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Source: (consider it) Thread: Priestly genitalia [Ordination of Women]
Paul.
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# 37

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Saint Bertolin, your ecclesiology appears to be a worked example of the no-true-Scotsman fallacy.
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ken
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quote:
Originally posted by Vesture, Posture, Gesture:
I think 'The Female Eunuch' pretty much sums up my distaste

Why? Have you ever read it? Whats wrong with it?

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Ken

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Josephine

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I am quite happy for Episcopalians, or Presbyterians, or Baptists, or anyone else, to have women as priests or ministers or pastors or whatever they call them. Just as I'm happy for them to use grape juice and scones for the Eucharist if that's what they want to do. I'm pleased if they want to use icons. I don't mind if they don't. I simply don't expect people who are not Orthodox to do what the Orthodox Church does. It would be foolish and silly and presumptuous all at once.

In the Orthodox Church, we keep the Tradition that has been handed down to us. And according to that Tradition, our priests and bishops are men. We can't ordain women as priests any more than we can consecrate orange juice for the Eucharist. It's not that grapes are intrinsically better than oranges, or more holy, or that they somehow represent God more clearly. It's just that God told us to use grapes, and he didn't tell us to use oranges.

If he had wanted us to use oranges, he could have told us to. I don't for one minute believe that there were no women priests for the first 2000 years of the Church's history because God was incapable of telling us that's what he wanted. God gave the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth. He didn't hold anything back.

So all our priests are men. And I do not believe that God calls women to be Orthodox priests. He calls women to serve the Church in other ways, but not in that way.

But I would never presume to say that God does not call women to serve as priests or ministers or pastors in other churches. If those other churches were Orthodox, they would do what we do. But they aren't, so they don't. And that's okay with me.

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I've written a book! Catherine's Pascha: A celebration of Easter in the Orthodox Church. It's a lovely book for children. Take a look!

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Cranmer's baggage

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Vesture, Posture, Gesture,

A couple of pages back, you remarked:
quote:
I've never thought it would personally lead to less 'bums on pews' and the comments about Dean Jensen give me some satisfaction ! I do think it leads ultimately to less Christians though which is more of a worry for me !

I should clarify that by stating that it isn't that I don't think those in favour of Women Priests aren't Christian (of course they are let me say so here and now !) but if it does lead down 'the slippery slope' then there will be nothing left to believe bar some secular ethics which are quite worthless.

Leaving aside the grammatical niceties, which have already been addressed, I asked you in what way, and for what reason, you thought that the OoW would jeopardise Christianity. Your only remark in reply was:

quote:
My standpoint broadly goes like this. Having studied the history of the ordination of women movement, for the most part, I see it as appearing straight out of feminism rather than as something organic.

I see these concessions such as the OoW as attempts to engage more with a falling away society rather than having any theological purpose. This particular form of engagement I believe, is bound to fail as people end up saying 'you should have done this before' as opposed to actually participate it.

If you want my theology, its pretty much that of the book 'Consecrated Women' or that of Rome. I'm largely talking about churches which claim to ordain women to holy orders. Anything else for me is lay ministry, which I have no objection to women doing.

It may just be that I'm a bit slow, but I'm having trouble following your argument. First, you suggest that OoW is nothing more than accommodation to social change, and will make the Church vulnerable to all manner of other doctrinal dilutions - the "slippery slope" argument. But then you say that you doubt that this will attract those it seeks to appease - which seems to me to suggest that pressure for further societally driven change will be reduced, not increased.

On the other hand, your second post seems to move towards the ontological argument - female human beings are not valid or efficacious "matter" for the sacrament of ordination. I can only assume that the putative ordination of women then makes for fewer Christians (or a 'less Christian' Church - I'm no longer sure which you meant) because a church which engages in the practice is effectively apostate?

Am I understanding you correctly? Could you please clarify a little further what you meant by the claim of "less Christian"? Thanks.

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Eschew obfuscation!

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Vesture, Posture, Gesture:
I think 'The Female Eunuch' pretty much sums up my distaste

Feminism has moved on several miles since then.

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My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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Vesture, Posture, Gesture
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1) Yes I have read it. Otherwise I wouldn't have commented on it.

2) Yes feminism has moved on but I don't think that much - the foundational basis is still there and I think it operates contrary to any notions of equality.

3) "First, you suggest that OoW is nothing more than accommodation to social change, and will make the Church vulnerable to all manner of other doctrinal dilutions - the "slippery slope" argument. But then you say that you doubt that this will attract those it seeks to appease - which seems to me to suggest that pressure for further societally driven change will be reduced, not increased.

On the other hand, your second post seems to move towards the ontological argument - female human beings are not valid or efficacious "matter" for the sacrament of ordination. I can only assume that the putative ordination of women then makes for fewer Christians (or a 'less Christian' Church - I'm no longer sure which you meant) because a church which engages in the practice is effectively apostate? "

Right. In regards to the 'slippery slope' what I mean to say is that the idea that there can be women priests, one the one hand partly derives from social demands and has only after that aquired some form of attempted justification which is in turn accepted as theologically ok (I am sure, after careful consideration but I wouldn't be suprised is a lot of those in support of OoW would say it was obvious given female emancipation etc...I have heard that espoused). Because this theology is, in my view utterly inaccurate, people now do not have a correct understanding and are, consequently, being led away from faith. Its still possible to be Christian but, little by little, as more of these social norms kick in, I think we will be in a spongesque situation.

The more ontological point I made was merely to highlight where my own standpoint derives from.

4) "But then you say that you doubt that this will attract those it seeks to appease - which seems to me to suggest that pressure for further societally driven change will be reduced, not increased."

Here I disagree with you when you state that my logic will lead to societally driven change being reduced not increased. I disagree because I think the church actually is desperate to find the key formula to get more bums on pews at the present time and is still stuck, for the most part, with a view that societally driven change is a means to do that. Out of desperation, I would expect more of it.

At the end of this post I have finally realised, I think, how to quote properly (ie: like everyone else does here). I will try to do so in future.

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An undergraduate proudly told Benjamin Jowett, the great 19th Century Classicist that he was an agnostic. Jowett replied "Young man, in this university we speak Latin not Greek, so when speaking of yourself in that way, use the word ignoramus"

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Cranmer's baggage

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Thanks for the clarification. I think our positions on just about every point in this argument are diametrically opposed, but I'm not about to try to change your mind. I would encourage you, however, to be open to the historical reality that women in some parts of the Christian church were experiencing, and responding to, a sense of call to ordained ministry long before the advent of second wave feminism (Betty Friedan et al). Indeed, in some traditions it almost predates first wave feminism (aka the Suffragette movement). Nor are all those within the church who argue for OoW strident feminists. I think there is strong evidence that there is more to this than societal pressure.

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Eschew obfuscation!

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Vesture, Posture, Gesture
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quote:
to be open to the historical reality that women in some parts of the Christian church were experiencing, and responding to, a sense of call to ordained ministry long before the advent of second wave feminism (Betty Friedan et al). Indeed, in some traditions it almost predates first wave feminism (aka the Suffragette movement)
I don't doubt this is true in fact, I'm pretty sure it is. Some sects during the Interregnum are very like that, particularly on the preaching front. It doesn't really kick off though until social pressures force it to - before its very much a minority opinion, even if people such as Percy Dearmer supported it.

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An undergraduate proudly told Benjamin Jowett, the great 19th Century Classicist that he was an agnostic. Jowett replied "Young man, in this university we speak Latin not Greek, so when speaking of yourself in that way, use the word ignoramus"

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The Scrumpmeister
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quote:
Originally posted by LatePaul:
Saint Bertolin, your ecclesiology appears to be a worked example of the no-true-Scotsman fallacy.

I make no claim to objectivity, LatePaul. I speak as an Orthodox Christian and so of course the ecclesiology to which I subscribe is going to be founded on that Faith. Other people may use the word Church differently and understand different things by it, and that's fine, but that doesn't mean that I'm going to accept them as being right.

This isn't simply a matter as trivial as whether any self-respecting person would eat fish and chips while walking along the street: this is a question of Truth and is the basis of the definition of heresy.

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If Christ is not fully human, humankind is not fully saved. - St John of Saint-Denis

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cor ad cor loquitur
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(Taking deep breath before posting to Dead Horses)

If you believe that a priest somehow represents Christ to the people, or acts as an icon of Christ (see discussion elsewhere, e.g. "ordination" threads in Purgatory and "Tridentine mass" threads in Ecclesiantics), then there is a legitimate question as to who can represent Christ.

The Church's views on this have changed over the years.

For example, the 1917 Codex Iuris Canonici (canon law) of the Roman Catholic Church abolished a suite of "perpetual impediments" that had formerly blocked someone from being ordained a priest. But it preserved many others, for example
  • Anyone born out of wedlock
  • Anyone suffering sickness or weakness or deformity that would impede ministry at the altar; at the time, this included missing 'canonical digits' of a hand that would handle the Host
  • epileptics, mentally disabled and those currently or formerly possessed by demons
  • Those who had voluntarily agreed to administer capital punishment (e.g. a hangman); soliders didn't become impeded for shooting a deserter in battle because they did this involuntarily.
  • Anyone who knowingly sought baptism from a non-catholic, except in case of extreme need
  • A son of non-catholics, both of whose parents persisted in their error. (If, however, one parent renounced protestantism, the impediment was lifted.)
  • A slave who had not yet been freed.
  • A civil judge or a corporate executive (though these impediments were automatically lifted upon the candidate leaving office).
(Cann. 983, 984, 985)
The current canon law has reduced and simplified this list of impediments. But it retains the prohibition on those who have "committed the delict of apostasy, heresy, or schism" and on anyone who "has committed voluntary homicide or procured a completed abortion and all those who positively cooperated in either". (Can. 1041). There are still a number of important strictures in place, either in Canon law or in other documents from the Vatican; see, for example this instruction from the Congregation for Catholic Education.

My point is simply that the Church can change its views on who can represent Christ, and indeed has done so.

I personally think that (1) there is no reason why a woman cannot represent Christ to the people of God; (2) that the whole idea of 'priestly representation' is often exaggerated. The Anglicans seem to have agreed with (1); the RCs and Orthodox have not done so, at least thus far.

But that's not to say that this couldn't happen, anymore than that the Church couldn't allow someone lacking the 'canonical digits' to officiate at the eucharist without a special dispensation.

[ 15. October 2006, 14:26: Message edited by: cor ad cor loquitur ]

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Quam vos veritatem interpretationis, hanc eruditi κακοζηλίαν nuncupant … si ad verbum interpretor, absurde resonant. (St Jerome, Ep. 57 to Pammachius)

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Knopwood
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CACL, those were categories of people who were not allowed to be licitly ordained. The Church never said that, for example, an epileptic couldn't be validly ordained and represent Christ. (Sorry, but failure to distinguish between legality and validity is one of my pet peeves. Comes of being confirmed by a vagantes bishop).

quote:
Originally posted by cor ad cor loquitur:
Those who had voluntarily agreed to administer capital punishment

Are you sure? Why? The Roman Catholic Church wasn't against the death penalty until the pontificate of JP2.
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ken
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quote:
Originally posted by Vesture, Posture, Gesture:
Some sects during the Interregnum are very like that, particularly on the preaching front. It doesn't really kick off though until social pressures force it to - before its very much a minority opinion, even if people such as Percy Dearmer supported it.

You've brought up one of the strongest arguments against your suggestion that the move towards the ordination of women didn;t arise organically within the church, for theological reasons, but was somehow imposed in the church from outside!

A various times - just after the Reformation, early Anabaptists, the Civil Wars in Britain, the early Methodists, the early 19th century apocalyptic groups - women leaders and prechers rose up in all sorts of new Protestant churches. But when those churches became regularised and respectable, women were moved back into the pews and the leadership tended to become male.

In other words, far from women's leadership in the church being imposed on the church from outside, it arose wthin the churches and was supressed from outside.

The Spirit lead women to preach - committees and boards and synods and deacons and archdeacons stopped them doing it.

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

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Vesture, Posture, Gesture
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It won't suprise you to know that preaching doesn't concern my objections to the OoW.

Oddly enough, it supports my arguement entirely, that it is outside concerns that are more influential !

[ 15. October 2006, 17:18: Message edited by: Vesture, Posture, Gesture ]

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An undergraduate proudly told Benjamin Jowett, the great 19th Century Classicist that he was an agnostic. Jowett replied "Young man, in this university we speak Latin not Greek, so when speaking of yourself in that way, use the word ignoramus"

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Josephine

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quote:
Originally posted by ken:
A various times - just after the Reformation, early Anabaptists, the Civil Wars in Britain, the early Methodists, the early 19th century apocalyptic groups - women leaders and prechers rose up in all sorts of new Protestant churches. But when those churches became regularised and respectable, women were moved back into the pews and the leadership tended to become male.

Your point only works if preachers and leaders are the same thing as priests. I don't think they are.

I can give you a long list of saints, men and women both, who were leaders and preachers in the Church, but who were not priests.

It seems to me that the notion that women must be permitted to be priests because that is the only position from which a person can exercise the gifts of preaching or of leadership is a position that despises the laity.

I do not believe that gifts of the Holy Spirit are limited to the priesthood, or that the only way, or even the best way, to serve God is to be a priest. The priesthood is simply one way among many, all of which are necessary to the functioning of the Body of Christ.

--------------------
I've written a book! Catherine's Pascha: A celebration of Easter in the Orthodox Church. It's a lovely book for children. Take a look!

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cor ad cor loquitur
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quote:
Originally posted by liturgyqueen:

CACL, those were categories of people who were not allowed to be licitly ordained. The Church never said that, for example, an epileptic couldn't be validly ordained and represent Christ. (Sorry, but failure to distinguish between legality and validity is one of my pet peeves. Comes of being confirmed by a vagantes bishop).

Both the 1917 and current canon law say, "Sacram ordinationem valide recipit solus vir baptizatus" (only a baptised male can validly receive ordination). The ordinary or in some cases the Holy See can lift impediments, but affirming the validity of women's ordination would require a change to canon law. My point was simply that canon law can be and has been changed.

quote:
Originally posted by liturgyqueen:
quote:
Originally posted by cor ad cor loquitur:
[qb] Those who had voluntarily agreed to administer capital punishment

Are you sure? Why? The Roman Catholic Church wasn't against the death penalty until the pontificate of JP2.

Canon law of 1917, can. 984.7:
quote:
Sunt irregulares ex defectu: ... Qui munus carnificis susceperint eorumque voluntarii ac immediati ministri in exsecutione capitalis sententiate.
I think this rules out those who operate houses of prostitution as well as those who willingly and directly administer capital punishment. The 'directly' is important because in the case of abortion (Can. 985.4) even those who aid or abet the procedure.

This canon didn't prohibit capital punishment, it just said that an executioner, even if his act were licit, thereby becomes impeded from ordination. The impediment can be lifted by competent authorities. And this clause no longer appears in today's canon law.

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Quam vos veritatem interpretationis, hanc eruditi κακοζηλίαν nuncupant … si ad verbum interpretor, absurde resonant. (St Jerome, Ep. 57 to Pammachius)

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Knopwood
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Of course canon law has changed. But the ordination of women is not simply a matter of canon law. Affirming the validity of OoW requires more than a change in canon law. Before OoW, had the Church (and I'm not asking rhetorically; I can't think off the top of my head) changed it's position on who can (not "may") be ordained to the priesthood?

[ 15. October 2006, 19:29: Message edited by: liturgyqueen ]

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Paul.
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quote:
Originally posted by Saint Bertolin:
This isn't simply a matter as trivial as whether any self-respecting person would eat fish and chips while walking along the street: this is a question of Truth and is the basis of the definition of heresy.

I reject the implication that I'm trying to trivialise anything. I was hoping to remind you that whilst to you I'm sure your logic is watertight, to some of us it appears circular. I understand to you it's not, but your "way in" to the circle - a particular interpretation of "leading into all truth" - isn't as convincing to everyone.
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The Scrumpmeister
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# 5638

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quote:
Originally posted by LatePaul:
quote:
Originally posted by Saint Bertolin:
This isn't simply a matter as trivial as whether any self-respecting person would eat fish and chips while walking along the street: this is a question of Truth and is the basis of the definition of heresy.

I reject the implication that I'm trying to trivialise anything. I was hoping to remind you that whilst to you I'm sure your logic is watertight, to some of us it appears circular. I understand to you it's not, but your "way in" to the circle - a particular interpretation of "leading into all truth" - isn't as convincing to everyone.
I never doubted that, LatePaul. What I was doing was highlighting that while from your perspective, likening this aspect of Orthodox ecclesiology to the "no true Scotsman" fallacy seemed perfectly reasonable, from my perspective, trivialising the matter is precisely what it was, because while it is true that today, there exist different definitions of "the Church" (which, if I understand correctly, is the basis of the idea of the NTS fallacy), this was not always so. Going back centuries, even though the Monophysites disagreed with the Orthodox about exactly what Truth was, they never departed from the understanding of "the Church" as "that body that holds faithfully to the Truth". Therefore, I would call into question the legitimacy of these other definitions of "the Church", and see that the NTS fallacy cannot apply here, but then I explained that on an earlier page of the thread.

Thanks, BTW, for introducing me to the NTS fallacy concept, which I hadn't encountered before.

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If Christ is not fully human, humankind is not fully saved. - St John of Saint-Denis

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The Scrumpmeister
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# 5638

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Actually, I've just blatantly lied. [Hot and Hormonal]

It was on the "Roman and Eastern Table Fellowship" thread.

(StB goes and hides in the corner).

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If Christ is not fully human, humankind is not fully saved. - St John of Saint-Denis

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dj_ordinaire
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I've been thinking about my last post... and it's occured to me that when I speak about my feelings about being separated from the Church, I am being rather inaccurate - what I'm talking about is really the experience of being part of a part of the Church which is so separated.

This has led to me to ponder whether the ecclesiological difference is so great as I've been assuming.

If I accept that the Church has been defended from error, and the Church of England to represent a normative expression of catholic Christianity in this Realme of Englande, then to support the OoWttPh is simply to accept the Church’s teaching, which doesn’t seem so different ...

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Flinging wide the gates...

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ken
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quote:
Originally posted by Josephine:
Your point only works if preachers and leaders are the same thing as priests. I don't think they are.

Thye are different expressions of eldership within a local church. And "priest" is just a way of saying that in badly pronounced Greek.

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

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Josephine

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Etymology is not meaning, ken, as I'm sure you know.

If the only function of a priest is to lead a parish and to preach, then I know of no reason that women should not be priests. I have never seen any reason, from Scripture, Tradition, or my own limited experience, to believe that the charisms necessary for leading or preaching were given by the Holy Spirit in ordination.

But in the Orthodox Church, the primary role of the priest is not leader or preacher. He may lead, he may preach, but plenty of others who are not priests also lead and preach.

I think one of the difficulties of discussing the ordination of women is that we're often discussing apples and oranges. If you consider the priest to be the person who leads and preaches (whatever else he may do), and I consider the priest to be the person who celebrates the sacraments (whatever else he may do), then there is no reason to be surprised that we would disagree on the requirements for the position -- because we're not talking about the same position, even if we're using the same term for it.

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cor ad cor loquitur
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Josephine, there are three different statements here:
quote:
the only function of a priest is to lead a parish and to preach
quote:
the charisms necessary for leading or preaching were given by the Holy Spirit in ordination.
quote:
the primary role of the priest is not leader or preacher
Catholic tradition would obviously deny the first, since priests obviously have additional functions.

But I think the tradition would support the second statement, and even come close to challenging the third, especially for a bishop, since the first office of a bishop is one of teaching and preaching.

Catholic catechism:
quote:
Bishops, with priests as co-workers, have as their first task "to preach the Gospel of God to all men," in keeping with the Lord's command.They are "heralds of faith, who draw new disciples to Christ; they are authentic teachers" of the apostolic faith "endowed with the authority of Christ."
Orthodox catechism:
quote:
Through ordination the bishop receives the offices of Christ: prophetic, royal, and priestly. With the prophetic office he teaches and correctly so the word of truth. With the royal office he administers and governs the Church. With the priestly office he celebrates the mysteries, sanctifies, and guides the faithful towards salvation.
Anglican (American Episcopalian) catechism:
quote:
Q. What is the ministry of a bishop?
A. The ministry of a bishop is to represent Christ and his Church, particularly as apostle, chief priest, and pastor of a diocese; to guard the faith, unity, and discipline of the whole Church; to proclaim the Word of God; to act in Christ's name for the reconciliation of the world and the building up of the Church; and to ordain others to continue Christ's ministry.

The word and the sacrament of the eucharist cannot be separated, any more than the eucharistic sacrifice can be separated from its ministry to the people (hence the deacon's essential role and that of the laity).

If a woman can act in persona Christi in the prophetic role or the royal (governing) role, this doesn't automatically imply that she can also do so in the priestly one. But, to me, it strongly suggests it. Or perhaps women can be bishops but not priests...?

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Quam vos veritatem interpretationis, hanc eruditi κακοζηλίαν nuncupant … si ad verbum interpretor, absurde resonant. (St Jerome, Ep. 57 to Pammachius)

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scopatore segreto
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quote:
Originally posted by cor ad cor loquitur:
If a woman can act in persona Christi in the prophetic role or the royal (governing) role, this doesn't automatically imply that she can also do so in the priestly one. But, to me, it strongly suggests it. Or perhaps women can be bishops but not priests...?

In the Middle Ages, abbesses did indeed fulfill the governing role, and in that respect were the equals of their male counterparts. They also fulfilled the teaching role, at least to a degree.

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"Well, if it's a symbol, to hell with it." Flannery O'Connor

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ken
Ship's Roundhead
# 2460

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quote:
Originally posted by Josephine:
I consider the priest to be the person who celebrates the sacraments (whatever else he may do)

Or she. Women celebrate the sacraments as well. Which is the point.

The reason for mentioning preaching was merely to oppose the untruths - expressed three or four times on different threads here in the last few days - that the ordination of women (in those churches that ordain women) was somehow imposed from outside; or that it was an American thing that is foreign to other cultures. Both those notions are false.

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

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Vesture, Posture, Gesture
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I don't see modern culture as 'outside' - it is entirely connected with the church but I have yet to see from you a cogent arguement in favour of organic development. I'd be grateful if you could provide one.

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ken
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quote:
Originally posted by Vesture, Posture, Gesture:
I have yet to see from you a cogent arguement in favour of organic development. I'd be grateful if you could provide one.

Just read the thread so far.

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

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Paige
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quote:
Originally posted by Vesture, Posture, Gesture:
I don't see modern culture as 'outside' - it is entirely connected with the church but I have yet to see from you a cogent arguement in favour of organic development. I'd be grateful if you could provide one.

VPG---for me, Galatians 3:26-29 is all the argument I need.

Josephine--I really don't think anyone is making the argument that the office of priest is the only one for leadership.

The real issue is that there are thousands of women (and men who support them) who claim that they are called by God to be priests. If woman are ontologically barred from the priesthood, these women are--by definition--either liars or crazy.

For me, it all boils down to the fact that I have experienced the presence of God in the Eucharist consecrated by female hands. I recognize that the Orthodox and Romans don't believe my Eucharist is valid, but I have *felt* God in it and been blessed by it.

Do you think it is impossible for God to be present in the Host that is consecrated by female hands? Why do you think God would refuse to be present when what is being offered is love and worship?

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Sister Jackhammer of Quiet Reflection

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Vesture, Posture, Gesture
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I don't deny its possible for it to be present in some form, just not transubstantially.

Obviously I think your reading of Galatians is very out of context.

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An undergraduate proudly told Benjamin Jowett, the great 19th Century Classicist that he was an agnostic. Jowett replied "Young man, in this university we speak Latin not Greek, so when speaking of yourself in that way, use the word ignoramus"

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Josephine

Orthodox Belle
# 3899

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quote:
Originally posted by Paige:
Josephine--I really don't think anyone is making the argument that the office of priest is the only one for leadership.



It could be that no one was making that argument in the last page or two. But, in my experience, the most common argument for the ordination of women is pretty much along those lines. But, since you are not arguing that, we might as well move on.

quote:
The real issue is that there are thousands of women (and men who support them) who claim that they are called by God to be priests. If woman are ontologically barred from the priesthood, these women are--by definition--either liars or crazy.


I don't think so. If they claim they are called by God to be Orthodox priests, I would say they are wrong. Likewise, I would say that a man who has been married more than once is not called to be an Orthodox priest, whatever he may think. But that would not mean they're liars, or crazy -- it's quite possible to be honestly mistaken. In fact, I'd say that it's rather more common to be honestly mistaken than to be a liar or crazy.

As for either of them being called to be a priest somewhere other than the Orthodox Church, it seems to me that it would be a matter between them, the church they're in, and the Holy Spirit.

quote:
I recognize that the Orthodox and Romans don't believe my Eucharist is valid, but I have *felt* God in it and been blessed by it.


If you mean that Orthodox believe that your Eucharist is not valid, that's not true. First, validity really isn't a concept that we do. We'd say only that your Eucharist is not an Orthodox Eucharist, which seems uncontroversial enough. If you pushed us on the subject of validity, we'd mostly say, not that we believe that it's not valid, but that we don't know that it is valid. That is a small distinction, but I don't think it's a trivial one.

quote:
Do you think it is impossible for God to be present in the Host that is consecrated by female hands?
No. To me, it would make no difference at all whether the priest who is offering the Holy Mysteries is a man or a woman, if the priest is not Orthodox. The fact that there may be some other canonical requirement that is not met seems pretty irrelevant. It is certainly possible for God to choose to be present in the Eucharist offered outside the Orthodox Church. The wind blows where it will. But, being Orthodox, I believe the only Eucharist in which it is certain that God is present is in the Orthodox Church.

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I've written a book! Catherine's Pascha: A celebration of Easter in the Orthodox Church. It's a lovely book for children. Take a look!

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Paige
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Josephine---as always, you are the soul of charity. It pains me that our churches cannot agree on this, because I would be honored to share in the Eucharist with you. But I have faith that we will one day worship together, even if it *is* in the hereafter. [Smile]

VPG---since I believe in the Real Presence, and have absolutely no doubt that I have experienced it in the Eucharist where a woman presides, I strongly disagree with you.

As for using Scripture out of context---I suggest that is exactly what you, and others who use it to deny the priesthood to women, are doing.

I think Dyfrig nailed it on the first page of this thread. Either Jesus' incarnation was meant for all (and thereby, sex/gender is irrelevant to anything), or his maleness is a crucial factor and women cannot be redeemed (since what was not assumed cannot be redeemed).

I know which one *I* accept... [Biased]

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Sister Jackhammer of Quiet Reflection

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Vesture, Posture, Gesture
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"A bishop can be the husband of but one wife"

I think that says it all.

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An undergraduate proudly told Benjamin Jowett, the great 19th Century Classicist that he was an agnostic. Jowett replied "Young man, in this university we speak Latin not Greek, so when speaking of yourself in that way, use the word ignoramus"

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Soror Magna
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quote:
Originally posted by Vesture, Posture, Gesture:
"A bishop can be the husband of but one wife"

I think that says it all.

Anyone else can have more than one wife? OliviaG

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"You come with me to room 1013 over at the hospital, I'll show you America. Terminal, crazy and mean." -- Tony Kushner, "Angels in America"

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duchess

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quote:
Originally posted by Josephine:
...
It seems to me that the notion that women must be permitted to be priests because that is the only position from which a person can exercise the gifts of preaching or of leadership is a position that despises the laity.

I do not believe that gifts of the Holy Spirit are limited to the priesthood, or that the only way, or even the best way, to serve God is to be a priest. The priesthood is simply one way among many, all of which are necessary to the functioning of the Body of Christ.

This is very well put. GRITS has stated this too, in her own fashion. My honest question I put forth is why is the priesthood viewed as the only way a person might express their gift of leading? Why are other position not viewed with as much "respect" if you will, as that Head-Honcho Pastor (or whatever label your denomiation puts forth)?

I don't post in here much since this is such a divisive topic, but this question has been inside me for sometime. I hope it comes across not as stiring the pot. I go into hell to do that, not here. thx.

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♬♭ We're setting sail to the place on the map from which nobody has ever returned ♫♪♮
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Josephine

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quote:
Originally posted by Paige:
Josephine---as always, you are the soul of charity. It pains me that our churches cannot agree on this, because I would be honored to share in the Eucharist with you. But I have faith that we will one day worship together, even if it *is* in the hereafter. [Smile]

On that, I think we can agree.

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I've written a book! Catherine's Pascha: A celebration of Easter in the Orthodox Church. It's a lovely book for children. Take a look!

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John Holding

Coffee and Cognac
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quote:
Originally posted by duchess:
My honest question I put forth is why is the priesthood viewed as the only way a person might express their gift of leading? Why are other position not viewed with as much "respect" if you will, as that Head-Honcho Pastor (or whatever label your denomiation puts forth)?


It isn't. Leadership in the church (both as a whole and in local congregations) exists inside and outside the ordained priesthood (in this case including the episcopate).

We are talking about the specific and only kind of leadership -- the leadership of the eucharistic assembly -- that is reserved to the ordained.

John

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The Scrumpmeister
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# 5638

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quote:
Originally posted by Paige:
As for using Scripture out of context---I suggest that is exactly what you, and others who use it to deny the priesthood to women, are doing.

That's fair enough. I think, though, that with specific regard to the Galatians reference, which you say is all that you need, you would need to show how it, being a reference specifically to Baptism, can be extended to apply to Ordination as well. I do understand your reasoning becaue I once thought the same thing. However, your argument presupposes the idea that the Baptismal homogenous norm is applicable to all aspects of the life in Christ (including Ordination) but that's a big assumption and one that hasn't thus far been supported. For example, the Sacrament of Chrismation/Confirmation is itself evidence that our oneness in Baptism does not mean that all of our ministries will be the same, and there is nothing to suggest that the basis of those ministries needn't be the same as that of our Baptism.

Therefore, this:

quote:
Either Jesus' incarnation was meant for all (and thereby, sex/gender is irrelevant to anything), or his maleness is a crucial factor and women cannot be redeemed (since what was not assumed cannot be redeemed).
...is not directly relevant unless it can be shown that the norm for our salvation as a whole (being human, and nothing more) is equally applicable to every single aspect of the economy of that salvation.

Someone said in Another Place that it seems that this assumption can be neither supported nor refuted from Scripture alone, and so we would need to look elsewhere.

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If Christ is not fully human, humankind is not fully saved. - St John of Saint-Denis

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The Scrumpmeister
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quote:
Originally ballsed up by Saint Bertelin:
...and there is nothing to suggest that the basis of those ministries needn't be the same as that of our Baptism.

I rephrased this sentence after originally typing it and seem to have ended up with a double negative, which completely contradicts what it is that I was trying to say. [Hot and Hormonal]

Please read instead:

quote:
...and there is nothing to suggest that the basis of those ministries must necessarily be the same as that of our Baptism.


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If Christ is not fully human, humankind is not fully saved. - St John of Saint-Denis

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Luke

Soli Deo Gloria
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Interesting comments about gender and leadership. (It's from the Sydney Anglicans so don't say you haven't been warned.)

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Emily's Voice

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cor ad cor loquitur
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A helpful and interesting link.

As much as I disagree with the Sydney Anglicans' perspective, it is at least consistent. They are saying that women should not exercise any sort of headship in the Church -- their role is ancillary and subordinate.

To take some of the suggestions posted above to an absurd extreme (one that I assume the original posters didn't intend) it sounds as though we could have a church where most of the theologians and preachers are women, where most of the top administrative and pastoral leadership roles wereheld by women. A woman could preside over the liturgy of the word, and even generally over the eucharistic celebration. But when it came time to say the words of institution and invoke the Spirit over the holy gifts, an ordained man, no matter how ignorant or otherwise lacking, would have to be called forward.

To draw this distinction seems to me to deny the integrity of the eucharist and of the Church itself. Yet to deny that women can play a teaching and leadership role in the Church seems simply contrary to fact.

[ 20. October 2006, 11:39: Message edited by: cor ad cor loquitur ]

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Quam vos veritatem interpretationis, hanc eruditi κακοζηλίαν nuncupant … si ad verbum interpretor, absurde resonant. (St Jerome, Ep. 57 to Pammachius)

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Vesture, Posture, Gesture
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I'm being stupid here, and trying to find where you find this in what people have said. Would you mind elaborating for me ?

Thanks

--------------------
An undergraduate proudly told Benjamin Jowett, the great 19th Century Classicist that he was an agnostic. Jowett replied "Young man, in this university we speak Latin not Greek, so when speaking of yourself in that way, use the word ignoramus"

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dj_ordinaire
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Well is seems to me that this is precisely the situation with respect to the mitred abesses mentioned above - a community containing women with, in many cases, great theological gifts, led by a woman who would govern those under them, possibly including men, organise their worship (were abesses permitted to preach in their churches?) then draught in a male priest of whatever quality was available whenever they had need of a Mass.

So certainly pretty close.

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Flinging wide the gates...

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cor ad cor loquitur
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DJ, I don't think that abbesses were ever given the mitre in the way that abbots were. And I don't think abbesses normally preach in the context of a Mass, though I think they give "conferences" to their religious, expounding on some aspect of the Rule or scripture or theology. Perhaps this has changed.

VPG, I was referring to a number of statements above (Josephine's and others') to the effect that women could preach, teach and lead. As I said, I took this position to an extreme.

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Quam vos veritatem interpretationis, hanc eruditi κακοζηλίαν nuncupant … si ad verbum interpretor, absurde resonant. (St Jerome, Ep. 57 to Pammachius)

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HenryT

Canadian Anglican
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quote:
Originally posted by dj_ordinaire:
...draught in a male priest of whatever quality was available whenever they had need of a Mass.

So certainly pretty close.

I've heard similar things in the last couple of years from women in Roman Cahtolic churches where there is no priest. The ordained male can be literally senile and drooling, but he has to give the holy zap - even if he's repeating what's whispered in his ear. An extreme case, but not a fictious one! It happened at Christmas, of course, when virtually every RC church is having a mass.

[ 20. October 2006, 15:15: Message edited by: Henry Troup ]

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"Perhaps an invincible attachment to the dearest rights of man may, in these refined, enlightened days, be deemed old-fashioned" P. Henry, 1788

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Josephine

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quote:
Originally posted by cor ad cor loquitur:
VPG, I was referring to a number of statements above (Josephine's and others') to the effect that women could preach, teach and lead. As I said, I took this position to an extreme.

Women can and do, in fact, preach, teach, and lead. They always have. If you disagree, you'll have to tell me what it is you think St. Nina of Georgia, Equal to the Apostles, was doing, if it wasn't preaching, teaching, or leading.

And you'll have to tell me what you call it when women serve as choir directors, teachers, administrators, theologians, treasurers, parish council members, abesses, iconographers, seminary professors, and the like. Because to me, it looks like what they're doing is preaching, teaching, and leading.

There are certainly things that a bishop or a priest does that are unique to those callings. Preaching, teaching, and leading are not among them.

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I've written a book! Catherine's Pascha: A celebration of Easter in the Orthodox Church. It's a lovely book for children. Take a look!

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ken
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quote:
Originally posted by John Holding:
We are talking about the specific and only kind of leadership -- the leadership of the eucharistic assembly -- that is reserved to the ordained.

Well, we're not really talking about leadership at all but eldership, which is something different.

And it is artificial to separate that one form or aspect of eldership - presiding at the eucharist - from all the others and then to reserve that and that only for male elders.

No scriptural support for it either.

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

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John Holding

Coffee and Cognac
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quote:
Originally posted by ken:
quote:
Originally posted by John Holding:
We are talking about the specific and only kind of leadership -- the leadership of the eucharistic assembly -- that is reserved to the ordained.

Well, we're not really talking about leadership at all but eldership, which is something different.

And it is artificial to separate that one form or aspect of eldership - presiding at the eucharist - from all the others and then to reserve that and that only for male elders.

No scriptural support for it either.

Mine was not an abstract statement but a response to Duchess (if you will actually read the post I quoted and to which I was responding). Try reading for context and your comments are, um, superfluous.

Especially as you appear to have concluded that I am trying to say women ought not to preside at the eucharist -- a position diametrically opposed to the one I have consistently taken on these boards over several years, and an issue unrelated to the one I was actually addressing.

John

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cor ad cor loquitur
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# 11816

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quote:
Originally posted by Josephine:
Women can and do, in fact, preach, teach, and lead. They always have. If you disagree, you'll have to tell me what it is you think St. Nina of Georgia, Equal to the Apostles, was doing, if it wasn't preaching, teaching, or leading.

And you'll have to tell me what you call it when women serve as choir directors, teachers, administrators, theologians, treasurers, parish council members, abesses, iconographers, seminary professors, and the like. Because to me, it looks like what they're doing is preaching, teaching, and leading.

I am ignorant of the fine points of Orthodox practice. So I'd like to understand
  • Do Orthodox seminaries that prepare men for ordination have women as their heads? As senior professors?
  • Do Orthodox women ever exercise roles of formal authority in the Church over men?
  • Do they hear confessions from women? From men?
  • Do they act as spiritual directors?
  • In Orthodox liturgical practice, do women participate as acolytes (if the Orthodox use that term)? Do they ever, during a Mass, go behind the iconstatis? Do they prepare the holy table or touch the liturgical vessels?
  • Are women allowed, as a matter of normal practice to preach in the context of an Orthodox Mass? Are they allowed to read the gospel? The other scripture lessons?
  • I guess that Orthodox no longer have ecumenical councils (please enlighten me here) but if another one were held, would women be allowed to participate in the debate?
  • Are women ever given temporal authority over Orthodox parishes?
Conversely, if Orthodox practice does permit women to represent Christ in the charisms of teaching, preaching and administration, why not in consecrating the eucharist or ordaining for ministry? How can these roles be separated? Don't we expect priests (and especially bishops) to be teachers, leaders and priests? Doesn't separating these roles reduce essence of priesthood to the "holy zap" suggested upthread?

As much as I wish it weren't the case, it is hard to avoid concluding, from traditional Catholic and Orthodox pratices, that women remain in highly subordinate roles and even that notions of "uncleanness" of women persist in these liturgical practices.

I am especially struck that the most conservative traditions also bar women from the diaconal role. It seems bizarre that a woman cannot represent Christ in preparing the table or bringing the gifts to the people.

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Quam vos veritatem interpretationis, hanc eruditi κακοζηλίαν nuncupant … si ad verbum interpretor, absurde resonant. (St Jerome, Ep. 57 to Pammachius)

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cor ad cor loquitur
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quote:
Originally posted by Josephine:
abesses

Abbesses do seem to be something of an exception to the subordinate roles that women play in the more conservative Catholic/Orthodox tradition. But as far as I know they have authority only over the women in their charge. I don't think they preach at Masses celebrated in their houses. Some abbesses use a crozier within their houses but I don't think it is traditionally given to them at their investiture, as is the case with abbots. They don't wear mitres.

Of course an abbot is normally a priest, or even a bishop, which (sadly) can't be the case with an abbess.

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Quam vos veritatem interpretationis, hanc eruditi κακοζηλίαν nuncupant … si ad verbum interpretor, absurde resonant. (St Jerome, Ep. 57 to Pammachius)

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El Greco
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It seems to me that this debate presupposes that men and women are the same thing. In my opinion, this notion is disrespectful to both men and women. Men and women have different charismas inherent in them by the Creator and Logos. It is this egalitarian spirit that not only blurs the differences between the sexes, but also misses the true charismas that are in each gender. In other words, it seems to me that in an effort to pursue equality, some are forgetting the different qualities that are implanted by God in His creatures. By not recognising the words implanted in us by the Word, we do not live fulfilling lives. Hence, we try to find fulfilment by pursuing what we see as social justice.

Of course, I can well be wrong. If this is the case, then the pursue for social justice is a genuine one. Under that prism, the church's history for the past three thousand years turns out to be less God-centred than we thought it to be. This is why these issues have to be dealt with in a synodical way. A discussion is to be made, and the opinion of the majority has to prevail. But many issues arise, especially since the Christian world is no longer one Church and secularism prevails.

[ETA] For the time being, this is a non-issue for the Orthodox church, because nobody asks for women to be allowed into the priesthood. In my opinion, this fact has to be taken into account by our Protestant friends that make this debate.

[ 21. October 2006, 11:33: Message edited by: andreas1984 ]

Posts: 11285 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged



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