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Orthodoxy NEEDS Deaconesses?

Orthodoxy NEEDS Deaconesses? February 14, 2006

A while back I posted notice of an Orthodox book on the Female Deaconate. I’m not an avid Blog Comment reader; perhaps others share this laxity, but here’s a comment [in progress] from an “Orthodox Female Seminarian” that warrants a read:

… Whenever this issue comes up so many people jump on the bandwagon of the fallacy of Slippery Slope its just annoying. I have read this book thoroughly, and while she, yes, asks for women to be ordained, she never asks for them to be ordained *Priests*, or *Bishops* or anything. Let’s us all remember for a moment that we are *Orthodox* Christians, NOT Episcopalians, we have varying orders of ordinations, and our priests (unlike the Episcopalians) have fully sacramental functions and are not simply social workers who give a self-help talk every Sunday (which women can and do do in our church anyways, so if the Episcopalians want to call the women who do that in their church “priests” then fine, whatever). And we are definitely not Catholics either (where their messed up ecclesiology pratically demands that every ordained person is nothing more than a defective pope, and hence one ordinations DOES equal another). So let’s all think rationally about this for a moment, for goodness sakes.

The whole comment may be found in the Comments on the original post (hyper-linked above).

I bring this [back] to your attention because, well, I disagree all the more. The Holy Spirit allows certain practices to die out. The Kiss of Peace? It used to be on the lips. The thing is, it was between priests & priests, deacons & deacons, males & males, females & females. This practice died out due to abuse. I don’t believe this is the time to bring back certain practices — especially deaconesses.

What need is there? Why is anyone even talking about it? Is the Church, the Body of Christ, groaning for this lost ministry? Or is there something else, less divine, going on? Sane replies, minus hubris and hysteria appreciated.


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