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Re: Orthodox Church of Greece to Allow Deaconesses #23214 10/29/04 07:31 PM
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Matthew Panchisin Offline
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As early as I can tell so far it seems in the year 233 we can read some of the decrees from Saint Pope LUCIUS I.

Decreed that clergy should not live with Deaconesses even if given lodging for reasons of charity.

As many of you know these Deaconesses did a very limited but necessary service in the early Church.

God bless every woman especially those that serve the Church in the appropriate way. The word Deaconesses could only be looked upon with great woe when it is interpreted in a modern sense of woman's equality which is was not conveyed or imported into the original meaning of the word. Hence Father Stephanos response seems to be of a more modern mindset or reaction on the matter. If it did represent the downfall of Orthdoxy then Rome would have fallen with Orthodoxy many centuries ago as well for the services of the deaconesses existed quite some before the great schism. I understand and know that the fall of Rome came latter and the Orthodox Church continues to remain faithful to tradition and the Truth and "the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church."

In Christ,

Matthew Panchisin

Re: Orthodox Church of Greece to Allow Deaconesses #23215 10/29/04 08:54 PM
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iconophile Offline
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Thanks Alice, for your corrective explanation. I think that the problem that Latin Catholics have is that the order of Deacon in the Western Church is considered a clerical order, in continuity with that of Bishop and Priest. In the Latin Church the deacon can only perform those sacraments that, in certain circumstances, can be performed by the laity [baptism and marriage] and he can preach at Mass. He cannot do the "Last Rites" which is now called, more appropriately, the Sacrament of Anointing. It seems obvious to me that the Order of Deaconess is something different, but I am not sure if the anointing you describe is a sacrament or not. I know the Orthodox are not so eager to define things, but clarification on this may help some of us, Catholics Latin and Byzantine, to be reconciled to the notion of the Deaconess.
-Daniel

Re: Orthodox Church of Greece to Allow Deaconesses #23216 10/29/04 09:20 PM
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Alice Offline
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I would like Father Thomas to clarify this for us all, as I do not want to make a mistake, and he is a priest of the OCA.

Re: Orthodox Church of Greece to Allow Deaconesses #23217 10/29/04 09:32 PM
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Re: Orthodox Church of Greece to Allow Deaconesses #23218 10/29/04 09:34 PM
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Re: Orthodox Church of Greece to Allow Deaconesses #23219 10/29/04 09:44 PM
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Dear Father Deacon,
I've also noticed the duplication of my messages - I've had some work done on my computer lately and that may have something to do with it. Unfortunately I'm a technological illiterate (or should that be "binary innumerate"?. But thanks for your concern.
Incognitus

Re: Orthodox Church of Greece to Allow Deaconesses #23220 10/29/04 09:58 PM
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Matthew Panchisin Offline
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Dear Alice,

Your post's in this subject seem to be correct. I've been checking into this matter a bit and find it very interesting. There is a quite a bit of documentation on the matter.

Deaconesses are very Orthodox and have in the past had a limited role in the life of the Church. In Romans 16:1 we can read "Phoebe who is a deaconess of the Church of Cenchreae"

Just as a married Priesthood/Clergy is evident in Holy Writ Tit 1:6; Lk 4:38 39; Mt 8:14-15; 1 Tim 3:2, 12; Mk 1:29 31

As you know the Latin movements and interpretations can be much different then how the Orthodox Church interprets things in accordance with Holy Writ and relying upon the Patristic tradition which has caused some division in the past which remain in place today.

It must have been about 20 years ago now that I remember only one woman a Lutheran convert to Orthodoxy who once asked about the ordination of woman to the Priesthood but besides her it is not something that is a issue within the Orthodox Church. I'm not sure why the Church of Greece found it necessary to discuss the matter, maybe you know?

In Christ,

Matthew Panchsin

Re: Orthodox Church of Greece to Allow Deaconesses #23221 10/29/04 10:14 PM
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Alice Offline
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Dear Matthew,

I don't understand what exactly you mean. confused

The Church of Greece has not addressed the matter of ordaining women to the priesthood. It addressed the matter of deaconesses, and if you read the excerpt I posted carefully, they can only be nuns of great stature.

If you reread my previous posts, I think that I addressed some reasons as to the why and where this need seems to exist. It did not come from a situation of capitulating to any feminist agenda.

However, there are some questions that remain unanswered, and for that I will ask a couple of Greek hieromonks who may know. I will let you know what I find out.

The Church of Greece is very traditional and conservative, and I trust its wisdom.

The only concern I have about all this is that this may kindle the controversy with the liberals in the Greek Orthodox Church here, whose agenda is *totally* different.

(although somehow I can't see those feminist leaning liberal ladies becoming traditional Orthodox nuns in order to become deaconesses! hehehe!)

All the best,
In Christ,
Alice

Re: Orthodox Church of Greece to Allow Deaconesses #23222 10/29/04 10:29 PM
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I'm not sure what all the fuss is about? Is there an argument that there were not deaconeses in the church? It is a indisputable fact. It is also well known that St. Nektarios had ordained a decaoness for his own purposes. Yes, their function is in dispute, both liturgically and charitably. If the restoration of the deaconess will bring on the parousia, then, I say, Maranatha!

Look folks, we cannot draw any conclusions about this article which IS NOT a statement of the Holy Synod of Greece. They have not outlined what the function is of these deaconesses, only that they would be in monasteries. And forget this silly statement about "last rites." We can all smell bad journalism when we read it.

Beyond that we know nothing. A few of you seem to revel in speculation. I suggest turning off your computer and curling up with a good book, or THE Good Book. Try looking up Rom. 16:1.

Here's a nice page I found on the deaconess: The Historical Orthodox Deaconess Enjoy!

Fr. Thomas
(whose oldest daughter is named after a deaconess, St. Melania, and would be THRILLED if his daughter were called to such a ministry, but is not going to loose sleep over if the church restores the office of deaconess, one way or the other...)

Re: Orthodox Church of Greece to Allow Deaconesses #23223 10/29/04 10:59 PM
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Logos - Alexis Offline
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I think we need to all chill out and trust Alice, our resident Greek Orthodox expert.

Thanks for the information, Alice and Father Thomas!

Logos Teen

Re: Orthodox Church of Greece to Allow Deaconesses #23224 10/29/04 11:38 PM
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Marc Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Teen Of The Incarnate Logos:
I think we need to all chill out and trust Alice, our resident Greek Orthodox expert.

Thanks for the information, Alice and Father Thomas!

Logos Teen
Ditto. Thank to all the Orthodox explained this, especially Matthew, Alice and Fr. Thomas.

And again, please don't be offended Romans like myself have a kneejerk negative reaction to this. The Deacon is in many ways a junior or substitute Priest in our Church, and the idea has been proposed several times by elements who do want "women priests"

Marc

(who nevertheless wonders how he'll ever explain this to his "trad-ish" ultramontanist friends......)

Re: Orthodox Church of Greece to Allow Deaconesses #23225 10/29/04 11:54 PM
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Matthew Panchisin Offline
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Dear Father Thomas,

Thank you for the very good link. I've been checking into this subject matter today a bit, I find it very interesting.

Dear Marc,

You could click on this link which is within the link that Father Thomas has presented it is a very good read.

http://www.philosophy-religion.org/diaconate/chapter_7.htm

In Christ,

Matthew Panchisin

Re: Orthodox Church of Greece to Allow Deaconesses #23226 10/30/04 12:03 AM
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OrthoMan Offline
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Latest from the Orthodox Church Of Greece regarding 'Deaconesses' -

Deaconesses

The church High Clergy [sic] also re-examined the matter of the
ordination of deaconesses, a practice common in the Church during the 4th
and 5th centuries which was later faded away. The synod decided that bishops
could decide at their own discretion to ordain certain high-ranking nuns if
no priest was available, for example in isolated monasteries. It was
stressed that the role of deaconesses should be social, for example the
granting of last rites to the sick. According to the Archbishop of
Peristeri, deaconesses should "play a role in society and not in the
monastery".

http://www.ana.gr/anaweb/user/showplain?maindoc=2182957&service=10

=========

Orthodoc

Re: Orthodox Church of Greece to Allow Deaconesses #23227 10/30/04 12:06 AM
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Matthew Panchisin Offline
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Dear Alice,

What I meant was that most people I know tend to equate the ordination of Deacon with a Deaconess.

Deacons as you know become Priest's sometimes which is not applicable or possible for a Deaconess. I think that Marc's and Father Stephanos's comments reflect the aforementioned and how most people in the west might relate to the word Deaconess.

Sorry for the confusion.

In Christ,

Matthew Panchisin

Re: Orthodox Church of Greece to Allow Deaconesses #23228 10/30/04 12:26 AM
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Alice Offline
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Dear Matthew,

Ofcourse, you are right. Infact, in my jurisdiction, just about every deacon I have ever encountered is on his way to the priesthood.

Thanks for the clarification of your post.

Regards,
In Christ,
Alice

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