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RCC Pope confers lay ministries on women

Asteriktos

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Also, while it doesn't answer all your questions, in addition to what Bizzlebin said, Acts 13:24 says that John the Baptist "preached repentance and baptism to all the people of Israel," and Acts also mentions women being baptized by early Christians (8:12; 16:15).
 

Stinky

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Not sure if the question is rhetorical, but there are many lines of circumstantial evidence that St John baptized women no differently than men. For instance, Jesus's dialog with the Pharisees in Matthew: 21.32 is "For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not afterward relent and believe him.", so that is pretty strong indirect evidence that St John not only baptized women generally, but harlots specifically—since it was public, it was not an issue. Women baptizing women is even trickier to source, but that was clearly something done in the Early Church, as has been noted above, and that became more important as baptism ceased to be celebrated in its fullness as a public Holy Mystery of the entire community and got more private.
It was not a rhetorical question. Thank you for taking the time and attention to answer me. I was just confused by following the thought about why there had to be woman deacons serving sacraments. Since they added clothing they got rid of the need for woman? (Not rhetorical again.)
 

Stinky

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Also, while it doesn't answer all your questions, in addition to what Bizzlebin said, Acts 13:24 says that John the Baptist "preached repentance and baptism to all the people of Israel," and Acts also mentions women being baptized by early Christians (8:12; 16:15).
Thank you for this!
 

Bizzlebin

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It was not a rhetorical question. Thank you for taking the time and attention to answer me. I was just confused by following the thought about why there had to be woman deacons serving sacraments. Since they added clothing they got rid of the need for woman? (Not rhetorical again.)
Correct. The change in the baptismal rite meant that Roman noblewomen were less inclined to request alternate arrangements, so adult baptism—now in clothing—returned to a more public form. And that is really what it was: the Church (minus some of those pusillanimous types the canon dealt with) had no problem with nude adult baptism in public (nor did St John, earlier). So the problem with nudity—now kind of stuck into our rite—is really a pagan aberration, not a product of Christian morality—else we would not baptize naked infants either. To reiterate it more broadly, having a problem with nudity—and the human body generally—is *not* Orthodox, but heterodox morality.
 

Stinky

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But in the beginning

(of the church)

they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

When they were baptized.
 
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From the nude baptisms. If the Baptism of Jesus was in the nude then were there women present? Did John baptize nude women? Did the disciples? When was the first record of a nude women's baptism? Was it public? Who baptized her?

Acts 2: 41
And they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

3 thousand men?
That I can't say. But when it comes to numbering in Scripture, counting only the men is normal. Think of the miracle of the loaves and fish. Only the men are specifically counted even though there were also women and children.
 

Katechon

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They assisted at the baptism of women and took Communion to infirm women. Those are liturgical functions.
I don't know if you want to play word games, but they didn't go into the altar or did any of the things deacons or altar servers do.
 

Bizzlebin

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I don't know if you want to play word games, but they didn't go into the altar or did any of the things deacons or altar servers do.
Many of the earliest temples did not have a separate altar, per se, or a differentiation between altar and nave, so in such cases the question is entirely moot. That's about as much as I plan to say in this thread regarding that, unless there's a good-faith question. I'd recommend looking around some—and especially at ancient rubrics—where you'll find deaconesses holding the chalice, receiving ordination (cheirotonia, not tonsure), and doing plenty of other things that are sufficient to prove full clerical rank.
 
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Many of the earliest temples did not have a separate altar, per se, or a differentiation between altar and nave, so in such cases the question is entirely moot. That's about as much as I plan to say in this thread regarding that, unless there's a good-faith question. I'd recommend looking around some—and especially at ancient rubrics—where you'll find deaconesses holding the chalice, receiving ordination (cheirotonia, not tonsure), and doing plenty of other things that are sufficient to prove full clerical rank.
We follow the rubrics as they are now, and we have temples with altars now. We don't need to time warp the Church back to 200 ad, for the sake of the women's ordination movement that has destroyed the Episcopal Church.

There is no benefit of restoring this office of deaconness. The only thing it will push for is a call for women to then be able to be ordained in the priesthood. We do not have a need for fully ordained deaconness anymore. Neither is it the custom of the Church to have women as acolytes. Women can lead the choir, help in ministry, teach other women, organize Church events, and many other valuable and important parts of Church work that are outside of serving in the altar.
 

Eamonomae

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So the problem with nudity—now kind of stuck into our rite—is really a pagan aberration, not a product of Christian morality—else we would not baptize naked infants either. To reiterate it more broadly, having a problem with nudity—and the human body generally—is *not* Orthodox, but heterodox morality.
And here's the method of Liberals. They take once instance of praxis completely divorced from its proper context, condemn those who disagree with them as "heterodox" and "non-Apostolic", and then extrapolate that instance to corrupt the rest of the praxis to such a degree that they corrupt the total historical practice.

"There is no problem with nudity" - which is why the Bible is filled with euphemisms for sexual organs instead of outright calling those things what they are. "Behemoth's stones and tail". Right.

Why don't we all attend Church naked if there's no problem with nudity in all circumstances?
 
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Eamonomae

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Many of the earliest temples did not have a separate altar, per se, or a differentiation between altar and nave, so in such cases the question is entirely moot. That's about as much as I plan to say in this thread regarding that, unless there's a good-faith question. I'd recommend looking around some—and especially at ancient rubrics—where you'll find deaconesses holding the chalice, receiving ordination (cheirotonia, not tonsure), and doing plenty of other things that are sufficient to prove full clerical rank.
I would like a citation on this, and I would like to know the methodology your sources used in making that determination.

You know as well as I that so called "religious historical experts" love projecting their own preconceived notions into the past. Next you'll tell me the Early Church didn't use icons, didn't believe in a literal Eucharist, and had no real ecclesial difference between the clergy and laity! Will you tell me as well that Saint Junia was a female Bishop?
 
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And here's the method of Liberals. They take once instance of praxis completely divorced from its proper context, condemn those who disagree with them as "heterodox" and "non-Apostolic", and then extrapolate that instance to corrupt the rest of the praxis to such a degree that they corrupt the total historical practice.

"There is no problem with nudity" - which is why the Bible is filled with euphemisms for sexual organs instead of outright calling those things what they are. "Behemoth's stones and tail". Right.

Why don't we all attend Church naked if there's no problem with nudity in all circumstances?
Good point. Shame of nudity is a result of the fall, but that's exactly why there is a problem with it. Not because the human body is evil but because we are infected with sin, lust, judgement of other people's appearances etc.

@Bizzlebin
Why does St. Paul command the Christians (particularly women) to dress modestly, if nudity is fine?
 

Eamonomae

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I would like a citation on this, and I would like to know the methodology your sources used in making that determination.

You know as well as I that so called "religious historical experts" love projecting their own preconceived notions into the past. Next you'll tell me the Early Church didn't use icons, didn't believe in a literal Eucharist, and had no real ecclesial difference between the clergy and laity! Will you tell me as well that Saint Junia was a female Bishop?
I would honestly like to hear your source and wouldn't mind challenging my preconceived notions, though. I understood the development of the Liturgy via Fr. Jungmann's "History of the Roman Rite ", where he argues that the Liturgy of the Early Church in Acts would worship the at the Second Temple on Saturday and have the Eucharistic ceremony on Sundays, but following the destruction of the Temple and the spread of the Church beyond Israel, the Church incorporated similar prayer to the Temple prayers and Eucharistic ceremony into a single service on Sundays - which is why to this day the Liturgy is divided into the "Liturgy of the Catechumens" (the Temple prayer) and the "Liturgy of the Faithful" (the Eucharistic ceremony), and why at some level elements of Solomonic worship are retained in the Liturgy of the Catechumens (Psalm prayer, Jewish censers, vestments, etc.). Always having a structural parallel via the Sanctuary in the Church, following that theory, wouldn't thus be that far-fetched.
 
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Bizzlebin

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Good point. Shame of nudity is a result of the fall, but that's exactly why there is a problem with it. Not because the human body is evil but because we are infected with sin, lust, judgement of other people's appearances etc.

@Bizzlebin
Why does St. Paul command the Christians (particularly women) to dress modestly, if nudity is fine?
Let me quote myself from page 1:

Nudity is normal, in certain settings like baptism. Otherwise, when not at the beach, a person should not dress immodestly, with exposed arms, legs, etc—and that applies to *men* just the same. I think you're right that much of the scandal is cultural, not Christian.
If you want to get off onto that topic, feel free to start a thread in the appropriate place and I'll jump in when I can, DV. I'm not sure I would characterize St Paul as limiting his advice to women, as he talks generally about "presentable parts", namely the head and hands and feet (1 Corinthians: 12.15–26), while the other parts are "unpresentable" in most contexts—that extends to all genders. Be assured I stand very strongly against impurity (eg, romantic kissing before marriage), immodest dress (eg, showing arms and legs, as per the above quote and Bible reference), and similar sins.
 
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Let me quote myself from page 1:



If you want to get off onto that topic, feel free to start a thread in the appropriate place and I'll jump in when I can, DV. I'm not sure I would characterize St Paul as limiting his advice to women, as he talks generally about "presentable parts", namely the head and hands and feet (1 Corinthians: 12.15–26), while the other parts are "unpresentable" in most contexts—that extends to all genders. Be assured I stand very strongly against impurity (eg, romantic kissing before marriage), immodest dress (eg, showing arms and legs, as per the above quote and Bible reference), and similar sins.
Ok fair enough. I am not limiting his advice to women, I'm just saying he (actually the verse I am thinking from might be from Peter) more specifically warns women to not be adorned with jewelry etc but with modesty.
 

Ainnir

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For a somewhat tangential situation where clergy thought having a wife was somehow inherently sinful, the Fathers (in canon 30 of the Quinisext Council) went so far as to call those nutters out in a canon itself, writing "We make this concession to them, not for any other reason, but because of the pusillanimity of their thought, and the bizarre character of their ideas of morality, and the unsettled state of their mind."
I love this.
 

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Many of the earliest temples did not have a separate altar, per se, or a differentiation between altar and nave, so in such cases the question is entirely moot. That's about as much as I plan to say in this thread regarding that, unless there's a good-faith question. I'd recommend looking around some—and especially at ancient rubrics—where you'll find deaconesses holding the chalice, receiving ordination (cheirotonia, not tonsure), and doing plenty of other things that are sufficient to prove full clerical rank.
Did you get that out of a Fordham article? The scientific consensus in this question is as I described it, as is the position of the church.
 

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Met. Kallistos Ware and others in the church are declared advocates of reviving deaconesses. Pot, meet kettle.
 

Alpo2

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Met. Kallistos Ware and others in the church are declared advocates of reviving deaconesses.
There's precedent for deaconesses. There's no precedent for female acolytes or readers.
 

Saxon

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There's precedent for deaconesses. There's no precedent for female acolytes or readers.
Liturgically speaking, the difference is trivial.
 

Deacon Lance

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I don't know if you want to play word games, but they didn't go into the altar or did any of the things deacons or altar servers do.
You said they had no liturgical function which is untrue. And they were communed in the altar.
 

Alpo2

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Liturgically speaking, the difference is trivial.
Could be. But there's still a difference between starting doing something again and starting something new just because it's convenient and practical.
 

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There's precedent for deaconesses. There's no precedent for female acolytes or readers.
But what of the case of women's monasteries? There is clear canon law that women cannot lead mixed choirs (ie, no women parish choir directors—major gender perversion), chant in a mixed setting (ie, no women reading in parishes), etc. Yet these sorts of things happen the all the time in women's monasteries—indeed, they have to, else how would any liturgical service ever be conducted? Now how that plays out in terms of tonsure I do not know, since some minor clergy were tonsured while others were only blessed by laying on of hands—even for the same position! Abbots had some semi-episcopal privileges, canonically speaking (note canon 14 of the 7th Ecumenical Council, starting with "It is perfectly plain to everybody...", ironic given the confusion in this thread), so nothing "plain" strikes me that would prevent an abbess from laying hands on a nun and blessing her as a (non-tonsured) reader in the abbess's monastery.
 

MarkosC

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To continue with my pet concern in this topic......

... as mentioned elsewhere I just got an English version of Fr. Hyacinthe Destivelle's commentary and translation of the 1917-8 Moscow Council from US Amazon for $9. I've only started reading the book, and I a) am aware that there's a lot of context behind it, even mentioned in the yet-unread intro, that I'm not aware of b) I believe much of the council is still unimplemented to this day.....

....but the the Russian Orthodox Church's approach to this issue seems quite different from Pope Paul's/the post-conciliar Vatican's.

1. There apparently were way more minor clergy as presbyters before the council (in 1889 there were around 35k presbyters, 7000 deacons, with the remaining 500k [!!] clerics - by implication minor clergy, ref. p. 9).
2. There was a statue that a pslamist had to be part of the standing synod (will find the citation for this)
3. they specifically discussed the admission of women into minor orders and deaconesses; the answer was "no" but they allowed women to be psalmists. (this IME mirrors the practice in the GOArch here in the US at least, though I've never seen women psalmists in my limited experience in Greece). Ref: p. 132-4 (the summary), p. 327 - Conciliar Volume 4 Decree 19 on "..Active Participation of Women in Various Areas of Church Ministry".

This is in contrast to the post-conciliar removal of the minor orders in the Latin Church and delegations of their functions and even purpose to episcopally blessed lay ministries. (again, with the proviso that the minor orders and deaconate were viewed pre-Vatican II as, to my understanding, essentially administrative stepping stones to the Presbyterate, which is viewed as the real clergy. Also, again, with the replacement of minor orders by lay ministries, I personally really see little ground to argue against women being episcopally blessed lay readers, cantors, and even altar servers?)
 

Agunomu

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Interesting.
 
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