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Source: (consider it) Thread: Priestly genitalia [Ordination of Women]
seasick

...over the edge
# 48

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Since when were the Nicene, Apostles' and (so-called) Athanasian creeds the "three ecumenical creeds"? AIUI, the Orthodox formally have only the Nicene, the RCs have a number among which the Nicene and Apostles hold a special place (see catechism) and IME the majority of other churches use Nicene and Apostles (assuming they use creeds). It's only, I would say, Anglican traditions with roots in the Books of Common Prayer that privilege the Athanasian alongside the Nicene and Apostles'.

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We believe there is, and always was, in every Christian Church, ... an outward priesthood, ordained by Jesus Christ, and an outward sacrifice offered therein. - John Wesley

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TubaMirum
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Don't Catholics have to explicitly affirm the Athanasian Creed? I thought they did.
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TubaMirum
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quote:
Originally posted by Liturgy Queen:
Nonetheless, as outre as the Episcopal Church has gotten, I doubt that it has formally renounced any of the three ecumenical creeds. That would place outside of at least Western Christianity.

Well, we haven't "formally renounced" the 39 Articles, either - but they're not considered working doctrine. Again, the Nicene and Apostles' Creeds - I assume by canon law - are the official doctrine that has been adopted by the Episcopal Church. Nothing else.
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seasick

...over the edge
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Yes AIUI (though I am, as ever, open to correction), but it comes alongside many other creeds. From the catechism page I linked to:

quote:
192 Through the centuries many professions or symbols of faith have been articulated in response to the needs of the different eras: the creeds of the different apostolic and ancient Churches, e.g., the Quicumque, also called the Athanasian Creed; the professions of faith of certain Councils, such as Toledo, Lateran, Lyons, Trent; or the symbols of certain popes, e.g., the Fides Damasi or the Credo of the People of God of Paul VI.

193 None of the creeds from the different stages in the Church's life can be considered superseded or irrelevant. They help us today to attain and deepen the faith of all times by means of the different summaries made of it.

Among all the creeds, two occupy a special place in the Church's life:

194 The Apostles' Creed is so called because it is rightly considered to be a faithful summary of the apostles' faith. It is the ancient baptismal symbol of the Church of Rome. Its great authority arises from this fact: it is "the Creed of the Roman Church, the See of Peter the first of the apostles, to which he brought the common faith".

195 The Niceno-Constantinopolitan or Nicene Creed draws its great authority from the fact that it stems from the first two ecumenical Councils (in 325 and 381). It remains common to all the great Churches of both East and West to this day.

What I was trying to say is that outside the Anglican prayer book tradition I don't think you can single out Nicene, Apostles', Athanasian as a special three among all the creeds.

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We believe there is, and always was, in every Christian Church, ... an outward priesthood, ordained by Jesus Christ, and an outward sacrifice offered therein. - John Wesley

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TubaMirum
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quote:
Originally posted by seasick:
Yes AIUI (though I am, as ever, open to correction), but it comes alongside many other creeds. From the catechism page I linked to:

quote:
192 Through the centuries many professions or symbols of faith have been articulated in response to the needs of the different eras: the creeds of the different apostolic and ancient Churches, e.g., the Quicumque, also called the Athanasian Creed; the professions of faith of certain Councils, such as Toledo, Lateran, Lyons, Trent; or the symbols of certain popes, e.g., the Fides Damasi or the Credo of the People of God of Paul VI.

193 None of the creeds from the different stages in the Church's life can be considered superseded or irrelevant. They help us today to attain and deepen the faith of all times by means of the different summaries made of it.

Among all the creeds, two occupy a special place in the Church's life:

194 The Apostles' Creed is so called because it is rightly considered to be a faithful summary of the apostles' faith. It is the ancient baptismal symbol of the Church of Rome. Its great authority arises from this fact: it is "the Creed of the Roman Church, the See of Peter the first of the apostles, to which he brought the common faith".

195 The Niceno-Constantinopolitan or Nicene Creed draws its great authority from the fact that it stems from the first two ecumenical Councils (in 325 and 381). It remains common to all the great Churches of both East and West to this day.

What I was trying to say is that outside the Anglican prayer book tradition I don't think you can single out Nicene, Apostles', Athanasian as a special three among all the creeds.
Thanks for the link and explanation.

I think maybe the 1662 BCP-based Churches do have to affirm the Athanasian. (I can't ever remember how to spell Quicunque Vault, or however it goes!) So perhaps you're right that this is only an Anglican thing. Interesting to me that the Orthodox only use the Nicene, too.

All I know about the Athanasian is that a priest I know once said: "Father Incomprehensible, Son Incomprehensible, Spirit Incomprehensible - actually, the whole damn thing is Incomprehensible.")

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Divine Outlaw
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quote:
Originally posted by TubaMirum:
Don't Catholics have to explicitly affirm the Athanasian Creed? I thought they did.

They may have to affirm its contents, but it is no longer used liturgically as a creed.

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TubaMirum
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There's a musical setting of it - maybe more than one - in the St. Dunstan's Plainsong Psalter, BTW.

Imagine that!

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Augustine the Aleut
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quote:
Originally posted by cor ad cor loquitur:
Ruth Gledhill, in The Times, speculates about the introduction of lay cardinals, including female lay cardinals ... and nominates herself.

If Ms Gledhill had carefully followed the Ship's thread on the diaconate and not relied on wikipedia quite so much, she would have realized that both Cardinals Antonelli and Mertel were clergy-- deacons, that is, and not lay cardinals (mind you, Mertel was cardinal for a day before he was ordered deacon, so I suppose he would qualify as a lay cardinal). The rumour about Maritain having declined a cardinal's hat is apparently well-founded and there is no reason why a lay RC could be named cardinal and dispensed from the requirement of being in Holy Orders - as some older cardinals in priest's orders have been dispensed from being consecrated bishops (such as TomᚠŠpidlík).

Women have held ordinary jurisdiction, such as the Abbess of Las Huelgas in Burgos, until (relatively) modern times and, as far as I can see, a woman can be named cardinal, although the requirement that a cardinal be made bishop or in holy orders would presumably not apply and I imagine that the bull of appointment would clarify this.

Not that I see this happening at the next consistory.

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mousethief

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# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by seasick:
What I was trying to say is that outside the Anglican prayer book tradition I don't think you can single out Nicene, Apostles', Athanasian as a special three among all the creeds.

How many other historical creeds are there?

Of course in the Orthodox world, we know only one creed, although generally we don't call it that (when not in contact with the cootie-ridden West); we call it the Symbol of Faith.

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The Scrumpmeister
Ship’s Taverner
# 5638

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quote:
Originally posted by Liturgy Queen:
The idea of separate bishops strikes me as unneccessary, for instance. The CofE does not (yet) permit women bishops, so people who don't recognise OoW needn't worry about the validity of their bishops' orders--unless they subscribe to a "theology of taint" that has no grounding in Catholic thought.

If I may be forgiven for dragging this up three weeks after it was posted, (I've just been catching up on the thread since March, you see), I'd like to respond to this.

I think that the people in FiF are being as Catholic as they can while remaining within the Church of England. I don't see any theology of taint at play but what I do see them doing is trying to adhere to Catholic ecclesiology reflected in the ancient canons that not only make it an option, but that require any priest who finds himself under a bishop who has openly taught or practised what they believe to be heresy to place himself under the authority of another bishop who retains the right Faith.

St Cyprian of Carthage writes on this, and some time ago (when looking into this, which is partly what led to my conversion - but because of issues not related to the ordination of women), I came across the declarations that stated that those priests who had been deposed by Arius for separating from him and his fellow bishops were to be recognised as priests of the Church and that the depositions did not stand. This was the case even though those priests rejected Arius before the Church denounced his teachings as heretical. That is just one of many examples of this expression of proper Catholicity, where unity under one's bishop is only to maintained so far as that unity is in right faith and practice.

The flaw in the reasoning of FiF, as I see it at least, is that they are trying to exercise this Catholic ecclesiology within a church which, by its nature, cannot make provision for such a Catholic ecclesiology. The breadth of the Church of England, which many see as a positive point, has the effect that many of the practical outworkings of Catholic ecclesiology cannot exist. That isn't a cheap shot at my former home but merely a statement of fact which anybody can verify by looking at the canons and declarations of the councils (which the CofE's 39 Articles state that it accepts) and the common understanding and practice of which they are a reflection.

So yes, those who accuse FiF of being uncatholic are correct but not for the reasons that the accusers cite. (Personally, I think that as long as FiF are going to accept the branch theory and the double-procession, then there's no point in their making a fuss about the ordination of women - why stamp your foot about one departure from the Church's Tradition while simultaneously flinging open your doors to others?)

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Birdseye

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# 5280

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I tried to read all 31 pages I really did -but then I skipped from page 3 to page 30 since a lot of it was repetition.

First off -would people agree that although we can discern God's will from the scriptures we cannot predict what God will actually do, from those pages.

Also that although tradition can NURTURE unity, it is actually God's Holy Spirit that is the unifying feature of the church on earth -it's what he sent -it's what all Christian's share -it's what makes us part of one hugely divers body.

So who would dare say that once God has moulded us each in our forms, he will not use a sometime water jug as a wine-pitcher, or a pot for cooking in as a bowl for fruit. I mean that it is only we humans that struggle with our human appearances and human forms - and perhaps God sometimes wants people to struggle with the adversity of appearing to be a cooking pot but being used as a wine vessel. After all throughout history God has used the people least expected, to break down conventions.

No human being can say 'I forgive you' only God and hence Christ, can say that -so any minister or priest who is saying that someone is forgiven is only ever passing on what God would say 'you are forgiven' so they are not taking the place or 'icon' of Christ... surely it would be madness to try and step into the shoes of a living man who is still wearing them?
Also -when we celebrate the eucharist in remembrance of Christ's sacrifice until he returns again -it is all about the apostolic succession isn't it -the unbroken chain of those recieving and sharing in communion -why break the chain with women as a dead end?

This is not a stance however -because I still having nagging doubts about women as priests -and I want to know what they might be -can anyone tell me (having read a large chunk of this thread) do they know any real reasons, why God would not be able to use women as priests*?

*This answer should apply unequivocally to ALL women and to NO men.

help?

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The Scrumpmeister
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# 5638

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quote:
Originally posted by Birdseye:
help?

It is necessary for you to re-phrase your question to yourself while pondering the matter. This isn't about God's ability.

I don't know whether that helps.

[ 03. July 2007, 13:22: Message edited by: Saint Bertelin ]

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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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The more I reflect on this, the more I think it would make sense to restore the lay cardinalate and to name some female (lay) cardinals.

Most of the arguments against womens' ordination have focused on the "natural symbol" of gender, essentially the claim that a woman cannot re-present Christ to the Church in the Mass. A woman isn't inferior to a man, the story goes, just different.

For the sake of argument, let's accept this framing. It doesn't imply that a woman cannot exercise the charisms of administration or of teaching -- unless, of course, the underlying belief is either that these also are priestly roles or that, like priesthood, they are gender-dominated.

In the first case, you end up with a very strong claim for clerical hierarchy; in the second, a very low view of women. C.S. Lewis held the latter. Some Roman Catholics hold the former. Some people hold both.

Having more female university presidents, heads of pontifical commissions (there have been a few) and cardinals might not satisfy the women who feel a vocation to the priesthood, but it would reduce some of the accusations that Roman Catholic doctrine is fundamentally sexist.

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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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dyfrig
Blue Scarfed Menace
# 15

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That's a very good point, cor ad cor loqit- loqdus - locutus of Borg. Those in favour of a male only priesthood have never, to my mind, adequately separated out the priesthood per se from male-dominated power structures (and, indeed, power structures as a whole). If someone were to demonstrate that there is, in fact, a distinction to be made and were that distinction to be worked out in genuine practice, then this issue may have more juice to it.

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Birdseye

I can see my house from here!
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the -'help' was general -but I'll rephrase since it was phrased obtusely.

Is there any real reason God would want women NOT to be priests ie: Women it is very important YOU MUST NOT <whatever> BECAUSE.

It can't be the silly thing about women menstruating in the sanctuary that was mentioned early in the thread because men sweating and shedding skin and hair in the sanctuary is every bit as natural and every bit as grubby -and 'ritual uncleanness' went out with sacrificing doves... besides, Jesus said -it's not what you put into your mouth that makes you unclean -it's what you say -what comes OUT of it.

It can't be about 'representing Christ' coz no-on e giving out the eucharist is pretending to be Christ -and it would surely be blasphemous for anyone to pretend to do so anyhow.

So what is it about -coz it MUST be about something, surely it can't just be a niggling 'that's the way it was always done'?

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TubaMirum
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Somebody argued awhile ago on another thread that women shouldn't be pastors of any sort because they distract the men in the congregation.

I think that was the argument, anyway; it was a bit hard to follow.

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Knopwood
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# 11596

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Well, aren't I glad my parish priest is a woman? [Big Grin]
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TubaMirum
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# 8282

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quote:
Originally posted by Liturgy Queen:
Well, aren't I glad my parish priest is a woman? [Big Grin]

See, they didn't think of that.... [Biased]
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duchess

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# 2764

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Well, as somebody who believes only men should hold the officer of priest/minister/pastor, I still stand by my right to be distracted .

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The Scrumpmeister
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# 5638

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Doesn't Fr July look like Austin Drage from that Boys will be Girls programme, where four blokey blokes had to train themselves to look, dress, move, and sing like a girlband? That was hilarious.

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

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mousethief

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# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by Birdseye:
It can't be about 'representing Christ' coz no-on e giving out the eucharist is pretending to be Christ -and it would surely be blasphemous for anyone to pretend to do so anyhow.

My congress critter represents me, but I doubt very much he is pretending to be me. This particular point of yours doesn't work (regardless of the truth of the conclusion).

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dyfrig
Blue Scarfed Menace
# 15

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Actually, MouseThief, the "persona Christi" argument has been one of the factors in the debate in the West (and I think is touched upon, positively, by some contributors to the Thomas Hopko book about the debate within Orthodoxy). Remember, Ignatius Antiochius went further - he said the Bishop was in the place of God in the assembly. So, whilst it might not play out so heavily in all the debates on women's ordination, it certainly is a historically present element in the debate.

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Birdseye

I can see my house from here!
# 5280

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Mousethief (et al) It's not about 'my points' working -I haven't got a point or a side or an answer -I've only got questions -if my questions aren't phrased in a way that you can answer then rephrase them and THEN answer them -or take a gist and reply to that... I'm not trying to be antagonistic and I'm certainly not playing devils advocate -I really just want to know...
Think of me -if it helps, as a traditionalist looking for rational, logical, scripture and spirit-based reasons to back up my belief that no matter how else they're called -and that's all well and good up to deacon level, women shouldn't be full priests.
because that's what I want to hear... -don't try and second-guess me, don't assume an ulterior motive, there isn't one, I'm not militant, I'm not a feminist, I'm not a mysogynist, I'm not anything-ist and I don't have an agenda. If I'd wanted a futile, point-scoring row then I would have gone to the fertile grounds of purgatory, NOT to the uninviting dusty ground of dead horses.

Lay it on the line -list the reasons: why women should not be priests, I really need to know.

[ 04. July 2007, 08:42: Message edited by: Birdseye ]

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The Scrumpmeister
Ship’s Taverner
# 5638

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quote:
Originally posted by Birdseye:
Lay it on the line -list the reasons: why women should not be priests, I really need to know.

May I respectfully suggest that giving up after page 3 was not the best way of finding out? Your initial comment was that you found the thread repetitious. This is in part because peoiple come to the discussion late and instead of reading the whole thread bring up points again that have already been discussed. I know that it may seem a little tedious but I found that it is well worth taking a few days to work through the thread. You'll find varied and interesting discussions happening at various points within it, sometimes even overlapping so that you have to work out which posts belong to which conversation (this began to happen after we ceased to be allowed to start new threads on the topic). You'll see posts by people whose minds were changed in both directions, often citing why. I'd seriously recommend it.

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

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Birdseye

I can see my house from here!
# 5280

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Okay -will do -it's just such a slog through the sniping to find the odd post that actually addresses the issue.

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Life is what happens whilst you're busy making other plans.
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The Scrumpmeister
Ship’s Taverner
# 5638

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I know what you mean. I tried the homosexuality thread but lost the will to live after page 25 or so. This one was different, thoguh, somehow. I found the debate here to actually be reasoned (for the most part) instead of just based on "The Bible says" or some equivalent.

One thing that I would add, though, is that I don't think it's a case of "Why can women not be priests?" but rather "What is it about the nature of priesthood that makes it intrinsically male?" This is really a debate about the nature of priesthood rather than the suitability or otherwise of men or women to perform certain actions, if that makes sense.

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

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TubaMirum
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quote:
Originally posted by Saint Bertelin:
"What is it about the nature of priesthood that makes it intrinsically male?"

I think that people are indeed talking to just this statement. We wonder what it is about gonads that's such a deal-breaker when it comes to the priesthood - and believe me, we haven't seen anything like a coherent argument yet.

I don't particularly care for Jack Spong, but he makes a good point about this: if you throw out, one by one, all the things that men and women have in common, and take a look at what you have left over, you realize the absurdity of the argument - especially for a religion based on the life and death of Jesus of Nazareth. We are talking about this very point.

Here's my point of view, though: if the Catholics and the Orthodox and the rest want to be silly, it's completely within their rights to be silly. Bye-bye!

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Knopwood
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# 11596

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quote:
Originally posted by TubaMirum:
quote:
Originally posted by Saint Bertelin:
"What is it about the nature of priesthood that makes it intrinsically male?"

I think that people are indeed talking to just this statement. We wonder what it is about gonads that's such a deal-breaker when it comes to the priesthood - and believe me, we haven't seen anything like a coherent argument yet.
This is precisely the position I find myself in. Thank you, TubaMirum. [Smile]
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dyfrig
Blue Scarfed Menace
# 15

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quote:
Originally posted by TubaMirum:
Somebody argued awhile ago on another thread that women shouldn't be pastors of any sort because they distract the men in the congregation.


That's a rubbish argument. I get distracted by priets and pastors no matter what their sex - usually along the lines of, "This sermon's crap."

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duchess

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Yup, and I hope nobody ever tries to use it to help my side of the debate again in this thread.

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TubaMirum
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quote:
Originally posted by dyfrig:
quote:
Originally posted by TubaMirum:
Somebody argued awhile ago on another thread that women shouldn't be pastors of any sort because they distract the men in the congregation.


That's a rubbish argument. I get distracted by priets and pastors no matter what their sex - usually along the lines of, "This sermon's crap."
But don't forget: many religions use this very argument even today, even if we're only talking about the congregation. Certain sects segregate men and women during worship, and this is the very rationale they use.

Don't get me wrong; I don't agree with this. I'm just saying.

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The Scrumpmeister
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# 5638

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quote:
Originally posted by TubaMirum:
quote:
Originally posted by Saint Bertelin:
"What is it about the nature of priesthood that makes it intrinsically male?"

I think that people are indeed talking to just this statement. We wonder what it is about gonads that's such a deal-breaker when it comes to the priesthood - and believe me, we haven't seen anything like a coherent argument yet.

I don't particularly care for Jack Spong, but he makes a good point about this: if you throw out, one by one, all the things that men and women have in common, and take a look at what you have left over, you realize the absurdity of the argument - especially for a religion based on the life and death of Jesus of Nazareth. We are talking about this very point.

Here's my point of view, though: if the Catholics and the Orthodox and the rest want to be silly, it's completely within their rights to be silly. Bye-bye!

Thank you for your candour in expressing your point of view, Tubamirum. All I can say is that I assure that we are not merely being silly. I'm sorry that you feeel that way.

For what it's worth, my point of view is here. I haven't really explored it in much depth since then because I really don't consider it to be that important. I will most likely get round to it but there are many other things that I am currently finding beneficial and that are leading to growth.

In any case, I have started a new thread about this topic.

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The Scrumpmeister
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# 5638

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It would appear that I lied in my OP. The original thread still exists and has been found by Thurible. It is here.

Perhaps a kind host could be persuaded to resurrect it for us so that discussion may continue. [Biased]

[ 04. July 2007, 14:58: Message edited by: Saint Bertelin ]

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

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TubaMirum
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quote:
Originally posted by Saint Bertelin:
For what it's worth, my point of view is here. I haven't really explored it in much depth since then because I really don't consider it to be that important. I will most likely get round to it but there are many other things that I am currently finding beneficial and that are leading to growth.

Well, thanks for the link. As I said, I haven't seen a coherent argument about this issue yet!

[Razz]

(I mean, don't get me wrong: personal opinion is a lovely thing. Still, I'm not exactly persuaded by it, sorry.)

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The Scrumpmeister
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# 5638

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quote:
Originally posted by TubaMirum:
quote:
Originally posted by Saint Bertelin:
For what it's worth, my point of view is here. I haven't really explored it in much depth since then because I really don't consider it to be that important. I will most likely get round to it but there are many other things that I am currently finding beneficial and that are leading to growth.

Well, thanks for the link. As I said, I haven't seen a coherent argument about this issue yet!

[Razz]

(I mean, don't get me wrong: personal opinion is a lovely thing. Still, I'm not exactly persuaded by it, sorry.)

It wasn't intended to be a coherent argument or as an attempt to persuade anybody of anything: it was an expression of where I'm up to with regard to this issue at the moment. That's all. As I said in that post, it is something that I hadn't (and haven't) explored in detail but I'm currently looking at the thread which ran parallel to this one in discussing just this matter.

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

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Aristibule
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The Athanasian Creed is also used by the Orthodox. If anyone has access to either a Russian or Greek horologion, they can find it. However, in the original Greek (as well as the Slavonic translation) you'll see the filioque is also lacking. The Western Rite Orthodox then pray the Quincunque Vult in Latin or English, without the filioque per the Greek original. I think its use in the East, however, became limited as the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed became the liturgical standard.

The Apostle's Creed, of course, is unknown in the Eastern and Oriental churches - as it was the baptismal creed for the Church in Rome. (Still, a good creed.) There are other creeds as well - St. Gregory of Thessalonica had one, St. Patrick had one, and there are many others.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Aristibule:
The Athanasian Creed is also used by the Orthodox.

On what day? In which service? Who says it, and do they say it aloud or silently? Is this used by parishes, or only monasteries?

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Young fogey
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'She's so attractive she's a distraction' doesn't affect my belief on the matter (which is simply 'the larger Catholic church trumps everything else') but every now and then I've thought of that.

As that priestly photo calendar from Roma shows, it's also an issue for women and gay men and I'm sure long has been!

Confessional booths were invented, I think during the Counter-Reformation or afterwards, so the priest wouldn't get turned on by seeing hot women and hearing them confess sexual sins; further there developed the 'open' kind with the screen but both people visible to make sure there was no hanky-panky going on in there: 'women's confessionals'. Traditionally men could confess in the pew or at the altar rail IIRC. (Maybe just kneeling out in the open in church with the priest next to him in the pewless, railless, rood-screened Middle Ages?)

I'm sure whoever wrote the traditional Roman Rite rubric for giving out candles at the altar rail at Candlemas in which men kiss the priest's hand but women don't (again so Father doesn't get tempted) didn't have the typical spiky Anglo-Catholic shop in mind. [Smile]

I'm familiar with the Russian Orthodox custom of men standing on the right side of the church, same side as the Jesus icon on the iconostasis, women on the left with Mary. Not at all oppressive, I see the logic and I'm not offended.

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Myrrh
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quote:
Originally posted by dyfrig:
Actually, MouseThief, the "persona Christi" argument has been one of the factors in the debate in the West (and I think is touched upon, positively, by some contributors to the Thomas Hopko book about the debate within Orthodoxy). Remember, Ignatius Antiochius went further - he said the Bishop was in the place of God in the assembly. So, whilst it might not play out so heavily in all the debates on women's ordination, it certainly is a historically present element in the debate.

I haven't read past page 1, and unless I have more time available for this it'll stay that way, but, I think Fr Gregory does not give the Orthodox view of the priest in equating it with the RCC doctrine of priesthood. He uses language that describes the RCC doctrine of "in persona Christi", that is, the priest actually representing Christ Himself, and the teaching on this is that the priest must allow Christ to act through him. Orthodox teaching, I thought universally so in the Orthodox Church until I found this FrGregory sort of explanation, is that the priest does not represent Christ Himself (Christ Himself is always present and doesn't require anyone to represent Him), but is to be thought of as an "icon of Christ", that is, an image of Christ, within the 'story' of the liturgy, because the priest actually represents the voice of the royal priesthood. In the Orthodox Church all worship is in common, all prayers, and this therefore includes the sacrifice of the eucharist, we offer.

This is distinctly different from the "in persona Christi" of the RCC which Fr Gregory is imposing on the Orthodox model and which sees the priest as separate from the rest of the 'congregation' offering the sacrifice on his own for the rest. In doing so the RCC split the congregation into 'clergy' and 'laity', completely separate functions with the sacramental function only in the 'clergy'. And this includes representing Christ in confession and in teaching, the rest of the congregation do not have authority for these roles because it comes with ordination to "in persona Christi".

In the Orthodox Church the laity includes the 'clergy' as a job function within it, not a position of authority separate from and above it and not with the idea of 'in persona Christi'. Baptism and chrismation is ordination into the Orthodox priesthood under the Head of the Church, the one High Priest Christ.

In other words, women are already priests in the Orthodox Church. So, the arguments of whether or not a woman can represent the actual person of Christ don't actually apply in the Orthodox Church, no one does.

For the explanation of "icon of Christ", it's as you say above, a tradition which finally settled for bishop = Christ (rather than bishop = God the Father, and the deacon=Christ with the priests together=the Holy Ghost.)

Icon of Christ means "in the image of Christ", not Christ Himself, and is seen in the liturgy as an action in a drama rather than as a function of actually representing Christ in His person in reality. In the following [url below] explanation of the Divine Liturgy the priest/bishop is called "a type of Christ".

Whether described as type or icon/image this shouldn't be confused with the RCC doctrine, we have absolutely no teaching whatsoever that the priest represents Christ Himself (in contrast to the RCC which has very specific explanations of what "in persona Christi means) and to confuse the two distinct and separate concepts by the Fr Gregory type of explanation is to change the Orthodox Liturgy.

It's interesting that the Russian Church from Moghila and Peter the Great began using the Latin formula of absolution in which the priest "in persona Christi" absolves sin with the words "I forgive you". It didn't spread to the Greek speaking Orthodox. It doesn't make sense in the Orthodox confession where the priest is only a witness to the penitent's confession to God and pleads for God's forgiveness, which is in the Orthodox Church always a given anyway...

What is interesting also in the following description of the Divine Liturgy is the extent of role playing in the drama, the deacon representing the apostles, the lamp St John the Forerunner, and when there's a bishop the drama gets extended - the bishop Christ, the priest Joseph and the deacon Nicodemus.

So, in this aspect, since Christ was male, the male priest 'represents' Him, but only as in a role (Fr Gregory has given this as an example, but he confuses it then with the RCC "in persona Christi"), because, the priest's actually ordination to the priesthood is through the common baptism and chrismation of the royal priesthood.

What is also interesting here in the development of this Byzantine drama is the extent to which the male priesthood has taken over from the whole priesthood, not confining itself to role playing it now can often be the only communicant! Really, what can be more absurd than a priest role playing Christ and eating Christ's body and drinking His blood without sharing it with the rest? (this is because over the centuries the 'priests' in some churches began making confession a pre-requisite to communion and often this is limited to four times a year at paricularly important feasts. There are variations in practice.

So, role playing men representing Christ, fine, I have no objection to that, as long as they don't confuse this with the distinctly different "in persona Christi" of the RCC, but where are the roles for women? We have Joseph and Nicodemus, why not the Mother of God and Mary Magdalene (Equal-to-the-Apostles and Apostle to the Apostles).

And, bearing in mind that the Mother of God entered the Holy of Holies, Christ our High Priest is only actually that through Her... [Biased]



Divine Liturgy


..it's been a while since I've had a good argument with the Orthodox ... [Votive]


Myrrh

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El Greco
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That's a very good point. There are all sorts of communication problems when an Orthodox, having in mind the "icon of God - icon of Christ" theology, uses the term 'represents', because others can understand it in the "in persona Christi" theology terms...

Needless to say that I was shocked to see dyfrig interpret bishop Ignatius in that way... Proper communication, which stems from proper education, is crucial here.

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Divine Outlaw
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quote:
Originally posted by Aristibule:
The Athanasian Creed is also used by the Orthodox.

I severely doubt that. It is a statement of pure Augustinian trinitarian theology, and turns on the differential method of procession of the Spirit and the Son in order to differentiate the two (i.e. it necessitates the filioque, or something very like it). I'm prepared to be surprised however...

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El Greco
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I have never heard it being professed. But maybe it can be found somewhere in writing, because of the Catholic and Protestant influence in Orthodox education, in the past few centuries. I doubt it was known by the Orthodox Saints, because it was not written by Athanasius and its theology does not make any sense to me based on the Orthodoxy I know.

[ 05. July 2007, 08:58: Message edited by: andreas1984 ]

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cor ad cor loquitur
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Thanks, Myrrh, for the reference to the first page of this thread and to Fr Gregory's comments.

He wrote this:
quote:
It is not a matter of the person who preaches or teaches or leads, (no headship here). In our traditions [= "Catholic and Orthodox", in Fr Gregory's words] this (teaching / preaching / leading) is not exhaustive or exclusive or definitive of what a priest is about. Being the icon of Christ at the Eucharist is what the priest is about. There is a lot more to it than that but that's the centre.
We've had a lot of discussion about what it means to be male or female and what it means to represent or be the icon of Christ at the Eucharist. But what about preaching and teaching and leading?

In the RCC women occasionally preach at Mass, but strictly speaking they aren't supposed to do so, because laypeople aren't supposed to preach at Mass.

Some women are allowed to be administrators. Abbesses are in charge of their abbeys, but not in authority over men. There are a handful of female presidents of RC colleges and universities -- but not, as far as I know, of theological seminaries.

What about in the Orthodox Church?

My sense is that an implicit doctrine of "headship" is still very strong in the RC and Orthodox traditions. It is reinforced by the fact that a bishop (and hence a priest) brings together the three charisms of priesthood, teaching and leading. A bishop has a critical role as teacher and doctrinal arbiter. And, in these traditions, a bishop has to be male.

So I agree with Dyfrig's statement:
quote:
Those in favour of a male only priesthood have never, to my mind, adequately separated out the priesthood per se from male-dominated power structures (and, indeed, power structures as a whole). If someone were to demonstrate that there is, in fact, a distinction to be made and were that distinction to be worked out in genuine practice, then this issue may have more juice to it.


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Young fogey
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I understand that, for whatever reasons there is a priest shortage, in modern RC canon law a woman can be your pastor. This is a canonical not sacramental role - of course she wouldn't try to celebrate Mass or absolve. Supply priests do that.

Very like the relationship between the Anglo-Catholic parishes in the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island and their ordinary, Geralyn Wolf, whom they recognise canonically as their ordinary but not sacramentally as a bishop. She lets them have a flying bishop for the sacramental stuff but makes her visitations, coming for evensong for example, no problem.

(I don't know her but know two people who do. I understand she really respects conservatives - she understands them even though she doesn't agree - and comports herself much like an Episcopal bishop 40 years ago.)

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Augustine the Aleut
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cor ad cor etc writes:
quote:
Abbesses are in charge of their abbeys, but not in authority over men.
But they can be-- the Abbess of Las Huelgas in Burgos (until 1873 and the end of exempt jurisdictions under the first Spanish Republic) ruled as ordinary and civil prince over 50 parishes and their clergy, issuing letters dimissorial to authorize ordinations of clergy for these parishes, as well as to license priests to say Mass, hear confessions, and so forth. As well, the Abbess could convoke synods and exdercise an ordinary's legislative authority.

Any time a pontiff wants to authorize such jurisdiction, they can. Not that I'm holding my breath.

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Young fogey
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quote:
Originally posted by Augustine the Aleut:
cor ad cor etc writes:
quote:
Abbesses are in charge of their abbeys, but not in authority over men.
But they can be-- the Abbess of Las Huelgas in Burgos (until 1873 and the end of exempt jurisdictions under the first Spanish Republic) ruled as ordinary and civil prince over 50 parishes and their clergy, issuing letters dimissorial to authorize ordinations of clergy for these parishes, as well as to license priests to say Mass, hear confessions, and so forth. As well, the Abbess could convoke synods and exercise an ordinary's legislative authority.

Any time a pontiff wants to authorize such jurisdiction, they can.

Correct.

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ken
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And as for Hilda of Whitby...

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Ken

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Myrrh
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quote:
Originally posted by cor ad cor loquitur:
Thanks, Myrrh, for the reference to the first page of this thread and to Fr Gregory's comments....

Hope to get back to this over the weekend.

Myrrh

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Aristibule
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Well, regardless - the Athanasian Creed is in the Horologion - both Russian and Greek. The form of the Athanasian Creed found in the Greek Horologion is that translated into English in the "Saint Dunstan Plainsong Psalter". The text only differs in retaining the Greek original form without filioque as "The Holy Ghost is of the Father: neither made nor created nor begotten but proceeding." Get a Horologion, get a Psalter - check it out. (That, and - regardless what a few sectarians think - St. Augustine is and was Orthodox. He is venerated and read widely amongst us Orthodox, as the Ecumenical Councils direct (noting - the Romanides theory of blaming Barlaam's faults on St. Augustine is a peculiar Hellenocentric view coming out of Holy Cross in Boston, Mass. It isn't a normative view for the whole of Orthodoxy.)

As regards the icons - an icon makes present what is represented. So, if the priest is the 'icon of Christ', Christ is there present where the priest is. So - Fr. Gregory is right, and Orthodox. [Smile]

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duchess

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May I request that the stupid example of "I will stumble if I see a HOT lady in front of me" not be brought up anymore? It keeps being brought up over and over.

And again, I will state for the millionth and 30th time, I think it is a really stoopid example/argument.

And for those of you who don't know, I do not support the POV of women clergy.

I wish this would not be turned into a Orthodoxy debate either.

I guess I am too into this emotional topic/thread.

Argghhhhh.....

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