusing the Church of having a misogynistic chauvinist agenda?

btw, I consider myself a feminist, so my response is pretty much, so what?
That's quite obvious.

But what this celibacy does demonstrate is that the Church, in her practice, has not interpreted Paul's teachings in the manner you suggested...if she had, then we would have not only maintained a married episcopacy, but would have established marriage as a pre-requisite for the episcopacy.
That argument is based on the assumption that marriage is a prerequisite to priesthood.  Where did you get that idea?  That's absurd.  What Paul was concerned about was polygamy and disorder within the family; he was not advocating priests to marry at all!
 

surajiype

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ozgeorge said:
Let's look at another example which actually happened. A bishop stood up in Constantinople and told his congregation that Christ was actually two persons and the Virgin Mary was only the Mother of the human one of them. Half the congregation got up and walked out because they didn't recognise the Voice of the True Shepherd in the bishop. Christ's sheep know His voice, not by defined, inscribed dogmas, but by the Holy Spirit. The dogma of the One Hypostasis had not been defined yet, but the traditional hymns of the Church already praised the Virgin as "Theotokos" and her "in whom the Word was wholly circumscribed." This bishop, they understood, was introducing a "new" revelation which the Apostles had not received.
And it is not erroneous to say that nothing can be newly revealed to the Church simply because of the fact that it may be newly revealed to individuals within the Church. The fact that all the dogmas are not known to an individual at their baptism doesn't lessen the fact that the Church catholic knows them.
And we also need to look at what we mean by "knowing". We cannot speak of "knowing" in the Church only in terms of cognition. St Paul was "caught up to the Third Heaven" (whatever that means) and "heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter" (2Cor. 12:2-4). There is a "knowing" in the Church of things which cannot be expressed in words.

Two men see a bush in the dark and one imagines it to be a distant city, while the other (whose night vision is sharper) thinks it is just a bush. The imagination of the first man doesn't make the bush a city. If they light a lamp and look, they'll find it was always a bush, and the second man's opinion was correct. In the same way as the lamp, the Holy Spirit enlightens the People of God in the Church to see what was already there more clearly. And the second man with the sharper night vision who saw the bush for what it was from the beginning, could be said to have developed an "indwelling lamp" which aids his vision- as is the case with the Fathers of the Church, who, through prayer, ascesis, good works and diligent study have "aquired the Holy Spirit" Who enlightens us.
I absolutely agree with you, but does not the above example only bolster those ( like me) who believe that the idea of the ordination of women is an innovation . Now I have read GIC's long defenses on the above .
Still to me the duties of ordianed deaconesses were very different from those which are being expounded today. The roles women played then are different from those being demanded today .
Bp. Tikhon of the OCA(Diocese of the West) wrote this:
=======================================================
What the Reader describes here was done at some time and in some places,
but it was never part of the Holy Tradition or What is passed on to us. At
best we could say that it is a dead tradition, as opposed to Living Tradition.
There have always been those who wish to do something or teach something
outside the Living Tradition, and they dig and delve into ancient
manuscripts, travel diaries, historical anecdotes, back shelves of
libraries etc., and Lo! and Behold! Voila! Eureka1 They find it and when
someone firmly adhering to the Living Tradition questions it, they say,
"Well, this is a Tradition of.....century" or "This is a tradition of the
Church of Carthage (or the like). Only that Tradition Which lives and is
passed on to us, is Tradition. For how can there be such a thing as "that
which was passed on which was not passed on?"

Recently Elaine Pagels (sp?) has mined the rich lode of Gnostic literature
and found there all kinds of "forgotten" or "lost" traditions, or even
"suppressed" traditions on which to base the destruction of the Living, the
True Tradition, so that it even effected Roman Catholic nuns, once the
epitome of service, now much attenuated, and competing with quasi-monastic
women who have built up a Woman Church out of such excavated dead
traditions! This is impossible. Tradition is alive, not dead, not suppressed.
=======================================================


What do you think of it ?
 

ozgeorge

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surajiype said:
What do you think of it ?
I think it has many valid points (but I would have preferred if he had not cast apersions on Roman Catholic monastics).
The problem is: "what is the Tradition we are dealing with here?" For example, one thing which is claimed to be a Tradition (?dogma) is that the Priest is the icon of Christ and Christ is male therefore the Priest must be male. This may be a traditional theologumen, but I'm not sure if it is a Tradition, let alone a Dogma. If the Priest is dogmatically the Icon of Christ, then why does he offer the Sacrifice on behalf of himself also? And doesn't the notion of the Priest being the Icon of Christ make the Eucharist a re-enactment (which it isn't) rather than a memorial (which it is)? The theologumen of the Priest being the Icon of Christ in itself raises dogmatic questions. And if this premise of the Priest being the Icon of Christ needs to be questioned, then the premise that follows (that only men can be priests) needs to be questioned also.

For nearly two thousand years, Orthodox Churches traditionally had no pews- shouldn't we have assumed from this that it was against Tradition to sit in Church during Services? It is certainly against Holy Tradition to kneel on Sundays, this is in the Canons of our Oecumenical Councils. But if a tradition existed for 1900 years that we didn't sit during Services, shouldn't we have assumed that it is uncanonical to do so in anticipation of a decree on this by an Oecumenical Council? The same argument as was used to exclude pews from Churches- the argument of: "it has never been done before"- is being used to say that women should be excluded from the Priesthood. And yet, we now have pews. Clearly "Holy Tradition" does not simply mean "customary practice". It means the doctrinal teachings of the Holy Orthodox Church.
 

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An evolution from the Jewish system with a rather informal role for women to the Greco-Roman system with an Ordained office for women, just like for men, but a lower office than those available for men.
Is it true that the women priests held a "lower office?"

The answer is NO.

http://campus.houghton.edu/webs/employees/tpaige/Construct.html
When we turn from the profane to the realm of the sacred, it is striking what a difference is to be seen. Even in the Greek world during the classical era--in general a more restrictive time for women everywhere than the first century A.D.--women are found participating and officiating at every level in religious cults, both private and public. "Whereas inequality between the sexes was the rule in the political sphere, it appears that honors and responsibilities in the religious sphere were divided according to some other principle. Priestesses seem to have had the same rights and duties as priests religion offered the only sphere in which Greek women could be treated as citizens." Though excluded from some shrines, cults, or festivals (just as men are also banned from some), women and virgin maidens make up processions, serve as hierophants, priestesses, and other functionaries elsewhere. And this is not only in all-woman events such as the Thesmophoria, but in mixed-gender settings as well.

I'd like to add that it is important to study priesthood as it relates to Greek culture only, not the multi-cultural Greco-Roman world.

 

greekischristian

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montalban said:
As regards the so-called "feminist" position (of which we hear so much today), there are certain issues on which the Orthodox Christian (if not, perhaps, the rational individual) cannot yield. We do affirm and recognize an order, meaning, and functional differentiation in created things. Thus our Faith teaches us that the female is endowed by God with certain characteristics and tendencies that differ from those of men. (And this, rather than detracting from her, elevates her as part of the divine scheme. By no means does this teaching suggest. or tolerate the relegating of women to some lowly status.) Moreover, our intellects and senses teach us that women and men differ. We border on the insane (not an unusual thing in these bizarre times) if we deny the biological roles of men and women in procreation. These roles are verified by the external, physical distinctions of gender. And even the most radical psychological portrayals of men and women readily admit to fundamental differences between the sexes in cognitive style and mental functioning. (Paradoxically enough, it is part of the feminist movement itself that psychological profiles and categories standardized on males are not appropriate in the assessment of female behavior.)
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/general/women.aspx
orthodoxinfo.com eh? The mere fact it's something they publish on that BS site is just about sufficient grounds to reject it as absurd.

What we see here is someone spending an excessive amount of time trying to express a very simple concept. George Orwell expressed it far better and more eloquently, so I thought I'd post his more eloquent words so that we can better understand your posistion:

Freedom is Slavery.
 

serb1389

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PeterTheAleut said:
I guess I'm just being a nitpick.

I understand what you're trying to say, that Christ is not here physically as He was during His sojourn on earth, but He is truly here with us even today.  "Behold, I AM with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:20)
I agree with this, and that is what I was trying to say. Sorry I was dealing with other things when I was writing. thanks for the help!

 

serb1389

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Mother Anastasia said:

I agree, but sometimes things are not as simple as that.  We have been called to be the living breath of the church and that means that we need to
look at things in a context Christ could not have.

Dear Brother,  you are implying that He is Not the Alpha and the Omega, the Eternal, Omniscient One,  that He is limited by His own creation, time and space??  That He did not foresee ALL things?
I do not agree, He knows all things in time and eternity, and He knew precisely what He was doing.

Also, how are you a Deaconess?  Is this an official title?  Were you ordained to this position?
[/color]

Yes I am an ordained Deaconess.
I did not mean it that way.  What I meant was that Christ did not leave us a clear understanding of how to address every issue that would befall us after his Ascension.  He left us the Holy Spirit and his presence as our Lord and Savior. ÂÂ

So I agree with what your assesment but we have no standardized answer from God or the HS about this issue, so that's what I was trying to get to...eventally

Would you mind telling us more about your ordination?  Like who ordained you?  What church?  How it happened = the liturgical experience.  Your role in the church...etc. ÂÂ
 

surajiype

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The reference to Rc monastics must be to those activist nuns running around . Well if they are not obedient to their magestirium, how could they expect any quarter from the Orthodox :)

I agree Holy Tradition does not equal customary practise, but WO is different from using pews is it not. Today most Orthodox churches, have a choir with musical instruments. That was not the practise for atleast 1500 years . Though I have reservations re the unrestrained use of keyboards and the like, WO is a different issue altogether . If am not wrong Greek priests use stoles inscribed with IC and XC. Even if it were a theologuemenon ; it seems to be a deeply ingrained one.

A women celebrating the eucharist to me seems to violate the symolic nature of the Eucharist. I hear Behr-Siegel had critiqued that view. Must confess I am not convinced. The reasons demands for WO are being made has nothing to do with the reasons for which deaconesses or myrrh bearers existed.
IMO todays demands stem from a relativistic view of Scripture and Tradition.
If St Paul was merely giving into cultural biases with respect to WO, could not the same apply to Homosexuality. And if St Paul could be behind todays times, how could SS Peter Mathew and John be protected from the same.
I have read from too many Anglo Catholics who were Pro WO in the seventies and today with the benefit of hindsight call it the beginning of the end.

Should'nt the singular failure of the liberal Protestant experience with WO, cause us to take a pause. Even if today clear cut knock down arguments against WO seem lacking.


 

ozgeorge

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surajiype said:
I agree Holy Tradition does not equal customary practise, but WO is different from using pews is it not.
I'm assuming "WO" stands for something to do with the ordination of women. The points I was making are, firstly that "it has never been done before" does not mean "not doing it is a teaching of the Church"- this cannot be used as a basis of dogma; and secondly, that everyone is so sure that they know the dogmas about the Priesthood, and that these include that women should be excluded from it. What I'm saying is that our understanding of the Priesthood may be wrong to begin with. If a belief can be questioned as to it's doctrinal soundness, should it not be questioned?

surajiype said:
If am not wrong Greek priests use stoles inscribed with IC and XC. Even if it were a theologuemenon ; it seems to be a deeply ingrained one.
My priest doesn't- and he's an Athonite monk.

surajiype said:
A women celebrating the eucharist to me seems to violate the symolic nature of the Eucharist.
"Seems to"? So you aren't certain? Well neither am I. So perhaps some dialogue is needed about it? Perhaps we both would like clarification about this? So rather than scream "heretic" or "reactionary" or "liberal" at each other, and accuse one another of being "modernist" (as though that actually means anything in the Church), let's talk about it, pray about it, study about it. Just don't try and tell me "it is dogma, the case is closed" before an Oecumenical Synod has decreed that to be the case or not.

surajiype said:
The reasons demands for WO are being made has nothing to do with the reasons for which deaconesses or myrrh bearers existed.
Who is demanding anything? Can you tell me where anyone in the Orthodox Church has "demanded" ordination for women? Why is a request for dialogue on theological grounds assumed to be a "demand"?

surajiype said:
If St Paul was merely giving into cultural biases with respect to WO, could not the same apply to Homosexuality.
The same old illogical, emotional argument...
Tell me, what has homosexuality (which is a sin) have to do with womanhood? Do you consider it a sin to be born a woman? Are women not Icons of God? The old argument of "first it's women, and then it's homosexuals" makes as much logical sense as saying that infant baptism leads to murder.

surajiype said:
Should'nt the singular failure of the liberal Protestant experience with WO, cause us to take a pause.
Absolutely. We should, as you yourself say, "take pause" and be circumspect. But "take pause" does not mean "press the stop button and eject". If for nothing else than the fact that the Archbishop of Canterbury is not the head of the Orthodox Church, and hence the teachings of the Orthodox Church cannot be soley determined by the experiences of those you call "liberal protestants".
 

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ozgeorge said:
"Seems to"? So you aren't certain? Well neither am I. So perhaps some dialogue is needed about it? Perhaps we both would like clarification about this? So rather than scream "heretic" or "reactionary" or  "liberal" at each other, and accuse one another of being "modernist" (as though that actually means anything in the Church), let's talk about it, pray about it, study about it. Just don't try and tell me "it is dogma, the case is closed" before an Oecumenical Synod has decreed that to be the case or not.
Being radical again and asking for thoughtful and charitable discussion, OzGeorge.? ;) It would certainly be different for there to be defined terms and concepts (like what is meant and how is this assertion backed up that "men and women are different in things like "cognitive style and mental functioning""? maths abilities? Logic?) or to have discussions that don't toss off labels and don't really think about what other people might be saying. (or that don't slag off on other Churches)

Ebor

 

greekischristian

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Ebor said:
Being radical again and asking for thoughtful and charitable discussion, OzGeorge.? ;)  It would certainly be different for there to be defined terms and concepts (like what is meant and how is this assertion backed up that "men and women are different in things like "cognitive style and mental functioning""? maths abilities?  Logic?) or to have discussions that don't toss off labels and don't really think about what other people might be saying. (or that don't slag off on other Churches)
Come, come now Ebor...dont you know that the primary reason we dont ordain women is because those modernist anglican heretics do? ;)
 

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Wow.  What a thread...

First, to the guys...

greekischristian said:
Though a relationship between family leadership and Church leadership may have been envisioned by Paul, the fact that the leaders of the Church were generally (and are) celibate and not family men tends to undermine the analogy between one's family role and one's official ecclesiastical role.
Not sure I buy this argument...just as the man, being the physical patriarch of the family unit knit together by a common bloodline, is the head of said unit, so is the priest the head of the "spiritual family" of the parish which is knit together by the common Blood and Body of Christ.  St. Paul declared that the heads of both families would be male.

greekischristian]...in the 19th century when western cultures evolved to such a point as to reject slavery we enjoyed the luxury of abandoning our ancient support for this institution...[/quote] "Ancient support"?  How about "long-standing acknowledgement"?  It seems that said:
On the issue of the ordination of women I would say that just as there is no Greek or Jew in Christ, neither is there Male or Female; all are created in the image and likeness of God. Thus, what is important is not the race or gender, but rather the fact that the person is human and, thus, in the image and likeness of Christ.
...and, thus, is just as much a candidate for theosis as any other human.  This does not mean he or she is by default a candidate for the priesthood.  You stated elsewhere (I lost the link) that St. Paul states this quote you mention often in a "moment of clarity," or something like that, for he realizes deep down that his other statements prohibiting women from teaching were faulty, so the "neither male nor female" comment is a sort of, "well, yeah, okay, BUT" moment of backpaddling.  The lack of faith placed in St. Paul's ability to articulate truth aside, do you also think that he was merely having social friction within his own mind about whether or not slaves would be suitable to teach the Church?  Certainly it would make no sense to say St. Paul was so confused as to give equality to slaves to the extent that they, who were bound to their master in an apparently "anciently supported" institution, would be suitable for the presbytery.

ozgeorge said:
I remember a few years back there was an uproar on Orthodox forums because the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America tonsured a woman as a Reader. The reason for the uproar was because this is the first step toward Priesthood (as even the prayers for tonsuring a Reader say). If that is the case with merely tonsuring Readers, how much more the case actually ordaining a Deacon by cheirotonia?
Being tonsured a reader IS the first step of the priesthood.  That's why there are no female readers in the OCA.  That aside, isn't it true that the female deacons didn't even serve liturgical purposes like the deacons did back when the female deaconate even existed?

ozgeorge said:
And having read through the last posts as well as many other threads, I find a total lack of patristic support for Communing with a Spoon.....yet we now do. ;)
There is no patristic support for the use of the "Epitaphio" on Holy Friday either- it is not found in the rubrics of any typicon. Yet we began to use it.
As has been mentioned, the problem was not with distribution with instruments, but with reception through instruments.  THe quote-throwing shows that there were multiple customs within the Church re: reception of the Eucharist as well as re: many other things.  Women's ordination was consistently rejected.  Even if it is "mere theologoumena" and not defined by a council, the consistent, until-recently unquestioned theologoumenon of male-only priesthood should stand in contrast to the contested ones concerning communion and the epitaphio.

And now, for the ladies...

suzannes said:
I know, I sound nuts, but what I mean to say is, I've heard women say "I'm called to celebrate the sacraments" but wretches that we are, how fortunate are we just to *partake*??  I want to hear an argument in favor that is characterized by humility and self-effacement of Christ.  I just don't see that.  I see more of a "having it all" mentality, which will never be the way of Orthodoxy.
Right on.  Met a fellow this Pascha who, due to the fact that he'd gotten in trouble with the law earlier in life, was rejected by all Orthodox seminaries (and apparently can't be ordained), so he's solved that problem by coming to SW Theological Seminary (the Baptist one in Dallas) and is working his way towards being a Baptist minister, simply because he feels "called to preach."  I see those who run after women's ordination in much the same way; unwilling to accept that perhaps they are mishearing God, they push after this out of pride.  God knows, ultimately, but the women I've talked to who are in Protestant seminaries to become ministers are often very vocal about this "entitlement" of being in the clergy...

Mother Anastasia said:
Since Christ did everything by way of example, to instruct us, how can we miss the significance of His exclusion of women from the priesthood?  This is not any bias towards women, since He set so many precedences by choosing women to be first, His Mother, the woman at the well and Mary Magdalene.  This too He did as an example for the male dominated society.  He must have had a VERY good reason for excluding women from the priesthood, and I believe the answer (at least in part) is well explained here.
Like I said to GiC, and like you said so well, the Theotokos and the myrrhbearing women are some of our greatest saints.  It may be to the benefit of women that they're excluded from the priesthood; it may actually save their souls...

Anyone else notice that the Orthodox WOMEN here are against women's ordination and that it's only a couple of GUYS who are attempting to make room for it?
 

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Pedro

I have been peaking at this thread from time to time.....

I hear you!!...

Hold your breadth since if you note some of the comments some of the people here make they will argue you down (With biblical support) that for example: ...A mother should not be relegated to a second class motherhood status; but that women should also have the right to be men and fathers with the same rights and powers endowed to men...

It is a lost cause for people like you considering the level of thinking you seem to be at.

Oh!
Regarding slavery and uprising being non-Christian as it relates to slavery. I think you are right. But remember the master has to be bound by the same honor which is Christ. If he is truly a believer and following Christ commands he will no longer own his slaves since Christ owns him thus his slaves belong to Christ.
Christ did not leave any room for justifying slavery in any of its forms.

I think you know that; I thought that I would just make an emphasis on this issue.
 

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Pedro

I noticed that a few days ago. So did another poster.

These guys are in my opinion trying to feed the full.

"MetroOrthodoxual"

Hmmm.....
 

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Pedro said:
Being tonsured a reader IS the first step of the priesthood. That's why there are no female readers in the OCA.
See, I have a problem with that. This is like saying "XYZ is a dogma of the Ecumenical Church because it is the practice of my Synod."
"'Taint necessarily so......"
Pedro said:
That aside, isn't it true that the female deacons didn't even serve liturgical purposes like the deacons did back when the female deaconate even existed?
Depends who you ask. Ask a "traditionalist-with-agenda" and they'll tell you they just assisted the Priest in the baptism of women. Yet even the Subdeaconesses ordained by St. Nektarios of Pentapolis less than 120 years ago administered Holy Communion according to his own accounts. The "traditionalists-with-agenda" will also tell you that Deaconesses weren't ordained by cheirotonia even though the Apostolic Constitutions gives the rubrics for doing so:

"Concerning a deaconess, I, Bartholomew enjoin O Bishop, thou shalt lay thy hands upon her with all the Presbytery and the Deacons and the Deaconesses and thou shalt say: Eternal God, the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the creator of man and woman, that didst fill with the Spirit Mary and Deborah, and Anna and Huldah, that didst not disdain that thine only begotten Son should be born of a woman; Thou that in the tabernacle of witness and in the temple didst appoint women guardians of thy holy gates: Do thou now look on this thy handmaid, who is appointed unto the office of a Deaconess and grant unto her the Holy Spirit, and cleanse her from all pollution of the flesh and of the spirit, that she may worthily accomplish the work committed unto her, to thy glory and the praise of thy Christ. " ( Source)

My point is that we haven't even done the groundwork on this issue yet, and yet some have already decided what is and isn't dogma. Since when has obscuring facts been considered "Orthodoxy"? Is it really too much to ask that both sides of the debate go to the primary sources and dispationately gather facts and dialogue about them instead of re-writing history to fit with their argument?
 

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Pedro said:
Women's ordination was consistently rejected.
Really? Could you point out where this issue came up in the Church before and was "consitently rejected."? If indeed, as you say, it was "consistently rejected" there must be some documents to this effect.
The fact that the Church has been silent on this issue may simply mean the issue hasn't come up, not necessarily that she "consistently rejects" it.
 

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What is needed is genuine scholarly study and dialogue, not assumptions based on "bloody opinion".
Unfortunately, "bloody opinion" seems to be easily mistaken for "Orthodoxy".
 

greekischristian

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Pedro said:
Wow.  What a thread...
Wouldn't it be boring here without me around ;D ;D ;D

Not sure I buy this argument...just as the man, being the physical patriarch of the family unit knit together by a common bloodline, is the head of said unit, so is the priest the head of the "spiritual family" of the parish which is knit together by the common Blood and Body of Christ.  St. Paul declared that the heads of both families would be male.
But that's not what Paul, at least, is saying in his first epistle to Timothy, rather he says, 'One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)' The consideration here is not one of male authority, but rather of choosing proven people for the office of bishop who were first entrusted with lesser responsibilities and have proven themselves there before being given the greater reponsibility of ruling within the Church.

"Ancient support"?  How about "long-standing acknowledgement"?  It seems that, as you're fond of saying, there was neither slave nor free in regards to salvation in Christ, but they did acknowledge that, within the secular world at that time, slavery did exist, for better or for worse, and that slaves should submit to their masters as good witnesses rather than engage in violent uprisings, which would not be Christian.  Acknowledged, yes, but I can hardly see how such a thing would be supported.
Acknowledged, supported, you may use whatever word you like, but the institution was enforced by Scripture, Canons, and Tradition. However, don't belive the Church can be criticized for this, her mission is primarially a salvific one, not one of social justice; thus, she reacted to the culture of the day in her interaction with it, even though these actions were not consonant the fullness of the truth given to the Church. Likewise, I submit, with the Ordination of Women. Just as until the last couple centuries it would have been socially disastrous to openly oppose slavery so also would it have been a social problem to place women in posistions of authority in the Church until the latter part of the 20th Century. Furthermore, I suggest that as we reversed our posistion on slavery when society allowed such a stance, we should today reevaluate the posistion of women in the Church since society now, like it did with slavery, not only will allow us to do so, but it demands it. Just as once our asserting of this social posistion could have undermined the salvific mission of the Church, so also today our failure to do so could undermine the salvific mission of the Church.

...and, thus, is just as much a candidate for theosis as any other human.  This does not mean he or she is by default a candidate for the priesthood.  You stated elsewhere (I lost the link) that St. Paul states this quote you mention often in a "moment of clarity," or something like that, for he realizes deep down that his other statements prohibiting women from teaching were faulty, so the "neither male nor female" comment is a sort of, "well, yeah, okay, BUT" moment of backpaddling.
Actually, I articulated the point slightly better than that for which you are giving me credit. St. Paul had revealed to him the fullness of Christian Anthropology on this issue when he manifested that there is no Male or Female in Christ. However, his Epistles are also pastoral letters and must be understood in that context. He is not writing dogmatic treatises to the several Church, but is rather addressing real and specific problems that are occurring within a given society and place, and thus he makes allowances for the culture when solving real pastoral issues. Later we would come to call this economia, but at the time it was simply good pastoral sense. Today the pastoral demands are different and we must make allowances for the time, cultures, and societies in which the Church finds herself.

The lack of faith placed in St. Paul's ability to articulate truth aside, do you also think that he was merely having social friction within his own mind about whether or not slaves would be suitable to teach the Church?  Certainly it would make no sense to say St. Paul was so confused as to give equality to slaves to the extent that they, who were bound to their master in an apparently "anciently supported" institution, would be suitable for the presbytery.
Again, I believe he was putting aside the theological ideal which he gave to deal with a real pastoral problem, in which he did not enjoy the luxury of pontificating about Christian Anthropology, as it would been contrary to his salvific mission.

Being tonsured a reader IS the first step of the priesthood.  That's why there are no female readers in the OCA.  That aside, isn't it true that the female deacons didn't even serve liturgical purposes like the deacons did back when the female deaconate even existed?
Well, within the GOA there are female readers, so perhaps progress is being made afterall. ;)

As has been mentioned, the problem was not with distribution with instruments, but with reception through instruments.  THe quote-throwing shows that there were multiple customs within the Church re: reception of the Eucharist as well as re: many other things.  Women's ordination was consistently rejected.  Even if it is "mere theologoumena" and not defined by a council, the consistent, until-recently unquestioned theologoumenon of male-only priesthood should stand in contrast to the contested ones concerning communion and the epitaphio.

Right on.  Met a fellow this Pascha who, due to the fact that he'd gotten in trouble with the law earlier in life, was rejected by all Orthodox seminaries (and apparently can't be ordained), so he's solved that problem by coming to SW Theological Seminary (the Baptist one in Dallas) and is working his way towards being a Baptist minister, simply because he feels "called to preach."
How could someone leaving the Church to get what they want be comprable to someone working within the Church to make their case before our Theologians and Bishops?

I see those who run after women's ordination in much the same way; unwilling to accept that perhaps they are mishearing God, they push after this out of pride.  God knows, ultimately, but the women I've talked to who are in Protestant seminaries to become ministers are often very vocal about this "entitlement" of being in the clergy...
O.K....let's save this quote for a second...

Anyone else notice that the Orthodox WOMEN here are against women's ordination and that it's only a couple of GUYS who are attempting to make room for it?
Now let's bring that quote back...

I see those who run after women's ordination in much the same way; unwilling to accept that perhaps they are mishearing God, they push after this out of pride.  God knows, ultimately, but the women I've talked to who are in Protestant seminaries to become ministers are often very vocal about this "entitlement" of being in the clergy...
Why do you think that women don't want to step up on this issue? When they do speak up you get accusations of pride, arrogance, and excessive ambition. While I may be accused of being a modernist (a title that I take upon myself with pride anyway) or question my 'manhood' based on some archaic cultural paradigm (but I'm secure enough in that to not be concerned about the opinion of a few online reactionaries) but no one can make a viable accusation of ambition or having an agenda against me. So until ad homines and bullying cease to be part of the so-called 'traditionalist's' rhetorical methodology many women who might have genuine callings will be unwilling to enter into this discussion...it is a great tragedy and loss to this world that everyone doesn't enjoy argument, rhetoric, and conflict as much as I ;D But dont get your hopes up too quickly, there are enough of us who thrive on such things to prevent this issue from ever going away until it is finally determined one way or the other ;)
 

greekischristian

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ozgeorge said:
"'Taint necessarily so......"Depends who you ask. Ask a "traditionalist-with-agenda" and they'll tell you they just assisted the Priest in the baptism of women. Yet even the Subdeaconesses ordained by St. Nektarios of Pentapolis less than 120 years ago administered Holy Communion according to his own accounts. The "traditionalists-with-agenda" will also tell you that Deaconesses weren't ordained by cheirotonia even though the Apostolic Constitutions gives the rubrics for doing so:

"Concerning a deaconess, I, Bartholomew enjoin O Bishop, thou shalt lay thy hands upon her with all the Presbytery and the Deacons and the Deaconesses and thou shalt say: Eternal God, the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the creator of man and woman, that didst fill with the Spirit Mary and Deborah, and Anna and Huldah, that didst not disdain that thine only begotten Son should be born of a woman; Thou that in the tabernacle of witness and in the temple didst appoint women guardians of thy holy gates: Do thou now look on this thy handmaid, who is appointed unto the office of a Deaconess and grant unto her the Holy Spirit, and cleanse her from all pollution of the flesh and of the spirit, that she may worthily accomplish the work committed unto her, to thy glory and the praise of thy Christ. " ( Source)

My point is that we haven't even done the groundwork on this issue yet, and yet some have already decided what is and isn't dogma. Since when has obscuring facts been considered "Orthodoxy"? Is it really too much to ask that both sides of the debate go to the primary sources and dispationately gather facts and dialogue about them instead of re-writing history to fit with their argument?
Well, in the spirit of academic dialogue I will post a couple primary sources about the role of the deaconess...but I dont expect scholarly and honest discussion to go to far here ;)

Concerning ordination of deaconesses by the laying on of hands, as a supporting document to what you above posted I submit the 15th Canon of Chalcedon:

'Let no woman be ordained (χειροντονείσθα) a deaconess before the age of forty, and even then after a strict test. But if she, after receiving the gift of chirothesy (χειροθεσία) and remaining for some time in the ministry, proceeds to give herself in marriage, thus insulting the grace of God, let any such actress be anathematized together with the man who has joined himself with her in marriage.'

We see that the Greek word used to refer to the Ordination of a Deaconess is the same one used when refering to the Ordination of a Male Priest or Deacon.

Also of potential interest, in the First Collection, Title VI, Chapter 6, Paragraph 1 it is written in the Constitutions of Justinian (italics added):

'We do not permit women who have contracted a second marriage, or who (as We have already stated), have led a vicious life, to be ordained, but they must be free from all suspicion in order to be admitted into the holy service of the Church, to be present in baptism, and assist in the celebration of the mysterious and sacred rites which form part of their duties.' (S. P. Scott's Translation)

Unfortunately, I have been unable unable to come across the Original Greek of Justinian's Novels (not that I've tried too hard, but it's not readily available; though the Latin Digests, Intitutes, and Code of Justinian are widely available, even online) thus am unable to confirm what word was used for 'ordained,' though it is the same word the translator uses in reference to Deacons, Priests, and Bishops. However, the primary reason I posted this paragraph that I found buried in the middle of Justinian's Novels is because of what I italicized, which clearly states that assisting in the 'celebration of the mysterious and sacred rites' (note the use of the plural) is part of the duties of the deaconess. Though it doesn't give details this quite clearly implies that the deaconess did have a broader liturgical role than many today would like to admit.

(If anyone has the Greek text of the above law, posting it would be most appreciated)
 

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she reacted to the culture of the day in her interaction with it,
There you go again with that totally unsupported assertion.  Time and again we have shown that the gender of priesthood and the position of women in society are INDEPENDENT of each other in Greek culture (and even Latin). This alone demolishes your entire argument.  The teachings of Paul about the exclusivity of priesthood to men were not motivated by social or cultural factors at all!

even though these actions were not consonant the fullness of the truth given to the Church
What's even worse is that you are accusing Paul of not having "the fullness of the truth!" ÂÂ

Amazing.  Did Jesus Christ reveal something to you that He didn't tell St. Paul?  Do you claim to have the fullness of the truth?

 

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Let's take this one question at a time.

When St. Paul says something like this:

But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.
What does this mean to us? Is it a theological verse or a customary verse ruled by cultural prejudices?

God bless.

Mina
 

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minasoliman said:
What does this mean to us? Is it a theological verse or a customary verse ruled by cultural prejudices?
I don't think it's theological. Our own theology doesn't allow us to say that it is a dogma.
Who is the head of the Theotokos, she who is "more honourable than the cherubim and more glorious beyond compare than the seraphim"? Was St. Joseph her head? If so, in what sense do we mean this if they were not married, nor "one flesh"? If this is a theological statement, wouldn't it mean that a woman must not be an Orthodox Empress- a position recognised by the Church and annointed by the Church? Are not men subject to the Empress? What about St. Helen, St. Catherine the Great, St. Irene the Empress- who not only opposed Iconoclasm, but opposed her own son taking the throne from her and was supported by the Church in this...?
 

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Like I said before, I frown at the fact that Kings, let alone Empresses, entered the altar because of the dangerous mixture of government and church. I truly oppose such things, and it is one thing that makes me attached to the OO Church.

Therefore, issues concerning women in politics have nothing to do with teaching in Church. To "consecrate" an empress is nothing but a Church kissing the feet of the world, and not being above the world.

So, if we disagree on these issues concerning the empress, it shows how different traditions can interpret that same verse differently, and why it has become a theological issue. Render to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's. If one truly understands this, then we can proceed to the issue of female priesthood, as St. John Chrysostom also believed to be non-existent in the Church (who is also an opponent of the government).

I wanted to add something else concerning deaconesses:

While there is consecration or ordination of a deacon, the role of a deacon is certainly not like that of a priest or bishop. For the priest and bishop is just like the role of the husband in the household, to be the leader or head of a house, and for the priest and bishop's cases, the church.

Now, what is a deacon's role? To help serve those directly in need as well as help serve the priest with certain duties. The word "deacon" means "servant," and while a male deacon in the epistle to St. Timothy should be a man of one wife and ruling his household well, the deacons' first roles were to serve widows and tables and other issues that allow more flexibility than the priest or bishop. This is why female deacons existed. In addition, deacons did come out not because it was always there, but because of a necessity as Acts 6 shows. The increasing role of females in the Church also lead to the formation of female deaconesses. Therefore, the role was "unnecessary" and became necessary to make more efficient service to the needy.

At the same time, I don't deny that the deacon is also an ordained role, part of the threefold orders of priesthood, but that doesn't mean that deacons ruled the church like priests and bishops do. In fact, I would also venture to say that the role of both deacons and deaconesses shows also a prophetic role of the state of the Heavenly Jerusalem, where I believe no distinction would be made since we are all "priests and kings" and of the one Church having communion with our bridegroom Christ.

Just as we are the "body of Christ," so was a deaconess necessarily the body of priests and bishops in very important issues as well, but certainly women were taught to be submissive to men, just as the Church is to Christ, or Christ is to the Father. This is sufficient reason, I believe, why male priesthood is preferred, and it seems to me a very good theological reason.

There are other Bible verses that may seem harsh, like those that forbid women to have authority over or to teach men. A female deacon does not have authority over men, and certainly not over priests and bishops. However a priest and bishop will have authority over male deacons, and this is something St. Paul would object to, not because of cultural reasons, but because of a theological reason, that Adam was formed first.

St. Paul seemed very serious when asking those not to change traditions and that those contentious with customs do not exist in the church.

God bless.
 

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minasoliman said:
Like I said before, I frown at the fact that Kings, let alone Empresses, entered the altar because of the dangerous mixture of government and church. I truly oppose such things, and it is one thing that makes me attached to the OO Church.
What you and I "frown on" is immaterial- unless we want to rewrite the history of the Church, which, unfortunately, it seems many people wish to. And from this personal prefrerence of yours to "frown on" Kings and Emperesses "entering the altar" you conclude that:
minasoliman said:
Therefore, issues concerning women in politics have nothing to do with teaching in Church.
"I feel [fill in the blank], therefore the teaching of the Church is [fill in the blank]."

This is not discussion, it is just more "bloody opinion" which is going nowhere fast. It is substituting dispassionate fact gathering with illogical syllogisms based on no premise other than "I feel".

I'm not idiotic, I know that people "feel" certain ways about women as priests. I feel certain ways about it myself, but I would never base Church dogma simply on how "I feel".


 

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minasoliman said:
Let's take this one question at a time.

When St. Paul says something like this:

What does this mean to us?  Is it a theological verse or a customary verse ruled by cultural prejudices?
What evidence do you provide for this? Nothing.

The evidence for the opposite assumption is that the church didn't ordain female priests. As someone else earlier pointed it out before a cradle Orthodox objected to them being zealous for Orthodoxy*, there's nothing in Tradition for women to be ordained.

That should be the end of it, but people here insist on personal speculation based on modernity driven notions.


*-itself a problematical stand-point to take
 

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ozgeorge said:
What is needed is genuine scholarly study and dialogue, not assumptions based on "bloody opinion".
Unfortunately, "bloody opinion" seems to be easily mistaken for "Orthodoxy".
I didn't know you had a sense of irony.

When someone suggested earlier about leaving this up to the hands of church tradition you didn't like the fact that they, a convert to Orthodoxy, would be zealous in defending the Traditions of the church.

You offer no alternative proofs, yourself.
 

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I've still not seen any good argument for change other than those that are suggesting that it's possible (by not classing it as a matter of dogma). That in itself is not a good reason.
 

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minasoliman said:
Let's take this one question at a time.

When St. Paul says something like this:

What does this mean to us?  Is it a theological verse or a customary verse ruled by cultural prejudices?
Not again. Greek civilization was accustomed to having women priests. The alleged cultural prejudices have been ruled out already by virtue of this historical fact.

http://campus.houghton.edu/webs/employees/tpaige/Construct.html
The practice of women prophesying at the church in Corinth would have had no negative reaction from Greek culture, at least not for being done by females. On the contrary, two of the most famous oracles of the Greek world had at their heart women who were used as vehicles to medate the message of the god. Women played key roles in the public celebrations of many cults, and there is little doubt that at least some of these roles involved speaking: prayers, words of consecration of the sacrifice, perhaps instruction in the mysteries or words of assurance or warning to initiates. The only trouble Christian prophetesses would have caused the surrounding culture would have been due to the fact that the religion was foreign and denounced traditional faiths as false. But this has nothing to do with women's roles.

Those who assert that the women can be priests do the ff: (1) ignore the facts of history, (2) deny 2,000 years of Tradition and (3) provide personal interpretation of Scripture as they see fit at the expense of the credibility of the apostles.

Quite frankly, these GUYS remind of me of Martin Luther who did exactly the same things. Didn't he ignore history when he preached Sola Scriptura? Didn't he reject the Tradition of the fathers? Didn't he interpret Scripture to his liking to the point of calling the epistle of James the epistle of straw?

Even so, Martin Luther wasn't so critical of St. Paul!

 

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ozgeorge said:
Who is the head of the Theotokos, she who is "more honourable than the cherubim and more glorious beyond compare than the seraphim"? Was St. Joseph her head? If so, in what sense do we mean this if they were not married, nor "one flesh"?
Had they been married, then yes, he would have been. Since they were not, then no, he was not. Not even the Theotokos, however, was elevated in her lifetime (as far as has been recorded) to any kind of teaching or sacramental ministry within the Church--highly revered and dearly loved by all who received her, according to Ignatius, iirc, but not an ordained anything.

If this is a theological statement, wouldn't it mean that a woman must not be an Orthodox Empress- a position recognised by the Church and annointed by the Church? Are not men subject to the Empress? What about St. Helen, St. Catherine the Great, St. Irene the Empress- who not only opposed Iconoclasm, but opposed her own son taking the throne from her and was supported by the Church in this...?
I'm afraid I fail to see your point here, George. How is being the civil head of the government comprable to being an ordained priest or bishop? I understand that they entered a church through the altar, but did they concelebrate with the actual, ordained clergy? I don't think so; it seems this honor was given to them due to their helping the church in matters of secular life--protection of the Church from enemies of the Empire and so on. Yet, even though they were granted access to the altar area, are there any examples within history of an empress standing before the holy table and proclaiming "Blessed is the Kingdom..." and proceeding to celebrate the liturgy in the place of (or even with) a priest or bishop? Any examples of an empress giving absolution to a penitent? Any examples of an empress baptizing anyone, at any time? I just don't see how saying that an empress (or even an emperor) has authority over men in a civil way is the same as saying that she is therefore eligible for the sacramental priesthood.

greekischristian said:
...Paul...in his first epistle to Timothy...says, 'One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)' The consideration here is not one of male authority, but rather of choosing proven people for the office of bishop who were first entrusted with lesser responsibilities and have proven themselves there before being given the greater reponsibility of ruling within the Church.
Right...having HIS children in subjection and ruling HIS own house, for otherwise HE can't take care of the Church of God. These are not neuter pronouns. To ignore the gender is dishonest. I agree it's about presbyters (who were all called either bishops or presbyters in the NT time but whose office separated into celibate bishops and married priests (in the East), as you know) being able to handle smaller responsibilities, but the gender in the verses leaves no room for matriarchal rule.

Acknowledged, supported, you may use whatever word you like, but the institution was enforced by Scripture, Canons, and Tradition.
The two words are worlds apart. I can acknowledge something exists and seek to be a Christian within this framework as best I can, but I do not have to support it and call it good. There is, however, a difference between the issue of slavery and that of women's ordination. Never in the history of the Church has the Church demanded that slaves be slaves within the Church; they all approach the altar as equals with non-slaves and, when slavery is abolished, they rejoice with them in their freedom, as in Philemon. IOW, it was always seen as evil yet not resisted (nor "supported"). Women's exclusion from the priesthood, otoh, was, as has been stated elsewhere, not only something the NT authors and Fathers often saw as compatible with their culture, but also something that was a part of their orthodoxy even in situations when the positions of authority held by pagan women were greater than those of women within the Church.

So when you say something like this:

I suggest that as we reversed our posistion on slavery when society allowed such a stance, we should today reevaluate the posistion of women in the Church since society now, like it did with slavery, not only will allow us to do so, but it demands it.
I say, we never reversed our position on slavery (I refer to the American version; the version in ancient times was incredibly different, as you know); we just found ourselves in a position where we didn't have to deal with it anymore. Yet now that society has changed their views on women, we are not at all beholden to society to change that which we have never seen to be at odds with our morality, as was the case with slavery.

montalban said:
I've still not seen any good argument for change other than those that are suggesting that it's possible (by not classing it as a matter of dogma). That in itself is not a good reason.
Right on.
 

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Theognosis said:
Those who assert that the women can be priests do the ff: (1) ignore the facts of history, (2) deny 2,000 years of Tradition and (3) provide personal interpretation of Scripture as they see fit at the expense of the credibility of the apostles.

Quite frankly, these GUYS remind of me of Martin Luther who did exactly the same things. Didn't he ignore history when he preached Sola Scriptura? Didn't he reject the Tradition of the fathers? Didn't he interpret Scripture to his liking to the point of calling the epistle of James the epistle of straw?
Theognosis,
Firstly, isn't refusing to examine the Holy Tradition of Deaconesses an attempt to "ignore history ...(and).... reject the Tradition of the fathers?
Secondly, precisely who is being "sola scriptura" on this issue? The only appeals made for documented evidence that the Church Dogmas forbid women to be Priests are ever made to St. Paul's writings. So let's examine them to see how well we have maintained this Holy Apostle's Tradition:
How many women cover their heads in accordance with the same Apostle's command in your Church?
And if they don't cover their heads, why are they not shorn?
Why is this tradition no longer observed? Is it not an Apostolic Tradition, even though an Apostle wrote it and taught it?
Why is women covering their heads a dispensible Apostolic Tradition, but women speaking in Church (which they do in the Oecumenical Patriarchate anyway) absolutely indispensible? Why is it that we can disobey the Apostle's instruction to "observe every tradition whether in writing or spoken by the Apostles" in the case of women covering their heads?
Also, St. Paul forbade women to "prophesy" in Church with their heads uncovered. Didn't these women speak their prophesies, and thereby instruct the People of God in the Church. How can this be that St. Paul forbids women to teach but allows them to prophesy in Church?
Why is one Apostolic Tradition more important than others?

Let me tell you something you may not know. The Church, and only the Church is the sole interpreter of Holy Tradition. No individual, no matter how great, how holy, much they have attained theosis, can ever interpret alone what the Holy Tradition is. So no matter what, this question can only be answered by the Church.
We cannot simply, as someone else suggested, place this question "in the hands of holy tradition", because the Church still needs to interpret that Tradition.
 

montalban

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Theognosis said:
Not again.  Greek civilization was accustomed to having women priests.  The alleged cultural prejudices have been ruled out already by virtue of this historical fact. ÂÂ

http://campus.houghton.edu/webs/employees/tpaige/Construct.html

Those who assert that the women can be priests do the ff: (1) ignore the facts of history,  (2) deny 2,000 years of Tradition and (3) provide personal interpretation of Scripture as they see fit at the expense of the credibility of the apostles.

Quite frankly, these GUYS remind of me of Martin Luther who did exactly the same things.  Didn't he ignore history when he preached Sola Scriptura?  Didn't he reject the Tradition of the fathers?  Didn't he interpret Scripture to his liking to the point of calling the epistle of James the epistle of straw? ÂÂ

Even so, Martin Luther wasn't so critical of St. Paul!
Your words ring true with me.

So far this thread has not produced a good reason for change, other than it might be possible. One person, a convert to Orthodoxy like myself was criticised for coming to Orthodoxy and being zealous for it's great and Holy Tradition! I found that argument astounding.*

Jesus knew what He was doing when He picked 12 men. The Apostles knew what they were doing too, after Pentecost.

All of this for the sake of those who feel pressures from modern notions of what is right or wrong and seek to change the church to suit these fleeting ideals.



* Why one shouldn't be allowed to be zealous for their new faith is beyond me. There seems to be some snobbery here - that a cradle-orthodox would resent someone who holds the Orthodox traditions more dear than he.
 

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Pedro said:
Had they been married, then yes, he would have been. Since they were not, then no, he was not.
So then, who was the head of the Theotokos, because if St. Paul's words are dogma and not mere custom, she who is "more honourable than the Cherubim" must have had a human male as her head. So who was it?

Pedro said:
I'm afraid I fail to see your point here, George.
I can see that by the rest of what you wrote. The point is that the Emperor was a position both in the State and the Church. And when the Emperor was a female, men in the Church even bishops were subject to her. The Seventh Oecumenical Council was convened by a woman- St. Irene the Emperess. This woman summoned 367 bishops of the Orthodox Church to a Synod. So the point is that if St. Paul's instruction meant that women could not have authority over men, that's not what the Fathers of the Seventh Oecumenical Council thought.
 

montalban

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ozgeorge said:
Firstly, isn't refusing to examine the Holy Tradition of Deaconesses an attempt to "ignore history ...(and).... reject the Tradition of the fathers?
How so?
ozgeorge said:
Secondly, precisely who is being "sola scriptura" on this issue? The only appeals made for documented evidence that the Church Dogmas forbid women to be Priests are ever made to St. Paul's writings.
That is false. I have cited John Chrysostomon in post #145
Clement of Rome #148. Sorry that you wish to go down the path of ignoring such evidence as has been presented. I include both at bottom of this to save you or any other reader time.
ozgeorge said:
How many women cover their heads in accordance with the same Apostle's command in your Church?
And if they don't cover their heads, why are they not shorn?
Firstly, women in my church cover their heads.
Secondly, there's biblical injunctions not to bear false witness. People do do that. That doesn't mean that the injunction is thrown-out because people aren't following it. That's your 'logic' here, cite examples of people not following a calling by St. Paul

John Chrysostomon says, in part...
For if any one will consider how great a thing it is for one, being a man, and compassed with flesh and blood, to be enabled to draw nigh to that blessed and pure nature, he will then clearly see what great honor the grace of the Spirit has vouchsafed to priests; since by their agency these rites are celebrated, and others nowise inferior to these both in respect of our dignity and our salvation.
Book III.5
TREATISE ON THE PRIESTHOOD
http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF1-09/npnf1-09-08.htm#TopOfPage

Our apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and there would be strife on account of the office of the episcopate. For this reason, therefore, inasmuch as they had obtained a perfect fore-knowledge of this, they appointed those [ministers] already mentioned, and afterwards gave instructions, that when these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed them in their ministry. We are of opinion, therefore, that those appointed by them, or afterwards by other eminent men, with the consent of the whole Church, and who have blame-lessly served the flock of Christ in a humble, peaceable, and disinterested spirit, and have for a long time possessed the good opinion of all, cannot be justly dismissed from the ministry. For our sin will not be small, if we eject from the episcopate those who have blamelessly and holily fulfilled its duties. Blessed are those presbyters who, having finished their course before now, have obtained a fruitful and perfect departure [from this world]; for they have no fear lest any one deprive them of the place now appointed them. But we see that ye have removed some men of excellent behaviour from the ministry, which they fulfilled blamelessly and with honour.
Clement of Rome Chapter XLIV.-The Ordinances of the Apostles, that There Might Be No Contention Respecting the Priestly Office. "Epistle to the Corinthians"
http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-01/anf01-05.htm#P171_20841
 

montalban

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ozgeorge said:
The Church, and only the Church is the sole interpreter of Holy Tradition. No individual, no matter how great, how holy, much they have attained theosis, can ever interpret alone what the Holy Tradition is. So no matter what, this question can only be answered by the Church.
We cannot simply, as someone else suggested, place this question "in the hands of holy tradition", because the Church still needs to interpret that Tradition.
You do interpret that yourself, in light of modernity, and then argue from there, ah irony! (Having provided NO evidence for a change yourself) *

The church can't change Holy Tradition; the teachings of the church. I've already asked this question, perhaps I'm on some people's 'ignore list'; what is to be understood more properly about having women priests?


*And, worse still is claiming that the opposition has provided less evidence than they have. So in balance we have

one side providing evidence -v- one side producing none.
one side providing reasons for staying the same -v- one side producing no reason for change (other than you 'can').
 
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